After a recent presentation at a Time-Share resort, I have been considering purchasing a re-sell time share. Having been a Marriott Rewards member for several years now, I am considering the MVC as an option. So, tell me your experiences. Is the MVC worth it? Is it convenient to trade for MR points to book hotels? What's the minimum level of MVC ownership to "really" get good use from owning! Thanks!
I don't know if this will help any, but I've found that Marriott is pretty good at mining customer data and targeting products and marketing efforts to fit them. I think the MVC seems interesting, but I haven't received any info from Marriott. Generally I'd say that if they are targeting you for info on it, you must have exhibited some kind of buying behavior that indicated it would be a good fit.
If you are into "numbers" you can make a very good argument against time shares. My wife and I own 4 weeks and 2500 Destination Club points. We enrolled the weeks in to DC. At this time I do not know if I will be going back to Interval. Every January when the the Association dues are up for payment I really wonder if it is worth it. (Note - the sales people NEVER talk about the annual fees) One of the big reasons I purchased MVCI was because I can convert my weeks and DC points to Marriott Reward points. Since we are still working, we have typically converted most of our weeks to MR points. Another benefit of MR points is that they do not expire (but they do depreciate) This year I decided to see what I could do with all the points I had. I used points for a 7 day Travel Package with Southwest Airlines. When the 120,000 points transferred to SWA I qualified for a free companion pass for 1 year. Suddenly my 120,000 SWA points became equal to 240,000 points. This year we are doing a full week in Seattle at the Marriott Waterfront (Part of the Travel Package) and we are doing 7 days at the Marriott Summit Watch in Park City UT (DC Points). We will stay in Page AZ and Moab UT and Flagstaff AZ as we drive to/from Park City. Additionally we have a long week end every month this year somewhere in the West or Midwest (San Diego, Palm Springs, Lake Arrowhead, San Francisco, Portland, Denver, Santa Monica, Phoenix, Branson MO). All air fare is paid for with points, all lodging is paid for with points. Basically, we pay for food and any gas when we drive. We are doing a lot of traveling this year with the annual fees we paid in January. While I hate paying the annual fees, we are really enjoying all the travel it is allowing us to do, at very little additional cost.
I bought at the Surf Club in Aruba two years ago and just added another 2500 destination points. We love it for family vacations. Been to 5 different MVC locations and enjoyed every one. Rewards points add up very quickly if you learn to maximize your earning opportunities. I have never had a problem getting into my first choice location. The staff is extremely helpful. We only travel for pleasure (no business travel) and we got to gold status, which is recognized at all the locations we visit. Free upgrades, breakfast, etc. There is a ton of flexibility with vacation club points. Do it.
I enjoy it very much. Great properties that are kept up very well. The only thing that I will mention is that you do need to plan as many high demand properties during peak season are not going to be available last minute.
That said, I am going to Ford Colony in Williamsburg in two weeks for four nights and then in December going to Oceana Palms. I am very excited to be able to have two trips this year. I am probably going to buy additional vacation club points this year so I can continue to do two nice trips a year.
I have only bought direct from MVC and not a resale, but that is an interesting question (resale vs. direct) but be careful I have heard that some resales do not have the same perks and flexibility if you don't buy direct from Marriott.
I have been a MCV owner since 1998, and purchased another week in 2000. Then in 2012 purchased 2000 Destination points. The weeks purchases are good for staying at your own resort for a full week. If you convert weeks to destination points they will probably get you back at your home resort during the same time period for perhaps 6 days. The difference being that Destination points allows checkin and checkout based on avability for any number of nights(1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, etc). All this checkin and out cost MCVI service because at your normal week you usually get a mid week tidy(replace towels, soap, etc) but not the daily cleaning that you get at a Marriott hotel. If you stay for a day or two MVC has to completely clean the Resort for the next guest and MVC must juggle arrivals and departures like a Motel..However on Traditional weeks occupancy you can only check in on a weekend day.
That said the resorts with the most occupancy, cost the most to purchase, etc are generally beachfront properties. The beautiful, but often easier to book, when you want to are the landlocked resorts. That said every Marriott Resort is top quality.
If you are purchasing for and investment DO NOT PURCHASE. If you want a lifetime of memories. This is a good bet. You can purchase through Marriott Vacation Club(MVC) and a separate corporation from Marriott(split in 2011) but still closely aligned. When you take a MVC vacation you get Nights stayed credit toward Elite levels and toward lifetime status in addition to Marriott Rewards points. If you purchase through Marriott you will get First time MR points or some other incentive.
If you purchase on the resale market you will not get any of these perks but can expect a lower price for the same property. Investigate and make the decision that is right for your situation.
I have purchased weeks, points, and a "re-sell" week from MVCI. I have been very pleased with my experience and the flexibility that the new points system offers. That said, I always tell people that this is a life style decision and not a sound financial one. The reason I bought a re-sell week was to add to my level of destination points. Weeks bought from Marriott (and they must be purchased from Marriott to qualify door this approach) can not DIRECTLY be converted into destination points BUT can be if you purchase an equal amount of destination points. This is where you can save some upfront money. For example, I purchased my week on the resale market for Legends Edge for $4500 and added a matching 2000 (or so) destination points and elected to convert the week to points. This saved me about $7500 vs a straight purchase of 4000 points. The downside is I pay maintenance fees for Legends Edge at the rate of the original owners which is about $500 per year higher than I would pay if I had purchased all points. So I saved up front but pay a bit more annually. There are some great deals out there on the re-sale market so talk to your advisor about all options, how you intend to use the week and put pencil to paper to seed what works for you.
good luck and happy vacationing
We had two weeks at the Aruba Ocean Club..finally after two years of trying we sold our weeks back to Marriott. We had owned these weeks for ten years and had traded for MR points every other allow per the program terms. We eventually found that in the years we were required to go to a destination for a week, we were short on time or could not get in at a resort where we wished to visit. It became a bit challenging with our busy lives, plus we own a second home. Then the Destination Points program was rolled out, we converted from a traditional program to this. Destination Points offered much more flexibility allowing for shorter trips...not a week at a time. However, we still were on the hook for the annual maintenance fees which increased at least 3-5% annually. When we sold our weeks off in 2012, we were paying $1,000 annually for each week in maintenance fees. This would have continued to increase as history had proven. You should weigh the options with what your typical vacation expenses would be versus buying into the program and the "lifetime" of fees associated with it. We decided the program simply did not work for us and were finally able to sell back...as stated after two years.
I own in Orlando as I have a young son. The place (lakeshore) is great but I would never buy from Marriott again. The points value requirements are assigned by Marriott and can / do go up all the time. If we had put the same money in the bank (including the maintenance fees), we could have equal quality vacations (including going to Lakeshore) anytime we want anywhere we want and would still have significant money in the bank (owned for 3 years).
I advise all my friends and family to stay away until Marriott fixes the system. For example, if I cash in my week for points I would get about 20% less points than it would take if I wanted to use points to go to Lakeshore.
We bought our first timeshare (Beachplace Towers) in 1999. We purchased 2 weeks (1-Platinum, 1-Gold).
Since then not only have we expanded our portfolio (6 weeks-5 locations), we have enjoyed many wonderful vacations-either just the two of us or with family. Since we purchased at the time where they were deeded weeks, it can be passed along.
We have utilized all options along the way-stay at home resort, trade into II (in the beginning), trade for MR points, rented, and now trading for Destination points.
The only "issue" (if you could call it that) we would have is the annual maintenance fees creep up every year. However, the cost of everything has been going up for the last 14 years as well. So we kind of expect the increases.
Any and all properties we have stayed at-be it MVCI resort or Marriott location (hotels, etc.) are always well maintained and the staff is always helpful and friendly.
I don't mind planning vacations ahead of time as I am still in the workforce. This way I know when we're traveling, where we're traveling, and how much money we need to save for food and souvenirs.
I echo what most have written here. In 1992 my wife and I purchased a week at Desert Springs and as part of the deal are allocated (if we want) 110,000 points in the MR program every other year. Back then 110k points meant a 7 day stay at any Marriott worldwide - plus airline tickets for two. Today I'd be lucky enough to get three days at a Courtyard for the same amount of points. The maintenance fees are another matter as we originally paid $300 a year and now it's up to $1,400. But it's not all bad, we have had some very nice family vacations over the years and exchanged (but not without major difficulties) for properties in Hawaii, Aruba, Orlando, Boston, Williamsburg and many other destinations.
My best grab was during the height of the great recession when people were trying to get rid of anything they could in order to save money. At that time I snagged a week at the St Thomas property for $2,500 on Ebay. Unfortunately the maintenance fees there also keep rising but I knew that going into it.
Jarmis made an interesting point. Depending on the property and time of year, one could pay for a unit at one of the resorts for the same amount as the maintenance fees and not have to deal with everything that goes along with ownership.
We bought our first timeshare at Royal Palms adjacent to the Marriott World Center in Orlando in the 80's. Our family enjoyed many wonderful family vacations there so we expanded our ownership to include 4 other resorts and 15oo trust points. Although I think we have gotten our money's worth and will continue to in the future, I would not recommending buying into the MVC program today. Marriott was a different company at that time, and I trusted that our vacation value would be protected. Since that time, the company has changed, MVC was spun off, and valuing and respecting customers is no longer a priority. I don't trust the company because I don't know what else will change in the future that will impact our ownership.
I highly recomment that you visit the Timeshare User Group forum to learn more about options for buying/ renting MVC timeshares and the DC point program. We love the resorts and locations, but the initial investment is much higher than previously, and you no longer own a proportion of an individual resort. There are several other opportunities to enjoy these resorts without committing the expense to buy points from MVC.
The decision to purchase vacation club points can be complicated. The only way to determine if vacation club ownership represents a good value is to perform a financial analysis. This requires comparing costs associated with vacation club ownership with the costs of the alternative - paying retail costs for lodging fees. Before I purchased vacation club points, I created a spreadsheet to determine if there was a financial benefit associated with vacation club ownership. The spreadsheet was so helpful that I decided to create an application so that I could analyze future vacation club purchases. This application is called PointsCruncher and is located here: http://pointscruncher.com. I hope it helps make vacation club ownership decisions a bit easier.