Converting Week-Based Timeshare Into Timeshare Points
Monday, October 3, 2005
In order to achieve greater vacation flexibility, more and more owners are turning their weeks into points. While this can produce the desired effect, turning weeks into points is not always trouble-free.
In earlier posts, I delved into the subject of timeshare points. Points serve to break up a timeshare interval into manageable fractions, and in some cases can even be redeemed for airfare, car rentals or other vacation necessities.
Seeking the flexibility of a points-based system, some owners want to convert their existing weeks into points. More often than not, a major timeshare exchange company provides this service.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering converting your weeks to points.
– If buying points on the resale market, a good starting point is to make sure that these points are transferable. Otherwise, you may be paying a lot of money for nothing at all. This might be an inadvertent mistake on the part of the seller, as he or she might not be familiar with timesharing. It is best to do your homework and get more information from the resort to make sure the points are transferable.
– Most exchange companies require you to be a member before they will process your exchange. Membership usually involves a small fee.
– Week-based timeshare, when converted into points, almost always suffers a decline in value. This situation is exacerbated by points systems which are subject to inflation. Thankfully, some points are inflation-proof. Find out from the seller or the home resort before making the investment.
– Even if an exchange company may gladly convert your weeks into points for a reasonable membership fee, sometimes an individual resort will assess its own fees. These fees range in price, from somewhat reasonable to startlingly cost-prohibitive. This is a hidden cost encountered more and more frequently by resale timeshare buyers. If you are buying timeshare specifically to convert it into points, it is strongly recommended that you contact the resort in order to determine what fees, if any, are charged by the resort under these circumstances. It is possible that hidden charges from an individual resort can amount to more than the (resale) purchase price of the timeshare itself.
Converting your week into points can improve the quality of your vacation experience. Like many things in the timeshare world, it always pays to look before you leap.