This mother took her family on a $2,500 vacation to Disney World — for free . ~~~EXAMPLE ONLY~~~
When Stephanie’s six-year-old son gets to see Mickey Mouse and Cinderella’s Castle in December, she won’t have to think twice about her bank account.
Stephanie is about to take her second trip to the theme park without needing to trim her family’s budget.
They are renting a vacation home in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., with two other families and will be spending four days at theme parks, including two days at the Magic Kingdom, one day at Epcot and another day at SeaWorld. The family and their friends also plan to spend one day visiting Disney Springs, the outdoor shopping area located within Walt Disney World.
The secret to her success: Credit Card Reward Bonuses, and a little time…
“They (credit card companies) are spending huge amounts of marketing dollars attracting new customers, they may as well spend it on my family.”
Even as vacations to Walt Disney World have gotten more expensive in recent years, The family now managed to pay for one trip to the theme park without needing to trim her family’s budget.
She is just about to embark on a second.
Her upcoming trip would have cost her family around $2,500 altogether — that includes the price of lodging, travel, food and, yes, souvenirs.
That’s not all. This year the family also went on a week-long trip to an all-inclusive resort in Playa Mujeres roughly 30 minutes outside of Cancun, again without dipping into the honey pot.
To maximize her rewards, she routinely watches online blogs to track the most attractive signup deals. “Offers change throughout the year so its good to check often and make sure that you are getting the best value” Once she finds an attractive offer she signs up and as quickly as possible works towards satisfying the requirements for the rewards. “I keep a spreadsheet that tracks rewards and requirements so we don’t miss out”
Once she has satisfied the requirements she goes into planning mode. “If you can be flexible you can really stretch the rewards” the points from one card alone can cover the flights. There are some companies that will also purchase your points from you (handy for spending money, theme park tickets, etc..)
Additionally, she participates in two other rewards programs: Honey and Rakuten which give rebates on online shopping, she also sells vintage clothing on Shopify.
When she goes shopping, she always uses the credit card that earns her the highest reward — the miles she earns are used to pay for the flights her family takes to go on vacation. Sometimes, she pairs this credit card with online rewards to get double the savings.
Finally, she has turned a hobby — buying and restoring old designer purses — into a side gig by selling them either on eBay or her Shopify store.
Despite all the effort, she said it’s quickly just become a habit for her. “I feel like it gives us so much more opportunity to explore the world as a family,” she said.
“For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you.”