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Points Vs. Weeks

Discussion in 'Exchanging' started by missyrcrews, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. missyrcrews

    missyrcrews TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I received a survey from my timeshare this week, gauging our interest in points systems. I sent it back with a resounding NO NO NO. :) Would like to gather some information from those of you who have both systems.

    First off, we have owned only weeks. We own 4 units, all at the same resort. Only one of those intervals is traded every year. One is used every year, and the other two are sometimes traded, depending on the calendar shifts relative to school break. I bought what I use. They all have traded nicely...I've been satisfied with the trades I've gotten.

    When we DO travel for a long weekend or a partial week, I watch for cheap extra vacation weeks. I've generally been able to find something that works for the times I want to travel. I do not need the flexibility that points tend to offer.

    I don't see that points would benefit me. I'm quite happy with my usage. Am I missing something? $1 or 100 pennies....all worth the same. Changing to points won't magically "up" a particular week's value, which is what I think some owners are hoping will happen. Sigh. Hopefully it's just a tempest in a teapot.

    For those of you who have both systems, which do you prefer and why? Many thanks!
     
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  2. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Week vs. points, whether one is better than the other is dependent on each system. Many developers set up trust points as a means to repackage weeks, especially weeks that were foreclosed and in shoulder season which no one wants. With points, they can redesign the system in that higher season requires more points while low season requires fewer points. A way to solve the problem of owners ditching their low season weeks and another way to make money again, the latter through asking owners to pay to convert their weeks into points for greater flexibility.

    Only you know your resort well enough to know if it is for better or for worse. I own weeks and points within the same systems, Marriott and Vistana. All my weeks can be used as weeks, used for for external exchange or converted to points each year to be booked within their internal systems. Love what I own.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
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  3. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I owned Weeks forever, feeling like seven nights is seven nights, no matter how you slice it. I can't argue with that, but found I didn't always want to spend seven nights at a given location. Staying at my home resorts was usually okay, but when exchanging, I had to book a full week at places where fewer nights would have been enough, but I had no choice. As exchanging through RCI became harder to do, and more expensive, I started looking at other options.

    I bought and sold different resorts to learn about different mini systems and options, testing the waters. I am down to only one Weeks timeshare now, and it's a very nice place. It's a biennial Southern California week that is in a highly regarded resort, and part of a good mini system. I have two brothers who live in different cities, both just minutes away from this resort. I haven't stayed at the resort, (brothers wouldn't hear of it), and I used it to exchange through the internal exchange system to a very nice resort in Hawaii for this year. Looking down the road to my impending retirement, I will probably pass this unit along to a new owner later this year. It's very nice, but I'm just not likely to ever use it for anything more than an exchange.

    Not to be without any timeshares, I bought WorldMark late last year. I live in the heart of WorldMark country, and have many of their resorts not far from my home. The Points in WM allow me to take weekends and book short stays easily, but I own enough Points to book a full week or more in nice places. I still have the option to exchange through RCI if I want to (I doubt I will), but overall, it is a good fit for me. For now.

    The choice you need to decide is how you want to use your ownerships. If you stay at your home resort, and like it. thats great. If you opt to exchange it, and you get a good value for your exchange, that is also fine. Only you can decide what is the best use of your time and travel budget.

    What changed for me was the element of time, and wanting to stay shorter periods than a full week. With that in mind, shifting to WorldMark was the right choice for me.

    Dave
     
  4. moonstone

    moonstone TUG Member

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    We have a traditional "week" purchased in the '80's and are still happy with it. We rarely trade it as we bought where we love to go and since it is floating we can choose which week we want to book there each year. Our resort tried to get us to switch our week to points many years ago but for a price higher than our initial purchase price. We told them we had already bought the week once we weren't buying it again!

    We thought the points system did make sense for us, so a few years ago we decided to buy some points (resale of course) to use in our retirement. We bought 77K RCI points and so far we have been able to get between 3 and 5 (7-10 night) timeshare stays from them (at mostly shoulder season non-gold crown resorts). I like the idea of being able to book 10 night stays for the same exchange fee as a 7 night stay. The one thing that bugs me about the system (when searching) is that RCI hasn't figured out a way for us/customers to search for just points resorts for a more than 7 night stay. When you have a points account with RCI you see all the weeks inventory as well as the points inventory, and resorts are not "coded" to indicate whether they are a points or weeks resort. On-going searches can not be set up to use points either. Also if you happen to book at a "weeks" resort for 7 nights using points, the exchange fee is actually higher than booking 9 nights at a points resort! Go figure! :wall:


    ~Diane
     
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  5. missyrcrews

    missyrcrews TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Thank you, folks. My big fear is that I will be forced to convert to points, and I do NOT want to. I like using what I have the way I've been using it. Diane's point about longer stays is great, but 7 days is about as long as we would be gone...so I don't need that perk at this juncture in life.

    For reference, this is a 77 unit independently managed resort. No "systems" to trade within...so that doesn't matter. I'll do some intel work this week while we're here, and see what the impetus is for the survey.

    So glad I have all of you to ask questions to...you are amazing! <3
     
  6. bogey21

    bogey21 TUG Member

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    I could be wrong but I don't think you can be forced to convert to points...

    George
     
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  7. classiclincoln

    classiclincoln TUG Member

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    For what it's worth:

    Yes, a week is a week; no one can change that.

    There is nothing to stop any system from changing the number of points you need for a week. So, for example, if today you need 1,000 points for a week and next year they change it to 1,100, what do you do? You are still paying the same maintenance fees each year, but the value of those fees just dropped by 10%. Or, you could buy the extra 100 points, but your fees now cost 10% more. Just an example, but you get the point.

    If you don't want to stay for a week at one location, do what others have done; just grab a cheap getaway or book a hotel.

    When Marriott wanted me to convert my Grande Vista unit to points they were going to give me like 4,000 points. However, I would have needed something like 4,200 or 4,300 points to book a week in my season! Now why would I do that???

    Just my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions....
     
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  8. flybefree

    flybefree TUG Member

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    I don't think you could be forced to either. There's quite a cost involved. I bought a week I thought was in weeks but turned out to have been converted into points. It has had some benefits that weeks doesn't, and yes, you can search for 7+ night stays. The resort itself established what the points would be, and it has stayed consistent at 104,500 points (currently an $888 MF). It is a contracted rate with owners. Whereas in weeks, RCI decides the trading power and I own the same resort as an EOY odd year...its value is mid-60s TPU deposited separately (3 BR lock-off) but it was once as high as 95. Same MF.

    For some resorts, it's cheaper for to book the RCI exchange in points and for some, in weeks. One had a shocking difference of $300+ for the same unit. Some resorts don't release inventory to the points side until 10 months out. I can book most properties 2 years out in weeks, like I did with Vincennes (Paris outskirts) for the first week of the French Open (an extremely rare find). With points, they're good for one year, and are automatically saved for the second year free. With my platinum membership, if I pay to extend for a third year, I get a fourth year free. But due to a death in the family that caused a cancellation of a 60k-point stay, and a job change that reduced my husband's PTO, we still have 100k 2016 use-year points that I'm trying to get friends to use so I'm not paying again to extend. Plus 2017's points, and in 6 months, 2018's. Aaaack.

    We're probably going to sell the points one and stick with the EOY, then maybe buy points from people if we have used ours up but still have time remaining on the membership and are able to travel more. We'll see. Having a ton of points seems great until you feel like you're drowning in them. Oh, and if I book a trip that starts after 9/30, I have to pay the $125 fee to extend. The points are pooled and I can't choose to use the newer points to avoid the fee while seeing if a friend or two can use them.

    So, long story long, you could get some new value out of a points membership with its different perks and costs, but there are definitely downsides. Since you're happy with what you've got, I'd leave well enough alone. You're not missing out. We do Airbnb or book hotels with credit card miles when not timesharing. It all works out.
     
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  9. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Wow! Cold Spring is doing this? You know how I feel. Especially since I know how you use your ownership. Keep what you own! Weeks all the way!

    All I can say is that when Smuggs went to RCI points, the whole feel of the resort went down hill compared to what it was- not to mention now with the Wyndham affiliation. And yes- I realize it was a financial situation to try to infuse more money into the resort.

    Also- at Pollard Brook- many of the owners regret converting to points- especially Innseason points- because they can never get into the resort during prime weeks- especially summer. Pollard Brook is a small resort like Cold Spring and there is limited inventory in the summer.

    Being your resort is in the Northeast and you use the weeks you own, I wouldn't change a thing.
     
  10. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    You cannot be forced to convert to points, so do not worry about that. As for your survey- now it starts....:eek:

    The other issue with RCI points or other points systems is that you are now married to that system- the membership and exchange fees and so forth. With weeks, you do not HAVE to belong to an exchange system at all. I don't.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  11. missyrcrews

    missyrcrews TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I actually *like* RCI. (Ducks for cover!) I make it work for me. Yes, it can get costly if I let it. But then I offset that with extra vacation deals like I got on the Smuggs week we're using later this spring. Or the Attitash week we used over Feb break. I don't want to go to Disney or Hawaii. I'm not trying to get into the Hyatts of the world. I just want a little break from working 50-60 hour weeks, and maybe see something in our country that I haven't yet seen. :)

    Thanks for those of you who've said I can't be forced to convert, even if the resort DOES. I want exactly what I have....I love things as they are!

    Time to get ready for breakfast. The resort is headed to the American Legion for breakfast, and the resort's van is going to pick us up at our door so we don't have to scrape ice. (ICE. Let that sink in!)
     
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  12. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Yes- I get it. I just meant if you didn't want to exchange anymore at some point in your life, you would still have to belong to RCI to book your ownership. Though I suppose you could always convert back to a weeks ownership if that ever was the case for you.
     
  13. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I see your point, and don't disagree that Points values can change. But I also think if you're going to exchange that Weeks timeshare you own, and the exchange company keeps jacking up exchange costs, you can end up paying more as well. When I first joined RCI, it was $79 a year for a membership, exchanges were $99, and nobody was charging [apparently RCI-only] daily "resort fees" to stay at the exchanged resort. Now it can easily add several hundred dollars to the backend cost of any exchange. Added to the maintenance fees and whatever other costs you are paying, how is that really any different than how Points work?

    There is no perfect system, obviously, unless you minimize costs by only ever staying at a Weeks resort where you own and can easily get to. For me, and the way I've learned I like to vacation, having a Points ownership works better - so far. If it gets to the point where the costs are excessive, I'll sell off everything, and go to a pure rent-from-an-owner model. Or buy a tent and camp in my backyard, where I've already paid for the Wifi. ;)

    Dave
     
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  14. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Also, don't forget that there are opportunities to "swap' with other owners. Another option. At Smuggs we can do so right on the owners page. But also our Facebook Group page and Yahoo Group page. Same with my Innseason ownership. And then there if TUG. All free.
     
  15. classiclincoln

    classiclincoln TUG Member

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    "I see your point, and don't disagree that Points values can change. But I also think if you're going to exchange that Weeks timeshare you own, and the exchange company keeps jacking up exchange costs, you can end up paying more as well. When I first joined RCI, it was $79 a year for a membership, exchanges were $99, and nobody was charging [apparently RCI-only] daily "resort fees" to stay at the exchanged resort. Now it can easily add several hundred dollars to the backend cost of any exchange. Added to the maintenance fees and whatever other costs you are paying, how is that really any different than how Points work?"

    Yup, exchange & II fees have gone up, however, if you buy more points, your maintenance fees also go up forever (not counting the increase in fees, which are also assessed to weeks owners). And, while I don't know what the points requirement increase has been since the point system is still relatively new as compared to the weeks system, I'm gonna guess it's more than the increase in II & exchange fees. In 2004 when we made our first exchange, the II fee was $75 (single year) for the year and the exchange fee was $79. The most recent II renewal fee was $89 (5 year renewal) and the exchange fee was $189. This equates to about a 5% increase per year over those 14 years. In comparison, my maintenance fees for Orlando went from $888 in 2004 to $1,622 this year; a 6% increase over the same time period.

    Timeshare systems are like spouses: you married'em, you gotta like'em!
     
  16. brianfox

    brianfox TUG Member

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    Speaking of which - I got an unsolicited offer from Marriage Exit Team, saying they can unload me of my spouse for a small upfront fee. You think this is legit?
     
  17. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    It won't be small... don't forget spousal support.
     
  18. classiclincoln

    classiclincoln TUG Member

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    "Speaking of which - I got an unsolicited offer from Marriage Exit Team, saying they can unload me of my spouse for a small upfront fee. You think this is legit?"

    :D:eek::D
     
  19. JohnPaul

    JohnPaul TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    "Points values can change" This is true of RCI Points values (but not typical - there should be some change at the resort to change the points). However, this is not true of points systems like Vacation Internationale or Worldmark. New resorts may come in at higher values but the points values at existing resorts WILL NOT CHANGE.
     
  20. Jan M.

    Jan M. TUG Member

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    FWIW, I can't remember reading here on TUG that someone was complaining because the number of points they receive for their week was lowered. However I do remember reading that people complained that the number of TPU's, trading power units, they got for their fixed week was lowered.
     

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