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Are the DVC Member PERKS worth it?

rle4lunch

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#1
My wife and I have been exploring the DVC option for a couple years now and we're getting closer on a decision. I realize that this is a long-haul payoff kind of deal, so whatever we get into we're keeping for a while. My questions are; a. Going through Disney proper for new/resale points worth it for the perks; and b. How much of a break does the average schmo get by going through the official Disney DVC sale/resale office get rather than going through a broker site/company?

Thanks in advance. If there is a massive thread on this I apologize. Just point me in the right direction to it and I'll take my questions there.
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
#2
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Not really. I mean it could, but being a member since 2004 I can tell you perks come and go. While they have made 'tiers' of groups so that only those direct seem to get more than before, I cannot say this will stay true.

The break even point will vary. Like for us we get an AP discount but we're a family of 3. To me that is the bigger break even addition. There is food (TS get mostly 10%) and merchandise (20%). But he math would be totally depending on what contract you buy and how much you save.

That said it also depends on how many points you get and where with how much you will save going from direct to resale. Smaller contracts are harder to save on making the break even point even less.
 

pdude81

Well-Known Member
#3
My wife and I have been exploring the DVC option for a couple years now and we're getting closer on a decision. I realize that this is a long-haul payoff kind of deal, so whatever we get into we're keeping for a while. My questions are; a. Going through Disney proper for new/resale points worth it for the perks; and b. How much of a break does the average schmo get by going through the official Disney DVC sale/resale office get rather than going through a broker site/company?

Thanks in advance. If there is a massive thread on this I apologize. Just point me in the right direction to it and I'll take my questions there.
We go a couple times a year so the AP discount is big for us. The dining/merch discounts help too but they are not as big a thing. We've bought direct and resale before... depending on where we wanted a contract. Do you know which location and contract length you're going for?
 

rle4lunch

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#4
We go a couple times a year so the AP discount is big for us. The dining/merch discounts help too but they are not as big a thing. We've bought direct and resale before... depending on where we wanted a contract. Do you know which location and contract length you're going for?
Right now we're looking at AK, Wilderness Lodge, or Saratoga Springs (because of the cheaper annual fees mostly). We'll probably invest around $18-22k in points, but really haven't discussed length of contract yet. A few friends of ours have multiple contracts with Poly, SS, and Contemporary, but we're not ready to pull the trigger on something like that yet.
 

pdude81

Well-Known Member
#5
It's getting more and more difficult to switch to a different resort at 7 months, so be sure to buy somewhere you like to be, especially if you plan to stay in studios. Saratoga is a beautiful resort but it's probably the easiest to switch to at 7 months if you were to buy somewhere else. It's tricky balancing the annual costs between which location's rooms cost more per night versus higher fees, but if you're considering buying direct you might want to see what the declaration for Riviera looks like early next year or even consider buying Old Key West direct. That gets you lower point rooms up until 2057 whereas most of the resales would end in 2042 for that resort. For those two and CCV I'd probably buy direct, but if buying Animal Kingdom or the older Wilderness the costs savings for resale are pretty significant.
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
#6
There are perks and then there are benefits.

The benefits that come with a direct contract are the ability to use your points for cruises, or for non-DVC locations on property. Those are in your contract. And they are useless. You will do much better renting out your points through a broker and using the cash, instead of using points for these purposes. So right away this eliminates these benefits.

Perks are different - perks are not guaranteed. They can be changed or removed at any time. Granted, now that DVC has this two tiered system, they are less apt to remove perks, but that's not to say they won't change or remove them. Perks should really not factor in the decision, as they have no guarantee of being there.

Having said that, the current AP Discount is significant, if purchasing an AP is something that you would do. Merchandise and dining discounts are nice, but you have to look at how much you would buy. Do you really buy that much merch? I know we have cut back on a lot of TS dining,just because it is not worth it (food quality is not there).

The EPCOT lounge is nice, but I go to it once, maybe twice, a trip, for about 10 minutes, just to cool off. Not really that great a benefit.

The member magic events are very nice - if they fir your schedule. The never fit my schedule, so I just look at them and say "I wish I could be there for that."

-dave
 

pdude81

Well-Known Member
#7
While the perks are not guaranteed, they are a necessary tool for DVC to compete against lower priced resale contracts. They are going out of their way to restrict how you can obtain these benefits and in the process having to maintain multiple qualification standards, so there is no plan for them to go away in the foreseeable future. You get you the 20% merchandise discount unless you buy something that is marked up 40% already, so they could care less about keeping that going.

The AP discount makes up ground very quickly if you go more than once per year, but if you don't then I agree that the dining and merch discounts aren't significant enough to choose direct over resale if the resort you want can be gotten either way. They sure do stack up over time though for people who buy sounvenirs, shop on the parks app, and don't use dining plan for meals in park. It's only if you carefully exercise restraint over your spending that these things become virtually worthless. That narrative may fit a portion of the DVC membership, but I suspect not a large share.
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
#8
While the perks are not guaranteed, they are a necessary tool for DVC to compete against lower priced resale contracts. They are going out of their way to restrict how you can obtain these benefits and in the process having to maintain multiple qualification standards, so there is no plan for them to go away in the foreseeable future. You get you the 20% merchandise discount unless you buy something that is marked up 40% already, so they could care less about keeping that going.

The AP discount makes up ground very quickly if you go more than once per year, but if you don't then I agree that the dining and merch discounts aren't significant enough to choose direct over resale if the resort you want can be gotten either way. They sure do stack up over time though for people who buy sounvenirs, shop on the parks app, and don't use dining plan for meals in park. It's only if you carefully exercise restraint over your spending that these things become virtually worthless. That narrative may fit a portion of the DVC membership, but I suspect not a large share.
I wouldn't say they are 'necessary' to fight against resale contracts. At times AP discounts simply didn't exist. Ticket discounts outside of the APs come and go. It's not needed for them and hasn't always been in the past, but they are doing more as they've upped the direct price. I see it as a way for them to entice people to buy in. There will always be some who just buy direct because that's all they know how to do and it's easier to get financing (eek).

I guess that's why I say I don't think it's always worth it, but running numbers for everything is smart. We do use the AP discount and since we do Gold Passes it can save a lot of money for us. I can save $130 per person for that. The merchandise for us is little since we spend less than $100 a year on that total. Food is okay, but if you eat a lot getting the TIW can really help on savings.

The things like the lounge, moonlight magic, and other things are more subjective. It's harder to put a price on something like that.
 

winstongator

Well-Known Member
#9
Not really. I mean it could, but being a member since 2004 I can tell you perks come and go. While they have made 'tiers' of groups so that only those direct seem to get more than before, I cannot say this will stay true.

The break even point will vary. Like for us we get an AP discount but we're a family of 3. To me that is the bigger break even addition. There is food (TS get mostly 10%) and merchandise (20%). But he math would be totally depending on what contract you buy and how much you save.

That said it also depends on how many points you get and where with how much you will save going from direct to resale. Smaller contracts are harder to save on making the break even point even less.
Do you get dvc discounts on food & merch in addition to ap discounts?
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
#10
Do you get dvc discounts on food & merch in addition to ap discounts?
Do you mean double stacking the discounts? No, you only get one discount per transaction. Or did you mean do we get discounts for food & merch in addition to a discount on the AP price? If so, yes. When we bought in though the discounts were pathetic and there was no distinction at all between resale and direct so it was a no brainer to do direct since we were looking at a larger contract.
 

pdude81

Well-Known Member
#11
I wouldn't say they are 'necessary' to fight against resale contracts. At times AP discounts simply didn't exist. Ticket discounts outside of the APs come and go. It's not needed for them and hasn't always been in the past, but they are doing more as they've upped the direct price. I see it as a way for them to entice people to buy in. There will always be some who just buy direct because that's all they know how to do and it's easier to get financing (eek).

I guess that's why I say I don't think it's always worth it, but running numbers for everything is smart. We do use the AP discount and since we do Gold Passes it can save a lot of money for us. I can save $130 per person for that. The merchandise for us is little since we spend less than $100 a year on that total. Food is okay, but if you eat a lot getting the TIW can really help on savings.

The things like the lounge, moonlight magic, and other things are more subjective. It's harder to put a price on something like that.
I think given how steadily they have been increasing costs they have to dangle a carrot in order to give people a reason to buy through them when they might get half the contract length for half the price elsewhere. In the beginning before there was much of a resale market there was some free park tickets and small discounts, but the AP discount seems to be a key part of their marketing strategy and now has been in place over 10 years. To me this is almost the same thing as them giving 20% off of merchandise or 10% off some meals, because they still make a profit and find ways to convince you that you're saving money somehow by coming back more often and spending your money there. Essentially the the old super combo model from the movie theater. You get more per penny and they get more pennies.

Now I don't think member perks/benefits are anywhere near as valuable as having a contract a resort you want to reserve at 11 months. It's just that (as you said) you have to run the numbers when considering buying contract A from company X vs contract B from DVD
 

winstongator

Well-Known Member
#12
Do you mean double stacking the discounts? No, you only get one discount per transaction. Or did you mean do we get discounts for food & merch in addition to a discount on the AP price? If so, yes. When we bought in though the discounts were pathetic and there was no distinction at all between resale and direct so it was a no brainer to do direct since we were looking at a larger contract.
I meant double stacking discounts. We get the FL resident AP discounts, and AP merch & food discounts (when we remember to ask).
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
#13
I think given how steadily they have been increasing costs they have to dangle a carrot in order to give people a reason to buy through them when they might get half the contract length for half the price elsewhere. In the beginning before there was much of a resale market there was some free park tickets and small discounts, but the AP discount seems to be a key part of their marketing strategy and now has been in place over 10 years. To me this is almost the same thing as them giving 20% off of merchandise or 10% off some meals, because they still make a profit and find ways to convince you that you're saving money somehow by coming back more often and spending your money there. Essentially the the old super combo model from the movie theater. You get more per penny and they get more pennies.

Now I don't think member perks/benefits are anywhere near as valuable as having a contract a resort you want to reserve at 11 months. It's just that (as you said) you have to run the numbers when considering buying contract A from company X vs contract B from DVD
I think we'll have to agree to disagree on it. In the beginning there were free tickets until 2000. That was a very big perk and significantly better than what we get now IMO. A discount on AP really isn't much. They do the same for FL residents hoping to get you into the parks to spend more. Same with the discounts you mentioned. Those discounts likely add to profits, instead of costing them money really.

I agree about having a home that you can really use though. To me that's important. We have always bought where we would like to stay most. I see no point in buying at a resort I never plan to stay in - except maybe if buying for the cabins or the like. Though some day that could bite someone in the butt too.

I meant double stacking discounts. We get the FL resident AP discounts, and AP merch & food discounts (when we remember to ask).
Yeah no double stacking. DVC and AP seem quite similar in discounts too now so I just ask if they take one and hand over the card.
 

dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
#14
I meant double stacking discounts. We get the FL resident AP discounts, and AP merch & food discounts (when we remember to ask).
As @helenabear said, you can't double dip. Often the DVC/AP discounts are similar, but sometimes there are slight variations. For instance I think Basin was 5% more for DVC or something like that.

That is how most of the discounts/perks go. They are pretty much in line with those offered to AP/Disney Visa/etc. The things like the in park events are relatively new, but very limited. They are great if you happen to be in the area and can get there, otherwise they aren't much value. Even the biggest discount, the AP discount, takes something like 20 years of buying APs to break even with the cost savings you would get from buying resale. Much like the discounts/perks you can get from an AP, it shouldn't be the main reason to buy. Take DVC for what it is, lodging, and then if you happen to get something else on top, it's just gravy.
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
#15
I think given how steadily they have been increasing costs they have to dangle a carrot in order to give people a reason to buy through them when they might get half the contract length for half the price elsewhere.
Aside from the special case of OKW, all DVC contracts for a given resort have the same expiration date, regardless of where or when you bought them.

You do not get a longer contract by buying direct. Every single SSR contract expires Jan 31, 2054.

Now, different resorts do have different expiration dates, if that is what you meant. The first batch expire in 2042 - BCV, BWV, HH, Vero, Original WL, and OKW with no extension. Other resorts then expire with the longest right now being Copper Creek in 2068

You can buy any resort direct or re-sale, and the expiration date will not change.

-dave
 
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Sirwalterraleigh

Well-Known Member
#16
I can’t honestly recommend DVC direct sales anymore...definitley NOT an old contract (ridiculous prices for used points)

I always recommended resale...but since they’ve put roadblocks in their and with the spectre of massive increases in food and ticket costs...it’s hard to recommend that too.

I knew DVC would always one day be a situation where you had to take a bundle of cash off your firewood rack before you bought it...it just got there a lot more aggressively with spray tan bob and his collapsing sports network.
 

pdude81

Well-Known Member
#17
Aside from the special case of OKW, all DVC contracts for a given resort have the same expiration data, regardless of where or when you bought them.

You do not get a longer contract by buying direct. Every single SSR contract expires Jan 31, 2054.

Now, different resorts do have different expiration dates, if that is what you meant. The first batch expire in 2042 - BCV, BWV, HH, Vero, Original WL, and OKW with no extension. Other resorts then expire with the longest right now being Copper Creek in 2068

You can buy any resort direct or re-sale, and the expiration date will not change.

-dave
I was not insinuating that you would get anything different buying from DVD in regards to contract length even though there is that oddity with 2057 OKW contracts direct. What I'm saying is that you have the option to buy contracts with about 25 years on them for half the cost per point through resale versus what you'd be paying for a resale contract ending in 2042. I thought this was more clear since the OP was referencing Wilderness Lodge, which has two DVC options. Direct you will get roughly 49 years at $182 a point whereas resale you will get roughly 24 years at ~$90 a point. To me as a potential buyer I would wonder what I'm getting for the additional risk and slightly higher maintenance fees, which is why they dangle the perk/discount carrot to make sure people know they will be considered second class citizens if they take the cheaper option.

[edited to add original quote]
 
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pdude81

Well-Known Member
#18
I can’t honestly recommend DVC direct sales anymore...definitley NOT an old contract (ridiculous prices for used points)

I always recommended resale...but since they’ve put roadblocks in their and with the spectre of massive increases in food and ticket costs...it’s hard to recommend that too.

I knew DVC would always one day be a situation where you had to take a bundle of cash off your firewood rack before you bought it...it just got there a lot more aggressively with spray tan bob and his collapsing sports network.
Direct buying IMO should have to do with the resort you want to stay at. In some cases that is the only way you are going to be able to get the home booking privilege there. In my case I wanted a PVB contract and they were only available direct at the time. We're at 3 years worth of points used later and the resale listings are as high as the effective pp price I paid. None of that matters because I don't intend to sell the contracts off, but I am glad I didn't listen to the "never direct" crowd.

However, we also wanted a contract at AKV and there is no way in hell I'd pay direct prices for those when the same can be gotten $50pp cheaper without looking too hard. I wouldn't tell someone just to buy direct for no reason, but in cases where the price difference is either 0 (not available otherwise) or less than $20 pp, I think that should be a strong consideration
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Well-Known Member
#19
Direct buying IMO should have to do with the resort you want to stay at. In some cases that is the only way you are going to be able to get the home booking privilege there. In my case I wanted a PVB contract and they were only available direct at the time. We're at 3 years worth of points used later and the resale listings are as high as the effective pp price I paid. None of that matters because I don't intend to sell the contracts off, but I am glad I didn't listen to the "never direct" crowd.

However, we also wanted a contract at AKV and there is no way in hell I'd pay direct prices for those when the same can be gotten $50pp cheaper without looking too hard. I wouldn't tell someone just to buy direct for no reason, but in cases where the price difference is either 0 (not available otherwise) or less than $20 pp, I think that should be a strong consideration
Valid points...but you bought poly new. I just think the value of the points is way down since they have doubled them in 10
Years...every bump makes it worse.

But as far as the Home booking window goes...that is important...but my personal philosophy is that if you can not get it at 7 months, that Place/Time is already too crowded and the parks likely suck. So it’s a deterrent in Orlando to me.
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
#20
As @helenabear said, you can't double dip. Often the DVC/AP discounts are similar, but sometimes there are slight variations. For instance I think Basin was 5% more for DVC or something like that.

That is how most of the discounts/perks go. They are pretty much in line with those offered to AP/Disney Visa/etc. The things like the in park events are relatively new, but very limited. They are great if you happen to be in the area and can get there, otherwise they aren't much value. Even the biggest discount, the AP discount, takes something like 20 years of buying APs to break even with the cost savings you would get from buying resale. Much like the discounts/perks you can get from an AP, it shouldn't be the main reason to buy. Take DVC for what it is, lodging, and then if you happen to get something else on top, it's just gravy.
Honestly that number entirely depends on the contract you are buying, how many are in your family, and if you can go with just a Gold Pass. Given a Platinum AP is now about $905 new and a Gold is $627 (only available to DVC and FL residents), a family of 4 could save almost $1108 a year. If you are buying 175 points direct, there is a CCV that is for sale for $29,276 with closing costs (estimated) and direct it would be $31,850 plus closing costs (varies a little if you are financing or not). That doesn't take a lot of time to make up.

The rest I agree though, but one has to totally run the numbers to see where the savings will be. I never buy for perks, but if you're a family of 6 who never travels during the end of the year or Easter/Passover and want a newer resort the numbers could be worth buying direct more quickly...

Valid points...but you bought poly new. I just think the value of the points is way down since they have doubled them in 10
Years...every bump makes it worse.

But as far as the Home booking window goes...that is important...but my personal philosophy is that if you can not get it at 7 months, that Place/Time is already too crowded and the parks likely suck. So it’s a deterrent in Orlando to me.
I'm not sure I follow this at all. The busy times for DVC are often the lesser crowded times. Not that there is a totally down time, but mid November as an example is super hard to book at DVC, but it's not quite as bad as other times of years.
 
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