So you’ve heard about renting DVC points, but may not completely understand what it all means. No worries, I’m going to cover everything in this post for you.
Including some interesting and often overlooked ways to find deals.
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What is DVC?
DVC is an acronym for Disney Vacation Club, Disney’s version of a timeshare that began in 1991. Owners or members purchase a set amount of points to use annually and then pay annual dues. They then can use their points to stay at Deluxe resorts throughout the year. This is the short version since we’re focusing on renting and not the details of buying into the timeshare program.
How can the public rent points?
When owners are unable to use their points for the year, they have the option to rent them out to others. These rented points can be used by anyone. Transactions are typically done through point brokers, or privately (typically via the use of online forums).
How to rent points
There are two primary ways to rent points:
2. Find an owner directly and work with them (typically on forums)
The most popular and more accessible way is the first, using a rental store/broker. These third-party brokers buy unused points from DVC members, and then have a system to rent out all of these banked points to the public.
It’s typically much easier and considered a safer transaction than trying to find and work with unknown people on internet forums. But more on that later.
Pros and cons of renting DVC points
Cost savings – the biggest pro for renting DVC points is the potential of large savings compared to booking the resort directly through Disney. I outline an example of potential dollar savings below.
Accommodations – when you rent DVC, you’ll be staying in a Deluxe villa. Not only are you at the Deluxe resorts, but you’ll get bonuses like a kitchenette, which adds to a lot of potential savings from food costs.
Free parking at resorts – if you’re driving, you’ll save that crummy daily resort parking fee, which can really add up. If you’re staying on rented points in a villa (which you will be), parking is free. Wahoo!
Low flexibility – you’ll typically need to book far in advance, as availability is diminishing as more and more people are using this method to stay Deluxe. This means your dates will need to be set in stone, as most brokers and owners will secure your reservation and then there are typically no refunds or modifications.
Paying in full – most brokers and owners will want you to pay in full once they secure your reservation. Booking directly through Disney will allow you a minimal payment to secure the reservation.
Limited to no housekeeping – for stays less than a week, you’ll get towel and trash replacement services on Day 4, but no beautifully made beds or anything else to come back to.
Looking at the savings in more detail
I’m going to lay out an example so you can get an idea of the savings potential. If you’re not into the numbers and actual realized savings and just more interested in general information, just scroll to the next paragraph.
Our example trip: renting a standard view studio at Animal Kingdom Lodge for a 4 night/5 day stay Wed-Sun in September vs. booking directly with Disney. All prices include tax.
Disney Rack Rate (aka non-discounted rate) = $1552
Disney Room-Only public discount = $1429
Renting points through David’s = $816
You can clearly see the savings potential. Feel free to play with cost calculators on broker sites and then looking on Disney.com to see what your specific savings will look like. It’s quite fun.
My top choice for renting DVC points
I highly recommend using David’s Vacation Club Rentals if it’s your first time. IMO, they’re the easiest to work with, and they have all the tools on their website to make everything pretty intuitive. I’ve never had problems with them, and they’re really nice people.
Cons: they collect a $119 to inquire if a rental is available. While I don’t personally find it a con at all, many people don’t like it. They do this for good reason, which is to have the funds to secure your reservation if it’s available. And if you’re looking for something like a studio during a busy time of year, they do go quick. You’d be surprised. If they don’t have availability, they refund your $119 immediately. But a lot of people don’t like this holding charge.
One tip to get around this is to call them directly and ask about availability. They will usually let you know if something is available, and you won’t have the credit card charge. Problem solved.
Other cons include: full payment is due upon finding your reservation, and your trip is then non-refundable and cannot be modified. Basically, you need to be set in stone of your dates and ready to pay in full. This is not necessarily a con of David’s, but a con in renting DVC points.
While there are mainly two well-known brokers, David’s and DVC Rental Store, many smaller brokers are starting to appear as demand and interest in renting points on both the owner and public side increases.
My #2 Choice – DVC Rental Store
DVC Rental Store offers some deep point discounts on last minute and short stays, which is what I primarily use them for. I have one night at the Boardwalk booked for my July trip that I got for $11 a point.
Pros: no deposit required, amazing availability tool, point protection plan for cancellations, great discounted points for last-minute stays, they will happily book you for short stays (only 1 or 2 nights).
Cons: typically $1 per point more expensive than David’s, sometimes even more for shorter stays.
Other newer sites:
dvc-rental.com – charging $18 per point, a bit on the steeper side.
BipBop – interesting site, with variable pricing per point. Seems like a good option for looking up more last minute deals (by last minute, I mean less than 4-6 months). My link is a referral link and you will receive $50 off your first booking if you use it – so you may want to factor that into your savings too.
dvcreservations.com – points appear to cost between $16-18
bookDVC.com – while I’ll still use DVC Rental Store as my first choice for more last minute reservations, they are charging $15.75 a point if they stay is less than 7 months away, which is pretty good.
Options to find owners and rent directly
There are two bigger sites with dedicated DVC forums where members are frequently posting point offers:
You’ll need to sign up for access to both sites (free). And note that DisBoards actually hides the DVC rental boards if you’re not signed in.
It’s worth spending time exploring, and it seems the average point offer is $15, making it cheaper than going through most brokers. However, it can be a hassle, and a lot of people freak out about sending an internet stranger money. In my experience, most of these people are legit and helpful, and PayPal payments are the smartest way to deflect any fraud.
My personal strategy is to keep a constant eye on these forums since I go frequently, but rent through David’s or another broker when I know I want to stay at a specific resort on certain dates. The forums definitely require more work and communication than a broker, but good deals can be found, particularly last minute ones.
Seems odd, but occasionally you can find members renting out points on eBay.
You’ll typically see a lot of Saratoga Springs overflow on here. If you’re looking for a 1-bedroom villa and willing to stay at Saratoga, you can probably get THE most amazing DVC deal via eBay.
Saratoga Springs is an odd one because other timeshare owners through a company called RCI can rent points directly for Saratoga Springs at a much lower rate. I don’t know all the exact details behind it and only really care about the numbers, but you can get some CHEAP one bedrooms. Like, slap your grandma cheap.
You will usually see in the item description that a $190 resort fee will be charged at check-in, so you’ll need to add this to the total. This fee is not normal for renting DVC, but is found here and solely on eBay because of a timeshare transfer with the outside company.
Let’s compare rates on a 1 bedroom 7 night rental now for this week, all prices include tax:
eBay $999 + $190 fee = $1189 total
David’s DVC Rentals = total of 213 points, or $3621 total
Directly through Disney = charging $3426 total
One interesting note is that this is one of the only cases where booking through Disney.com is cheaper than renting points, but that’s not the main point here. The main point is the “what the whattt” $2237 savings you would get if you purchased the 7 night stay from the owner on eBay vs booking directly with Disney (or worse, losing around $200 from renting points).
You will occasionally find deals for other resorts, or dedicated reservations (already booked) that owners want to get rid of that otherwise are sold out via brokers. Check out the results below with specific search terms I use to find rentals:
Frequently Asked Questions about renting DVC points
Can I still add on a Disney Dining Plan and Magical Express?
Yes. The owner or broker will easily add on the Dining Plan for you if this is what you want. Magical Express can also be set up for you, or you can always just do it on your own as I do on the form right here.
Do I have to pay for resort parking?
No! A huge perk if you’re planning on bringing a vehicle. If you’re staying on rented points, you aren’t subject to the parking fee. Wahoo!
Do I get everything – and am I still in control of everything else – FastPasses, Dining, MagicBands?
Yes. To make a potentially long-winded answer short, it’s similar to booking a hotel through Disney or a Travel Agent. You’ll get a confirmation number, and then you’ll just link it through My Disney Experience. You’ll still get MagicBands, be able to book your FastPasses 60 days in advance, dining is always 180 days in advance to the general public, etc.
Note that free dining is never available to members or renters of DVC, as it’s an offer for when you’re booking an entire package directly with Disney.
Do I get DVC member perks while renting, like being able to access the lounges or events?
No. These are just for owners that are eligible for these.
I’ve covered the main curiosities above, but check out the broker sites if you still have more. They go into heavy detail of any questions you likely have thought of.
There it all is, all of my methods for renting DVC points. When starting out, I always recommend both playing around and booking through David’s.
Anything I’m missing? Let me know in the comments. Disney stuff changes fast, as we all know. Again, if you want more detail or have specific questions, check out the broker sites. I wanted to write this to provide you with the general knowledge and some hints on how to rent, and how to do it efficiently and at a low cost.
Don’t forget that many of these brokers allow you to rent points for one or two nights. I can’t always afford or justify a week-long stay even at discounted rates, so sometimes I’ll do a split stay and spend just 1 or 2 nights at a resort near the end of my vacation when I have more time to relax around the resort.
Enjoy staying Deluxe and please let me know of any big wins you have!