How to Get Free Universal Studios Tickets

Free Universal tickets are rare, but you can get discounts or use travel rewards points for tickets.
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Written by Alisha McDarris
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Edited by Meg Lee
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Universal Studios is a dream vacation destination for many. Between the rides, themed areas, live shows and more, there is plenty to see and do to keep you entertained.

Whether you hope to visit just once or are a regular patron, it’s not surprising if you’re curious about how to get your hands on free Universal Studios tickets. So whether you’re heading to Universal Studios Orlando or Universal Studios Hollywood, here are a few ways to save some cash.

Ways to get free (or almost free) Universal tickets

If you’re looking to save some cash, here are a few ways to get free, or nearly free, access to Universal parks, including Universal's Volcano Bay, Jurassic World—The Ride and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

1. Buy an annual pass and get three months free

Currently, when you renew any seasonal or annual 2-park or 3-park pass to Universal Orlando and Universal Islands of Adventure, you’ll get three more months of park access for free. The additional months will be tacked onto the end of your 12-month term.

While it’s not a free ticket on its own, per se, for those who live close to the park and visit often, it offers a way to get free access for an extended period of time.

2. Use credit card rewards

Another way to score free Universal tickets is by cashing in credit card points and rewards.

While tickets paid for with credit card points may require upfront spending on other things, as long as those things were items you were already actively purchasing on a regular basis (like groceries, gas and other necessities), using them to “purchase” Universal tickets is essentially like getting those tickets for free.

Not all credit card points can be used for theme park purchases, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® both let you redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards® for tickets when you book through Chase's travel portal.

Simply pick which park you want to go to (Universal Orlando or Universal Studios Hollywood), select your dates and ticket type, and you’ll be shown both the cash price and cost in points. Then you can choose the number of tickets you need and choose to pay with points.

Likewise, some cash back credit cards allow you to redeem points to "pay back" purchases, including Universal tickets. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is one example. You can purchase Universal tickets with your card and then redeem earned cash back as a statement credit. Terms apply.

Cards for discounted theme park tickets
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
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Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
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Annual Fee




Annual Fee

• 5 points per $1 on travel booked through Chase.

• 3 points per $1 on dining (including eligible delivery services and takeout), select streaming services and online grocery purchases (not including Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs).

• 2 points per $1 on other travel.

• 1 point per $1 on other purchases.

• 10 points per $1 on Chase Dining, hotel stays and car rentals purchased through Chase.

• 5 points per $1 on air travel purchased through Chase.

• 3 points per $1 on other travel and dining not booked with Chase.

• 1 point per $1 on other purchases.

• 3% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent per year.

• 3% back at U.S. gas stations on up to $6,000 spent per year.

• 3% back on U.S. online retail purchases on up to $6,000 spent per year.

• 1% back on other purchases.

Terms apply.

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3. Pay with AmEx Membership Rewards via PayPal

If you have American Express Membership Rewards points, paying for Universal tickets with points doesn't offer the best redemption rate. However, you can redeem points for purchases anywhere you are able to pay via Paypal, which includes Universal’s online booking platform. You just have to link your card to your Paypal account, choose it as your payment option, then select “Use Membership Rewards points for a statement credit” during checkout.

4. Get a Universal credit card

If you’re a regular Universal-goer, it might be worth it to look into the Universal Rewards Plus or Universal Rewards Visa Signature credit cards. Both offer a way to earn points, including up to 4% back on qualifying Universal purchases at the park with the Universal Rewards Plus card.

Earned rewards can be loaded onto a Universal FUNds Visa Prepaid Card, which can be used for on-site purchases, including free Universal Studios tickets.

How to get discounted Universal tickets

While free tickets may be hard to come by, it is possible to score discounts on tickets.

While the parks don’t offer free military tickets to Universal Studios for active military members or veterans, those individuals can get discounts for themselves and their family members.

Plus, Universal offers deals when you book vacation packages that include certain hotels and park visits, as well as discounts for multi-day and multi-park tickets.

AAA members (when they purchase through AAA) and college students (only in California) can score discounts, and residents of Florida and California also get deals on tickets and passes for Universal parks in their states.

How to get free Universal tickets recapped

There aren’t an abundance of options to get free Universal tickets. Your best bet is to redeem credit card points with participating travel rewards cards for theme park tickets.

Or if you’re a frequent visitor and committed Universal fan who would prefer dedicated rewards, one of Universal’s credit cards can help get you there. There are a few more ways to score discounts than there are freebies, but either way, you’ll want to plan ahead to make sure you get the best deal and have enough points in your pocket come vacation time.

(Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort)

To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, see this page.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

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