Top 20 DVC Tips from a 20 year member

DVC Doctor

Member since 2001
DVC Gold
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
I have been a DVC member 20 years and here is my Top-20 Tips for Disney Vacation Club.

1. Buy the location you love most - if you plan 7 to 11 months in advance
2. Buy the cheapest option (combination of price and annual dues) - if you plan 7 months or less
3. Do not stress over the use year as your travel plans will change in the future
4. Cheapest does not mean lowest price per point, as the annual dues is usually the largest factor
5. Pay cash – but if you finance, then get the lowest rate, shortest term, and pay it off quickly
6. Pay annual dues on credit card and get reward points
7. Use all your points and do not waste one point
8. It is much better to borrow points than bank them
9. Enjoy DVC membership and have fun and bring family and friends with you
10. Do not charge family or friends for stays with you, let them buy dinners, etc.
11. Forget about comparing DVC to the S&P 500 as it is not an investment
12. If you do consider DVC an investment, then use 3% ROI as a benchmark as this is real estate
13. Rent excess points when you are not using them for $10 over annual dues
14. Control your own destiny and rent your own points and do not use brokers
15. Try to stay at every DVC at least once and book new resorts when they first open
16. All DVC resorts are awesome, and my favorite is the one I am currently staying at
17. Use DVC points to stay at DVC resorts and minimize using them for anything else
18. Be active on DVC social media sites and keep up to date on DVC news
19. The RTU of 50 years ownership is a long time and who knows how long you will be a member
20. Be careful when willing DVC to family as DVC has annual dues requirements
 

Captain Trips

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Great list! Really appreciate the insight as I am in process of buying my first contract. Curious as to #8 why is borrowing better than banking?
 
  • iheartglaciers

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 1, 2014
    Where do you buy Gift cards at 8-10% off?
    Sometimes in the past BJs would have Disney gift cards for 6% off at the same time when the Chase Freedom card had the extra 5% cash back on warehouse or PayPal purchases (and you can pay for BJs purchases with PayPal linked to the Freedom card). That's when I've gotten mine to pay dues and AP upgrades!
     

    DVC Doctor

    Member since 2001
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Mar 19, 2014
    Great list! Really appreciate the insight as I am in process of buying my first contract. Curious as to #8 why is borrowing better than banking?
    This is not a hard recommendation for everyone as if you only have 50 points, it may not apply, but if you have 2,500 points, then it is very important. Because points ultimately have an expiration date and even a situation like covid proves that sometimes you get caught with your pants down and will lost points. Even without covid, it is better to burn all your current points ASAP and then borrow from next year so you and never forced into using or losing points.

    Great list. My only difference is on #6. I use my CC to buy Disney Gift Cards at 8-10% savings, still get the cc rewards, but save more.
    I agree with that and I guess I meant to say credit card or disney card or whatever card, just not bank withdrawal.
     

    heynowirv

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 31, 2008
    Sometimes in the past BJs would have Disney gift cards for 6% off at the same time when the Chase Freedom card had the extra 5% cash back on warehouse or PayPal purchases (and you can pay for BJs purchases with PayPal linked to the Freedom card). That's when I've gotten mine to pay dues and AP upgrades!
    Thanks I'll keep an eye out on BJ's.
     

    DaveNan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2017
    Where do you buy Gift cards at 8-10% off?
    This is one of the most active threads in the Budget board.


    I personally use a lot of Meijer Mperks. My wife and I both have accounts and they run a deal every month or two for $5 Mperks for every $50 in gift cards up to $50 in rewards. So I get $1000 for $900 each time. Plus Meijer rings up as a grocery, so there are some sweet reawards on some cards.

    Here's the best one going, but I have shyed away from it. If you have 300+ points, buy AP's and do several trips a year.....

    Today i am here to post the results of giftcardeal.com
    I paid $820 for $1050 in giftcards.(20%)
    It took two weeks I was so nervous spending so much. I paid via zelle and I had to call my bank because they blocked my first try thinking that it was a scam.
    Today I got two 525 giftcards and I applied them immediately.
    I wish I had more money they have 5250 giftcard for $4000. Thats crazy savings at 24%
    From the budget thread, it is 10x$525 cards for $4000, $400 each.
     

    RhodyKP

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 29, 2019
    I have been a DVC member 20 years and here is my Top-20 Tips for Disney Vacation Club.

    1. Buy the location you love most - if you plan 7 to 11 months in advance
    2. Buy the cheapest option (combination of price and annual dues) - if you plan 7 months or less
    3. Do not stress over the use year as your travel plans will change in the future
    4. Cheapest does not mean lowest price per point, as the annual dues is usually the largest factor
    5. Pay cash – but if you finance, then get the lowest rate, shortest term, and pay it off quickly
    6. Pay annual dues on credit card and get reward points
    7. Use all your points and do not waste one point
    8. It is much better to borrow points than bank them
    9. Enjoy DVC membership and have fun and bring family and friends with you
    10. Do not charge family or friends for stays with you, let them buy dinners, etc.
    11. Forget about comparing DVC to the S&P 500 as it is not an investment
    12. If you do consider DVC an investment, then use 3% ROI as a benchmark as this is real estate
    13. Rent excess points when you are not using them for $10 over annual dues
    14. Control your own destiny and rent your own points and do not use brokers
    15. Try to stay at every DVC at least once and book new resorts when they first open
    16. All DVC resorts are awesome, and my favorite is the one I am currently staying at
    17. Use DVC points to stay at DVC resorts and minimize using them for anything else
    18. Be active on DVC social media sites and keep up to date on DVC news
    19. The RTU of 50 years ownership is a long time and who knows how long you will be a member
    20. Be careful when willing DVC to family as DVC has annual dues requirements
    This is fantastic, thanks for sharing!
     

    crisi

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 25, 2002
    I'd quibble with a few #10) I don't charge family and friends, but if your family or friends are the type to invite themselves, or you are cash strapped, or if they don't value your points seeing them as free - hey, charge them. Not everyone has the luxury to treat - not everyone has the family and friends worth treating. 14) Use a broker if you want, renters can be a pain in the tookus and its worth every dime to have a broker be the middle man 15) try and stay at the resorts that interest you. Life is too short to waste at a resort that doesn't appeal to you. If you always want to stay at your home resort, there is comfort and ritual in that. There is also no rush to stay at any resort early as it opens. 16) Some of the DVC resorts you may not think are awesome. That will vary from person to person. I'd eat glass before I'd stay at SSR - its a personal thing. Hate the decor, hate the layout, hate the distance from the parks. (Nice pool though). Plenty of other people love it. (That's a figure of speech - but I would waste my points if that were my only choice in resorts and just book somewhere else on cash or not go) No interest in Aulani - I'm sure I'd like it, its just on the wrong Hawaiian Island for us.
     

    Noah_t

    Mouseketeer
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    May 8, 2019
    I'd quibble with a few #10) I don't charge family and friends, but if your family or friends are the type to invite themselves, or you are cash strapped, or if they don't value your points seeing them as free - hey, charge them. Not everyone has the luxury to treat - not everyone has the family and friends worth treating. 14) Use a broker if you want, renters can be a pain in the tookus and its worth every dime to have a broker be the middle man 15) try and stay at the resorts that interest you. Life is too short to waste at a resort that doesn't appeal to you. If you always want to stay at your home resort, there is comfort and ritual in that. There is also no rush to stay at any resort early as it opens. 16) Some of the DVC resorts you may not think are awesome. That will vary from person to person. I'd eat glass before I'd stay at SSR - its a personal thing. Hate the decor, hate the layout, hate the distance from the parks. (Nice pool though). Plenty of other people love it. (That's a figure of speech - but I would waste my points if that were my only choice in resorts and just book somewhere else on cash or not go) No interest in Aulani - I'm sure I'd like it, its just on the wrong Hawaiian Island for us.
    If I was in charge you would be banned for that Aulani comment.
     

    crisi

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 25, 2002
    If I was in charge you would be banned for that Aulani comment.
    If I ever decide I need to do a day at Pearl Harbor, I'll spend a few days at Aulani, and likely love it. But Hawaii.....not my island.
     

    DVC Doctor

    Member since 2001
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Mar 19, 2014
    My tip is to never use DVC points for a DCL cruise, rent them out and use that money to pay cash for the cruise.
    10,000% agree with that

    If I ever decide I need to do a day at Pearl Harbor, I'll spend a few days at Aulani, and likely love it. But Hawaii.....not my island.
    I love Maui and Kauai way more than Oahu, BUT Aulani is so amazing as a stand alone location that I can spend a few days there first and then move to another island.
     

    DVC Doctor

    Member since 2001
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Mar 19, 2014
    My replies are in RED

    I'd quibble with a few
    #10) I don't charge family and friends, but if your family or friends are the type to invite themselves, or you are cash strapped, or if they don't value your points seeing them as free - hey, charge them. Not everyone has the luxury to treat - not everyone has the family and friends worth treating.

    I do not have family like that, but far too often, I see posts on how to charge guests and it creates more problems than it is worth. Take them for free ONCE and hint that they can buy meals and if they don't return the favor, then do not invite them again.

    14) Use a broker if you want, renters can be a pain in the tookus and its worth every dime to have a broker be the middle man

    I guess you are not aware of what happened with Davids DVC rental then......:crazy2:

    15) try and stay at the resorts that interest you. Life is too short to waste at a resort that doesn't appeal to you. If you always want to stay at your home resort, there is comfort and ritual in that. There is also no rush to stay at any resort early as it opens.

    Every DVC resort is nice and has pros and cons. How do you know if you will like or not like a resort if you have not been there. Variety is the spice of life. It is easier to book a stay when a brand new resort is created as there are no owners competing at 7-11 months and plenty of openings. Also, I have been to a few grand openings and we were the first guests to stay there and the new DVC smell is great.

    16) Some of the DVC resorts you may not think are awesome. That will vary from person to person. I'd eat glass before I'd stay at SSR - its a personal thing. Hate the decor, hate the layout, hate the distance from the parks. (Nice pool though). Plenty of other people love it. (That's a figure of speech - but I would waste my points if that were my only choice in resorts and just book somewhere else on cash or not go) No interest in Aulani - I'm sure I'd like it, its just on the wrong Hawaiian Island for us.

    SSR standard studio is my least favorite option, but I would prefer that over eating glass. Also, Aulani is on a super nice and private side of the "wrong island" and you literally can go from the airport to the resort and back and not have to mingle with the locals.
     

    vnovabri

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 9, 2016
    8. It is much better to borrow points than bank them

    Curious why it is considered better to borrow points than to bank them?
     

    Deb & Bill

    DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention
    Joined
    Mar 20, 2000
    I've been a member for 23 years. If you find yourself renting your points out frequently, you have too many. Just sell a contract or two and use what you own. Only own what you can use.

    If something comes up and you can't use them, just bank them and get a better accommodation next time (one bedroom versus studio).

    If you have enough points to go once a year, book your next trip 10 or 11 months after the first one and you can use an AP for those two trips instead of buying two sets of park admission. It may be cheaper.

    Don't buy planning on leaving your contracts to your kids. By the time they inherit those points, the annual fees will be obnoxious. And they'll probably have loans from going to college anyway. Buy enough for you and your direct family to enjoy and don't worry about buying three equal contracts to leave each kiddo their own contract. The 2042 resorts may already be gone by that time and three individual smaller contracts won't be enough for a week's stay.
     

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