🇨🇦 Paying for things at Disney

DisneyMama811

🇨🇦 Disney Dreamin'
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Looking for input from fellow Canadians on the most efficient and cost effective way to pay for things at the parks as well as hotel package, I don't want to carry a lot of cash around, can you use a Canadian Credit Card? should I get a USD credit card? use gift cards??

for the kids spending money I'm planning to purchase USD cash from my bank then load it on to Disney gift cards when we get there and give them each a card, but I'm not sure what I should do about paying for other things
 

koncra

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
You can use Canadian credit cards everywhere but personally I recommend buying gift cards before you go(can get them at Walmart, Shoppers, Zehrs, etc) The reason to do this is so you don't get charged with the "foreign transaction fee" most Canadian credit cards charge for charging USD to your account, which is usually between 1-2%.

There are a few Credit Cards that don't have foreign transaction fees, or some that do but also have cashback that is higher than the fee(say 3% or more) which makes it still worth it as you are gaining 1% cashback compared to 0%.

We usually buy the $100 gift cards from walmart before the trip and then combine them all in to 1 gift card on our first day a the resort gift shop or any other store on property.

You also have the option of charging most things to your magicband if you are using one, which you can link your credit card to if you don't want to carry any cash or cards on you.
 

DisneyMama811

🇨🇦 Disney Dreamin'
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
You can use Canadian credit cards everywhere but personally I recommend buying gift cards before you go(can get them at Walmart, Shoppers, Zehrs, etc) The reason to do this is so you don't get charged with the "foreign transaction fee" most Canadian credit cards charge for charging USD to your account, which is usually between 1-2%.

There are a few Credit Cards that don't have foreign transaction fees, or some that do but also have cashback that is higher than the fee(say 3% or more) which makes it still worth it as you are gaining 1% cashback compared to 0%.

We usually buy the $100 gift cards from walmart before the trip and then combine them all in to 1 gift card on our first day a the resort gift shop or any other store on property.

You also have the option of charging most things to your magicband if you are using one, which you can link your credit card to if you don't want to carry any cash or cards on you.
if you charge everything to your magic band do you just settle it when you check out, pay in one transaction thereby limiting your foreign transaction fees? or do you still get dinged every time (assuming your band has a CDN card linked to it?)
 

KCMA

Mouseketeer
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
We use gift cards for a lot … we will grab them while we are out and about at home (shoppers/Walmart etc) $50/$100 at a time.. then prior to the trip we will combine them to have fewer cards.. also cash for smaller purchases.. we try not use CC to much except for any larger purchases or expensive meals
 

disneyfan123

He got my hubbies steak once
Joined
Oct 3, 2007
We setup an account with the US TD bank when we were in Orlando, and I transfer funds into it using Knightsbridge, which gives good exchange rates. We also had a lot of Disney gift cards, and charged most things to our magic bands, and then settled the account the night before we checked out of the hotel using the cards.
 

dancin Disney style

<font color=blue>I found one to share with some fa
Joined
Apr 18, 2005
Personally I don't care about the Forex fees. I do what is most convenient for me. I have a USD account that I used to regularly transfer money into and would pay for most things with cash. The big items like hotel and car are paid with CC so we would only need around $1000 cash. Now though, I just put all the money in my travel account. I use my CC to pay for everything and then pay the bill from the travel account. I carry maybe $150 cash. My previous style of using cash for everything always left me thinking about all the reward miles on my CC that I wasn't getting.....now I'm getting those extra miles and that has a greater value than the few dollars I have to pay in Forex fees.
 

efrant

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Looking for input from fellow Canadians on the most efficient and cost effective way to pay for things at the parks as well as hotel package, I don't want to carry a lot of cash around, can you use a Canadian Credit Card? should I get a USD credit card? use gift cards??

for the kids spending money I'm planning to purchase USD cash from my bank then load it on to Disney gift cards when we get there and give them each a card, but I'm not sure what I should do about paying for other things
The best option is to use a credit card with a higher earnings rate at grocery stores (e.g., Amex Cobalt, Scotia Amex Gold, CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite, etc.) to buy Disney gift cards at grocery stores in Canada and using the gift cards to pay for things while at Disney. Another option is: while at Disney, using Canadian credit cards that don't charge the extra 2.5% foreign transaction fee (e.g., Scotia Amex Gold, Scotia Passport Visa Infinite, HSBC World Elite MasterCard, etc.). You could also set yourself up with a U.S. bank account and U.S. credit cards (U.S bank account and credit cards, not Canadian USD bank account and Canadian USD credit cards), but some find that to be too much work. All depends on how much time and money you spend in the U.S.

At the end of the day, it's 2.5%. Some people don't care paying the extra 2.5%, but some people spend a lot of time and money in the U.S., so 2.5% on, say, $25k annually, is $625 per year you're saving. And you are still getting your rewards miles/points from your credit card on top of that savings.
if you charge everything to your magic band do you just settle it when you check out, pay in one transaction thereby limiting your foreign transaction fees? or do you still get dinged every time (assuming your band has a CDN card linked to it?)
Yes, you will still get charged the extra 2.5% foreign transaction fee.

I'm with cibc, I'm going to look into their cc options
Nothing is stopping you from getting credit cards with other financial institutions. You can pay, say, a Scotia card from your CIBC bank account.
 
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hdrolfe

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 16, 2014
I buy Disney gift cards and use them to pay for hotel and tickets, and at the parks. Since magic bands aren't free any more, it doesn't seem they are used as much. I guess you can still charge to thr room, I find it just as easy to carry a gift card. I keep an empty one in the room safe and both on my Disney gift card site so if the one with money gets lost I can transfer the fund to the empty one. Saving at least 2.5% may not seem like a lot but over a few thousand dollars on a hotel and tickets it really adds up. I know visa and MC charge more than the actual exchange rate plus the foreign fees. The rate on the card is whatever the exchange rate is posted at when I google it.
 

ilovetotravel1977

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 8, 2016
The good thing about loading your gift cards on the website is if you lose it, you can transfer the entire balance to a blank card, so always bring a few empty cards with you.

I will probably bring enough US cash for taxis, tips, dole whips, etc, but everything else will be charged to the room and paid via gift cards.
 

Aladora

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
I have a no for-ex Visa that I use for trips outside of Canada.

I've got this card: HomeTrust Visa that has no annual fee, no for ex fees, and 1% cash back earnings.
 

efrant

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
I have a no for-ex Visa that I use for trips outside of Canada.

I've got this card: HomeTrust Visa that has no annual fee, no for ex fees, and 1% cash back earnings.
While that card doesn't have any forex fees, it doesn't earn the 1% on non-CAD purchases. A better option would be the Brim MasterCard (https://brimfinancial.com/credit-cards), which also doesn't have any forex fees (or annual fees), but earns 1% on all purchases.
 
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isabellea

Combining beach and Disney!
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
We use gift cards that I get when exchanging Airmiles and PC points (e.g. buy 100$ in grocery and 100$ Disney GC and then exchange 100$ worth of points to pay for the grocery) and our Brim MasterCard (no foreign exchange fees).
 

cdnSpinalTap

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
if you charge everything to your magic band do you just settle it when you check out, pay in one transaction thereby limiting your foreign transaction fees? or do you still get dinged every time (assuming your band has a CDN card linked to it?)
You would only get hit once with the FOREX fee when the transaction actually occurred, but the math works out that you would still be paying the same amount in FOREX fees. For example, if you had 10 transactions at $10 each, you would pay a total of $2.50 in FOREX fees (.025 x $10 x 10 transactions). If you alternatively had one transaction of $100, you would still pay $2.50 in FOREX fees ($100 x .025).

I agree with and use the gift card strategy and purchase using a high earn rate card. For example, I use the Scotiabank Momentum Visa to purchase the gift cards at a grocery store and earn 4% on those purchases.
 

DisneyMama811

🇨🇦 Disney Dreamin'
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
You would only get hit once with the FOREX fee when the transaction actually occurred, but the math works out that you would still be paying the same amount in FOREX fees. For example, if you had 10 transactions at $10 each, you would pay a total of $2.50 in FOREX fees (.025 x $10 x 10 transactions). If you alternatively had one transaction of $100, you would still pay $2.50 in FOREX fees ($100 x .025).

I agree with and use the gift card strategy and purchase using a high earn rate card. For example, I use the Scotiabank Momentum Visa to purchase the gift cards at a grocery store and earn 4% on those purchases.
I think ill buy giftcards with my walmart cc then bank up those rewards
 

Daddy's 'lil Princess

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 17, 2022
The best option is to use a credit card with a higher earnings rate at grocery stores (e.g., Amex Cobalt, Scotia Amex Gold, CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite, etc.) to buy Disney gift cards at grocery stores in Canada and using the gift cards to pay for things while at Disney. Another option is: while at Disney, using Canadian credit cards that don't charge the extra 2.5% foreign transaction fee (e.g., Scotia Amex Gold, Scotia Passport Visa Infinite, HSBC World Elite MasterCard, etc.). You could also set yourself up with a U.S. bank account and U.S. credit cards (U.S bank account and credit cards, not Canadian USD bank account and Canadian USD credit cards), but some find that to be too much work. All depends on how much time and money you spend in the U.S.

At the end of the day, it's 2.5%. Some people don't care paying the extra 2.5%, but some people spend a lot of time and money in the U.S., so 2.5% on, say, $25k annually, is $625 per year you're saving. And you are still getting your rewards miles/points from your credit card on top of that savings.

Yes, you will still get charged the extra 2.5% foreign transaction fee.


Nothing is stopping you from getting credit cards with other financial institutions. You can pay, say, a Scotia card from your CIBC bank account.
At the end of the day, it's 2.5%. Some people don't care paying the extra 2.5%,

i DONT but do :) when paying for a trip say 6k (like we will be doing ) its around $150 so bout 125 usd. that extra money can take the sting out of things. slo with the 2% cash back we can get another $120 = $95 usd so we are over $200 usd pocketed (which can cover a substantial amount of ground LL- ride purchases - BONUS event or meal we are interested in - extra special gift- Bibbidity Bob BOUT. for a modest family first time going that extra savings and fun will help make things a little more magical or less sting overall. UBER - sorry that may be our go to fund transport. for the little amount of effort saving that amount generally makes dad a bit more comfy.

I am at the stage right now to start forming my DISNEY gift card process. Can anyone please explain or link to forum to the process of using the GC's as form of payment? I just want make sure there are no hiccups.

So i purchase GC's X-$
I combine them into several to obtain the X-$ factor. (i get the concept)
(managed them off website) + physical card(s).
So i have $6k in GCs
How do i pay for room (i get it DUE at check in) and incidentals and purchases in park etc (CC on file?) or do i give the resort the GC's and they just deduct the spending from the GC's? no issues with CC on file but would want all transactions to be taken off GCs does that mean i need to continuously hit the lobby and pay with the GC?

I feel I am missing a step here lol. OR yes its that easy. I just want to run the parks and buy pay charge to room or GCs etc. Any tips?

ADD+ Also can i make a USD GC card? i thought i read somwhere you can watchteh flux in CDN -> USD $ when it is High you can CASH in so to speak and get better exchange if it drops hold the card until reasonable exchange is reaches again etc? Like right Now i see we are hovering at around .78-.79 whic isnt to bad I realize the exchange for today tells me they use exchange rate tomorrow so could buy some GCs today and then apply the tommorrow when the GC exchange will reflect todays rate. (if i read that right?) the exchange they use is the from the previous days close value.

IDEAS:
so will .02 make a difference? I think so I can get mroe bang for my buck

say all 6k at ex rate of .75 6000 cnd = 4500 usd

6k at ex rate of .78 6000 cdn = 4680 usd so a couple pennies exchange just gave me or saved me an additional $180 USD

so being thrifty there (timing) and lucky with exchange. combined with GC purchase rewards fee save etc. I can be looking at $350-380 USD extra just for planning a little bit.
 
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mort1331

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 15, 2012
So if booking direct with Disney,,when you book you can pay with the GCs. For purchases down there, bill to room and the night before,,,NOT day of,,,leaving go and pay room charges off with GC.
Unfortunately we can not buy US$ GC here or have them on the Disney GC site.
 

Daddy's 'lil Princess

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 17, 2022
So if booking direct with Disney,,when you book you can pay with the GCs. For purchases down there, bill to room and the night before,,,NOT day of,,,leaving go and pay room charges off with GC.
Unfortunately we can not buy US$ GC here or have them on the Disney GC site.
so i can wrap my head around this .....I think i understand. :)
I fully understand booking and package purchase (Which is to be paid (deposit) + full balance at check-in. this will cover everything i have purchased through Disney.booking

Once there : "For purchases down there, bill to room and the night before,,,NOT day of,,,leaving go and pay room charges off with GC."
we can sit there and bill charges to the room UPTO the last NIGHT (for us is the day prior to check out.) (example checkout day is MONDAY --- PAY all incurred expenses to the room on SUDNDAY. (with GC's)

and if by chance not enough on GC's they could just charge the cc on file?

Unfortunately we can not buy US$ GC here or have them on the Disney GC site.
right sorry i forgot the trick for higher exchange rate was to out of the stockpile of cnd GC's Apply to the balance owing for the package etc. $500 apply to the balance owed at resort. (WHEN the exchange is HIGH) as per comment i made for fluctuating exchange guide.

Thank you I dont want to worry about money.
 
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