Confused about how DVC points work? Not sure how best to take advantage of your points? Thinking about purchasing DVC and want to know how it all works? This is the definitive guide to DVC points. Read on to learn everything you need to know to get the most out of your DVC membership.
How do you get points?
Points are “depsited” into your account annually. Every DVC contract has a point amount. It's this amount that gets added to your account annually. The size of your DVC contract determines how many points you'll get. When you get those points is determined by something called your Use Year. Every DVC contract has a Use Year. A Use Year is actually a month. It's the month of the year in which you'll get your new points. For example, if your Use Year is “April,” then each April 1st you'll get your annual point allotment. Points always arrive on the first of your Use Year month.
How do you use points?
You can use your points to book a stay at one of the 16 DVC properties in Walt Disney World Orlando FL, Hilton Head North Carolina, Vero Beach Florida, and Disneyland California. Each night costs a certain number of points. The total cost of your stay is the sum of all the nights of your reservation. The point amount of each night fluctuates based on the resort, room size, room view, and time of year. DVC releases point charts each year which show the points for each night in each room in each resort.
In order to book a stay, the full cost of the room, in points, must be available in your account at the time of check-in. However, you can book a stay before the points are available in your account. For example, if your Use Year is April and you want to use your new points, you can check-in anytime on or after April 1st. However, you can book your reservation even before April 1st.
There are limitations on how far in advance you can book a stay though. This is where your Home Resort comes into play. Each DVC contract also has a Home Resort. The only advantage a home resort provided is early booking to that resort. DVC allows booking a reservation 7 months in advance. However, you can book a reservation at your home resort 11 months in advance, called Home Resort Priority. This allows you a better chance to secure popular room types, or popular dates ahead of DVC members with other home resorts. A rule of thumb with DVC is “buy where you want to stay” to ensure you can book the stays you want.
How do you lose points?
Unfortunately, points do not last forever. As a rule, points are only good for one year. If your Use Year is April, then your new points will be available on April 1st, but your previous year's points will expire on April 1st as well. Fear not! Read on to find out two techniques to combine points from multiple years.
How do I combine years of points?
DVC provides two methods for combining points from multiple years up to 3X your annual allotment. The first method is borrowing. Borrowing allows you to pull future points to be used now. If you want to take a longer trip, stay in a larger room, or visit during a more popular time, it might be necessary to borrow points from your next Use Year into the current Use Year. You can borrow at the time of booking your stay. NOTE: Borrowed points cannot be returned to their original Use Year. If you cancel your trip using borrowed points, the points will remain in their borrowed into Use Year and expire if not used.
The second method is banking. Banking is the inverse of borrowing. Instead of pulling points from the future into your current Use Year. You can push current points into the next Use Year. You do not need to bank all of your points either. Let's say you have 100 points but only take a trip that uses 80 points. You can bank the remaining 20 and have 120 points available for the following year. Note that points must be banked 4 months before they expire. See our banking deadline chart to see when you need to bank your points.
How do you get MORE points?
If you are still short on points after borrowing and banking strategically, you do have a few options. DVC offers one-time use points for purchase. As of this writing, points are $19 each and you can purchase up to 24 points each Use Year. You cannot refund or transfer one-time use ponts, so be sure you know what you need before purchasing.
Another method for getting more points is to purchase an Add-On Contract. An add-on contract is similar to your original contract, but the minimum points required to purchase are lower (as low as 25). Unlike one-time use points, add-on points will be allocated each year. It may be possible to get a different Home Resort for add-on points, but note that in order to use Home Resort Priority (11 month booking window) all points used to book must have that resort as a home resort.
That's it! You now know everything necessary to be a great DVC member and use your points wisely. Have any further questions? Find anything confusing still? Comment below or drop me a line at [email protected].
- Chris M