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Testimonial: Chantal shares her experience with points & miles for Disney

This post is also available in: FR

Every week, we receive emails from readers (email address available in the facebook group “Travel for free (or almost…!) with your points & miles – milesopedia”). Today, Chantal shares with us her experience with points & miles: for trips that are difficult to make with points & miles! Club Med… and Disney!

For the sake of clarity, we have edited some parts of Chantal’s testimonial and added links to the various credit card pages covered. This testimonial was sent to us by Chantal following feedback from group members wanting to know more!

Chantal’s tips with AIR MILES

Presentation of Chantal’s family

Martin and I are in business: we have a staffing agency for truck drivers and a small transport company. Our problem: none of our suppliers accepts American Express, to my great despair because every month we spend more than 10 000$ for the trucks!

On a personal note: I have 3 sons (28, 27 and 16). The two older ones are in apartments. They all have an AIR MILES card… which I manage! They are not interested… yet. With mine and Martin’s, that’s 5 AIR MILES membership cards… which allows me to pick up all the promotions!

packtoschool logo

Chantal’s vacations: Club Med… and Disney

We can afford to take a vacation but under certain conditions:

  • 7 days at a time
  • And this several times a year

Martin likes turnkey trips(much to my dismay). According to him, he is so busy all year long that he doesn’t want to organize anything when it comes to the vacations! For him, paradise is Club Med Columbus Isle in the Bahamas for example!

club med columbus isle
Credit: Club Med

Personally, I like to move around, but spending my week lounging on the beach is not something I can do. With the Club Med, which is full of activities, I find my account there.

Except that Club Med deals… they don’t come around very often (except for going the 2 weeks before the end of school in June). And even so: we’re forgetting about points cards etc… In fact we’re forgetting about the methods that most people in the milesopedia facebook group use. If there is a way that I don’t know, please tell me 🙂

For all-inclusive experiences, especially for Club Med, there is no miracle method: you will generally have to pay with a credit card that allows you to apply your points to your travel purchases.

The last cards subscribed by Chantal and Martin

Lately, we have taken advantage of several offers:

Chantal’s tips for a successful… Disney

I love Disney. In February 2018, we booked a new trip to Disney for November 2018. Over there, we really move! Besides, with Martin, we made an agreement: one part Club Med, one part Disney.

And when I say… we’re really moving at Disney, let me explain!

In my daily life, I go to the gym 5 times a week: I like it, but I wanted to do something else, to do something new while surpassing myself! And while wandering around a Disney-related Facebook group, I discover that women were organizing 5K / 10K half marathons… at Disney!

disney marathon

Except that the next one will be in… February 2019. That might be a lot for “Disney” to take in a very short time, except that I discovered: the annual pass!

disney free pass

Entrance fees to parks

The annual pass costs $849 US and includes:

  • One year’s admission to the 4 theme parks (no exclusion date)
  • Visit all 4 theme parks on the same day.
  • Includes Disney PhotoPass* downloads
  • Up to 20% discount on selected restaurants
  • Up to 20% off select products in-store or online at Shop Disney Parks
  • Regular parking at the theme park

For it to be profitable, you must go a minimum of 2 times. I go there 3 times, Martin 2 times: bingo!

If you have already purchased park tickets (Hopper) and would like to switch to an annual pass: no problem! Disney is very flexible and allows you to change upon arrival at the park (by deducting the amount already paid from the cost of the annual pass).

In my opinion, it is wrong to think that we are getting a good deal by taking the “free meal promotion” at Disney: it costs less to pay for each of our meals!

Disney Hotels

Disney is not complicated: if you are planning to go there during the year, you must book the hotel you are interested in right away! By doing this, you ensure a room in case of a promotion. A deposit of $200 is required.

Afterwards, you look at the promos, there are some every 2 months! When you find the one that interests you, you apply it to your reservation! And if 2 months later you see another promo, even better, you apply it again: it’s simple the same with Disney!

Marriott Hotels in Disney World

There are also many hotels available with Marriott hotel points! And most of the time, you can book and cancel them as late as 48 hours before arrival. Useful for finding special offers!

marriott disney 2018

A card like the Marriott BonvoyTM American ExpressMD href=”https://milesopedia.com/go/amex-marriott”>The Marriott BonvoyTM American ExpressMD Card offers 50,000 Marriott points as a welcome bonus. That’s enough for a free night right in the Disney World park! By adding the Marriott BonvoyMD company American ExpressMD Card, that’s another free additional night!

The Best Western Hotel at Disney

Finally, there is also a Best Western hotel directly on the Disney site, the Lake Buena Vista – Disney Springs Resort Area, available for only 20,000 points!

best western disney

The Best Western Rewards MasterCard credit card offers 20,000 points as a sign-up bonus… on your first purchase! That means you could get a free night at this Disney hotel!

Disney and AIR MILES

It’s often thought that AIR MILES DREAM Miles are the only way to buy theme park tickets. For example, here is a basic 7-day adult ticket that costs 5,400 AIR MILES Dream Miles:

disney air miles ticket

 

How did I get so many AIR MILES miles?

I’m a fan of AIR MILES. There is this article on milesopedia that helps you understand how it is possible to accumulate, as a couple, up to 20,000 AIR MILES miles per year… without much effort!

Having over 6,000 miles that earn $750 in Disney gift cards is really not that complicated!

A couple, for example, can get 2 x 3,000 AIR MILES miles for free when the BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard is on promotion! Like this October 2018 promotion.

For a small fee ($65), you can also earn 2,000 AIR MILES miles with the AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card from American Express! If there are 2 of you, it costs $130 to get 4,000 AIR MILES miles!

And I can’t forget several credit cards, with no annual fee, that allow you to accumulate 800 AIR MILES miles from your first purchase!

Bottom Line

It is often said on milesopedia that the best use of AIR MILES miles is via the Dreams option. Of course, you could use Dream Miles to buy admission to Disney World, but if you want to go back several times a year, nothing is better than an annual pass!

And since money is king… especially at Disney, the AIR MILES Silver option is worth a serious look! And even more so with regular promotions like those at Jean Coutu!

We thank Chantal for her testimony. It’s proof that AIR MILES miles can be useful… and easily converted to cash!

This post is also available in: FR

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Audrey
Mother of two young children, pharmacist, travel hacker's wife and frequent traveller, Audrey shares her advices and destinations recommendations on milesopedia.

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