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LEARNING HOW TO EXCHANGE

Paloma Panesi

newbie
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
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Resorts Owned
Vidanta Grand Mayan
Villa del Palmar Cancun
We have 2 different timeshares that are both associated with 2 different exchange companies, we are trying to figure out which exchange company to choose based of benefits and a larger inventory.

Vidanta Grand Mayan-get 2 priviledge weeks with SFX membership plus 4 regular vidanta weeks.
Villa del Palmar Cancun-1 red week for a 1 bedroom every year. It came with interval exchange membership that has expired.

Considering just getting an RCI membership instead because they have a larger inventory and SFX has a really small inventory. The issue is that I have never completed an exchange and I am not sure about the pros and cons of each of these options. If i do renew my sfx i get 2 extra red weeks at Vidanta in addition to the 4 weeks I have.

Please advice!
 

JudiZ

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
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RCI does have large inventory but it also comes with some fees aside from membership - $239 per exchange, $154 to combine deposits (if you deposited your weeks, you would need to combine the TPUs (trading power units) to exchange for resorts that require more than those of one week) for example. Aside from exchanging, RCI also gives you access to excess inventory that can be rented without using your exchange, last minute rentals and low point exchanges (usually on so-called shoulder weeks that are not in high demand). All I know about SFX would be what I have read on these boards, so I can't comment. I did exchange through Interval some time ago and had no issues with them but their inventory, although arguably, has somewhat higher end resorts. I am not certain what they currently charge for exchanges but surely someone here knows. In terms of inventory, RCI is the biggest game in town for both exchanging and extra vacations but with that come those fees (exchanges, combining, even extending weeks that expire). Perhaps you could share what you are looking for to help others give you yet more guidance.

Judi
 

Paloma Panesi

newbie
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
3
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1
Resorts Owned
Vidanta Grand Mayan
Villa del Palmar Cancun
Thank you Judi!

I am curious as to how others on this board are able to deposit vida weeks and trade into bigger units in higher tiers in Vidanta. I called SFX to ask and this was not a possibility with them.

Paloma
 

Eric B

TUG Member
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Jun 10, 2017
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Resorts Owned
Vacation Village, Wyndham, WorldMark, Vistana, Vidanta, Flora Farms, HGVC Max, and some independents
@Paloma Panes, Vida weeks and Privilege weeks are bonus weeks that SFX provides to Vidanta owners for use exchanging only through SFX. The Vida weeks act the same as SFX bonus weeks, which they will typically give you for depositing a non-Vidanta resort week, but cannot be used to exchange back into any Vidanta resorts. The Privilege weeks are the same as SFX bonus weeks, but allow you to book back into a Vidanta resort up to the level you own there (Grand Mayan in your case; it would also likely be limited to the room size you own). In my experience, SFX has good availability for Vidanta and some other Mexican resorts (e.g., Buganvilias), but limited availability elsewhere.

Other exchange options you have would include RCI, and potentially II and Registry Collection depending on where your Grand Mayan contract is. You would have to contact them or Vidanta member services to see if yours is eligible for them. In my experience, however, the maintenance/usage fees for Vidanta resorts are a bit on the high side to use them for exchanges; I own at the Estates level and the Kingdom of the Sun level, but have other TS that I use when I want to exchange and go somewhere else because they wind up costing me about a third tot a half of the cost overall. I don't own w/Villa del Palmar, so can't give you any advice regarding how that exchanges.

For several months last year, RCI had restrictions on exchanges into Vidanta, limiting owners there to the level they owned as well. Those restrictions aren't in place for the most part any more, but that could change. There are several other Vidanta owners (@T-Dot-Traveller & @pittle) that provide helpful hints on timesharing here on TUG; take a look in the Mexican Timesharing forum to see what you can learn. Feel free to ask questions, but you'll get more responses in that forum than you would here in this one.
 

pittle

TUG Review Crew
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Location
Goodyear, AZ
Resorts Owned
Vidanta Grand Luxxe
Buganvilias Sky Suites
Pueblo Bonito Em Bay
We became members of RCI in 1991 when we bought our first timeshare. When our membership expired December 31, 2018, we did not renew. For years, we made many exchanges - we had purchased quite a few units on ebay just to use for exchanges when our extended family took a vacation together. Everyone would have their own space. Hubs and I also took at least 2 weeks each year with just us. Anyway, with RCI, we paid for multi-year memberships until we bought our first MP in 1999, we got 3 or so years with that purchase and another 3 with an upgrade. So we used them quite a bit. We got more years when we upgraded to GM and then to GL. So, of the 27 years we were RCI folks, we paid them directly for about 13 years. We also had the highest level of RCI, but never used it. we got it in 2006 when we upgraded to GM and then again when we upgraded to GL. We have never exchanged a GM or GL week.

With Interval, we were given 3 free years in 1992 with the same resort that we had originally gotten our RCI membership with. They were less expensive than RCI, so we kept that membership for a long time. We let it expire, but a few years later they made a great offer to renew at less than 1/2 price for multiple years. We no longer owned any II resorts, but did use it for one or two Get-a-Ways each year at great prices. We did not renew in 2019.

We have had SFX for quite a while - least since 2003. When we upgraded to GL, we got the SFX Diamond level and we like that one. We can deposit our PBEB 1-bedroom 2-bath unit and get a 2-bedroom unit pretty much anywhere. We have exchanged for Grand Bliss weeks but mostly an extra week at Buganvilias in PV. This year, we are working to get a friend a week GM NV. Our membership is paid for 2020-2022. The membership & exchange fees are lower than RCI & II - we will most likely drop to the "free" level once our Vidanta Senior Certificates kick in September 2022. The down side for me is that you need to call in to make reservations. I have always done online RCI & II reservations.

We still have PBEB week that we use to exchange with. We planned to transfer that one to one of our family members, but they really do not have a grasp of the exchange process and have a difficult time planning 6-12 months out. That one may hit the TUG Free section for the cost of transfers by 2022.

By 2012, the family was not able to get together as much, so we started divesting ourselves of extra weeks. We developed the "own where you want to go" philosophy and have been doing that since 2013. We have been to Hawaii, CA, FL, all the VIdanta locations in Mexico, other resorts in Cancun, Mazatlan, SC, etc. on exchanges since 1991. We now prefer PV and will probably go back to Acapulco GM one more time because that is where we originally purchased in 1999, but PV is our place - we own GLNV and Buganvilias.
 

JuliGee

newbie
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Jul 26, 2009
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171
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24
Location
California
Thank you Judi!

I am curious as to how others on this board are able to deposit vida weeks and trade into bigger units in higher tiers in Vidanta. I called SFX to ask and this was not a possibility with them.

Paloma

We have friends who own at vidanta resorts. A couple of years ago they tried to get a 2 bedroom unit so that we could go with them. They were told by vidanta that is not allowed with any exchange company, and as a vidanta member they can only stay in the same unit size and property tier they purchased in. I don't know if the rules have changed.

Juli
 
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