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A trip to Disney World is on pretty much every kid’s wish list … and is almost every parent’s budget nightmare. If you’re a family traveling with children, airfare 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 play the points-and-miles game. Here are the cheapest ways to fly to Disney World with travel rewards, broken down by airline.
» Learn more: The best airline credit cards right now
Southwest Airlines: from 3,821 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 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 Happiest Place on Earth.
Southwest prices award ticket prices 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
Chicago Midway to Orlando: 3,813 points one-way
Prices in early 2022 range from 3,813 one-way up to 18,946.
Houston Hobby to Orlando: 3,813 points one-way
Flights from Houston Hobby to Orlando can range from 3,813 one-way up to 22,729, nearly six times the price of the cheapest award flight available.
New York LaGuardia to Orlando from 3,813 points one-way
Head to the Sunshine State from New York for as little as 3,813 Rapid Rewards one-way.
» Learn more: The best Disney World hotels to book with points
Denver to Orlando from 6,129 points one-way
Whether you’re using the sign-up bonus from the Southwest credit cards 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?
Delta Air Lines: from 4,500 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 4,500 SkyMiles one-way on certain dates.
However, Delta charges at least 39,000 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.
JetBlue Airways: from 5,600 TrueBlue points each way
Similar to Southwest, JetBlue prices out 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 5,600 points one-way
It can cost you as few as 5,600 TruBlue points to fly from Washington, D.C., to Orlando.
Los Angeles to Orlando for 6,300 points one-way
For those flying cross-country, it's hard to find a better deal than JetBlue's 6,300 points per leg.
Salt Lake City to Orlando for 9,800 points one-way
Salt Lake-based travelers will appreciate JetBlue's affordable award flights to Disney.
JetBlue has several co-branded credit cards, but you can also transfer points from your Chase Ultimate Rewards®, American Express Membership Rewards or Citi ThankYou points account. Just note that the transfer ratio varies depending on the program from which you're transferring and — in the case of Citi ThankYou points — which card you carry.
Below are some cards you may want to consider if you want to cover airfare to Disney World with JetBlue points:
Turkish Airlines: from 7,500 Miles & Smiles miles each way
Looking to fly United to Orlando for less? Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles 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.
Technically, you can splurge for a business class seat for 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.
» Learn more: Find the best airline credit card for you
British Airways: from 7,500 Avios each way
British Airways Avios 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.
Charlotte to Orlando for 7,500 Avios one-way
You can fly from North Carolina to Florida on American Airlines for as few as 7,500 Avios each way.
Chicago to Orlando for 9,000 Avios one-way
Dallas-flyers can likewise redeem Avios for affordable American Airlines award flights.
Phoenix to Orlando for 11,000 Avios one-way
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. Terms Apply.
The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
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 100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card: Earn 100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
» Learn more: British Airways Visa review
Air Canada: from 10,000 Aeroplan points each way
Where British Airways is best for nonstop award flights on American and Alaska, Air Canada provides reasonable award rates on United, whether you need to make a connection or not. Itineraries up to 1,500 miles in distance cost 10,000 points each way. That covers routes such as Kansas City to Orlando via Chicago.
Longer itineraries up to 2,750 miles in distance cost just a little more at 12,500 points each way. That's enough to get you all the way from Seattle to Orlando via Denver.
As we discussed above, Turkish Airlines prices domestic United awards at just 7,500 miles each way. However, you'd need Citi ThankYou points or Capital One miles to take advantage of that sweet spot. Meanwhile, Air Canada is best for those that have either American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Both programs transfer points to Air Canada at a 1:1 transfer ratio.
» Learn more: How to purchase theme park tickets with points
If you're looking for the cheapest ways to fly to Disney World
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, British Airways or Air Canada to score a deal when there's award availability.
Chase Ultimate Rewards® collectors can transfer points to take advantage of the Southwest, JetBlue, British Airways and Air Canada sweet spots highlighted in this post. Meanwhile, American Express Membership Rewards cardmembers can transfer points to snag Delta, JetBlue, British Airways and Air Canada 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 2022, 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