I love it! I owned weeks when the new program was announced and enrolled them immediately. I like being able to schedule stays from 1 day and up, on any day of the week. I also like paying one annual fee and not getting nickel/dimed on every transaction. I can still use my weeks as weeks, if I should want to, but can't imagine why I would. Since I am still working I convert most of my weeks into MR points to do 2 - 3 day weekends at Marriott hotels. I also do a Travel Package in Jan, every other year with Southwest, so my wife can fly free for 2 years. Somewhere along the line we purchased points in the new program. When we finally retire we should be able to spend the summer out of the Phoenix heat, using our time shares. For me it is all about the flexibility and choices that I have.
I would echo curiousone that we also are pleased with the point system and its flexibility. We bought into the points timeshare, Marriott Vacation Club, about six years ago and have increased our number of points over the years. While the Marriott Destination (points) program is great, their sales tactics are terrible and have been discussed on this site extensively. We were lucky to have met an Associate Sales Person that was a straight-shooter and professional. She made the experience an enjoyable one and we have been very satisfied with our stays which have ranged from one-night to one-week.
Just bought on the point system a year ago and we love it as well. It's been great to have a night here or a couple of nights there. We recently stayed at Desert Springs and sat through the pitch again. However, there is a new GM at that facility that really believes in educating owners about their points. The "pitch" was more about learning how to maximize your points w/ the soft sell on "can we sell you more?". I'd suggest attending one and learning more. This year with our 2K points I've managed to squeeze almost 2 weeks of stays by working the system.
My issue with the points system (which is a major reason I won't purchase) is that the points are treated like currency except Mr. Marriott controls the exchange rate. Perhaps there is something in the fine print that the cost of a stay cannot ever change over time but it was never obvious to me when I sat through the presentation. The cost of a night for Marriot Rewards Points keeps increasing (and I understand why). Does the cost of a night for vacation points increase or is it guaranteed to stay the same?
You must have been listening to my recent conversations with family and friends. Recently, we did the tour at Myrtle Beach (one of my favorite places) and I was impressed, but my family was not. We didn't purchase into it. I would really like to hear the pros and cons from MVC members. Sometimes people will only share the pros because they don't want to be a sour pickle. I know the 'good' and I have to say it sounds like there are lots of good features and benefits with MVC, but I am interested in hearing the not so good, too. Please share both sides.
We have owned 2 weeks, 2 br units at Shadow Ridge in Palm Desert, Ca for over 10 years. We chose to keep it as a traditional timeshare for a couple of reasons. First, I didn't want to pay anymore than what I had paid already (Approx $30k for both units plus annual maintenance fees) Second, we've always had great luck in being able to trade it wherever and whenever we want to. I book my weeks based on the most desirable weeks within my season-Gold. Then deposit it at Interval, request for the resort I want. Done! Marriott and non-Marriott properties alike. We've stayed at Marriott Koolina, Marriott Maui Ocean Club, Marriott Kauai Beach Club, Aruba Surf Club, Aruba Ocean Club Etc. Most of the stays were in August because of the kids school and sport activities. If we owned in Hawaii maybe I would feel different, but since ours is in Palm Desert, I think we're getting the most of what we paid. If we want to stay somewhere for a couple of days, I use my Marriott Rewards points.
We own two weeks and did not convert. If we had, the number of points we would have gotten would not have been enough to cover staying a week at our ownership location, ergo we would have lost value. And as others have said, you'll find the value of your points declining over time, whereas I don't think MVCI can redefine what a week is (unless they talk with Bill Clinton, of course).
Plus, I have lots of rewards points if I just want a couple of nights. A week is the minimum time I want if I do any distance travel for time off.
Econfkids, as a member of the timeshare community since way way back when Desert Springs was first born, I am disappointed with the conversion program because I lost value with the points exchange program. I owned multiple weeks with Marriott but have since jettisoned (sold) all but my Desert Springs week. I was originally sold on a program that allowed me to exchange my week evenly for another week anywhere in the Marriott timeshare system. Then they changed the rules and created the points based system that basically requires me to trade 2 weeks to get 1 somewhere else. So, I feel like I got screwed. So, I sold all my weeks and now only use my Desert Springs week at Desert Springs every year. I enjoy going there and when I don't I'll jettison that one too. I'll have nothing further to do with the Marriott timeshare makeup that turned my good faith purchases into a ripoff. Loyalty was not two sided with the timeshare program when they scorched my loyalty to them. So, all I can say is 'if they did it once.....' buyer beware.
I'm sure newbies in the program who bought after the Destination Points system began see value but those original buyers got the short stick when points based trading was born.
Anyway, that's my two cents (only worth one cent after points began).
I bought my first MVC timeshare at Royal Palms in Orlando in the late 80's. Since then, I added weeks at Newport Coast, Singer Island (week in each resort), and EOY in Park City and Phoenix. I enrolled all in the Points program in addition to purchasing an additional 1500 Trust points, and am now Chairman level. Since many of my weeks are Gold, my point values vary in value.
Although I was skeptical of the program initially, I have learned how to use it effectively to my benefit and appreciate the flexibility. MVC ownership has changed dramatically since I purchased my weeks, as have many other things in life and the travel industry. Overall, points provide me the best alternative. These are my reasons:
I originally purchased my timeshares as an alternative to vacation properties and have always planned to use them more when I had more vacation (never happened due to job changes) and retirement. Although I am worried about the continued increase in annual maintenance fees (especially with less owner control over the resort Boards), I think the points program is a great improvement. However, I purchased my weeks when costs were more reasonable, and I find the cost to purchase points today to be too high. VC Points are relatively easy to rent at about .50-.55 per point, so I recommend renting rather than buying.
I became an MVC "points" owner in 2010 and have generally been satisfied with the program. We have used our yearly points allotment at the Ko Olina property on Oahu and have never had a problem booking a week in October (off-season). The yearly maintenance fee increase of $100+ is bothersome to say the least. Recently I noticed that the number of points needed was increased at Ko Olina (one bedroom, mountain view) by 250 points for one week in October. I was under the impression that the number of points needed was more or less written in stone. Obviously, I was mistaken. I initiated an online chat session to attempt to determine if this was a mistake. It appears that "points" are adjustable. I will attempt to move up the chain to obtain a definitive answer. However, I find this disturbing as its conceivable that "points" owners might be subject to a double whammy of the ever increasing maintenance fees and an upward points creep. Ouch!
I am curious what you find out, if anything concrete, about the points required to book a stay are set in stone or not. I have been explicitly told multiple times by different people at MVC that they are. It was explained to me that the way the extra cost (or "creep" as you put it) is offset by the cost of points going up every so often.
We JUST bought into the points program, and one of the key reasons was that points needed per night at each resort was set in stone. If this is not the case, I am going to be *very* upset.
I do not yet have a definitive answer. The MVC representative that I talked to mentioned "points readjustments". I was under the impression that the points to book a MVC property were static. I will be at the Ko Olina property in the middle of October and I plan to make an appointment with an MVC representative other than a salesperson during my stay in an attempt to find what the policy on points actually entails. The "points creep" that I found was on the Ko Olina points chart for 2017. The number of points needed to book a one bedroom mountain facing unit during low season (October) in 2017 was increased by 250 points over 2016. I was originally told that the points did not increase at Ko Olina; however, the representative back tracked after the charts were checked. Evidently, a number of MVC properties experienced an increase in points needed to book a stay. Upon my return, I will update my post with any information that I am able to obtain.
I think I may have the answer. I was reading all the Terms and Conditions of ownership. This is from section III B 3 of the Marriott Vacation Club Destinations Exchange Program Exchange Procedures:
"The Exchange Points necessary to reserve a Use Period are identified on the Exchange Point Schedule. Exchange Company will review the Exchange Point Schedule at least annually and amend the Exchange Point Schedule as necessary to maintain an equitable distribution of the usage requirements based on various factors such as relative daily and seasonal demand, Accommodation capacity, size, view, and furnishings, and other valuation parameters established by Exchange Company or as might be required by law. Any such modification to the Exchange Point Schedule shall not require approval by the Program Members or amendment of these Exchange Procedures. Exchange Company may also temporarily discount the number of Exchange Points otherwise required on the Exchange Point Schedule from time to time to reduce the number of Exchange Points required to reserve specific Use Periods at specific Accommodations in the event Exchange Company deems such discounts beneficial to the Program. Such temporary adjustments of the Exchange Point Schedule shall not require an increase in the number of Exchange Points required to reserve other Use Periods within the Program."
My eyes started crossing after trying to read the T&C above , but I may have a simplified answer. The total MVC points for a calendar year don't change, but they may be redistributed amongst the different season's or specific weeks like Christmas. So some years points for a gold season may go up or down, but it is balanced by decrease/increase some other time period. At least, that is my understanding....
Based on what I've read on TUG, the total points required for a week in a 2BR unit must remain constant. However, the allocation for individual days (weekends) and lockoff units (1BR and Studio) for that week can be adjusted. It appears that some weekend days are being charge more points, but the week nights for the same resort were reduced. Similarly, the point requirements for some 1BR weeks(including Ko Olina) were increased, but there was a corresponding decrease for the studio units.
flyingsouth and christianas
It appears that you have both have answered the question. Interesting that the MVC powers that be can readjust points, but not increase the total. Tricky, but it appears within the terms and conditions. I will still attempt to talk to a non-sales representative in October. Thanks for the info.
Econfkids, we like our points. We don't view timeshares as an investment - just as a way to ensure that we do a really great vacation at least once a year. I think the people that view them as an investment are the ones who tend to be disappointed. We love the units with the kitchens, washer/dryer, etc. We've used points at: Ko Olina, Aruba Surf Club, St. Kitts Beach Club, BeachPlace Towers, Crystal Shores, Sabal Palms and Royal Palms so far, along with Renaissance Hong Kong (using MVCI points at a traditional hotel). We appreciate the flexibility, and every year there seem to be more MVCI properties and more options to use at traditional hotels, for packages, flights, etc.
My wife and I have owned weeks at Lake Tahoe since 2002 and joined the Destination Point program when it was offered to us in 2014. Initiation fee was ~$700 and yearly due ~$300. For these we're automatically enrolled at Interval International and no fee to exchange our weeks for Marriott Rewards point. We've used the Destination points to stay at Marriott resorts in California, Hawaii and asia. We've also used Destination points for tours and cruises. We take advantage of our chairman level to get 30% off the points needed to book our stay 60 days or less ahead. So what's not to like ( except of course the maintenance fee. )
We were offered to convert when they began the points program years ago. I believe it was around $500 at the time plus around 500 extra bonus points. I weighed the pros and cons and decided to not go through with it. $300 annual on top of annual maintenance, plus the initiation was too much for me. I usually pay 5yrs in advance for my Interval membership, doing it this way brings my cost to about $50/year. Then, if I exchange my week to another Marriott property it cost me $129. This also gives me liberty to stay at non-Marriott properties too. We exchanged 1 of our weeks to a luxurious property in Riviera Maya, Mexico last summer. The 2br unit was huge and even had a plunge pool on our balcony. The resort rivals any MVC properties I've been to. I prefer to get one to one for my unit. If I switched mine to points, there's no way I can get a one week stay for a comparable unit in Hawaii, etc
But like in everything, to each is own...
I still own a week in Aruba (Location: Palm Beach | Season: Platinum | Floorplan: 2BR + 2BA | View: Garden View) - which converts to 3,475 Points.
Prior to Points - I had only been to Aruba Twice (Live on the west Coast). Instead - I would deposit the Lock-off and Main Room separately - so I could trade in a week for Kauai and Maui through Interval. Trading my Aruba lock-off - to a two bedroom villa in Kauai was exceptionally gratifying.
After Points - Hawaii inventory through Interval became scarce - so I started trading that week for points. Unfortunately - I only had enough points for 1 week in Maui and didn't have enough points for the two room villa in Kauai without banking points for 1 year. So for me personally - I didn't like the transition to Points initially.
That being said - over the last 6 years I have purchased additional points so I could do both Kauai and Maui trips each year and was grandfathered into the Chairman's Club. Since I can work form anywhere - I can be flexible - so I book trips during off seasons and take advantage of the 30% point discount by booking last minute trips (60 Day Prior to Arrival). So my points stretch pretty far. Marriott has also added other options to use on points such as Cruises, Sailing Trips, Guided Tours, Hotel Stays and events - that i hope to take advantage of more when I retire...
So my 2 cents is I feel I got more Value with my Marriott Weeks before the introduction of the points system - since I rarely stayed at my home resort, and could take advantage of Interval Trades to stay at better resorts. Those days are done - but you don't have to give up your weeks. Keep them and you will still have the flexibility to trade for points should you want to experience something different - since Marriott continues to add to the options:.