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 if you know how to play the rewards game. Here are the cheapest ways to fly to Disney World using points and miles.
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
Looking to fly United to Orlando for less? Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles is the way to go — you can spend just 15,000 miles round-trip. If you want to splurge for a business class seat, you can do so for 25,000 miles round-trip. (That’s the same price United charges for a round-trip economy flight longer than 700 miles.)
If you’re wondering how to get your hands on such an obscure rewards currency, it’s actually not that difficult. Turkish Miles & Smiles is a Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer partner. Pick up a Citi Premier® Card; it usually comes with a sign-up bonus that could cover several round-trip tickets to Disney World at the Turkish Airlines award rate.
» Learn More: Find the best airline credit card for you
Southwest Rapid Rewards
Southwest is a great option if you’re planning a trip to Disney World. For starters, the airline offers two free checked bags per person — that’s ideal for families who can’t get by with carry-ons alone. Additionally, Southwest offers nonstop flights to Orlando International Airport (MCO) from major cities and small airports alike. That’s great for families who want to minimize layovers on their way to The Happiest Place on Earth.
Additionally, Southwest bases award ticket prices on cash fares. This could work out quite well if you book in advance, during a fare sale or during off-peak travel dates. Below are some examples of fares we found on various dates throughout the year — these come out lower than the prices you’ll likely find on legacy carriers. You can also see how much Southwest’s award prices vary; flexibility is key when getting a good deal for your Rapid Rewards points.
San Diego - Orlando: 8,635 points one-way
Chicago Midway - Orlando: 2,517 points one-way
Houston - Orlando: 2,807 points one-way
Whether you’re using the increased sign-up bonus from the Southwest credit cards or transferring points from the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program, booking flights to Orlando using Southwest Rapid Rewards points can be a downright bargain.
British Airways Avios
British Airways Avios is great for short-haul flights on American Airlines. If your home airport is under 2,000 miles from Orlando International, you’ll pay less than 12,000 Avios each way for a direct flight. Below are some example fares we found:
Charlotte - Orlando for 7,500 Avios one-way.
Dallas - Orlando for 9,000 Avios one-way.
Phoenix - Orlando for 11,000 Avios one-way.
In addition to the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, you can transfer Avios from Chase Ultimate Rewards®, American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards. Here’s a list of cards that can help you earn points in those programs:
American Express® Business Gold Card.
American Express® Gold Card.
Amex EveryDay® Credit Card.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.
The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
Citi Premier® Card.
Citi Prestige® Card.
JetBlue TrueBlue points
Similar to Southwest, JetBlue prices out award flights based on the cost of paid fares, among other variables. JetBlue’s Best Fare Finder is a great tool for figuring out when you’ll get the best deals (assuming your travel plans are somewhat flexible). Below are some examples of low fares we found to Orlando during various months using the Best Fare Finder:
Los Angeles - Orlando for 7,500 points one-way
Washington - Orlando for 4,100 points one-way
Salt Lake City - Orlando for 6,700 points one-way
JetBlue has several co-branded credit cards, but you can also transfer points from your Chase Ultimate Rewards®, Membership Rewards and Citi Thank You points account. Below are some cards you may want to consider if you want to cover airfare to Disney World with JetBlue points:
Terms and conditions apply.
Korean Air SkyPass miles
Domestic awards with Korean Air SkyPass miles are pretty standard at 25,000 round-trip. But the real value lies in business and first class awards, which require just 45,000 miles round-trip. That’s less than what airlines like American and United charge for premium cabin seats. As for Korean’s partner airline Delta? They no longer publish an award chart, so redemption rates can vary greatly.
All information about the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.
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 2021, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Find the best travel credit card for you How to budget for a family trip to disney New Disney World ticket offers discounted admission