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Table of Contents
- Southwest Airlines: from 3,480 Rapid Rewards points each way
- JetBlue Airways: from 4,900 TrueBlue points each way
- Delta Air Lines: from 5,500 SkyMiles each way
- Turkish Airlines: from 7,500 Miles&Smiles miles each way
- British Airways: from 7,500 Avios each way
- Cheapest ways to fly to Disney World, recapped
A trip to Disney World is on nearly every kid’s wish list — and it might also be a parent’s budget nightmare. If you’re a family traveling with children, costs can be especially high. Between high-end hotels and airfare that skyrockets during school breaks, a Disney vacation can get very pricey.
But don’t lose hope. There are several ways to cover the cost of airfare by knowing how to best use points and miles. Here are the cheapest ways to fly to Disney World using travel rewards, broken down by airline.
Southwest Airlines: from 3,480 Rapid Rewards points each way
Southwest is a great option if you’re planning a trip to Disney World. For starters, the airline still offers two free standard-sized and standard-weight checked bags per passenger. That’s ideal for families who can’t get by with carry-ons alone.
Additionally, Southwest offers nonstop flights to Orlando International Airport from dozens of airports, including major cities and small airports alike. That’s great for families who want to avoid layovers on their way to The Most Magical Place on Earth.
Southwest prices award tickets based on cash fares. This could work out quite well if you book in advance, during a fare sale or during off-peak travel dates. But the airline's award prices vary. Flexibility is key to getting a good deal for your Rapid Rewards points.
» Learn more: How to go to Disney World for cheap
New York-LaGuardia to Orlando from 3,480 points one-way
Head to the Sunshine State from New York for as few as 3,480 Rapid Rewards one-way.
Chicago-Midway to Orlando: 4,199 points one-way
Southwest flights from Chicago-Midway nonstop to Orlando start at just 4,199 Southwest Rapid Rewards points each way, plus just $5.60 in taxes and fees.
» Learn more: The best Disney World hotels to book with points
Houston-Hobby to Orlando: 6,515 points one-way
The cheapest flights from Houston-Hobby to Orlando start at just 6,515 Southwest Rapid Rewards points each way.
Whether you’re using the sign-up bonus from a Southwest credit card or transferring points at a 1:1 ratio from the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program, booking flights to Orlando using Southwest Rapid Rewards points can be a downright bargain if your schedule is flexible.
» Learn more: Which Southwest Airlines credit card should I get?
JetBlue Airways: from 4,900 TrueBlue points each way
Similar to Southwest, JetBlue prices award flights based on the cost of paid fares. If your travel plans are somewhat flexible, JetBlue’s Best Fare Finder is a great tool for figuring out when you’ll get the best deals.
Below are some examples of low fares we found for flights to Orlando during various months using the Best Fare Finder.
Washington, D.C. to Orlando for 4,900 points one-way
It can cost you as few as 4,900 TrueBlue points to fly from Washington-National to Orlando on JetBlue.
Salt Lake City to Orlando for 8,000 points one-way
Salt Lake City-based travelers will appreciate JetBlue's affordable award flights to Disney, starting at just 8,000 TrueBlue points each way.
Los Angeles to Orlando for 9,400 points one-way
For those flying cross-country, it's hard to find a better deal than JetBlue's 9,400 points each way.
JetBlue has several co-branded credit cards, but you can also transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards®, American Express Membership Rewards (5:4 ratio) or Citi ThankYou Rewards. Just note that the transfer ratio varies depending on the program from which you're transferring and — in the case of Citi ThankYou Rewards — which card you carry.
Below are some cards you may want to consider to cover airfare to Disney World with JetBlue points:
» Learn more: Your guide to booking award flights on JetBlue
Delta Air Lines: from 5,500 SkyMiles each way
Delta ditched its award chart years ago. Now, Delta prices award flights based on demand. That's bad news for when you're flying during peak travel dates. But, if you're flexible, you can score a great deal.
Case in point: You can fly from New York–LaGuardia to Orlando nonstop on Delta for as few as 5,500 SkyMiles one-way on certain dates. However, Delta charges at least 35,500 SkyMiles for an award flight on the same route on other dates.
If you find a good deal but don't have enough SkyMiles, top off your account by transferring American Express Membership Rewards points to Delta SkyMiles at a 1:1 ratio.
» Learn more: Your guide to earning Delta Air Lines SkyMiles
Turkish Airlines: from 7,500 Miles&Smiles miles each way
Looking to fly United Airlines to Orlando for less? Turkish Airlines’ Miles&Smiles program is the way to go. No matter where you're flying from in the U.S., an award flight on United only costs 15,000 miles round trip — even on long flights, like from Los Angeles to Orlando.
Technically, you can splurge for a business class seat for 12,500 miles one-way or 25,000 miles round trip. However, United business class availability can be harder to find than a short line at Disney — particularly during school holidays.
If you’re wondering how to get your hands on an obscure rewards currency like Miles&Smiles, it’s actually not that difficult. Turkish Miles&Smiles is a 1:1 transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Rewards and Capital One Miles.
Snag a card like the Citi Premier® Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. Each card typically offers a sign-up bonus that could help cover the cost of your tickets to Disney World at the Turkish Airlines award rate.
Based on our most recent analysis, NerdWallet values Turkish Airlines miles at 1.4 cents each.
» Learn more: Find the best airline credit card for you
British Airways: from 7,500 Avios each way
British Airways is great for short-haul flights on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, with award rates starting at just 7,500 Avios each way. Even longer flights can be a good deal. Nonstop flights under 2,000 miles cost no more than 11,000 Avios each way.
The catch: You'll want to book a nonstop flight. British Airways prices awards for each flight segment you fly. So, connecting itineraries can get quite pricey. That limits the usefulness of this sweet spot to around a dozen airports that have nonstop service on American or Alaska.
Below are some example fares we found.
Chicago-O’Hare to Orlando for 9,000 Avios one-way
Fly from the Windy City to Disney World for just 9,000 Avios each way on American Airlines.
Dallas-Fort Worth to Orlando for 9,000 Avios one-way
Dallas-based flyers can likewise redeem 9,000 Avios for affordable American Airlines award flights.
Phoenix to Orlando for 11,000 Avios one-way
American Airlines' route from Phoenix to Orlando is just under 2,000 miles and comes in at 11,000 Avios each way, according to British Airways’ unofficial award chart, based on sample searches.
In addition to earning Avios through the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, you can transfer points to British Airways Avios at a 1:1 transfer rate from the following programs:
Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
American Express Membership Rewards.
Capital One Miles.
Other Avios programs — including Iberia, Qatar and Aer Lingus.
Here’s a list of the top cards to earn points in each of those programs:
American Express® Gold Card : Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
The Platinum Card® from American Express : Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® : Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card:Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
Iberia Visa Signature® Card: Earn up to 100,000 Avios. Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening and earn an additional 25,000 Avios after you spend $20,000 in the first 12 months of account opening.
Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card: Earn up to 100,000 Avios. Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening and earn an additional 25,000 Avios after you spend $20,000 in the first 12 months of account opening.
» Learn more: British Airways Visa review
Cheapest ways to fly to Disney World, recapped
The cheapest way to fly to Orlando is going to depend on your home airport and the types of points and miles you've accumulated. Revenue-based award programs like Southwest, JetBlue and Delta can be the best options when cash flight prices are low. Otherwise, consider using Turkish Airlines or British Airways to score a deal when there's award availability.
Chase Ultimate Rewards® collectors can transfer points to take advantage of the Southwest, JetBlue and British Airways sweet spots highlighted in this post. Meanwhile, American Express Membership Rewards cardmembers can transfer points to snag Delta, JetBlue and British Airways sweet spots.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card