Fly to Disney on Points

You can save or waste a lot when you fly to Disney on points.

The Situation

I was reminded of this when a close friend called yesterday for some advice on their upcoming Disneyland trip. He wanted to book flights for the three members of his family using points. He had a bunch of Chase Ultimate Rewards, Alaska Airlines miles, and was also willing to pay cash if using the points wasn’t the best decision. My friend wasn’t sure which direction to go and wanted a little help.

Build the Right Strategy

Before we talk about what decision he should make, let’s take one step back. The best rewards strategy advice I can give you is to build your strategy around where you’d like to travel. To help illustrate this idea, let’s take a look at an example itinerary from Seattle to Los Angeles area for October 18th to 23rd. These happen to be the dates for our upcoming Disneyland trip. Below, we’ve listed the points required for each airline on those dates for a round trip flight.

Example: Fly to Disney on Points

Round Trip Flight from Seattle to Los Angeles Area (October 18-23)
Airline Points for a Round Trip Flight
Virgin America 7,766
JetBlue 10,600
Southwest 11,403
Delta 18,500
American 25,000
United 25,000
Alaska 32,500

If you’re like us, your vacation goals are focused on how to fly to Disney on points? Alaska Airlines is probably not your best option. The same can also be said for Delta, American, and United. In some cases, those airlines are great for international award flights, but not usually for domestic flights. By choosing a strategy to match the vacation destination, you can save tens of thousands of points.

My friend is lucky to have invested in Chase Ultimate Rewards in this case which he earned with his Chase Sapphire Preferred. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is probably our single favorite card for Disney vacations. He can transfer the points he’s earned to one of 11 travel partners, which include Southwest Airlines. From the example above, he would save over 60,000 points for his family of three by choosing Southwest over Alaska.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred

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  • What kind of points: Hotels, Airlines, General Travel, and Cash
  • Sign Up Bonus: 50,000 after spending $4,000 in three months and another 5,000 after adding an authorized user
  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived first year)
  • How to Earn Points: 2x points on travel and dining, 1 point on everything else
  • Value of a Point: 2.0 cents
  • How to Spend Points: Redeem for cash, spend through Chase travel center, transfer to airlines or hotels
  • Our favorite Use: Stays at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress