Steph is right…your BEST value is staying at DVC properties. When you stay outside inlcuding other WDW properties you get hit for a $95 reservation fee, and the points per night are higher than comparable DVC unit. You save money over the RACK rate but it’s still more money. I think the reservation fee is a rip because you are ALREADY paying a premium in points.
That said, I just booked a 7 night low season on the Magic using points. At 404 points for a cat 6 balcony cabin. The annual dues plus the reservation fee the annual dues is less than $1850. Cash price is about $3500. That’s a decent discount on the price. (Same cabin on expedia is $3100!)
Some people say that I could have rented those points for $4,000. paid cash and had a little money in the pockets to spend. That’s not totally correct because you have cost (annual fee) you’d really have to rent about 880 points to crusie for “free.”
Then there is the whole renting points hassle. Generally it’s not too hard, and it’s a great deal for both the member and the person renting. But this year, it’s been MUCH harder to rent with the economy and such.