As I mentioned last week, after being so sick for so long dh is wanting to travel asap. We have a couple of short trips planned for this next month, but he wants a multi-day trip to WDW before our annual passes expire. So I started “bargain hunting this last week, and I guess it is meant to be, because here are all the discounts I found and was available to apply so, far to our trip.
We generally stay at the cheapest resort, but due to a special WDW is running right now, we got a special rate on a room and one that was a couple of tiers up from where we usually stay for less money than the cheapest. Our original plan was to arrive on a Thursday and leave on a Monday, because traditionally airfare is cheaper doing it that way. So I told our travel agent (Carol Garcia at the Magic for Less travel agency—tell her I sent you please) we would take that room IF I could get good airfare prices.
Checked Southwest Airlines, our preferred airline and found they actually had a special going that the airfare was about ½ of what their standard price is. Even better we could each fly for $40 cheaper if we flew in the night before, but that would require an extra night at the Pop Century. So I contacted Carol to see how much extra that extra night would be…
Well, it turns out it was actually going to be $150 cheaper, all totaled IF we did take an extra night, because the special going on rooms was tiered based on the number of nights and arrival days. So I told her to add the night and went back to book the airfare, which by that time had already gone up $20 each on us. You gotta be fast on cheap airfares.
So we shot off to Sam’s Club where I picked up enough gift cards to pay for all but $7 on the airfare. The reason I got gift cards was because for every $150 of gift cards you save $8 when you purchase them at Sam’s. That would mean a $40 savings on that.
I also purchased a $150 worth of Disney gift cards at the same $142 price to make my room deposit with, all in all on this trip the gift cards would save us roughly $100 on just the flight and reservations, but we will also pay our meals and shopping with more Disney gift cards, so the savings will be more.
Well, we learned a valuable lesson on the SWA gift cards, READ the back of the card and save yourself some hassle. You can only use them for airfare, you cannot use them on any package deals, in flight purchases etc. Th9is was not a problem, we only wanted to pay airfare with them anyway. The lesson came when after I had entered $200 worth of the cards online that we discovered you can only have 4 forms of payment per BOOKING, not ticket. Which meant we could only use 4 of the gift cards if I purchased the tickets like I normally did 2 round trip airfares on one confirmation number.
I freaked out a bit, and called the help number. The lady on the other end helped me get the $200 put back on my gift cards and suggested 4 one way tickets, that way I could use most of my gift cards. She was helping me do that when we got disconnected.
I called back and got a very nice gentleman who agreed we could do it that way and took over getting the tickets asap (before they went up again, because they were getting ready too) AND dh and I on the same flight. We got it all worked out where we used all 15 gift cards, plus my debit card to make up the $34 difference. Because of their limit 4 policy I could not roll the excess left on one $50 card to the next ticket so I now have 3 cards with $11.40 left on them, but as you well know we will use those eventually.
So I got the airfare booked for later this spring at a much discounted price and the room at a discounted price and am paying for them with discounted gift cards. This trip must be in the cards.
Oh and I saw that WDW has a new room special starting today and if it should work out cheaper than the one we have, Carol will automatically put us on the lower cost one (with my permission of course).
To celebrate we went to IHOP where I got to eat for free on their B!G! senior’s deal, so we were on a roll this weekend. LOL!
Now on the hospital/doctor bill front! As I reported about midweek last week I discovered we were being way overbilled on our deductible, Like $3000, plus on the deductible and so I contacted BCBS. I just checked my online claims center and they have backed over $5,000 off our bill total. It seems not only were they overcharging us on our deductible, but our BCBS has some sort of senior co-insurance thing on it and they are applying that too!. Of course some of this might change, but to find that bill down so much (especially since we have already paid over $2,000 on our medical bills is cause to celebrate. READ YOUR BILLS people I am saving us THOUSANDS by catching this series of unfiled insurance, over billings, miscalculations and such.