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.

Learn more about Buying and Selling DVC.

Comments

  • Wendy
    October 16, 2019

    After your initial purchase for the DVC, are the only (monthly, yearly) fee’s your maintenance fee based on points? Also, how do you accrue points each year?

    • Nick Cotton
      October 16, 2019

      Yes, annual dues are based on how many points you purchase. Your receive points automatically each year on your “Use Year” date. So, if you buy a 200 point membership with a March Use Year, each March 1st you will receive 200 points into your account.

  • Justin
    June 7, 2019

    I tend to travel to Disney late June into early July. Would June be the perfect use year?

    • Nick Cotton
      June 7, 2019

      Justin, you are correct, June would be most ideal for you.

  • jennider
    June 3, 2019

    Hi, we are DVC members looking to add points at a resort we stay at more often than our current home resort. We currently have February use year and typically vacation in December during the holidays, and rarely around late-November. We never cancel within the 30-day window so would you recommend a December use year for our new points to get us to our 11-month window into November and December bookings?

    • Nick Cotton
      June 3, 2019

      Jennider, for the points you purchase at this new resort you will have the 11 month booking window regardless of the Use Year month. February is not an ideal use year for someone that travels in December because of potential cancellations, but if you want all your points to go under the same Membership, you will need to purchase a contract with a February Use Year. If you purchase another contract and it doesn’t have a February Use Year, DVC will create a 2nd Membership for you. Keep in mind you can use points from different memberships, but you will need to transfer them from Membership to Membership first.

  • Tae Kim
    May 21, 2019

    Hello!, We’re thinking of buying DVC Poiints and we usually travel at July(mainly) and February. When would you suggest is the best Use Year for us? Thanks

    • Nick Cotton
      May 21, 2019

      Tae, I would most recommend February with December as a 2nd choice.

  • Sarah
    March 20, 2019

    Hello! We are looking at purchasing a resale contract. They have 150 pts for 2018 with a use year of August. These points would expire July 31st, 2019 correct? We believe these points are 2017 banked points. Most likely if we put in an offer with the 60-90 closing window, we would have to use those points in about a month, right?

    • Nick Cotton
      March 20, 2019

      Sarah – if the points from Aug. ’18 are banked from Aug. ’17, then yes, they will expire 7/31/19. And you are correct, you may only have a month or two to use them.

  • Crystal
    March 19, 2019

    My husband and I are looking to buy a DVC contract. We are based in the UK and vacation to Disney in September each year. When would you suggest is the best Use Year for us? Thanks

    • Nick Cotton
      March 19, 2019

      Crystal, vacationing each year in September, I would suggest a September Use Year being the best. June and August could be secondary options.

  • Erica
    February 14, 2019

    We booked a vacation in December for November 2019 at our home resort. Our Use Year is June. We used 40 banked points from 2018 and 90 from our upcoming 2019 points. If we change resorts at the 7 month mark and have points come back to us, how exactly does that work? Will those points that come back be able to be banked by January 2020 since they were 2019 points to be used in 2019?

    • Nick Cotton
      February 14, 2019

      Erica – the banked 2018 points will not be able to be banked again, but the 2019 points can still be banked.

  • Maryann
    January 19, 2019

    Hi Nick,

    I have 58 points available in my use year Apr 2018. When do I need to use them by? Thank you

    • Nick Cotton
      January 19, 2019

      Maryann – you have until March 31st of 2019 to use those points, so just a couple of months.

  • Michelle
    January 12, 2019

    Hi. looking to buy dvc. we will primarily be traveling in april but also want the flexibility to travel to the food and wine festival in oct in years down the road. what is a good use year? thx.

    • Nick Cotton
      January 12, 2019

      Michelle – thank you for reaching out. I would suggest an April UY as the most ideal. March or October would be my 2nd tier choices.

  • PJ
    November 8, 2018

    Hi – I’m thinking of buying soon and I want to be able to use points for 12/1/19 – 12/8/19. I am targeting about 100 points, knowing that we usually travel to WDW about every two years in late November or early December. I think this means that I need a December use year (with 100 2018 points) in order to have enough points (about 200) to book in January 2019 (the 11 month window). Is that right? Or could I still make this happen with a different use year?

    • Nick Cotton
      November 8, 2018

      PJ, you do not have to have a December Use Year to make that happen. In fact, if you travel either late November or early December I would target an October Use Year instead of a December Use Year.

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