Through Insiders may I bring to attention of MVCI owners and prospective owners a matter that I was told today by an MVCI senior manager. MARRIOTT POINTS FOR TIMESHARE WILL NEVER INCREASE. So prepare for the devaluation of your investment, the restriction of your vacations to 40 odd MVCI resorts. The beautiful picture that some salesperson painted for you that mentioned stays at 2 -3000 hotels worldwide has just 'popped' (And worse still - he knew that they were lies, and he knew that Marriott never intended to inflation-proof the points) In 1987 Marriott offered me 110,000 points in exchange for my timeshare. They still only offer me the same today. I guess that in another 10 or so years 110,000 points will buy me 2 nights in a Motel 6 or similar. Serious consideration must be given to this meaness (or is it fraud?) by people considering purchasing into Marriott's Asia-Pacific Club. This club is based entirely on points. (Which may be used as points or exchanged at about 6 to 1 for Marriott Reward points) I can foresee members in the not too distant future spending a a few days vacation in a tent on the beach !!
For Insiders who may be unfamiliar with Marriott Vacation Club, Studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom villas are made available at exclusive resorts for vacation ownership in units of 1 week or 8 days 7 nights. The 52 weeks of the year are subdivided into seasons corresponding to level of demand. In addition to a purchase price ranging from as low as $15K to $60K+ for a week, there is an annual Maintenance Fee ranging from $800 to $2700 depending upon where you own.
The 7 nights are "deeded nights" and qualify towards Elite status. The 7 nights have "Usage Options" including occupy at your home resort, exchange for another resort w/in Marriott Vacation Club, exchange outside of Marriott or trade for points.
LesliePamel is referring to the trade for points usage option. Many MVC owners purchased because this option was very attractive especially when 110,000 points could be traded for many more nights at upscale resorts worldwide. Since 2009 however, the increase in redemption has fueled the perception of 'devalued' vacation ownership.
Although many MVC owners are very unhappy about the devaluation, there is marked reticence about actively expressing it. One of the reasons is that some owners perceive that their exchange reservation for another Marriott resort might not be honored. Or, that their choice of villa at their home resort will be given to someone else. Another owner fear is that maintenance fees will rise substantially.
To sum up, some owners express decreased confidence in Marriott's credibility to deliver a product that maintains and builds value over time. This is coupled with a loss in trust in the Marriott promise.
IMO, the widening of the gap is organizational in nature. Marriott Rewards and Marriott Vacation Club report into Marriott International but remain fundamentally different business segments.
In spite of this gap, we have observed increased brand integration over the past 18 months:
As Leslie Pamel notes, Marriott Vacation Club is also exploring a new usage option. This option is being tested in the Asia Pacific and has not be rolled out in the US. The timetable is unknown. As far as I have heard, it is distinct from Marriott Rewards, but based on another point-like system.
IMO, MVC owners can benefit from being proactive. Clearly, there are organizational gaps that render some hurdles. In July J.W.Marriott alluded to reorganization withing the lodging segment. Perhaps the timeshare segment merits scrutiny as well?
If you are an MVC owner, what changes would you like to see implemented?
TJC That was a full and interesting reply, however may I explain how little value the changes you identify make to me - and possibly others -
As I can no longer afford to exchange timeshare for expensive points I therefore no longer stay at Marriott hotels - then Platinum membership has no value to me - although I achieve it every year through my mvci membership.
Integration of MVC resorts into Marriott Hotel Categories for the purposes of Rewards Redemption
I ALWAYS UNDERSTOOD THTA MVCI OWNERS EXCHANGING FOR POINTS COULD THEREFORE NOT USE THESE POINTS FOR STAYS AT OTHER MVCI PROPERTIES. WHO WOULD WANT TO DO THAT ANYWAY, THERE IS NO VALUE TO BE GOTTEN FROM IT.
I USE MY 10 WEEKS TO STAY AT MAYBE 3 OR 4 PROPERTIES AY YEAR. so I would get at most 1500 to 2000 points. To me that is not a big deal
As I have said many times before Marriott must increase points for timeshare using the multiple of 2.5 to 3
Good to hear from you once more. I enjoy your opinions.
"may I explain how little value the changes you identify make to me - and possibly others. As I can no longer afford to exchange timeshare for expensive points I therefore no longer stay at Marriott hotels - then Platinum membership has no value to me - although I achieve it every year through my mvci membership."
Thanks for being candid. You're not alone. The tip of the iceberg is exposed. Several MVCI owners met at various resorts are literally afraid to be as candid as you because they fear retaliation of some kind.
For example, they won't get the exchange, or the choice villa. Another real scenario is that the cost of additional points will be embedded into the annual maintenance fees incurring an assessment. Or, MFs will skyrocket.
What's truly regrettable is the erosion of trust in the Marriott name. One owner at Seaview Villas in Galloway, NJ said, "It used to be that one could count on Marriott to do the right thing". The statement really surprised me, because it wasn't the first time I heard it. There is a growing number of owners who have lost confidence in Marriott Vacation Club management.
Based upon the Earnings Reports, Marriott Vacation Club is a separate business segment within Marriott International. Management separation and the lack of tighter integration with Marriott Rewards may an underlying condition.
Marriott can change the program literally anytime with six months notice. What if owners get a 10,000 point arrival gift when they exchange and a 20,000 point arrival gift when they stay at their home resort? Plus, 100% bonus points on base points for paid stays? There has to be a some innovative solution that can close the gap or at least make it smaller. The MVCI business is built upon referrals from highly satisfied owners. From that perspective, doing nothing is not only risky for Marriott Vacation Club, it's unacceptable.
Personally, I would like Marriott International to scrutinize Marriott Vacation Club more closely and see to it that owner trust and loyalty is restored. Thanks for taking the time to post back and best wishes for Happy Holidays and a very prosperous 2010.