Through a series of testimonials from our readers, Milesopedia presents what you can achieve with credit cards and loyalty programs.
Here’s Isabelle and her family’s Disney trip and the savings she’s made with points.
Isabelle's testimonial - Who are you?
My partner and I are 42 years old and I’ve been a Milesopedia reader since 2018.
When we travel as a family, we try to save money. We achieve this by staying in budget hotels that are recent and well rated on TripAdvisor and Google. We eat infast food restaurants and like to visit the main tourist attractions available.
As my husband and son live with an autism spectrum disorder, we try to alternate visiting days with rest days, which they need to clear their minds.
Isabelle's testimonial - Your travel project with points : Disney
We went as a family: my partner, my father, our two children aged 7 and 11 and me. Our project was an 8-day trip to Orlando in the winter of 2023. Our itinerary was as follows:
- 3 days in Disney parks (Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Epcot)
- 1 day at Cocoa Beach
- 1 day at Disney Spring with lunch with the characters at Topolino Terrace
- 1 day to visit the various hotels on the site and use transportion for pleasure
The flights from Quebec City to Orlando and the car rental were paid for in cash.
We stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando at FLAMINGO CROSSINGS Town Center for 7 nights and booked two different rooms. For this booking, we used 296,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
Savings on accommodation
The money saved on accommodation totals $4094!
Activities and other
The points were used to buy tickets for the Disney parks, as well as restaurants, gas and souvenirs. In total, our savings consist of :
- 1 adult ticket for 3 days, paid with 5574 Dream Air Miles
- 3 adult tickets and 1 child ticket for 3 days, paid for with Disney gift cards purchased at Jean-Coutu with Cash Air Miles (total value of $2445 for all park tickets)
- 500$ worth of restaurants and gas, paid for with 50,000 Scene+ points
- 635$ worth of restaurants and souvenirs, paid for with Disney gift cards
Savings on activities and other expenses
By combining several strategies and types of points, we saved $3580 on activities and various expenses during our trip to Disney.
Testimonial - Credit cards used
My partner and I teamed up to collect the points. We ordered a total of 6 credit cards over a 3-year period.
|Credit card||Accumulation period||Number of points used||Points redemption method|
|American Express Cobalt® Card||3 years||296,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and American Express Membership Rewards points||Transfer to Marriott Bonvoy|
|American Express® Gold Rewards Card||2 years||Transfer to Marriott Bonvoy|
|Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card (2 cards)||1 year||Hotel reservation|
|Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card||3 years||50,000 Scene+ points||Statement credit|
|BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®*||3 years||3750 Air Miles||Disney gift cards purchase|
With our credit cards, we have obtained some additional travel benefits such as:
Tips for earning more points
To accumulate lots of Air Miles, we took advantage of many promotions at Jean-Coutu, Shell and other partners. We also bought our Disney gift cards at the promotional rate of 75 Air Miles for $10.
When we had a welcome bonus to unlock, we concentrated all our spending on a single card to achieve the minimum spend required. For example, we used to pay for groceries, gas, school and municipal taxes on one specific credit card.
All in all, we saved an impressive $7674 on our Disney trip! Here is a breakdown of the amounts saved in each category:
|Type of expense||Savings|
|Meals, gas and souvenirs||1135$|
The final word
As often mentioned on Milesopedia:
The hunt for points is not a race, but a marathon.
For us, it was a 3-year marathon. In closing, if I could only keep one credit card in my wallet, it would be the American Express Cobalt® Card.
Without you, I don’t think I could have made this trip. Thanks Milesopedia!
Read on for more testimonials from members of the Milesopedia community: