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A card that could save you money at the Happiest Place on Earth sounds like a godsend for any Disney fan.

Chase offers two co-branded credit cards with Disney, both of which earn you Disney Rewards Dollars. These Rewards Dollars can then be used for discounts on a range of Disney-related purchases.

However, while these cards get you some cool cardmember-exclusive perks, the question of whether they’re worth much is somewhat more complex.

Let’s take a look at when the Disney® Visa® Card and the Disney® Premier Visa® Card could be worth it, as well as when they’re not worth it. We’ll also suggest some alternative cards that will make your spending go further and cut the Disney-related costs on your next vacation.

Woman taking a photo of the Disney World castle

What’s the Difference Between the Disney Visa® Card and the Disney® Premier Visa® Card?

The Disney Visa Card is the $0 annual fee Disney Rewards card from Chase.

It comes with a flat earning rate of 1% back in Disney Rewards dollars on all qualifying purchases made with the card. That translates to 1 Disney Rewards Dollar earned for every $100 spent. The card also has a welcome bonus offering statement credits after reaching a minimum spending requirement.

In contrast, the Disney Premier Visa Card from Chase comes with an annual fee of $49 and a higher earning rate on category-specific purchases.

It earns 5% back in Disney Reward Dollars on direct purchases through DisneyPlus.com, Hulu.com or ESPNPlus.com. You’ll earn 2% back on purchases at grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants and the majority of Disney U.S. locations, as well as 1% back on all other qualifying purchases. 

Likewise, the card offers a welcome bonus in the form of statement credits, which is slightly higher than that offered by the Disney Rewards Visa Card.

With the Disney Premier Visa Card, you can also redeem Disney Rewards Dollars on airline purchases to receive statement credits. A minimum of 50 Rewards Dollars must be redeemed for a $50 statement credit on direct bookings with airlines.

Disney Visa Card Designs
Image courtesy disneyrewards.com

Similarities Between the Disney Visa Card and the Disney Premier Visa Card

Both credit cards come with a range of benefits geared toward Disney parks.

You can get 10% off dining at certain locations as well as 10% off select merchandise purchases greater than $50 at the Walt Disney World® and Disneyland® Resorts. You’ll also be eligible for 10% off select purchases with shopDisney.com, in addition to limited-time offers exclusive for card members at Disney parks.

On top of this, you’ll be able to get exclusive photo opportunities with Disney characters at private cardmember locations at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.

Both cards offer special Disney Vacation Package financing. When booking eligible Disney Vacation Packages, you’ll benefit from a 0% promotional APR for six months, with a variable APR thereafter, based on your creditworthiness.

The Disney Visa and the Disney Premier Visa cards also get you discounts on certain purchases aboard the Disney Cruise Line, as well as 10% off a Castaway Cay Getaway Package.

How to Redeem Your Disney Reward Dollars

To redeem your Disney Rewards Dollars, you first need a Disney Rewards Redemption Card, which is separate from the Chase credit card. This is simply a reloadable card that enables you to spend your Rewards Dollars.

You can get this card by going to Guest Relations at any U.S. Disney theme park, calling 1-800-300-8575 or by creating a Disney Rewards account, linking it with your Disney Chase account and requesting a redemption card through it.

Disney Reward Dollars can be transferred to your redemption card once you’ve earned a minimum of 20. After that, you can transfer Rewards Dollars in increments of 10 onto your redemption card.

Disney Rewards Dollars and U.S. dollars have an exchange ratio of 1:1. 

Disney Rewards Dollars kept in your Chase account will expire after five years. However, if you transfer and load these Rewards Dollars onto your Disney Rewards Redemption Card, they’ll never expire.

After loading your redemption card with Rewards Dollars, you’ll be ready to use these for the many discounts and promotional offers available at Disney theme parks.

Is the Disney Visa Card Worth It?

The last thing a Disney vacation is is cheap, so having a card that can ease that financial burden is a no-brainer. But the Disney Visa and Disney Premier Visa card are not necessarily the answer.

The earning rate of 1% on all purchases for the Disney Visa Card means that you’ll have to first spend a minimum of $2,000 to qualify for the minimum 20 Rewards Dollar transfer to the redemption card. Once you’ve earned this, that $2,000 spend will give you only $20 to redeem on the card.

Likewise, Disney Rewards Dollars aren’t a flexible points currency. This may not be surprising, considering the card is designed specifically for Disney vacations. However, given this lack of flexibility as well as the low earning rate, there are other no-annual fee credit cards that would be a much better option for saving money on your next Disney vacation.

For example, the Citi® Double Cash Card earns 1% cash back at the time of purchase and an additional 1% back when the purchase is paid off, which amounts to 2% cash back on purchases, with no earning cap. 

Aside from offering you double the rate you can earn back with the Disney Visa Card, the Citi Double Cash Card earns you Citi ThankYou Points, which have far greater redemption flexibility, from statement credits and cash back to hotel and air travel discounts. All this, with no annual fee.

If you’re nevertheless set on holding a Disney card, the annual fee Disney Premier Visa Card would be the smarter option to go for. The card has slightly higher (though still limited) bonus category earning rates. It also allows you to redeem Disney Rewards Dollars toward air travel.

As long as you can offset the annual fee, the Disney Premier Visa Card is the better choice compared to the Disney Visa Card.

In terms of spending, you’d have to spend a minimum of $4,900 per year to offset the $49 annual fee, assuming a rate of 1% back in Disney Rewards Dollars. Alternatively, if you spent $980 in the 5% earning category (via direct purchases through DisneyPlus.com, Hulu.com or ESPNPlus.com), or $2,450 in the 2% earning category, you’d also offset the annual fee.

You should keep in mind that both Disney cards charge a foreign transaction fee of 3%. So if you’re planning on visiting a Disney park outside of the U.S.—for example, Disneyland Paris—then the Disney Visa or the Premier Visa Card won’t be your best bet.

Daughter hugging mom for buying her a gift online

Likewise, be aware that both Disney cards will add to your 5/24 card count with Chase, limiting the number of other Chase cards you can open.

Considering that Chase has some of the most competitive travel rewards cards on the market, you need to consider if having a Disney card is worth more than other alternatives. Spoiler alert—in most cases, the opportunity cost of missing out on other Chase cards is far higher than that of missing out on a Disney card.

Alternatively, if you’re set on having a Disney card purely for the cardmember perks rather than its category earning rates, then you might want to consider Chase’s third co-branded Disney card—the Disney Visa Debit Card.

While debit cards lack the ability to earn you points, the Disney Visa Debit Card gives you access to similar cardmember perks as the other two credit cards. From exclusive photo opportunities to discounts on select merchandise purchases, you’ll get many of the same perks without having to pay an annual fee.

On top of this, because it’s a debit card, it won’t add to your 5/24 count, allowing you to apply for other Chase cards.

Alternative Credit Cards for Your Disney Vacation

If you’re serious about cutting the costs of your Disney vacation, then you’ll need to look further than Chase’s co-branded Disney cards.

You can save on Disney vacations by snagging yourself one or more of the following credit cards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® are some of the most lucrative travel reward credit cards on the market, especially when it comes to reducing Disney-related travel costs.

Both cards are free of foreign transaction fees, meaning you’re not limited to the United States when planning Disney vacations. Similarly, both offer lucrative welcome bonuses ranging typically between 60,000 and 100,000 points —helping you to offset the annual fee, as well as earn points toward hotel and flight bookings. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

LEARN MORE 

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can save on costs during a Disney vacation via the following earning rates:

  • Up to $50 worth of statement credits each account anniversary year when you purchase hotel stays through Chase Travel
  • 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel, excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 hotel credit
  • 2X on all other travel purchases
  • 3X points on dining, inclusive of eligible takeout and delivery services, as well as dining out

Likewise, you can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards on everyday spending:

  • 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 3X points on select streaming services
  • 1X on all other purchases

This wide range of bonus categories allows you to rack up points toward your Disney vacation via everyday spending.

When the time comes to book your trip, you can take advantage of Chase Ultimate Rewards—one of the most valuable and flexible reward currencies available.

You can get 25% more value when redeeming your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, equaling a value of 1.25 cents per point. Chase Ultimate Rewards can also be transferred to 11 different frequent-flyer programs and three hotel loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio.

This means that you can transfer your points to a range of airlines and hotels to reduce the cash price of your booking, saving you on your Disney vacation.

Likewise, Ultimate Rewards points can be used to pay for tickets at Universal Studios via Chase’s travel portal. 

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

LEARN MORE 

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has a higher annual fee than the Preferred version of the card, coming in at $550 compared to $95. However, it comes packed full of high bonus category earning rates and perks that can easily offset the annual fee if it matches your current spending habits:

  • 10X points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually)
  • 5X points on flights when purchased through Chase Travel (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually)
  • 3X points on travel worldwide (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually)
  • 3X points on dining at restaurants, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out
  • 1X point on all other purchases
  • $300 annual travel statement credit
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership at more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide
  • Up to $100 fee credit for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or Nexus 
  • Access special benefits when staying with The Luxury Hotel & Resort CollectionSM

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you can increase the redemption value of your points by 1.5% when redeeming for travel purchases with Chase Ultimate Rewards, amounting to a value of 1.5 cents per point.

When you combine the $300 annual travel statement credit, $100 Global Entry enrollment fee credit, complimentary Priority Pass Select membership and the lucrative welcome bonus, you can more than offset the annual fee.

Citi Premier® Card

The Citi Premier® Card could save you on hotel costs when booking your next Disney vacation.

When using your Citi Premier Card to pay for hotels, you’ll get an annual $100 discount at the time of booking when you spend $500 or more in one transaction (excluding fees and taxes). Given that the Citi ThankYou Rewards program often has Disney hotels available for booking, this alone is a significant advantage of the card—far more than anything Chase’s co-branded Disney cards have on offer.

The card also earns 3X points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels, enabling you to collect points through everyday spending and redeem them on Disney-related costs.

Similarly, the Citi Premier often has a lucrative welcome bonus, which could easily fund a one- or two-night hotel stay when earned and redeemed. 

With no foreign transaction fees and an annual fee of $95, the Citi Premier Card is a great option for saving you on hotel costs during your Disney stays.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Saving on flight costs can significantly decrease the overall cost of your Disney vacation. With the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, you have the opportunity to do exactly that.

Southwest operates frequent flights to Orlando, Florida (MCO), as well as Los Angeles-Orange County (JWA) and Los Angeles-Long Beach (LGB) airports, all of which are close to Disney parks. This means you’re likely to fly with Southwest on your way to and from the Happiest Place on Earth.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card comes with regular lucrative welcome bonuses, which, if earned, can significantly reduce the cash price of your flight tickets.

Likewise, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card offers the following earning rates and perks:

  • $75 annual travel statement credit
  • Four upgraded boardings per year when available
  • 25% cash back on in-flight purchases
  • 3X points on Southwest purchases, including airfare, in-flight purchases and Southwest gift cards
  • 2X points on internet, cable, phone services and select streaming services
  • 2X points on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases
  • 2X points on local transit and commuting purchases
  • 7,500 bonus points each year after your first anniversary year

With a diverse number of ways to earn points on spending, as well as the opportunity for a maximum of four upgraded boardings per year, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card is an excellent choice for cutting the costs and maximizing the return value of air travel.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Earn 50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

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Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Flights aren’t the only Disney-related cost to consider. The price of hotel stays can really add up, so having a card that saves you on, and rewards you for, hotel stays is key to making the most out of your Disney vacation.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card comes with lucrative welcome offers, such as free night awards at Marriott hotels. Likewise, you’ll be eligible to redeem a free one-night award stay, worth up to 35,000 points (excluding resort fees), every year after your account anniversary.

Situated within walking distance of Hollywood Studios and Epcot, the Walt Disney World Dolphin, the Walt Disney World Swan and the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve are three hotels owned by Marriott. Staying at one of these three resorts as a Marriott cardholder is an easy way to cut costs and earn points in the process.

Similarly, there’s a range of Marriott hotels near both Orlando and Anaheim, California, making the card totally worth it for your next vacation.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card has the following perks and earning rates:

  • 6X points per dollar at Marriott hotels 
  • 3X points on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on gas stations, grocery stores and dining
  • 2X points on other travel purchases
  • 1X point on all other purchases 
  • One elite night credit toward elite status for every $5,000 spent on the card
  • Trip delay reimbursement for delays greater than 12 hours or those requiring an overnight stay, covering unreimbursed expenses, up to $500 per ticket
  • Purchase protection for up to 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account
  • Luggage lost or damaged by the carrier can be reimbursed by up to $3,000 per passenger
  • No foreign transaction fees

For an annual fee of $95, the perks you get in return are well worth it with this card.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points)

After you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening

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Final Verdict

Overall, both the Disney Visa Card and Disney Premier Visa Card offer some exciting perks, such as discounts on merchandise, dining and exclusive cardmember-only photo opportunities with Disney characters.

However, when it comes to earning points that can fund your next Disney vacation, you have far better card options.

Holding and using the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is an easy way to redeem free award nights at hotels situated near both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Combine this with the Southwest Rapids Rewards Priority Card, and you’ll be able to cut the costs of air travel to and from Disney.

Similarly, by holding a card from the Chase Sapphire collection, you’ll be able to use everyday spending to maximize rewards earning rates. You can then transfer these rewards at a 1:1 ratio across a range of airline frequent-flyer and hotel loyalty programs, saving you on transport and accommodation costs. And if you pay for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll redeem points at a value of 1.25 to 1.5 cents per point.

So instead of wasting your precious 5/24 card slot on a Disney Visa credit card, why not swap it for one or more of the cards above and apply for a Disney Visa Debit card instead, giving you equal access to cardmember-exclusive opportunities and discounts without any annual fees or even the need to charge purchases on it.