Gift cards for WDW - buying from Canada

I’m hoping someone would be able to help me with the best option for this. I’m from Canada and DH and I wanted buy gift cards for WDW for our January trip to pay for our food in lieu of the dining plan. I know it may seem silly to some but I like to just have to money already put aside and not have to think about it during vacation. The problem is if I buy gift cards here in our Disney Store’s they won’t work in the parks. So far I see my two options as buying them from the Disney website or waiting until we get there and buying them and paying for them with our credit card. But I was wondering about buying them at Target. I never really paid attention to the 10% off with the red card thing because it didn’t really apply to me. Is it possible for me to get the red card somehow in Canada and then use it to buy them at a Target in Buffalo before our flight? Would they let me buy $1200+ in gift cards or would I be better off buying them at Disney?

Here’s what I found about buying Disney cards in Canada (looks like you can’t use the at WDW):

I’m not sure what to tell you about the Target Red card. You’re probably better off calling them to find out.
Also, you said you wanted to buy the gift cards with your credit card. A Target Red Card is linked to your checking account as a debit card. So the money would come out of your bank account immediately upon purchase. Also, the card has a per day purchase limit, I think I would up getting $500 per day until I had all the cards I needed.

I have thought of doing the Target card. Canadians can get it. Even though I work right near a border crossing to Detroit it was just a lot of work for a Canadian to save much. Remember that you have to pay that card off likely with cash if there is no ability to link to a Canadian financial institution. Getting USD results in a fairly big hit on fee and exchange. It certainly eats savings. If you know someone who works in the U.S. but lives in Canada that can be avoided by buying from them.

An alternative, but less savings, is getting a no-fee or large cash back credit card on foreign exchange (Amazon or Rogers). So the 2.5 exchange fee is essentially gone. Plus you get a decent rate on the exchange with most credit cards. Then dump the $ on the credit card before you go so you don’t touch it.

Coming from the UK we have the same problem.

For our last visit we got a Caxton FX currency card, where we can load money onto it using a debit card i.e.: in sterling but it loads on US dollars. So when we use it we avoid the foreign currency transaction fee.

We’ve done the same this time. Both loaded our Caxton cards with about 500 sterling. The card then has a balance of 625 US dollars (say). We will then use this card to pay off our magic cards, shop etc. but avoiding the transaction fees or currency exchange rates. We can reload the card as we need to using our debit card online. You have a card registered to it, and reload when you need to (it might take a few hours I think), but you can only spend what is on it.

Caxton is highly recommended but there are other currency cards available. You just need to compare any fees e.g.: to convert any left over dollars back to sterling.

This might work for you too.

I’m in Canada too. I second the advice about getting a card like the Amazon credit card which doesn’t charge the additional fee on foreign currency transactions. So if you wind up buying the Disney gift cards online or at the park, you will at least save that ~2.5%. And obviously that will help you save on everything you pay for down there, not just food.

Have you thought about getting a USD card, like a BMO USD Mastercard?

You make your purchases in USD, so no FX hit, then pay it off from either cash or a USD account. It’s still paid off after the fact, because it’s a credit card, but you know how much you have to spend by what’s in your account.

You could, if you wanted, pay off your transactions nightly, although that gets tricky, as not all merchants submit sales for processing on a nightly basis.