How not to pay Full price visiting Amusement parks?

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.

Screenshot 2015-08-18 at 11.00.59 PM

Paying Full price for anything is just not my thing

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.

save money

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.

Screenshot 2015-08-18 at 11.26.56 PM

Expedia reward points

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 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.

busch gardens 1

Feeling young one more time!!

busch gardens 2

I was so happy after all the money I saved! Having fun with nieces

busch gardens 4

Red was the color of the day

Categories: Barclay Arrival, Other Savings, Theme Parks | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “How not to pay Full price visiting Amusement parks?

  1. Miguel Bustamante

    I’d like to take my family of 4 to the Orlando theme parks in August 2016. I live in Oregon and I have 4-$200 travel vouchers from United Airlines I’ll use for my travel, but I want to save on hotel and park costs. What is the best way to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Miguel,

    There are lot of way you can save on Hotel, Airline tickets and theme parks. You can sign-up for the SPG credit card from American Express that has increased the sign-up bonus from 25,000 to 30K SPG points. A card each for you and your wife will get you 60,000 SPG points combine which is good for almost 10 night Free stay on a Disney property such as Swan Dolphin. United vouchers can be used for one-way ticket and there are many airline cards that you may sign up to score one way ticket for 12,500 miles such as AA, United when the sign-up bonus is at 50K miles on these cards , also your bags check for free if you have the card and no annual fees first year.

    I may have sent you an email with details before but let me know if I can be of more assistance and help you plan this trip for cheap!!



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