02 May What does Disney Vacation Club “Use Year” mean?
A DVC “Use Year” is simply the name for the time you’ll receive your points every year. As a Disney Vacation Club member, you’ll have one of 8 use years. They are February, March, April, June, August, September, October, and December. You’ll receive your points on the 1st of the month in your respective Use Year. For example, if you purchase a DVC resale contract with a June Use Year, you’ll receive your points every year on June 1st.
An important aspect to keep in mind is your banking deadline, which is determined by your Use Year. If you are planning to bank your DVC points, you must do so 4 months prior to your Use Year. Using the above example of a June Use Year, you would have until January 31st to bank your points. If you miss this deadline, you would need to use your points prior to June 1st, or you will lose those points.
Here’s a chart with each Use year and the banking deadline dates:
|Use Year||Last Day to Bank Points|
Already a Member and Considering an Add-On Contract?
If you’re a Disney Vacation Club member and want to add-on points, sticking to an add-on contract with the same Use Year will keep things simple for you. It does, however, limit your choices and you may miss out on the best deals possible.
If you’re open to a different use year, it could add some benefits, as well as some complications, and here at DVC Resale Experts, we want you to understand both the positives and the potential negatives, especially since they’re not negatives for everyone.
If you consistently travel each year during two different times of year, two Use Years may benefit you. If you travel both in the Summer and the Winter each year, you may want to have an April Use Year for your Summer Trip and a September Use Year for your Winter trip. The benefit is that if you ever have to cancel a reservation, you’ll avoid the stress of losing points unless you book a quick unexpected reservation to make up the trip.
Adding a 2nd Use Year will actually create a 2nd membership. This means that if you want to use all of your points for one reservation, you’ll have to transfer the points from one membership to the other before the reservation can be made. This can only be done once per year. Having a 2nd membership will also mean remembering your banking deadline on two different dates, which isn’t a huge task with the ease of creating a reminder on your smartphone. If you have the same Use Year for both contracts though, all of your points can be in the same DVC membership and you’ll never need to transfer points.
Looking to Join DVC and Not Yet a Member?
If you’re wanting to join as a new DVC Member , the way you travel will help determine if Use Year makes a difference. Do you travel during different times throughout the year, or do you travel during the same timeframe each year? If you travel differently every year, it isn’t likely that one Use Year will be more beneficial than another. If you travel during the same time each year, Disney Vacation Club’s cancellation policy could impact which Use Year would be more beneficial for you. DVC’s cancellation policy is such that if you are less than 30 days away from your check-in date and cancel your reservation, your points go into a holding account and must be used before your next use year. These points cannot be banked, and they must be used to make a reservation no earlier than 60 days prior to your new check-in date. (Although it has no relevance to Use Year, another important point about cancellations is that if you cancel your reservation on the day of check in, you will lose those points.)
To simplify these DVC policies, let’s say you have a June Use Year. If you frequently travel in May, this may cause some complications for you. If you were to cancel your upcoming May reservation less than 30 days from your check-in date, you would now have to use your points before June 1st of that same year. On the other hand, if you travel in July, it may be ideal, since you could cancel your July reservation less than 30 days from your check-in date, and then have until June 1st of the following year to use those points.
Now, using the same travel scenario as above, let’s say your reservation is May 20th. If you were to cancel this reservation on April 5th, you’re outside of 30 days from your check-in date, so when you cancel this DVC reservation, your points go back into your DVC membership account rather than the holding account. It’s still too late to bank them though, since you’re past your January 31st banking deadline that comes with a June Use Year.
Let’s change the scenario slightly and say you have a December use year which has a July 31st banking deadline. This means you can still bank your points or use them as if there was never a cancelled reservation.
As you can see, your Use Year can make a big difference if you travel around the same time each year. If you do travel around the same time each year, the key point to keep in mind is that you’ll want a Use Year that is just prior to your annual travel time frame.