The DVC resorts are finally open. The parks are about to open. But are you ready to travel? With increasing travel restrictions and an uncertain outlook on the COVID-19 pandemic, many DVC members are reevaluating plans for 2020 trips. I had my fair share of cancelled trips this past spring, but was fortunate to not have many points at risk since my banking deadline was still months away. Now that a few months have passed, banking deadlines are approaching for certain Use Years, including my February Use Year, and cancelling can be more complicated. In addition, some policies that were being temporarily waived during the closure may be reverting back to normal now that the resorts and parks are opening. If you are considering cancelling or rescheduling a trip, here are some things to keep in mind:
Holding Rules May Apply
Normally, if you cancel a trip 30 days or less prior to your arrival, points go into a holding account. Once there, the points can only be used to book trips that are no more than 60 days out. Also, holding points expire at the end of the Use Year. Essentially points in holding are difficult to use. The holding rules were temporarily suspended while the resorts were closed, but there was no specific date given as to when they would be reinstated. To play it safe, try to cancel your trip no later than 31 days before your check-in date.
It Is Uncertain When Normal Borrowing Rules Will Apply
When the resorts were closed, any borrowed points from cancelled reservations were being returned to their original Use Year, and as of early July it seems this policy has been inconsistent. Some members were still successful in moving the points back to the original Use Year, and others were not. As with the waived holding rules, there was no set date for when the normal borrowing rules will apply again. Under normal rules, borrowing is a final transaction, and the borrowed points would remain in the earlier Use Year to which they were transferred. Since things are in flux, you may need to call or chat with Member Services to verify where borrowed points are being returned.
Only Some Points from Certain Use Years Were Extended
Points from April, June, August, September, and October Use Years would only be extended if they had been used for reservations during the resort closures. That is, if you have one of those Use Years, but you are opting to cancel a trip while the resorts are open, the points from that reservation would not be extended. Also, if you have a December, February, or March Use Year, the normal banking deadlines and expiration dates still apply.
If You Are Past Your Banking Deadline, There Are Still a Few Options
When all else fails, and you have already missed your banking deadline and still need to cancel, all isn’t lost. You can try renting out your DVC reservation or renting out points from your reservation with the help of a broker like the DVC Store, the sponsor of DVC Fan. The DVC Store can also help you put up points for a transfer as long as they are not banked or borrowed points. Alternatively, you may consider putting your points into RCI, so you have 2 years to use them. You can do this by contacting Member Services. RCI may not always have availability at Walt Disney World resorts, but it can still offer a better value than simply losing your points, especially if you have a lot of points at stake. Note that points can only be moved into RCI in increments of 10.
While cancelling is never easy to do, I hope that this helps you make an informed decision should you need to change your plans. Stay safe, DVC Fans!