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First time purchase of Vacation Points - questions?

SimonTravel

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Hi, I found this site after purchasing 2500 points during a presentation at Ko Olina and would appreciate the advice of long-time members as we're in our 10 day recision window.

The vacation points interested us, as a family of 5 with young kids, the flexibility to book at mulitple different resorts around school break schedules, and then also the ability to use II to go to additional properties around the world.

From a pure financial view, breakeven seems to be around 11-13 years based upon current maintenance fees vs. buying weeks from owners directly on various other sites as we need them.

With 2500 points, I'm assuming we will bank them in the first year, and then have enough points by carrying over year-over-year to get a week for the next 8-9 years in a row.

As I mentioned above we're a family of 5, with 3 young kids. We like to travel both for extended periods of time (e.g. 2 months in south pacific) every 3-4 years, and 1-2 week vacations the other years. We're not the type to go back to the same place year-over-year for 10 years in a row.

The questions I have:
1) Is it easy to book and get the times/resorts you want?
2) Is this program worth it, or is it better to book privately with such a long-term break-even?
3) One part of the sales pitch is the residual value - i.e. I could sell my 2500 points 10 years from now, and get back some reasonable %age of the initial cost. How realistic is this scenario?
4) How easy is it to book using II?

Bottom line did we make a good decision?

Thanks,
Simon.
 

Ann in CA

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Welcome to TUG. You are wise to ask those questions, and many of us would say the points are highly overpriced, and for much, much less, you could buy a couple of resale weeks at great resorts, and trade them through II for every year resort vacations, or even more than one a year.

We bought our weeks at developer prices, and they are worth a fraction of what we paid. We wish we had known about TUG then. The points do not even have a resale option yet, and it is unlikely that anyone will ever sell them for anything close to what they paid.

We love our Marriott weeks anyway, and have been quite successful exchanging through Interval.

Someone will link you to a thread that answers many many questions of points buyers, but for now, congratulations on researching before the 10 days are up. You most likely will discover that you have many better options.
 

pwrshift

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Don't wait...rescind right away unless you want to make a charitable donation to Marriott...who won't buy them back from you and you can't sell them. Buy resale on eBay for places you want to use and at least be able to at least feel you got something for your money. Better still, just rent the weeks you want each year from Redweek, Tug, or EBay. JMHO
 

puckmanfl

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good morning...


Before your rescind period ends..look at the point charts...you have 3 kids which means you wil be tied to school vaction sked for quite some time (summer, spring break, Xmas etc). Not many places for 2500 pts duringthese times. Yes, you can bank and have 5000 every other year. This will get you a nice week, but it is harder to bank than you think as you will get upset dropping 1000 in MF's and NOT traveling...

Take the20K purchase price + 1K yearly MF's and the 5% investment on the initial 20K (1k/yer.). Over 20 years that is 6.

Do you think you would be better off with $3K year for cash vacation or 2500 pts.

There are no guarantees of availability (you don't have a home resort), although I have done well with Legacy points...

Remember the best points system is CASH $$$$$

Ski weeks at Mountainside canbe had for $2500-$3000 onredweek , while they cost 7K DC points...
 

m61376

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I too recommend rescinding.

Buying a resale week or two at places you might like to frequently visit, and trade sometimes via II, is a good option, as opposed to renting. While renting gives you ultimate flexibility, there is the hassle of renting and, although it may seem a little silly at first glance, there is a very real intangible benefit of ownership in that if you own it, you'll use it. Many of us have related that because we own a unit or units we vacation more, and that alone may be reason enough to purchase.

Buying is not just a dollar and cents decision, it is a lifestyle decision. I can tell you that, personally, we discovered timesharing when our kids were starting off on their own, and our one regret was not realizing how wonderful the accommodations were earlier. Don't get me wrong- we had amazing family vacations all over the world, and we always traveled with daughters and grandparents, and I wouldn't trade those memories for anything, but when I look back at trips thinking of crowded hotel rooms versus spacious villas with kitchens (and not having to deal with starting each day with where to go for breakfast- never a trip highlight)...well, the first time we stayed in on, which happened to be at Ko'Olina that we won at a fundraising auction, my husband said to me on the second day: "why would you ever want to vacation any other way?"

So while many people here are soured by the advent of the whole DC system (and, admittedly, I'm not thrilled with it either), coupled with obligatory and ever rising MF's, so that from purely a financial standpoint in some cases renting might be better, from a lifestyle perspective I'd recommend buying a week(s) on the resale market. With prices so depressed now, you can get some really good deals and, depending where you want to go, ownership might result in substantial financial savings as well.

If you post your general location and what your vacation goals are (beach/ski/amusement park vicinity, affordability of flying versus drive to destinations, etc.), we might be able to make some suggestions and give you some ballpark price-points.

Welcome to Tug :wave: and glad you found us before making what might be a 25K mistake. Rescind now, and take the time to learn, Remember- you can always buy the same thing in a few weeks but you cannot get rid of it if you feel it was a mistake. Worse than a new car, as soon as you own it as of now there is no real resale option, although Marriott keeps on saying there will be. Remember- if the salesperson didn't give it to youin writing, it's not applicable.

Oh- and I noticed you are at Ko'Olina- you can buy a resale week there for close to half the purchase price of those 2500 points, that will entitle you to a week there in a 2BR every year, versus the 2500 points which for close to double the price will only give you a week in a 2BR there basically every other year- so double the cost and half the use- doesn't sound like a good deal to me.
 
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brigechols

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Rescind. Based upon your post, owning a timeshare may not work well with your vacation style. Research and determine whether a timeshare is right for your family. Timeshares work well for those who like to vacation in the same location each year, those who can plan well in advance, and those who can make travel decisions (and purchase flights if necessary) less than 30 days before checkin.
 

aka Julie

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Rescind. Based upon your post, owning a timeshare may not work well with your vacation style. Research and determine whether a timeshare is right for your family. Timeshares work well for those who like to vacation in the same location each year, those who can plan well in advance, and those who can make travel decisions (and purchase flights if necessary) less than 30 days before checkin.
The OP purchased 2500 points, not a week like most of us purchased in the past. While they will have flexibility in going anywhere for any # of days, it will come with a huge price.

I agree with the advice to rescind and to research their options before making such an expensive decision.

Also, as their young children grow, their vacation needs will probably change too. Something else to consider.:ponder:
 

SimonTravel

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Thank you all very much for your feedback.

If I understand correctly the general consensus is it would be cheaper to buy a resale (or two), which gives me a home base as well, and then trade those weeks (assuming at a good location) when we want to travel elsewhere?

We would appreciate suggestions on good resales to look at and to answer this:

If you post your general location and what your vacation goals are (beach/ski/amusement park vicinity, affordability of flying versus drive to destinations, etc.), we might be able to make some suggestions and give you some ballpark price-points.
We live in Seattle, don't mind flying for a vacation, prefer warm destinations, holiday times are around school schedules (Xmas/New Years, Feb break, mid-winter break, and June when school finishes), and would like to have something that will trade well so we can go to different locations.

Thanks,
Simon.
 

4Reliefnow

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Rescind - Rescind - Rescind

$10 a point is Craaaazy. You can find a resort you want to use and buy a week resale for less that half that price. 2,500 points won't get you a parking space for your car in Hawaii.

Look at Ebay completed auctions (check the completed box on the left half way down) Search for Marriott Timeshare and narrow down to location = Hawaii if you want. The green prices are sold weeks and the going price for resale is $5,000 - 8,000 + or - for Platinum at most resorts, $10,000 - $15,000 at resorts like Ocean Pointe or Grand Ocean and maybe $20,000 - $25,000 for platinum at the highest Hawaii or Caribbean.

Concerned about trading flexibility, then buy two resorts you love for the same price as points and the same maintenance as points. then use the own you want in any given year and trade or book the other to II. oh, you cannot get marriott Reward points. You can buy all you want with the money you save.
 

pwrshift

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m61376

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Simon-
The other consideration is whether a summer week is good, or if you want one of the school holiday weeks. Weeks 51 and 52 are Plat. Plus weeks at many resorts, and not only are the purchase prices higher for those weeks, but so is the airfare.

Any of the Hawaii properties would fit your travel needs (most are Plat. weeks 1-50) except for the fixed weeks 50 and 51. In Aruba, Ocean Club owners can book Platinum weeks for weeks 51 and 52, as well as Feb, break, since there are no Plat. Plus, or either Aruba resort for summer weeks; the summer is Gold season in Aruba, and Aruba Gold weeks have great trading power as well and in this market the pricing is very attractive. The other Caribbean resorts have Plat. Plus winter holiday weeks, and the Gold season there I don't think trades as well as Aruba Gold from what I've seen mentioned over the years (I think that's because Aruba is really a year round destination, since the weather is pretty consistent throughout the year).

Other nice/warm summer destinations are Hilton Head Platinum or Newport Coast Platinum (although the latter can be hard to book those summer weeks).

For the winter weeks you might want to consider the Florida properties.

Before you commit to a fixed holiday week, though, check the airfare rates for the destination you're interested in, because that might impact what you choose.

Since you are obviously on the fence about this whole purchase, I cannot emphatically enough recommend you rescind now and then take the time to learn, so before you buy anything you are fully comfortable you are making the right decision for you and your family.
 
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