Overview of using Airline miles and Hotel points for cheap Disney World travel

Hey Friends.  So you wanna go to Disney World but money’s funny at the moment.  Fear not because I’m gonna show you how to do Disney on a tight budget (we’re talking nearly free!)

So you’re here to find out how to do Disney for cheap and we’ll get right into it.  First, however, I need to set a framework for  how to do this well and so you don’t lose money elsewhere.  The idea here is simple: sign up for certain travel credit cards (I’ll show you which ones), meet the minimum spending, get points or miles and use them to get great deals on travel.  My family and I just got back from Disney and did the whole thing for about a quarter of what we would have spent if we didn’t use any miles or points ($4,200 vs. $1,200).  And I could have shaved off another $600 from our trip expense but we’d planned other trips I used our points for. So, a few things:

  1. Don’t sign up for credit cards if you plan on carrying a balance.  Getting free points isn’t worth it if you have to pay 20% interest rates.  Pay off your balance each month or you’ll be the one paying for other’s travels.
  2. Most credit cards that give you free miles and points charge an annual fee of about $95 but waive the first years annual fee.  Simply hold the card for a year and then cancel it and you won’t pay a dime.  Don’t cancel it right away as the banks don’t like that and you don’t look like a good customer. Keep good records so you know when to cancel.
  3. Make sure you can meet the minimum spending requirements before you get the card.  It’s usually $3,000 in 3 months.  If you don’t spend that much money you won’t get the valuable hotel points or airline miles.  It’s best to stagger sign ups so you have some time to spend the required money.
  4. What about my credit score? – When you sign up for a credit card the bank does a “hard” credit inquiry on your credit report.  This results in a drop of your credit score of 3-5 points, very minimal.  One thing to keep in mind is that this strategy won’t be possible if you can’t get approved for the credit cards.  It seems that if your credit score is below 700 you start getting into areas where the banks will be less likely to approve you but your results may vary.  

Thank you to today’s sponsor, Arlington Heights Plumbing, a rock solid plumber Arlington Heights, IL. residents have come to trust over the years!

For a day at Walt Disney World in 10 minutes, see this video.  Kinda fun!