"No Brainer" Savings

I was thinking about the costs of the various components of a WDW vacation, and was wondering where you can get “no brainer” savings. By “no brainer” I mean savings that do not lock you in to a price - i.e if you see a better deal then you can take advantage of it with no loss. I also mean savings that do not require you to wait and hope that they come on offer, like the periodic room and package deals that WDW offers.

The first that comes to mind is car rental. By using sites like http://carrentalsavers.com/ you can get great deals on rentals, and because you do not pay any money or put a credit card on file you are not on the hook for anything. Just keep checking them regularly, and every time you see a better deal book it and cancel the other one. Note that this does not apply to sites like PriceLine or Hotwire, as with their deals you pay up front and are locked in.

Another “no brainer” that I know of is discounted Disney Gift Cards at Target - with the Target Red Card (Debit or Credit) you get 5% off. Use them to pay for any direct from WDW purchases, like room reservations, park tickets, and even paying off your room charge balance. The major drawback with this is that you are tying up your money for Disney-only purchases, so if your plans change and you are not going to Disney you can’t use this money for something else - however with this group I do not think that this is a big risk. :slight_smile: A minor inconvenience is that Target only sells the $50 GCs, so when you are paying for anything substantial you have to use a lot of them (and I believe that you are still limited in the number of GCs you can use on-line, so you need to call WDW and talk to a CM if you want to use more than the limit).

One “sort-of no brainer” is Southwest airline tickets. If you have already booked and then see a better deal on SW, then you can re-book and get the savings credited to your SW account. However, I really don’t think of this as a true “no brainer” as you are locked in to SW, so if you see a great deal with another airline you can’t take it, and because you do not actually get the cash savings back then and there.

What “no brainer” savings can you folks think of?

In line with Target and purchasing the gift cards for 5% off, we have been using a card that gives us 5% cash back for those same purchases. I apply the savings to the card balance. Works the same way. Even easier when paying off hotel bill to just use our credit card. One card, one payment, and we still get the same 5% savings.

Funny, do you think of the room or package discounts as not guaranteed? I always assume that I know a better deal will come along and I recognize when that best deal is offered.

[quote=“brklinck, post:1, topic:10356”]
(and I believe that you are still limited in the number of GCs you can use on-line, so you need to call WDW and talk to a CM if you want to use more than the limit[/quote]

Sort of, but if you load a bunch of gift cards into a Disney Vacation Account (https://disneyvacationaccount.disney.go.com/), then you can use them to pay for larger purchases online. I’ve bought Annual Passes that last two years that way. With your account you get a number that you can use in places where you’re asked for a Disney Gift Card.

This doesn’t completely eliminate the hassle of cards in $50 increments, as you still need to bring a bunch of cards to pay for meals and souvenirs that you charge to the room (or just use the gift cards on the spot for those purchases) and to pay off the balance of your hotel room. However, anytime I can save an extra 5% on Disney purchases, I’ll take it.

On a related note, I’d sorta put the Disney Visa card in your “no brainer” category, since it offers savings on many Disney purchases, except that credit card rewards are so complicated that it’s hard to say if you can’t get a better deal with the rewards another card offers instead of the discount you get with the Disney Visa card.

I combine the no fee Disney with my SW rewards. To me the no fee Disney Visa is a no brainer at times. I usually keep it as my back up card but always use it for travel and reimbursements in school. I forgot all about the 0% financing until I added the dining plan to my upcoming stay and turned it into a package. Now, the SW card is another matter. I have had that for almost two years now. I have booked six round trip flights and I still have enough points to go on another trip if I want. Of course the only other no brainer with these is that you have to carry a zero balance to make them work.

Booking through Orbitz. Realizing that booking a ‘package’ really isn’t important, unless you specifically intend to use the DQ or Golf coupons that come with it. Orbitz nearly always has at least 15% off the current public promo and can go higher than that sometimes. I wish we’d used them for our full trip this last year and just stayed at AKL instead of doing a split stay at POR on a package.

Yes, I do. Essentially they are a marketing tactic by WDW to fill up unsold space. If you have a particular resort and/or a particular room type in mind you cannot guarantee that it will be part of the promotion, as by the time that the promotion has rolled around there may have been sufficient bookings so that WDW does not need to offer a promotion on them.

I suppose you can employ the tactic of booking your room and then having the promotion applied to it if and when it is offered. However, I see that as a double-edged sword: by booking the room you are lowering the available inventory, so that by the time that WDW goes to offer the promotion they may not offer it on that room type as they have enough bookings.

Agreed. Orbitz also usually offers free cancellation on WDW room bookings, so if you see a better deal you just re-book and cancel. The one drawback of Orbitz is that you have to pay in full at the time you make the reservation, and I am not sure how quickly they process refunds on cancellations.

I guess since I never book during Christmas or Easter I have always been able to apply a discount to a pre-existing room. The only time I have ever made a change was last year when the discount at Poly was better than the BC discount. There was a discount for both, I just went with the better one. Of course, I usually apply discounts 2-3 times a trip unless I start with a bounce back or AP rate on a standard view.

Another way to look at rental cars as a “no-brainer”: Don’t get one at all. Take Disney’s Magical Express to your hotel and take the buses, monorail, and boats. Of course, if you’re not staying on property, this doesn’t apply…

1 Like