Getting to the Point of Timeshare Points
Sunday, May 23, 2010
If you have ever bought a garment that was marked, “one size fits all” you know this simply is not always accurate. Moreover, when the subject is buying timeshare or owning timeshare, one size (or one type of ownership) will never be right for everyone.
Individual timeshare vacation needs and preferences vary greatly and include vacation clubs, deeded ownership, and right to use timeshare ownership, any of which may or may not include points-based usage. And as popular as points-based timeshare has become, timeshare ownership through points is not the right choice for all property owners. In the same regard, one timeshare points system can be very different from another. Your goal, as an informed timeshare owner, is to understand your options so you can pick the type of timeshare points (or system without points) that best fits your objectives.
Examples of Timeshare Points Structures
Wyndham timeshares can be owned either by points or by whole ownership. Wyndham allows (and encourages) its timeshare owners to convert from ownership to points ownership only. When you do this, you literally deed your timeshare ownership to Wyndham timeshare, while you take points ownership in exchange. You can now use your points to trade or exchange within the Wyndham system. One downside is that you lose your automatically reserved week of timeshare at your home resort, requiring you to request your week of usage every year. If you happened to like knowing you always have a timeshare unit at your favorite resort, year in-year out, then you won’t like making this switch to Wyndham points.
RCI timeshare points are some of the most flexible to use. One simple feature is that RCI has a timeshare points policy that 9000 points will get you any available US timeshare within 45 days of your vacation date. RCI timeshare points can also be use for car rentals, air travel, and other vacation related expenses, which is a popular perk among timeshare owners.
In February of 2009, Disney Vacation Club redistributed their timeshare points. (Read more here: Disney Timeshares Are Changing Timeshare Points Structure) and in July of 2009, Marriott timeshare began integrating its timeshare points system with Marriott Rewards. (More on Marriott timeshare points: Timeshare Points System at Marriott Vacation Club is Changing). Starwood timeshare also made significant changes to their points systems in 2009, with some of the changes overriding privileges that many Starwood timeshare owners felt were part of the rights of their deeded timeshare ownership.
Takeaway point here? How each timeshare company or timeshare exchange company distributes and utilizes timeshare points is very different from one company to the next. Ask before you buy. Understand what you are buying. Timeshare owners who truly get the most out of their timeshares are almost always the owners who have a rock solid understanding of what they own and how it works.