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A website about using credit cards to experience Disney wouldn't be complete without a review of the only Disney-branded credit card, the Chase Disney Rewards Visa credit card. Is this card worth a spot in your wallet? Find out!
The Basics About the Chase Disney Visa Cards
First thing's first, there are actually two Chase Disney Visa credit cards, the Disney Rewards Visa card and the Disney Premier Visa card. We have a post comparing the Disney Premier Visa and Disney Rewards Visa. For most purposes, they aren't that different.
Annual Fees for the Chase Disney Visa Cards
Depending on which of the two cards you pick up, your Disney credit card will have an annual fee of either $0 or $49. Whether that $49 is worth it is basically a question of exactly what you'll put on the card, and we discuss it more in our post comparing the two Disney Visa cards. For the purposes of this review, it suffices to say these are both very low annual fees.
Chase Disney Rewards Visa Perks
The perks of the Disney Chase Visa credit card are where it really shines. This is the strong suit of the card, in our opinion. If you're a Disney fanatic, you can save hundreds of dollars using these perks.
Here are some of the major perk to consider when evaluating this card:
- 10% off select dining locations at Disney World and Disneyland
- 10% off select merchandise purchases at Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Store, and DisneyStore.com
- 15% off select tours, like our favorite, Keys to the Kingdom, at Disney World and Disneyland
- 15% off select spa treatments at Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Cruise Line (20%)
- 10% off select Castaway Cay packages on Disney Cruise Line
- Special character experiences at Disney World and Disneyland
- Advance access to select discounts on Disney World vacations
- Special 0% financing on select Disney vacation packages
From discounts on dining and merchandise, the cash savings alone can make this card worth it. And while we don't recommend going into debt to finance a Disney vacation, the 0% financing will save you on interest if you are going to be doing so.
The vacation package discounts are a little trickier. They might seem like a great perk, but you'll be locked into using your Disney Visa card to purchase these packages through Disney. This means no 4th Night Free, no other hotel discounts, and sometimes no ticket discounts. Disney's discounts can usually be beaten using a combination of these methods, so we're actually not sure this perk is worth much at all.
When using the dining and travel discounts, you'll also miss out on the points you could earn putting your vacation on a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining. (But you'll get Disney Rewards Dollars, as we discuss below.)
Disney Rewards Program
The Disney Rewards program is the points program available to holders of the Chase Disney Visa credit cards.
Earning Disney Rewards Dollars
Individuals who use the Chase Disney credit cards for eligible purchases earn Disney Rewards Dollars on their purchases at a rate of 1 or 2 Disney "cents" per dollar spent. Cardholders earn 1% back in Disney Rewards Dollars on most purchases. Disney Premier Visa cardholders earn 2% back at "gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and most Disney locations." Points left in your account expire 5 years after the month they're earned in.
Redeeming Disney Rewards Dollars
You can redeem Disney Rewards Dollars using a Disney Redemption Card, which is a bit like a Disney gift card. Redemption cards have no expiration date, regardless of when you earned the points you put on them. Besides most Disney locations in the United States, redemption cards can be used for certain movie ticket purchases. Premier cardholders can also redeem their Disney dollars towards airfare.
Evaluating the Disney Rewards Program
One of the most common difficulties for Disney travelers is saving for their Disney vacation. Using a Disney credit card makes it a bit easier, as you earn Disney rewards dollars, not cash back or other points, as you spend. Now, let's be clear: Disney rewards dollars are not as flexible as points or cash back!! However, if your goal is to control how you're spending the money you get back from your credit card, you might want your points to be less flexible!
While the Disney Rewards Program can be really good if you really want to save for a Disney vacation and need to avoid spending that money elsewhere, the truth is that the card can be beat easily on the bottom line by some of the no-fee, 2% cash back cards out there.
If your travel needs are more complex (e.g. international travel) or you're trying to visit Walt Disney World for free using points, then you'll be so much better off with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve, Citi Prestige, or American Express Starwood Preferred Guest that there isn't really a discussion to be had.
Disney Chase Visa Credit Card Designs
This isn't something we normally consider in reviewing a card, but the Disney cards do come with some pretty cool designs. It's not the reason we would make the leap to getting the card, but it bears mention.
Important Considerations and Conclusions
The Disney Chase Visa credit card has a spot in our wallets, for what that's worth. We use it almost exclusively for the perks, particularly the 10% dining perk. And that's what we think this card comes down to. We don't use it for everyday purchases, even for the categories that give it 2%. We use it for the perks.
The biggest factor against the card, though, is the Chase 5/24 rule. That rule limits how many new Chase cards you can get in 24 months, which means if you're trying to earn lots of points through sign up bonuses, the Disney Chase Visa is a waste of one of your Chase cards.
Depending on how your overall credit card portfolio is shaping up, particularly whether you need to be concerned about Chase 5/24, the Chase Disney Visa can be a fine addition to your wallet. The discounts from the card are a great way to get value out of it, and at least you'll be earning some points when you put those discounted purchases on it.