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What Is the Best Credit Card for Your Walt Disney World Vacation?

Let’s be honest. A trip to Walt Disney World is expensive, and there’s no reason to believe it will get much cheaper anytime soon.

However, using rewards credit cards to fund (and then quickly pay off) your Disney World vacation can be a great way to lower your overall cost of visiting the parks, and can also provide some valuable benefits. But despite what you might think, the Disney cobranded credit cards aren’t ideal in all situations.

The Disney credit cards

There are two Disney cobranded credit cards issued by Chase — the Disney® Visa® Card and the Disney® Premier Visa® Card. Both cards have some of the best welcome bonus offers on our radar.

  • The Disney® Visa® Card has no annual fee and earns 1% back in Disney Rewards Dollars on purchases. It also comes with 10% savings on many dining options and merchandise purchases in the parks, as well as at shopDisney.com. You’ll also get the ability to finance Disney vacation packages with a 0% intro APR for six months.
  • The Disney® Premier Visa® Card has a $49 annual fee, but earns a 5% rewards rate on purchases made at DisneyPlus.com. Hulu.com, and ESPNPlus.com, and a 2% rewards rate at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and in-person at most Disney locations (including spending at Walt Disney World).

In full disclosure, I have the Disney® Premier Visa® Card in my wallet as I write this. My wife and I charge our Disney streaming services on the card and use it for our grocery purchases as well as all spending at Disney World when we go.

Having said that, there are some drawbacks. If you go to Disney World, you probably won’t mind that the reward currency is Disney Rewards Dollars, but the redemption process is extremely clunky. Before we could redeem our rewards, we had to order a redemption card (which works like a debit card), and we have to manually log in and load our rewards to the card every time we want to use them.

Best credit cards for non-park spending

While Disney credit cards can be a good fit for many people, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s more to a Disney World trip than your park tickets and in-park spending. And there could be better credit cards for those expenses.

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For example, if you fly to Orlando for your trip, you may be better off charging your airfare and certain other expenses on a travel credit card. One of my favorite examples (and another card that is in my wallet) is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, which earns a flat rewards rate of 2% on purchases and has some excellent travel-specific benefits. It has a $95 annual fee, but also offers a statement credit that covers the cost of a Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® membership. Plus, you get up to two visits per year to Capital One airport lounges or more than 100 others in its partner network.

There are other cases where non-Disney credit cards can make more sense for other purchases. As an example, some of our top gas and groceries credit cards offer rewards rates of 3% to 6% on gas and groceries spending, compared with just 2% with the higher-end Disney card.

Get the most value out of your Disney spending

The bottom line is that while the Disney credit cards, especially the Disney® Premier Visa® Card, can be a great way to earn rewards and enjoy discounts on your Walt Disney World vacation, they aren’t likely to provide maximum rewards for all of the expenses you incur on your trip. A Walt Disney trip is expensive no matter how you prepare for it, but a solid combination of rewards credit cards can help you get the most value for your spending.

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