Card holds for Magic Band purchases?

DBF and I are headed down in 8 days, we got free dining and everything is paid for. We have a small budget (between $800 and $1000) for souvenirs, two OOP TS meals, lyft rides if needed, and any extra drinks/snacks. My question is, which method of payment would be better/smarter?
Option 1: Use the prepaid MasterCard that’s already on my MDE account. This is the card I used to book my ADR’s and is listed on my online checkin page. I would prefer this option, so we can just use our Magic Bands to pay for everything, and it also would be easier to track spending, as I would only use this card for when we’re in Disney (it’s my HR Block card). Cons are, I’m concerned about holds and not being able to access the money that’s on there.
Option 2: Use my regular everyday debit card to just pay for things as we go and not use Magic bands. I don’t want to put my debit card down for the hotel as I don’t want any of my bills back home to be affected by holds.

We also have a few gift cards (about $100 worth) and will have maybe $200 in cash between the 2 of us. Which option would be better in our situation? Neither of us has any credit cards, so they are not an option unfortunately.
Thanks guys! Sorry if I’m rambling and/or confusing!

I’d charge to my Magic Band before I’d ever use a debit card. You’ll have a print out so you know what you spent. You can check you spending on MDE as you go to see your spending. How much is on your pre-paid Master Card? Debit cards are so easily compromised and if someone gets your number they get your cash in your account. My husband works in loss prevention and he said he would never ever use a debit card after knowing what he knows now. We only use debit cards at an ATM to get cash.


I’ll have about $800 on my prepaid card… I’m just worried that the holds will freeze up all the money on it. I’m still not quite understanding the process.

In theory the hold should only ever be $100 more than the amount that you’ve spent (since the card was last charged). In which case you’d be fine.

In practice, it hasn’t worked like that, and people have reported cumulative holds that don’t drop off.

Could you put a CC on file but pay the balance off every couple of days with your pre-paid card? That way, although you do need the available balance on the CC, you don’t actually charge it (unless you forget to pay the balance down).

Neither one of us has a cc, so that’s not an option. I think I’ll stick with the prepaid card, monitor our spending and hope for the best!

Is it possible to charge to a Magic Band - secured with OPs pre-paid card - and then pay the charge with cash at her resort? Perhaps nightly?

It seems every WDW visit Disney has a new policy in place. Years ago I’d deposit a personal check of several thousand with the resort for meals & souvenirs. By 2008 the personal check was only welcome at the end of our stay. Probably not at all now!

Why don’t you just actually use the pre-paid MC itself to pay? Then you don’t have to worry about the holds.

Just a note in case you weren’t familiar with the free dining, but you will still need to tip, either in cash or on your card for any “free” TS meals.

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But if they put a hold on her card, then she’s concerned about having access to the funds on the card.

@melcort10’s suggestion is probably the best option for her.

@melcort10 and @Nickysyme I think you’re both right. I’ll just use my prepaid card to pay as we go. It’s not as convenient as just using our Magic Bands, but I’d rather not worry. And we’re paying OOP for our TS meals, as we only have the QS DP, so I have the price for both breakfasts, tax and tip already calculated so no surprises lol!

Yes - the holds.

I’m trying to remember something about the hold(s) from a previous trip. Probably so long ago that it’s irrelevant now.

How do the holds work now - just fyi. It seems to me I am recalling a CM telling me that they run charges up to an amount and then transfer the charges to the card on file.

But then, that’s not a hold, correct?

A hold on a CC reserves that amount on the card, so it isn’t available for spending but neither is it an actual charge. It’s like collateral, or bail! It is, or used to be common when renting a car, so that the company could recover any damages or fuel costs etc.

The issue with them is that even if Disney release the hold, it’s up to the bank to actually drop them off your CC. And that can take a while.

Added to which, it seems some people have had cumulative holds put on their card.

So you start off with a $100 hold. You spend $200. What should happen is the hold is now upped to $300 until on day 4 Disney run the card. That takes off the actual charges, of $200, leaving a hold of $100 again.

But what is happening is the original hold is still there, plus the new one. Or even worse, the first period of charges plus hold is left by the bank, plus the additional hold.

Although Disney takes the flak, it’s really the bank that is at fault. None of which changes the fact you now cannot spend $400 of your credit limit.

What was or is happening is that the original hold is still there, because although Disney released it, the bank hasn’t. Then Disney put another hold of $100 against the card


Agree it’s the bank not releasing the hold in a timely fashion. 'Nuff said about banks . . .

We are heading to WDW in 3 weeks and intend to pay as we go this time, without using the magic bands at all. I’ll use cash, gift cards, or a credit card. I have ALWAYS enjoyed the convenience of the magic bands charging privileges on previous trips and paid down the bill during our stay with gift cards before checkout, but those days are over for us. I’ve had my credit card hacked on 2 previous trips to WDW, hear way too much complaining these days about the issues associated with credit card holds by Disney, had too many “glitches” (front desk cast member term) as charges went thru to the credit card before checkout, and will definitely leave my debit card at home. Love being inside the bubble, but when it comes to money, unfortunately I have learned the hard way not to trust Disney. To each his own. :slightly_smiling_face: