Disney Vacation Club: Pros and Cons of Renting Points

by on October 10, 2017 42 Comments

Filed under: DVC, Money Matters

Looking to save money on your next Disney vacation? One suggestion growing in popularity is to consider renting Disney Vacation Club (DVC) points. However, like any ‘easy’ money-saving solution, there are some aspects of the rental process that you should be aware of before you decide whether this approach is right for you. To help with that, we’re taking a look at some of the pros and cons of renting DVC points.

For those that aren’t familiar with Disney Vacation Club or point rentals, Disney Vacation Club is Disney’s version of a timeshare program. Members purchase a long-term contract for a certain number of points each year. They can then exchange those points for stays at the following Disney resorts:

There are all sorts of rules around using the points each year, and it’s possible a member may not be able to use their points before they expire. If that’s the case, they look for someone else to pay to use some or all of their points for that year. That’s where renting DVC points comes into play.

If you’re looking to rent DVC points, you have two options. You can try to find a trustworthy DVC owner who is willing to give up their points and hope that they don’t take your money and run. Or you can go through a point broker, which has added security, but is usually slightly costlier than simply going through an individual owner. Here at TouringPlans, we’ve had great experiences with David’s Disney Vacation Club Point Rentals. All you need to do is submit a reservation request with basic information about your upcoming trip along with an initial deposit, and they pair you up with an owner who has the points you need. And if you’re looking for more information on the ins and outs of the actual process of renting DVC points, we’ve got a comprehensive blog post on that here.

Having simplified that as much as possible, it still sounds fairly complicated compared to booking directly through Disney, right? However, the additional work up front comes with some serious advantages. So, let’s get to the pros and cons of renting points.

Pros

  • Significant savings – The biggest perk to renting DVC points is to save big on your resort stay. Using David’s rental cost calculator as an example, a standard studio in Boardwalk Villas from May 6-12, 2018 costs $1,392. When booked through Disney directly, the same villa studio totals $3,388 and a standard room at the Boardwalk Inn is $3,368. Even a standard room at Port Orleans Resort French Quarter would cost $1,615 for those dates before any discounts. By renting DVC points, you can essentially book a deluxe resort for the cost of a moderate.
  • Deluxe Accommodations – DVC rooms are some of the nicest on Disney property. They’re only available at specific deluxe resorts, and there is a wide selection of room types. Layouts range from studios, one-bedroom units, two-bedroom units, and three-bedroom villas to entirely separate structures (treehouse, cabin, or bungalow). Many of these options include added luxuries like kitchens or kitchenettes, a washer and dryer, more living space, and multiple bathrooms. The accommodations you can book through DVC are the best of the best when it comes to on-site Disney resorts.
  • Easy to link to My Disney Experience – Reserving a Disney resort stay through third parties can be quite the hassle sometimes. Many third parties don’t provide the Disney confirmation code necessary to add your hotel reservation directly on My Disney Experience. This is particularly important when it comes to planning certain aspects of your vacation, like FastPass+ or advance dining reservations, where timing depends on whether you’re an on-site guest or not. Linking the reservation is never a problem when renting DVC points. They realize how important that confirmation code is and provide the Disney-specific one as soon as the reservation is confirmed. Once it’s linked online, you’ll have the functionality to make FastPass+ reservations, advanced dining reservations, and online check-in selections.
  • Guaranteed discount – Disney offers various discounts throughout the year, but they’re very unpredictable. Details like the release date, discount amount, available resorts, and applicable travel dates vary regularly. And because discounts are usually announced relatively close to the available dates, there is no knowing whether you will snag a discount unless you wait to book or rebook painfully close to your vacation. When you rent DVC points, however, you typically lock in a great discount close to a year in advance. You don’t have to check regularly for the discount announcement or frantically check with Disney to try to make or change your reservation for the discount. With point rentals, it’s all smooth sailing.
  • No long-term commitment – Unlike buying in to DVC, you don’t need to commit to any long-term contracts. More than likely you’ll sign a rental contract, but that’s it. You get to enjoy some of the perks of being a DVC member without worrying about buying in up front, paying membership dues, and using points for years to come.

Cons

  • Limited availability – Because of the savings, vacation club point rentals are highly sought after. Depending on the time of year, many DVC rooms sell out as soon as they become available for reserving, which is 11 months out for those who own points at that particular resort (also known as a home resort). That means you will either need to book early or be flexible in the dates, resort, and room type that you’ll accept. You may even need to consider a split stay between multiple resorts to accommodate your dates, especially during particularly busy times.
  • Non-refundable – Because of the strict rules around when and how a DVC member can use their points, most rental agreements won’t allow cancellations for a refund, even for situations beyond your control (like a hurricane). With the money you saved on the booking, you can buy trip insurance though if this is something you’re worried about experiencing.
  • Infrequent housekeeping – DVC resorts don’t receive daily housekeeping services like the regular resorts do. For stays less than eight nights, trash and towel service are provided on day four. Longer stays receive a full-service visit on day four and trash and towel service on day eight. If, like me, you almost never require daily housekeeping at a regular resort anyway, this may actually be a positive note for you. But I’m guessing for most people this will be a slight inconvenience.
  • Less control – When you rent DVC points, you rely on a DVC owner to make a reservation on your behalf. Because they are the ones who make the reservation, Disney won’t work with you when it comes to modifications to the reservation (like changing/adding guests or the dining plan). And due to the rules around using points, you can’t switch dates or resorts by simply selecting a new one on the website either. As I mentioned above, you also need to trust that they won’t take your money and cancel the reservation. That’s one of the many reasons I feel it’s worth it to go through an official third party like David’s Vacation Rental rather than directly to a DVC owner, unless you know them personally.
  • Payment due in full – Typically when you book directly through Disney, you only owe a small portion up front and the rest later. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with DVC rentals. Because of the reservation process, you’ll owe the full payment upon confirmation of the reservation. For anyone pinching pennies before their trip, this could be a deal breaker.

Now that you know the benefits and downsides to renting Disney Vacation Club points, do you think it’s something you’re willing to try? Have you already tried it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Posted on October 10, 2017

42 Responses to “Disney Vacation Club: Pros and Cons of Renting Points”

  • I rented through a private owner on mouseowners. I got a beach club room in october 4 months in advance- because the owner was renting the points on an already made booking. There are easy ways to protect yourself from fraud- no need to pay a middleman.

  • We’ve rented DVC twice and are in the process again now. It saved us so much money and staying in a deluxe was awesome. Lack of mouse-keeping was never an issue. We did use David’s DVC rentals and ensured we had adequate travel insurance to give us peace of mind. Thoroughly recommend doing this.

  • We’ve used http://dvcrentalstore.com/ many times and have always had a great experience. We get a one bedroom at Kidani for less than a moderate resort for the same week. Can’t justify the cost of DVC, but we love having the opportunity to rent the points. The only downside is that for more popular times of the year (Holidays, etc.) you really have to book at the 7 month mark otherwise they run out. This means you have to have your plans set way in advance.

    • Yes! I always kick myself when I plan last minute trips and can’t take advantage of a rental because it’s already sold out. Definitely a good point about planning ahead when you can.

  • Great article, thank you. We have been renting points from an individual owner for the last 4 years and have been very happy.

  • We had a great experience with http://www.dvc-rentals.com and I highly recommend it!

  • We are trying this for the first time in December. We rented points from Dave’s in January for Bay Lake Towers. Our first choice was Grand Floridian, but that wasn’t available. We’re thinking BLT might work out even better since there is a walkway to Magic Kingdom. We have family who are DVC so we have stayed many times with them. Process was painless and we saved a lot of money. Counting down the days!

  • I have used DVC Rental Store multiple times, with great success, and they require partial payment on confirmation, with balance due 45 days before the stay. Great communication, and they offer a point protection plan for things like hurricanes and the like (Disney has a policy that protects the DVC member, but that does not protect the renter). (www.dvcrentalstore.com)

    • Thanks Fred!

    • I agree with you, Fred. We used DVC Rental Store instead of David’s because the quote is free and you can make a partial payment to lock in your stay. They agents are GREAT and helped us with everything, including booking our Magical Express and Meal Plan. We bought our park tickets using Touring Plan’s ticket feature and saved even more money that way. It was super easy to link our tickets, hotel and complete fast pass and dining reservations. The room at Kidani was fantastic and we actually appreciated the less intrusive mouse keeping. I’ll also say that staying at a DVC-only hotel allowed for a much quieter and enjoyable stay.

  • Two quick notes
    -I had a great experience with David’s rentals a few years ago, and would absolutely do it again. It’s worth noting, though, that they are based in Canada, so I had to unexpectedly eat a sizable foreign transaction fee from my bank when booking through them. Not the end of the world, but I wish I’d known that ahead of time and paid with a different method.
    -While the DVC mousekeeping is minimal, you can pay a little extra to have daily (or at least more frequent) visits from them if you want to.

  • We went the DVC route because we knew we wanted a larger 1BR unit, and it seemed that DVC was the best route to get that. We compared the cost to a value suite at Art of Animation, and found that while Art of Animation would have saved us about 20%, we had the advantages of being on the monorail with a kitchen and laundry facilities. That saved us so much time and made our trip so much easier.

    I think people who insist on the dining plan might find a rental to be a hassle, but frankly, with a kitchen, the dining plan makes even less sense than it does elsewhere. We ordered pizza one night (from outside the world) and had leftovers for another night since we had the kitchen. Another night, we just made Mac-n-cheese in the room. We had cereal and pop tarts for breakfast each morning which saved us a lot of time and money. At Bay Lake Tower, we literally could sleep in until almost 7:30, eat breakfast as we got ready and then walk to Magic Kingdom in plenty of time for “rope drop”. We would have had to get up an hour and a half earlier if we had to go to a food court to eat and then wait for a bus.

    If we go back, we’ll definitely go the DVC route again.

  • We rented points through David’s for the Boardwalk when Irma hit, and we had to cancel because we simply couldn’t get to Orlando. Disney agreed not to penalize the owner, but we’re still waiting to hear whether we can get our money back because the owner needs to be able to get another renter. It’s a huge bummer that we couldn’t go, and it will certainly stink if we can’t get a refund. However, the deal was amazing (cheaper than a moderate) and we will for sure try again; we just may be smarter and get insurance next time. . .

    • Aw, Leslie, so sorry about your trip! I hope it works out for you when all is said and done. I usually don’t get trip insurance even though I visit frequently during prime hurricane season. Evacuating from my vacation a few days early due to Irma made me rethink that for future trips though. Not fun!

    • As I understand Disney was giving owners their points back without penalty, but many could not use them before they expired because of the extra low availability.

  • I’ve done probably 25 rentals now, my first back in 2001. I’ve found that renting through a private party and establishing a relationship with the member is great when it comes time to do another rental. (And if you have more than one “DVC friend”, you can even get home-resort advantages at multiple resorts.)

    Also, rates for private parties can be quite a bit less than when going through a broker.

    I’ve found that negotiating payment is an option with most private parties, such as half due now and half within 60 days. I’ve also had most members agree to work with me on finding another renter if my plans had to change – so my money is at a little less risk. So far, no changes of plans, but it’s nice to be prepared.

    Lastly, a question – will trip insurance cover a rental cost arranged between two private parties? I’m not optimistic about that, so that could be an advantage to going through a broker.

    • Most trip insurance will cover in case of severe weather, illness, ect of a private party. We rent beach houses all the time and have had them covered before for a hurricane.

      I doubt they would cover a fraud issue- but your cc company or Paypal should.

    • Thanks Nicholas! Having multiple DVC owners you can reach out to for rentals sounds great, especially if you used them in the past and already established that trust.

      And Sarah gave the same answer I would have given on the trip insurance part, too. You might even be able to find one that would cover a fraud issue, especially with services like VRBO and airbnb becoming more popular.

  • As a DVC member, I do rent out my extra points in this way. Works well and honestly offsets my member dues beautifully.

  • I have always did my own booking via Disney world online. For me and my wife it just doesn’t price out going through Dave’s Vacation Club Points. If you have a family that is different because you need more room but for a couple a Moderate resort will still cost less that Dave’s after adding on Park tickets and Meal Plans. Here’s the thing. People are talking about saving all types of money by eating in there rooms or Kitchenette. Let’ cut costs here and cut costs there. If you really need to do this maybe Disney World is not for you. You lose the Magic. I am not saying DVC point aren’t for everyone, but for a couple it tends to cost more. I would love to stay at the Beach Club with it’s gateway to Epcot, but even via Dave’s I am looking at $1000 to $1500 more than say Port of New Orleans riverside. Yes DVC is cheaper than booking the Beach Club via Disney but Port of New Orleans is a moderate resort and not a Deluxe. Going for point via individual ownership is probably better price wise but I don’t trust many owners in this day and age. I would have to know them or someone who could vouch for them before I would do a transaction directly. Just Say’n

    • Thanks for commenting, Jon! I think it probably depends on what kind of DVC room and resort you’re looking to rent. Many of mine have actually been less than any of the moderates (even with a discount) for a nicer resort. Agree with you on the individual owners though. I know plenty of people say it worked for them, but I really struggle with going through someone directly when I don’t know them. To me it’s worth the extra cost of the middleman to feel slightly less at risk.

  • I’ve used DVC-Rental.com on multiple occasions and have had a great experience each time.

  • We have had great experiences with David’s as well as the other third party brokers mentioned above. If you can’t or don’t plan very far out – try being flexible with a split stay. We stayed for two nights at BLT and 4 nights at BWV over the 4th of July and we booked in February. It would have been awesome to be at BLT on the 4th but walking to Epcot and DHS on the 4th was pretty cool too. I don’t think renting points or split stays are a good choice for your first time visit though.

  • WOW, I actually did not know this was possible and I’m FANTASMICALLY glad I stumbled upon this… Thank you for all the info =)

  • We’ve booked through Dave’s for a trip next summer. We’re booking a family group with 3 rooms and were worried it would be harder to find that many points available but they made it happen! I’d definitely recommend anyone trying to book more than one room to get your reservations in as early as possible though.

  • We have rented points with several different types of brokers (some private, Davids & one of the other above mentioned [can’t remember]). It has always been a great experience AND I will do it over & over again!! I would love to be a DVC owner, however my finance husband just does not believe in it 🙁
    Don’t get me wrong either, I stay at Value & Moderate too. There’s nothing like staying at the Deluxe’s. Take the chance people – it is awesome! 🙂

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