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Little add on to the Puck trick

jimf41

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We all know about the Puck trick but I'll go over it again just for the uninitiated. You have a reservation at a resort for 3000 DC points for your stay. At the 60 day mark you look for the week you have and if it's available you can cancel your old and book the new one at a substantial discount. Let's say you re-booked it for 2000 points and they put 1000 back in your account. Great deal except those are holding account points that can only be used 60 days out.

This never really worked well for me because I book high season and there is rarely any availability on that short notice. I'm talking to a rep today and she starts pitching me on using my DC points for other things and I'm about to cut her off she mentions holding account points. She said that they can be used for charges at the resort. Evidently you can take 325 points and turn them into $100.00 resort credit. I would never take this deal but holding account points are basically free points.

Now if somebody says they've been doing this for years I'm going to get really upset because it's the first I've heard of it and I monitor this board every day.
 

answeeney

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Certainly nothing to be upset about...but, actually, particularly for Spanish resort owners (where the marketplaces are much better stocked than elsewhere) resort credit is a good way of offsetting member fees where you find yourself with a surplus of points. I did the puck trick last year and saw the extra resort credit as free money.

Another potential spin - not that I have followed through - is to fly out to Thailand and buy Asia Pacific points. They work one for one the same as US based trust points but with lower member fees so resort credit gets a lot closer to covering the ongoing cost. Arbitrage.
 

dioxide45

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resort credit is a good way of offsetting member fees where you find yourself with a surplus of points.
Are you saying you have used them to pay your annual Maintenance Fees?
 

VacationForever

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If you go through the various functions, starting with Explorer Collection on marriottvacationclub.com site you will find many uses of MVC beyond booking timeshare.

I hate to say these, all of my friends who own MVC enrolled or points owners all know about resort credits.
 

icydog

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Well I am glad jimf41 posted this because I never thought of it. Which means I didn’t know about it. Can these points be used to buy Marriott’s Travel Insurance policy?
 

Fasttr

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I’ve used them for dining gift certificates in HHI (SERG group) which is even better than a resort credit IMHO.
 

Ann in CA

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Well I am glad jimf41 posted this because I never thought of it. Which means I didn’t know about it. Can these points be used to buy Marriott’s Travel Insurance policy?
I have been told by an MVCI rep that they could be used for the travel insurance, but I believe it cost 800 points, which is a lot more than paying with cash. We just used up some expiring points for short last minute stays at Ritz Carlton Club Lake Tahoe (only two days available but added to our reservation at Timber Lodge we avoided a predicted Hwy 80 snow storm closing by going early) and a one night stay at Ritz Carlton Club San Francisco. Both 2 bedrooms, both free valet, parking and shoulder season prices. Quite a great use of those points. We live in the North Bay, so both are easily drivable.
 
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answeeney

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Are you saying you have used them to pay your annual Maintenance Fees?
No, apologies for ambiguity. I meant that I use them for spending money at the resort (easier if the marketplace has stuff that you want to buy). Looking at my annual holiday (vacation) budget as a whole, the cash I would otherwise have spent effectively subsidises the maintenance fees, once removed.
 

Pamplemousse

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Ok, so far we have two guys that knew about this. Anybody else?
If you log onto MVC and choose points, then explorer collection you will see all the uses for points.

For resort credits you must have a stay booked and it must be before the points expire. ie- if you are booked at an mvc resort right now for a stay in January but your points expire in December you can’t get resort credits.

I was told the golf and airline credit can to be saved and used past the points expiry.
You can also buy more than one year of the Marriott travel insurance- I think the max is 3- I wasn’t interested in this so I didn’t get the details.

Another use not under the explorer collection is to have Marriott convert them into a week and deposit that week in II for exchange into a non Marriott resort. Info on that option is under points and then interval international.

I knew all this- but not what the puck trick was!
So if your same week is available at 60 days you just call mvc and say cancel what I have and use my same points to book this instead?
 
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Fasttr

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Has anybody ever tried the Pucker Trick. That's when you see availability at 61 days, cancel your existing ressie at 61 days so you don't have to deal with holding points. Then rebook it at 60 days to get the discount. The "Pucker" is in waiting the extra day to see if your ressie is still available.
 

GregT

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Hello Jim,

Yes this is a good use of restricted points, the best I have found so far although as Steven says, renting them out is more profitable. I did post on this once here, and sorry that we haven't given more visibility to this....I'm glad you've highlighted it!

Best,

Greg
 

GregT

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Has anybody ever tried the Pucker Trick. That's when you see availability at 61 days, cancel your existing ressie at 61 days so you don't have to deal with holding points. Then rebook it at 60 days to get the discount. The "Pucker" is in waiting the extra day to see if your ressie is still available.
I thought about doing this, but lost my nerve because I needed the one day ressie....Sometimes I get too clever for myself and I need to remember to just keep it simple....I think it would be worth doing in off-season, but then it's not a bunch of points anyway. Let me know if you try it (and succeed!).

Best,

Greg
 

jpa2825

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Don't forget the Modified Stableford Puck Trick (or whatever name it has). Book MVC SUN-THU and a nearby hotel on the way to, from or at your location for any FRI or SAT nights you need. When you get within 60 days, and right up to when the hotel has to be cancelled, look for the full week+ and/or just the FRI & SAT. If it's all available, book the full time, take the SUN-THU in holding points and cancel the hotel. If only FRI & SAT are available, book them at the discount and then call to explain you now have 2 reservations that bump up against each other and can you make sure you don't have to move and cancel the hotel.

Doesn't work everywhere, but if you have some flexibility, missing the premium FRI and SAT nights in MVC can make your points go a long way. Plus, you can get some pretty great rates at nice hotels that cater to the business traveler on FRI & SAT nights. The flexibility to cancel the hotel reservation closer to arrival makes it work.
 

VacationForever

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Don't forget the Modified Stableford Puck Trick (or whatever name it has). Book MVC SUN-THU and a nearby hotel on the way to, from or at your location for any FRI or SAT nights you need. When you get within 60 days, and right up to when the hotel has to be cancelled, look for the full week+ and/or just the FRI & SAT. If it's all available, book the full time, take the SUN-THU in holding points and cancel the hotel. If only FRI & SAT are available, book them at the discount and then call to explain you now have 2 reservations that bump up against each other and can you make sure you don't have to move and cancel the hotel.

Doesn't work everywhere, but if you have some flexibility, missing the premium FRI and SAT nights in MVC can make your points go a long way. Plus, you can get some pretty great rates at nice hotels that cater to the business traveler on FRI & SAT nights. The flexibility to cancel the hotel reservation closer to arrival makes it work.
For the case where a full week is available, there is no need to take SUN-THU in holding points. You can either book without selecting points, call MVC and they will cancel SUN-THU and you can then apply the holding points to the new reservation. Similarly, you can simply call MVC and they will do the same, i.e. book the week and hold it, cancel SUN-THU and apply the points back to the new reservation.
 

csalter2

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Puck trick is a nice little POssibLE point saver, but a big hassle in my opinion. If it’s a place I really want to go, I don’t want to messing with my reservation at 61 days and canceling in the HOPE it will be there tomorrow for me to reserve it the next day. It is too risky when I may have plane reservations and such riding on it.

As for the Sunday - Thursday reservation with a Fri-Sat hotel stay as a back up, well I don’t particularly find packing up all of my stuff for a couple of days appealing. If one is on vacation, then in my opinion, who wants to be moving around like that.

Now I understand that these are strategies and possibilities that can be utilized and can be effective if successful. However, it seems like it can be stressful and there could be some luck involved for some of the resorts that are high demand. I am retiring in two years. The best option I will exercise is just waiting for 60 days to hit and let the chips fall as they may or use Destination Escapes. Hassle free!!
 

Fasttr

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Puck trick is a nice little POssibLE point saver, but a big hassle in my opinion. If it’s a place I really want to go, I don’t want to messing with my reservation at 61 days and canceling in the HOPE it will be there tomorrow for me to reserve it the next day. It is too risky when I may have plane reservations and such riding on it.
The actual Puck Trick does not leave you at risk. If your ressie is available 60 days or closer to check in, and you are Presidential or Chairman level, you simply call MVC, have then place your desired ressie on hold, cancel your existing ressie, use the holding points from your cancelled ressie to book your cheaper ressie using the 60 day discount, and what you have left are the net savings in points from the discount sitting in your holding account to be used for something else (resort credit, another close in ressie, additional nights, etc)

The one downside is date stamp on your ressie. If you originally booked at the 13 or 12 month window, and have an early date stamp for room placement hierarchy, you would lose that and now have a very late date stamp and be at the bottom of the barrel in your group for room assignment as date stamp seems to be very important in the points world for room assignments.
 

Fasttr

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Who or what is Puck?
@puckmanfl was a TUGger (and avid hockey fan as well) that used to be very active on TUG (and was affectionately nicknamed Puck), but has not been active for the past couple years. He was the first poster that indicated this approach, so it was called the Puck Trick in his honor.
 

Colt Seavers

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For the case where a full week is available, there is no need to take SUN-THU in holding points. You can either book without selecting points, call MVC and they will cancel SUN-THU and you can then apply the holding points to the new reservation. Similarly, you can simply call MVC and they will do the same, i.e. book the week and hold it, cancel SUN-THU and apply the points back to the new reservation.
Just to be clear, when you say "without selecting points" you mean using the "Hold" option when booking the reservation? And this is only possible if you have the necessary points still available in your account as for me it will not even show the option if my available points are too low.
 

TravelTime

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All these tricks are overwhelming me. Yet I learn about them on TUG and feel the need to get the absolute best deal and use of my points. But what I really want is to enjoy vacations and not obsess over winning every time.
 
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