Disney Premier Visa Card: The Happiest Card on Earth - NerdWallet
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Disney Premier Visa Card: The Happiest Card on Earth

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The Disney Premier Visa Card is an invaluable tool for Mickey-lovers and parents of Mickey-lovers alike. Frequent Disney guest will find many of the Premier’s features crucial in making the most of their time and money spent traipsing through castles and cavorting with giant rodents. While the Disney Premier is by no means the most advantageous credit card for general travel, little mermaids and lion kings should look no further.

Rewards program

We’ll start with the basic rewards structure before diving into the more delectable details. Signing up gets you a bonus delivered as a $100 Disney gift card—not a bad welcoming gift. From there, your rewards accumulate at a 2% rate at gas stations, grocery stores and Disney locations. All other purchases earn 1%.  Points can be redeemed for Disney merchandise, resort stays, dining, park passes and airline tickets.

Most rewards programs return 1 point per $1 spent. The Disney card is a little different. It rewards 1 point per $100 spent, but points (officially called Disney Dream Rewards Dollars) are worth 100x more. It works out to a typical 1-2% rewards rate, but don’t be confused when a park day pass only costs 85 Dream Rewards Dollars.

Additional benefits

The rewards program is fairly basic and certainly worthwhile, but the Disney-specific fringe perks are what really make the card worth your attention. First off, the Premier knocks 10% off the price of Disney Store and DisneyStore.com purchases $50 or more. That same discount applies to merchandise from select locations at Disney World and Disneyland. The card reduces the cost of select guided tours at either park by 20% and saves you 10% at select dining locations at Disneyland.

While the kids might not be able to fully appreciate the financial benefits of the varied discounts, they’ll surely get the full effect of the private character meet-and-greet opportunities. At both parks, Disney has private cardholder locations where you can snap pictures with your favorite Disney characters and take home a complimentary 5 x 7 photo.

One of the most unique features is the Disney Premier’s vacation financing option. A number of Disney vacation packages are eligible for special financing when booked with the Disney credit card. Every time you book a package, you’re granted 6 months of 0% purchase APR, giving you half a year to pay off the expense without accumulating interest.

Is it worth it?

The only drawback of the Disney Premier is the $49 annual fee. Because of the fee, we can only recommend this card to hardcore Disney devotees. The perks are difficult to quantify in a general sense and should be dealt with an individual basis. Before you sign up, do a few estimations to get an idea of whether the benefits will outweigh the cost. Remember to not only consider the return on gas, groceries and general purchases, but the meet-and-greet events and financing advantages as well. Chances are, if you’re a frequent Disney vacationer and buy the occasional merchandise, the Premier will serve you well.

If you like Disney but find their benefits a tad limiting, you may want to consider a more general travel credit card with broader benefits. The Capital One Venture, for example, has a comparable annual fee of $59 and yields a flat 2% back on all purchases. Miles can be redeemed for flights, hotels, car rentals and vacation packages without restrictions or blackout dates. If Disney is on your horizon but won’t necessarily be a recurring destination, the Venture delivers substantial rewards no matter where your road may lead.

  • Scott

    How many points does it take to receive a one day Disney park pass?

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hey Scott! It looks like they changed up the rewards program just a tad since we wrote this post. We’ve updated the article to be more current, and here’s the answer to your question:

      Each “Disney Dream Reward Dollar” is worth $1.00 when redeemed for Disney purchases. For example, a ticket that costs $85 will require 85 points.
      To earn one reward dollar, you must spend $100 in 1% category purchases or $50 in 2% category purchases. You’d have to charge $4,250 in 2% purchases or $8,500 in 1% purchases for 85 points to receive a free $85 ticket. Also, the $100 signing bonus is easily enough for one day pass. Here’s a link to the Disney Visa Premier Redemption info page.
      Hope this helps!

  • Elle

    Do these reward points ever expire?

    • http://twitter.com/andKaimana micah kaimana.

      Hi Elle. According to the website, all points expire the same time as expiration date of the card (approx. 5 years).

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  • http://twitter.com/andKaimana micah kaimana.

    Hi Elle. According to the website, all points expire the same time as expiration date of the card (approx. 5 years).