Using gift cards to pay for my room and online check in

To what will surely be the well disguised dismay of the Beach Club desk Cast Member, I have a zillion accumulated gift cards I’d like to use towards my room. Is this a reason to NOT use online check in?

I can’t imagine you can’t use online check in and then just return to the front desk at your convenience that day to have the gift cards applied before any charges are made to your CC.

You can also call and get it all done before you get there.

Final payment is due on check in, but you’re totally allowed to pay it off ahead of time. They certainly won’t refuse your money. LOL


It hadn’t occurred to me to prepay. That could be hugely convenient. Thanks!

1 Like

you’re welcome!

If for some reason you’re not able to prepay, I’ve had front desk folks apply gift cards to my room payment and reverse the credit card charges, even if my card had already been charged. Since we have plenty of time to chat during the tedious process of scanning one card at a time, I’m always apologetic over the number of cards I have, but the front desk folks have always been polite (one even claimed she enjoyed scanning the cards, but I think she might’ve been hitting the pixie dust a little too hard that night).

When I return later in the trip to pay off food and souvenirs charged to the room I try to visit the desk at a non-busy time, with the idea that scanning my gift cards may be marginally more interesting than just standing around.


@darthdopey, thanks again for your suggestion. I called and was able to use all my gift cards to prepay. Basically, this step saves me vacation time by getting it out of the way now.

The CM reminded me to keep the used cards because if I have to cancel the $$$ would be refunded to those cards.


Yes. Keep those cards. Take pics of them even. Or use the GC app to keep a record of them.

ETA: you’re welcome! Glad you’re saving some time!

We started a disney vacation account for this exact reason for this trip. I was able to load all 32 gift cards into the vacation account online then just use my account number from it to pay my balance. It was nice to be able to enter them all in myself without talking on the phone. Just a thought.

It appears that the DVA is no more. I’d like prepay the balance on our room with gift cards. Is there a way I can do this online? Or do I have to call in to do this?

Also, I’m going to transfer all my GCs onto one to make it easy on the CM…does anyone know if there’s a limit to how much one GC can hold?

I’m recalling some chat threads where people said you had to call to use GCs to pre-pay, but I haven’t done it myself.

I have been successful paying part of my remaining days with a GC at check in, and also was able to have them reverse some credit card charges after the fact so I could use different credit cards (a points-related thing, rather than GC-related.) So, have found the CMs on site are pretty amenable to whatever I’ve needed to do, FWIW.

The Disney Gift Card site says the max amount per GC is $1,000.

If you use the Disney GC site to combine cards so you only have a few larger value ones, it is a good idea to keep the old cards, plus the ones you use to pay just in case something needs to be reversed later. You never know.

You can go to and combine the cards onto one (or two or three or whatever) with amounts up to $1000 per card.

It will make EVERYONE happier to deal with a much decreased number of cards.

1 Like

Thanks! I did this yesterday.

Any idea if room charges can be paid over the phone to the front desk, or do I need to physically go to the desk? I plan to buy eGiftcards as needed from Target and pay off the charges every couple days.

I would go to the front desk in person. If you call you are getting an off-site call center, not the actual front desk.

To pay off the room ahead you can call the reservation number. Not sure if that can be done online.


1 Like

My CC company sends me an alert whenever my card is charged without the card present. When I’ve used online check-in I’ve always been alerted to the CC charge before I’ve received my room assignment text from the resort (i.e., by the time I received my room assignment the balance had been charged to my CC). This suggests to me that if you want to use another form of payment other than the CC holding your reservation you’ll have to prepay or check-in in person.

as @FlyerFan1973 also mentioned, the front desk should be able to reverse the charges and use your gift cards instead.

Or, as I mentioned in that same post, you can always pay off your reservation ahead of time with the gift cards.

ETA: I still can’t find an argument against online check in that doesn’t have a reasonable solution.


Agreed. My favorite is “But I like to go to the front desk to talk to the CM there/see if I can change my room/insert whatever other reason here”. Online check in does not mean you cannot go to the front desk! Even if you get a text with your room and the “go ahead” message. They are not going to stop you and say “Did you get your room number? Sorry. We won’t talk to you.”


Maybe so. But credits aren’t posted overnight, and the scenario you propose could leave a sizable dent in one’s available credit until the charges or preauthorizations have cleared. It’s an avoidable risk, and advisable if your credit limit won’t absorb the hit and still cover the rest of your vacation.

Online check-in is not something you can’t afford to miss out on. It can be convenient if you arrive at a busy time, but it’s terribly impersonal. There’s something about a cheerful welcome at the front desk that just gets the vacation started on the right foot.

That’s more of a personal choice than an argument against online check in.

I still can’t find an argument against it that can’t be solved either prior to arrival or shortly thereafter.


Again, they are not going to stop you and say “You did online check-in, therefore we will not talk to you.”

You can do online check in AND go to the front desk.

1 Like