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.