The common school of thought posits that you can’t use miles and points to offset your Disney World vacation. The advice lots of big blogs defer to generally revolves around cards like the Barclays Arrival+ or Capital One Venture where you get one cent per point. But as I’ve written elsewhere, you can save money on Disney tickets and hotels if you buy Disney World tickets with Ultimate Rewards points using your Chase Sapphire Reserve. So how do you use Chase points to buy Disney World tickets?
Update: Chase has told its cruise and tours department they can no longer book anything Disney related. Crushing news.
Before we start, the common retort I’d expect to hear at this point is “you could get so much more value using your Ultimate Rewards points for hotel rooms (Hyatt) or for first class flights (Korean, United, etc.)! You’re dumb for this!” I’m not going to get into it, but suffice it to say, use points in a way that will make you happy. If you want to redeem for 1.5 cents per point (if you have the Reserve) for flights, hotels, cars, or Disney World tickets, you just do you.
Now I’ve confirmed this works with Chase Sapphire Reserve (1.5 cpp), Ink Plus (1.25 cpp), Freedom (1 cpp). I sort of assume it will as well with the Chase Sapphire Preferred at a rate of 1.25 cents per point but I cannot confirm this as I ditched my Preferred years ago. If you have any experience please let me know!
Anyway, here’s how to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to buy Disney World Tickets if you have Chase Sapphire Reserve.
1. Call 1-855-234-2542
This is the Chase Sapphire Reserve travel agency number. You’ll need your card with you to input the number.
If you are using Ink or Freedom the number is 1-866-951-6592.
2. Select option “2” – Cruise or Vacation Package
Normal business hours are Mon-Fri 9 AM -9 PM EST and Sat 9 AM – 5 PM EST.
3. Tell the agent you are interested in booking Disney World tickets
You may have to clarify you are interested in tickets only. The agent should also ask you whether you are interested in Disney World (Florida) or Disneyland (California), make sure you know where you want to go! You can book room packages as well if you’d like, though I won’t go into that here (see this post for some details on that).
4. Figure out which type of ticket you’d like and confirm price is where you want it to be
One quirk is that you cannot buy one day tickets – Disney wants you to just buy those at the gate. Other than that, you can buy pretty much any ticket you’d like. The base Magic Your Way tickets allow you to visit one park per day. Add a Park Hopper option and you can visit multiple parks in one day. You can also add the Park Hopper Plus option which allows you to visit the water parks.
For some reason, the prices Chase quoted were a little bit off from what I saw on Disney’s website. (Don’t forget, you should be comparing the price to ticket discounters who usually knock a few bucks off).
You’ll need to decide whether you value the points more or cash, but these days I like to redeem points first. If you can earn Ultimate Rewards at a cost of 1 cent each (not too difficult overall), then you’re effectively getting a 33% discount on park tickets. That’s tough to beat.
One important note: Chase can book through two avenues, Disney itself and this company called Funjet. Ask the agent to book you through DISNEY – that way you don’t have to wait until 60 days before your trip to confirm your tickets in My Disney Experience.
Anyway, here are the prices from Chase Travel compared with Disney and Undercover Tourist as of Feb 2018 (including tax):
|Ticket Type||Chase Travel price||Chase Travel price in points (w/ CSR)||Disney World price||Undercover Tourist price|
|2-Day Magic Your Way||$222||14,800||$211.94||$217.76|
|4-Day Magic Your Way||$373||24,866||$372.75||$356.95|
|3-Day Magic Your Way||$325||21,666||$324.83||$309.99|
|5-Day Magic Your Way||$395||26,333||$394.05||$373.95|
|6-Day Magic Your Way||$416||27,733||$415.35||$394.35|
|Mickey Not So Scary Halloween Party 2018 (Select Dates)||$85||5,609||$84.14||$79.88|
As you can see, Chase Travel prices are basically the same as Disney rack rates, but you can pay for them with points! Easy peasy. Also, note that Disney doesn’t offer discounts for 1 and 2 day tickets for buying in advance.
While Citi’s travel concierge won’t sell you Disney World tickets outside of a package, you can use your Ultimate Rewards points to buy tickets with your hard earned points from the Chase Sapphire Reserve. So don’t let anyone tell you you can’t use points to offset costs on your Disney vacation (if you want to). If you have any experience with this, I’d love to hear it, let me know in the comments!
Update: I just called last week (4/21/2018), and confirmed that you can also use Ultimate Rewards to book holiday parties like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party. Also, reader Judah Wilkins e-mailed me to say that Chase told him they could do Annual Passes as well!
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