Using the Sapphire Reserve Travel Credit to Purchase Tickets to Disney

Nov 10, 2016

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These days lots of premium rewards credit cards come with an annual travel credit of some sort that you either lose or use each year. Some of these credits such as the The Platinum Card from American Express $200 airline incidental fee credit run on a calendar year schedule, and others like the Sapphire Reserve $300 travel credit run on a different schedule based on your December statement date. Since we are now into mid-November, it really is time to act on all of the annual travel credits you have access to, but this is especially true if you need to use the credit before your final statement date of 2016 because that date may sneak up on you if you aren’t careful.

That is a general reminder to examine and use all of your cards with an annual travel credit sooner rather than later, but a specific common travel credit related question I wanted to answer is how to use the $300 Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit to purchase tickets to Disney to take that quintessential family trip to the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’.

What the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Does and Does Not Cover

The $300 annual travel credit from the Sapphire Reserve card is one of the most generous credits out there both in amount offered and in what it covers. Per the Chase site, the annual travel credit from the Sapphire Reserve automatically issues up to $300 in statement credits for travel-related purchases charged to your card. That sounds simple enough, but let’s breakdown some of those terms to see exactly what they mean in practice.

Annually, in this case, means “the year beginning with your account open date through the first December statement date of that same year, and each 12 billing cycles starting after your December statement date through the following December statement date.” It does not mean January 1st – December 31st, so plan accordingly.

Travel related means charges from hotels, motels, airlines, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limos, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.

Also of note are highlighting those charges that are expressly not covered by the Sapphire Reserve’s travel credit including: websites or owners who rent out vacation properties, in-flight goods or services, on-board cruise line goods and services, sightseeing activities, tourist attractions, merchants within airports, merchants that rent vehicles for the purposes of hauling, and the purchase of miles and points.

How to Use the Annual Sapphire Reserve Travel Credit to Purchase Tickets to Disney

So, while tickets to Disney are indeed travel related in a lot of ways, it is also something that often will probably fall under a “tourist attraction” and thus expressly not covered for the Sapphire Reserve annual travel credit. However, there are tons of ways to purchase tickets to Disney, and how and where you purchase tickets to Disney will ultimately determine how it codes to your credit card and whether or not it is covered by your annual travel credit.

Generally speaking, if you are able to purchase your Disney tickets via a larger package from a hotel or travel agency then it would probably qualify for the Sapphire Reserve travel credit under those expressly covered categories, but that is general advice and I want to give you something a little more concrete.

If you want to purchase discount tickets to Disney and use your Sapphire Reserve travel credit towards those purchases then you might want to consider Undercover Tourist.

I have personally used Undercover Tourist multiple times to purchase our own discounted tickets to Disney World and you can not only save money going directly to their website, but if you subscribe to their monthly newsletter that goes out the 15th of each month you can save even more by going through their newsletter to purchase tickets to Disney.

While I have not yet personally purchased tickets using Undercover Tourist with our Sapphire Reserve, I have seen multiple reports of Undercover Tourist posting as a charge from a travel agency and thus triggering the travel credit. Here is one example, but there are many more available online. I have also read multiple successful reports of the Sapphire Reserve travel credit being triggered by paying Disney Vacation Club dues and also some reports of simply adding to your Disney Vacation Account also triggering the statement credit.

I also recommend checking out this post if you want to save on Disney tickets while adding to your Disney Vacation Account. 

I’d love to hear how you used your $300 Sapphire Reserve travel credit in 2016 and what your plans are for 2017!

2020 TPG Award Winner: Premium Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Reserve

SIGN-UP BONUS: 50,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on all travel and dining, $300 annual travel credit, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners.

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • New Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back(SM), your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority PassTM Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
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Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
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