Money-Saving Tips for Discount Disney Gift Cards
This covers our best money-saving tips for buying discount Disney gift cards via Target, Kroger, Meijer, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, and beyond. Some deals offer big savings for your Walt Disney World vacation, while others are modest but easier. (Updated December 12, 2022.)
Since we are pretty big on stretching our vacation dollar with all sorts of travel hacks, we thought we’d share some of the best methods for scoring discounted Disney gift cards. Some of this might sound complicated and intimidating, but it’s really easy once you get the hang of it, and the upside is so tremendous that it makes the effort of learning well worth it.
With that said, I understand that this is not going to be for everyone. If you don’t have a credit card or are uncomfortable making online purchases, this definitely isn’t for you. While there are a few 101 level travel hacks here, a couple of the tricks are more 404 level.
As good deals come and go, we routinely update this post with the best options for saving money on Disney gift cards. Some of them are convoluted and have limited applicability. Others are open to everyone but have stricter purchase limits.
Regardless, this is one of the easiest way to save money on Walt Disney World vacations–and one of the few that is “stackable” with other discounts. Subscribe to our free email newsletter for a heads up if or when more Disney gift card deals go live. With that said, here are the deals, starting with the best current buy (get it?!)…
From time to time, discount Disney gift cards are sold at Best Buy. Earlier this year, the retailer sold $50 Disney gift cards for $45, or a savings of 10% off. These are available via instant email delivery, and can be combined with other gift cards via Disney’s online management tool.
Where this deal gets really sweet is if you have If you have any Chase credit or debit cards (or the Best Buy card), as many of these have targeted offers for 10% cashback at Best Buy. That should be stackable with this offer, making the discount even better.
In terms of fine print, you’re limited to one Disney gift card per transaction and account, although some people have reported success placing 2 separate orders or buying more with different accounts. Others have had their subsequent order(s) cancelled, not that we know from personal experience or anything. Basically, it’s YMMV after the first order.
This is the only better-than-normal Disney gift card deal that is currently available for Christmas 2022 (as of December 12, 2022). We’ll update this post accordingly if/when more are released over the course of the next two weeks. With that said, you might want to check out the below sites/stores, as it’s common for several of these to offer discount Disney gift cards in past years during the holiday shopping season. Either way, we’ll keep you posted!
If you live in the Midwest or one of the other regions in the United States with Meijer stores, they often run $5 off $50 promos on gift cards. When available, this is limited to a total of 10 rewards purchases–or $500 in gift cards–per Mperks account. (Meijer routinely runs this offer, usually multiple times per year.)
This means you can purchase a single Disney gift card for $500 and you’ll earn ten rewards of $5 (or $50 total) to use on future purchases. This essentially makes it identical to the BJ’s deal, albeit without the membership and Chase Freedom credit card requirements–the only catch here is that not everyone has Meijer stores near them.
Kroger Fuel Points
For those of you near Kroger grocery stores, this is one of the better “everyday” ways to save on Disney gift cards (well, technically, you’re saving money on gas, but it’s because of the gift cards). Normally, every dollar you spend at Kroger earns 1 fuel point, or 2 fuel points on gift card purchases. On occasion, Kroger offers 4X fuel points (sometimes it’s for a period of weeks, sometimes for a single day), which really sweetens the deal.
For every 100 fuel points you redeem, you save $0.10 off every gallon of gas (up to $1/gallon off) you purchase on a single fuel purchase. The precise value of this deal varies based upon how large of a gas tank you’re filling (and how empty your tank), so obviously those with trucks and larger vehicles are going to do better here.
Let’s say your gas tank has 25 gallons of empty space: the normal offer could be worth $25 for every $500 spent (5% savings). With the 4X deal, you’re looking at 10% savings. Stack this with a credit card that earns extra at grocery stores, and this can be one of the best deals out there when the 4X bonus is available.
While we use this for Disney gift cards, like many of the offers here, the same theory can be applied to a variety of other stores, including Target, Lowe’s, Southwest Airlines, GAP, iTunes, and Visa. Note to be mindful that the generic ‘Visa’ gift cards have an activation fee, which more or less kills the deal.
The Target REDcard gets you an automatic 5% discount on any purchase at Target, including gift cards. Among other things, Target sells Disney gift cards both online and in-store, making for a simple way to save 5% on your Walt Disney World vacation.
If you don’t have a Target Red Card it might be worth getting one just to take advantage of this deal. Consider this: many Disney fans are Disney Visa cardholders (a fairly crumby credit card, honestly) because of the Disney perks. However, by virtue of this one deal, the Target Red Card is unquestionably a better card from a rewards perspective for Disney fans.
It may not have Mickey Mouse’s picture on the card, but the Target REDcard gives Disney fans (who know how to use it) greater rewards. (Note that you can no longer use Target gift cards as a form of payment when purchasing gift cards–this used to be the key to substantial savings, but it no longer works!)
BJ’s Wholesale Club
Another good deal available from time to time is via BJ’s Wholesale Club. Members can purchase a $500 gift card for a discounted amount, sometimes as low as $469.99 during sales. This savings isn’t huge on its own, but it’s sometimes the best option–and it can be “sweetened” for some Chase credit card holders.
That’s because if you have a Chase Freedom credit card, the quarterly 5% bonus category can include PayPal purchases, and you can use pay on the BJ’s site using PayPal linked to your Chase Freedom credit card. In that scenario, the effective cost ends up being under $450 for the $500 Disney gift card. Double win!
From time to time, Sam’s Club offers $200 Disney gift cards on sale for $185. This price is shown when added to cart, and is exclusive to Sam’s Club members only. Limit 2 per membership.
Note that this is an eGift card, and it will be emailed within 48 hours of purchase. It’s also worth noting that Sam’s Club is available via various credit card and online cashback portals. Almost all of those explicitly exclude gift card purchases from receiving cash back, but it still doesn’t hurt to try. Might get through and end up saving even more money!
Even easier than the Kroger Fuel Points is the discounted Disney gift cards Sam’s Club and Costco sometimes sell. These gift cards (or packs of gift cards) aren’t always available, and when they are, the savings are usually 4-6%, but if you’re not too keen on the other methods (or don’t have Kroger near you), it can be a “better than nothing” scenario.
This deal can be sweetened if you have a Chase Freedom credit card, as wholesale clubs are one of the rotating 5X categories (this quarter, in fact). Speaking of credit cards, make sure you have the correct credit card when visiting your warehouse club of choice (Sam’s Club now accepts Visa; Costco stopped accepting AmEx). You don’t want to have to pay in cash, causing you to lose out on that bonus!
Another way to sweeten the deal is by combining the gift card churning with cashback shopping portals. There are a variety of these, and the percentages of cashback they offer can vary based upon what promos they’re offering, and the product purchased. I like to use cashbackmonitor.com or evreward.com for a quick “at a glance” comparison of the cashback portals.
I use cashback portals fairly regularly, but this typically does not hold true when it comes to gift card churning. Many retailers exclude gift cards from their cashback offers, and while you can still game the system to get cashback on gift card purchases (although they are technically excluded, the retailers and cashback sites often do not effectively communicate as to the substance of the order), it’s inconsistent.
More importantly (for me, at least), I’ve heard stories of people being blacklisted from certain online retailers as a result of “manipulating” the cashback portals for their gift card purchase rackets. This is another “your mileage may vary” situation, so consider giving it a try for greater savings.
This is another option that can be leveraged in myriad different ways, and with cards that have nothing to do with Disney. If you’re really serious and/or crazy, you could go full circle and apply the principles gleaned here to do manufactured spends. I’m not going to go into further detail on that, as the line between that type of churning and “gift card laundering” is a thin one. Both sides of that “line” are totally legal, the latter might cause some headaches.
With all of these strategies, I’d recommend not doing this too far in advance of your trip; if you’re doing any of this 3 years in advance, you aren’t beating the system at all–you’d be better off making actual investments given typical ROI and the time value of money.
I’d also recommend not tying up more money than you can afford to be stuck in limbo; if you’re paying interest on credit cards to fund this, you’re also losing in the grand scheme of things. Finally, be careful. While all of this is perfectly legal, businesses aren’t exactly “fans” of customers exploiting their policies. If you are cycling a lot of money through any retailer solely in gift card purchases, you might draw some attention to yourself, and risk catching their ire.
With all of that said, good luck leveraging these Disney gift card hacks to save a little more money on your Walt Disney World vacation! With a little work, these strategies can be incredibly valuable and make those exorbitant prices a little more palatable. Once you learn the ropes with using these tactics for Disney, think bigger picture. There are entire blogs and websites devoted to travel hacks, including churning, manufactured spends, etc. Once you get the hang of it, the possibilities are almost endless.
Likewise, if anything sounds confusing, feel free to ask questions–everyone starts from the beginning, and my explanations as someone who has been ‘hacking’ for a while might be insufficient for walking beginners through these processes from start to finish.
Need Disney trip planning tips and comprehensive advice? Make sure to read Disney Parks Vacation Planning Guides, where you can find comprehensive guides to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and beyond! For Disney updates, discount information, a free download of our Money-Saving Tips for Walt Disney World eBook, and much more, sign up for our free monthly newsletter!
Have you tried purchasing “discount” Disney gift cards to cut the cost of your vacation? Any other strategies you’ve used to save for a Walt Disney World trip? Questions about any of the techniques we’ve shared? We love hearing from readers, so please share some of your favorite ways to save, or any other thoughts or questions you have, in the comments!
We too paid for an expensive cruise entirely with Disney gift cards purchased thru BJs. Saved $500, until the cruise was canceled two years in a row , and all our $$ was a credit, or you could get a refund to original form of payment, that’s right, gift cards! So we were out of money going on the third year now. Here’s hoping third times the charm and we go on our European cruise this June
I use the Kroger gas points and l Amex blue cash to get the discounts. You can call and pay for your room over the phone with cards vs having to go to check in. I use the cards in the parks instead of charging to room. Good luck!
Yes, Disney GC’s are accepted at all Disney owned locations. We’ve paid for our hotel stay but you need to go in person to check-in and let the CM know that you want to pay for your remaining hotel balance with a GC and not CC on file. Hold onto your used Disney GC just in case there are problems.
We’ve used our Disney GC to pay for food (you can use GC on mobile orders too!), merchandise,…
Have a great trip!
And then let us all pause and remember how simple life was when the only option was “Disney Dollars” purchased at the park.
The one downside I learned the hard way is that sometimes a global pandemic hits and you’ve booked your Disney vacation with Gift` cards you purchased from target and then you have $1800 in Disney gift cards that you can’t use for two years and by the time they’ve sufficiently burned a hole in your pocket and you say “screw it all” and book, everything seems 2x more expensive than when you originally booked and it leaves such a bad taste in your mouth that even a dole whip would be challenged to cure it.
You can but you do have to be careful about timing your check out and when they will bill your card. Depending on your length of stay and CC holds. Here’s a current post about billing your card on file. https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq/hotel-reservations/credit-card-hold/#:~:text=Payment%20is%20processed%20for%20the,your%20stay%20and%20after%20checkout
So, if I have a Disney gift card, I can use that to pay my balance when I check out of an on-site hotel?
Another great leverage is to go through Shopkicks first. From there you can chose which online retailer you want to buy gift cards from. I just did this when I bought the discounted card at Best Buy. I earned 2 points for each dollar I spent (100 points on this purchase). When you earn enough points you can redeem those into Disney gift cards. Win Win! The same principle works if you were buying them with your Target Red Card. Open the Shopkicks app, chose Target then cash out your discounted gift cards and earn points towards another Disney card!
We are leaving for Disney in a few weeks. I have never used Disney Gift cards in the park before. Can you use them everywhere in the park? Are there only certain places? What can I do with to them?
I earn a lot of $$$ on my Discover card and I just bought $3000 of Disney gift cards at BJs for $2820. Now when I get my Discover bill, I will cash in $2820 so basically free gift cards.
@Katie, you actually save more if you buy multiple cards at lower values. I just bought 4 x $100 cards and 2 x $50 cards as a Christmas gift to be split between my two kids for in park purchases, and I only paid $469.94 for all them. That’s a $30.06 savings. More than what you’d get if you just bought the 1 x $500 card.
@Tom, thanks for the tip.
I am a BJ’s member. I never knew this existed! Thank you for the tip. Today (11/30), BJ’s is offering a $500 gift card for $479. It appears that the $469 has expired. In any case, why not purchase the discounted card if you’re planning a trip? The savings add up!
I use several apps, some are slow earners so I use those for dining money. Fetch, CoinOut, and Receipt Pal are good for dining or souvenir money. Ibotta and Shopkick can earn a lot depending on the stores near you and what you purchase. Our entire trip next year is being funded by money earned from these apps and Swagbucks. All of these apps have referral rewards as well. GetUpside is a good one to earn cashback on gas.
I pay for our trips by buying Giant Eagle (a grocery store) gift cards & earning Fuel Parks. This gives me discounted, or free gas. They also have gift cards for airlines, if you fly to Disney World.
Kelly, from what I’ve read elsewhere, if you’re mobile ordering, you have to enter the Disney gift card numbers on each transaction. The app does not save them. Others have said they enter them once on a memo or note app, then copy and paste into the Disney app. Don’t know if that method is Android friendly or not.
If you are staying at a Disney resort hotel, another way to use the card is to charge your meal (or souvenir) to your room but it automatically is charged to your credit card on file (but there is a $100 incidental credit limit per day), then you have go to the front desk of your hotel to pay your incidentals by gift card and the credit card charge is reversed. Disney definitely does not make it easy to get any sort of discount, either by credit card or gift card. You always have to read the fine print. And not every Disney restaurant or store location provides or is in partnership with the credit card discount.
Thank you for all the information! So helpful. I have so many of your pages open to scour through them. Dinner gift card question. Once you purchase them, do you just upload them to your Disneyland app? Or just use them in the park for food and all other purchases? Sorry if that’s a dumb question.
I started using my Disney Visa card again but forgot how its rewards plan works or if it has changed. Can someone refresh my memory on that? Thanks!
Right now Safeway is offering 10x the rewards points if you purchase gift cards there. It ends on March 19th.
I haven’t seen anyone mention using the American Express Blue Cash Card. It gives you 6% cash back at grocery stores (where you can buy Disney gift cards).
The American Express Blue Cash Card is great. I have it and really like it. https://assetbrief.com rates it pretty high too.
Is there any restaurant or food location that does NOT accept Disney gift cards within Disney Property?
I had a drink/churro stand at Disneyland not accept gift cards but they directed us to one that did. I am not sure if it was a glitch at that stand, or a regular thing.