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Old 09-05-2008, 08:03 AM   #1
CarolMN
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Understanding Use Year - Updated 2/16/2014

Use year is the month your points are renewed each year. You have one year to use your points before they expire (unless you bank them).

Use year determines your banking deadlines, but it has nothing to do with when you can make a reservation. You can always call 11 months prior to your desired check in day for a reservation at your home resort and 7 months prior to your desired check in day if you want to reserve something at a non-home resort. You do NOT have to wait until your use year begins to make a reservation - actually all of your points are already in your account. You just have to have points available that will be valid for your desired stay.

For example:

Let's say you bought 200 points on February 1, 2014 and you got an October use year.

Your 2014 points are valid for stays between 10/1/2014 and 9/30/2015. Those would be considered your current use year points for any stays that occur during that time period.

If you buy directly from Disney before 10/1/2014 and get an October use year, you will probably also get 2013 use year points with your purchase. (2013 points would be valid to pay for stays between 10/1/2013 and 9/30/2014). You will be allowed to bank the 2013 points even if you are past the banking deadline. This is a courtesy Disney has been providing to those who purchase directly through them.

If you don't plan to take a trip before 9/30/2015, you'll want to bank your 2014 points so that they do not expire. As long as you call before the end of May 2015 (the banking deadline for October use years), you can bank all 200 2014 points. You may not bank at all in June, July August or September if you have an October use year.

Your 2013 use year points are good for stays between 10/1/2013 and 9/30/2014.
Your 2014 use year points are good for stays between 10/1/2014 and 9/30/2015.
Your 2015 use year points are good for stays between 10/1/2015 and 9/30/2016.
Your 2016 use year points are good for stays between 10/1/2016 and 9/30/2017.
etc.

You may bank points one use year forward and you may borrow points from one use year ahead.

For example:

Let's say you want to stay in May of 2015 and your stay will cost 500 points. May, 2015 falls within your 2014 use year. (See the chart above). So for a May 2015 vacation, the current use year is 2014. For that reservation, you may use the current use year points from the 2014 use year, any banked points originally from your 2013 use year and you may borrow points from your 2015 use year.

If you plan to stay at your home resort, you can call to make the reservation for May 2015 in June of 2014, even though your 2014 use year doesn't begin until October 1, 2014. Again, use year has nothing to do with WHEN you can call to make the reservation.

Banking and borrowing are final transactions. If you cancel a reservation made with banked or borrowed points, the points will not be returned to their original use year. So they would expire at the end of the current use year unless they were used before then. You may not bank or borrow the same points more than once.

Let's say you do have to cancel that May, 2015 vacation. You call to cancel it in March, 2015 (which is more than 31 days prior to arrival). To make the reservation, you used 200 current use year points (from 2014 use year), 200 banked points (from 2013) and borrowed 100 points from 2015.

After you cancel, you would have 300 points to use or lose before the end of the current use year for that vacation (which is 9/30/2015) - the 200 that were banked and the 100 that were borrowed. Remember, banked and borrowed points cannot be returned to their original use year.

If you call MS before the end of May, 2015, you could bank all 200 of your 2014 use year points. After banking, those points will be valid for stays between 10/1/2015 and 9/30/2016. They will expire on 9/30/2016 if not used before then - remember, you cannot bank the same points more than once.

If you didn't call to bank your 2014 points until after May 31, 2015 then you could not bank any points at all and all 500 of the returned points would have to be used before 9/30/2015.

If you cancel a reservation 30 days or less prior to arrival, the points go into the holding account. In addition to expiring at the end of the use year, holding points may only be used to make a reservation that will begin no more than 60 days in the future. Since availability is often very limited 60 days or less prior to arrival, it can be very difficult to use holding points. It is not unusual for holding points to expire without being used.

Use year only matters if you have to cancel a vacation that was scheduled to occur late in your use year - during the last three months. That's because banking is not allowed during the last four months of your use year and so you don't have much time to reschedule before the points expire. Many owners never have to cancel a vacation (lucky them, LOL) so they don't worry about use year.


ADVICE: If you travel about the same time of the year on a regular basis, it's best to choose a use year that falls no more than 7 or 8 months prior to that time. Keep in mind that your travel pattern may change over the course of your ownership. What starts out as a "perfect" use year may end up to be not so perfect


Remember, use year has nothing to do with when you may call to make a reservation. All of your points are actually "in your account". You don't have to wait until your use year begins to have access to your points - you just have to match your vacation dates to the use year (find the use year that will be the current use year for that vacation), and then make sure you have enough points in that use year to make the desired reservation.
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Last edited by CarolMN; 02-16-2014 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 09-05-2008, 09:22 AM   #2
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Thank You Carol

I am going to print this out, and put it in my file!
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:12 AM   #3
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Thank You Carol

I am going to print this out, and put it in my file!
Me too. This is great information. Thanks.
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:19 AM   #4
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ok, in the one sentence where you mention 2007 use year points it sounds like i would get 200 free points am i reading this correctly?
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:32 AM   #5
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ok, in the one sentence where you mention 2007 use year points it sounds like i would get 200 free points am i reading this correctly?

Yes, at this moment anyone with a Use Year of either October or December (there is no November Use Year) would still be in their 2007 Use Year. A purchase with either of those Use Years would get the current points with their purchase. Currently, MS has been allowing new purchasers to bank current points even if beyond the usual banking deadline - so those buying an October Use Year would get their 2007 allotment of points and then another allotment on October 1, 2008. December Use Year points would work the same way.

There are no January, May, July or November Use Years.
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:45 AM   #6
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one more question, i was told the AKV currently on sale is not available for bookings before may. does this affect the answer to my last question? also does the fact that, if i understand it correctly, i can buy in with 100 points change anything. sorry for seeming so dense.
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Old 09-05-2008, 02:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by WebmasterDoc View Post
Yes, at this moment anyone with a Use Year of either October or December (there is no November Use Year) would still be in their 2007 Use Year. A purchase with either of those Use Years would get the current points with their purchase. Currently, MS has been allowing new purchasers to bank current points even if beyond the usual banking deadline - so those buying an October Use Year would get their 2007 allotment of points and then another allotment on October 1, 2008. December Use Year points would work the same way.

There are no January, May, July or November Use Years.
We just purchased 180 pts at AKV and recieved 180 SSR Developer and 180 Dec 2008 points. Are you saying we should also be recieving December 2007 points???
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:59 PM   #8
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>>If you see yourselves going in the late spring months, the Summer months and October - December, April would be better. (There is no May use year).

We have been thinking about DVC for some time, mostly so we can visit WDW about every 18 months (in May one year, then December the next, then 3rd year off). If I read this thread correctly, it seems like an April UY is the right choice. Do I have that right? Are there any other months that might be a better or at least comparable choice? If it matters, the 2nd-year December trip is more important to us than the May one. In the May year, we could ultimately be more flexible if required.

We usually have the ability to plan and keep our vacations without disruption, but I can definitely appreciate the desire to avoid losing points unnecessarily due to the banking/holding rules.

Thanks so much! DISboards has been EXTREMELY helpful to me in understanding DVC and the pros and cons!

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Old 07-10-2009, 02:08 PM   #9
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>>If you see yourselves going in the late spring months, the Summer months and October - December, April would be better. (There is no May use year).

We have been thinking about DVC for some time, mostly so we can visit WDW about every 18 months (in May one year, then December the next, then 3rd year off). If I read this thread correctly, it seems like an April UY is the right choice. Do I have that right? Are there any other months that might be a better or at least comparable choice?
yep - april or december would both be good choices.

if you have to cancel your reservation and can do so more than 30 days in advance, either UY should work fine - you would still be within your banking window. if you never have to cancel a reservation, your UY month will never matter.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:24 AM   #10
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We are an example of how your use year prefence may change. When we bought our BCV , we were only able to get limited use years (or so we thought back then-lol)SOOO since we generally traveled during feb break, we took a sept use year. Fast forward a few years, DH change of jobs and we NOW vacation mostly in JULY (NOT a good set up for SEPT use year). So far we have been ok and will continue to keep our fingers crossed. So as others have said , choose your use year wisely, but DO keep in mind your FUTURE vacation patterns MAY change
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:29 PM   #11
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I keep getting confused......can someone please help me?

We plan on vacation 2-3 more years in mid-end August and then I plan to travel oct-dec.....even over the dreaded christmas/new years holiday week.

What would be my best use year?
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:32 PM   #12
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I keep getting confused......can someone please help me?

We plan on vacation 2-3 more years in mid-end August and then I plan to travel oct-dec.....even over the dreaded christmas/new years holiday week.

What would be my best use year?
August would work out well for you. The ideal situation is to have your UY start just prior to your vacations. With Aug, you would have until March 31st to bank points if you ever had to cancel the trip.

If you are buying resale, and want some flexibility (since you can't always find the UY that is ideal), June would also work out well.

Good luck!
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:00 AM   #13
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Question UY the same month as planned vacations?

Thanks so much for the detailed explanation of use year. I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of it now but there is one thing that I have read on different posts that is confusing me. Many people suggest getting a use year in the same month as you plan on taking your vacation. For example, if you vacation in June, then some people suggest a June use year. How does that work?
We normally vacation in October or January. I was thinking June would be the best use year because it would allow us to bank our points if we had to cancel in October or January but I'm wondering if October would be better. Can someone help me out with this? Thanks!
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:28 AM   #14
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Many people suggest getting a use year in the same month as you plan on taking your vacation. For example, if you vacation in June, then some people suggest a June use year. How does that work? We normally vacation in October or January. I was thinking June would be the best use year because it would allow us to bank our points if we had to cancel in October or January but I'm wondering if October would be better. Can someone help me out with this?

october is slightly better if you are traveling in oct and january. put it this way:

if you cancel a january reservation less than a month out, your pts become "holding pts" - they can't be banked and can only be used for reservations within 60 days. if you used any banked or borrowed pts, they also can't be banked.

so with an oct UY, you still have till the end of september to figure out how to use those pts. with a jun UY, you have till the end of may. even if you can't use them yourself it's probably nice to have the option to rent a reservation to the summer schoolkid crowd...

not a big difference. a june UY and oct UY are both fine in most of your situations - if you cancel the jan reservation more than a month out, you can still bank your current pts - correct. an oct UY just gives you a little longer to figure things out if a last minute cancellation messes up your pts.

but if you see a june UY contract for a good price, UY month probably shouldn't be a dealbreaker...that's true.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:02 PM   #15
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Thank you Charles! That was very helpful. So I do have a couple of follow up questions. If we have an Oct. UY and we vacation in Oct, do the points come from the current year? Are the points not withdrawn until the actual vacation? So if we had to cancel for any reason, we wouldn't have to worry about banking points because they had not been deposited yet?
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