For those of us who are MVCI owners, we have put a lot of money into purchasing our week(s) & annual fees, etc.--as much if not more than frequent business travelers. I would think that elite status should be given automatically i.e. own 1 week & your are silver elite, 2 weeks--gold status & 3+ weeks--platinum status. Does anyone else feel this way?
I would have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. The investment that you made is over a lifetime, and is even transferable as inheritance upon your death. At some point down the road if it hasn't occurred already, your investment will have paid for itself, and that alone is the payoff (for instance at Newport Coast, during the summer season, ocean view rates are over $500/night, so a one week stay is over $3500 + tax, at a purchase price of $35K, it will pay for itself in less than 10 years, yet it can continue to be enjoyed for life, and beyond). Doing that would water down the Elite Program, in my humble opinion. I believe MVCI owners do get night stay credit toward elite status for their MVCI nights each year, even if they trade through II.
I notice you are already Platinum.
I can understand both viewpoints.
I will offer another perspective on this, which will no doubt also be contentious.
However, like you Rinny, I am a multi-week MVCI owner
(having spent well over $100,000 one-time and now spending some $7,500 annually on Maintenance Fees)
I have also qualified as a Platinum elite member for a number of years.
Perhaps this level of commitment could and should be recognised by Marriott within the Platinum Lifetime qualification criteria?
Well, not quite 10 weeks but it is for 7 weeks.
The MFs range from approx $950 in Phuket Beach Club to approx $1250 per week in St Kitts.
The total is probably is probably well over $7500, but to be honest I would rather not think about this too much.
We really do enjoy all our stays, but we certainly don't look forward to all the bills every January!!!
In fact, owning any property is never paid for completely. It always amazes me when people are surprised by maintenance fees. Prior to buying Marriott timeshare, we owned a vacation home on a river in Wisconsin. We paid for the vacation home, but (like any home) we had monthly utilities, insurance, internal and external maintenance costs (painting, roof, furnace, A/C. etc., etc.). We also had property taxes. We also had to pay for furnishings and appliances, and keep them up to date, and every time we went there we always had plenty of work to do before we could relax: lawn and yard care, shrub trimming, dock and boat cleaning, and on and on. While we liked the place and location, it didn't provide much vacation variety. I suppose we could have gotten into some kind of owner timeshare, but that's a lot more headaches than we wanted. Since selling that home, we have gradually bought into MVCI over the years. Our total purchase investment is about $140,000. For that we own 2 platinum weeks at Grande Vista and a platinum week at Newport Coast, plus 7,250 trust points. Our annual fee on all of that is about $6,300. I once calculated it comes out to about $130/night in a two bedroom. That can vary depending on how we use our points. We tend to always use our weeks, since that is the best value. For that, we get a wide variety of destinations and lodging types, so we're not tied down to one place in Wisconsin. We mostly stay at Marriott resorts or very top shelf resorts from other companies (through II). Everything is always well maintained, the service is great, amenities are great and up to date, we don't have to do any of the maintenance ourselves, so it's all vacation time. I am very satisfied. I suppose I could have saved some money by searching for timeshare rentals and playing all kinds of games, but I have other uses for my time. Since our ownership level is the highest, we can book individual nights 13 months in advance, and I have never had a problem getting into anywhere I wanted to go. We recently returned from a week at Ko Olina in a three bedroom high ocean view unit and a week at Newport Coast. We always go to Florida or South Carolina for spring break. I'm very satisfied.
Yes, Pluto77, the initial cost does eventually "pay for itself". But as bazzap mentioned, the annual maintenance fees, membership fees & exchange fees & now the destinations joining fee, if you care to do so, all all up to serious $ annually that should be considered in something toward elite status. The nights stay, that started a few yrs ago, does help, but not getting 75 nights. Yes, I am platinum through an event that I had for my son's wedding....that helped a lot!! And painedplatinum...the annual fees are pretty high depending on your units location & size. And they go up EVERY year!
The maintenance fees and property taxes are a sore spot, I certainly do understand, and I see your point, however I still see giving Platinum status for just 21 nights (3 weeks ownership) when the standard requirement is 75+ nights, as incongruous. I also think that frequent business travelers, especially those who are in the 75+ night range (some as many as 150-200 nights/year), indeed do outspend MVCI owners.
The annual MF's and taxes are one of many reasons why time share ownership doesn't make economic sense for me. As I mentioned in another post, some people can afford to overlook that, and good for them. Unfortunately I am not one of them.
Yes, bazzap, January is a rough month for those maintenance fees & right after Christmas. I do wish we could stagger the payments!
And Pluto77, you do have a good point regarding the business traveler. But I wonder if they are paying for those nights themselves or is their company picking up the tab??
So perhaps automatic Gold status for 3+ week owners would be acceptable?? Anything in the way of recognition would be awesome! We do get automatic Silver status for being Marriott Rewards Visa card holders!
I lose my typing a lot on this laptop. Grrr. Will start over.
You just mentioned the elephant in the middle of the room with regard to the business traveler. Won't re-invent the entire paragraph I just typed and lost(!) as I have to get busy, but ya most business travel is covered by employers unless self employed, but either way, the cost of travel is factored into the business model. I have to stop there for now on that subject.
I agree with you, it would be nice if MVCI owners could get some extra recognition from Marriott, I just didn't know what type of reward to suggest. You might be on to something with your suggestion. Or maybe get double night credit for your MVCI owner week stays. That would put a three weeker or more at 42 nights (double 21) or more, which is over half way to Platinum and an easily achievable Gold.
I totally agree with your suggestion. I'd also like to add the fact that while Marriott has been upgrading categories on many hotels, they are not giving us more reward points for the weeks we own and exchange.
Let's say: I own 2 weeks at the Marriott Custom House in Boston, and have been getting approx. 125,000 reward points for each week, for the past 10 years. However, Custom House is now a Category 7, at 35,000 (or 30,000 as Pointsavers) per night, and somehow the math does not add up ( 245,000 or 210,000 for Marriott versus 125,000 for us per week...)
Something is definitely wrong here, and I believe that if Marriott increases hotel Categories, they should also increase the amount of Reward Points we get per week owned and exchanged.
Any thoughts on this?
I totally agree with Rinny54. When I bought my timeshare at Royal Palms several years ago, the 110k MR points would get me any resort for 7 nights, air fare for 2, and a Hertz rental car for a week. Now it can only get me less than 7 nights at a category 4 hotel. My maintenance fees have increased over 5% per year, and Marriott considers it to be a category 6 (recently increased to 7?). How is this fair?
superchief, I'm not an MVC owner, and can't recall ever staying at one, although I have been on several of the sales pitch tours and they were beautiful properties and facilities. I'm just wondering what kind of fine print must've been in the contract you signed. Wow! Talk about watering down the value of the product...
yes, shoeman, I do remember that, and the more posts I read from folks like superchief (who I had the pleasure to meet on one of the Marriott Insiders video conferences) the more I'm convinced they are getting a raw deal. Problem is as I see it is that once they get your money then what's the real incendtive for Marriott to make things better??
You are dead on. There is NO incentive for Marriott to do anything other than make the program better for them. And that is exactly what they have done. Unfortunately, we, as MVC owners, are a captive audience. SO, they frilled us to buy, de-valued our points as proposed in their original presentation, took away our trading power as promised to be able to trade into any MVC worldwide, have run their maintenance fees through the roof, and on it goes.
I am not in the camp that the investment pays for itself over time because I own multiple weeks in Desert Springs and Shadow Ridge in California. When I first bought, my maintenance fees were about $400 for each week. This year, I think the number was about $1100....for each week. If I own a timeshare at Johnny Jet's dumpy villa and I have a membership through Interval, I can get a week in Desert Springs or Shadow Ridge on a 'Getaway' purchase for about $250. Yet, I pay $1100 in maintenance. Where is any value for me?
As an MVC owner our property is deeded and so we are billed by the County for the taxes. This is in addition to the maintenance fees we pay. The BIGGEST increase in yearly maintenance fees is the line item for MANAGEMENT FEE. Guess who that line belongs to? Yep, it is Marriott who gets that fee. Utilities, grounds, and many ther areas have all seen cost decreases but the management fee shoots up about 8% (or more) a year.
In addition, there is this little area where Marriott books out the unused timeshare weeks through the Marriott hotel system for a nightly rate. The MVC owners are responsible for the housekeeping costs (which have increased) and I have asked on far too many occasions how the owners are re-imbursed for the housekeeping costs when Marriott books the room and collects the revenue. I even asked for the financials and couldn't determine how we get re-imbursed. I am told there is a 'formula' that is used to re-imburse us and that is as far as I get. If there is a formula.....it must be re-imbursed through an income source, but yet I cannot find any income source beyond dues/fees from owners. Amazing how they dodge this question.
This has been a sore point with many owners, including myself. The two recent devaluation cycles of Rewards has not resulted in an increase in points given to existing owners. When we purchased years ago the reasoning given to us for taking the points every other year was so that we could use them for a seven day stay at any hotel worldwide if we didn't want to use the timeshare that year.
With the devaluation, that seven day worldwide stay is now a four day stay at a Courtyard.
That is my major complaint with the way Marriott has treated the poeple who made a major investment in their timeshares because of their trust in the company. Not only do they insult us by only giving the same level of points (110,000), they have the audacity to charge MR member 210,000 for a week at the same resort. How can they do this in good conscience and not expect us to be upset.
One reason I invested in my Marriott timeshare was due to my trust in the company and the Marriott family. I believed they truly valued their customer and recognized that a key to success was to keep cutomers (and employees) satisfied. By following that philosophy, the company was profitable for many years. I noticed a change in the corporate philosophy about 3-4 years ago, and Marriott Vacation Club was the first division to focus on their profits at the expense of the customers who had invested in their timeshares. A major source of new customers for this division was referrals from current customers. I enjoyed my family timeshare vacations, expanded my portfolio, and referred many friends. However, Marriott got greedy and lost sight of the key reasons for their success. When things got so bad that their referrals for new customers dried up, they spun off the division. Although I still greatly enjoy the MVC resorts and their staff, the costs are increasing rapidly, primarily to cover their new DC program and Marriott management company.
Unfortunately, I see the same thing happening to the Marriott corporation. Corporate has lost sight of the value of current loyal customers and only are concerned with cost containment and margin enhancement. They aren't the only major corporation with this shortsighted philosophy (look at how many companies have downsized their packaging lately) of maximizing margins at the expense of customer loyalty. I believe this will come back to haunt them in the long run. They have lost my loyalty.
I am surprised that business people, who must make up a large portion of Platinum members, seem surprised that a public company is doing all they can to scale back costs in an economic recession to keep profit margins at an acceptable level for their stockholders. I believe every public company in the country is doing exactly the same thing. I think it will keep these companies "in the game" while others fall by the wayside. Costs are up and we want more. Impossible. Yes, it's a shell game, but it is a game that must be played until the time comes when top line sales return to levels that allow for historic margin levels. It's just reality.
that's my opinion.
I don't disagree that cost containment and profits are important to shareholders and long term viability. However, there is a trade-off between customer satisfaction/ loyalty, migration to competitors, and benefit eliminating cost controls. Too much focus on margin can stifle topline growth and sales. I also believe that loyal customers are willing to pay a premium for their preferred brand. If you take away their loyalty, their brand selection becomes cost driven resulting in the company's product becoming a commodity. Commodity driven businesses don't increase shareholder value.
I've observed many successful corporations driven by increasing variable margin experience major declines in sales and market share. The result was they could no longer cover the fixed cost overhead, and their profits declined. Spinoff and 'restructuring' usually are the next courses of action.
Had they not become greedy and out of touch with their owners, MVC could have continued as a profitable business. Most spinoffs are a result of shortsighted business practices and screwed up management with only short term vision. Companies who are successful in the long term keep a focus on customer loyalty balanced by sound business practices. Companies who are driven primarily by variable margin/cost control usually suffer in the long term.
I agree with tef, superchief & shoeman...the economy stinks, MVCI owners took a big hit, & stock holders don't want to sacrifice. I am not a business person at all & don't understand all the economics of this business. All I know is that Marriott needs to "stroke" their loyal customers somehow & keep them happy by offering guaranteed elite status--if not platinum, then gold, bonus points or other perks. It seems that once you are in the "family" you are forgotten & only the newbies get the benefits. I do enjoy my vacations @ the various resorts, but I am not encouraging my friends to join like I used to. I don't trust what will come out next especially since MVCI is on its own. I try to be optimistic & hope for the best!
well said. Plain and simple, the natives are restless and understandably so. I am a business person, and stress to my employees all the time that the best protective customer you have is the one who is already on your books. Mining for new customers is important, but cultivating (stroking) the ones you have is equally important.
Exactly, shoeman. It's the same where I am. New customers are good, but existing customers are the real stability and health of the organization.
I hope the folks at Marriott remember not just the investments "Marriott owners" (as they so happily remind us we are) have made, but also, from a bottom line point-of-view, we continue to be a good source of revenue and Marriott would do well to work to keep us happy. Due to the timeshare weeks, we now are steering more and more of our travel business their way. I don't see any reason that will change in the near future, but if we get to the point that we feel neglected, that's not a tough change to make.
Let's hope someone at Marriott has the good sense to realize what seems obvious to us!
I think the best illustration of Marriott's treatment of MVC owners is illustrated below.
If I turn in my 7 nights at Royal Palms for points, I receive 110,000 MR poitns
If someone redeems points to stay there, the cost is 180,000 MR points.
Now you know why owners are unhappy and that it is hard to get MVC properties for MR points any more. I only would redeem for MR points as a last resort.
Has anyone forgotten that MR members get room nights credit for their MVCI stays ----- and if you want a Lifetime platinum card, stay a combination of 1,000 lifetime hotel and MVCI nights. If you are a buiness traveller or even frequent pleaslure traveller, 1,000 room nights over say a six or seven year period is not as difficult to do as you might imagine AND you would then fulfill the original purpose of MR --- which is (guess what?) to create brand loyalty. (-----although it has been pointed out to me that a Lifetime Platinum card represents nearly 3 years of one's life :-)
Loyalty programs in the travel industry are not rocket science --- they are there as a loyalty incentive.
Without trying very hard, I already have nearly 3,000 Marriott lifetime room nights accumulated since 1985.
If 1,000 room nights seems out of sight, try Lifetime Gold at 800 room nights.
For the 14 nights you stay at the MVCI property you would receive credit for 14 elite nights. Just make sure your Rewards number is in the reservation. You can accomplish that by calling customer service prior to your reservation and asking them to add your Rewards number to the reservation or you can have the associate add it at check in. You cannot add it through the system as you can with regular reservations because the reservation will not show for you even if you enter the reservation confirmation number since it was done through a third party system.
You get the elite night credit only at the location where you actually stay, regardless of how you booked the reservation. So, in the case you present the elite night credit would be earned from the stay at the Hilton Head location. You would not get elite night credit for the Orlando nights you traded away.
1 week MVCI "ownership" should get you 7 MR nights
2 week MVCI "ownership" should get you 14 MR nights
Seems simple to me.
Also, I don't see any difference regarding whether somebody is parting with their own money or their employers. As far as Marriott are concerned surely this amounts to the same thing? This is a "loyalty" scheme afterall.
I could go for that plan. Anything would be an improvement! You are right, it doesn't matter who is paying for the rooms. The point is the business traveler gets the nights for whoever pays the bill. The Vacation Club owner gets nothing for the annual fees they pay. We do get nights stayed if we stay in a Vacation Club property, but not if we trade for points or rent it or don't use it. And remember, we have paid thousands of dollars for this week. Getting nights per room per week just for owning, would be a good solution.
Like tef said, you need to make sure that the Vacation Club you are staying at has your rewards number or you won't get the nights stayed--especially if you traded via Interval International. And yes, Countryjim, you do get nights toward your elite status (this started 2-3 yrs ago) but only if you stay as I mentioned above. Getting 2 nights/day for a 2-bedroom villa as absolutelegend1 suggested sounds good. I was also hoping for some guarantee status for owning & paying annual fees as noted in some of the initial posts.
Probably because they haven't earned it.
There are two camps here on the Insider, those that believe they've earned Plat by merely purchasing something while the others, like me, who feel we've earned the privilege by constantly being on the road. My program to date stays is over 1030, which means I've been away from home over three years. Since I had two small kids during that time, it was a huge burden on my wife and myself. It just doesn't seem fair for somebody to plop down twenty grand on a timeshare and reap the same rewards.
If the premise is brand loyalty, MVCI owners prove the premise. Plopping down 20 grand for me was not as easy as you make it sound. We also travel for business and any time we are able to make a choice it is always Marriott. Sounds like you have a lot of baggage because you are a constant business traveler and do not want to share.....
wow. sounds like you might be carrying some baggage of you own..... maybe you regret the MVCI ownership you are stuck with?? Either way, I find myself in MikieFla's camp on this issue. I wish you well in achieving the necessary goals to achieve gold or platinum, but I do not see why you should be exempt from the stated requirements to do so. By the way, road warriors do pay a price for the careers we choose and one of the things that soften the blow is the points we earn that allow nice vacations with the families that miss while on the road.
I own two MVCI properties so I'm no stranger to it. But as Shoeman1000 pointed out, the program is all about loyalty. Loyalty in the hospitality business means selecting one brand over the other in a highly competitive market. When traveling for business I could just as easily select the Hilton that is directly next to the Marriott, but what keeps me coming back to Marriott is the Rewards program. All those years on the road rewarded me with three million points (although my current balance is 1.5m), so the perks work.
When I use the timeshare it's a totally different situation. I own in St. Thomas and Desert Springs, so when we pack up and go there it's to unwind. Since the properties are deeded and paid for, there is no loyalty involved. When it comes time to reserve, Marriott could care less if I stay at one of their competitors.
Last word on the subject. If purchasing a MVCI property qualified everyone for elite status, the benefit would be watered down since there would be that many more card carrying members, ultimately resulting in no benefits at all.
Have fun in Hilton Head. We recently came back from a stay at SurfWatch and loved it.
You have made your point; you only want your particular form of loyalty to be rewarded. My MVCI investment $ is just as good as your road warrior loyalty $. Does your company foot the bill for your stays? My purchase was made with my own good old earned king dollars.
You'll have to troll somewhere else to make your future points (punintended). I bore easily when I have a valid point.
I personally think MVCI "ownership" do deserve some credit towards their year rewards night totals (maybe 7 per week purchased), but anybody who thinks that MVCI customers should receive auto enrollment to elite status is missing the point of loyalty based reward schemes
How can 7/14/21 nights in an MVCI property ever be the equal of 70 purchased nights from a loyalty perspective? Answer is it doesn't, not even close.
I guess I'll throw myself into the arena for some abuse as well (which I too won't take personally). Well said, absolutelegend, mikiegfla and shoeman. How on earth a one time spend of 20K which gets someone 2 weeks/year for - forever - can equate to spending anywhere between 15K and 25K (or more) for between 50 and 125 nights (or more) every year is beyond me.
The sad fact (and it is a sad fact, and I would be upset too) that Marriott keeps upping their maintenance fees while keeping the points that the owner receives for trading at the original level at time of purchase, while the cost to redeem points at the same property is much higher (Superchief's illustration above) is an entirely different issue. It sounds like in fairness, Marriott should provide owners with a higher point compensation when trading. The issues with the timeshares indeed sound legitimate, but why would they water down one program (and cheat) those loyalty members to compensate for the diminished returns that they've imposed onto their timeshare customers, which amounts to nothing more than robbing Peter to pay Paul? Apples and Oranges to me.
not marriott, not one owner will be happy with my reasonnement.. i dont know this word in englisch, exuse me
why you dont go with 0 investissement, and 0 maintenance fee in the MCVI properity ,where you want, and when you want.?
exemple , the gateway the most expensive in phuket beach club is now nore at 1000 euro, in november i stay
there for 358 euro the week, sure i take 2 weeks at this price.. 358 euro is cheaper at the maintenace fee.there.
I just read through the whole thread and will now give my opinion.
Marriott, as many other companies, got used of double digit profits and those increasing double digit again. They expected them to continue but the economy fell apart. They sold TS telling people, pay once and use them for a lifetime. People didn't count on the rapidly increasing maintenance fees. Marriott used points to lure new buyers in and at first they were great but as said, never increased them with inflation and so no one wanted them. You can purchases them from the Marriott site for less than the cost of MF. This big lure no longer caught new buyers so Marriott developed Destinations that farther socked it to their loyal owners.
TS owners are feeling taken and looking for something to make up for that feeling and now want status. Starwood and Hyatt give it to new owners. I don't think Marriott should. They are already getting nights credit and so if have enough can earn status.
"They are already getting nights credit and so if have enough can earn status."
I would agree with you, californian, if we did always actually get credit of seven nights for each MVCI owned, but that is not the case. If the week is deposited to II or traded for the very downgraded MR points (for a fee) , there is no nights credit.
1 week MVCI "ownership" should get you 7 MR nights
2 week MVCI "ownership" should get you 14 MR nights
This pretty much sums up the current situation, in my opinion. My wife and I purchased a week at Desert Springs 20 years ago and while exchanging has not been as easy as "pick where you want to go and simply reserve it", we did get a lot of quality family time in when the kids were growing up.
Fast forward to 2013. The maintenance fees went from $300 in 1992 to $1300 today, a 433% increase at a time which my favorite website, DollarTimes.com | Inflation Calculator, reports that inflation since that time has run 2.49% annually and that same $300 should now cost $490.25, which I think is about right. Fact of the matter is, Klaus29 was correct when he stated that one could pay to check into one of these properties for less cost than the initial investment and annual fees.
My wife and I enrolled the property in Destinations last year to help ease the exchange problems but a recent experience just yesterday found us just as frustrated. She wanted to go away for two days with her girlfriends to one of five Florida properties between March and September, using some unused Destination points we have. I sat down with her to show her how to check inventory online and imagine our surprise when we couldn't find a single block of two days available in all that time.
The more things change, the more they remain the same.
Wow! That inflation calculator does give impressive information. Yes. If Marriott had only adjusted fees at the rate if inflation, timeshare would be a good deal. Not mentioned is that once you have it, you have to pay the fees till you find someone to take it off your hands which in some cases, could be a long time. I heard that if you have a blue week at Desert Springs, you have to pay to get rid of it.