Rachel Berkey, a moderator at the Award Travel 101 Facebook group, inspired me with this tip. One of the benefits touted with the Chase Disney credit card is a free meet and greet at Epcot Center, amongst other ancillary benefits. However, the Chase Disney debit card offers the same benefit, doesn’t waste a credit card application, and can be obtained easily for current Chase bank account customers.
I signed up for a Chase checking account years ago and use it occasionally. Since Chase doesn’t have branches in Massachusetts (yet!), I always assumed product changes and the like would be pretty difficult. Why? Because whenever I tried to do the product change to a Disney debit card online it said “product not available in your area.” I assume that’s due to the no branches in MA thing.
I’m not sure you can even sign up for a Chase checking account online if there is no branch in your area, but somebody please correct me if I’m wrong.
Changing your regular Chase debit card to a Chase Disney debit card
Anyway, if you find yourself in a situation like me and want to change your debit card to a Disney debit card for the free meet and greet, follow these simple steps.
- Call the Disney Visa Debit Card Customer Service line: 1-877-388-5726. I got the number from disneydebit.com.
- Press 2, other options
- Press 3, open new account (even though you already have a Chase account)
- Press 1, personal accounts
- Press 1, new account (again, even though you already have one)
- Tell the representative you want to switch to a Disney debit card
That’s it. A simple five minute phone call and a week later your Disney debit card will show up in the mail.
Disney Debit card benefits
The debit card mostly has the same benefits as the Disney credit card, without the Disney dollars earning. I can basically boil it down to two benefits that matter (1.5, really). But again, changing to the card is free and has no practical effect on your account with Chase aside from gaining these benefits. The benefits are:
- Free character meet and greet (including Photopass photos) at Epcot (Disney World) or Disney’s California Adventure (Disneyland)
- 10% off at various stores and restaurants
There are quite a few random restrictions on the stores and restaurants you get the 10% off at, so make sure you read the fine print. Or don’t, the card is freeeeeeee. My biggest “issue” with the 10% food discount is you have to use the debit card to get it, aka no points. Too much math for me.
The debit card also offers various random discounts at random places, but they’re too niche to consider valuable for all. But definitely valuable for some.
Let’s finish up by talking about the meet and greet. It’s the whole reason why I think the Chase Disney debit card is worth the five minute phone call.
Epcot Center Meet and Greet
The entrance to the free character meet and greet sits right near Journey to Imagination with Figment. Basically walk up towards the jumping fountains and you should see it to your left.
Let me just detail why this meet and greet is great.
- Little to no lines, I had three parties in front of me, which is the most I’ve ever heard of.
- Free Photopass photos, meaning you don’t have to pay for the photos. If you don’t want to pay for Memory Maker but want at least a few photos with some characters, this is a great option.
- The character meet is Mickey and a friend, and you get to take pictures of them together. That’s always fun since most (though not all) meet and greets are just one character at a time.
That’s it! A short line for a cute meet and greet with free photos. You can do this once a day for up to six people, and just need to flash your card when you get in. I don’t even think I had to swipe anything, just show the card, so…
If you already have a Chase checking account, switching to the Chase Disney debit card is fairly easy. If you plan on opening a Chase checking account and ever going to Disney World or Disneyland, consider grabbing the Disney debit card version. You get some nice benefits, your kids get to take a few pictures, and you get to download them for free. Everybody wins!
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