Money! We don’t need no stinking Money: using credit card rewards to your advantage

First and foremost, I don’t recommend using a credit card if you don’t have the money in the bank to cover whatever you purchase.  If not, the rewards from the credit card will quickly be overshadowed by debt. Please don’t do that to yourself!  If you are monetarily responsible, read on:

Old Navy “Navyist” Visa

This Visa card is from the Gap Brand and you can use your rewards at any of the Gap Brand stores. This is my family’s go-to card. We use it for almost everything. Car insurance? Yep, that is auto paid on the Old Navy card.  Grocery Shopping? Every single time!  Electric Bill? You bet I scheduled that auto pay as quick as possible. This card has amazing returns. The typical rate is 1 point for every dollar spent. 500 points get you $5 in Old Navy rewards. In theory, that doesn’t sound like much, but they often have specials where you can earn 2x, 3x, or even 5x the points!  This earns my family tons of rewards. On my last bill, I had $95 in rewards. 

Now, why does this even matter, you might be thinking to yourself.  Well, we have 3 little kids.  They go through clothing like crazy.  My oldest daughter stays in a size for about a month before skipping a size and moving on to the next one. Ok, I am exaggerating a bit, but it really does feel like we are constantly having to replenish their closets. Now you must be thinking, what does this have to do with Disney?  First off, if I am getting their clothing for free (yay, rewards!), then I am able to set money I would have previously earmarked on their wardrobe aside for trips. Secondly, Old Navy and Gap have a ton of super cute Disney clothing!  I love to have us all decked out in a brand new Disney shirt or outfit for every day – I’m crazy like that.  Getting those shirts for FREE is thrilling for a bargain hunter like me!

Southwest Credit Card

If you love to fly Southwest, then this card is really for you. They have amazing deals on flights. The best part is that each person gets to bring 2 carry-on bags AND 2 checked bags. If you are flying with littles and need to have a bag filled with diapers, those free bags really help. The credit card has different sign on bonuses, depending on when you are looking. My sister was able to get the card when they were offering 60,000 bonus miles. When I signed up, I only was able to get 50,000 bonus miles.  This card does have a $69/year fee. Before you chose to get this card, I would suggest weighing the pros and cons. How often do you think you will be flying? How much will you be using this card. Will you get enough use out of it to negate that $69/year fee?  My sister has really enjoyed her card. She makes little trips now and then for free (other than a very small fee of around $15).  I used the card for the first year and loved the benefits. Now that the year is nearing an end, I am thinking that it isn’t as helpful for my family of 5 any more. I would still recommend it if your situation is right, though. 

Frontier Credit Card

Let’s be honest, I didn’t want to fly Frontier.  You have to pay for every bag you bring. They are a discount carrier and often get a bad rap for being… discount.  Once I got past that all, I realized just how amazing Frontier is. They have the discount den, which has a $59.99/year fee to join.  Membership gets you immediate discounts on every flight, averaging about $10 each ticket.  With our first flight, we had already saved enough to cover the price of the discount den.  Joining the Credit Card has an annual fee of $79/year. When I signed up, I received 35,000 miles automatically and a $100 statement credit after my first purchase (which happened to be more tickets to Orlando!).  Unlike some airlines, miles are pretty simple with Frontier. Most flights are either 10,000 or 20,000 miles.  This takes a ton of the guess work out.  They also recently had an amazing deal where kids fly free!  Let that sink in for a second.  The deal was that each adult could have one child, 12 or younger, fly with them for free. Our kids are 5, 3, and 19 months, so the baby flies free as a lap child already. I used their low fare calculator and found flights for about $70 each.  For $140 each way, 5 of us could fly GRR to MCO.  I did add a few bags ($30 each), but that is a story for another post. 


If you would like more help planning your Disney vacation, contact our friend Audra, a travel agent with Travelmation LLC, which is an Authorized Disney Travel Planner. She can help you plan the vacation of your dreams at no cost to you!

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