Though I tend to prefer cash back credit cards, a really specific rewards card sometimes comes up with an irresistible offer. Disney’s Premier Visa Card from Chase sounds off the bat like something that would only cater to hard-core fans of the Magic Kingdom. After all, it’s not everyone who can pull off paying for purchases with a picture of Mickey as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Even if your DVD library didn’t escape from the Disney Vault and your travel plans don’t include the Magic Kingdom, this targeted rewards program could still save you some major cash.
Like Chase’s Disney Rewards Visa, Disney’s Premier Visa offers one reward dollar for every 100 dollars in everyday purchases. However, Chase and Disney double that reward for transactions at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and most Disney locations. That means you’ll rack up the most rewards if you make this your primary card and you like to visit Disneyland or Walt Disney World about once a year. This card carries a $49 annual fee, but new cardholders earn $100 Disney Gift Card after spending $500 within the first 3 months from account opening, some restrictions apply.
Redeeming your Disney reward dollars
Disney’s Premier Visa is modeled on benefits from Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program. Instead of limiting you to Disney bonuses, you can convert your rewards dollars into statement credits against airfare on any airline, anytime. That extra flexibility puts this card into the same category as Capital One’s VentureOne and American Express’ Blue Sky series. Unlike those cards, you can access your rewards immediately when visiting Disney properties in California or Florida.
To cash in your rewards dollars during your trip, just visit one of the Guest Relations desks at the Disneyland Resort, at Walt Disney World, or at Downtown Disney in Orlando. Along with converting your rewards into gift cards on the spot, Guest Relations cast members can point you in the direction of the free, exclusive character greetings held just for Premier Visa cardholders. If you’ve ever tried to take a kid to a public character greeting, you’ll love saving time in line. You’ll even get a complimentary photo of your kid (or yourself).
Travel rewards beyond the Kingdom
You can even earn and redeem Disney reward dollars away from the parks. Disney’s Cruise Line now drops anchor in ports around the world, not just in Florida and the Caribbean. From a port in Barcelona, the Disney Magic sails the Mediterranean. Other ships in Disney’s fleet sail across the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal, and up the coasts of California and Alaska. You can earn 2 percent back in reward dollars for every dollar you spend on your cruise, while enjoying a zero percent APR for six months on your vacation package.
Chase’s zero percent vacation financing also applies toward memberships in the Disney Vacation Club. Along with it’s locations at Disney Parks, the club includes access to global resorts in Hawaii, China, Australia, and Europe. Disney Vacation Club properties in Vero Beach and Hilton Head appeal to adults traveling with or without their kids. Use your reward dollars to cover the cost of your annual dues, and your everyday purchases can cover even more of your vacation expenses.
Bonus value for true Disney fans
True jetsetters may want to stick with an airline credit card or a travel rewards card with a more traditional rewards structure. However, if you’re the kind of person who likes to splurge on family vacations, the always-available, zero percent financing deal for Disney resorts adds the most value for this account. Should some non-budgeted vacation expenses take you by surprise, the card’s middle-of-the-road APR won’t force you to pinch pennies on future trips.
Updated May 10, 2013 and originally published July 12, 2012. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @flexo on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.