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Old 01-12-2013, 08:11 AM   #16
jarestel
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After a dozen years and many trips, we are still cancellation-free. Of course, given the nature of emergencies that doesn't mean our next trip might not have to be cancelled at the last minute.

I'm not a conservative planner and will gleefully schedule trips during the last month of my use year simply because I want to. If things happen, they happen.

So far the devil-may-care vacation planning style has served me well though. Having said that, I realize this laissez-faire attitude isn't for everyone, but given the relatively small risk and the worst possible outcome - losing points - I'm comfortable with my strategy (which is no strategy at all, lol!)
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:59 PM   #17
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I'm sure I will be a lot more careful after I have used my one time late banking exemption (not a guaranteed policy, but one I feel safe assuming will be in place). Until then, I have plenty of other things to worry about, so I'll leave this one off the list. Like other posters have said, it's a personal preference thing.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:45 PM   #18
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We have had a couple of adjustments and a cancellation. We have 3 UYs and we try to use our points at the beginning of the UY.
We invited some friends along and they had to leave a day earlier than planned. We found out within the 31 day window so points went into holding. The trip was in Oct and the UY was Oct, so we had nearly a year to reschedule those points.
This past Thanksgiving. DS was not able to go due to his job. We found out just before the 31 day window. Lucky we were using our June UY points. We cancelled-we will most likely bank these points before the end of this month and try again for Dec. 2013.
We've been members since 2002.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:02 PM   #19
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We have canceled a few trips so far but more because we booked them at 11 months not knowing that we were 100% sure we were going but because they were at a popular time, we booked. The fact that I didn't have to worry about anything but the 31 day or more cancellation rule, and not my UY, it made it easier to do this.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELMC View Post
I'm sure I will be a lot more careful after I have used my one time late banking exemption (not a guaranteed policy, but one I feel safe assuming will be in place). Until then, I have plenty of other things to worry about, so I'll leave this one off the list. Like other posters have said, it's a personal preference thing.
Does MS allow someone to use the one-time banking exception when cancelling a trip 31 days or less from check-in? It seems the reason for the holding account is because when a trip is cancelled so close to check-in, it's likely the room will go unused. Consequently, the member is limited to using those returned points for last-minute reservations only. Allowing the member to bank those points would circumvent that.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:13 PM   #21
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Here's another idea about an un-ideal UY: don't book on-site stays during the last few months of your UY, if possible.

We got a June UY when we bought direct from Disney and didn't know any better (I'm still okay with the price, but the UY month thing and not having multiple contracts kind of bugs me, but oh well.)

We travel in the fall or early winter for our "big" trip each year, but also like to do a shorter May trip. I just don't use my DVC points for that May trip, and we stay off-site. Do I look longingly at my "home"?

Its kind of annoying to know that if I'd been able to pick a different UY I could book some May travel with borrowed or banked points without having to worry about renting them out if for whatever reason that trip gets cancelled (eg DH's boss changes his mind, etc). But it is what it is, overall we're happy with our DVC and feel getting the contract when we did for the price we did was worthwhile.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaS View Post
Does MS allow someone to use the one-time banking exception when cancelling a trip 31 days or less from check-in? It seems the reason for the holding account is because when a trip is cancelled so close to check-in, it's likely the room will go unused. Consequently, the member is limited to using those returned points for last-minute reservations only. Allowing the member to bank those points would circumvent that.
No, you are correct, points for a trip canceled within 31 days or less from check-in go into holding and holding points cannot be banked. However, it is possible to pass your banking window, be outside of the 31 days and have to cancel. In that case you could apply for the late banking exemption. Sorry I wasn't clearer about that.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:32 AM   #23
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Wow, thanks everyone for the replies!!! The DIS is the best!

It sounds like if we're thoughtful and careful with our planning, we should be able to work around whatever UY we get. I was looking at an October UY and I'm thinking maybe if we end up vacationing in the summers only when our girls get into the high school or college years (*if* they're still willing to go to WDW with their crazy parents , well, we'll just trade or rent points. Or add on more points at that time
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:00 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELMC

You bring up a good point, though, which is that having 2 different UYs allows you the flexibility to book trips at different times during the year. People talk about the downside of having 2 UYs from a management standpoint, but this is actually one of the positives.
That is our experience also. We have adjusted trips all the time and cancelled a few. So far, not an issue but, as we get older, I view having the flexibility as significant.

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Old 01-15-2013, 11:58 AM   #25
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No, you are correct, points for a trip canceled within 31 days or less from check-in go into holding and holding points cannot be banked. However, it is possible to pass your banking window, be outside of the 31 days and have to cancel. In that case you could apply for the late banking exemption. Sorry I wasn't clearer about that.
I've read a few posts where people were allowed to use the one-time banking exception but I can't recall seeing any posts where this was allowed with holding points, but thought it possible I missed something. MS is not consistent on these things so I thought someone might have been granted an extraordinary exception at some point.

I guess my point was that situations can arise within 30 days or less of check-in such as a child getting the flu or a close relative passing away unexpectedly. It's unlikely in that case (within 30 days) to be able to get a banking exception so it helps to have a convenient Use Year. As our situation was unfolding (it started more than 30 days out) I didn't sweat over whether to cancel at 31 days from check-in because I would have a full year to use those holding points. I really did not want to cancel the trip and it was such a relief with everything else that was going on at the time to be able to wait until the last possible moment to make the decision whether or not to take the trip.

I realize that for members who have small children the travel schedule will change over the years so it's a challenge (and maybe not even possible) to figure out what UY would work best. In our case we knew our schedule was unlikely to change making it easy to pick something that works well for us.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:08 PM   #26
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Quote:
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I've read a few posts where people were allowed to use the one-time banking exception but I can't recall seeing any posts where this was allowed with holding points, but thought it possible I missed something. MS is not consistent on these things so I thought someone might have been granted an extraordinary exception at some point.
I think we're saying the same thing here. Points go into holding status if you cancel within 31 days and you cannot bank holding points.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:21 PM   #27
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I think we're saying the same thing here. Points go into holding status if you cancel within 31 days and you cannot bank holding points.
Yes we are. I just thought it would be helpful for the OP if we pointed out that the banking exception would most likely not be an option if a trip is cancelled within 30 days but was allowing for the possibility that I missed a post or two somewhere where someone was allowed to do it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:38 PM   #28
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We usually travel in Fall and Winter and have a February UY. Ack!

One year, we had an after Thanksgiving trip planned to Hilton Head, and didn't really have the money for a full WDW trip so we needed to go to HH.

So...then Dad had to have emergency aortic valve replacement surgery with complications. He had his first aortic valve replacement in September which had gotten infected. It was touch and go.

We had to call Hilton Head and ask for the one time emergency forgiveness which we got. We then took the trip over MLK Jr. weekend in January. Hilton Head temperature -- 17 degrees. We went anyway.

Needless to say...if we had a UY later than February ...we would have put the trip off again!
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:38 PM   #29
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Use year is not that important to me. I do have all my contracts all with the same use year for a managment perspective because it was easier at the time, but now I don't worry about it too much. We travel all through the year, so its hard to nail down one use year. And now that my son is in activities/school we will probably travel even more erratically. I just take a calculated risk that *if* we need to cancel once or twice over the 50 years of the contract and lose those points, it will still be just a small drop in the bucket and isn't something to get overly worried about.

If had a much more predictable travel schedule, use year would matter to us more.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:33 PM   #30
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Another factor with use year is borrowing power. I have a friend who had an August use year. Seemed fine until she decided August was too hot and wanted to go in June right after the kids go out of school. She was usually borrowed ahead. So she couldn't go in June because her next year points could not be borrowed until August. So unless she skipped a year to get caught up, she had to go 8-1 or after.
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