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Considering SFX

Catira

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My timeshares both use RCI as exchange company.
Considering depositing our 3 bedroom unit with SFX. I assume I can deposit as a 2bedroom/hotel unit. How would I know what's available with them PRIOR to depositing it with them?
Grand Bliss or Grand Mayan units are they still charging $75 at vidanta check in?
 

rickandcindy23

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I don't really recommend them, but you could always give them a try. It's free to join. I don't think you can enter a search without a deposit.
 

Eric B

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They are fairly closely connected with Vidanta if that's what you're interested in. Best way to see is they have what you want is to call first. Second best, if it's Vidanta, is to have an owner there check on the SFX site for privilege week availability; I can check if you like. It's not completely accurate, but typically very representative of inventory. Their Vidanta resort fee is still $75 as of a few months ago.

Not sure if any of the other resort systems have a similar arrangement with them re: availability. FYI, they have me a free week certificate for Buganvilias for a 1 BR Presidential suite for a deposit in November in addition to the usual bonus weeks. No charge to book it, but a $79 fee when you check in plus the typical few bucks a day in taxes.
 

heathpack

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As I understand it, you can’t deposit studios with SFX. Only 1BR and larger. So you’d have to make one deposit, if your lock off is a studio unit.
 

Eric B

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I’ve deposited several studios with SFX, myself.
 

heathpack

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I’ve deposited several studios with SFX, myself.

Well I suggest OP contact SFX directly to inquire. I’ve offered SFX some very nice studio options, only to be told “no thanks, we require a 1BR or larger deposit”. That said, they did accept one once, giving me the impression it was a major exception.

It may be that YMMV
It may be that SFX is more motivated to cultivate a relationship with you than me
It may be policy has changed since I last inquired

One way to know for sure, I guess: ask SFX directly
 

easyrider

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I'm not an SFX fan. The way it is going my last deposit won't hit anything but the stuff on the resort escapes and even then I would likely need to pay more than it is worth. I did have one week kind of hit through SFX but the room, while very nice, had a view of the lobby roof.

Bill
 

jackio

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Several months ago I put in a request for New York City, and they called me with a match recently. It was for the Hilton Club. I wasn't able to use it, so I declined. However, they said that metro "high demand" areas now carry a $299 luxury fee on top of their regular exchange fee. I thought that was a ripoff.
 

Eric B

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Well I suggest OP contact SFX directly to inquire. I’ve offered SFX some very nice studio options, only to be told “no thanks, we require a 1BR or larger deposit”. That said, they did accept one once, giving me the impression it was a major exception.

It may be that YMMV
It may be that SFX is more motivated to cultivate a relationship with you than me
It may be policy has changed since I last inquired

One way to know for sure, I guess: ask SFX directly

SFX has a deposit calculator on their website that allows you to enter your proposed resort, unit size, and week in order to determine if you can deposit it and what benefits you’ll get. They don’t take resorts that aren’t listed on the site because they would have trouble getting someone to take them. They might also only take studios from certain resorts, but I’m not sure about that. I’ve never spoken with anyone there to figure that out. I do know that they won’t take deposits within about two months of check in, maybe longer depending on the season.

It looked to me like @Catira was interested in using them to go to Vidanta, which is an optimal use with SFX due to their relationship. A desire to do a couple of exchanges instead of one might motivate them to take the studio side deposit if it’s a marginal question for them. If they won’t take it, nothing says you have to deposit both sides with the same exchange company and a 2 BR would get you the same size GM/GB unit as a 3 BR. (Same would likely hold for GL because SFX rarely or never gets 3 or 4 BR units there.). You could always deposit the studio side with a different exchange on the off chance you can use it elsewhere.
 

Eric B

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Several months ago I put in a request for New York City, and they called me with a match recently. It was for the Hilton Club. I wasn't able to use it, so I declined. However, they said that metro "high demand" areas now carry a $299 luxury fee on top of their regular exchange fee. I thought that was a ripoff.

They charge the same luxury fee for Grand Luxxe. At least there you get a lower resort fee.
 

heathpack

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SFX has a deposit calculator on their website that allows you to enter your proposed resort, unit size, and week in order to determine if you can deposit it and what benefits you’ll get. They don’t take resorts that aren’t listed on the site because they would have trouble getting someone to take them. They might also only take studios from certain resorts, but I’m not sure about that. I’ve never spoken with anyone there to figure that out. I do know that they won’t take deposits within about two months of check in, maybe longer depending on the season.

It looked to me like @Catira was interested in using them to go to Vidanta, which is an optimal use with SFX due to their relationship. A desire to do a couple of exchanges instead of one might motivate them to take the studio side deposit if it’s a marginal question for them. If they won’t take it, nothing says you have to deposit both sides with the same exchange company and a 2 BR would get you the same size GM/GB unit as a 3 BR. (Same would likely hold for GL because SFX rarely or never gets 3 or 4 BR units there.). You could always deposit the studio side with a different exchange on the off chance you can use it elsewhere.


Well look at that. I hadn’t looked at their deposit calculator.

They will take my studio units and give me a “mediocre” deposit value for them- three stars out of five, vs four stars for a 1BR and two stars for a 2BR.

That might be an ok value for me if I wanted Grand Luxxe again. We love their resorts but I was majorly turned off when reports popped up of Vidanta restricting exchangers from certain Grand Luxxe amenities (the beach area, if I recall correctly, and the burger restaurant). No notice, no recourse, not consistently applied. Maybe they’ve done away with this policy, my interest in Vidanta just dissipated after that. Too many random fees, policy changes. It’s a lovely place but not worth it for me anymore to play their game. Hyatt Residence Club Kaanapali, here I come.

All exchanging is a moving target, and that’s something we all just live with. It *IS* a game. Everyone has their own aspect of the game that they enjoy playing. I personally don’t see that a studio ski week at Hyatt Grand Aspen is a 3 Star deposit while a 2BR Tahiti Village in Vegas is a 5 Star. But at least now we have that info prior to depositing and the option to deposit a studio at all. I actually have some “lesser” resorts that I like and can get through SFX by depositing with them. But who knows when that paradigm will change and the only high end resort they’ve ever offered me is a Grand Luxxe. So for me, SFX has always boiled down to what seems like limited options, so I proceed with caution.
 

Eric B

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Well look at that. I hadn’t looked at their deposit calculator.

They will take my studio units and give me a “mediocre” deposit value for them- three stars out of five, vs four stars for a 1BR and two stars for a 2BR.

That might be an ok value for me if I wanted Grand Luxxe again. We love their resorts but I was majorly turned off when reports popped up of Vidanta restricting exchangers from certain Grand Luxxe amenities (the beach area, if I recall correctly, and the burger restaurant). No notice, no recourse, not consistently applied. Maybe they’ve done away with this policy, my interest in Vidanta just dissipated after that. Too many random fees, policy changes. It’s a lovely place but not worth it for me anymore to play their game. Hyatt Residence Club Kaanapali, here I come.

All exchanging is a moving target, and that’s something we all just live with. It *IS* a game. Everyone has their own aspect of the game that they enjoy playing. I personally don’t see that a studio ski week at Hyatt Grand Aspen is a 3 Star deposit while a 2BR Tahiti Village in Vegas is a 5 Star. But at least now we have that info prior to depositing and the option to deposit a studio at all. I actually have some “lesser” resorts that I like and can get through SFX by depositing with them. But who knows when that paradigm will change and the only high end resort they’ve ever offered me is a Grand Luxxe. So for me, SFX has always boiled down to what seems like limited options, so I proceed with caution.

Have to agree with you on the sporadic restrictions at Grand Luxxe, but it’s primarily at Riviera Maya. In Nuevo Vallarta, there are some minor ones that aren’t primarily aimed at exchanges (rooftop pools limited to people staying in those buildings). The difference kind of turned me off to exchanges into RM, but that might be the point.
 

presley

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I’ve offered SFX some very nice studio options, only to be told “no thanks, we require a 1BR or larger deposit”. That said, they did accept one once, giving me the impression it was a major exception.
I think it's changed a lot over the years. I know it was pretty much a hard rule that they didn't take studios when I first joined. Then, I saw a studio for 4 seasons and was told that they will take high demand units in high demand season once in a while.

I had one last soon to be expiring deposit and put in a request recently and noticed the default size for the search is a studio. I don't think that has anything to do with the new calculator. If it does it seems uneven for a GPR 2 bedroom holiday week (my deposit). It looked to me like it's normal for them to trade studios now.
 

easyrider

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I just looked and if I deposit a studio I would get 4 star status. Not that it maters as my one bed unit had 5 stars and hasn't hit anything I requested yet.

Do you people have better luck calling your request in or just going online ? I am doing the requests online.

Bill
 

NiteMaire

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Do you people have better luck calling your request in or just going online ? I am doing the requests online.
I call in my request. I've only done it 2 times. The first time, they matched over the phone. The second time, it matched overnight (after I broadened the dates I was willing to accept). Both 2BRs in Hawaii. 1st was to Hilton Kohala Suites on the Big Island for the exact week I needed; 2nd was Point at Poipu on Kauai. I'm very happy with them. Both of my deposits were a 2BR Vacation Village unit in Williamsburg (The Colonies).

That said, I'm fairly confident Diamond members get the better access to inventory. Under "Membership Information" for Diamond it states "1. Better Timeshare Exchanges for Owners." Right or wrong, I take it to mean Diamond members get the better units.

ETA: SFX CSR confirmed Diamond members have access to better units. Makes sense to me; paying members get access to better inventory.
 
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NiteMaire

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As I understand it, you can’t deposit studios with SFX. Only 1BR and larger. So you’d have to make one deposit, if your lock off is a studio unit.
Not true. If they take units from your timeshare (they don't take all timeshares), they'll take a studio unit. I was renewing my Diamond membership with them when reading this thread, and asked specifically about studio units; the CSR stated they definitely take studios.
 

JuliGee

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My timeshares both use RCI as exchange company.
Considering depositing our 3 bedroom unit with SFX. I assume I can deposit as a 2bedroom/hotel unit. How would I know what's available with them PRIOR to depositing it with them?
Grand Bliss or Grand Mayan units are they still charging $75 at vidanta check in?

We've been using SFX for a number of years, and for the most part have been very happy with the results. From what I can recall, they only take studio deposits from city timeshares like New York, London, San Francisco. If you are an sfx diamond member, you can search first without making a deposit. But I was told that members who deposit first have a much higher priority for a match than those who request first, which makes sense.

Juli
 

easyrider

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I call in my request. I've only done it 2 times. The first time, they matched over the phone. The second time, it matched overnight (after I broadened the dates I was willing to accept). Both 2BRs in Hawaii. 1st was to Hilton Kohala Suites on the Big Island for the exact week I needed; 2nd was Point at Poipu on Kauai. I'm very happy with them. Both of my deposits were a 2BR Vacation Village unit in Williamsburg (The Colonies).

That said, I'm fairly confident Diamond members get the better access to inventory. Under "Membership Information" for Diamond it states "1. Better Timeshare Exchanges for Owners." Right or wrong, I take it to mean Diamond members get the better units.

ETA: SFX CSR confirmed Diamond members have access to better units. Makes sense to me; paying members get access to better inventory.

I looked at my online request for my deposit and found all four were flagged to call SFX. So none of these requests were working for I don't know how long. The SFX rep fixed them and wants me to go Diamond for $299 for 3 years. I said I might if they extended my deposit. The rep said it might be possible. I don't know if I want to do this. I could also go Diamond for 10 years for $699 which seems like the way to go if I am going to go Diamond.

I just haven't had good luck with SFX gold so I am hesitant about spending any money to go Diamond.

Bill
 

Eric B

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They had a deal for the 10-year renewal a while ago that included a couple of Mexican Resort certificates (think they were Mayan Palace, but couldn’t be used by Vidanta owners) plus some package eligibility for using European hotels for just the meal cost. If you do the 10-year one, ask if they’ll give you those as well; they seem to be doing Buganvilias certificates this year.
 

bizaro86

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I just haven't had good luck with SFX gold so I am hesitant about spending any money to go Diamond.

That seems like your answer to me... if you aren't getting what you want with the base membership upgrading doesn't make much sense imo.

They love it, because then you feel locked in to giving them more deposits to get the value out of the fee.
 

easyrider

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That seems like your answer to me... if you aren't getting what you want with the base membership upgrading doesn't make much sense imo.

They love it, because then you feel locked in to giving them more deposits to get the value out of the fee.

I agree !!!

Bill
 

rickandcindy23

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When you consider the vast number of weeks RCI and II have in Orlando, just a very obvious example, and SFX considers Orlando a tough exchange, then you know a little bit about what the difference is in inventory between them and the big companies. If you have an Orlando Marriott, maybe they would think any Gold season week is valuable, I don't know.

Now if I need the Big Island, I can get a Hilton through SFX, and that makes me happy, and so they are good for some stuff RCI cannot provide (notice that Hilton inventory for HI in RCI is pretty lame lately). I am usually not one to wait around to hit the jackpot with SFX, and because I am not that person, I get frustrated with the process.

And now our daughter-in-law is just changing her mind on a trip for this December because she is not at her healthiest currently. So I might be able to get weeks from SFX for December in Orlando for all of us, probably Hilton, but she is not feeling good about planning that far ahead, until she knows what her health is going to do.
 
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