The past weekend we visited Busch Gardens, Williamsburg with my wife’s family visiting us from Canada. I was looking into various options to purchase cheap tickets to the amusement park as after adding cost of tickets, parking and food you would do serious damage on your credit card. The Busch Garden website sells 1-day ticket for $75. I was definitely not going to pay that for five tickets. I googled and via Retailmenot found codes using which I could have knocked off $15 from the cost of each ticket. But my Indian genes were still not happy and I was craving for even deeper discounts.
I put my evil mind to work and BINGO!! My favorite credit card – Barclay Arrival World Elite Mastercard came to the rescue along with a couple of small tricks. Please note Barclays bank recently issued a change in T&C and starting November 1st lot of charges including activities will not be considered as Travel Credit while using Arrival World Elite Mastercard so charging Busch Gardens tickets directly on my credit card purchase via Busch Gardens website will not go through as a Travel expense. Here is a link to an old article from Flyertalk that summarizes what goes through as travel credit and what does not using the Arrival World Elite Credit card.
I knew Expedia will definitely be considered a Travel Credit via Barclay system and after checking Expedia’s website I was able to find a 1-day pass to Busch Gardens for $60 for Adults and $50 for kids under 10, although the cost being higher than using Retailmenot codes that were getting me $15 off the tickets purchased directly from Busch Gardens. I ended up paying $280 to Expedia for 3 Adult and 2 kids tickets but the tricks and strategy I am about to show you these tickets ended up costing me UNDER $100 total.
I first visited TopCashback and saw they were offering 5% back on activities which is not too shabby. Expedia rewarded me 1120 Reward points roughly with a value of $10.
Finally I will knock off the $280 paid to Expedia by manufacture spending Barclay miles using gift cards and other strategies. For those who are seasoned in this hobby and manufactured spending know that we can slash cost of any travel expense by 60% or higher using this trick (ping me if you are new and want to learn more or read one of my article here). Here is the final math –
- Total Paid to Expedia for five Busch Garden tickets- $280
- Cost after manufactured spending – $112 (60% off $280)
- 5% Cash back from Topcashback i.e $14
- $10 in Expedia Rewards
- Net Cost – 112-14-10 = $88
I think its totally sick that I will pay just $88 for five tickets to Busch Garden Amusement park for a full day of fun.
Can you do the same for other parks?
Absolutely, always check Expedia, Orbitz and other similar travel websites for Activities and look for theme park tickets or attractions. You can also purchase tickets for several theme parks in Orlando, Los Angeles and San Diego using Undercovertourist.com as this website is classified as Travel category using Barclay Arrival World Elite Mastercard. Have more questions on saving money visiting theme parks then ping me. I can even show you how to take a Family to Disneyland by paying pennies.