Understanding Use Year - Updated March 10, 2019

CarolMN

DVC Co-Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Aug 18, 1999
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 (or book online) 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 buy 200 points on February 1, 2019 and you get an October use year.

Your 2019 points are valid for stays between 10/1/2019 and 9/30/2020. 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 10/1/2019 and get an October use year, you will also get 2018 use year points with your purchase. (This may not be the case for a new resort that isn't open for occupancy when you purchase). The 2018 points would be valid to pay for stays between 10/1/2018 and 9/30/2019. You will be allowed to bank the 2018 points even if you are past the banking deadline. This is a courtesy Disney has been extending to those who purchase directly through them.

If you don't plan to take a trip before 9/30/2019, you'll want to bank your 2018 points so that they do not expire. As long as you call before the end of May 2019 (the banking deadline for October 2018 use years), you can bank all 200 2018 points. You may not bank at all in June, July August or September if you have an October use year.

  • Your 2018 use year points are good for stays between 10/1/2018 and 9/30/2019.
  • Your 2019 use year points are good for stays between 10/1/2019 and 9/30/2020.
  • Your 2020 use year points are good for stays between 10/1/2020 and 9/30/2021.
  • Your 2021 use year points are good for stays between 10/1/2021 and 9/30/2022.
  • 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 2020 and your stay will cost 500 points. May 2020 falls within your 2019 use year. (See the chart above). So for a May 2020 vacation, the current use year is 2019. For that reservation, you may use the current use year points from the 2019 use year, any banked points originally from your 2018 use year and you may borrow points from your 2020 use year.

If you plan to stay at your home resort, you can call to make the reservation for May 2020 in June of 2019, even though your 2019 use year doesn't begin until October 1, 2019. Again, use year has nothing to do with WHEN you can 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, 2020 vacation and you call to cancel it in March 2020 (which is more than 31 days prior to arrival). To make the reservation, you used 200 current use year points (from 2019 use year), 200 banked points (originally from 2018) and borrowed 100 points from 2020.

After you cancel, you would have 300 points to use before 9/30/2020, the end of the current use year (2019) for that vacation - i.e., the 200 that were banked (from 2018) and the 100 that were borrowed (from 2020). Remember, banked and borrowed points cannot be returned to their original use year. If you do not use those points before 9/30/2020, they expire and are lost to you.

If you call MS (or go online) to bank points before the end of May 2020, you could bank all 200 of the 2019 use year points used for that cancelled March 2020 vacation. After banking, those points will be valid for stays between 10/1/2020 and 9/30/2021. They will expire on 9/30/2021 if not used before then - remember, you cannot bank the same points more than once.

If you didn't bank the 2019 points before May 31, 2020, all 500 of the returned points from that May 2020 cancelled vacation would have to be used before 9/30/2020 (the end of your 2019 use year).

If you cancel any 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 - i.e., during the last three months of your use year. 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 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.

 
Last edited:
  • dalt01

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 30, 2000
    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?
     

    WebmasterDoc

    Administrator
    Administrator
    Joined
    Aug 14, 1998
    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.
     

    dalt01

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 30, 2000
    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.
     

    Muhlenberg

    <font color=blue>Clues! We want clues! <br><font c
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2006
    We just bought 160 pts at AKV, with a December UY. We received 160 Developer Points, that must be used within one year of signing the contract and they must be used at SSR. We received, to the best of my knowledge, 160 Dec. '08 points to be used AFTER May 1, 2009. We haven't received the paperwork yet...but it should be here REALLY soon. I'll check it to make sure they are '08 points that we are receiving. Maybe I have misunderstood what we're receiving, and they actually are '07 points.

    My DH just verified that we ARE receiving Dec. '08 points...NOT '07 points.
     

    square pond

    <font color=purple>Someone please tell me how to a
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2004
    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:confused3 points???
     

    Donald is #1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 24, 2006
    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:confused3 points???
    In the case of AKV since not all of the rooms are available, then no you will not be receiving 2007 points. If the "unit" that you purchased was complete/open/available, prior to December 2008, then you would have received 2007 points. If the "unit" that you purchased was/will be completed after December 1, 2008, then you will not receive 2007 points.
     

    square pond

    <font color=purple>Someone please tell me how to a
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2004
    In the case of AKV since not all of the rooms are available, then no you will not be receiving 2007 points. If the "unit" that you purchased was complete/open/available, prior to December 2008, then you would have received 2007 points. If the "unit" that you purchased was/will be completed after December 1, 2008, then you will not receive 2007 points.
    Thank you:thumbsup2
     

    lranen

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 16, 2008
    Thanks for that great explanation. I was worrying that my UseYear was a month too early. Now, it looks like I lucked out and got the perfect time! :)
     

    Coach P

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 4, 2008
    So If we to buy and we go during Christmas every year we would want an Aug use year?
     

    CarolMN

    DVC Co-Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    So If we to buy and we go during Christmas every year we would want an Aug use year?
    August would work for December vacations, but so would several other use years. You want a use year that gives you enough time to bank points if you can't reschedule before the use year ends.

    So since the banking deadline is the end of the 8th month after the start of your use year and you plan to vacation in December, the "best" use years for you (in order, best on top) would be:

    December
    October
    September
    August
    June
    and even April (because if you cancel 30 days or less prior to arrival, the returned points go into the holding account and cannot be banked.)

    I defined "best" as the use year that would give you the most time to reschedule your December vacation or decide to bank the returned points.

    Keep in mind that your vacation pattern may change and what works well for you now may not work so well later. Also, this only matters if you actually have to cancel a vacation. That usually doesn't happen very often (we hope). If you cancel late, it use year won't matter much - holding points can be tough to use and expire at the end of the use year.

    For example -
    If you like to go in the Fall, Winter and early spring months, August & September use years will work well for you. 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).

    A June use year is better for Summer, Fall & early to mid-Winter vacations.
     

    vinny&lynn

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2008
    is your uy strictly a factor of when you join or sign up for dvc or is it something you can chose yourself with guide assistance?

    since my family usually vacations something between late august
    to early nov, what would be our best uy?

    i apprecaite your help,
     

    nocruisecontrol

    Where it all began....
    Joined
    Jul 12, 2008
    We're seriously contemplating buying in to DVC. I believe are most likely times to vacation will be late March and mid/late September (even with the hurricane risk).

    So would my best use year be September?

    Barbara
     

    Sandisw

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2008
    We're seriously contemplating buying in to DVC. I believe are most likely times to vacation will be late March and mid/late September (even with the hurricane risk).

    So would my best use year be September?

    Barbara
    Yes, September would be a great UY for you. You have until April 30th every year to bank points with this UY so both your preferred travel times fall within your 8 month banking window!

    Good luck and happy planning!
     

    GirlfromTN

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 17, 2007
    I am thinking that September would be a good use year for us, since we would probably like to go in Fall (after labor day), Winter (to see Christmas decorations), and early spring (before spring break crowds). Am I correct? Would another month be even better? We'd probably be likely to avoid the hottest months as well as the school breaks.
     

    Sandisw

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2008
    I am thinking that September would be a good use year for us, since we would probably like to go in Fall (after labor day), Winter (to see Christmas decorations), and early spring (before spring break crowds). Am I correct? Would another month be even better? We'd probably be likely to avoid the hottest months as well as the school breaks.
    Yes, September is also good for you. With September, you have until April 30th every year to bank points. All of the times you want to travel fall in the 8 month banking window for September, so if you had to cancel (at least 31 days out), you would still be able to bank your points!
     

    maminnie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 25, 2004
    If someone could give me some advice on this one:

    If you currently own a contract through DVC and you buy a resale for the same resort and same use year, can you combine the points when making a continuous reservation which requires points from both contracts?

    I thought the answer was yes but a few comments on the boards are now confusing me a bit.

    Thank you for your help.
    maminnie
     

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