New credit card hold policy and gift cards?

Does anyone have any insight on how the new credit card hold policy will affect paying down charges with gift cards? Will the hold just stay in effect until the same charge limit (varies per level of resort), and you’ll still be able to go every few days and pay balance with gift cards? Or will they now charge every night and not wait until a certain limit?

Just curious how to best use my gift cards on our next trip. I like charging to MB and paying off at desk, but if they’re going to have to reverse already submitted charges, I may just use the gift cards outright.

Here’s the blog article for reference: https://blog.touringplans.com/2019/01/15/walt-disney-world-resort-hotels-change-credit-card-authorization-policy/

Here is my understanding…which I could be wrong about. First I read on WDW News Today that guest can apply cash and/or gift cards to their balance to avoid them charging the card. 2nd here is my understanding of what an authorization hold is on a credit card…this is where I’m less sure but pretty confident. The merchant (Disney in this example) is basically putting a “pre” charge to you card to prevent you from going over your limit and also from triggering a fraud alert (one large charge vs smaller incremental ones). The hold would prevent you from charging at other places or continuing to charge at Disney IF you go over your limit. So the hold is guaranteeing that when the time comes for you to get officially charged by Disney that your card will accept it and there are no issues at that time. So if you have a very high limit on your card or you are not near the limit…charging throughout the day and then applying your gift card later won’t be an issue. The issues would arise if you are close to your limit and you charge throughout the day and you hit your limit minus $100 since the hold is for $100+ your balance. You wouldn’t be able to charge to your MB anymore. But still your card is not officially charged yet. You just can’t charge anymore until you either pay down your Disney MB balance (gift cards/cash) or you actually pay your credit card down to allow Disney to continue to add holds on your card.

It looks to me like this is only a problem if you gave them the card to put on file for incidentals and never intended to pay your resort charges with that card. If you do not have the room on that card for the resort charges plus any other charges that card gets, you could have a problem.

When a hold is put on funds, it’s not an official charge to your card, but the issuer thinks that a charge up to that amount is coming, so they take that out of your ‘open to buy’… essentially, they drop the amount of credit you have left for purchases. This means that if you bump up against your limit and you have some automatic charges at home (say, a cable bill) that is normally billed to your card, it could be declined, even though you haven’t actually spent that money and planned to pay off your stay another way.

So if you weren’t planning on using that card for your resort charges, maybe pay off the resort at the beginning of your stay. That way, the hold to your account will be smaller. Holds do drop off, usually in a couple of days, but Murphy’s Law is notorious for striking at the worst times.

And yes, you’d be surprised how common placing holds is. When you get gas, they usually put a larger hold on your card than they think you’ll spend just to make sure you can afford to make the purchase.

I’m not worried about nearing credit card limits.

Just wondering which would be more hassle: using the gift card directly in parks/at meals or having to go to desk and have them reverse charges if they already went through on magic band/room charge.

Why would they go through on your Magic Band if you haven’t presented the Magic Band as payment? There’s nothing to reverse on a hold. If you don’t spend the amount of the hold, you’re not charged.

Our last trip I didn’t charge at all to the our room. I found it to be much easier to keep up with than blinding charging on my magic band. We each had our own money on gift cards, and tip money for ADRs was on its own. Each card had a different design so we could tell right away whose was whose. I could easily look online to see how much any of the cards had on it. To me, that was easier than getting a print out at the desk. It also kept us from going over budget. That’s just my take on it.

This isn’t quite right. They will place a $100 hold on your card automatically if you present it at check-in. If you go over the $100, they will automatically place another hold for an additional $100, and so on, unless you reach your credit limit or the credit card company denies the charges. You don’t have to actively request another hold. You only have to pay at checkout (although you can pay at any time).

Always a good idea to call your CC company before a long trip to let then know the dates you will be travelling and where you will be going. This helps prevent your card from being locked out for fraud.

I was debating the 2 options… either 1) pay directly with gift cards, where $100 hold stays until never used or 2) pay with magic band for convenience and then pay down balance at desk with gift cards later.

It’s a debate of saving seconds to minutes in the park by using magic bands but then having to allot time to go to desk to pay down those charges with the gift cards. In the past, I’ve gone to the desk during “nap time.” But I’m leaning towards just using the gift cards directly this time.

Currently, I’m waiting for gift cards to go back on sale at BJs, since there were reports on chat that they would soon (hope it’s true)!

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Yes sorry. I didn’t say that clearly. You aren’t actively doing anything for additional holds. But the I’m talking about your credit limit. I heard the one reason Disney was doing this was to make sure at the end of the trip you don’t go over your credit limit (not the $100 limit)…which would prevent Disney from having the entire charge go through.

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In the end I think your question about the hold confused me. You are really just asking which is “faster” overall a gift card versus a MB and then using a gift card to pay of hte MB. I’d say the gift card personally just cause it’s just another line potentially you’d have to wait in at the desk. The fact you did the #2 in the past. I think trying #1 at least for one day to see makes sense. And if it turns out after the first day that it’s a hassle you can start doing #2 again.

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I have enjoyed the ease of MB charging… including not having to get wallet and card out. With the trade off of going to the desk later. Also not sure I want to carry the big $$$ gift card in the parks.

I’ll probably end up just using the gift cards though, despite my reservations.

We never use the MB for charging onto our card. We pay either in cash or gift cards at the register. Like @SirGreggLadyV, it helps keep our spending in check.

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slightly off topic question: Can you use a disney gift card for tips? I ask because two days ago I went to a local restaurant and we had just enough to cover meal plus tip and our server said she couldn’t take tip from gift card (odd I thought)

We have put a tip on gift card at Disney before.

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Yes, but only within the balance of the current card.

You cannot use a new car to add a tip.

thanks, this then makes it even more appealing to just use magic band then payoff using gift card

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Absolutely. We did it our entire trip last month. When they bring out the slip with the charges, I would write the tip amount down on it and put the GC there instead of charging to my room. They would run that amount on the card and bring me the copies for me to sign. I would have two thing to sign: the one where they charged the dining plan and the one with the tip on the GC. Worked quite well.

I’m not sure if it has been mentioned, but people who use debit cards are going to want to do so with caution. The holds are going to freeze money in the bank account which won’t be available until the hold is lifted (and that’s not an instant process).

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