You’ve done it, you’ve made the decision to purchase a DVC contract. First of all, congratulations! Now, it’s time to decide what the best DVC Use Year for you and family will be. DVC Use Years can seem a bit daunting at first, but we’ll break down the advantages and disadvantages of the different Use Years below to help you determine the best DVC Use Year to choose for your DVC contract purchase.
What Are DVC’s Use Years?
Use Year is the term used by Disney Vacation Club for the month in which your DVC points are allotted to you each year. As a DVC owner your annual allotment of points are valid for one full year beginning on your Use Year.
There are a total of 8 Use Years available when you purchase a DVC contract. Each contract comes with a dedicated Use Year that cannot be changed for the life of the contract. The DVC Use Years are February, March, April, June, August, September, October and December.
Which Is The Best Use Year For Me?
This part can become a little tricky because there is no such thing as a best DVC Use Year. Whether a DVC Use Year is the best for you will be based on your specific travel habits. A May Use Year might be perfect for one family, but a September might be best for another. In order to determine the best Use Year for you and your family, you should consider the following:
When Do You Usually Travel?
Some DVC owners feel that the best technique is to purchase a Use Year a few months before your usual travel dates. This allows you plenty of time to book your perfect vacation each year without worrying about booking trips close to the end of your Use Year or missing your banking deadlines.
As an example, if you generally travel each September, you might consider purchasing a April, June or August Use Year to give yourself plenty of time to use or bank your points each year.
However, consider that your travel plans may change over the next 20 or 30 years of ownership. For example, if you have children now and travel primarily over the summer, that may change when they head off to college. Remember, your DVC contract will have the same Use Year for the life of the contract.
For some owners the idea of purchasing a DVC contract based on your current travel habits is a counterintuitive way to choose a DVC contract. Instead, many buyers choose to focus on price, location and number of points to find the contract that best suits their needs.
What If I Travel Multiple Times Per Year?
First of all, lucky you! Secondly, there is likely no best Use Year for you if you travel periodically throughout the year. If, however, you own multiple contracts with different Use Years, DVC pros like DVC Shop CEO Seth Nock and Licensed Real Estate Agent and Broker Bee Thaxton recommend purchasing Use Years that are approximately 4-6 months apart. This technique will allow you to book your vacation using the contract that will offer you the most flexibility for your travel dates.
Banking deadlines are another consideration to make when choosing the best DVC Use Year for you. Banking deadlines are 8 months from your Use Year date (or 4 months before your points expire, whichever calculation is easier for you to make). This can be an important factor when considering when you generally book your vacations to ensure that you have plenty of time to bank your unused points if needed.
DVC Banking Deadlines are:
Annual Banking Deadline
Owning Multiple Use Years
At DVC if you own multiple Use Years you will be provided with a different membership for each Use Year contract. Many owners who own multiple contracts find it very advantageous to own multiple Use Years as it allows them to take advantage of several unique benefits. Owning multiple Use Years allows you to:
- Transfer points from one membership to another as needed. This is a great benefit that essentially allows you to borrow from one contract whenever you see fit. It’s also a great way to extend the life of the points in one contract if they are set to expire soon. Transferred points retain their original Home Resort and Use Year but DVC will allow you to reallocate points for a reservation in order to use the points that are set to expire sooner.
- Buy extra points each year. Every DVC member is allowed to purchase up to 24 extra points per year to complete a reservation. Having more than one membership means that you can purchase 24 extra points per membership.
- Use the best points for your reservation. Owning multiple Use Years means you can choose the points from the contract that offers you the most flexibility for your travel dates, as mentioned above.
When choosing the best DVC Use Year for you be sure to consider the information mentioned above. Also keep in mind that the idea of best Use Year is subjective and can change over time. For an extensive overview of DVC Use Years, watch our DVC Use Year 101 Webinar featuring DVC experts Bee Thaxton and Joe Wolfers.