Incidental Benefits for New DVC Resale Members: How Much Do They Matter?
Whether you purchase your DVC contract directly through Disney or you purchase a resale contract, certain core elements of DVC membership remain the same, such as the ability to use your points to book stays at your home resort. However, in recent years, Disney Vacation Club has placed resale restrictions on incidental benefits for new DVC resale members. These benefits include perks like discounts, events, access to lounges, or the ability to use certain point exchanges.
Currently, you need to own a minimum of 150 points purchased directly from Disney to qualify for these incidental benefits, which are referred to as Membership Extras. When Disney began requiring members to have a minimum number of points purchased directly through them to qualify for Membership Extras, the minimum was only 25 direct points. Since then, the minimum has risen to 75 direct points, then to 100, and now to 150. This minimum is subject to change and has increased about every couple of years.
What Are the Current Resale Restrictions?
Those who became DVC resale members after January 19, 2019 now have specific restrictions on how and where they can use their Disney Vacation Club points.
DVC Resale members who purchase points at Disney’s Riviera Resort can only use them at their home resort (Riviera). New resale members that purchase at any resort EXCEPT for Disney’s Riviera Resort are also restricted from using their points at any new DVC properties built in the future.
The restrictions that went into effect on March 21, 2011 prevent resale members from using their points to book Disney hotels (outside of the DVC resorts), Disney Cruise Line (DCL), and Adventures by Disney. The restrictions that went into effect on April 4, 2016 make resale members ineligible for discounts on shopping and dining, member-exclusive events, and certain special Membership offers.
Do Restrictions on Incidental Benefits Matter?
Given that these are restrictions on incidental benefits, below are some reasons why the impact may be insignificant:
- Incidental benefits can be changed or taken away at any time, regardless of whether the contract is purchased direct or resale. The use of the word “incidental” is significant as incidental is defined as “minor consequence” or “occurring merely by chance,” and history has shown this to be true. For example, complimentary valet parking that was once available to all DVC members has now been removed. Since 2020, annual pass discounts for DVC members have essentially gone away. Also, DVC has enforced cruise blocks in the past not allowing any members to use points on DCL cruises regardless of how the points were purchased with the most recent block in 2012.
- There are better ways to get more value for your points when exchanging them for Disney hotels, Adventures by Disney, and Disney Cruise Line. Resale points can still be exchanged through the World of DVC’s Swap Program! This includes Swap Programs for Disney Cruise Line, Universal Orlando Resort, Orlando Vacation Homes, and more. Not only do you save the $95 exchange fee that Disney would charge, but you can save 50-70% by swapping your points instead of exchanging your points through Disney.
- There are other ways to use your points for Riviera or future DVC resorts. Remember that you can still rent out your points and put the proceeds towards renting a stay at Riviera or one of the future DVC resorts.
- The discounts historically provided with being a DVC member can pale in comparison to the savings when purchasing via resale. For example, say that a family was considering purchasing 200 points at Disney’s Saratoga Springs. Direct from Disney, that would cost about $41,000. The average listing price for a 200-point Saratoga Springs contract at DVC Resale Market is approximately $25,200. This difference is $15,800. At the current member discount of 20% off, a member would have to buy 2,633 t-shirts at $30 per t-shirt to break-even. Some consider the biggest discount to be the annual pass discount. However, DVC members currently do not even have the option to purchase new annual passes, so it is difficult to determine a break-even point.
- Disney Vacation Club should be purchased for the core of what you are buying as that is what is guaranteed. The core of the Membership includes the Disney Vacation Club network of resorts, and that is where the Membership is intended to save you money. Although Interval International is included regardless of how you purchase, it should also not be considered a reason to purchase or not purchase as it could change. For example, only a year ago Disney traded with RCI and not Interval International. These trading companies use different resorts, so when purchasing into DVC a buyer should not have reliance on any particular trading company Disney is using. Further, these trading companies are not owned by Disney.
- There are many other ways to still get discounts. Historically, the Disney Visa credit card as well as the annual pass have offered much of the same discounts DVC members receive. Also, buyers who purchase through the DVC Resale Market are eligible for World of DVC Perks like discounts on the Dream Planner Service and Lost Bros. merchandise and credit towards DVC Rental Store swaps. If having the discounts and being eligible for all member events is important, another option would be to purchase the majority of the points via resale to still receive the savings, and purchase 150 points directly through Disney Vacation Club to have access to Membership Extras.
- Member events can change with frequency, costs, and availability. Member events, much like discounts, may come and go. There is no guarantee on availability and/or costs of future member events. While member events like Moonlight Magic are special, they can often be extremely challenging to get into unless you already happen to have a vacation planned for the event date or you get lucky. As with all incidental benefits, member events should not be considered a deciding factor when joining Disney Vacation Club. Similar to the point above, If eligibility to member events is a concern, a new member can always realize the savings of resale by purchasing the majority of their points on the secondary market and then adding on 150 points directly through Disney afterwards.
- There are other great lounges and fireworks viewing areas that are not subject to restrictions. If you are concerned about missing out on Top of the World Lounge at Bay Lake Tower, there are plenty of lounges to enjoy throughout the DVC resorts, such as Enchanted Rose at the Grand Floridian, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at the Polynesian, and Territory Lounge at Wilderness Lodge just to name a few. Also, Top of the World Lounge isn’t the only place with a great fireworks view. You can still get a very similar vantage point from California Grill at the Contemporary. There are also wonderful fireworks viewing areas at the Polynesian and Grand Floridian that are not restricted.
All in all, it’s important to weigh the options and figure out if the perks are worth the extra money to you.
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I have been researching the possibility of purchasing resale. We currently rent points and have been doing that for our last several trips. I am trying to figure out the best way to configure points to fit our current vacationing frequency. We visit every other year and stay for 7 nights. In March we stayed WLCC we won’t be returning until 2022. How do I make my points work to my advantage, being that obviously no points would be used in 2021.
Emily, thank you for reaching out. What I would recommend, given you are not looking to travel anytime soon is a contract that doesn’t have 2020 points. This way the purchase price will be cheaper, and you will not be paying any 2020 Annual Dues.
We’re new to this and trying to find our way. What does VB. SSR. and UY mean
Shirley, no problem.
VB: Vero Beach
SSR: Saratoga Springs
UY: Use Year
If buying DVC through resale do you still qualify for the discounted annual passes?
Sharon, unfortunately, no. You must own and maintain at least 100 points purchased directly from Disney to qualify for the current discount on annual passes.
I am guessing we would not be eligible for the Moonlight Magic events?
Ed, correct, the “Moonlight Magic events” are considered “Incidental Benefits”.
My wife and I are looking into purchasing 125 points at the riveira directly from Disney later this year. As our family gets bigger and we make more money we’ll undoubtedly need more points. If I was to then buy resale Riviera points would those be added onto my account or does it set up like a second account that you have to start juggling? Thanks for your help!
Dane, if the contract for the resale points are the same use year and is titled the same as your master contract then both contracts can be under the same Membership.
Nick I am considering a DVC purchase and would like to hear more about the pros and cons of buying resale – Can you set me up with a good contact for this? Thanks in advance!
Steve, thank you for reaching out, and we would be happy to assist you. Below is a link to our contact page, anyone of our Team Members would be happy to lay out the pros and cons with you. We are open today from 9am to 9pm EST. Contact Page: https://www.dvcresalemarket.com/contact-us/
Do you loose the ability to use the DVC lounges?
Thank you for all the great information!
Theresa, if you only have resale contracts, with none purchased prior to 4/4/16 you cannot access the Epcot Lounge, however, you can still access the BLT Lounge.
Do you know if the 75 points have to be purchased at once? I know you have to buy a minimum of 25 at a time, could I do 1 purchase of 25, pay it off, do a 2nd and pay it off and then do a 3rd?
Johnny, if you are adding-on you can purchase as few as 25 points at a time, however, you will not receive the incidental benefits until you reach the 75 point mark all purchased direct. And there is no rule they have to be purchased together.
My husband and I just bought 230 points resale, and although we plan to buy the 75 points direct at some point, we cannot do so right now. Although I know we have lost the incidental benefits, will we still qualify for discounts on rack rates to add additional nights onto a DVC point reservation or is that lost as well?
Katie, I’m not aware of any restriction impacting the ability to get a discount off rack rates when offered, however, all incidental benefits are subject to change at anytime and regardless of how you purchase direct or resale.
I’m curious, I originally bought a 220 point VB resale with a Feb. use year 3 years ago. I’m in the process of buying a 200 pt. SSR resale that I was told I could consolidate with my same membership number since it’s the same Feb. UY, so I could manage both with the same DVC login. So here’s my question.
I was thinking about selling my VB contract in favor of a BLT resale, but if I sell it do I lose my incidental membership privileges, such as Free Member nights or do they go by my Membership number date (since it will stay the same for my SSR contract)?
Juan, great question. If you were to sell your VB contract you purchased 3 years ago, you would lose the incidental benefits. The only way to keep the incidental benefits and be able to sell your VB contract, would be to add-on 75 points direct.