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Disney Gift Cards in Canada : Is it worth it?

To the point Discover how to save money on your next Disney trip with Disney gift cards. Learn how to use them to maximize savings and earn rewards.

You have probably seen Disney Gift Cards at your local grocery and drug store.

When planning a trip to Disney World, they can be an effective means to save on this magical trip.

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Disney Gift Cards - How do they work?

Disney gift cards are prepaid cards that can be used in various ways:

  • Any purchases at US Disney theme parks
  • Purchases at North American Disney Stores
  • Paying for a Disney Vacation or a Disney Cruise (and onboard purchases)
disney gift card 1
disney gift card 2

You can combine your Disney Gift Card balances onto a digital card on their website if you don’t want to manage a fat wallet or risk losing them.

disney gift card website

The main pro of using them is to save on foreign exchange fees since you buy them with Canadian dollars and will be billed with the rate of the day, without any surcharge, for your US dollars spent.

Indeed, most Canadian credit cards add a 2.5% fee on top of the exchange rate on transactions made in foreign currency. There are a few exceptions, so if you are interested in subscribing to one of those credit cards that don’t charge it, here are the best:

Disney Gift Cards - The strategy in Canada

Travel hackers in our community used to collect them by redeeming AIR MILES Cash in the past. While that strategy is long over, there are still good reasons to obtain Disney gift cards, such as the savings you’ll get on foreign currency purchases.

But what if you already have a credit card without foreign exchange fees?

If you hold one of those credit cards, hoarding Disney gift cards might not make much sense because you are already avoiding the 2.5% conversion fees. In addition, you can also earn rewards on your purchases when you employ them to pay.

However, it all comes down to how you acquire your Disney gift cards.

Since Disney gift cards are sold at grocery stores, you can use a card with a strong return or point accelerator in that category.

Here are a few examples of credit cards that give high returns in that category.

The easiest way to illustrate this would be to take the BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* with its 5% return: you will obtain 5% in cash back on your Disney gift card purchase since it will code the same way as any food you buy at the grocery stores.

In addition, you will save 2.5% at Disney World, bringing your net savings to 7.5%.

If you use the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite* Card, you will save the same 2.5%, but you will only earn 1 or 2 Scene+ points per dollar during your time in the parks (depending on how your transaction is coded). You may get 2 Scene+ points for your restaurant purchases at Disney World, but you might not since it depends on the merchant code. Those points are worth 1 cent each, which means you are getting a 1% value in return.

Credit Card Rewards per dollar FX Savings Net Savings
BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* 5% 2.5% 7.5%
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite* Card 1 Scene+ (1%) 2.5% 3.5%

Taking the next step further with Disney gift cards: what if buying them can get you enough points for a free (or almost) flight to Orlando?

The American Express Cobalt® Card has a 5 Membership Rewards earned per dollar at grocery stores. That translates to a 5% return if you use Membership Rewards as cash back.

What we need to know is that those points are very versatile because you can redeem them as cash back where they have a fixed value (meaning, you can never go under a 5% return), but you can transfer them to many partner programs (airlines or hotel chains) where you can optimize their value.

For example, if you buy $4,000 worth of Disney gift cards with the American Express Cobalt® Card, you will earn 20,000 Membership Rewards ($4,000 x 5). That amount equals $200 in cash back or 20,000 Aeroplan points since the transfer ratio is 1:1.

20,000 Aeroplan points is a standard cost for a flight from Montreal to Orlando, and, as seen below, fares can drop lower since Air Canada’s flights are dynamically priced.

Disney gift cards flight strategy

Google Flights list the same itinerary and dates for $661; if you subtract the $150 taxes you need to pay on the Aeroplan fare, your $4,000 worth of Disney gift card purchases gave you enough points to save you $511 (which translates to a 12% return). This kind of savings is significant for a family since airplane tickets are rising.

Disney gift cards flight strategy 2

Disney Gift Cards - One step further

While we probably convinced you that buying Disney Gift Cards with the American Express Cobalt® Card is a good idea, if you never held that card, you are eligible for a generous welcome bonus!

For the first 12 months, the welcome bonus is distributed monthly. For example, for every $ 750 in purchases charged to your card during the month (whether in the 1X, 2X, 3X, or 5X category), you earn 1,250 Membership Rewards points.

It is best to shop in the 5X categories (groceries, restaurants) for the monthly welcome bonus:

  • 1,250 points as a monthly welcome bonus
  • 3,750 points for 5x category purchases

That is a 10% minimum return on your first $ 750 in Card purchases in 5x categories like groceries during the first year.

Here’s how to maximize your purchases in the 5x the points spending categories earning 60,000 points in your first year:

1 $750 3,750 points 1,250 points 5,000 points
2 $750 3,750 points 1,250 points 5,000 points
3 $750 3,750 points 1,250 points 5 000 points
4 $750 3,750 points 1,250 points 5,000 points
5 $750 3,750 points 1,250 points 5,000 points
6 $750 3,750 points 1,250 points 5,000 points
7 $750 3,750 points 1,250 points 5,000 points
8 $750 3,750 points 1,250 points 5,000 points
9 $750 3,750 points 1,250 points 5,000 points
10 $750 3,750 points 1,250 points 5,000 points
11 $750 3,750 points 1,250 points 5,000 points
12 $750 3,750 points 1,250 points 5,000 points
Total $9,000 45,000 points 15,000 points 60,000 points

Earning 60,000 points against $9,000 in purchases in 12 months is a 6,67 % minimum return if you use yours as cashback (a $600 value) or 60,000 Aeroplan points.

With airfares to Orlando averaging around 20,000 Aeroplan points, as I explained earlier, you could get up to 3 tickets for your family trip to Orlando with the signup bonus from the American Express Cobalt® Card!

You don’t even have to buy $9,000 worth of Disney gift cards to unlock the points if you only need a third of that for your holiday; your standard groceries can do the trick, especially if you have a large household.

After speaking of buying Disney gift cards at 5X the points, think about all the other gift cards you can find at your groceries to earn 5X on many usual expenses such as fuel, Amazon or Netflix!

Bottom Line

Disney gift cards are a great way to save on foreign exchange fees when your credit card charges for them, and even then, your net savings could be even better if you acquire them with the right credit card at the right place.

In addition, opting for flexible transferable rewards instead of cash back opens the door to even more savings, as you can get free flights or accommodation with this strategy.

Ready to plan your trip to Disney? Make sure to read our guides to get the most out of this experience :

Where to find and buy a Disney gift card in Canada?

Several businesses sell Disney gift cards including:

  • IGA
  • Jean Coutu
  • Dollarama
  • Walmart
  • Giant Tiger
  • Metro and Super C
  • Best Buy
  • Maxi
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Canadian Tire, Home Depot and Lowes

Availability may vary by region and store.

Where to use a Disney gift card?

Disney gift cards can be used for:

  • Disney theme parks in the United States as well as their restaurants and shops;
  • Shop at Disney Stores in North America;
  • Pay for Genie+ or Lightning Lane;
  • The Disney Aulani Resort Hotel;
  • Pay for a Disney vacation or Disney cruise (and onboard purchases).

How do I convert or combine my all-in-one Disney gift cards on Disney Gift

Go to the Disney Gift Card website and create your account, if you haven’t already. Go to the My Cards section.

Then, click Add a Card and enter the Disney gift cards one by one. Choose a card that will be the primary card and to which all balances will be transferred. Then, in Merge Cards, click Confirm Transfer.

You can do the process for 6 Disney gift cards at once.

Where to buy a gift card for Disney Plus subscription ?

There are no physical (in plastic) Disney+ gift cards in Canada.

Please note that a standard Disney gift card cannot pay for a Disney+ subscription, if payment is made via Google Pay or App Store.

There are different ways to pay for a Disney Plus subscription in Canada:

  • Make a gift by giving the Disney+ subscription as a gift to someone else
  • Buy Apple and Google Play gift cards and add them to the App Store or Google Play account balance to apply them to the Disney Plus payment afterwards

How to use a Disney Plus gift card?

The Disney+ gift card for a Disney+ subscription is electronic, in the form of a code sent by email.

When you have received the link to subscribe to Disney+, enter the code on this page and follow the instructions to check the balance.

Then, continue the process and create your Disney+ account. Select the subscription you want and confirm your order.

How much does a Disney Plus subscription cost?

In Canada, there are three types of Disney Plus subscription since November 1, 2023, for up to four devices in total:

  • Disney+ Standard: $11.99 per month or one year costs $119.99 (maximum of 2 devices at a time)
  • Disney+ Standard with ads : $7.99 per month (maximum of 2 devices at a time)
  • Disney+ Premium : $14.99 per month or one year costs $149.99 (maximum of 4 devices at a time and best audio/video quality)

Currently, there is no offer to get the first month free.

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
Aline Nguyen
I'm Aline, an experienced traveller, a foodie at heart, an Avgeek, a photography enthusiast and an expert on credit card programs. I use Reward Points to travel on a budget and to save money on everyday life; writing about these topics allows me to share my passion and help you. ~ 7 continents and 75 countries ~

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