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Why Points Rather Than Weeks

Discussion in 'Buying, Selling & Renting Timeshares' started by bogey21, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. bogey21

    bogey21 TUG Member

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    As many of you know the last 10-15 years of my TimeShare ownership were 100% Fixed Weeks primarily because of their simplicity. But hurricane season has me thinking that one of the benefits of Points is that Points Owners will have no Special Assessments and lost usage due to hurricane damage...

    In my case I twice lost use of my Week due to severe hurricane damage, once in Biloxi and once in Galveston. Fortunately both Resorts were repaired without Special Assessments but that is not the norm...

    George
     
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  2. Roger830

    Roger830 TUG Member

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    There is no perfect system.

    Let's assume a points system with only two resorts.
    If one resort is closed, then everybody would want to book the other resort which is not possible.
    But somehow they would have to pay for the damage.

    We own 3 fixed winter weeks in Florida and did lose one years usage about 12 years ago when we owned one week, but I wouldn't trade them for more Wyndham points and struggle to book those weeks.
     
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  3. GT75

    GT75 Moderator

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    I agree that there isn't a perfect system, but pure points based system does provide flexibility over a fixed week system. I really like a points based system because of that. I like choosing which time of year I want to travel and also where I want to travel. Now, if the resort does sustain damage such as from a hurricane, then the owners (of that points based resort) are still going to have to pay to repair via either increased MFs or SA.
     
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  4. Free2Roam

    Free2Roam TUG Member

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    FYI Points owners can still be subject to special assessments based on the underlying ownership.

    I paid a pretty hefty special assessment many, many years ago for my points ownership at Wyndham Kingsgate in Williamsburg... and it wasn't even due to storm damage... they wanted to do upgrades.

    Conversely, I just paid a special assessment for my quadrennial float ownership at a resort in St Maarten that was devastated by Hurricane Irma last year. Surprisingly it was only $150 for the quad ownership.
     
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  5. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    George, I owned various multiple floating Weeks for more than ten years. They worked great for me, back then. Last year I bought WorldMark, (essentially a Points ownership, but with no underlying deeded resort), and I've since sold my remaining Weeks ownership. My biggest reason to go only with WM was because of how I travel now.

    It used to be a timeshare trip was a destination vacation, and I'd book two Weeks worth of vacation back to back. It reduced the cost of airfare and such. I found over time that I didn't always want to spend that much time in that one location, but I was locked in. A Week is still a week long, which is one of the best things about owning a Weeks timeshare. But once you've used that week, you have nothing until the next time that Week's usage rolls around. The only way to get more predictable travel time, (not by renting or a Last Call thing or whatever), was to buy more Weeks someplace. That can get to be pretty expensive.

    With WorldMark, (and any similar Points ownership), short stays are possible. I can book a night or two or three, and the associated expense is minimal. (There's a housekeeping fee, but it's assessed on all stays, regardless of length.). If I want multiple short stays in a given year, I can do that. I'll have five WM vacations under my belt by the time next year. I couldn't do that with a Weeks ownership.

    The other side of the coin is that if I want to stay longer than a week someplace, I can do that, too. The system gives me flexibility, and right now that's a good fit for how I travel. As they say, "your mileage may vary."

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
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  6. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    The thing about short stays is if you don't live somewhere close to timeshare resorts- or at least any you want to visit, who wants to pay airfare and spend two days traveling back and forth to airports to just stay somewhere for 3 days? Not me.

    But I do see the value for some people who can easily visit places they like for short periods of time.

    But for us- even driving 6 hours- which we do for the XMAS holiday- for just 3 days at a rental- it is just too short.

    We like weeks- our condos feel like our own second home and we just have to show up every year. Have 3 weeks (2 consecutive- but 2 different states) and it works out great in our case.
     
  7. PigsDad

    PigsDad TUG Member

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    The points flexibility is not just for short stays, they are also very useful for longer stays. If I am flying a good distance, sometimes 7 days seems too short as you lose one day at each end for travel. With points, you can choose to leave on a Friday and return on the following Monday for a 10 day stay and maximize the weekend time off from work, for example.

    Fixed 7-day timeshare stays just don't work for me, and points give me tons of flexibility -- check in and check out on any day of the week, customize the length of stay, etc.

    Kurt
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  8. PigsDad

    PigsDad TUG Member

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    But it should be the norm. A well run and managed timeshare, whether it be fixed weeks or points, should never have special assessments, IMO. They should have adequate insurance coverage and reserves to meet the deductibles if there is a claim. A special assessment just means the management / board did not properly set the maintenance fees high enough to cover the true costs (including adequate insurance), and if it happens, I think they should be out of a job and the HOA should find a new set of people who can do the job correctly.

    As an example, I own two HGVC fixed weeks (which can be converted to points -- best of both worlds, IMO) on Marco Island, and both of those resorts were closed for several weeks after Irma last year. However, every owner of the fixed weeks that were affected got a refund of their maintenance fee because the week was unusable due to the hurricane closure. This was covered by the property's insurance policy and no special assessments were needed. Now that is what I call a well-managed resort!

    Kurt
     
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  9. dori47

    dori47 TUG Member

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    I have floating week and can never get in. I am starting to think fixed week would be nice, but I have points ( worldmark) and love it, but you do have to plan 13 months out for some resorts. we often do short stay but we live in the Pacific Northwest where they have a lot of resorts
     
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  10. Lovetovacation2

    Lovetovacation2 Guest

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    If your going to the same place every year, then I would stick with weeks. Remember you own property in a hurricane area, so there are risks involved as with any kind of property ownership. If you owned a house there what would happen? There is no mitigating the risk, Just make sure the board is on top of it.

    On the other hand, I converted from weeks to points years ago and I believe it cost about $1,500 almost 20 years ago now. In my opinion, it was worth every penny. With weeks, lots of unavailability and limited exchanges. Since converting, I've enjoyed many vacations and I've been getting into places that were only points resorts.

    Some buildings in my resort in Gatlinburg burned down and the resort closed for an extended period a couple of years ago. Insurance covered and MF's were waived for weeks owners who could not exchange. I gladly paid my MF and used points to trade into two weeks at resorts which usually I cannot get into but were available that year. That was a great vacation year! If I had weeks, with the loss of the exchange, I would have missed out on my vacation opportunity that year. Yes, I would have saved $550 in MF's but how much would it cost to go on two vacations to very nice resorts? More than $550.

    I will say, availability with points is only good if you can plan a year out (probably same with weeks). I've already booked next years spring break and summer vacation at my favorite beach FRONT resorts in Florida. If I waited until March of next year, I would probably wind up with a 2 star resort in Kissimmee, FL or an efficiency at 2 miles off the beach resort somewhere. This is why so many people are disappointed with the exchanges, they wait to long!

    Okay, back to going to same place every year. Even if you have points and your timeshare is destroyed, you won't be able to find much availability last minute.

    Hope that helps.
     
  11. chalee94

    chalee94 TUG Member

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    Yeah, the special assessment thing is just not true.

    IMO points systems allow developers to sell mud weeks in CO and January weeks in Hilton Head for more money. That's the main difference.

    If you buy a fixed week, you are locked in and lose some flexibility unless you trade through II or RCI. But you know what you have.

    If you buy a points system, you "might" gain more flexibility in theory but in reality, the tougher weeks become more competitive to obtain and you would need to book as early as possible (sometimes buying an extra week or whatever to get in line even earlier, if that works in a certain system). If the timeshare is completely sold out, somebody still has to get stuck with those mud weeks and 20degree beach weeks... If you had a fixed week for high season, you would be locked in - but in a points system, you might get stuck with crap...
     
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  12. PigsDad

    PigsDad TUG Member

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    That might be true if all weeks had equal point values, but they don't. I would never get "stuck with crap" because I do not need to use my points each and every year and would just roll to the next year and take a bigger vacation if nothing desirable was available. But in reality, in a big enough point system I have always found desirable ways to use my points. Sometimes I have used points in a "mud season", but because those off-season reservations cost so little points, I can really stretch my points into additional or longer vacations.

    Kurt
     
  13. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    I like the flexibility of points for schedules. We have an upcoming nearly two week window for a vacation. My wife has to work a monday, then be back in two weeks on a Monday. We'll be flying out the Tuesday and checking into a Worldmark resort that afternoon. We have a Tuesday-Sunday booked there then a Sunday-Sunday at an exchange resort. The 12 day vacation is what worked for us schedule wise, and we were able to do so pretty easily at our first choice location.
     
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  14. vacationtime1

    vacationtime1 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    When a trust sells points based on its ownership of mud weeks, someone is going to get stuck with those mud weeks -- or not have any week at all (which is probably what happens). The mud week may be used for an exchange (although that doesn't make the mud week go away); it may be cheap (in points value). But someone has to get that week or the trust cannot balance its assets (timeshare nights) against its debts (the beneficiaries' rights to use those timeshare nights).

    Knowledgeable and sophisticated owners find ways to avoid being the unfortunate one getting stuck with the mud weeks, as Kurt describes above.

    When newbies come here and complain they cannot get reservations with their trust points, the real answer is that they can reserve a week (if they don't wait until November to try); they just don't like the weeks that are available. Mud weeks.
     
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  15. montygz

    montygz TUG Member

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    I've gotten 4 excellent vacation weeks out of my 98K in RCI points so far this year. I still have more than 40K points left. Is this scenario possible with a fixed week?
     
  16. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    We own 2 different Pure Point System, a Residence Club with 4 weeks per year (1 each Quarter and can be traded with one of our pure Point systems) and a floating weeks (50 weeks of the year) which has 4 weeks in even years and 5 weeks in odd years. This last has no MF's so we do not feel obligated to be there 4 to 5 weeks in a year.
     
  17. JohnPaul

    JohnPaul TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    One thing I think people miss, especially when they talk about mud weeks, etc is that MF work differently in true points systems. You pay MF based on how many points you own, regardless of how you use them. If you choose to use them in low seasons then the points required are much less. Since your points all have the same MF per point, that means you are paying less for low season.

    It's not like a weeks resort where all two bedroom units pay the same MF regardless of the desirability of the week.
     
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  18. breezez

    breezez TUG Member

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    I just got back from AZ using WM spent 4 nights in White Mountains at 1 resort, checked out and checked into another resort for 4 days, checked out of that resort and could of stayed at another one 8 miles from Airport before flying out. I originally booked trip then invited parents there flight left a lot earlier than ours and I forgot their was another resort close to Airport so I booked hotel instead. But if I was thinking I could have stayed at the 3rd resort.

    I also fly into Vegas a lot for vacation out west, I may drive from there to my destination but on return I always spend night at WM resort before going to Airport.

    So points give me ability to do many small stays. Yes you have HK fees, but I avoid them using a NHK account for short stays or booking as bonus or inventory specials.
     
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  19. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    While there may be no SA, if an individual resort suffers damage an SA just gets built in to the points MF. The MF on the points may go up higher than expected. Someone still has to pay of it.
     
  20. e.bram

    e.bram Guest

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    Fixed weeks also include fixed units as well. If you have an OCEANFRONT unit in fixed weeks you have an OCEANFRONT unit, period. With points you could get(mostly) a garden(dumpster)view unit.
     
  21. tschwa2

    tschwa2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Many points systems take that into account and charge according to view. Lets say you have enough points for a week in an ocean front unit. If you decide to use it that way you can or you might decide on a particular year that you would rather say 12 nights with a city/garden/mountain/golf course/parking lot type view than 7 nights in ocean front and are just as happy to walk around to other parts of the same resort when you want to enjoy looking at the ocean.
     
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  22. PigsDad

    PigsDad TUG Member

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    While that may be true at some resorts, I know it is not true in the system I own. The resorts have classification of rooms depending on the location. So the resorts on the ocean have Ocean Front, Ocean View and Standard. Different point values, so you can choose if you want to spend the extra points on a superior view. Non-beach resorts also have some higher-grade rooms, and it could be for better amenities, view, size, etc.

    Kurt
     
  23. bogey21

    bogey21 TUG Member

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    In my TimeSharing heyday I owned six Fixed Week/Fixed Units at six different resorts. They were all carefully selected. One was a 2nd floor corner unit overlooking the ocean. At another I could walk right out of my unit on to the beach. Another was chosen for cell phone reception and parking. In every case I knew what Week and what Unit I would be staying in year after year...

    George
     
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  24. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I would hate all that checklng in and checking out business. We like settling in for a while.
     
  25. PigsDad

    PigsDad TUG Member

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    And that's why point systems are so great -- they cater to individual's vacation needs, vs. a one-size-fits-all fixed weeks (which doesn't).

    Another example -- my daughter has a softball tournament in Vegas the end of October, and even though it is relatively last minute, I was able to book a Thu-Sun reservation in a studio (just my wife and I, our daughter travels and stays w/ the team) just this week. Non-point system owners wouldn't be able to use their timeshare and would have to pay to stay in a hotel.

    Kurt
     
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