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Exchanging is sometimes much less expensive than owning (Both II and RCI)

Discussion in 'Exchanging' started by rickandcindy23, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I exchanged into a week at Hyatt Beach House in Key West with Foxrun, and that exchange was under $900 total with MF's and exchange.

    Today I grabbed a week in San Francisco at The Donatello, a week that would cost me about $1,200 in Shell fees to book. I used my Marriott's Willow Ridge plat studio, so I figure my cost at about $500 with exchange fee.

    I exchanged into Wyndham Shearwater for May, 3 weeks, through RCI, and those weeks were 24 RCI Points each + exchange fees, and my cost per point is about $15, so $360 + $219 each for those weeks. We own at Shearwater and know the fees are around $1,500 for a week.

    I am currently watching for some exchange matches for some Hilton resorts I hope to get for our family trip in 2018. Those weeks would be very expensive with Hilton, but if I get my matches, my cost will be much less.

    So when people say, "Buy where you want to go," I disagree, except for that rare resort where you want a very specific view, like Hono Koa for us. That is the only timeshare we actually always use.
     
    Beefnot, MuranoJo and Jan M. like this.
  2. missyrcrews

    missyrcrews TUG Member

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    Nice job working the system! I agree that there are good deals to be had. The extra vacation weeks are great, too. RCI is not without it's pitfalls....but I've been able to make it work nicely for my family.
     
  3. mdurette

    mdurette TUG Member

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    I agree, owning weeks with reasonable MFs and reasonable trading power is how I try to work it. We own 2 weeks (one a lockoff) for about 10 years now, have never been to either property. Always exchanged and have bought ALOT of getaways/extra vacations. I think if you have the ability to plan ahead or the flexibility to plan extreme last minute you can get so much more out exchanging.

    Over the years we have been many resorts that would have cost us so much OOP (or even renting from an owner) that we would have never been able to take the vacations in the first place.

    In 2016....
    1 BR South Mountain, Lincoln NH - Highest demand presidents week (OGS match)
    2 BR Marriott Aruba Ocean club - school vacation week (this one took a lot of work with Eplus, started with studio)
    2 BR at Wellington in Newport, RI - end of june. (last minute TPU use)
    2 BR at Smuggs in early August (Last minute TPU use)
    2 BR at Marriott Grand Vista in Nov (getaway)
    3 BR week 52 at Pollard Brook, Lincoln NH (LM getaway)

    Coming up:
    2BR Marriott Frenchmans Cove (LM exchange)
    2BR Hyatt Pinion Pointe (OGS match)

    Even giving each of these a conservative $350 per night rate OOP, these would have cost easily $20,000
    For a 2 year period, exchange fees and getaway costs for these units were less than $5,000 (and I still have a bunch of TPUs left)

    To be fair....this does take a decent amount of work. Learning the system and spending a ridiculous amount of time keeping your eye on inventory.

    Then there is a second layer - how to get to all these places! More learning on how to build up massive amounts of points for flights.

    On some level, it is a game for me.
     
    haras, lgreenspan and alexadeparis like this.
  4. hjtug

    hjtug TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    We also own at two properties. However, we did stay once at one of them - through an II exchange!
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  5. theo

    theo TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    No one can argue with success and I tip my cap to your great results, but some people (among whom we now number) simply do not any longer (if they ever did) want to invest the time and endless inventory searching and overall uncertainty --- not to mention "deposit expiration management"; all inherent to playing the "exchange game". To each their own of course and if it works for you, that's great. Good on 'ya! :thumbup:

    I mostly subscribe to the "buy where you want to go" idea, but my own personal viewpoint might be better described as "buy where you would at least be willing to go, without reluctance, (...and can always afford to travel to), if exchanging or renting sometimes just doesn't work out".

    We don't exchange at all anymore, haven't for some years now, but just as an aside I am curious how you exchanged into a Hyatt property (Beach House, Key West) without first having a Hyatt ownership. Is Hyatt a system that "exchangers" can access through RCI and / or II --- or via some other exchange company? :shrug:
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  6. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Yes, II is the exchange company I used to get Hyatt. It does take a decent trader to get into a Hyatt. There are quality filters and Foxrun does see all of the Hyatt resorts. My 2 bedrooms at SBP are much higher fees and also see the same exact inventory. Foxrun is just a great trader in II and gets a bonus week which I do not get with my SBP,. I have bonus weeks (AC's) in my account I never use because they don't work for me, but occasionally my sister finds something with the bonus weeks. She mostly books the resorts in Orlando, since she lives in Georgia. My nieces have annual passes to Universal, so she gets cheap weeks from me to use.
     
  7. elaine

    elaine TUG Member

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    Bermuda in aug for under $1k for family of 4 was my good one, plus 6x dvc, all well under dvc annual fee, even with rci and dvc fee.
    It takes a lot of work! If it wasn't a sorta fun hobby, I would just pay where I want to stay. But, even that doesn't always work out. Look at Marriott points-you have to be on the phone day 1 and even then people report being shut out.
    I'm somewhat on the fence as to whether yes are even worth it anymore. We have 2 that we trade and dvc. That might be it for us.
     
  8. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    We pay about $1,650 for our Hono Koa weeks each year, and we own three weeks, Those units are 40-50 feet from the ocean, we have a nice lanai, and we both just love owning there. Even with Hono Koa, we have to call at exactly one year out, the moment the phone bank opens, to get our desired week.

    We wouldn't care to own anything else on Maui, we cannot really see owning 3 weeks at the Westin oceanfront (I would love to be able to afford it), but those maintenance fees are very high, and the purchase price is not $1.00 + closing. So I do my best to get exchanges and save money elsewhere. But those three weeks, those are very important to us for traveling during whale season.

    Our Shell points have got to go. The fees go up each year, and our benefits have gone down. I am glad I got free points with free use and no closing costs. They aren't worth the fees, that's for sure. The only redeeming value is in booking Peacock Suites on weekdays, but I don't need the number we own for that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  9. sue1947

    sue1947 TUG Member

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    FSA for under $600 in a 2 BR. I use Worldmark to trade and use the deposit first option which means I gamble on which week I'll get and adjust my goal accordingly. When I get a good one, I go for FSA. When I get a dog, I have to work harder but usually get something that is still an upgrade.
    If I didn't want to roll the dice on deposit first, I could do a request first and have a good chance of getting it each winter. That would cost about $250 more; still a bargain.
    Once the FSA was in place, I then used RCI to book GEVC at Lighthouse Pt for $232 for the week and an II AC for Sedona Summit for $274. I love a bargain and we even had decent weather in the rainiest winter in years.

    Sue
     
  10. K2Quick

    K2Quick TUG Member

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    Generally speaking, the key to getting the trades you describe requires that you not be restricted to a school calendar. Since getting our first timeshare in 2009, we've traded a ton. Initially we exclusively traded. But most of the really good trades were off-season weeks in very high-end resorts. Those high-end resorts are rarely deposited in weeks when my kids are out of school. On top of that, most of the really good stuff in II is covered by Marriott or Starwood preference so that makes it next to impossible to get those weeks outside of offseason stuff. I've found myself using the Worldmark system far more frequently far more frequently than trading these days.
     
  11. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Well, as far as I can tell, owning Vistana (no longer Starwood), there is no longer a preference period for us in II.

    The 2 bedroom at Hyatt Beach House, which I acquired with Foxrun week 16 for 2017 is indeed a summer, July week.
     
  12. Panina

    Panina TUG Member

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    Over the years I gave gotten great trades too, with weeks that have lesser maintence fees. More recently, hyatt coconut plantation, hyatt beach house, Marriott sable palms, Hilton Tortuga beach club, Naples charter club just to name a few.

    Being able to plan far in advance and flipping close to vacation date using interval eplus is what makes it work so well.

    With that said, I own where I want to go, prime weeks, prime locations. Most of my weeks are hoa owned that are well runned, not chain timeshare which make my maintenance reasonable. I usually do a request first, so if I don't get something better, I am still happy to go where I own.
     
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  13. mdurette

    mdurette TUG Member

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    I would disagree, either plan well in advance or be spontaneous and do something last minute. My post above for our 2016/2017 gets are all over school vacations. xmas, winter, spring and summer breaks.
     
    klpca likes this.
  14. missyrcrews

    missyrcrews TUG Member

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    Mdurette...us, too. I don't take my kids out of school, so we are limited to break weeks/summer. I don't have II, but we've done fine for RCI weeks. We also do a ton of extra vacation weeks. Next Feb break, we're at Attitash in a 2BR sleeps 8....for less than $500! Kids are psyched about being right across from the mountain. I'm not trying to exchange for Disney. :)
     
  15. K2Quick

    K2Quick TUG Member

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    But that's an example of an off-season week at a high-end resort I was mentioning. Yes, I could do that with the school calendar, but I could also do the Four Seasons in Scottsdale in the summer. Great resorts at miserable times to be there.
     
  16. Beefnot

    Beefnot TUG Member

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    I have had some amazing trades since I have owned. Disney Aulani, Four Seasons Aviara, Marriott Ko Olina, others. I have seen a lot of decent inventory in summer over the years that could presumably have been picked up with an ongoing search and some that was more last minute. Last summer we were in Hawaii on a Hilton bulk banking we had secured via RCI some 16 months earlier. I love exchanging. I don't see me worried about buying where I want to go anytime soon.
     
  17. VegasBella

    VegasBella TUG Member

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    I agree with that.

    But I suppose you could add on a few exceptions. Maybe ... buy where you would at least be willing to go, without reluctance, (...and can always afford to travel to), if exchanging or renting sometimes just doesn't work out and/or accept that there may be years here and there that you don't use your timeshare if/when things don't work out until you can sell or give it away.

    In other words, I could imagine owning something that I might never want to use if it was a good gamble that I would get significant value out of it. That is, when you do your homework and input the values into a spreadsheet to determine a timeshare's worth, factor in not just the cost of MF and inflation and exchanges etc. but also factor in the cost of disposing of the timeshare. (And costs are not just financial, but also time and energy).

    That said, all four of our ownerships fall into "buy where you want to go."
     
  18. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We also receive great value with exchanging - my most recent exchange is into Northstar in August 2018 - I was able to get two units for the same week using an SDO 1 bedroom for each trade. Northstar is not on the lake but we are hiker/bikers, so access to the trails is our top priority. We are having a mini family reunion for my husband's birthday. I agree that planning way ahead or being able to travel last minute increases the likelihood of successful exchanging. Also being flexible on location.

    That said, I try to hold good exchangers in drive-to areas on the outside chance that we stop exchanging in the future, and I also try to hold units that are easy to re-sell.
     
  19. Saintsfanfl

    Saintsfanfl TUG Member

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    I prefer to exchange even if I own there because of the flexibility of E-plus. The final exchanges we stick with are always cheaper than the maintenance fees. It obviously only works 100% of the time for shoulder season. When I find a place and time I really like I try and buy it if exchanging is not high %.
     
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  20. melissy123

    melissy123 TUG Member

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    Wait, Cindy, you believe there's no longer a Starwood, now Vistana, preference, in II? Has anyone tested that?
     
  21. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    We saw some Westin Ka'anapali studios a while back, and none was in preference, so they were grabbed up. I also see Vistana PGA and Beach with my Marriott, just the same as I could see them with my SBP. I think the preference for Vistana owners is over.

    This also means ongoing search preference won't be in play either. So enter searches with your cheapest weeks, because I think the nicer resorts are now up for grabs with decent traders.
     
  22. Chrispee

    Chrispee TUG Member

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    VSE (Starwood) studio units have quite often been released in II without holding preference. The 1br+ (should note that I haven't seen a 2 bedroom in ages) units still come out under preference.
     
  23. BJRSanDiego

    BJRSanDiego TUG Member

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    Slightly off topic - - I see that you are going to Vino Bello in Feb. If you have not already gone, consider going to the timeshare presentation. We went and got a free gourmet breakfast and a "passport" for two for wine tastings at ten different Napa wineries. Some were good and a few were exceptional. It seems like the "going rate" for wine tastings is in the neighborhood of $25-35 a person, so the value of the passport was high. The presentation was low key/low pressure and we were out of there in about an hour and a quarter.
     
  24. SmithOp

    SmithOp TUG Member

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    I just noticed this in my II messages, didn't know the fee went up?

    Exchange Fee Update

    Effective February 15, 2017, the new Internal Exchange fee for properly submitted exchange requests has been reduced to $139 for Vistana Signature Experiences owners.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  25. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Orlando is more miserable, in my opinion, yet Orlando is crowd level 10 most of the summer. I don't get that. Being by the ocean is always better than a Disney park in July.
     

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