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Old 01-17-2015, 09:19 AM   #1
DVC Data
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Arrow Understanding “Use Year”



One concept new DVC members typically have a hard time understanding is the "Use Year".

The Use Year of a particular contract is determined and assigned by DVC at the time of the original sale of an ownership interest in a DVC resort to a member. A Use Year on a contract is fixed and unalterable.

Most new DVC members who purchase direct from Disney don’t pay much attention to the Use Year that is assigned to their contract, and may not even be aware of the limited choice of UY that DVC is presently selling. In many cases, when you decide to add-on points direct from DVC later on, they will typically require your add-on contracts to have the same Use Year, unless you purchase a larger add-on. When purchasing via the resale market, you will see that contracts are listed by: resort, the number of points, and their Use Year.




WHAT IS A USE YEAR?

So, what the heck is a Use Year?

In a nutshell, it marks the time each year when you receive a new allotment of vacation points. You have one year to use those points before they expire. You can bank points from one Use Year to the next, or even borrow points from one Use Year to the immediately preceding one.

Use Year affects when you can bank and borrow vacation points, and sets the deadline for certain vacation decisions. We’ll cover the details below.

USE YEAR EXAMPLE

Let’s just start with an example. If I own a 160-point contract at BWV that has a September UY, for example, I will receive a new allotment of 160 points every September 1, which can be used for stays from that September 1 through August 31 of the following year.

September 1, 2014 – I will get 160 points that can be used for stays between 9/1/2014 – 8/31/2015
September 1, 2015 – I will get 160 points that can be used for stays between 9/1/2015 – 8/31/2016
September 1, 2016 – I will get 160 points that can be used for stays between 9/1/2016 – 8/31/2017



CAN I BOOK A TRIP IF MY USE YEAR HASN'T STARTED?

New owners get tripped up and confuse Use Year with when they can book a reservation. Use Year month has nothing to do with when you can travel or even make a reservation at a DVC resort. You can always reserve 11 months ahead of travel for your home resort, and 7 months ahead for other DVC resorts. The reservation date simply determines which Use Year the points are deducted from.

To reiterate, 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 do not have to wait until your use year begins to make a reservation. You just have to match your vacation dates to the Use Year it falls within, and then make sure you have enough points in that Use Year to make the desired reservation.

Again, let’s use another example. Let's say you want to stay in March of 2016 and your stay will cost 200 points. March 2016 falls within your 2015 use year (9/1/2015 – 8/31/2016). So for a March 2016 vacation, the current use year is 2015. For that reservation, you may use the current use year points from the 2015 use year, any banked points originally from your 2014 use year and you may borrow points from your 2016 use year.

If you plan to stay at your home resort, you can call to make the reservation for March 2016 in April of 2015 (11 months in advance), even though your 2015 Use Year doesn't begin until September 1, 2015. Again, Use Year has nothing to do with when you can call to make the reservation.





SHOULD YOU CARE?

So, why should you care which Use Year you get?

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




WHICH USE YEAR TO CHOOSE

No one Use Year is inherently better than another. If you travel about the same time of year on a regular basis, it may be best to choose a Use Year that starts right before that timeframe, or at least falls no more than 7 or 8 months prior to that time. So, if you frequently visit during the summer months, perhaps a June UY might be best. If you always visit in the fall, then perhaps a September or October UY would be best. Selecting a Use Year that precedes frequent travel dates allows for maximum flexibility in the event of a cancellation.

However, keep in mind that your travel pattern may change over the course of your DVC ownership. What starts out as a "perfect" use year may end up being not so perfect later on.

The Use Year months are: Feb, Mar, Apr, Jun, Aug, Sep, Oct and Dec.

USE YEAR AND ANNUAL DUES

Annual dues are due by January 15 each year and are calculated based on the calendar year and not your Use Year.

USE YEAR AND POINT TRANSFERS

Policies limit point-transfer transactions to one transfer per Member or Membership, either as transferee or transferor, during a given Use Year (not calendar year) - Click HERE for details.




BANKING POINTS

If you don’t use the points in your Use Year to book a stay, they will expire. However, vacation points may be banked from your current Use Year into your next Use Year. Points can only be banked once.

Banked points may not be returned to their original Use Year, and cannot be borrowed or transferred. All banking transactions are final and irreversible.

Members are able to bank up to 100% of their vacation points during the first 8 months of their Use Year and 0% of their vacation points during the last 4 months of their Use Year.



BORROWING POINTS

Vacation points may be borrowed from your next Use Year into your current Use Year. Borrowing may only occur at the time of making a reservation. Only the number of points needed to make the reservation can be borrowed.

Borrowed vacation points may not be banked, transferred, or returned to their original Use Year. All borrowing transactions are final and irreversible.




OWNING MULTIPLE USE YEARS

When purchasing additional points via the resale market, you can easily purchase a contract with a different Use Year. If you’re buying an add-on direct from Disney, you will most likely be given no choice but to get the same Use Year you already have – unless you buy the minimum points that a first time purchaser is required to buy-in, in which case you can ask for a different use year.

If you buy the same use year (and the deeds have the exact same names on them), all your contracts can be setup to be treated as one for purpose of reserving, banking and borrowing. If you have separate use years, the two contracts remain separate for all purposes and when you reserve using both you reserve some nights using one contract and other nights using the other and link the two. Or, you can transfer points from one contract to another, but there are limitations.

Having multiple contracts with different Use Years can offer added flexibility in some cases, but certain limitations in other cases, and is just harder to manage. Having the same Use Year on all of your contracts is much easier to manage, as there is less to keep track of and less chance for mistakes.

The main advantage of multiple UY’s is if you go different times of the year you can potentially chose which account to use for a given trip giving a certain amount of protection from cancelation and banking issues. But having multiple contracts with different Use Years does create more accounting, is more complicated and difficult (but not impossible) to make a single reservation from both contracts.

So, some people ask why you should make life harder than it needs to be and recommend sticking with just one UY.

If you were adding on to the same resort, many people recommend you keep the same use year. If you are buying a new home resort, then a different use year isn't too hard to manage.



CONSIDERING BUYING DVC?

If you've found your way to MouseOwners because you are seriously considering buying DVC, it makes sense to do some homework before buying. I'd recommend the following threads here on MouseOwners. Start with "An Introduction to DVC for Beginners (Primer)" thread. Don't just read the first post in each thread (which is mine), but look through the rest of the posts to get good feedback (and perhaps contrary advice) from the rest of the MouseOwner community.



Last edited by DVC Data; 06-24-2015 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 01-17-2015, 09:21 AM   #2
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Looks great, thanks!
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Old 01-17-2015, 09:40 AM   #3
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Excellent info for all the Newbs!
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:18 AM   #4
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Well done, Mike! Thanks for posting.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:48 AM   #5
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Great summary, Mike. I didn't know that DVC will "force" you to buy the same UY you already have on an add-on, unless you're buying a large contract.

My personal recommendation (and I say this from experience) is to keep the same UY within a single Resort. I guess if I owned more than one Resort I might consider a different UY, but not likely.
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Old 01-17-2015, 01:13 PM   #6
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Great summary Mike! Thank you for taking the time to do this

Yes, Frank, I can tell you from experience they don't like to waver on the UY issue if you already own DVC. Now I can tell you that if you really, really, really push for it and tell DVD that it is a deal breaker for the add-on they may grant your wish. But, you would really have to fight for a change to a UY on an add-on. I speak from experience on this subject.

Personally, I probably don't have the 'best' UY for my travel habits. My biggest trip of the year always happens at the end of May/beginning of June. However, we make it work and it has never been a problem. Just takes a little more planning, however totally doable.

I figure as my life changes my challenges for my UY will/could change, I try not to get hung up on it anymore.
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Old 01-17-2015, 10:59 PM   #7
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Can anyone explain why it is beneficial to DVC to have multiple use years?
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OttawaWendy View Post
Can anyone explain why it is beneficial to DVC to have multiple use years?
My understanding is that it allows DVCMC to better manage the system. Banking deadlines are spread throughout the year, and not all at once.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OttawaWendy View Post
Can anyone explain why it is beneficial to DVC to have multiple use years?

So that all pts does not start on same time and you can not give accommodation of a yr in one month.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:18 PM   #10
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Great information! We have 2 UYs currently and my only problem with it is the December UY. Somehow my brain can't register getting 2014 points at the end of 2014. If I had it to do over again I would have avoided December.

Luckily we are in the state of having to borrow from our 2 contracts so it's usually not a problem.

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