Something happened today that made me think about the value of Marriott Rewards.
I was making an Interval exchange from MMBR to Marriott Canyon Villas. In my account I have an airline award of 120,000 air miles, which is left over from a travel package I aquired about two years ago. I decided that I could use these miles for flying from LHR to Phoenix AZ for my forthcoming vacation.
Now what is the cost of 120,000 air miles? (One airline mile = one Marriott Reward point) Well I get 110,000 Marriott Reward points for exchanging my timeshare week at Royal Palms. So what is invested in that exchange? It has to be about $1039 ( £675.) for the annual maintenance fee.
Then I had to pay about $115 when I exchanged my timeshare for Marriott Reward points.
Then there is the question of capital invested. Well 26 years ago that was $13,600. So lets say that is about $523 for each year that I have been an owner.
So that is a total value of $1677. Which converts to £1090 sterling.
So what did I get for that?
Well, the published fare UK to PHX is £910 pound sterling ($1456 ) for two passengers, including taxes and charges,with British Airways.
However, as a award traveller I have to pay these taxes. This amounted to £435 pounds sterling. ($696) Which of course means the award is only valued at £475 pounds sterling. ($760)
So I have to surrender a value in timeshare amounting to £1090 pounds sterling ($1744) for an air fare that is valued at £475. ($760)
As they might say on the TV program DEAL or NO DEAL.... Thank you Mr. Banker, but that is not a fair deal, and I will stick with the timeshare. I'm not STOOPID!
There is another downside of course - I spent 100,000 air miles on travelling to a place that I did wish to visit.
Although if I travelled to somewhere I did not wish to visit, I could have spent all of the 120,000 air miles. Now this means that I have 20,000 miles remaining in my account, and I will never use them, and I can never re-convert them to Marriott Reward points.
I am also most unlikely to be able to top them up using Marriott Reward points, and I am also unlikely to fly very frequently on BA in order to raise another 80,000 miles.
As a night at a cat 6 Marriott hotel is 30,000 Marriott Reward points I reckon that the 20,000 points left over is worth about $200 , and the whole lot will be lost in two to three years time as I will not use the air miles account again.
Is there a smart Marriott accountant out there that can explain it to me any differently?
To add to the complexity, Marriott Vacation Club has exclusive travel package rewards for MVC owners including 5-night and 7-night rewards. These were covered in the seminar given at Marriott's Custom House recently. If you find an accountant, let me know.
5-NIGHT TRAVEL PACKAGES for Marriott Vacation Club Owners
7-NIGHT TRAVEL PACKAGES for Marriott Vacation Club Owners
TJC, Thanks for that. I have seen a copy of those awards previously. Please let me explain further - I know that you will already know this - but it might be of interest to other readers.
A travel package at 310,000 points will give a member 7 nights in a cat 6 hotel for 210,000 points NO EXTRA BONUS NIGHT) and 100,000 points to purchase two seats for a transatlantic journey or similar.
That award used to be 200,000 points, and before that 140,000 points
So what is the value of that award today?
Two flights will cost before tax - a member has to pay cash for the tax on the flight ..............£700
7 nights in an hotel. Say the World Centre in Orlando.
Feb 12 2010 £1165
TOTAL VALUE £1865
Now how much does all that cost?
Three weeks of timeshare traded at 110,000 per week = 330,000 points
The administration charge for this exchange is £213.
The rental value of timeshare, Cypress on Feb 12 at £1127 x 3 weeks £3381
Total £ 4081
So a value of £1865 is gained at a cost of £4081
That is why I no longer exchange my timeshare for points.
In my opinion Marriott should inflation proof the points given for timeshare exchange by a figure of 2.85 - the same rate used for the increase in the maintenace fee. I believe with this situation being allowed to rise Marriott has gouged a lot of it's owners. It should now do the right thing for owners and increase the points. However Rewards was never part of the timeshare contract so Marriot could if they wished quite legally withdraw the points connexion. However this would most likely 1. Start a big exodus sale. 2. Ensure that 400,000 members never made a paid stay at a Marriott hotel for the rest of their lives. 3 It would see MVCI quickly failing, and 4. It would invite a bad press.
So all I can say to fellow MVCI owners is look very carefully at the value that you are obtaining when you exchange your time for reward points.