3rd Party Hotel Booking - Pros/Cons

We’re making our first UOR trip during Thanksgiving week next year. I’m considering using Chase Ultimate Rewards points for our hotel booking… is there any downside to that at UOR?

I guess you can’t get a package deal this way but, I don’t see that as being a huge issue. Just buy the park tickets separate. Is there any reason to buy the tickets early? Given they’re non-refundable is there a downside to buying tickets on arrival? Staying at a premier resort I would think you would be covered (in terms of parks selling out) but I’ve never been.

Pros: sometimes you can find some real good deals going 3rd party.

Cons: if you need to make changes, they have to go through the 3rd party. You can’t call yourself to make said changes.


You’ll save some money from the regular gate price. Also nice to get them linked in the wallet on the app ahead of time. Plus you could potentially beat the next price increase. And paying for some costs before the trip is nice because it spreads out your expenses.

If you purchase tickets through a 5 day ticket promotional deal, you can save $40-50 per ticket. For your dates, early May should offer another promotion. You can also save more money by purchasing the tickets through Orlando Informer.

Yes, they are non-refundable. But they hold they’re value, just like Disney tickets.

Don’t worry about parks reaching capacity. That is very rare.


If you can cash out the points, I would consider how much the points are worth compared to what you can get elsewhere.

I was dealing with some chase points that were worth 0.8 cents per point. I was looking at park tickets, and hotel rooms.

For park tickets, I felt like it was easier to buy the tickets through a 3rd party retailer than use the points which would give us vouchers we would have to redeem. The cost in points was pretty similar. If you buy a 3rd party ticket, you also have the option to return the ticket for a 5% fee.

When it came to hotel bookings, the price you got was the list price with no discounts. In my case, I was using the APH rate, which got us 35% off, so better than the effective 20% off with the points. Also, I believe if booking with points, you’d get the rack rate, so if you were staying long enough, you wouldn’t get the stay more save more rates, which can be as high as 30% depending on how long you stay.

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Booking through the Chase portal with the Sapphire Reserve card gives you 1.5cpp value on UR points. I checked it against booking direct through Universal and it appears to take in account promotions as I’m getting the exact same price on reservations through either site. BUT… I’ll definitely keep an eye out for special offers for that week when they roll out and compare.

Thanks for the tips, especially on the Orlando Informer deals and buying 3rd party with a 5% return fee if needed.