What is a DVC “Use Year” and Does it Matter?

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What is a “Use Year”?

The most straightfoward way to describe what a “Use Year” is simply the date you will receive your Disney Vacation Points each year. There are 8 different Use Years, and they are February, March, April, June, August, September, October and December. And if you purchase a contract with a March Use Year you will receive your DVC points each March 1st. Your “Use Year” also determines your banking deadline, which is always 8 months from your “Use Year” date. A chart summarizing those different banking deadlines is below.

Use Year Last Day to Bank Points
February September 30
March October 31
April November 30
June January 31
August March 31
September April 30
October May 31
December July 31

 

Does Your “Use Year” Matter?

For Non-Members Looking to Join:
Whether the “Use Year” matters for someone new joining DVC will depend on how they travel. If you are someone that travels at different times throughout the year then it is unlikely one “Use Year” will be better than another. However, if you are someone that consistently travels the same time of year, which “Use Year” you choose could matter. One of the most important things to consider with “Use Year” is DVC’s short term reservation cancellation policy. That policy states that if you cancel a reservation within 30 days of check-in date (excluding the day of check-in as it results in automatic loss of points) then the points will get placed into a “holding account” and cannot be banked and the points can only be used to book a reservation that is no more than 60 days in advance of the date the reservation is made. So for example, if you consistently travel in November, a December “Use Year” would not be an ideal choice, because if you were to cancel a November trip within 30 days of checking in and had a December “Use Year” those points would have to be used by that December 1st. However, an October “Use Year” for someone that consistently travels in November would be ideal because if they cancel that November trip within 30 days of checking in they still have until October 1st of the following year to use those points.

Another thing to consider is banking deadline. Using the consistent November traveler example from before, let’s say they cancelled a trip October 10th for a November 15th trip. The good news is that they are beyond 30 days from check-in date, which means the points will be placed back into their account and not a “holding account”.   However, if they have a December “Use Year” their banking deadline is July 31st (banking deadlines are always 8 months after the “Use Year” date) and even though they avoiding having the points in a “holding account” they will still have to use the points prior to December 1st as their banking deadline has expired. If the consistent November traveler has an October “Use Year” in this example then the banking deadline is not a concern as the deadline to bank with an October “Use Year” is May 31st.

So the big takeaway should be that if you consistently travel the same time of year then get a “Use Year” that is just before that trip date each year and if you are not a consistent time of year traveler it really want make a significant difference which “Use Year” you choose.

For Members Looking to Add-on:
If you are currently a DVC member you have two options when it comes to “Use Year”. Focus on keeping the same “Use Year” to keep the Disney Vacation Club membership simpler to use and potentially lose out on the better deal contract because it’s a different “Use Year” or get the best contract possible even if it’s a different “Use Year” and add more complexity to your Disney Vacation Club membership.

When I refer to having a different “Use Year” as adding complexity, the complexity is that if a member adds on with a different “Use Year” from the one they already have it creates a 2nd membership. To use points from both contracts on the same reservation the points would have to be transferred from one membership to the other membership and then make the reservation. This does create an additional step but is very possible. If the add-on contract is in the same “Use Year” then both contracts can be under the same DVC membership and no transfer of points is needed.

Despite the additional complexity some members even like the different “Use Years” because if they consistently travel in both the Fall and Spring, they may use a September “Use Year” for the Fall trips and a February “Use Year” for the Spring trips. The reason for doing this would be to avoid losing points due to reservation cancellations.

Comments

  • Laura bauer
    March 26, 2017

    Hi we have a 200 point contract through animal kingdom with an October use year. We want to add on grand California for about 55-75 points so that we can bank and borrow points and visit California ever three years. We would be apt to travel in October or December for the next 8-10 years u til our children graduate. Possibly march, but probably not. What use year should we look at for the gcv contracts?

    • Nick Cotton
      March 26, 2017

      Laura, October would work best for 2 reasons. 1) Since you already have an Oct. UY, the GCAL contract could go under the same Membership you already have 2) Since you would travel Oct. to Mar., an October UY would work best in case of a reservation cancellation within 30 days of checking in since you would not be able to bank those points.

  • Karin
    February 10, 2017

    I usually travel in January or February. Im looking at a contract with use year September which has 2016-100 banked, 2017-100, 2018-100. I would be looking at using 200 points in January 2018. Is this possible and would you advise buying this contract? When would my next stay be available?!

    • Nick Cotton
      February 10, 2017

      Karin, Thank you for reaching out. For the January 2018 trip you would have 200 points to use from the 200 points in the Sep. ’17 use year (100 pts. banked from ’16 + 100 points from ’17). Your next would be possible immediately afterwards because you still have another 100 points coming Sep. ’18 you could borrow from if necessary.

  • Kim
    February 6, 2017

    If we travel Summer and Fall say June/July or November. what use year should we choose?

    thanks, KIM

    • Nick Cotton
      February 6, 2017

      Kim, I would suggest a late Spring/ early Summer use year. March, April or June would be your best options (there is no May).

  • Kimberly Navarro
    December 26, 2016

    We are looking at a resale contract with a March use year. If we travel consistently in Oct-Dec timeframe, would that work for us? It would be for GCV, so we would need to be looking at the 11 month window. Would we essentially be borrowing our points each time at the 11 month mark? Thank You

    • Nick Cotton
      December 26, 2016

      Kimberly, thank you for your question. You wouldn’t necessarily be borrowing at the 11 month booking window as the points are accounted for based on when you are staying on them, not when you are booking them. If you typically, travel in Oct.-Dec., a Use Year of June, August, September or October would be most ideal. For more information on picking the right use year, please see the following: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxJ6TqzYaJ0

  • Brian
    December 14, 2016

    Lets assume I buy points with a December use year. Lets say on December 1, 2017, I will be receiving 100 points. If I usually travel December 1st – 8th, can I book a trip for December 1, 2017 for the points that I will be receiving on December 1, 2017? Or do I effectively have to borrow the 2017 points into 2016 in order to make that reservation? And at the end of the day, does it really matter? I am hoping to be a new owner soon, thanks!

    • Nick Cotton
      December 14, 2016

      Brian, Great question! For that Dec. 1, 2017 reservation, you can book it 11 months in advance at your home resort and 7 months in advance at any of the other DVC Resorts. Moreover, if you are using points from Dec. ’17, you will not borrow points to it, as the banking and borrowing of points applies to when you are staying, not when you are booking. I hope this provides some clarity, and we hope to be assisting you with becoming a new Member real soon!

  • Natalie
    April 28, 2016

    So if I always travel in June, my best Use Year is April (since there is no May)?

    How is my 11 month out booking plan at my home resort affected by Use Year? (If I plan book in July every year.)

    • Nick Cotton
      April 28, 2016

      Natalie, thank you for the question. If you always travel in June, I would advise a June or April Use Year as you are correct, there is no May Use Year.

      • Natalie
        April 29, 2016

        Thank you!

        I’ve been reading a lot of complicated Use Year explanations.
        If I had a new 125 point contract with a June Use Year and were to book a vacation this July I’d have 125 current points (distributed June 2016) and could borrow June 2017 points, right? Or do the June 2016 points have to be used before June 2017? I guess I want to know if the points need to be used within the Use Year, do they just have to be booked within the Use Year, and or do you have to bank June 2016 points to use them June 5-10, 2017 (for example) if you have a June Use Year (that ends May 31st)?

        • Nick Cotton
          April 29, 2016

          Natalie, thank you for your question. For the July vacation this year you would use the June ’16 points first, and then if more points are needed you could borrow from June ’17. If your next trip is going to be June ’17 then you could bank the June ’16 points into June ’17 and use those June ’16 points for the June ’17 reservation. Does this help? If you still need further clarification please do not hesitate to also contact us at 1-844-DVC-PROS.

  • Nicolas Wiesjahn
    July 14, 2015

    Once you bank your points for a year, what does that mean, in regards, to their usage from that point?

    • Nick Cotton
      July 14, 2015

      Once you bank points into the next “use” year, they must then be used in that next “use” year or they will expire.

    • Nick Cotton
      July 14, 2015

      Once you bank points into the next “use” year, they must then be used in that next “use” year or they will expire.

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