Buried in the hoopla surrounding the Disney ticket price increase announcement is an announcement from DVC that is going to cost some people a lot more than a $50 increase on their annual pass.
Membership Extras Eligibility
Effective February 25, 2018, to be eligible for Membership Extras, Members must own and maintain a minimum of 75 Vacation Points purchased directly from Disney Vacation Development, Inc.
All Members who are eligible for Membership Extras as of February 24 will not be impacted by the 75-Vacation Point requirement, as long as they continue to meet the previously implemented eligibility requirements. For more information, visit Important Membership Documents.
The text of the Important Membership Documents explains it futher:
Membership Extras, such as vacation options in the Disney and Concierge Collections, certain discounts, offers, and special events are
incidental benefits. These incidental benefits are subject to change or termination without notice, may require the payment of a fee and
cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. Membership Extras are also subject to availability and block-out dates may apply,
including high periods of demand such as Christmas and New Year’s Day. To receive any Membership Extras, purchasers must present a
valid Disney Vacation Club Membership Card along with a corresponding valid photo ID. Effective February 25, 2018, to obtain a Disney
Vacation Club Membership Card, Members must accumulate a total of at least 75 Vacation Points purchased directly from DVD. Disney and
Concierge Collections options are not available for ownership interests not purchased directly from Disney Vacation Development, Inc. after
March 21, 2011, and, effective April 4, 2016, Members who have not purchased an ownership interest directly from DVD will not have access
to Membership Extras.
What does this mean exactly? Well, this is actually the third time DVC has changed the rules for resale buyers. So let’s look at how these perks have changed over the years for DVC Members purchasing resale contracts.
From the beginning of DVC until March 20, 2011, all DVC members were treated equally whether they purchased their contract direct from Disney (Disney Vacation Development, aka DVD) or via the resale market. This included all perks and incidental benefits.
On March 21, 2011, DVC implemented the first set of restrictions on resale buyers, or as DVC says, “new purchasers of Disney Vacation Club® ownership interests not purchased directly from Disney Vacation Development, Inc.” This set of restrictions prevented resale buyers from using points to book:
- Disney Hotels (outside of the DVC Resorts)
- Disney Cruise Line
- Adventures by Disney
- “Concierge Collection” Resorts
All in all, this wasn’t a big deal because smart DVC members don’t use their points for these anyway. The reasons why could be the topic of another whole article, but in summary, it’s not a cost-effective way to spend points.
On April 4, 2016, DVC implemented a second set of restrictions that were a much bigger hit to resale purchasers. This time around, in addition to the restrictions of 2011, resale buyers did not receive access to “Membership Extras,” which include:
- Discounts on Annual Passes
- Discounts on Water Park tickets
- Discounts on dining
- Discounts on shopping
- Member-exclusive events
- Special access to or discounts for events
- Special access to or discounts for recreational or educational programs or facilities
- Certain special Membership offers (i.e. discounts on add-on purchases)
This was a much bigger hit because the AP discounts alone could save a family of four as much as $600 per year on annual passes. Add in the discounts on dining and merchandise, and this was a big deal to some. But of course, wherever there’s a loophole, people will find it. And indeed they did, and it was quite cost-effective to do so. Because access to the Membership Extras only required members to have purchased some of their points direct from Disney, and because Disney would sell add-on points to current members with a minimum purchase of only 25 points, resale buyers would buy a bigger contract (150-200 points or more) via resale, saving thousands of dollars, and then spend a bit of that savings to buy a 25-point contract direct from Disney, thereby unlocking access to all of the perks and benefits.
And of course, wherever there’s a loophole that people exploit, Disney will try to find a way to close it. And that’s what brings us to today’s announcement, which becomes effective on February 25, 2018.
As of February 25, 2018, those 25-point contracts will not be enough to get you access to Membership Extras. You’ll need 75 points now. Specifically, the Important Membership Documents state that:
To receive any Membership Extras, purchasers must present a valid Disney Vacation Club Membership Card along with a corresponding valid photo ID.
Effective February 25, 2018, to obtain a Disney Vacation Club Membership Card, Members must accumulate a total of at least 75 Vacation Points purchased directly from DVD.
So, for new members purchasing via resale after February 25, 2018, you’ll need to buy an additional 75-point add-on contract in order to get a membership card and thus be able to take advantage of Membership Extras. The message on the DVC member website says “Members must own and maintain a minimum of 75 Vacation Points purchased directly from Disney Vacation Development, Inc.” Note the language change here – “own and maintain” or “accumulate” 75 points. I suppose this is to cover the possibility that some people might buy the 75 points to get the membership card, then sell those 75 points on the resale market whilst keeping the Membership Extras. This was not a common occurrence with 25 point contracts, simply due to the fact that closing costs on real estate transactions were often more than the savings of buying resale on such a small contract. With a 75-point contract, that will likely not be the case, so Disney is covering that possibility by requiring members to keep those 75 points in order to maintain access to the benefits.
Note that members 25 or more, but less than 75, points purchased from Disney before February 25, 2018 will be grandfathered in to the old rules.
Nevertheless, even with the higher requirement to unlock access to Membership Extras perks and benefits, it may still be cost-effective to purchase via resale. Consider the following hypothetical example: You can typically purchase resale points as low as $100-$110 per point, compared to a new contract directly from Disney at prices of $160-$170 per point. Instead of buying 225 points direct from Disney ($38,250 at $170/point), you could buy 150 points via resale ($15,000 at $100/point), and then go add on 75 points direct from Disney ($12,750 at $170/point) – saving over $10,000 and still getting access to all of the Membership Extras perks and discounts!
If you’re in the market for DVC, contact our official DVC resale partner, ResalesDVC.com, and they can walk you through all the calculations using actual resales they have available right now!