View Full Version : Considering DVC - what is importance of "use year"?

07-06-2003, 08:49 PM
Does it matter which month my year ends in? If so, why?

07-06-2003, 09:27 PM
Most folks suggest that you get a use year near to the time of year that you typically vacation. That way, if you should have to cancel a vacation, the points can be restored to your account for future use or banking.

This has not been an issue for our family in our three years as members, and I do not expect that it will be in the future.

07-06-2003, 09:33 PM
Use year means absolutely nothing at all except for one instance....if you ever have to cancel a reservation.

If you cancel a reservation the points are returned to your account. In DVC you can bank points to the next year if you're not going to use them. However, there are deadline dates for banking. After certain dates, you can only bank a smaller and smaller percentage of points, and eventually none at all. Banking deadlines are determined by your Use Year month.

Example 1: You have an April Use year. For April your 100% banking deadline is Sep 30th, your 50% deadline is Dec 31st, and your 25% deadline is Jan 31. After Jan 31 you may not bank any points.

An April use year runs Apr 1st through Feb 28th (or 29th) each year. You plan a vacation for Jan 2004. This date is in your 2003 use year (Apr 1, 2003 through Feb 29, 2004). Let's say you make a 180 point reservation for January, 2004, using your 2003 points, and bank the remaining 20 points into the next year, or your 2004 use year.

In October 2003 you find out you can't make the trip. You cancel the reservation. Your 180 points are returned to your 2003 use year. You would like to bank them, but you are in your 50% banking window (Oct 1st through Dec 31), which means the <b>cumulative</b> number of points you can have banked is 50% of your contract, or 100 points (1/2 of 200). You've already got 20 points banked, so may only bank an additional 80 points to complete the 100 point total. This leaves you with 100 points in your current use year which cannot be banked and must be used prior to the end of your use year, which in this case is Feb 29th, 2004. So somewhere between October 2003 (when you cancel) and Feb 2004, you must use those points or lose them.

Example #2: Exact same as above except your use year month is August. Banking windows for an August use year are 100% (Jan 31), 50% (April 30), 25% (May31).

You cancel your January 2004 reservation in October 2003. Your 180 points are returned. You are still in your 100% banking window (Aug 1st through Jan 31) so you bank all 180 points into your 2004 use year.

If you plan to vacation during the same time of year all the time, then a use year month shortly before your vacation dates is best if you ever have to cancel a reservation.

If you don't think you will ever be canceling reservations, then use year month means absolutely nothing except the date you receive your annual allotment of new points.

Final note, if you cancel at 31 days or less, it doesn't matter what use year month you have, these points are treated special and have additional restrictions on them.

Hope this helps

07-06-2003, 10:21 PM
It also can have an effect on your borrowing power. I have a friend with an August use year who likes to vacation in June both at WDW and HH. She sometimes max's out and can't borrow the points she needs for June and has to shift part or all of their vacation to August. Also by borrowing to the max in June, she's taking a big chance in case of a cancellation, those points would have to be used by July 31.

07-07-2003, 10:10 AM
Thnaks! I knew you guys could explain it.

So if we like to vacation in early Dec so we would be safest with use year of August through January in order to bank all of the points for the next year. Am I right?

Also, will my annual dues payable according to use year?

07-07-2003, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by mom2boys
Thnaks! I knew you guys could explain it.

So if we like to vacation in early Dec so we would be safest with use year of August through January in order to bank all of the points for the next year. Am I right?

Also, will my annual dues payable according to use year?

There is no January Use Year- and you wouldn't want one anyway if you will usually travel in December (if you cancelled that December trip- you would have to use the points by Dec. 31 or lose them if they couldn't still be banked). If you have a Dec Use Year and cancelled- you would have the use of the points until Nov. 30 the next year.

Dues are not related to Use Year- they are annual and are due in January each year unles you are using autodebit to pay them on a monthly basis.


Claudia Kellenberger
07-07-2003, 01:18 PM
I also prefer to vacation somewhere within the first 2 weeks of December. If I bought a resale, is it safe to say that I would be looking for a use year of December, then ? Of course, I would never *want* to cancel, but I would also want to play it safe.


Thanks for starting this thread. I think I understand it a bit better now. ( I think, anyway )

07-07-2003, 02:12 PM
For December trips, I would go with August, Sept, Oct or Dec. 100% banking for August is January 31, so you would still have plenty of time.

07-07-2003, 06:27 PM
One other point about use years..it affects when you can use the Maximum points....if you have a December use year - then that is the time of year you can use the absolute most points ever...4 years' worth of points...since that is the time of year when you travel, if you ever wanted to maximize your point usage for one trip, December would be the best use year I call this the Use Year Straddling method (I discovered it so I get to name it)--you use 2 years of points in the one use year and 2 years of points in another use year--an example of how this is done:

Say you are going in 2006- Bank Dec 2004 points into Dec 2005 (these points are good until Nov 30 2006- so you use at least all the 2004 points for booking the days of the trip in NOV 2006 then for the days of your trip on and after Dec 1 2004..you can use 3 years of points for the rest of your trip (Dec 2005 points in either the days of Nov 2006 or bank those points into Dec 2006 and then the Dec 2006 points and borrow the Dec 2007 points into Dec 2006..so even if you only had 150 points you could still have a week in a BWV GV from Nov 26th thru Dec 2nd-- if you needed or wanted to MAX out your points.


07-07-2003, 06:39 PM
My recommendation is to carefully think out when you "may" wish to vacation before committing to vacationing in December.

We purchased when our children were in their late teens and we were doing a July vacation. So, it seemed logical to purchase a June use year back then. Now that our children are grown up and living with their own families, my husband and I find that we like to vacation in May (go figure!). Worst possible time to use points that will expire on June 1st! We purchased insurance to cover our last 15-night trip in May. If we had realized back then that family circumstances would change, we would have gone with a March or April use year. Anyone want to do a permanent switch with us??? (We'll pay the closing fees!!)

07-08-2003, 12:40 PM
You raise a good point Grace. Our boys are still in elementary school so missing a week is doable. However, once middle & high school roll around we will be at the mercy of the school calendar. Our district typically has a week of conferences in Oct & Jan making summer break begin in mid-june with return in late August. As a CPA, I can't vacation from Feb 1 - April 15th. Then by 2013 both boys will be out of school and off to college. Bringing us back to our Dec trips. There certainly is a lot to consider. Thank you all for your input. It is very helpful.

One last thing - can anyone help me convince DH:eek: