Ask DVC members about the resale restrictions, and you will likely be met with a negative response. Part of the resale restrictions include that points from Riviera resale contracts can only be used to book at Riviera, which can feel very limited. However, there are DVC members who choose to save their points mainly for stays at their home resorts, even in the absence of any restrictions. Can being a “home resort point miser” (reserving your points mostly for stays at your home resort) actually help you get the best use of your contract in some cases? This is the rabbit hole I went down when I realized all of our trips so far this year are booked for our home resorts. That’s not to say that I would want resale restrictions on my contracts; I do like to try other resorts every now and then but hear me out:
Cost Per Point
From a completely objective standpoint, it’s hard to ignore that contract points are not exactly equal. Resorts have varying costs on both the direct and resale markets. As a general rule of thumb, direct pricing shows that sold-out resorts’ costs are higher than those of actively selling resorts. On the resale market, price per point can vary even among contracts for the same resort, with larger contracts garnering a lower price per point than smaller contracts. Our friends at DVC Resale Market regularly break down the estimated total cost per point per year for each resort, taking into account the average price per point, dues per point, and years remaining on the contract. From this report, you can see that costs range from the most economical (Polynesian as of spring 2022) at $11.34 per point per year up to the least economical (Beach Club as of fall 2021) at $17.07 per point per year.
Since you pay a premium for a home resort like the Beach Club, this would incentivize using those points specifically for stays at the Beach Club.
11-Month Booking Advantage
Points are also unequal from a booking standpoint. As we all know, each contract has home resort advantage during the 7-11 month booking window. This can be really important when aiming to book a reservation at a resort with limited availability like the Beach Club Villas or the Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. If one of them is your home resort, I’d imagine that you would feel less inclined to modify your hard-to-get reservation to stay at a resort with greater availability through the 7-month mark like Old Key West or Saratoga Springs.
Least importantly, sentimentality can play a factor. The age-old advice that people give for buying a DVC contract is to buy where you want to stay. Well, 2042 is probably not as far off into the future as it sounds, and I know I want to spend as much time as possible at the BoardWalk Villas before my contract expires. This generally means that if I use my BoardWalk points at the 11-month mark, I’m very unlikely to modify that reservation. This can also be said of the other beloved resorts that have contracts expiring in 2042, like the Beach Club Villas, Boulder Ridge, Hilton Head, Vero Beach, and any Old Key West contracts that were not extended.
The benefits of being a home resort point miser certainly depend on which home resort you have and what you paid for your contract, but knowing all of the above, there are instances where it may not be that odd to stick with your home resorts after all.
I’d love to know: do you mostly book your home resorts, or did you purposely buy an economical home resort like Saratoga Springs with the intention of switching resorts more often than not?