How I Got $200 For Our Disney Trip FREE

I’m feeling a touch guilty about sharing this post. But, I’m all about being transparent. Especially when it comes to family finances. And, I promised on Instagram Stories. So, here it is …


So … here’s the scoop. In preparation for our last trip, I applied for the Disney Visa credit card. 

To normal folk this probably isn’t a big deal, but for Dominic and I, this was big. Like, really big. You see, a decade ago we cut up all our credit cards. Literally, with scissors. We had made poor decisions with them and in our goal to become debt free it was an essential step for us.

Our drastic measures totally worked. We paid off our credit cards, a car, and all our student loans in about three years. Over $80,000 worth. Then, without relying on debt we had children (many of which involved significant out of pocket medical expenses), bought cars, made home improvements, and went on trips. Throughout our marriage we have intentionally reprogrammed how we view money and credit cards are not part of our financial plan.

Then I got a credit card offer in the mail. Easy. Into the trash it goes. Just like all the others over the years. But then the same one came again and again and again. I finally opened it, because it was from Disney and Disney has my heart like that.  

Lo and behold, the Disney Visa Card offers some pretty stinkin’ fabulous promotions. 

And we had a Disney trip coming up.

The money details of our trip were already set. We had the cash on hand. A credit card was not needed. But, the promotional offer was for a $200 Disney gift card after I charged $500 in the first three months. Seemed easy enough.

I presented my plan to Dominic — apply for the card, charge $500 worth of purchases we already planned to make (our airfare plus some gas until I hit the $500 mark), get the gift card, and never use the credit card again. 

He was skeptical. But, he read the fine print and everything looked sufficient. For ten years we had trained ourselves not to rely on credit and this seemed like a safe gamble. An opportunity to truly come out as winners in the credit card game. Because, yes, it is totally a game and almost always the credit card company comes out on top. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be in business!

All that to say, we did it. We applied for the Disney Visa and executed our plan.

As required, in the first three months I charged $500. Each month I paid off the balance. Six weeks after we reached the $500 mark, our gift card arrived in the mail. Yay! 

That $200 Disney gift card paid for all the snacks and meals that Jemma and I enjoyed on our trip. Churros and ice cream, a reservation at our very favorite – Blue Bayou (the restaurant inside Pirates of the Caribbean), and more. In our situation, the Disney Visa acted as a managed tool in our vacation finances. It helped us save money overall and for that, I’m thankful!

The promotion I signed up under is not currently available, but the Disney Visa is offering something similar to new accounts. If you apply through this link you will get a $200 statement credit after you spend $500 in the first three months. Not a bad deal if you swing it right! But, be careful, please please. I’ve lived in a credit card trap and it isn’t worth $200. It isn’t worth $2,000!

The non-monetary perk that Jemma and I loved was the card member only character meet and greet in Disney California Adventure right next to the Monsters, Inc. ride. Everyday from 10:30-1:30 you can show your card (no cost, you just use it to as a “pass”) and get in line for a special photo session with a surprise character. The day we went it was Stitch! 

Disney Stitch

Disney Stitch 2

I’m not a financial expert, but if you have questions about the process or rewards of the Disney Visa I’m happy to help however I can.


The link I shared above is an affiliate link, I may earn Disney Reward Dollars which would be awesome because I’m already saving for our next trip. #DisneyMom :)

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