If you have invested in Citi ThankYou points, knowing how to book Disney vacations through Citi cruises and tours department can be a valuable tool in your Disney miles and points arsenal. The cruises and tours department runs through Connexions Travel, the same travel agents who work for Chase and were able to book Disney packages until just recently. There are plenty of benefits booking through Citi Cruises and Tours.
- You can match the cheapest price on Disney’s website
- You can use Annual Pass discounts or discounts that were e-mailed personally to you
- If you have the Citi ThankYou Premier, you can get a 1.25x uplift (your points are worth 1.25 cents each)
Let’s take a look at how to get to the Citi cruises and tours department and what you can do with them.
How to get to the Citi cruises and tours department
Getting through to the Citi cruises and tours department is pretty straightforward.
- Call 1-800-THANK-YOU (1-800-842-6596)
- Press “2” for “Thank You points”
- Enter last 4 digits of your Citi Thank You point credit card
- Press “1” for redeem for travel
- Press “4” for cruises and tours
If for some reason that doesn’t work for you, ask for the cruises and tours department the first time you get to speak to a human. Still, you shouldn’t have to worry about that if you follow the prompts above. Note that the cruises and tours department is open 9AM – 9PM EST M-F, and 9AM-5PM EST Saturdays.
Why bother booking with Citi cruises and tours?
If you’re just going to pay for your Disney vacation with cash, booking through Citi cruises and tours probably isn’t worth it. However, if you have the Citi Thank You Premier card as recommended in our beginner’s credit cards for Disney World guide, you can use your hard earned Thank You points at 1.25 cents per point. That means you effectively save 20% off on your Disney vacation.
You don’t have to pay for your entire vacation with your Thank You points either. You can pay partially with points and partially with cash. In some cases, you can even pay using Disney gift cards (that you hopefully bought with a discount!)
We love getting outsized value from our points at Miles to the Magic and now that we can’t use Chase, Citi is one of the best options left.
What can the Citi cruises and tours department book for you at Disney?
We should state up front – you call the Citi cruises and tours department to book Disney vacations, not necessarily Disney cruise vacations (though you can do that too!). It’s a weird quirk, but for the most part you’ll normally want to deal with cruises and tours to book your Disney vacations.
Essentially, you can book anything you can find on Disney’s website. Tickets, hotels, special events (like the Halloween party), packages – anything you can book on Disney’s website you should be able to book through cruises and tours.
If you want to book tickets, you’ll have to give a start date (which matters now in terms of pricing). Other than that, just tell the cruises and tours agent what type of ticket you’d like including what options (Park Hopper, etc.) and the number of adult and child tickets you need. You’ll be quoted the exact same price as what you see on Disney’s website – but you can book the tickets for 1.25 cents per point if you have the Thank You Premier.
Booking hotels or packages
When booking a hotel, the travel agent will be looking at the same thing you are looking at on the Disney World website. So if Disney is offering discounted rooms, be sure to ask the agent to look for the “Enchanted Room offer” (or whatever particular offer is going on at the time). The same goes with packages. I’m guessing they could even book free dining if its a free dining time, though we haven’t tried that personally.
Since Connexions is a full blown travel agency, they should be able to apply any discounts available to you personally. That means if you have an annual pass, you should be able to use your annual pass discount using Citi’s cruises and tours department (confirmed here). We’ve even been successful using discounts that have been e-mailed to us personally.
Tips for finding a good Connexions agent
In our experience, 90% of the Connexions agents are great. Still, if you find one that’s really great, take down his or her extension. At this point, there are two or three Connexions agents we rely on for all our miles and points related travel needs.
Note that the same Connexions agents currently staff both Chase and Citi (though they probably won’t staff Chase after December 2018). That means if you have a Chase cruises and tours agent you really like, you can use them with Citi too. We’ve found that some of the best agents are super reliable through e-mail and we can get a lot of our travel set up via e-mail without even calling.
If for some reason you find a cruises and tours agent that doesn’t seem to know what they’re doing, just try again. Most are incredibly competent at what they do and a pleasure to work with.
Ever since losing the ability to book Disney vacations through Chase, Citi has moved up the pecking order. Although a 1.25x uplift isn’t as good as the 1.5x we used to get with Chase, we still find it valuable for booking Disney vacations. So be sure to build up those Thank You points on the Thank You Premier and use them to offset the cost of your Disney trip!
Questions, concerns, or datapoints? We’d love to hear them in the comments!
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Featured image via Gene Duncan, wdwnews.com