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Member Testimonial: Disney World with points

To the point

Roger, a milesopedia community member, shared his Disney trip review, which he booked with points, and tells us about his savings.

Travel to Disney with points

Regarding Disney, there is a lot of theory, such as the articles shared on milesopedia on the matter:

But what speaks for itself is the practice! We had already shared Chantal’s story about using AIR MILES miles.

Here is Roger’s testimonial about a trip to Disney for 2 adults and 2 children.

Roger's project for Disney

There were so many possible combinations to achieve our goal of going to Disney at the lowest possible cost, that we decided to take one route and adjust along the way.

The objective was to cover:

  • Airline tickets
  • 5 day passes
  • Accommodation on site for 5 nights

Note that earning some 20,000 AIR MILES miles and NBC Rewards points over the past 2 years was at the heart of our strategy. We had also planned for $300 CAD in meals per day, but that expense is not part of this game plan.

Here is an account of the final use we made of our points.

1st objective: hotel on site at Disney for 5 nights

Definitely the easiest and most straightforward strategy, earning Marriott Bonvoy points with bonuses from 3 credit cards:

We booked a room at the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel for 5 nights with the fifth night free.

The Walt Disney World Swan Hotel is a Disney-affiliated Marriott hotel that allows access to Magic Hours. It is a 15 minute walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

Expenses Costs Points used Value
5 nights at the Swan Hotel $2,750 160,000 Marriott Bonvoy points $2,750
Cards fees $390 30,000 BLC Visa points $300
Hotel (resort) fees $220
Total $3,360 $3,050
Net cost $310

Excluding the cost of the 3 credit cards fees, I got a value of $0.016 per Marriott Bonvoy point. It took me 3 months to earn the points. BLC points will be applied to resort fees and other travel expenses.

Editor’s note: to get the welcome bonus for each card, you must spend $1,500 in the first 3 months.

Comment from milesopedia

As Roger says, it’s a simple and effective strategy. Here, Roger has chosen to stay inside the park. However, it is also possible to stay outside the park: there are many Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

To learn more about this method, check out our strategy for saving on Disney hotels.

Here is the current offer for the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card:

2nd objective: air tickets

The initial plan was to cover the airfare with NBC Rewards points earned over the past 2 years with the National Bank World Elite Mastercard.

We expected to pay for about 3 out of 4 tickets. But it turned out to be much more cost effective to use AIR MILES Dream Miles for flights!

With the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* companion ticket, we were awarded 3,230 AIR MILES Dream Miles. Adding the 2 credits of 750 AIR MILES Dreams miles redeemed by our AIR MILESMD* American ExpressMD Platinum Credit Cards, we were able to pay directly for a park pass (see goal 3)!

Expenses Costs Points used Value
4 airline tickets $2,600 8,190 AIR MILES bonus miles $2,600
AIR MILES Fees and Taxes $653 66,000 NBC points $600
Card fees $130
Total $3,383 $3,200
Net cost $183

Excluding the cost of the two AIR MILESMD* American ExpressMD Platinum Credit Cards fees, including the companion ticket, I got a value of $0.24 per AIR MILES DREAM mile.

We have subscribed to the following cards:

To earn the points, it took us 1 year.

Editor’s note: the cost of the AIR MILESMD* American ExpressMD Platinum Credit Card fee is now $120.

Comment from milesopedia

The BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* companion ticket was offered as part of a promotion that took place in late 2018 / early 2019. This is not a constant bonus of the card.

As for the credit offered by the AIR MILESMD* American ExpressMD Platinum Credit Card, this is a new annual benefit offered by this card ! More information here.

Here, Roger cleverly took advantage of 2 bonuses and adapted his strategy along the way. You should consider doing like Roger by calculating if it is more interesting to use such or such type of points!

To learn more about this method, check out our strategy for saving on Disney hotels.

Here’s the current BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* offer:

3rd objective: 4 Disney passes for 5 days

Conversely, we were thinking of using AIR MILES Dreams miles to pay for Disney tickets.

In the end, we used a combination of points to cover the $1,720 needed, taking advantage of the 25% discount for Canadians.

So we used:

  • AIR MILES Dream Miles,
  • AIR MILES CASH rewards (purchased $50 Disney gift cards for 425 CASH rewards)
  • reward points

We do not consider our credit cards fees in the calculation since the fees were not paid specifically for this trip.

Expenses Costs Points used Value
2 adult passes $900 4,750 AIR MILES Dream Miles $450
2 children’s passes $820 3,400 AIR MILES Dream Miles $400
88,000 NBC points 800 $
Total $1,720 $1,650
Net cost $70

I got a value of about $0.01 per point.

We used the points and miles from:

To earn the points, it took us 1 to 2 years via our expenses.

Comment from milesopedia

AIR MILES CASH rewards, combined with using them at Jean Coutu to get Disney gift cards, can save a lot of money. Not only for passes, but also for all your Disney purchases.

To learn more about this method, check out our strategy for saving on your Disney purchases.

And as Roger wisely pointed out, you could also combine points earned on your everyday spending, like the ones he got with the National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard® , which is currently available – and which also offers travel benefits:

Overall

In summary, we reached our goals for a total of about $550, essentially the cost of the credit card fees ($510).

Everything is now booked:

  • 5 nights directly on the Disney site
  • 4 direct flight tickets Montreal-Orlando at excellent times!
  • 4 Disney passes for 5 days

We would like to thank the milesopedia community, and its founder in particular, for allowing us to develop this strategy. Hopefully we can inspire some of you!

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