In the DVC world, "points" are the currency used to secure accommodations. DVC members purchase an ownership in a specific resort and that ownership interest is expressed in terms of a number of points. DVC publishes Points Charts which detail the number of points that must be redeemed in order to spend a single night in a Disney guest room.
All point figures listed on the charts are expressed in per night values. For example, at Old Key West resort a Studio room for a Sunday - Thursday in Adventure season is 8 points per night. A 5-night stay running from Sunday through Thursday (Friday morning departure) is 40 points (8 x 5). Friday and Saturday nights typically cost more points, a move done to balance the higher expected demand for weekend nights.
DVC points can be redeemed for any of the Disney Vacation Club resorts as well as a variety of other Disney and non-Disney destination. The resorts which are home to actual DVC villas are collectively known as the Disney Vacation Club Collection. The most economical use of DVC points will always be found within this grouping. Also note that there is very little flexibility for these point values to ever change. An Old Key West Studio that costs 8 points per night today is likely to still cost 8 points per night in another 20 years. The only way that DVC could ever raise points for a given night at one of the Disney Vacation Club Collection resorts is by lowering the points for another night in the year.
The next grouping is known as the Disney Collection. This group includes all other Disney destinations which do not currently host DVC accommodations. Included in this list are resorts at Walt Disney World which are not home to DVC villas (Polynesian, Grand Floridian, etc.), Disneyland Resorts, Disneyland Paris resorts, Disney Cruise Line, and so forth. These point values ARE subject to annual modifications. They also tend to be much less economical than using points within the Disney Vacation Club Collection. For example, in the same season one could book a Studio at Old Key West for as little as 8 points per night, a Standard View room at one of WDW's Moderate Resorts would cost 16 points per night. For the same night, a Garden View room at the Polynesian is 36 points per night.
Reservations within the Disney Collection (except for Disneyland resort bookings) are subject to a $95 booking fee, regardless of the length of the stay. Also note that points used for the Disney Collection are converted into what are called Reservation Points. Reservation Points must be used outside of the Disney Vacation Club Collection. In other words, a member could not book a Disney Cruise using points, later cancel and use those same points to book a stay at Old Key West. When the DCL booking is first made, the points are converted into Reservation Points. Even if the cruise is cancelled, the points remain Reservation Points and cannot be used to book a DVC resort.
Those who are considering DVC ownership may wonder how many points to purchase. That's a question with a unique answer for every DVC member. Review the point charts. Consider which resort and room classes are preferred, along with the season(s) in which the points will be used and the number of days you wish to visit per year. All of those factors will contribute to deciding exactly how many points to purchase.