My wife and I are retired but are not world travelers. We have a Marriott rewards card which is our primary charge card with about 300,000 pts. accumulated...it's taken a few years to get those too. We have friends who are what I believe is "premier plus" for life with 2.5 million rewards pts. and a hhalf dozen "timeshares" under the earlier Marriott system. We travel with them from time to time and most recently spent 8 days in Fords Colony Williamsburg Va. Love it! Went to a presentation on the Vacation Club program and have a contract in hand ready to mail thereby joining the VC to the tune of an initial 3,500 VC pts., $36,400 plus $700 +/- closing costs.
I was reading on one of this websites pages reviews of the VC program (can't find the site again) and it seems many of the newly purchased VC owners and particularly, the owners under the earlier timeshare system are not happy. Any advice to my wife and I before we mail the contract and deposit? I did read where we should consider buying VC pt.s at the lowest rate i.e., $1,500 and then rent the points we need to travel in better style than we used to.
I am a MVCI owner (weeks and points) and we have been happy with our purchase. That said, I do not consider this a financial investment but rather a life style decision. I wish we had been able to afford it when we were younger but we have used it with kids and grand kids. We like the options, flexibility of vacation choices, and the fact that it encourages to travel. I am sure you have done your research, but make sure you go into this with your eyes open, annual fees and maintenance cost in addition to your initial investment may make extend your payback period, but the memories that you will build are priceless.
My wife and I are Marriott weeks and points owners (premier plus) and are very happy with our ownership. I agree with shashack 100%, this is not an investment it is a life style decision. The maintenance feeds can seem oppressive since they all come due at the same time. However, I now consider my maintenance fees to be a prepayment on that years vacations. My wife and I just added to our time share collection by purchasing into the Starwood (SPG) program. I think it will compliment the Marriot program. You may want to talk with SPG before buying into the Marriott program.
Because we enjoy Boston, the Custom House seems to be our favorite Marriott time share. The rooms are not that great (It is an OLD building) but it is in a perfect location, with a T-rail stop right out front, that also goes to the airport. Just a 5 minute walk to the North End and all the great restaurants!
Please. I beg you. Even if you already made your purchase. Go to this website and post the same question. This website is the definitive source for this question.
Thanks for all the comments. I am leaning toward someones suggestion to buy the least VC points $1,500 and then purchase additional points being sold by owners when we decide to travel...also not certain what 1,500 VC points can get you as far as a vacation. This option saves paying the maintenance fees, etc. Since we do not own any other Marriott timeshares and therefor cannot exercise an option to convert weeks to VC or rewards points,etc. I'm asking if that makes sense to those of you more adept at this than I am. I will need to sign and mail the contract for the 3,500 VC points and related rewards points this week if we decide to go that route. As I mentioned in my original question my wife and I do not take many extravagant vacations. Our bucket list basically includes an Alaska Cruise, The California Wine Country, Canadian Rockies by Train, and Ireland. Ortherwise we stay close to our home in Emerald Isle NC...all beach! Any help is appreciated.
I am a long time MVC weeks owner and also bought a few Destination Club points. We have enjoyed our timeshare vacations and look forward to many more in the future. However, I think the points currently are very expensive to buy, therefore you may want to wait to buy more until you have used the system for a couple of years. It is easy to rent DC points from owners for .50-.60 per point, so there is no need to buy additional points. If you really like a specific resort and plan to primarily visit that location, you will likely be able to buy a resale week from a current owner at a very reasonable price. Although you can't convert resale weeks to DC points, you can still exchange it for other resorts through Interval.
As mentioned earlier. the Timeshare User Group forum contains many excellent tips regarding getting the most from timeshare ownership. MVC is currently implementing some major changes in ownership levels and benefits, so these may also impact your ownership options.
Note: I share your Canadian Rockies train trip on my bucket list. I hope that MVC will offer this as an Explorer option at some time in the future because the cost currently is pretty high, especially compared to Amtrak trains through the Rockies.
dshell You probably already have all the information you need about MVC by now, or perhaps have made your "destination points purchase". If not, I believe the cost/point is going up again in late March, so you might want to exercise option soon. I'd suggest minimum of 2,500 points to enjoy the facilities, but you might choose higher number. I've learned that "vacation weeks" and "premium points owners" (5,000+) receive priorities at MVC facilities, which is no different than airline frequent flyer programs. Your Marriott Reward status doesn't get you much attention at MVC, other than frequent contacts from agents trying to sell you more points!
If you haven't learned already, booking reservations in the more popular spots requires several months' advance searching, and if you try to book more than 9 months in advance of your desired stay, you'll have to book minimum of 7 nights. We usually try to book Sun-Thurs to maximize our points usage, as weekends are more expensive (points).
Hope this is helpful.