Using DVC points

Discussion in 'DVC Member Services' started by atkinso, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. atkinso

    atkinso Earning My Ears

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    Hi there. I am looking for some advice. I just bought a DVC membership, 280 points at Aulani and closed June 22. When talking to my guide, he told me about one of the great selling points which was the ability to use my points at places other than the DVC properties. I looked at doing some banking of 2011 points (my wife is pregnant so we are not planning trips this year) and specifically was looking at using my banked points and 2012 points for a cruise in December 2012. I just got the 2012 point charts and WOW! They are markedly different than 2011, not only for the specific dates making up each "season" but also the number of points needed for a given category in the same season. The children especially are almost 50% higher in points needed than in 2011. Is this typical? I then checked other Disney properties (not DVC properties) and they were all increased as well, though not as much. At this rate I am worried my 280 points will be useless anywhere but a DVC property in another few years. For those who have been members awhile, please share your experience because I haven't even used a point and I am already disenchanted with the entire thing!
     
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  3. disneynutz

    disneynutz DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    I think that most members will agree that DVC points are best used at DVC resorts. I feel that they are best used at WDW. For stays anywhere else, cash is the way to go. Disney does a great job of selling and many don't even fully realize what the bought until the excitement and pixie dust wears off.

    I think that a lot of people like the idea of going on a magical vacation every year but doing it and thinking about doing it are two different things. I am concerned that many of the Aulani buyers who don't already vacation in Hawaii every year will soon find that the total expense including purchase price, transportation, taxes, dues, and the cost of everything on the island to be more that they realized.

    Seems like the DVC resales and number of owners who are renting reservations have really increased since last year which indicates that owners are having a hard time coming up with the extra cash to support their Disney lifestyle.

    :earsboy: Bill
     
  4. bobbiwoz

    bobbiwoz I'm happy to dance with you!

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    The total point cost at DVC properties has to stay the same across a particular property for the whole year. For a few recent years, there have been adjustments, so that weekend night costs have come down while Sunday to Thursday night stays have increased a bit. So, many members are adjusting to that change, and some were angry because they didn't realize just how much play there was in the charts that they bought into.

    However, there are no guarantees about other point costs, and so, yes, at a time in the future you could find yourself priced out of some of the things that you want to do with your points.

    Some members here then rent their points and use the money to pay for the experiences they want. That seems to happen quite often. It's not how you probably thought you would be using your points to go other places, but it does work for many people.

    I don't rent my points, but have used points for cruises when the value was there for me.

    I hope you do enjoy your DVC ownership, it seems as if you're disappointed already, and that's sad.

    Bobbi
     
  5. CMOORE185

    CMOORE185 HH 240 Points, SSR 260 Points

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    There are times when points for a cruise are reasonable, but not many times. Look at what it would cost in cash vs points and if you are getting a 8 to 10 dollar per point value it is worth it. I have used my points outside of DVC resorts about 4 times in 11 years, twice for a cruise and twice for concierge collection. The problem with the concierge collection is they keep dropping the places we like. Unfortunately although they sell on the fact you can use outside of DVC, it is rarely a good value. That is why I hope they keep expanding DVC hotels offsite. HHI, VB, and Hawaii are awesome options. I have been to HHI and VB multiple times.
     
  6. vicki_c

    vicki_c DIS Veteran

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    Using your points outside the DVC resorts is something best done rarely.

    Because DVC re-negotiates the cost (or points) for those locations / options every year, they can fluctuate a lot. There is no limit on the points for those places like there is at the DVC resorts (where the total # of points for the whole resort are fixed).

    You can always rent your points to someone and use the cash to pay for your non-DVC trip.
     
  7. Lynne M

    Lynne M Moderator Moderator

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    I would say that if you bought with the intention to use your points for things other than stays at DVC resorts on a regular basis, you might want to rescind your purchase. I'm sorry, I know it's a disappointment.

    Since you mentioned DCL, I'll use the cruise line as an example, but this really applies to any of the non-DVC options. The non-DVC exchange options are all with external companies - they're not part of the DVC system. DVC doesn't have a lot of control over the cost or availability of these options. Each year, they negotiate with DCL to determine what compensation DCL gets when you book a cruise with DVC points, so, yes, the point costs for the cruise can and do change. Unlike the DVC resorts, there is NO restriction on how much the point costs for the non-DVC options can go up. It's quite possible, even likely, that in a few years, you would no longer have enough points to cruise.

    Availability can also be an issue with the non-DVC options. DCL can sharply limit how many cabins are available for booking with DVC points. In fact, I think it was last year, they simply decided to stop accepting reservations booked with DVC points for several months. Heck, they can decide that they no longer want to participate in DVC at all.
     
  8. CarolAnnC

    CarolAnnC <font color=blue>Caught Smuggling Jello Shot Syrin

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    To add to what others have said here - DVC bookings on points for cruises have been closed until the end of 2012 for many months now. Availability is something that has been very limited the past year or so to Members.

    That being said, the renting idea is fine, but with 280 points, it will not stretch far to support frequent cruising. Your points will suffice for use at WDW, but if you intend to cruise often (a family with children), you will probably not be able to do it with that amount.

    As others stated, DVC is best used at the DVC Resorts...but there is always "addonitis" lol. Good luck in your decision and Welcome to the DIS! :)
     
  9. gonzalj1

    gonzalj1 DIS Veteran

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    Point requirements for anything other than DVC resorts can an do change - yearly. Usually these changes are not for the better in that the point costs usually go up. This includes DCL, non-DVC resorts and anything not DVC. For that reason, it is hard to justify purchasing DVC with the intent of using those options frequently. You simply never now what that trip will cost, points wise, in 5 years.

    DVC point requirements can also change. Although this is less frequent and the adjustments so far have been minor. The major change was a rationalization of weekend vs weeknight points. It seems DVC saw they had lower than expected occupancy rates on the weekends so they lowered those costs a little and had to make it up with higher weekenight points. This had a major effect on some who bought points to stay mainly weeknights.

    Bottom line... every point requirement can and has changed. DVC resorts seem to be the most stable but even that can change as they try to keep steady occupancy rates.
     
  10. Lynne M

    Lynne M Moderator Moderator

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    The big difference, though, is that there's a major restriction on how much point costs at DVC resorts can change, and no restrictions at all on how much the non-DVC options' point costs can change.

    Under the contract, the total number of points at each DVC resort is fixed. If DVC raises, say, the number of points required to stay in a studio at OKW on Fridays-Saturdays in a particular season, the cost for some other villa size, or days of the week, or season must go down by a corresponding amount, so the total does not change.

    For the cruise line, or any other non-DVC option, they can raise the points by any amount they'd like.
     
  11. chalee94

    chalee94 <font color=green>I thought all sand was ground up

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    just to clarify here, the point requirements for the each DVC resort for the whole year cannot change. any increases in one area have to be offset by decreases elsewhere.

    OTOH, point requirements to trade out for cruises and disney hotels can go up with no restrictions.
     
  12. disneynutz

    disneynutz DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    I see the non-DVC offerings as a sales tool and nothing more. Sure many members use their points to book non-DVC locations but Disney doesn't go out of their way to make it easy or cost effective. Adding a $95 fee and restricting members on DCL bookings is a good example. It's almost as if they don't want you to book outside, while at the same time using that ability as a sales promotion. :sad2:

    :earsboy: Bill
     
  13. ssawka

    ssawka DIS Veteran

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    So let me get this straight. DVD tried to encourage people to buy direct by removing the ability to trade out resale points. Then, they raised the number of points required to trade out to the point where trading is no longer desireable, and there by devaluing the trade benefit. That makes perfect sense! :confused:
     
  14. disneynutz

    disneynutz DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    I would guess that less than 5% of buyers research before buying and most buy based on emotion and will stand by their decision to buy even when things don't work out. They except the ambiguity because it's Disney. The reason for the removing the trade out benefit is so DVD can tell prospects during the sales presentation that only direct buyers get this special privilege. Just like using the words membership, club, and welcome home, makes you feel special. DVD is known for setting the stage, but after the performance is over, that's another matter. Disney wants you to stay on Disney property and spend additional money with Disney, not somewhere else.

    :earsboy: Bill
     
  15. chalee94

    chalee94 <font color=green>I thought all sand was ground up

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    over the last 3-4 years (since they added the $95 fee), trading out has almost never been a great value financially. it's not really a new thing...
     
  16. Deb & Bill

    Deb & Bill DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention

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    Like someone else said on another thread, they just gave everyone the best reason in the world to buy resale.

    OP, talk to your guide and see if it is too late to cancel your purchase. Don't buy DVC for anything but DVC. And I fear the guides are trying to sell more and more outside of DVC with their sales pitches now.
     
  17. atkinso

    atkinso Earning My Ears

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    Thanks everyone for all the advice. I will say that I did a fair amount of research before putting the money down and spoke with my sales representative multiple times. The ability to use the DVC points elsewhere was a MAJOR selling point made over and over. Interestingly, my sales representative is no longer in that position and I have a new person to talk to now. Easy to deny what was used to sell the points to me that way! I bought in mostly because I have 4 kids with another on the way and figured at least 20 more years of at least one Disney trip each year. The money made sense and probably still does if I can get myself to accept that I won't really ever get to use the points anywhere but DVC. I did see some inklings before buying on this same website regarding the erosion of benefits and maybe that should have raised some suspicion, but so many of you seemed pretty darn happy. I have a call out to my new representative to ask him my options, but haven't heard back yet. If I stay, hope to be a welcome member here for some time. Thanks again and will update when I hear. Best to all.
     
  18. disneynutz

    disneynutz DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Having a DVC lease (I call it a lease because you have to give it back), has it's pluses and minuses. On one hand if you vacation at WDW every year already at a deluxe resort then DVC will save you money.

    On the other hand, if you don't usually take a deluxe vacation, you will have to come up with a the money for a yearly vacation to the same place every year. Many buyers don't take into account the increasing cost of transportation, dues, admission tickets, food, and other things Disney.

    I know that our family didn't think that it would be this expensive. Our expenses for 3 adults runs around $3000 per year with a 3% increase each year. That's in addition to our purchase costs who's value has decreased by 30%. :scared1:

    :earsboy: Bill
     
  19. ssawka

    ssawka DIS Veteran

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    I think it's a chicken and egg scenario. Does vacationing in deluxe resorts make DVC a money saving option, or does buying DVC allow you to vacation in deluxe resorts. For us, it was the later.
     
  20. Dean

    Dean DIS Veteran<br><a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis

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    The points requirements have ALWAYS been too high to be reasonable for non DVC options, they are simply even worse now. There have been an occasional special situation that worked but in general, it's never been a good value to use points for cash type exchanges. This is nothing new.

    If your main source of research and faith was retail, you put yourself in a bad position.
     
  21. gonzalj1

    gonzalj1 DIS Veteran

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    I see that as semantics more than anything. Tell the couple who bought enough points for 6 nights mid-August that the points are fixed for the resort after their point requirement went up and now they can't go 6 nights in August every year. The simple fact is that the points required for a specific week and accommodation can and have changed.
     

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