Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Should You Add Charging Privileges to Your Key to the World Card?

When you check into your Disney resort, you'll be given the option of having your credit or debit card added to your room key (known as your Key to the World card or KTTW), but should you do it?  Here's what adding your card offers:

  • Convenience.  Your tickets,* money, dining plan credits, and room key are all on one card. 
  • When you pay your server at a sit-down restaurant, he can easily add your tip to the card. If you're on the dining plan and you use your debit card (to pay for the tip and extras like appetizers and items not on the plan) and your room key, there's an extra step and figuring out the tip can be a little more complicated.
  • Ease at check-out. When I buy snacks, I often use a snack credit for a more expensive item and pay out of pocket for the drink. If my debit card is attached to my KTTW card, I only have to make one purchase. If I'm using a debit for my drink and a snack credit for my cupcake (excuse me, I mean fresh veggies) I have to do two transactions.
It seems like a no-brainer, but the problem is that adding your debit or credit card to your KTTW card can make it very difficult to track what you've spent, especially given that it's so easy to just whip that card out--it's not like it's real money, after all!  If you're like most people, you probably keep check your bank account even while you're on vacation, but it's not as easy to access the charges that go on your KTTW card; you'll need to go down to the concierge desk.  This gets even more complicated if more than one person on your reservation has charging privileges.  

Finally, and this is probably my biggest complaint, the bill that Disney gives you when you check out is even more difficult to decipher when you've got dozens of charges added to it. What? I don't even remember buying anything at Goofy's Candy Kitchen!  I couldn't have spent $75 in Tattooine Traders!

Last trip we didn't add the card and it got a bit complicated at times, but at the same time, I loved getting the bill at the end of my trip with only one charge--the room. I also felt like it was a lot easier to keep track of what I spent that day. Sure I could have walked down to concierge each night and gotten a printout or I could have kept every single receipt, but it was so much easier to just check my bank account at the end of the day.  Because of this, and despite the advantages, I probably won't be adding charging privileges on my cards anymore. What about you? What do you think is easier?

Update:  Reader Kim M. has this great tip: Add cash at concierge and then use your card the way you normally would. At the end of your trip, excess money will be refunded. You can add up to $500 per day. Thanks Kim!

*Some park tickets can't be added to your room key. If you purchase separately, ask if Concierge can help you add them.

5 comments:

Savvy Diva said...

Great Post!!! I am a huge Disney Fan myself and, luckily, live only about 30 minutes away from Walt Disney World. I am of the same opinion as you are in that I feel more comfortable checking my bank account at the end of the day, rather than finding dozens of charges on one single bill after a 4 night stay. Although it is a lot easier to have one card for all things Disney, I would recommend keeping your debit card and room card separate! Makes for much less of a headache on your way back home.

Gaylin said...

I don't put charging on the card. I am from Canada and I buy US cash throughout the year when the exchange rate is really good and use all cash while I am there. That way, I come home to NO charges on my credit card at all. Love it.

Also when using a credit card from another country the exchange rate is usually really poor and can add 3-7 percent onto the cost of spending. At least with cash I know exactly what things are costing me.

Bryan Hess said...

I think its easier to attach your CC. You also don't have to to down to the concierge. All you have to do is pick up the phone in your room, call the front desk and they will be more than willing to tell you the charges to your card. We have done this the past 3 times we have gone to WDW.

Anonymous said...

If you add a credit card you would still get a print out of where you spent your money and on what days on your credit card statement. I have personally never added charging privilages but could see where it would be easy.

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