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UVC The Villa Group-Villa La Valencia.newbie needing a bit of reassurance

Discussion in 'Mexico Timesharing' started by DreeT, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. DreeT

    DreeT Guest

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    Hello!
    Just got back from Cabo. We decided to buy a "vacation club" membership with the Villa Group after touring the gorgeous new Villa La Valencia and also spending time at Villa Del Arco. I LOVE Mexico, and we go at least every other year so the numbers seemed to make sense long term. I wish I would have seen these forums before I purchased. But now I am a bit confused when I read about the Villa Group properties and various timeshares that have been bought by others. There seems to be many tier levels (gold? premier?), fixed not fixed, biannual etc. I am seriously hoping I got a decent deal and didn't get robbed or severely mislead. I am not viewing this as an investment per se, I am really mostly planning ahead to have some amazing vacations for the rest of my life:) Here are my numbers and I was hoping for some input from some of the other owners who have been pleased with the other resorts and The Villa Group in general. Just needing a little assurance and maybe some suggestions on how to maximize my points since it seems I didn't purchase very many:
    *I purchased "Villa Preferred Access" points, 1000 points for $15,500 for yearly access for 50 years. Maintenance fees of $450 per year*.
    My "home" resort is the new Villa La Valencia opening in 2020 and I guess my week is technically a summer week (5 week days and 2 weekend days) I am in a studio which can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children. I can supposedly use my points like money though and use my preferred points however I please? I like traveling in the winter so I would probably get more like 5-6 winter nights instead of the 7 summer out of those points which seems like it will work. They also told me I could bank points and if I come every other year upgrade to a 1BR.
    I feel a bit better seeing some posts from people who are enjoying their membership with the Villa Group and know more about the integrity of the company....making a large purchase while in a foreign country is a bit scary!! Any input you have would be much appreciated.
    Thanks in advance!
    Dree
     
  2. Cougar Country Clan

    Cougar Country Clan Guest

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    I started out with 1000 points a few years back. I would take my family periodically down to Mexico prior to purchase. Now that I have a villa membership, I go down much more frequently. I absolutely love my purchase, my young children have been to Mexico many times and we have been treated very well by villa. I also have preferred access points.

    To your post, I am one of those who like the 50 year rtu. I also like the villa resorts. The cost you paid is a bit higher than what we paid, however, we purchased earlier ($13 per point). I would have tried to lower it a bit through negotiating. I do like how low the maintenance fees are compared to other groups' domestic and foreign.

    When I purchased my first points, I thought long and hard about cancelling in the window. In hindsight, I'm glad I didn't.

    The biggest negative with your purchase, and my purchase, from my positive view is: there isn't resale value. Your contract reverts to the premier membership if sold.
     
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  3. beach.bar.bob

    beach.bar.bob TUG Member

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    Hi Drew...
    Don’t worry...just enjoy! You love Mexico...The resorts are of high quality, you bought for the right reasons...to enjoy future vacations.

    Couple of thoughts:
    • Don’t worry about the different types of memberships... all of those are remnants of membership types that were sold in the past. Many people here still own those. You have the most current type of membership - The VPA (Villa Preferred Access) points membership. Within the points memberships there is a higher level called Elite which are memberships with greater than 5,000/10,000/15,000 points. You don’t need to worry about that for a while
    • Don’t worry about your “deal”. You’ll always find someone that got a better deal than you did. You were happy with the deal at the time...the numbers worked for you...move on.
    • In the VPA (points) membership, there is no concept of “week” memberships or “summer/winter” memberships or a “home resort”. These concepts are part of the older memberships... don’t worry about them. Points are points. They can be used for time in the summer or winter at any included resort based on the points charts that I’m sure were included in your membership packet.
    • Keep in mind that there is no concept of a home resort in the points membership... you have no special rights at Villa La Valencia over any other points member. You have equal rights in all included resorts: Villa La Valencia, Villa Del Arco, Villa Del Palmar (VDP) Cabo, VDP Puerto Vallarta, VDP Flamingos in Nuevo Vallarta, VDP Loreto, and VDP Cancun.
    • Since you prefer to travel in the winter, the key to success and happiness is planning in advance. Far in advance. Especially if you are planning around school vacation schedules. You are allowed to book 24 months in advance. You get one free cancellation per year...so better to book and cancel than not to book and get shut out. For example, if you want to travel next Feb/March to Villa Del Arco you should call immediately to make a reservation. We book 2 bedroom units in Feb...I’m looking at the beach right now. I’ll make my 2021 reservations when we return next week...almost two years in advance. That’s how popular Arco is in the winter. I wouldn’t plan on booking Valencia for next winter...there is little chance it will be ready...IMHO.
    • Your membership includes the right to bank and borrow points for up to 5 years in the future. So, you don’t have to use all your points only in the year you pay for them. 1000 points is a small membership. It takes 1200 to book a winter week studio at Arco. So, you could borrow 1000 points from the future and then have enough points to book a winter week studio at Arco for the next five years. Read up on this...it is a really helpful feature, I use it continuously.
    • Know that you must pay the maintenance fees for any points you want to use to book a future reservation. In all likelihood they set your membership up to start this year...so you’ll have a maintenance fee due in a few weeks. This will give you 1,000 points to use in 2019. You can then make a reservation using those points. Be sure to make a reservation using these points or be sure to call in and bank those points into 2020. Otherwise, they will expire at the end of the year. Then you’ll have the maintenance fee for your 2020 points due this November. That will give you 2,000 points for 2020... that will give you the points I discussed above for booking a studio at Arco for the next five years. But, if you want to make a reservation using those points now...you’ll need to pay the maintenance fees now.
    • The “preferred” points can only be used to book rooms in the summer months. They can not be added to your regular points and used for a winter reservation. However you can add the preferred and regular points together to book a summer season reservation. I’ve only used the preferred time a couple of times to use to trade via Interval International.
    Good luck!
    Enjoy!
    bbb
     
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  4. rboesl

    rboesl TUG Member

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    The explanation from beach.bar.bob is excellent. There's a couple of things that I have with my membership that were left out that may be a part of yours. First, UVC allows you to "borrow" from the end of your contract. Pre-pay the maintenance fee at the current fee rate and you can use those points now allowing you to double up. The length of your membership is pretty long, 50 years, and this feature allows you to use years that you may not live long enough to use. Second, UVC pays for an Interval International membership. Points can be deposited with II giving you more flexibility to visit other areas of the world or buying getaways for more reasonably priced vacations.
     
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  5. beach.bar.bob

    beach.bar.bob TUG Member

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    Yes...there is a feature that allows you to borrow from the back end of your contract called “senior acceleration”. It is available if written into your contract and you are over 50 (maybe 60?) years old.
    It’s a nice way to leverage your points if you qualify.

    The paid II membership is for one year. After that you must pay yourself.

    bbb
     
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  6. easyrider

    easyrider TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    There are two point systems in the Villa Group. The point system with that allows reservations at all of the resorts , anytime of year, with use of all future resorts, are known as "Club Points ".

    The other point system are known as " Access Points" and are only good for the months between May and October.

    With 1000 points a reservation for a studio unit from May through October can be made. With 1200 points a winter week can be reserved in a studio. With 1550 a holiday week can be reserved in a studio depending on season and point type.

    If a person decides to go into the point system shouldn't they consider a 2200 Access Points program ? To me, this seems like the minimum I would need, because the bulk of the studio units have very little in way of a view depending on resort and after using all types of the rooms I could never be as happy in a studio. 2200 Access Points can reserve at any resort, current and future, in a one bed unit at any time of year. This is the only important feature that separates the Access Points from a winter gold week, imo.

    That being said, I didn't have any problem reserving a couple of weeks at the Arco with a premiere membership, in a one bedroom unit last December for rental use.

    Interesting is that the Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta trades better in II and RCI than any of the other Villa resorts in the system.

    So am I missing something ? Are club points part of an access point membership kind of like bonus summer weeks for gold members ?

    Bill
     
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  7. DreeT

    DreeT Guest

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    Thank you for your reply! I feel that we will get a lot of use out of our membership and even if we only came every other year for the foreseeable future, as long as the maintenance fees stay low, that is still a lot of value to have these spectacular resorts to stay at. The hotel we stayed at this time via Hotels.com cost nearly 1700 for our party of 4 for 6 nights. Its a very nice older boutique hotel w a beach club but it was a couple blocks from the ocean. So when I compare the luxury of the Villa Del Arco and even Villa Del Palmar being smack dab on the beach and plus all those gorgeous pools.... it helped make the decision. I wish I would have known to negotiate the price even lower, but we did get several fabulous perks this time that sweetened the deal. We got round trip shuttles to and from the airport for our entire party, several jet skis, a glass bottom boat tour for 4, and then access to both the Del Arco & Palmar for the whole time in Cabo this trip. We hardly saw our little hotel except at night! What has been your favorite Villa so far? We have heard good things about Flamingo over by PV.
     
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  8. DreeT

    DreeT Guest

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    Thank you for the in depth explanation Bob, that is really very helpful. I will keep in mind the planning in advance advice. I love travel planning so I'm totally good with that;) What do you think is the best way to acquire more points? I read that if you sell your points convert back to a premier membership. Does that also mean that if you buy from a private party (Ebay for example) to try to acquire more points, that you will also be buying a premier membership and not preferred points? How would the points convert? And also do you know if it is possible to just purchase more points in a few years directly from The Villa Group or UVC? I'm thinking that down the road when we have grandkids, etc we will need more points to have more buying power.
    Thank you!!
     
  9. DreeT

    DreeT Guest

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    Our sales representative did tell us about being able to borrow from the end of the contract. We will be able to do that when one of us turns 60 years old. That could be end up being a very good feature, especially if one of our children isn't interested in acquiring the contract. UVC did pay for the first year of a Platinum Interval International membership. We haven't received the paperwork from them so I haven't been able to create a user name & log on to see what that's all about. I do have a question of how my 1000 points in the Villas would convert over to Interval. Are my points going to be valuable or not worth much? I haven't been able to find any details on that so far.... Can you see what your points will trade for before you actually trade them? I'd hate to give up a week in a 5 star Mexican resort to then not have the trading power to go someplace amazing :)
     
  10. easyrider

    easyrider TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Really, if you are still within the rescission period you should cancel and just rent villas or purchase a gold winter week membership. The points memberships are worthless on the resale market as they revert to a premiere membership with a very high maintenance fee.

    I think you actually bought club points which are almost worthless, imo. Red season in Mexico is winter. From May through October there is a huge amount of inventory regarding Mexican resorts.

    If you are stuck with this membership then you will need to invest in an upgrade, imo. The only way to purchase this upgrade is through the Villa Group. A minimum upgrade that makes any sense is a 2200 points Access Points, imo. So you are about half way there regarding cost of membership regarding points, imo.

    Regarding trading Villa Group. The only trades that have any power are winter weeks in at least a one bedroom unit. Oddly, the Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta 2 bed unit in winter weeks can trade very well but a Worldmark trades even better.

    Bill
     
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  11. DreeT

    DreeT Guest

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    Thank you for your input. It is past the rescind date so now it is what it is. Mostly I bought because I adore traveling to Mexico and will continue to do so at least every other year. If I can bank the in between year points and then upgrade every once in awhile and/or travel in the winter I am thinking the investment will still be worth it long term, especially as resort prices continue to climb. I am fine with a studio for now but maybe later I will invest in a point upgrade as my family grows. Also I have nothing against possibly traveling every now and then in May or even in October around Halloween. Heck one year I was in Cabo in July and still enjoyed it. I live inland from the Ocean so any time on the beach is amazing to me :) As far as the Interval trading... sounds like my points won't be worth much so I will probably just bank those for my Mexico trips and maybe take advantage of the Getaways Interval offers. There were many appealing places within driving distance from me.
     
  12. Cougar Country Clan

    Cougar Country Clan Guest

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    Dee,

    To your reply of my post:

    I have upgraded my points several times. When you get to that point, send me a pm. I tried buying a gold membership on the secondary market and using that to convert into elite points... It was desasterous. I have upgraded while on vacation. I have also upgraded by calling a non salesman villa group employee. By far, the latter was the cheapest. My only problem is the resale. This just means my asset value is found during its use and not in its monetary trade value. For me, I am very good with that.

    Prior to the villa group, I used to live in Mexico. I learned Spanish young and am almost fluent in accent and vocab. Of all the ways I have traveled to Mexico, my favorite times have been with villa.

    I have a young family (0,4,7). We go two times a year. I enjoy loreto a lot in February. We also enjoy Cancun a lot. Really, it's all personal preference.

    Im glad the numbers work for your family. PS, I didn't get any perks upon any of my purchases.

    When we had 1000 points (summer contract), I would drop Saturday and do 6 nights in a studio with our two kids. We'd then use the perferred points and book the week in the summer. It was cramped, but with the beach, balcony, kitchen, and pools... I woudnt change those memories for anything. At the time, we felt very blessed and made it work.

    Now, I have more points and love the 2 bedroom units. Now we have the newborn, it is much nicer travel.
     
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  13. easyrider

    easyrider TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I think buying a one bedroom gold winter contract resale would be a perfect addition to a 1000 preferred access point contract. A person would be able to reserve a week with the gold contract and another 4 to 5 weekdays in a one unit with the points for an 11 to 12 night stay.

    If a person really likes the Villa Group resorts and has the means to purchase an upgrade then the upgrade is the way to go. I am a big fan of the Villa Group properties and think these are some of the best timeshares in Mexico. Even so, I wouldn't commit to 30 - 50 years of point ownership in any system or 30 - 50 years of traveling to the same destinations.

    Bill
     
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  14. DreeT

    DreeT Guest

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    Thank you for taking the time to reply and I appreciate any advice I can get from you seasoned time-share gurus. lol. When you say to purchase a one bedroom "gold winter contract" resale what does that mean? I'm very new to the timeshare world so forgive me for asking. Is the gold winter contract through the Villa Group or is it another timeshare i.e. RCI, Worldmark? And how would it be purchased resale? I assume via Ebay or a private party? Thanks in advance
    Dree
     
  15. DreeT

    DreeT Guest

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    Thanks for your reply. Definitely thinking a point upgrade is going to be necessary at some point in the future. Is a "gold membership" through The Villa Group or is it another timeshare company? I guess I don't even really know what a "gold membership" is but it sounds nice :) Is there a notable reason it turned out disastrous? I was thinking of asking my salesperson about upgrading my points through The Villa Group at some point but I'd hate to get an inflated price on points. I like your idea of talking to a non salesman employee and I'm dying to know what the point upgrade prices look like. If you recall and you wouldn't mind sharing via PM I'd be very interested to find out. It sounds like your membership and points have really worked out well for your family. I like your vacation style- one in the winter and one in the summer. Sounds about ideal! Are there any summer months that you feel are better than others as far as climate/weather goes?
     
  16. Cougar Country Clan

    Cougar Country Clan Guest

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    I'll let Bill or Bob go into gold memberships. I only had one a short time. You can purchase them on the secondary market. They are great. I agree with Bill, that'd be a cheap way to go to upgrade. My problem was I bought it thinking I could use it to upgrade into elite points, I was wrong.
     
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  17. beach.bar.bob

    beach.bar.bob TUG Member

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    All...
    Just in from the beach and happy hour! Beautiful day in Cabo!
    Couple more thoughts based on above comments:
    • Dree - I strongly suggest you not spend any more money behind this initial investment until you’ve actually used it once or twice and see how it works out for your family. Trust me, there will be many opportunities to upgrade your membership;) see how you like the studio...see how availability of units is when you want to travel, try out different resorts, etc. If you hate the studio then consider an upgrade...but, it’s way to early IMHO. Don’t worry about Gold memberships and upgrades. Understand what you bought, use it and if it’s not working come back and ask us for ideas on how to upgrade. (FYI - a Gold membership is the prior membership type sold by Villa Group that has been replaced by the points membership. It has certain benefits over a points membership such as being transferable in a resale situation that make it valuable. I don’t think you need to worry about this right now...you need to really understand what you already own.)
    • Bill - I don’t think you really understand the points system. A VPA (Villa Preferred Access) membership is the only points membership ever sold by Villa Group. A point aka an access point aka a club point is a point. In Dree’s case they own 1000 points. They can reserve anything in any season that they control enough points to make a reservation. I don’t have the point charts in front of me, but for example, they could borrow five years of points for a total of 5000 points and book two weeks in a one bedroom unit in Feb at Arco at 2200 points per week and have 800 points left to use the next year plus another years 1000 points For a total of 1800 points. They are not limited to booking in the summer only. In addition, each VPA membership has the optional right to an additional number of points equal to their membership value that are only available for use in the summer months. In Dree’s case another 1000 points at their option provided they pay the additional maintenance fees. This is called Preferred Time or Preferred Points...it is the same benefit available to Gold memberships with the “gold” time weeks. This benefit is totally optional.
    • Bill - I get you can use your Premier membership to book in December...that’s not really peak at Arco. I’m from Minnesota... real winter is Jan-Mar! December is like stretching before a good workout:) Availability at Arco in Feb/Mar is a real issue. Even with an Elite membership you better be booking at least 12 months out. It’s become such an issue that they are freezing Elite memberships and have opened up a limited number of units at Villa La Estancia to certain Elite members to offload some of the demand. We are there this week.They can’t finish Valencia soon enough! We really hope it takes the pressure off of Arco as we have no interest in staying up in the corridor.
    • Bill - I agree with you that 1000 points isn’t enough ... for me and for you. But, Dree said they would be happy in the studio...so I say ...try it. See if you like it. If not, we can help them with other options later. Personally, I think the minimum number of points you should have is 5800 (I own more)..but that’s because I want to book at least two weeks in a two bedroom unit every Feb at Arco...and another 10-11 days at Arco in November...and we like to go to Flamingos every couple of years. But hey, that’s just me.
    • Points memberships are not transferable except to direct family members. Thus points memberships have no resale value. If you are buying a Mexican timeshare and are planning on resale value...you are kidding yourself. As cougar country clan stated, the value is in the use. I agree. But, remember that you can always relinquish your membership back to Villa Group provided it is paid in full and you pay the last maintenance fees...thus you always have an exit strategy available. You’re not stuck for 50 years.
    FWIW.
    Salud!!
    bbb
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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  18. easyrider

    easyrider TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Hi Bob !!!

    I don't use points and only know about the point system from presentations. The last presentation we went to was in Loreto and we were given information that included two kinds of points. It looked like a summer week and winter week.

    I tried to link the chart to this thread but it isn't happening. Anyway, in this point chart, all points are VPA points but one set of points are called VPA Club Points which look like winter weeks points and the other is called Villa Preferred Points which look like summer weeks.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  19. easyrider

    easyrider TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I think this is it.
     

    Attached Files:

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  20. rboesl

    rboesl TUG Member

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    I checked on my account. It shows up as a studio to trade. I know I've traded it in the past and gotten some good trades. But then my wife and I only need a studio.
     
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  21. beach.bar.bob

    beach.bar.bob TUG Member

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    VPA/Elite/Gold
    It’s as I described above. Preferred points are the optional points available to an owner. Preferred points are a benefit...not a standalone product. You can’t just buy Preferred Points. Just like optional “Gold week” included with Gold memberships.

    bbb
     
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  22. easyrider

    easyrider TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Thanks Bob. I was under the impression that there were two seasons regarding VPA in the same way that all of the premiere and gold memberships are. Looking at the vacation banking information there is a vpa summer week, gold summer week and premiere summer week is why I thought this.

    So what you are saying is vpa are any season points and if a vpa member wanted to use a summer week they could purchase preferred points that would be similar to a winter gold member paying a mf for a summer week.

    I think I got it.

    Bill
     
  23. DreeT

    DreeT Guest

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    Thanks Bob! Great advice :) I'm a planner and I think that's why I am trying to figure out all the angles. I guess I am also a bit concerned that 1000 points which is only enough for a week in the summer at the Villa Resorts would limit me in my exchange options with Interval International since I don't have enough yearly points for a winter week in a studio (1200 points). It seems to me and I might be wrong, but if I had at least 200 points more for a total of 1200 I would be in a better position for trading? Do you know if I happened to have accumulated some extra points by banking or borrowing, could I send Interval 1200 of those points for a yearly trade or will they require me to submit only my yearly point allotment for trading (1000)? I really appreciate the knowledge you are sharing with me. It is helping me a ton :)
    Dree
     
  24. DreeT

    DreeT Guest

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    Thank you for the information! We can get away with a studio a lot when we travel too. I read somewhere that Interval will allow you to upgrade to a larger one bedroom or two bedroom accommodation. If you are a platinum member I think the charge is $59 to upgrade from a studio to 1 bedroom and $79 to upgrade from a studio to a 2 bedroom.
    I was also wondering about my point total. I own 1000 which is only enough for a summer week in a studio in any of the Villa Resorts. If I decide to trade my points to Interval one of these years I'm worried that I won't have good trading power since I don't have the 1200 points required for a winter week in a studio in some of the more desired resorts (Del Arco/Flamingos). I plan on banking points this year since I just got back from Mexico, so I will probably have some extra points for the next few years. Do you know if I can submit more than my yearly allotment(1000 pts) to Interval for trading? Like offering interval 1200 of my points instead so that I can get better trades? Thanks in advance,
    Dree
     
  25. easyrider

    easyrider TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    A studio at any of the Villa Group resorts , even in winter season, has very little trading power in any of the exchange companies. RCI and II might accept a studio but the trading power would be very low until 60 - 45 days out. While it is my least favorite Villa resort, the Puerto Vallarta resort has the better trading power because PV is an international destination.

    It may be that your VPA membership allows you to upgrade your studio unit to a one bed when available. Find out how long in advance you can upgrade. Gold members can upgrade at check in when an upgrade is available. I have upgraded my reservation at check in many times using a premiere membership, occasionally snagging a penthouse. Figure out how to use what you have.

    Bill
     
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