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(2007 thread) Shell Vacation Club (SVC) Points Knowledge thread

Discussion in 'Wyndham Vacation Resorts' started by CatLovers, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. CatLovers

    CatLovers TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Over the past several months, we have been researching the purchase of Shell Vacation Club points, and unfortunately there's not a lot of info available - not on TUG, and certainly not from SVC (who actually seemed to clam up most times I asked a question, and insisted that I had to go to their sales people). Eventually we did make two separate SVC points purchases (resale of course) and through the process, learned a fair amount about SVC and how it works (and doesn't).

    I’m starting this knowledge thread with two objectives – one, that SVC owners can learn from one another, and two, I hope that it will be useful for others contemplating a purchase. It’s fairly long, but since I could have used this detail a few months ago, I hope that others will find it of value. I should clarify that I am not an expert on this subject; all I am trying to do is to archive the knowledge I’ve obtained through this recent process. If you have information on this subject that you think would benefit other TUGgers and/or you feel something in this thread needs to be added to, corrected, or clarified, please feel free to post. Hopefully, with a little bit of effort (and luck), we’ll end up with some good validated knowledge available for all TUG members to use.
     
  2. CatLovers

    CatLovers TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    General information

    Generally speaking, my impression is that the SVC network consists of higher-end luxury resorts primarily in the West and on the Pacific coast, mainly in California, Hawaii, and Arizona. At last count, they had 23 resorts and affiliated properties in their network, including 3 in Canada and 1 in Mexico. They seem to be adding new resorts to their system quite frequently. For example, the Waikiki Marina Resort in Honolulu, the Plaza Pelicanos Grand Beach Resort in Puerto Vallarta, and the Vino Bello Resort in Napa Valley are relatively new.

    As a general statement, other TUGgers have commented that SVC’s MFs tend to be on the higher side, and I don’t think we would disagree. Personally though, I think there is case to be made for “you get what you pay for”. Some people (including us) would say that the higher MFs are reflected in the quality of their resorts, accommodations, amenities, etc., but I am sure that is open to much discussion!

    Edited to add list of current SVC resorts (From the SVC website 8/2008 )
    Arizona
    The Legacy Golf Resort
    Orange Tree Golf Resort
    Starr Pass Golf Suites

    California
    Inn at the Opera
    The Suites at Fisherman's Wharf
    The Donatello
    Peacock Suites
    Harbor Vacations Club
    Vino Bello Resort

    Canada
    Carriage Hills Resort
    Carriage Ridge Resort
    Mountainside Lodge

    Hawaii
    Holua Resort at Mauna Loa Village
    Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy
    Kona Coast Resort
    Paniolo Greens
    Waikiki Marina Resort
    Other Hawaiian Resorts

    Mexico
    Plaza Pelicanos Grand Beach Resort

    Nevada
    Desert Rose Resort

    New Hampshire
    Crotched Mountain Resort

    Oregon
    Whispering Woods Resort

    Texas
    Salado Creek Villas

    Wisconsin
    Little Sweden
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2008
  3. CatLovers

    CatLovers TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    The SVC system

    SVC is a points system that operates independently in its own network, as well as within RCI.

    Let’s look at the SVC network first. When you purchase points (from the developer or resale), you buy within a home club rather than a specific property. So, for example, if you buy points at any Hawaii property, you are considered part of the Hawaii home club. The same for the West home club, the Arizona home club, etc. This is an advantage when it comes to making your reservations as you are allowed to book up to 12 months out within your home club, but only 9 months out for other home clubs. Early in the booking window, you can only book full weeks (any check-in day) but as time rolls on, you can start booking 5-day vacations, 3-day vacations and so on. The actual windows are specified in the SVC membership material.

    When you purchase your points, you are assigned a “use year” and you get your allotment of points on each anniversary. For example, if you have 5,000 points and your use year is March 1 to Feb 28, you would get 5,000 points deposited into your account on March 1 each year. You would then have to use those points by February 28 of the following year. Note that you must actually ‘use” the points i.e. check-in for the vacation or use them to buy other stuff (see SVC Collections later on in this thread) by February 28. If you know that you cannot use your points within the use year though, you can bank them for an additional year AS LONG AS you do it four months prior to the end of the use year. So in the earlier example, you would have to bank them by November 1 in order for them to roll over for one additional year. You can also draw against a future year if you happen to be short of points in one year. There are no additional fees for exchanging or banking within SVC – it’s included in your annual membership fee.

    What do your SVC points get you? Well that depends. Where you’re going, how long you want to stay, what size of unit you want – all of these factor into the points “price”. You really do need to look at a SVC chart to get the definitive answer. And unfortunately, the chart is only available in the Members section of the SVC website (www.shellvacationsclub.com). But, just as examples (and keep in mind that these could change at any time), it would cost you 2,300 points to spend a weekend in a studio at the Donatello in San Francisco in the Platinum season, 6,250 for a week in a 2-bedroom in Kauai Coast Resort in the Platinum season, and 900 points for a Mon-Wed stay at Orange Tree Golf Resort in Arizona in Gold season. I think you see the wide range.

    Edited to add Shell point Chart .PDF
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2008
  4. CatLovers

    CatLovers TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    The RCI System

    You can also use SVC points within the RCI points system. You would do this for two reasons – one, because you want to travel to a location where there is no SVC property, or/and two, because you have been unable to use your points within your “use” and one “carryforward” years in the SVC system. Keep in mind that through SVC, you are not a regular RCI Points member; you are an SVC RCI points member. What that means is that you cannot access the RCI points system directly or do searches and bookings online. Instead, you must call the SVC 1-800 number and speak to one of their staff members for any transactions.

    To use your SVC points within the RCI points system, right now it “costs” 3,500 SVC points for a 1-bedroom and 4,500 SVC points for a 2-bedroom during the Red season. Different numbers of SVC points are needed for different sized units or different seasons. Also, you will need to pay the usual RCI exchange fee for your trade. As always, any trades in this system are subject to RCI availability, and the SVC rep will look these up for you. If you happen to be an RCI Points member (outside of your SVC ownership) then you should (I think) be able to search availability yourself online before calling SVC.

    The second reason to deposit your SVC points in the RCI points system is to “extend” their life. Let’s go back to the earlier example. Let’s say your use year was Mar. 1, 2007-Feb. 28, 2008. As long as you notified SVC by Nov. 1, 2007 you could carryforward your points within SVC to take them to Feb. 28, 2009. If you still couldn’t use them by Feb. 29, 2009, you could deposit them in RCI points and extend their use to Feb.28, 2011. No fee to deposit them into RCI, but there would be the usual RCI exchange fee when you finally used your points.
     
  5. CatLovers

    CatLovers TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Permanent vs standard points

    Within the SVC system, there is a distinction between permanent and standard points. Permanent points are those that are issued in perpetuity i.e. using our previous example, you get your 5,000 points every March 1, every year, for ever. Standard points have an expiry date. While I cannot confirm this, it seems that whether points are permanent or standard depends on the original resort the points are/were bought from.

    If you are considering purchasing resale points, be aware of this distinction and do your due diligence before buying. When we were doing our research to purchase resale points, it seemed that points that were originally bought at the Beach Boy in Kauai HI are standard points expiring in 2049. Please note that I don’t know this to be a fact; this is just my anecdotal experience. Interestingly, most people selling their points are not aware of this distinction. So, if this matters to you, you must do your research before buying. Be particularly careful when purchasing on E-bay as there is often misinformation (usually not intentional) in the online listings. In fact, one regular Ebay seller (who shall remain nameless in this thread – e-mail me if you want more info) blatantly told me that he would not change his listing to identify the points he was selling as standard points. His response: he didn’t think that an expiry date of 2049 would matter to any purchasers today, and quite honestly he really didn’t care! I’m not recommending one type of points over another; I’m only saying that you should do your due diligence before making a purchase so that you know exactly what you’re getting.

    Edited to add more info about permanent vs. standard: it seems that standard points are sold at almost all the SVC resorts, and when bought from the developer are usually cheaper than the permanent points. It further emphasizes the importance of doing your research when making a purchase, if this matters to you. If purchasing resale, ask the vendor to look at the Point Certificate issued by Chicago Title Company (in most cases) - this is the only definitive way to find out what you are buying.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2007
  6. CatLovers

    CatLovers TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Purchasing resale

    If you purchase your points resale, be aware that you cannot access the Shell Lifestyles or Shell Elite programs. You can get more info on these at the SVC website.

    IMHO, the benefits obtained from the Lifestyles and Elite programs do not outweigh the significant savings you can get by buying points resale.
     
  7. CatLovers

    CatLovers TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Maintenance fees

    The annual payment (some make them quarterly) to SVC also includes your SVC membership fee and your RCI points membership fee.

    The SVC website discusses how they determine maintenance fees at their different home clubs. Apparently they assess fees based on the number of points owned in an individual home club (not individual resort). So West home club members MFs are determined separately from other home clubs such as Hawaii or Arizona. Similarly, West home club members do not absorb the costs from other home clubs. Also (and apparently unlike other points systems), to ensure fairness in allocating costs, they assess a base fee for all members up to a certain point amount (it seems to be 2,000 points) and then a per point fee beyond that number.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2007
  8. CatLovers

    CatLovers TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Using your SVC points for other stuff in the SVC system

    SVC Collections (which you can access even if you purchased your points resale) allows you to use your points for cruises, air travel, inter-island air travel in Hawaii, exclusive golf programs, and special hotel and resort programs. Go to their website to get the details.

    Generally speaking, your best value in using points seems to be to use them for resort stays, but these other alternatives can be of value if you find that you can’t use your points, for whatever reason. Myself, I would consider using SVC points for inter-island travel in Hawaii, and perhaps to purchase the SVC Playdeck, but likely nothing more. But that’s just me in today’s circumstances. I could see myself exploring different alternatives if my circumstances changed, and it’s good to know that you do have other choices if need be.
     
  9. CatLovers

    CatLovers TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Owning at a Shell-managed property but not a Shell owner

    TUG moderator Bill4728 pointed out to me that he is an owner at a Shell-managed property but not a Shell owner. Apparently, some Shell resorts have a significant number of non-Shell owners. So if someone is interested in just that one Shell resort, they can buy that one resort from a non-Shell owner and get that one resort. Normally this means significantly smaller MFs than a Shell points purchase, but it also means no “in system” reservations.

    ADDED : To convert a non SVC TS to Shell there is a ~$3,000 convertion fee. So it is often better to sell and buy a TS which is already converted.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2010
  10. Arctic cat

    Arctic cat Guest

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    When you are buying on the resale market if there is ANY missing or incorrect information from the seller you legally have the right to back out the deal during the closing.
     
  11. re991

    re991 TUG Member

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    Each Shell account includes two transactions per use year. A transaction is a reservation, cancelation, or bank. If you perform more than one transaction on a phone call it is considered one transaction. RCI exchanges are excluded. Additional transactions are $25 per transaction.

    Housekeepings per year.
    0-5,999 points - 2 housekeepings per year
    6,000-11,999 - 4 housekeepings per year
    12,000 or greater - 6 housekeepings per year
    SVC Elite - unlimited housekeepings

    Dues are billed January to December. Most of the time the use year does not correspond. Watch out if the escrow company tries to bill you for the current use year. They start billing in January for the year and you will not get your points until the anniversary. You can borrow from next year however.

    Transfer fee's are now charged per underlying contract. If the total points are a combination of several contracts they will charge a transfer fee for each contract, not a single contract fee.

    Annual dues include a club fee for a sigle club and larger fee for multipe clubs. I think that is $129 for a single club and $159 for more than one club. It's a part of the dues calculation and you won't see a separate club fee figure.

    If you have points from two different clubs they can not share points from different use years. You can't share points from your '07 use year from Club A and '08 use years from club B. This can be a problem if the use years don't match. They may be able to adjust the use years to match.

    You can share points from two different clubs, but the nine month rule will apply. So, if you are booking into a resort at club A and want to share the points from the club A account and the club B account even though you can book club A 12 months out you will be restricted to 9 months since you want to use the points from club B and it is only allowed to book 9 months out since it isn't home club for club B.

    Apparently you can't share housekeepings between accounts. You can share points, but not housekeepings. If you have no housekeepings in account A, but one housekeeping in account B you would need to make the reservation in account B to use the housekeeping. You may need to share the points between the accounts to make this work if account B doesn't have enough points.

    I've done several RCI exchanges with my Shell points and I have been pleased with the ability to exchange into desirable locations. I have another timeshare that is rated RID by RCI and I have experienced considerable frustration trying to exchange with it.
     
  12. Kona Lovers

    Kona Lovers TUG Member

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    We bought our SVC points at a Hawaii location, but they are West Coast points, being less expensive than the Hawaii club. They sold us this by telling us that the 9 month window would still give us plenty of time to get into Shell Hawaii. That hasn't been the case. We've gotten into other top-knotch resorts in Hawaii using RCI, but never into Shell's resorts. The 9 month window for that hasn't worked for us.
    Unfortunately, that was before we knew of TUG and became Tuggers. Live and learn seems to be a motto here. Still, SVC has served us well with the bonuses we've received.

    Marty
     
  13. Kona Lovers

    Kona Lovers TUG Member

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    FWIW:
    One of my complaints about the SVC system, and one of the reasons the MFs are so high, is their marketing of a bunch of non-essential garbage along with the vacation part. I'm sure some find it convenient to convert points to Costco memberships and restaurant cards, but my view is that the primary business should be lodging arrangements. This is the reason for the development of the timeshare business in the first place.

    I realize it's like anything else, use what part is best for you and ignore what you don't want, but I do believe they've gotten a bit off track with all the non-essential merchandising mullarky.

    Marty
     
  14. CatLovers

    CatLovers TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    There is generic information under About SVC/Club FAQ (item #12) in the open (not member-only) section of the website. There is no specific financial information regarding MFs anywhere on the website that I know of. However, it seems that there is a base fee on the first 2,000 points (at least for the Hawaii home club; it may be different for other home clubs) and then a MF fee per point for amounts in excess of the base amount. I believe that both the base fee and the per point MF differ from home club to home club.
     
  15. Bill4728

    Bill4728 Moderator

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    Although there are some shell resorts which are also in II, all shell points owners must traded with RCI (or the independants). Shell owners can not use II. Owners at a shell resort, which are not themselves part of shell, can reserve their weeks and deposit with II.
     
  16. CatLovers

    CatLovers TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    If they are in the same club (i.e. Hawaii, West, etc.), they can be combined. In reality, they will sit on your account in separate contracts, but for all practical purposes, they will be combined. However, be prepared to be patient while you wait for this to happen, and to follow up regularly. You cannot combine points from different clubs. You can have them, but they will be managed separately.

    Don't know what you mean by "serviced". Resale points are not eligible for Shell Lifestyle or Shell Elite programs, but other than that, I've had no trouble using my points and all of mine are resale.
     
  17. CatLovers

    CatLovers TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Once they are combined, they will change the renewal date to the later one so that you have a single date. The benefit of this is that your overall maintenance fees will go down (SVC charges a base portion and then a sliding scale on points over the base) since you will not be paying the "base" fee twice.
     
  18. re991

    re991 TUG Member

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    877-33-SHELL

    They use a company named Equiant to process the dues. Equiant also does collections, but don't let that scare you. They don't seperate the collections and the payment processing parts of the business very well, just ignore the collections part.

    If your dues payments are on time then you will just be able to call Shell(not Equiant) and make a reservation. If you're late then you will need to bring the dues current before making a reservation.
     
  19. Picker57

    Picker57 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Shell Maintenance Fees

    Two questions....

    1. How stable have the maintenance fees been for Shell points? Is there any formula for guessing what kind of increases they may have planned? This would be a worry if we purchased any additional points.

    2. When I've seen the MF's listed in the eBay postings, they seem higher than mine are. I believe mine are figured at .25 for the first 2000 points, then .14 for each additional point. Does this sound consistent with your experiences? Not sure where these other MF quotes are coming from.

    Some of the other listings (including going back to Weeks for any additional purchases) are interesting, and I'm ambivalent about the benefits of a points system in our circumstance. For one thing, I think we're still strapped to RCI and their annoying-as-hell additional fees for trades outside of the Shell properties.

    Thanks for any observations.

    Zach Kaplan
     
  20. shellboy

    shellboy TUG Member

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    Combining Shell Accounts

    I believe I read in a separate thread that Picker57's points were from a Shell week (Paniolo Greens) that was converted to Shell points. I recently inquired of Shell about combining an existing Shell Points account with a new Shell points purchase I was considering. The new purchase would have been a Shell Week that had been converted to Shell Points (both were the same "Home Club" and both were resale). Shell's response was that these type of accounts CANNOT ever be combined and will always have to remain separate accounts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2007
  21. shellboy

    shellboy TUG Member

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    Combining Shell Accounts

    This response from Shell was different than when I asked about combining two separare pure points accounts. They always say you can combine two separate accounts if they are the same home club. The difference with this question was that I mentioned that one of the accounts was a converted weeks account and this time they said no combining. It may have been an incorrect answer or maybe they really do treat converted weeks accounts differently. I don't know if any of the prevoius responses on combining accounts involved converted weeks accounts.
     
  22. trkutz

    trkutz Guest

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    Conversion of Shell Ownership to Points

    I recently found your thread, and decided to join the conversation.

    I contacted Shell Vacations Club earlier today, and was directed to conversion sales in Chicago. I currently own one week annually at Kona Coast II, winter season, and wanted to get further info on a possible conversion.

    I spoke with a salesman (Scott), and posed several questions to him.

    1) I currently have a guaranteed week in the winter season, and if I convert, will I have the same under the points system?

    As a owner, a conversion will guarantee that I do not lose my ability to continue to take a week. However, there is no guarantee the week will be in the winter season.

    2) If I convert, and turn over control of my week to the points system, how will I have any ability to get any week in a year? (I asked about their inventory, as my ability to get a week is limited to their inventory in any one location, for any one specific week.)

    My week is guaranteed by contract.

    3) How can it be guaranteed, if anyone can lock in whatever available weeks are in your inventory for a specific location, before I have the opportunity to put in my request?

    It's guaranteed by contract (With no explaination as to how they can guarantee weeks that would not be available.)

    4) Converting my week would earn me 4550 points; however, the same week, if exchanged, would cost me 4750 points. As I go for 2 weeks every other year, I would be in the hole. How do I make this up?

    Buy more points.

    5) Why don't I get the same number of points as it would cost me to complete an exchange into my home resort? And how do I protect myself against "point inflation"?

    At this time, I was transferred to his boss.

    His first statement to me was - "You know this conversion will cost you $10,000."

    This caught me by complete surprise. As I paid $13,500 when I bought this unit in 1993, my out of pocket would now be $23,500, with poorer guarantees. I previously had spoken to a "conversion expert" at Kona Coast 4 years ago, and was told it would cost $2,500. I chose not to take it at that time, as I was told I would lose my "in perpetuity" rights; I would only get use for another 40 Years.

    His next statement was - "Well, you know you will get $31,000 worth of points for this conversion."

    As I was still recovering from the prior shock, I didn't think about asking the next question - How many points is that, and how long do they stay active?
    Also, the "bonus points" merely rejustifies my concern over point inflation.

    I again posed my question on getting a week in my home resort, using my "contract guarantee", and was told "You'll just have to take your chances."

    Needless to say, I didn't go ahead with this any further.

    It appears, based on this phone call, and the prior content of this thread, that the Shell Points Program has one winner, Shell Vacations, and the "point owners" (us) are the losers. Guarantees are only as good as room availability, and as you lose a specific week (or time frame) guarantee under the points system, you could end up with points that buy you nothing.

    Maybe this sytem is good for those not wanting to go to specific resorts, such as my home resort (Kona Coast), but if you want accessability to your home resort, forget it.

    Terry
     
  23. shellboy

    shellboy TUG Member

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    Conversion of Shell Ownership to Points

    I think the advice given to people interested in RCI points also apply to Shell points. If you have a week at a Shell resort and like it, then keep it as a week. If you want Shell points, buy Shell points resale and keep the week or sell the week. Conversion does not appear to be the way to go. Part of the maintenance fee that people complain about being high applies to the first 2000 points (the current Shell Hawaii maintenance fee for the first 2000 points would be about $510 plus $141 for Shell and RCI club fees, the maintenance fee for next 5000 points would be $775 additional). Each additional week's fees after the first week is around $650-$950, depending on the size and location within Hawaii.

    If you have already converted a week, you do have some advantage over regular points owners at your home resort. Weeks owners who give up their week in exchange for points can reserve their home resort (i.e. Kona Coast)at 13 months, whereas other Hawaii points owners cannot reserve until 12 months and other non-Hawaii points members cannot reserve until 9 months. I believe once you convert you are protected (from points inflation) for your week at your home resort but not at any other resort (i.e. whatever amount of points you got to convert will always be good for a week a your home resort).

    If you want to use you points go two weeks every other year, this doesn't work as well. That requires you to bank this year's points into next year. Once points are banked, they can only be used 9 months ahead.
     
  24. mishugana

    mishugana TUG Member

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    Membership card

    Do you get one when you buy resale?
     
  25. blr666

    blr666 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
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    I didn't get a membership card when I purchased resale. I did get a certificate with the points total and our names on it. I've made several reservations and didn't need a membership card.
     

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