The Disney Visa Card – Great if You’re a Very Disney Family

When I first learned about the Disney Visa card several years ago, I was super excited.  A credit card that earned Disney Rewards?  Sign me up!

However, as I learned more about how to earn points and miles, and especially about the value of points earned on bank credit cards, I realized that the Disney Rewards Visa is usually not the best choice for maximum earning potential.

If you already have the Disney Visa card, you probably know that there are two versions of the card: the Disney Reward Visa card and the Disney Premier Visa Card.  The Disney Reward Visa card is the older version of the card; the Premier version was launched earlier this year.  Here is the lowdown:

Premier Card

  • Earn 2% Disney reward dollars on purchases made with the card at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and most Disney locations (so for every $100 you spend in these categories, you earn 2 Reward dollars).
  • Earn 1% Disney reward dollars on all other purchases
  • Can redeem points for air travel (you purchase airline tickets then “pay yourself back” using the points you’ve earned – can redeem on any airline).
  • $49 annual fee
  • $100 statement credit after first use of the card

Reward Card

  • Earn 1% Disney Reward Dollars for all purchases made with the card
  • No annual fee
  • $50 statement credit after first use of the card

Both Cards

  • Redeem Disney Reward Dollars toward “most everything Disney.”  You can buy merchandise at the Disney Store or in the parks, stay at one of the Disney properties, purchase a Photopass card, and more by using Disney Reward Dollars.
  • You can enjoy 10% off on select merchandise purchases of $50 or more at and Disney Store locations, also at select locations at Walt Disney World® Resort and the Disneyland® Resort
  • Cardholders have exclusive access to a daily Character Meet ‘N’ Greet.  This is a great perk if you are visiting Disneyland or Disney World.  Card holders can stop by a private location and get photos taken with Disney characters.  You also get a complimentary 5×7 photo of the occasion.  If you have kids (or just love Disney characters yourself!) you know that lines can be long to visit with the characters in the park, so having this VIP experience might by very valuable to you.
  • You get 20% off the non-discounted price of select guided tours at Walt Disney World® Resort and the Disneyland® Resort.
  • Use to card to get Special Vacation Financing.  If you use your card to book select Disney vacation packages, pay zero interest for 6 months. I’m not crazy about this perk because I think it’s so important to pay off your credit card balance each month, but I recognize that it could be useful in some situations.
So what’s the bottom line?  If you are a very Disney family, then one of these cards might be a good fit for you because of the perks.  However, if you don’t visit the parks often or shop too much at the Disney store, that is a different story.  There are many other rewards cards out there with much more lucrative rewards.
For example purposes, let’s say you put $1000/month in spend on the Premier card, and all of it falls into the 2% bonus categories ( gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants).  At the end of the year, you would have spent $12,000 on the card and earned 240 Disney Reward Dollars.
The same $12,000 worth of spend on the Starwood Preferred Guest Card would earn you 12,000 Starpoints.  If you know your way around a Starpoint, you know that they can be worth 5 cents apiece (or more!) when you cash them in using Starwood’s Cash and Points feature.  So for the same amount of spend ($12,000) you could earn $600+ towards a hotel stay at a Starwood Property.
Or, you could use the Chase Freedom Card for your $12,000 worth of spend.  If you spent $500/month on the quarterly category bonuses (which give you 5x points) and $500/month in regular spend (1x point), that would give you a total of 2,500 points/month for your bonus spend on top of your regular 500 points/month for your regular spend.  That’s 3,000 points/month for 12 months, which pencils out to 36,000 points for the year.  Those points are worth $360.
So, what do you think?  Are the benefits of the Disney Card tempting to you, or will you be considering a different card for your wallet?




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