Small Contracts vs. Large Contracts

Once you start looking into DVC contracts, you’ll notice that contract points can range from small (less than 100 points) to large (200 points and over).  I recently wrote about why I purchased a small add-on contract at Bay Lake Tower, but I thought I would bring this idea of contract size into a wider context. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons to having small contracts versus large contracts:

Small Contracts

Pros

  1. Lower Initial Buy-In Cost – This is obvious, but purchasing fewer points equals a lower buy-in cost, which makes small contracts more affordable.
  2. Lower Maintenance Fees – Since these fees are directly related to the number of points on your contract, smaller contracts have lower maintenance fees.  
  3. Additional Home Resorts – Some people like purchasing small contracts to have multiple home resorts.  This gives you the 11-month booking advantage at more than one resort.  

Cons

  1. Limited Use – Unless you are using a small contract to bank or borrow points for a trip, they often don’t go very far.  For example, a 50-point contract can at most get you 5 days in a studio at Old Key West during Adventure or Choice Season. 
  2. Higher Price Per Point – For resale contracts, you’ll notice that smaller contracts tend to go for a higher price per point than larger contracts for the same resort.  
  3. Harder to Find – Smaller contracts make for popular add-on contracts, so they are often gone very quickly.  If you are interested in a small contract, be sure to sign up for alerts, such as the one at the DVC Store.  
  4. More Complex Planning – If you are juggling a few small contracts from different home resorts, it may take more organization to plan trips, especially if the contracts have different Use Years.  Different Use Years would lead to different banking deadlines. With contracts from different home resorts, you would have to wait until the 7-month mark to use all your points for the same resort.  This is because each contract retains its home resort advantage. For example, if you had contracts at both Saratoga Springs and the Polynesian, you wouldn’t be able to use Saratoga Springs points to book at the Polynesian until the 7-month mark.

Large Contracts

Pros

  1. More Options – With more points, you have more villa types available, and you can get a lot more space or a lot more vacation days.  
  2. Lower Price Per Point – For resale contracts, larger contracts tend to go for a lower price per point than smaller contracts for the same resort. 
  3. Easier to Find – Larger contracts are not as popular, so they are slightly less competitive than small contracts.   
  4. Simpler Planning – If you are doing one large contract as opposed to more than one small contract, planning will be more straightforward since all points will be from the same contract with the same Use Year.  

Cons

  1. Higher Initial Buy-In Cost – With more points, there is a greater initial buy-in cost, so large contracts are not always feasible for everyone.
  2. Higher Maintenance Fees – The more points you have, the more costly the maintenance fees are.
  3. One Home Resort – If you buy where you want to stay, this isn’t too much of a con.  However, if you enjoy trying other resorts, having one home resort may make it trickier to book the resort that you want.  This can be the case during busier times of the year when it is harder to switch resorts at the 7-month mark.

Let me know in the comments below: Do you prefer having one large contract or a few small ones and why?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.