DVC “Use Year” Explained – 2023 FAQ for Disney Vacation Club Buyers

Many newcomers looking to purchase a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) membership ask the question: “What is a DVC Use Year?” You might even be wondering: “Does DVC Use Year even matter?” While not all that complicated, this DVC Use Year guide will show you everything there is to know and to consider when it comes to choosing the best Use Year of a DVC membership contract for you.

Let’s jump right in!

What is a Disney Vacation Club “Use Year”

dvc use year polynesian resort disney world

In its simplest form, a DVC Use Year is actually the MONTH in which a contract owner’s points will replenish each and every year through the life of the deed. DVC contracts can start their yearly cycle in either February, March, April, June, August, September, October, or December. 

You can read other considerations for buying into Disney Vacation Club in our guide.

For example, if you were to purchase a contract with a Use Year of February, you would receive your yearly allotment of points every February 1st. For all examples to follow, we will consider the same Use Year of February. If you’re interested in more information regarding purchasing a Vacation Club membership, be sure to check out our guide on all you need to know!

DVC Use Year: Why Does it Matter?

Having one particular DVC Use Year over another may not matter all that much if you aren’t locked into traveling at the same time every year. However, if you consistently travel at the same time every year, then you will want to pay a little more attention to what your DVC Use Year will be. One general rule of thumb is to have a Use Year 1 to 2 months prior to your typical vacation time. This is because of how the short-term cancellation policy works.

To understand, let’s take a closer look.

Short-Term Cancellation Policy

Any points used for a booking that is canceled more than 30 days out from the reservation date are unaffected in any way. Meaning, those points will go back into your account and can be used to book future trips. However, any points used for a booking that is canceled within 30 days prior to the reservation date are subject to go into a holding account. This means that those points are locked in and must be used within the current Use Year. You are not able to bank any points that are in a holding account – more to come on banking in the next section. If you cannot book another trip using those points before your Use Year starts anew, those points are LOST!

Let’s look at the February DVC Use Year example for an idea of how this can play out. If you’re looking to take advantage of all Walt Disney World has to offer during the Christmas time and have to cancel less than 30 days out, I must use those points before February 1st or they will be lost. A more suitable Use Year for someone that consistently travels to Disney around Christmas time would be October. This way, if you must cancel your Christmas trip last minute, you still have until October 1st of the following year to use up those points that went into the holding account. 

Again, this matters more if you travel at a consistent time every year and have to cancel last minute. If you plan to book a Spring break vacation one year and then a Christmas vacation the next, having a use year of February is ideal for the former but less ideal for the latter. And while canceling a trip last minute may not happen all that often, having some more time to rebook your vacation can provide a lot of reassurance. It would be a shame to lose out on points that you paid good money for!

DVC Use Year

DVC Use Year: Banking Considerations

Your DVC Use Year also determines the deadline by which you must bank points.

Banking points is the ability to save your unused points from one year for use in the next. To make use of this feature, however, you must bank points no later than 8 months after your Use Year begins. For example, let’s again assume you have a DVC contract with a February Use Year. In this case, your banking deadline would be September 30th. This means you must bank any unused points before September 30th. If you do not bank by this date, then you must use up the remaining points before February 1st. See the table below for a complete list of Use Year months and their corresponding banking deadlines.

Use YearBanking Deadline
February September 30th
March October 31st
April November 30th
June January 31st
August March 31st
September April 30th
October May 31st
December July 31st

The banking deadline really plays no part in the short-term cancellation consideration from above since any cancellation within 30 days of the reservation date would result in points that go into holding and are not bankable.

However, the banking deadline should be considered if you are someone who tends to book trips last minute. For example, if you are someone that likes to book that Christmas trip last minute, let’s say in October, having a February Use Year may come back to bite you. Given Christmas is one of the most difficult times of the year to secure a reservation, if you are unsuccessful, you are now past your banking deadline of September 30th. Those points must be used before February 1st or they will be lost!

animal kingdom villas

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas

DVC Use Year: Current Members Purchasing Another Contract

Adding on DVC points can be a whole other article given factors like buying direct versus resale, buying at the same home resort versus a different home resort, and buying the same use year versus a different use year. In this section, we’d like to quickly touch on the subject matter as it pertains to Use Year.

If you are already a DVC member and looking to add-on another contract, it may be worth trying to secure that contract with the same DVC Use Year. This will simplify managing your points. However, if a better deal pops up with a different use year, you will have to manage them separately. If you need to combine the points from both contracts into one booking, you would have to transfer points from one to the other before making the reservation.

Some members even like to have different use years to support traveling at two or more different times of the year. Using the 1 to 2 month rule mentioned in the prior sections, you could have a February contract to fund a March trip and an October contract to fund a December trip.

DVC Use Year: Can I pick my Use Year?

With all the DVC Use Year considerations above, you may be asking yourself, can I just pick my Use Year? Unfortunately, you cannot just pick your Use Year when buying points. The Use Year is predetermined by the contract you purchase and cannot change throughout the life of the contract. However, if you are buying directly from Disney they may have many available Use Years and point amounts for you to choose from. Buying resale, on the other hand, will have less options as you are subject to what is on the market at that time. If your membership’s Use Year is a major consideration for you, you will just have to be selective of which contracts to consider.

DVC Use Year: Booking Window Misconception

One misconception about DVC Use Year is that you must wait until the Use Year begins to book a reservation for that year. Luckily, this is NOT true! Let’s use our February Use Year as an example, one last time. If I want to go on a vacation in March, I do not need to wait until Feb 1st, when my points renew, to book that reservation. Booking windows are a completely separate topic. You can book reservations 11 months prior at your home resort or 7 months prior at any other DVC resort, regardless of what DVC Use Year you have.

disney vacation club aulani resort

Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawai’i

DVC Use Year: How to Buy Disney Vacation Club Points

If you’re ready to learn more about buying Disney Vacation Club points, our partners over at the DVC Resale Market have tons of listing available that are sure to fit your needs!  The DVC Resale Market has the largest number of active listings at all of the Disney Vacation Club resorts. In 2022 alone, they sold over 4,400 contracts! The best part? The savings! When purchasing a resale contract through the DVC Resale Market, and depending on the contract, you can end up saving over 40% when comparing a direct purchase through Disney.

With so many listings, you’re bound to find the use year contract you’re searching for at your dream resort. Their expert guides are excellent partners and can work with you from start to finish so that you get exactly what you want.

Wondering about cost? Even with the massive saving, The DVC Resale Market can help you finance through Monera Financial. Monera is a trusted partner that makes it easy to get approved for a loan in just minutes. Don’t worry about your credit, they have options for all applicants!

DVC Use Year: Final Thoughts

To sum up, a DVC Use Year determines your banking deadline and only really matters if you travel at the same time every year and have to cancel last minute. Given that having to cancel a trip last minute is a rare occurrence, we recommend finding the best DVC contract for value before considering the Use Year all that much. Happy hunting!

Plan Your Next Disney Vacation!

If all this talk of a Disney Vacation Club membership now has you dreaming about your next Disney Vacation, then let our team help you plan your next getaway! We offer exclusive deals and tips for your next perfect escape that you won’t find anywhere else. Best off all, they are all ways to help you save money guaranteed! Be sure to sign up for our FREE newsletter to be sure you don’t miss out on any of these great deals. For more information and tips to plan your next Disney vacation, be sure to check out these following articles: 

Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

About Eduardo Silva

Eduardo is High School Vice Principal who loves to share all things Disney and is also an experienced translator with voiceover work in Spanish and French. Originally from Southern California, he grew up visiting the Disneyland Resort and it's there that his passion for Disney was born. Today, Eduardo is a Disney Vacation Club member and enjoys sharing his experiences as a member writing for Mickey Visit and Disney Dose.

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