It’s important when you become a DVC member to learn as much about using your membership as possible. One topic that comes up from time to time are the differences between vacation points and reservation points and how they work. I thought it would be helpful to look at what each are and when you might use them.
What are Vacation Points?
Vacation points are what most of us have and use regularly. These are your basic Disney Vacation Club points good to use for stays at DVC resorts. Everyone’s points start out as vacation points. Using your points as vacation points gets you the best overall value for your membership.
What are Reservation Points?
Reservation points are vacation points that have gone through a conversion process. This happens when a member wants to convert their vacation points into points to book a Disney Cruise, Adventures by Disney, a Disney Collection stay, or other hotel exchange. There are a few important things to note about Reservation Points:
- Only eligible points can be converted into Reservation Points. These include points purchased directly through Disney or resale points purchased prior to March 21, 2011.
- In order to convert to reservation points for an exchange booking, you must call member services and pay a one-time non-refundable transaction fee of $95 due at the time of reservation confirmation.
- One vacation point can be converted to one reservation point.
- Reservation points expire at the end of the use year they are allotted.
- Reservation points can’t be banked, borrowed, or transferred.
- Once converted, reservation points cannot be reused for for Disney Vacation Club resorts, Interval International, or World Collection exchanges. In other words, they can’t be converted back to home resort points or the other excluded exchanges (Interval and World Collection). I find this most important to know since during the pandemic, many members who converted to reservation points and had trips canceled were left with their points stuck as reservation points.
- The point charts for Cruise Line and hotel exchanges like Disney Collection tend to be inflated compared to paying cash or using vacation points. An example below shows the 2023 Disney Collection point chart if you were to convert your vacation points to reservation points to stay at All Star Sports vs the normal vacation points chart for Animal Kingdom Villas.
When it makes sense to convert to Reservation Points
Overall, you should always make the decision on how to use your points based on what is best for you and your family. What is best for you might be driven by financial decisions. It might be based on what’s most convenient and time-saving for you. Or, it might just be what you want most. That said, Disney Vacation Club gives you the most value when you use your points for Disney Vacation Club resorts. This means, it’s not the most economical use of points to convert vacation points into reservation points. Typically, if you’re looking to book a cruise or use points at one of the hotel exchange options, renting or swapping your points and paying cash will typically make the most sense. At the end of the day, you have to do what makes you happy.
I’m interested to know your thoughts on if there is a good time to use reservation points. Stay up to date on all things DVC by following dvcfan.com. Join in the conversation in the DVC Fan Facebook group.