The Card to Get You There

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is the best card for beginners, and right now Chase is offering an increased welcome bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of getting the card. If you don’t have this card and haven’t received a bonus on either the Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve in the last 48 months, make sure to take advantage of this amazing welcome bonus.

Usually, the welcome bonus is 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points, but with the heighted bonus you can fly an entire family to Orlando for free!

The card earns 2X on travel and dining (including eligible delivery services) and 1X on everything else. And for a limited time, you’ll earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022 and 10X points on up to $500 of takeout orders and prepaid reservations via Chase Dining in the Ultimate Rewards portal through June 30, 2021.

The card doesn’t have foreign transaction fees, which is not relevant for our Orlando vacation, but if you ever go abroad, a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees is a must have.

The annual fee is $95, not waived the first year.

You have to be under 5/24 to get approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

How to Book Award Flights to Orlando with Ultimate Rewards Points

Let’s look at a couple of different options to cover flights to Orlando with the Ultimate Rewards points you’ll earn with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. You can either use Chase’s own travel portal or transfer Ultimate Rewards points to one of Chase’s travel partners, such United Airlines, Southwest or British Airways.

Chase Travel Portal

Because there are often airfare sales to Florida, Chase’s own travel portal might be the best option. You can redeem points through the portal at 1.25 cents per point. The price in points on the portal is tied to the cash price, so if the flight costs $100, you’ll need just 8,000 Ultimate Rewards points.

After you finish the minimum spending requirement, you should have at least 84,000 points. Depending on the cash prices of flights, you’ll be able to take the whole family to Disney and have some points left over for another trip.

One big advantage of using the travel portal over transferring miles to one of Chase’s airline partners is the ability to book flights on airlines that aren’t partners of Chase, such as American Airlines.

How to Book Award Flights to Orlando with Ultimate Rewards Points

You’ll also earn miles on flights booked through the portal because these are treated by the airlines like a regular cash paid fare.

United Airlines

United Airlines is one of Chase’s transfer partners and Ultimate Rewards points transfer to United 1:1 and the transfer is usually instant. United doesn’t have an award chart anymore, but a one-way saver award should be between 5,000 and 12,500 miles, depending on the distance and the demand.

In order to search for United award space, you don’t need an account, but United shows more award space to its own elite members and United Explorer Card holders. Therefore, we always recommend logging in when searching for award tickets on United.

How to Book Award Flights to Orlando with Ultimate Rewards Points-United Airlines

After you’ve entered your trip details click on “Find flights” and login. Along with award space for your date, you should see a weekly calendar.

How to Book Award Flights to Orlando with Ultimate Rewards Points-United Airlines

As you can see, the award rates are all over the place, but we want to find the cheapest award. If you have any flexibility, click on the 30 day calendar to (hopefully) see more saver level award space.

How to Book Award Flights to Orlando with Ultimate Rewards Points-United Airlines

And as you can see from the screenshot below, award rates will really depend on the departure airport and the travel dates.

How to Book Award Flights to Orlando with Ultimate Rewards Points-United Airlines

Southwest

Southwest Airlines is also a Chase transfer partner. The points transfer 1:1 and the transfer is instant. There’s no award chart, as the price in points is tied to cash prices.

You can search for award flights right from the homepage (you don’t even need to create an account to search). Just enter your origin and destination, select Points and click Search.

How to Book Award Flights to Orlando with Ultimate Rewards Points-Southwest

You can also utilize Southwest’s Low Fare Calendar to find the cheapest tickets.

How to Book Award Flights to Orlando with Ultimate Rewards Points-Southwest

Here again, having some flexibility could save you thousands of miles.

How to Book Award Flights to Orlando with Ultimate Rewards Points-Southwest

British Airways

You might be wondering, why would I use a frequent flyer program of a foreign carrier to book award travel in the U.S.? And this is where learning a little bit about airline alliances and partner award booking can pay off nicely. British Airways and American Airlines are part of the Oneworld alliance, so the miles of one airline can be used to book flights on another airline.

British Airways has a distance-based award chart that could be very advantageous for booking short domestic flights. British Airways charges by segment, so it’s best to avoid connecting flights and instead look for nonstop flights between two cities served by American Airlines.

You don’t even need an account to search on BA, just navigate to BA.com and put the mouse over Book and then select Book a flight with Avios and then enter your flight details.

How to Book Award Flights to Orlando with Ultimate Rewards Points-British Airways
How to Book Award Flights to Orlando with Ultimate Rewards Points-British Airways

You’ll see the results on the next page along with a handy weekly calendar.

How to Book Award Flights to Orland with Ultimate Rewards-British Airways

It’s possible to snag a short nonstop flight with BA Avios for just 7,500 miles and $5.60 in taxes. If you just earned 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points, that’s enough for a couple of trips to the happiest place on earth!

And here’s a pro tip about BA. If you need to cancel your flights and get the miles and taxes back, you technically have to pay a $55 mileage redeposit fee. But in this case, you can forfeit the $5.60 in taxes and avoid paying any fees. So just think of this as a very low change fee!

How to Pay for Your Stay Near Disney World

Hyatt has a few properties near Disney, including some family-friendly lower category hotels, so you can stretch the World of Hyatt points you’ll earn with the World of Hyatt Credit Card welcome bonus and get a nice, long stay in the Orlando area. And if you wanted to visit Universal too, there are also a couple of solid Hyatt properties near the Universal parks.

The World of Hyatt credit card has a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points after $3,000 spend in three months after account opening. And you’ll earn up to 30,000 additional points by earning 2X points on the first $15,000 spent in non-bonus categories in the first six months.

The bonus on this card has fluctuated in the past so make sure you check the specific offer.

There are two great benefits that come with this card: a free night on the cardmember’s anniversary at category 1-4 hotels and automatic World of Hyatt Discoverist status. You can earn 9X World of Hyatt points per dollar at Hyatt hotels, 2X points per dollar at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline, local transit and commuting and on fitness clubs and gym memberships.

The annual fee is $95, not waived the first year.

You have to be under 5/24 to get approved for the World of Hyatt Card.

We love Hyatt Hotels for their great award chart with award rates starting at just 5,000 points for category 1 hotels. Hyatt has a couple of affordable, category 2 and 3 family-friendly properties near Disney. Some of these are right next to Disney and some are about a 15-20 minute drive.

In July 2021, Hyatt is changing its award chart and is going to introduce standard, peak and off-peak pricing. This isn’t a huge devaluation, and if you can travel during off-peak times, you’ll come out ahead by saving a couple thousand points. This is Hyatt’s new award pricing for the category 2 and 3 hotels you can find in the Orlando area.

Hotel CategoryOff-PeakStandardPeak
26,5008,0009,500
39,00012,00015,000

So if you already know your schedule for the next 12 months, you can still book at the old rates before the new chart goes into effect in July. And if you make an award booking and the rate drops to an off-peak rate when changes finally take place, you’ll get back the difference in points.

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress | Photo Courtesy of Hyatt

This is a category 3 property which you can book with 9,000 to 15,000 points.

This is a great family hotel that has shuttles to Disney, Universal and SeaWorld parks and has a view of Disney fireworks. The hotel has a club lounge, so if you have Club Access Awards, you get access to the lounge and can enjoy free breakfast, snacks and appetizers in the evening. World of Hyatt Globalists get these perks also, even when booking standard rooms.

Hyatt Place Orlando Convention Center, Orlando

Hyatt Place Orlando Convention Center

Hyatt Place Orlando Convention Center | Photo Courtesy of Hyatt

This is a category 2 property that you can book for 6,500 to 9,500 points.

This is a great hotel for families. Hyatt Place hotels offer free breakfast and have big rooms where families can really spread out. It’s about 20 minutes away from Disney, so you’ll have to plan your day accordingly.

Hyatt Place Orlando Lake Buena Vista

Hyatt Place Orlando Lake Buena Vista

Hyatt Place Orlando Lake Buena Vista | Photo Courtesy of Hyatt

This is a category 3 property that you can book with 9,000 to 15,000 points.

The hotel is located almost next door to Disney World and offers a free shuttle to Disney parks. All Hyatt Place hotels offer free breakfast to World of Hyatt members. The big rooms have two queen beds and a sofa bed, which is perfect for families with kids.

Hyatt House Across from Universal Orlando Resort

Hyatt House Across from Universal Orlando Resort

Hyatt House Across from Universal Orlando Resort | Photo Courtesy of Hyatt

This is a category 3 property that you can book with 9,000 to 15,000 points.

If your plans include visiting Universal Orlando in addition to Disney, this is a great location as the hotel is still not too far from the Disney parks. The hotel is just a mile from Universal Orlando Resort and Universal CityWalk. The spacious rooms are perfect for families, as there’s onsite laundry and some suites come with bunk beds and a kitchenette.

Hyatt Place Across from Universal Orlando

Hyatt Place Across from Universal Orlando

This is a category 3 property that you can book with 9,000 to 15,000 points.

Another great bargain hotel from Hyatt, this Hyatt Place comes with breakfast included and there’s a self-service laundry on site, so you can pack lightly. You can walk or take a quick shuttle ride to Universal Orlando Resort.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to points and miles earned by opening just two cards, the World of Hyatt Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, it’s pretty easy to earn enough points to take a whole family to Orlando. You can book your flights through Chase’s own travel portal or transfer to one of many travel partners.

Hyatt really knows their clientele well and has lots of family-friendly Hyatt properties in the Orlando area near the theme parks where you can book a few nights with just the bonus points earned with the World of Hyatt Credit Card.

With just two cards, it’s easy to take your family to Disney World to make lasting memories together.

Travel well,
Anna