Let's face it, a Walt Disney World vacation is expensive. From resorts to souvenirs to tickets, things really add up. But, what if you could manage to cut one of your expenses dramatically? What if you could fly for free or nearly free? A little while ago, my family and I managed to fly to Disney four times in one year for free! No one could understand how in the world we could afford to go to Disney so many times. Well, I have a few secrets to share with you. I call them "My Disney Secrets." Today, I'm going to share with you how we, often, fly to Disney for FREE. In the future, I will share more secrets. After you hear some of our family Disney secrets, maybe you can take advantage of them too.
How To Earn Points:
1.) Sign every member of your family up for a Southwest Rapid Rewards card. Yes, every member even your children. Often Southwest offers bonus rewards for signing up and subscribing to email update. All of your kids will need an email address. I use Google Mail for that. I monitor it for them because they are too little to monitor it themselves. When you sign up for Rapid Rewards, you will receive points to use toward travel. When I purchase flights for my family, I always include their Rapid Rewards numbers. That way everyone will get credit for flying.
2.) Sign-up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. You will receive 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Typically, I do not recommend credit cards, but this card has helped us travel inexpensively for years. After you open it, pay for your resort portion of your vacation with the card. I'm sure you will meet the criteria to receive your bonus points just for that charge alone, but don't stop there.
3.) Use the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card to pay for everything you can including bills. We no longer write checks for our bill, we have everything automatically charged to our Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. For every dollar you spend on purchase you get 1 Rapid Rewards point. For every dollar you spend on hotel and car rentals, you get 2 points. On top of that, you get 3,000 points each year on your anniversary. Believe me, the points add up. I have nearly racked up over 60,000 points this year using this card alone.
4.) Do your online shopping through Rapid Rewards Shopping. I just recently started using this feature. I do ALOT of online shopping, so this is a perfect fit for me. You can get points for every dollar you spend through the shopping portal. It is super easy to do. Just login to your account and they search for the store you are hoping to receive points from. Most stores participate in the program. If you use Google Chrome, you can download a button so when you visit a store that participates in the program you will alerted, so you can take advantage of the offer.
5.) Earn points with Rapid Rewards Partners. Southwest has a variety of other partners that you can earn extra points through including hotels, car rental, home services/utilities, restaurants, filling out e-surveys, and even referring the credit card to other people. I do the e-surveys at night when I'm watching TV and I can get 50-100 points per night.
How To Use The Points:
1.) When you have built up your points and are ready to redeem them, go to the Southwest website and search for your flight. On the right side of the screen, you will see a button to toggle between money and points
The best time to purchase Southwest flights is Tuesday - Thursday or anytime they are running a special promotion. The lower the price of the ticket the fewer points you need to use.
2.) Once you figure out what date is the least expensive to fly to and from Orlando, contact your Disney Travel Planner to find the least expensive hotel for the dates you want to go. Often when flights are inexpensive, the hotels are inexpensive too. I am a Disney Annual Pass Member and I get special discounts throughout the year. That coupled with free flight can add up to lots of savings.
In this example, I would recommend selecting the 7:40 AM flight and pay 3,613 in points. The return flight is the same price, so total points needed for this roundtrip flight is 7,226. For a family of 4 to fly free, you would need 28,904 points. Subtract that from the 40,000 point you earned from your Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and you will have 11,096 to apply toward your next vacation.
Keep in mind that even if you use points to pay for your entire vacation, you will have to pay tax on the flight. At this time it is $5.60 per flight, but hey, $11.20 isn't bad to pay for a round trip ticket to the Happiest Place On Earth!
3.) Use the card for everything on your vacation and rack up points for your next flight!
4.) The Rapid Rewards program has many perks. The points never expire and once you earn 110,000 Rapid Rewards Points you qualify for a Companion Pass. The Rapid Rewards Companion Pass allows one person to fly for free whenever you fly. You can change the person up to three times. I would recommend using it for your spouse or partner, but you could always change it to a friend for fun getaway.
So there you have it, my secret to flying free. Do you have any secret cheap or free ways to travel? Comment in the section below. I would love to hear from you!
Until next time my friends!
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