Using Points for the DVC "Collections" - updated 9/5/2019

The DVC Moderators

DVC Moderators
Moderator
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Using Points for the DVC "Collections"


Because there is a wide range of opinion over the value of using DVC points to pay for something other than a stay at a DVC resort, the DVC Mods are establishing this thread as the only place to discuss this topic. Please keep your posts respectful - we do not want this thread to be a debate.

We Mods don't care how people use their points. In fact, there's nothing wrong with using points for cruising or a stay at a non-DVC resort. Depending on the circumstances it can often be a good choice. We believe good decisions start with good information.

This controversy is really over how you value your points.

For example, those who think cruising on points is a poor value generally value their points at $13.50 - $14.50/point or more. That's the amount that is supposedly easy to get by renting reservations or transferring points to another member.

Some believe that the initial cost of the points should be considered when determining the value of a point. Some include opportunity cost and the time value of money when calculating the value.

Others consider the initial buy-in as a sunk cost. (Perhaps they paid cash for the initial cost or have long since paid off the loan). These members value their points at the current cost of dues ($5.91 - $9.48 for calendar year 2019).

The above are just examples of the many ways members value their points.

It appears that DVC essentially values each point as the amount collected in maintenance fees each year - as they should since that is all they received. (The initial buy-in amount went to the Developer, not DVC). When they rent DVC rooms to cash guests, they need to recoup that maintenance fee amount plus the costs of managing the reservation thru Disney Resorts/DCL and also an amount for rooms that go unused as cash reservations. The formula for how they arrive at the credit/debit between DVC and DCL/ Disney Resorts is modified based on prior years and that is used when the point charts for the non-DVC options are negotiated and created each year with Resorts, DCL, ABD and the individual Concierge Collection options.

The Collections include:
  1. The Disney Collection - includes the Disney Cruise Line & non-DVC Disney resorts in WDW, DL, Paris, Tokyo & Hong Kong
  2. The Concierge Collection
  3. The Adventurer's Collection - includes Adventures by Disney
  4. World Passport Collection - includes trades made via RCI or the Lake Buena Vista Trading Company

Options in the World Passport Collection may be paid for with points obtained via resale or points purchased directly from Disney. The options in the Disney, Adventurer's & Concierge Collections are only available for points purchased directly from Disney or via resale contracts purchased before March 11, 2011.


Should a Member Use Points to Pay for non-DVC options?

Since cruising seems to generate the most controversy, let's use cruising to generate a list of some "pros & cons" for using points to pay for a non-DVC option. But keep in mind that the same list can easily apply to the other non-DVC options.

For cruising, we also should remember that even though food & entertainment are included in a cruise, members get the same amenities (including food, & entertainment) no matter how they choose to pay for it.

In general, if you value your points at $13.50 or more each, cruising is almost always a poor economic choice. If you value your points at $6-$9 or so, it can be a good choice.

Pros for using points to cruise:

1. It's convenient and very easy. MS acts as your Travel Agent.

2. Can be a good value. (You need to do the math for each option at the time of booking and it depends on how you value your points).

3. Renting reservations is not without risk. It can take time and effort and can be especially daunting for someone who hasn't done it before. If you go through a broker, you may not get all of your money until the renter has checked into the resort. Transferring points can also be frustrating. It may be tough to find someone who wants the number you want to sell. You are only allowed one transfer per use year per membership.

Negatives to using points to cruise:

1. Cancellation policy - Points are returned to your account, but they come back as Reservation Points. That means they expire at the end of the use year and cannot be used for a stay at a DVC resort or an exchange through RCI or the Lake Buena Vista Trading Company.

2. Fees - there's a non-refundable $95 fee to make the reservation and additional non-refundable $95 fees to make most changes.

3. DVC can (and has in the past) limited the number of cabins available to be booked for points.

4. Each year, DVC renegotiates the number of points required to cruise. In almost every case the number has increased. There is no "inflation protection" for cruising like there is for DVC resort stays.

5. The ability to use points for options other than DVC resorts is a benefit or perk that is not guaranteed by contract. At its sole discretion, DVC can stop offering it at any time. (This may not be likely or even a good decision on their part given its popularity with many members, but it is possible).


As you post your opinions, let's remember that owners are entitled to use their memberships as they choose. There is no one right or wrong answer that applies to everyone for every situation!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

DebbieB

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 24, 1999
I've used it once at WDW and three times at DL.

The time at WDW was for a last minute business trip that I wanted to arrive early and stay Sunday night before moving to the hotel in Downtown Orlando near the office. It was mid October and DVC had nothing, any resort, any room size. I booked a room at POFQ, I had some extra points available so it didn't feel like a waste. This was before the fee. With the fee, I would have looked at other options since it was only 1 night.

At DL, it was before VGC opened. I stayed at PP twice and GC once. At that time, the points required weren't as high as they are now.
 

DavidRoss

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 23, 1999
I have booked DCL several times on points. I always pick value season times to go and I do the math ahead of time. If I come out ahead as far as what I pay for membership dues for each point vs the cost of the cruise for cash, I book it. But I even consider that being frugal. Here is why - if you do the math and realize it costs you $70 to stay on points in a DVC studio vs paying a $350 cash cost and that is all you consider, then yes - don't ever
exchange them for anything other than DVC. But if you consider on a cruise that you are getting entertainment and food (consider the Disney Deluxe Dining plan at WDW) and the cost of a theme park ticket for the day for entertainment, then suddenly, your DCL exchange doesn't seem so costly since those things are included in cost.

I have never used them to say on a Disney hotel but I have been thinking of traveling to Disneyland Paris and also Hong Kong. I would use points in that case. I think that one of the other Disney locations also included theme park tickets with your room stay on points - so that may be a worthwhile deal.

I do with that DVC would allow you to flex points for tickets, etc to cover the cost. My wife and I have traveled with my mother several times since my father passed away in 2007. Sometimes I travel with just her alone and we get a 2-bedroom unit so she can have her private space. I would love to be able to decide when booking a room that I would like to add 3 days of tickets onto that room for a week at DVC and just use points to cover it at some sort of a discount. I know other timeshares do this sort of thing. So I don't know why DVC doesn't.
 
  • Anal Annie

    at least I KNOW I'm a kook...I just can't help it
    Joined
    Dec 8, 2006
    We used points for a 4 night DCL back when we were DVC newbies. THEN I did the math afterward. :scared1: We are what I call "points challenged" with only 250 pts. The 4 n cruise "cost" us something like 392 points for a Cat 10 on the Magic (inside deluxe category). So regardless of meals & limited entertainment (movies & shows) being included (we still booked excursions on top) we basically "spent" close to 1 and 1/2 years worth of points for those 4 nights. Then we were out of points for another year. We bought 250 points because it is enough for 2 weeks in studios or 1 week in a 1 bedroom in "magic" season at our home resort of SSR. So after booking this cruise we were tapped out of points and didn't want to start a borrowing pattern but we wanted to add on a few nights at WDW. We ended up using the DVC discount for a few cash nights. WELL so then I did the math on that plan and we could've done a small add-on for what we spent on THAT deal.:sad2: SO basically, lesson learned on NOT using points to cruise.

    I also discovered that if trying to use a mix of points and cash that they bascially charge the highest tier expected for the cash guest(s). So if you book on day #1 or soon after they release new itineraries you can get a MUCH cheaper cash rate pp than what you have to pay MS to book on cash. They will charge you the highest est. rate rate that DCL expects the prices to rise to before the sail date. After learning all that we did the re-booking onboard with cash to get the onboard credits and 10% discount. We feel for the majority of the time cash rates are a better deal (since we can't typically vacation in the "off seasons"). If you can travel in "value" type seasons you may YMMV. But for us we would never ever use 1 1/2 years worth of points for a mere 4 nights ever again. If we had used those same points at WDW we could've had 10 more additional nights of vacation.

    When we priced using points at Disneyland Paris for a few nights in August a couple years ago I nearly choked on those rates. We opted to rent out our points and do a cash reservation there. The points required there are absurd because their resorts aren't nearly as nice as the WDW resorts.

    I think we WOULD consider trying to "trade out" for a week sometime if we could find a decent resort somewhere thru RCI that would only use 160 points. At least then we wouldn't suck down ALL of our points for a week... The problem is finding a place we'd be happy with somewhere else since RCI doesn't offer the best resort options out there. But we might consider it sometime in the future.
     

    JimMIA

    There's more to life than mice...
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2005
    I've always thought it was a little presumptuous for any of us to tell anyone a certain use of DVC points is a prima facie bad use of points. That really is a valuation question that only the owner of the points can decide.

    I do think it is valid to point out that the points cost of many of the options is very high, and that there are other options for getting the same or equivalent things for much lower cost. In many cases, the claimed benefits can be had less expensively by simply paying cash.

    DCL is a prime example. Not only can one usually get much better pricing simply paying cash, but there are other cruise lines which, frankly, offer better cruises for much lower prices.

    I also think it is very valid to suggest that potential purchasers of DVC look long and hard at the cost of non-DVC options if they are considering those "benefits" in their purchase decision. My personal opinion is that consideration of non-DVC options is only valuable to the DVC timeshare salesmen and prospective purchasers would come out ahead ignoring them.

    And that view is not limited to DVC. Most timeshare systems offer a package of "perks" which are truthfully only offered to give their timeshare salesmen something to talk about. No matter which timeshare system anyone looks at, it is almost always true that the real value of that system is using it within the system -- certainly NOT outside the system.

    That said, I think DVC's RCI Lite does offer some benefits to owners. I don't think it should be a consideration in the purchase decision because you can buy other timeshares on eBay for $1 which will give you FULL INDIVIDUAL membership in RCI, which is vastly superior to DVC's corporate membership.

    But if the member will not be going to WDW in a particular year, they may be able to get an RCI exchange that satisfies them...and I personally would never question the wisdom of that choice.
     

    bakerworld

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 24, 2010
    Used our pts to stay at CBR once - worked for us and served to illustrate the difference between staying in a standard hotel room vs a much larger DVC room with kitchenette. Really didn't think there would be that much of a difference.
     

    com_op_2000

    DVC Member since '93; One Hour from WDW
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2010
    I have booked 2 RCI exchanges, 2 Concierge Collection, and 7 out of 8 DCLs on all points or points and cash. I will continue to do so as these are trips that my DW and I enjoy. We use our points for the what we like.
    We consider our points completely paid for so we are taking free vacations except MFs and exchange fees now. Renting is not something we would ever consider as we do not like the down-side possibilities and we have family and friends that would gladly take on any trips that we could not do.
     

    DisFanJen

    Disney Phreak
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2011
    I looked into renting out my points once but just couldn't be bothered with the risk and hassle of doing so and because I paid cash for the initial buy in and have done the prescribed 7 visits that DVC say will make your points pay for themselves (I did the maths and it's pretty close given what I would have paid for deluxe otherwise). So as I'd never rent out I consider myself in the 'my points are worth what I pay in dues' bracket.

    As such DCL is actually not that bad a deal, especially as my change in circumstances means that any saving in cash outlay means that my trip to the world will come around that much quicker.

    Now I understand that others will look at it and think I'm a fool but I'm happy with my 9 day trip to the world + a 4 night cruise every year and I know I'd not be able to afford it if I had to pay cash.
     

    Sandisw

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2008
    I agree that if someone wants to go through the work if a transfer or rental, then it could end up being less than just booking on points. I just decided this weekend to adjust my summer trip because it would be just my DD18 and myself instead of our typical 8 to 10 girls. Since I was using points for a 2 bedroom, some that were borrowed, I decided to book a 3 day cruise in the middle of the week and changed what we were staying before and after. I could have waited and tried to transfer some, but in the end, other than the $95 fee, I was using those points anyway. And, since the days we are on the cruise includes food, that $95 is a wash...

    So, in my case, it was easy to book with points that I looked at spent anyway....would I do this all the time? No..but it was worth it this time because I'm using points to cover my summer trip...same as I would have if others had gone..
     

    OrangeCountyCommuter

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 11, 2010
    Prior to the fee I used my points several times at moderate resorts. Now that it's $95 plus the points I just stay off site. I didn't mind the points, but the fee was more then I think one night at a Disney 'moderate' is worth LOL!

    I still use my points for a cruising and will continue to do so. For me it's a good use of points. It's an easy way to book the cruise, the cost is just the transfer fee and you are on the boat. Honestly, at what DCL charges for a cruise if I am paying cash I am on another line. After my Dream cruise it hit me that the quality/service were equal to or less then what I got on RCCL so the "premium" was a waste. (That was my last cash DCL) I did Europe last year and we had a great time on DCL.

    I have looked into RCI but it hasn't worked out. If it did I would have no problem booking with my points there either.


    In my view my points really only have a cost of the dues. I have had them a LONG time and if you amortized the cost per stay we are into cents not dollars so the cost is long gone. I don't want to rent them and since I have formally complained to Disney that IMHO broker services pretty much violate the "no commercial renting" rule, it would be rather hypocritical of me to then turn around and use those services. :rotfl2:

    My view is that they are my points and I can use them as I want. The only "bad use" is one that I was bullied into by folks who didn't pay for my points!
     

    jodifla

    WDW lover since 1972
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2002
    I used points to pay for a weekend cruise last year. It was a few hundred dollars more than if I would have paid cash, but the ability to use points and not have any cash outlay really worked for us at the time.

    Between the rental car, $95 cruise, staying before and after at DVC but going to Universal on a 2 day ticket with the third day free, and one water park, our typical $3,500 Disney trip was about $1,500.
     

    DougEMG

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2008
    I regularly rent out points to help pay MF, so I don't consider renting to be much of a hassle. What this does though is make me value every DVC point at the current rental rates ($12-$14 per point). I even consider this my cost of staying in a DVC resort when I go. Because of the way I value my points I don't think I could ever bring myself to use them for a cruise, collections, adventure or any of the other ways you can use them.
     

    bakerworld

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 24, 2010
    Used 98 points for 4 nights - frankly I didn't think that was that expensive for a weekend in May - and it satisfied that need.
     

    Minniesgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2013
    We would use the collections on,y if for some reason we couldn't go to a DVC property and we had points we wanted to sueup.
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    I guess this makes sense. If I consider my initial investment "sunk" cost, and only count annual dues, I would break even or come out slightly ahead using my points at $6 a point.

    OR
    I could RENT out HALF my points for $12-13 a point, and then spend THAT money on the cruise, and then still have half my points to use.

    THIS is why using points directly for cruises doesn't make sense.
     

    Sandisw

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2008
    I guess this makes sense. If I consider my initial investment "sunk" cost, and only count annual dues, I would break even or come out slightly ahead using my points at $6 a point.

    OR
    I could RENT out HALF my points for $12-13 a point, and then spend THAT money on the cruise, and then still have half my points to use.

    THIS is why using points directly for cruises doesn't make sense.
    Providing you want to get involved in renting points. If someone does, then yes, it can be cost effective, strictly in dollars and cents", to rent points and pay cash for the cruise. However, if someone isn't interested in getting involved in renting points to others--I have no interest in that--then using points could make very good sense.

    For example, I have 400 points, and if I have enough points to cover not only a cruise, but all the trips I want to WDW this year, then I got great value out of my points because they did what I bought them to do, cover the lodging of my yearly vacations. Goes back to the point that using points for the different options comes down to how to value your points and it is never going to be the same for everyone.
     

    caracarn

    Mouseketeer
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Dec 4, 2001
    I think the main point is in valuing your points properly. I will explain what I did and it may make more sense to some.

    The true cost of ownership in DVC involves only two things: initial purchase price and ongoing maintenance. I had my DVC Guide provide historical maintenance costs over a ten year period and calculated the average increases year to year to be about 2%. After I had that data, it was simply a matter of entering everything into a spreadsheet. I had the initial purchase price then then added rows for every year for the life of the contract starting with current maintenance and then adding 3% increases in to show a worse case than reality had been by increasing my maintenance by a factor of 50%. After my 42 year period (my contract term) I then had my total cost for DVC over the years and multiplied my points by 42 (to get the total points I will have to use over the life of my contract) then simply divided the cost by the points and came to $5.52 per point. This is what I use in all my "is this worth it" calculations. If I could get the room I am looking at for less than the number of points times $5.52 then I pay cash, if not I use points. Really simple.

    I understand valuing at the rental rate and perhaps trying to make money at that level and then pay in cash from the proceeds, but for many it is not worth the effort. At least I bought my points to use them not rent them.
     

    Dean

    DIS Veteran<br><a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis
    Joined
    Aug 19, 1999
    I think the main point is in valuing your points properly. I will explain what I did and it may make more sense to some.

    The true cost of ownership in DVC involves only two things: initial purchase price and ongoing maintenance. I had my DVC Guide provide historical maintenance costs over a ten year period and calculated the average increases year to year to be about 2%. After I had that data, it was simply a matter of entering everything into a spreadsheet. I had the initial purchase price then then added rows for every year for the life of the contract starting with current maintenance and then adding 3% increases in to show a worse case than reality had been by increasing my maintenance by a factor of 50%. After my 42 year period (my contract term) I then had my total cost for DVC over the years and multiplied my points by 42 (to get the total points I will have to use over the life of my contract) then simply divided the cost by the points and came to $5.52 per point. This is what I use in all my "is this worth it" calculations. If I could get the room I am looking at for less than the number of points times $5.52 then I pay cash, if not I use points. Really simple.

    I understand valuing at the rental rate and perhaps trying to make money at that level and then pay in cash from the proceeds, but for many it is not worth the effort. At least I bought my points to use them not rent them.
    I'd suggest looking at each situation and making a final decision. IMO the value of a given points is what you can rent it for, I believe your method is best to look more at long term costs. Maybe a couple hundred $$ isn't enough for a given person to worry about it but a couple of thousand $$ may be. Each has to decide but they should at lest consider all options. I'd also suggest that in most cases there's far more risk to using points for these type of options than renting them, esp for DCL.
     

    intertile

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2006
    I've never used points for the hotels, but I have used them for Cruising on 2 occasions. I did my research and found cruises that I could book on a combination of cash/points that gave me a value around $14-$15/point. Since then, I have seen those opportunities to save money on the cruises disappear as DCL found the loop holes and made it more challenging. I now no longer use points for anything other than a stay at DVC. If I am going to cruise, I'll rent the points and use the money to pay cash. This gives me the flexibility to cancel or change my cruise plans without the worry of a penalty or issue with the points.
    Its not a bad use of points, as the way I see it the only "bad use of points" are to not use them at all. Some uses get more value, or go further than others. Just do your research, and understand the risks.
     

    southerngirl528

    Dreamin' of Maui
    Joined
    May 9, 2013
    I've used my points for at least 6 cruises w/DCL. I must say that when I joined in the early '90's the minimum purchase was 230 points and we started with a bit more than that and have added on 4 times. But I will also say that when comparing the value of my points (which for years was around $10) to what a cruise would cost me cash, the points were a better deal. And I was a single mom for years, so I would have never been able to treat my kids to these fabulous cruises had I had to come up with that kind of cash out of pocket. Two of our kids have chosen their DVC wedding trip to be 7 nt DCL's and these were paid entirely with points. Once or twice I have paid for one member of the party, maybe 2, for cash. Otherwise, entirely in points.
     

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