The Verdict: Whether you’re in it for the love of Mickey, Nemo and the rest of the crew or just fond of bills with images of dead presidents doesn’t really matter. They aren’t mutually exclusive as far as the Disney Premier Credit Card and Disney Rewards Credit Card credit cards are concerned.
With that being said, the Disney Premier Credit Card is the far superior offer, which is why it is the primary focus of this review. But even Premier probably isn’t worthy of an application for anyone but the heaviest Disney spenders. Below, we’ll give you a quick breakdown of how these two magical means of saving money differ before continuing with the full review of the Premier version.
- Credit-Score Requirements: The Disney Premier Credit Card is the harder of the two to get, requiring good credit or better for approval, whereas folks with limited/fair credit can get the Rewards Visa.
- Initial Bonus: The Disney Premier Credit Card offers $200 for spending at least $500 within three months of account opening. The Disney Rewards Credit Card gives you $50 after your first purchase.
- Ongoing Rewards: Premier gives you 2% back on Disney purchases as well as gas, groceries and dining out, plus 1% back on everything else. The Rewards version just gives you 1% back on all purchases.
- Annual Fee: Rewards doesn’t charge one, whereas Premier requires a $49 annual payment.
- $200 Initial Bonus: You’re likely going to charge at least $500 to your credit card over the next three months, considering that that amounts to just $167 per month. So why not earn $200 in the process? Not having any use for a $200 Disney gift card would be one reason, but any Disney fan has that part covered.
- Up To 2% Back On Purchases: Perhaps the most underrated aspect of the Disney Credit Card is the extent to which it rewards you in important everyday spending categories. More specifically, you will earn the “Rewards Dollar” equivalent of 2% cash back not only on Disney purchases but also on purchases made at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants.For the average person — who spends a collective $9,213 in these categories each year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics — this 2% earning rate would yield about $184 in free Disney goodies annually. And when you factor in the 1% on all other purchases — $19,310 per year for the average person — as well as the $49 annual fee, the earnings grow to $328.
- Up To 15% Off Select Disney Purchases: Your Disney Credit Card scores you a 10% discount on “select” purchases of $50 or more (excluding tax and shipping and handling) made at DisneyStore.com and physical Disney Store locations. If you visit Walt Disney World or Disneyland, you can also get 10% off “select” Star Wars merchandise as well as certain recreation and dining options. Plus, you can even score 15% off tours of either park.For those of you who are concerned about what “select” and “certain” mean, here’s a sampling of the types of purchases and expenses that are excluded from the 10% discount:
|Theme park passes||DVDs & Blu-rays||Vinylmation & Playmation items|
|Disney INFINITY||CDs||Jim Shore items|
|Disney electronics||Video games||Lenox items|
|Gift cards/certificates||Books||Olszewski items|
|Disney Dollars||Art & collectibles||Enesco busts & figurines|
|Precious Moments items||Subscription products||Gift wrap/boxes|
|Walt Disney Co. collectible shareholder certificate||Personalization||“Limited Edition” & “Limited Availability” items|
|D23 memberships & merchandise||3-D printed merchandise||Items not in stock or limited in production|
- $49 Annual Fee: The Disney Premier Credit Card’s $49 annual fee isn’t egregious by any means, but it’s not cheap, either, considering that the average credit card charges just $18.3, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report. At the very least, you should factor this cost into your calculations when deciding whether to apply.
- 3% Foreign-Transaction Fee: While the credit-card market increasingly distances itself from foreign-transaction fees — with the average falling by nearly 7% in the past year to 1.5% — the Disney Credit Card has not joined the party. Its 3% foreign fee is therefore reason enough not to use it when traveling abroad or making purchases through internationally based merchants.
- Redemption Restrictions: Rewards credit cards typically give users a number of options when it comes to redeeming their miles, points or cash-back earnings, some of which may provide more value than others. The Disney Credit Card is a bit different, though. You have to redeem for a Disney Rewards Credit Card (minimum 20 Reward Dollars the first time, 10 thereafter) if you have the Rewards Visa, while Premier cardholders also have the option of a statement credit to pay for airfare to any destination (minimum 50 Reward Dollars).Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean redemption will be simple. If you opt for Disney Dollars over an airfare credit, assuming you even have the choice, you can’t just click the button and benefit. Instead, you have to order a Disney Rewards Redemption Card, wait two to three weeks for it to arrive and load your earnings onto it through your online account. Then you can spend your money. Finally, it’s worth noting that Reward Dollars expire 60 billing periods (i.e. five years) after they are earned.
Other Things To Consider
- Limited 0% Financing Offer: Disney merchandise shouldn’t demand financing, except perhaps during the holiday season, but a big family vacation could certainly take a few months to pay down. Perhaps that’s why the Disney Card’s six-month 0% intro deal applies only to Disney vacation packages (and related real estate purchases). If you’re thinking about taking Disney up on this offer, just make sure to use a credit card calculator to ensure that you pay off what you owe by the time regular rates take effect.
- Below-Average Regular APR: The Disney Card’s standard interest rate is 15.99% (V), which is below the 19.3% market average for people with good credit but is still expensive. As a result, you should avoid carrying a balance from month to month when using this card.
- 3% (min $5) Balance-Transfer Fee: The Disney Card’s lack of a 0% introductory balance-transfer APR should be enough to discourage you from using this plastic for such a transaction. But if that’s not enough, the presence of an additional 3% (min $5) surcharge should do the trick.
Compared To The Competition
Mickey Mouse and the rest of the gang aren’t the only game in town as far as entertainment is concerned. And the Disney Credit Card isn’t your only option when it comes to paying for family fun. With that in mind, we compared the Disney Card to some of its most notable alternatives in order to help you make the best possible decision for both your family and your wallet.
Bear in mind that some of these cards express certain account terms — the regular interest rate, for example — in the form of a range, and the particular terms you qualify for will thus depend on your credit standing.
Disney Rewards Credit Card
Toys R Us Credit Card
Hello Kitty Credit Card
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
|Rewards Bonus||$50||15% discount||N/A||N/A|
|Rewards Rate||1% Cash Back||0.25 - 2 points / $1||1 - 2 points / $1||2% Cash Back|
|Purchase Intro APR||0% for 6 months||0% for 6 to 12 months||N/A||N/A|
|Transfer Intro APR||N/A||N/A||0% for 12 months|
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $15)
|0% for 18 months|
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $5)
|Regular APR||15.99% (V)||26.99%||15.99% - 19.99% (V)||13.99% - 23.99% (V)|
|Editors' Rating||3.2 / 5||4.1 / 5||N/A||5.0 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|