DVC points are the currency of the Disney Vacation Club. It;’s what you buy, what you exchange for a nights stay, and what you track to make sure you have enough for your vacation plans.
If you’re unsure what the Disney Vacation Club is, start here. Otherwise let’s review all the uses of those points and how everything actually works.
If you’re planning a trip to Disney this year, you may be looking at the best ways to save time and money on your trip. And if you’re a Disney Vacation Club member, or are interested in becoming one, you might wonder what your options are for optimizing your DVC points and having the best stay you possibly can.
Depending on the amount of vacation time you have and the number of people you’re travelling with, you may need more points some years than others, or generally need more points than you have. Luckily, Disney has many concessions in place to allow you to make your DVC vacation as flexible as possible.
There are five things you can do with DVC points:
- Use them within the year they become available
- Bank them (To use them in the next year)
- Borrow them (Borrow against the next year and use them this year)
- Buy them (either a resale or direct contract or one-time-use DVC Points
- Transfer them (between your own DVC accounts or with friends and family)
These flexible options easily solve many issues you may come across if you could only redeem your DVC points in the use year.
Perhaps, some years, you can’t take a vacation at all, and other years you want to take much longer trips than usual. Maybe you have friends or family members who also have DVC memberships and want to combine your points so everyone can stay together. Or possibly, you have a DVC membership with some points but want to purchase more.
If you buy multiple DVC memberships, the ability to transfer points allows you to combine them and use your points on one stay, instead of having to book multiple, and possibly having to leave some points unused.
Disney’s rules help ensure that you can work around hectic lives and changing plans, and still have a wonderful vacation with your family.
How do you usually use them?
Normally, you have a Use Year, or a month and year that your points are deposited into your account, so you make a reservation with the number of points you have available between then and a year after (when the points expire).
The contract you purchase determines what Use Year you have, but it can be February, March, April, June, August, September, October or December. For instance, if you receive your points in February 2020, you have until February 2021 to take a trip using them.
However, you may not need all or any of the points you have or you may want more, so that’s where banking, borrowing, transferring and buying come in.
How do you bank DVC Points?
Banking DVC points is like banking money. You’re putting your current DVC points away to use next year. That simple.
Be aware that you can’t bank points forever. You’re being given a one year grace period to use them.
This means that if I banked 20 points from the Use Year ending in February 2020 to the Use Year ending in February 2021, I would have to complete my trip with the 20 banked points by February 2021.
You do need to plan ahead though. You can bank them until you reach the four month mark before the Use Year ends. So, for a Use Year ending February 2021, I would need to bank my points by October 2021. You can’t bank points if you’re not on top of your payments, so make sure your monthly dues (and any loan payments you have) are paid before planning to bank DVC points. You’ll want to log into your Vacation Points Overview to start the process.
How can you borrow DVC Points?
If you’re short points for the current Use Year and want to borrow against next year, you can easily do that when making your reservation. You can only borrow the exact number needed to finish the reservation.
Beware that if you cancel the reservation, you still have to use those points in the year you borrowed them into. You can’t return them to the original year they were from. For example, say you were to use 100 points from 2020 and borrow 40 points from 2021 to use in 2020. If you had to cancel your 2020 trip, you’ll need to plan another trip in 2020 or you’ll lose not only the 100 points from 2020, but the 40 from 2021 as well.
You can’t bank or transfer borrowed points either. As with banking points, you’ll need to be up to date on your dues and loan payments in order to borrow.
How do you Transfer Points?
There are several considerations you’ll need to look at before transfering your DVC points. The biggest one is that you can either transfer or receive DVC points once per year. This means that you can’t transfer half your points to one friend and the other half to another, and you can’t receive transfers from 3 or 4 different accounts within the same year (if you and a huge group of friends or family were planning a trip), so you will need to plan carefully.
Also, once you transfer your points, there’s no way to reverse the transaction, so don’t transfer them until you’re completely sure.
Additionally, you cannot transfer banked or borrowed DVC points and transferred points will still expire based on the original owner’s points, so you can’t buy time by transferring them to your account. Be aware that it’s against DVC rules to get money for transferring points.
What if you need more DVC Points, but Transferring, Borrowing or Banking won’t help you?
If you’re looking at DVC points for sale, you could buy another DVC contract but that may be a bigger investment than you’re looking for.
Insert renting DVC points, this process is not only for non-DVC members and is equivalent to transferring points except it might be from strangers. If you need more points and don’t know anyone to get them from, start with David’s Vacation Club Rentals.
Alternatively, buy one-time-use points for $19 per point. You can’t get a refund on your purchase, so make sure that you need them within your use year before purchasing. You will not be able to bank them. In order to buy one-time-use DVC Points, contact Members Services at 800-800-9800 or 407-566-3800.
As you can see, there are many opportunities to make your trip to Disney as flexible as possible. You’re not limited to one DVC membership contract or the number of points you receive each year, so if you’re set on using your DVC membership to have a great Disney vacation, you have unlimited ways to plan the perfect trip. If you aren’t ready to buy points of your own, you can always look into DVC Rentals to save money on your trip.