Saving Money with a Disney Visa Card: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Taking a Disney vacation is not like visiting your local Wal-mart. Events, meals and merchandise do not just suddenly appear on sale, figures magically rolled back and accompanied by big yellow smiley face balloons. Knowing how expensive trips are these days, how can you save money and still enjoy the maximum amount of fun on a Disney vacation?

One money-saving tip we recommend is using a Disney Visa card. 

I should start out by saying that I am receiving no perks by talking about how much we like our Disney Visa. I wish I was. I am also not a financial advisor, an accountant, or really even very qualified to balance a check book. I am cheap, and I love to save money, and that gives me some street cred when talking about getting perks and savings from credit cards. My husband and I have been Disney Visa card members since 2010, so I feel like I would know if there was a catch by now.

How and why should you get one?

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How do you get one?

You can apply for a card on Disney property in kiosks. Or you can simply Use this link to go to Disneyrewards.com and then decide which Disney Visa Card will work best for you. As of May 2017, there are currently two types to choose from:

What’s the differences between the two cards?

There are more perks that the cards share in common, but here are the main differences:

Notice you can get an extra 1% in reward dollars on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and most Disney locations for a total of 2% in these categories. You’ll want to read the fine print on those rewards, but thats’a a big perk for us. 

There’s a payment difference in the annual fee for both cards.

You get more perks if you choose the card with the $49 annual fee.

We use this card, because we feel like the extras are more than worth cost of the fee. Because we paid off our card balance each month and did not pay any finance charges, applying for the Premium card was like receiving a free $200. You could subtract the $49 annual fee from that $200, or just assume the $49 fee was paid off through savings from discount perks later on. That money is all coming from or being added to the same place, so it’s all in how you want to look at it. 

What perks do you get?

Special Vacation Financing

You can receive special vacation financing on select vacation packages at the following locations:

  • Disney Resort packages
  • all Adventures by Disney packages
  • all Aulani Hawai‘i vacation packages
  • all Disney Cruise Line packages

These Disney Vacation Packages must be booked by you or your travel agent through the Walt Disney Travel Company, Disney Cruise Line or Adventures by Disney Travel Services, Inc. and charged to your Disney Visa Credit Card prior to commencement of your vacation. Other restrictions and exclusions apply. You can read the Pricing & Terms page for pricing details. You receive complete terms and conditions for this financing offer once you become a cardmember.

Save 10% on Merchandise

Receive 10% off select merchandise purchases of $50 or more at select locations, a discount you can use any time during normal theme park hours. You must use your valid Disney Visa Card or Disney Rewards Redemption Card and mention this offer to receive the discount.

This is a big perk for our family. 10% may not sound like all that much in the grand scheme of things, but it’s certainly enough to cover our $49 annual fee, and that 10% adds up quickly if you are traveling with a party of five like we have.

Remember when you are shopping to hold off on purchases until you have $50 worth of merchandise to buy, if possible. This way you receive the discount. 

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Save 10% on Dining

Receive 10% off select dining locations most days, while restrictions may apply. You must use your Disney Visa Card or Disney Rewards Redemption Card at the locations below and mention this offer to receive the discount.

Where can you get this discount? (** indicates there will be restrictions)

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas: Boma, Jiko**, Sanaa

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas: ESPN Sports Club. **Flying Fish Cafe

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: Shutters at Old Port Royale

Disney’s Contemporary Resort: The Wave

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground: Trail’s End Restaurant

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: **Citricos, Grand Floridian Cafe, Narcoossee’s

Disney’s Old Key West Resort: Olivia’s Cafe

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort: Kona Cafe

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort: Boatwright’s Dining Hall

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: The Turf Club Bar and Grill

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: **Artist Point, Whispering Canyon Cafe

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort: Captain’s Grille, Cape May Cafe

Disney’s Hollywood Studios: **The Hollywood Brown Derby, **Hollywood & Vine

Epcot: **Biergarten Restaurant, Coral Reef Restaurant (lunch only), Le Cellier Steakhouse (lunch only)
Rose & Crown Dining Room (lunch only)

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex: ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill

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Save 20% at Joffrey’s

Receive 20% off entire purchase at Joffrey’s coffee/tea kiosks, at Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s, and online at Joffreys.com with code: VISABEANS.

Save 15% on Guided Tours

Receive 15% off the non-discounted price of select guided tours. Just use your valid Disney Visa Card or Disney Rewards Redemption Card and mention this offer to receive the discount.

Magic Kingdom
Disney’s Family Magic Tour
Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour
Disney’s The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour
Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour

Epcot
Gardens of the World (offered seasonally)
The UnDISCOVERed Future World
Epcot Seas Adventures – Dolphins in Depth
Epcot Seas Adventures – Aqua Tours
Epcot Seas Adventures – DiveQuest
Behind the Seeds
World Showcase: DestiNations Discovered

Animal Kingdom 
Backstage Tales

Multiple Theme Parks, Backstage Areas and Resort Hotels:
Ultimate Day of Thrills VIP Tour
Ultimate Day for Young Families VIP Tour
Ultimate Day at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
Backstage Magic
Disney’s Holiday D-Lights Tour (offered seasonally)
Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy (offered seasonally)
Wilderness Back Trail Adventure

You can not receive discounts on the following tours: Premium VIP tours, programs exclusive to groups, group team building programs

Special Ticketed Events and Tours at Walt Disney World

Save 10% on Two Recreation Experiences

Receive 10% off the non-discounted price of two specific recreation experiences. Use your valid Disney Visa Card or Disney Rewards Redemption Card and mention this offer to receive the discount.

     Carriage Rides at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

     Horseback Trail Rides at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

Save 15% at the Spa

Save 15% off the non-discounted price of any salon treatment valued at $45 or greater or any 50-minute or longer spa service most days at the following spas and salons:

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: Senses—A Disney Spa LIC MM30134, Ivy Trellis Salon

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: Senses—A Disney Spa LIC MM31094

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas: Zahanati Massage & Fitness Center LIC MM30234

Disney’s Contemporary Resort: Olympiad Fitness Center LIC MM30235

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort: La Vida Health Club LIC MM30230, Casa de Belleza Salon

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: Sturdy Branches Health Club LIC MM30233

Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts: Ship Shape Massage Salon Fitness LIC MM30232


Disney Character Experiences

Epcot: Reserved just for Cardmembers, stop by this private location at the Disney Visa Photo Spot to meet and pose with some of your favorite Disney Characters, plus you’ll receive downloads of your photos, too! This is offered daily 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.  The new location is in Future World next to Journey Into Imagination With Figment.  Present your Disney Visa Card to enter this exclusive event.

Hollywood Studios: Explore the Galaxy at the Star Wars Character Experience at the Star Wars Launch Bay in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You’ll receive downloads of your photos to mark your visit to the dark side! This is offered daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Present your Disney Visa Credit Card to enter this exclusive location.

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Fine Print

Remember, even though you might have your Disney Visa Card linked to a MagicBand or RF-enabled card, you will still need to present your Disney Visa Card at the Cardmember Character Experience locations and use it for purchases to receive your Cardmember perks throughout your stay.

What Works for Us

One of the main reasons our family likes using the Disney Visa as opposed to other credit cards is that we redeem our 1% to 2% in Disney Reward Dollars for vacations. We don’t fly, so a card that offered better airline miles wouldn’t be a benefit to us. In a year’s time, we can rack up some really good money to use toward food and souvenirs at Disney World. 

When you are ready to travel to a Disney location, you simply transfer your rewards dollars to a Disney Reward Card. These dollars do not expire. 

If you won’t be traveling to a Disney location very often and what you have in your current credit card works for you, then by all means use what works. As an unpaid and uncompensated fan of this Visa card, I’m just passing on why our family prefers this particular credit card above others.

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Many people avoid using credit cards today, often because horror stories of individuals racking up massive debt abound. But in reality, the majority of people who use credit cards never get into debt with them. Responsible and strategic use of credit cards can help you build credit, track cash flow, and earn rewards.

By using a Disney Visa responsibly, you can help pay your way to goodies on your next Disney World vacation.

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you purchasing souvenirs, Visa card in hand…

 

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

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Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

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Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

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Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.