SOCIAL MEDIA

Friday, July 19, 2013

My Free Trip to Disney and How You Can Earn One Too!


To fill you on if this is the first time you are reading this column, I have decided that my next trip to Walt Disney World will be free.  I want to earn as many points as I can across credit card bonuses and basically stay as long as we can which will probably dictate when we end up going as I am resigned to a school year calendar as a teacher.  Originally I wanted to try and do a long weekend at Christmas and then I waffled back and forth with maybe next summer so the "when" is still up in the air.

I started this credit card savings journey back in February. Starwood Hotels owns Swan and Dolphin and I got a Starwoods Rewards American Express to earn for the hotel plus we always fly Jet Blue so it was a no brainer since I already have a JB AmEx as well.  Plus, I am earning double points as I upgraded to the Premiere Disney Rewards Visa and I will rack up some paypal fundage for gift cards using some couponing apps and my Etsy shop when we get closer.

In any case, its been a while since I checked in here so I thought I would do a Summer update.  I spent alll of my Disney Rewards when I was down in Orlando last month so that portion is reset completely but still hoping to start racking up points again soon!

Here is an update on my point earnings:

1.  Disney Visa Rewards Card 
Goal: Pay for our park tickets plus possible water parks upgrade or tours $700
Current Earnings: $0
Still need:$700

2.  Starwood Rewards American Express Card 
Goal: Cover our stay at the Swan and Dolphin at approx 10,000 points per night.
Current Earnings: 15,040-- 5,040 points were earned through spending and the card offers a  bonus 10k points after first purchase.  I will also have a credit of another 15k for reaching the 5k spending goal in the first 6 months (we used this for expenses like groceries and gifts and then paid off at the end of each month). So my REAL total will be 30,040 which is THREE NIGHTS AT SWAN OR DOLPHIN! Yay!!

3.  Jet Blue American Express Card 
Goal: Pay for our flights roundtrip- roughly 40,000 points
Current Earnings: 26,100-- this is a big jump since the last check in because not only did I fly round trip to Florida but my husband gifted me his 6,000 points since his expire and mine don't because I have the AmEx through Jet Blue.  This cost us $75 but that will mean our flights will eventually cost us only $85 total for two adults roundtrip so we are cool with that! ;)  Additionally, I signed up for Jet Blue True Blue Badges and earned nearly 2k points! Right now we can both FLY TO FLORIDA USING POINTS for free! We just need to earn enough to get back home! (:
Still Need: 13,900 points

Basically, I am going to try and keep with what I have been doing and use these cards as I would usually use my debit card, then pay them off at the end of each pay cycle.  It hasn't cost me money yet and I would consider myself over halfway there in 5 months.

If you are interested in more details on how I organized myself check out these other posts which had more thoughts on each earning potential and my goals.  They may help you figure out how to earn a free trip yourself! :)
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3