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Old 06-28-2013, 07:31 PM   #1
jenhelgren
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Applying Disney Gift Card to Onboard Spending Account?

How does it work when you use Disney gift cards to pay down your balance on your KTTW charges and onboard spending account? I plan on bringing a few $50 Disney Gift Cards with me on the cruise. Do I have to wait until the end of the cruise when there is an outstanding balance or can I give the cards to Guest Relations when we get on the ship like I would a credit card? Will Disney just charge the gift cards for the amount due like they would a Visa card? So, for example I give GS $300 worth of gift card numbers and our balance due is $285 would that $15 just be on the gift card for later without having to visit GS again during the cruise???
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:36 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jenhelgren View Post
How does it work when you use Disney gift cards to pay down your balance on your KTTW charges and onboard spending account? I plan on bringing a few $50 Disney Gift Cards with me on the cruise. Do I have to wait until the end of the cruise when there is an outstanding balance or can I give the cards to Guest Relations when we get on the ship like I would a credit card? Will Disney just charge the gift cards for the amount due like they would a Visa card? So, for example I give GS $300 worth of gift card numbers and our balance due is $285 would that $15 just be on the gift card for later without having to visit GS again during the cruise???
You may go to Guest Services at any time to apply the gift cards to your onboard account. This will appear as a credit on the account. If there is any money (credit) left on your onboard account at the end of the cruise, you will need the gift cards to have the credit re-applied to them.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by PrincessShmoo View Post
You may go to Guest Services at any time to apply the gift cards to your onboard account. This will appear as a credit on the account. If there is any money (credit) left on your onboard account at the end of the cruise, you will need the gift cards to have the credit re-applied to them.
Actually that wasn't my experience. They would only apply cards once I had charges.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:59 PM   #4
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Actually that wasn't my experience. They would only apply cards once I had charges.
Well, it doesn't take long to get charges onboard.

Unless you pre-pay your gratuities, I believe they add those to your onboard account like the first night.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:21 PM   #5
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Well, it doesn't take long to get charges onboard.
Exactly
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:03 PM   #6
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I called Disney the week before the cruise (several calls, actually) and added about $600 in gift cards to my onboard account. They did it like I was giving myself a gift.

They add any excursions you have signed up for the first day (I think it was the night before our cruise) - definitely did to us on the Alaska Cruise. I didn't want them to charge my credit card, so I wanted to have a large credit on my account before we got onboard. I think someone mentioned they will charge your credit card as soon as you get to $500, or something like that.

It worked out very well! We used up everything we had pre-loaded, and had a small balance at the end that they automatically charged to my pre-authorized card.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:03 PM   #7
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Didn't read the original post but once I book a cruise I start buying Disney gift cards. As soon as I'm paid in full I call DCL to set up my on board, give the accumulated cards and start from there. I continue to call with additional cards up to a week before I sail. On board they will let me know when I need to apply a CC number. I typically add up the cost of my excursions and spa appointments and put that amount on account using the CCs. The additional charges ate billed to my CC. You should also save the GCs for discrepancies.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:01 AM   #8
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I went down mid cruise and applied my gift cards for charges already on the bill and then I went down the night before the cruise ended and added more. They had already charged my credit card and just put a credit back on it for the amount I gave them in gift cards.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:10 AM   #9
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Our first family cruise I called DCL and put $3,000 on our account, all in gift cards because we were doing some pretty extensive port excursions, got a cabana and picked up a small bingo addiction. We spent all that and more

Our second and third cruises were more reality driven, so I adjusted accordingly. No problems using as many or as few cards as I wanted to, easy peasy. The last cruise (due to a last minute bingo win) I had some money left over..I could have had it put back on a gift card, I chose just to split the excess up in tips for the staff.

I also bring an additional gift card that is large enough to cover the cost of the deposit for our next cruise..

Cruises 2, 3 and 4 have all been/will all be paid for entirely with gift cards.

I haven't paid the regular price for gas for YEARS
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:52 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Lobofan5 View Post
Our first family cruise I called DCL and put $3,000 on our account, all in gift cards because we were doing some pretty extensive port excursions, got a cabana and picked up a small bingo addiction. We spent all that and more

Our second and third cruises were more reality driven, so I adjusted accordingly. No problems using as many or as few cards as I wanted to, easy peasy. The last cruise (due to a last minute bingo win) I had some money left over..I could have had it put back on a gift card, I chose just to split the excess up in tips for the staff.

I also bring an additional gift card that is large enough to cover the cost of the deposit for our next cruise..

Cruises 2, 3 and 4 have all been/will all be paid for entirely with gift cards.

I haven't paid the regular price for gas for YEARS
I am not sure I understand the benefit of doing a gift card. Is there a way of getting them as a discount?
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:36 AM   #11
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I am not sure I understand the benefit of doing a gift card. Is there a way of getting them as a discount?
There are various ways you can purchase Disney gift cards at a discount.

My method - purchase a Disney gift card with my Target Red Card. Purchases on a Target Red Card get 5% off. Typically you can't buy a gift card with a discount on the Target Red Card, but Disney gift cards are considered entertainment cards and can be discounted.

And sometimes Target has a promotion at the pharmacy that will get you additional discounts on the Disney card.
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Last edited by PrincessShmoo; 06-29-2013 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:17 AM   #12
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I am not sure I understand the benefit of doing a gift card. Is there a way of getting them as a discount?
Here in Ohio, we have Giant Eagle grocery stores and for every $50 you purchase (in groceries or gift cards for numerous different stores/websites, etc), you get 10 cents off each gallon of gas. So say gas is $3.50 a gallon, if I purchased $1750 in gift cards at Giant Eagle, I'd get a free tank of gas. With our upcoming cruise, I'll be doing that twice to pay for the remainder so we'll get 2 free tanks of gas for one cruise. Also, my mom gives $25 or $50 ones to us all for our birthdays or holidays to help us pay for the souveniers, drinks, spa and excursions etc. So she's getting that discount on her gas through the year too.

I know in the south they have Kroger that does the same thing (though I believe it's 10 cents off for every $100???)

And there's some type of deal with target if you have a target credit card but we don't have credit cards so IDK about the details about that though.
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:07 PM   #13
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I purchase my gift cards at Kroger and save $32.00 on each fill up. (At Christmas that doubles because they take up to $2 a gallon off) I also purchase them at Kroger with my Disney visa and get 2% cash back on each one.. also Kroger has a community rewards that you sign up for (free) and pick a charity of your choice and a % of your total money spent goes to that charity. This last quarter $50 went to my Son's scout troop.

I know the Target red card deal might be slightly higher but I like the donation to the troop. Target also has a red card debit card you can sign up for so it isn't a credit card.

I do like that the grocery store cards go up to $500 so I dont have so many cards to hang on to. However when we are on the trip, all the cards stay home in my safe..DCL can refund without the actual cards. THAT being said, I haven't had a refund...we've been able to sucessfully spend all our money aboard...


Use the "search" function and search 'gift cards' and you will see a ton of thoughts on this topic.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:38 PM   #14
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I tried the Target/Gift Card strategy for our upcoming cruise. Everything worked well. However, it was a little odd since DVC was involved. I called the cruise line to apply gift cards to our on board account. I was directed to call DVC since we booked the cruise on points through DVC. So I called DVC and pressed the appropriate numbers to get help with a cruise and I make my request. The first time I did this the DVC rep did not know what an on board account was. Eventually he called the cruise line, a cruise line person took the gift cards and then handed me back to DVC. On a second round of gift cards the DVC rep kept telling me she did not know if gift cards could be applied to the on board account. Eventually she handed me over to the cruise line rep who handled the transaction quickly and then handed me back to the DVC rep.

In the end it was odd that a direct call to the cruise line would not work and instead I had to call DVC just so they could transfer me to the cruise line rep. Once I did speak to the cruise line the transaction was easy. However, if you have to go through DVC first be patient because they may not understand what you are asking for.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:46 PM   #15
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I tried the Target/Gift Card strategy for our upcoming cruise. Everything worked well. However, it was a little odd since DVC was involved. I called the cruise line to apply gift cards to our on board account. I was directed to call DVC since we booked the cruise on points through DVC. So I called DVC and pressed the appropriate numbers to get help with a cruise and I make my request. The first time I did this the DVC rep did not know what an on board account was. Eventually he called the cruise line, a cruise line person took the gift cards and then handed me back to DVC. On a second round of gift cards the DVC rep kept telling me she did not know if gift cards could be applied to the on board account. Eventually she handed me over to the cruise line rep who handled the transaction quickly and then handed me back to the DVC rep.

In the end it was odd that a direct call to the cruise line would not work and instead I had to call DVC just so they could transfer me to the cruise line rep. Once I did speak to the cruise line the transaction was easy. However, if you have to go through DVC first be patient because they may not understand what you are asking for.
The reason you had to go through DVC is that they are your TA. Financial stuff must go through the TA, you can't do it directly. Although, you really were doing it directly, but DVC transferred you over.
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