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There are two Disney-branded Visa credit cards -- the Disney® Visa® Card and the Disney® Premier Visa® Card, both issued by Chase. The former has no annual fee, but the Premier version comes with a few additional perks. Read our Disney credit card review for a rundown of the benefits of each Disney credit card and whether they are smart options for consumers.
Since they're designed for Disney lovers, the Disney credit cards' benefits center on the Disney theme parks and stores.
Cash back on all purchases, plus bonus for some categories: You'll earn at least 1% in Disney rewards on all purchases, regardless of which card you choose. With the Disney® Premier Visa® Card, you'll earn an additional 1% (for a total of 2%) on purchases at official Disney companies or at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores. A lot of people who love Disney have families, so earning extra cash back on gas, groceries, and restaurant purchases can be especially helpful.
Low annual fees: Unlike the theme parks, the Disney credit cards won't cost you a fortune. The basic Disney® Visa® Card has no annual fee, and the Disney® Premier Visa® Card comes with only a $49 annual fee. The fee on the more expensive Disney card unlocks a higher rewards rate and the ability to use your rewards for airline statement credits, which may be worth it for those who have to fly to the nearest Disney location.
Savings and special events on Disney vacations: Ever want to meet your favorite Disney character? You can get a complimentary "character experience" with a Disney or Star Wars character at a Disney theme park with this card. You'll also get a 10% discount on select dining options and on merchandise purchases over $50 in a Disney park. If you take a Disney cruise, you'll get unspecified "savings," or you can get 10% off a vacation package to Castaway Cay.
Disney vacation financing: You can finance a vacation package at 0% APR for six months if you charge it to your card. However, most financial experts would advise caution here, because it's not a great idea to take on debt for non-essentials. Besides, if you save up to pay in advance, you'll earn interest on that money.
Savings and special events at Disney stores: Finally, you'll also get 10% off your purchases at any Disney store. This discount extends to purchases made in Disney's online store. Keep in mind that you must use your Disney credit card to pay for your purchase to get the store discount. Plus, as a Disney cardmember, you'll enjoy access to special in-store events not open to the public.
The same thing that makes the Disney credit cards ideal for Disney fans -- their focus on Disney-related benefits -- also contributes to the cards' downsides, in that the cards are closer to store credit cards than regular rewards cards.
Limited use of rewards: The cash back you earn from purchases are called Disney Rewards Dollars, and can only be used for one thing: more Disney purchases from official Disney businesses (although you may be able to use your rewards at movie theaters -- to watch Disney movies on the big screen). The only other exception is that the Disney® Premier Visa® Card allows you to redeem rewards for a statement credit towards airline tickets -- if you buy your tickets with your Disney credit card.
Super-clunky rewards redemption process: You have to order a physical Disney Rewards Redemption Card, which acts as a sort of debit card for your rewards. You're responsible for loading the Redemption Card with your rewards, which you can only do if you have a minimum of 10 Disney Rewards Dollars saved up from your purchases (it's 20 for your first transfer, however). In other words, you can't just get a simple, automatic statement credit, which is what the best rewards credit cards do. Each Disney Rewards Dollar can be redeemed for $1.
Sign-up bonus: If you opt for the Disney® Premier Visa® Card, you get a $200 statement credit if you spend at least $500 within the first three months. The regular Disney® Visa® Card only earns a $50 statement credit, but you get it after you make your first purchase. These may sound good at first, but they're actually much less than sign-up bonuses on similar non-Disney® cards.
Foreign transaction fee: You won't want to use this card at the Paris Disneyland, or any other international Disney properties, for that matter. There's a 3% foreign transaction fee, which easily wipes out the 2% cash back you get from Disney purchases with the higher-end Disney® Premier Visa® Card. Be careful if you go on a Disney cruise out of the country, too.
You'll likely need at least a good credit score (670 or higher, according to FICO) to get the Disney® Premier Visa® Card. The Disney® Visa® Card is probably easier to qualify for if your credit score isn't as high, and is likely available to those with fair credit or better (580 or higher). There's a lot that goes into approval for a credit card, so having this score doesn't mean you'll automatically be approved, and vice versa.
You absolutely love Disney, and will take full advantage of the perks the Disney credit cards offer. Both Disney credit cards offer unique experiences and events that you can't get other ways. Earning cash-back rewards when spending money at Disney anyway is just an added perk.
When considering the Disney credit card options, you need to do a little math. Outside of the sign-up bonus, we calculate you need to spend at least $2,450 every year to offset the annual fee on the fancier Disney® Premier Visa® Card. So, unless you'll definitely earn the cash back to cover the fee -- or you really, really want the airline statement credit option -- you're better off choosing the no-annual-fee version.
However, if you're simply looking for a way to earn cash back to use for Disney vacations, there are much better travel rewards cards and general-purpose rewards cards. These cards earn higher cash-back rates which can propel you towards your Disney vacation even faster, and -- unlike with the Disney credit cards -- your rewards won't be limited to only Disney purchases.
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