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MVC/Sheraton: Completely Lost Newbie

TheKrizzz

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I purchased Marriott/Sheraton Vacation Club last April (I listed both brands because it all seems to be tied together somehow). I can't figure out how any of it works. I have Flex Points (which I think are StarOptions) and Club Points. Some of them are listed as bonus, some are banked. I am struggling just to get a basic understanding of what I actually have, let alone how to properly take advantage of what I paid for.

I'm not asking for a long write up, because I'm sure it could go on for pages, but can anyone point me to a basic guide of how to understand what I have and basic info on how to use it. I have scoured the Web sites and just get more confused the more I read,

TIA.
 

SmithOp

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There are pink "sticky" guides at the top of this forum.


I used to own a Sheraton deed, no points. I think you own Flex points, not StarOptions, and they gave you some limited time bonus points.
 

TheKrizzz

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There are pink "sticky" guides at the top of this forum.


I used to own a Sheraton deed, no points. I think you own Flex points, not StarOptions, and they gave you some limited time bonus points.
Thank you @SmithOp. I should have mentioned that I started there and most of the info is dated or not really related to the multiple types of points. But I appreciate the reply.
 

rickandcindy23

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You bought developer? You should have gotten literature. Reading about what you own is a good idea, or go online and see what you can do. Experiment with it, then when you want to add more points, you should buy resale. Sheraton Flex is very cheap via resale.
 

DeniseM

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I purchased Marriott/Sheraton Vacation Club last April (I listed both brands because it all seems to be tied together somehow). I can't figure out how any of it works. I

Click here: Flex Option FAQ

When you bought the Flex Options - what was your GOAL?
 
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dioxide45

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There are pink "sticky" guides at the top of this forum.


I used to own a Sheraton deed, no points. I think you own Flex points, not StarOptions, and they gave you some limited time bonus points.
Those stickies need a massive overhaul.
 

DeniseM

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They do - would you like to volunteer to do one section?
 

TheKrizzz

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Click here: Flex Option FAQ

When you bought the Flex Options - what was your GOAL?
Hi @DeniseM - our goal was to travel internationally and stay at nice places with our kids. Another thing I've found is that the properties only seem to be beach type places, not cities, so if doesn't really help. Much for going to Rome or Frankfurt, unless I'm missing something.
 

DeniseM

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Westin/Sheraton has no European properties. For those you have to exchange through Interval International. If you join TUG, ($15) you will have access to our members only Sightings & Distressed forum where the best exchanges are posted daily. However, many European timeshare resorts are outside the cities, because city dwellers want to get out into the country, beach, mountains to vacation. Timeshare sales people lie to get you to buy, so you may have been mislead on this point.

It also may be that they were telling you that you can trade through Marriott Abound - without knowing exactly what you bought, it's hard to say.
 

davidvel

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If you really want the best focused help here, you need to pull out your purchase docs and tell us exactly what you bought. You don't seem to be sure what you have. Or login to the website and show us a screenshot (with any personal info redacted.)
 

TUGBrian

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not sure the old stuff isnt valid to everyone, vs simply not applying to what is sold today and perhaps what most new members come looking for.

vs trying to replace the old vistana stuff, perhaps the modifications/updates could simply be made into a new page for current vistana/abound/flex owners.

if someone wants to tackle that, im happy to provide a free membership extension (though Jeremy already recently earned himself a lifetime membership for all his referrals...kudos!)...or if you want the new guide to also include a link to a video or two you have produced on the subject, id be ok with that too!
 

TheKrizzz

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Hi @davidvel, @DeniseM & @rickandcindy23 - Thank you for your responses, replies below:

You bought developer? You should have gotten literature. Reading about what you own is a good idea, or go online and see what you can do. Experiment with it, then when you want to add more points, you should buy resale. Sheraton Flex is very cheap via resale.
If you really want the best focused help here, you need to pull out your purchase docs and tell us exactly what you bought. You don't seem to be sure what you have. Or login to the website and show us a screenshot (with any personal info redacted.)

I'm not sure what developer is, but this is what I have is in the screen shot attached. My contract says "VOI Type Annual" with "44,000 VOI Ownership Points" if that helps. I don't have much in the way of literature, unfortunately, but that is probably a "me problem".

Westin/Sheraton has no European properties. For those you have to exchange through Interval International.

I've gone into Interval many times but every time I try to book an exchange zero, or maybe one property shows up as an option. And I am looking at things from 12-18 months out.

If you join TUG, ($15) you will have access to our members only Sightings & Distressed forum where the best exchanges are posted daily. However, many European timeshare resorts are outside the cities, because city dwellers want to get out into the country, beach, mountains to vacation.

I did join the paid TUG site, but have no idea how to use it yet. Just trying to understand the basics first.

Timeshare sales people lie to get you to buy, so you may have been mislead on this point.

I honestly don't think I was lied to. It was more of a shell game where the sales person kept bouncing between Vistana, MVC and Interval World and talking about 5,000+ properties and I was completely confused that these were all different platforms and not directly part of what I bought (at least the Interval ones).

It also may be that they were telling you that you can trade through Marriott Abound - without knowing exactly what you bought, it's hard to say.

Again, no idea what Abound is or how I would use it. What I did just figure out is that StarOptions (which is apparently what I bought) only work on like 12 properties, but if I convert them to Club Points there are a bunch more. I assume this is from the mergers between Marriott, Sheraton and Westin.

Thanks for bearing with me on this. I really want to get some value out of this purchase and so far it has not been a good experience. I'm hoping that a little (or lot of) knowledge will help fix that.
 

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claraj

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@TheKrizzz Welcome. I was a newbie a year ago. Take your time to learn all these terms as it will help you learn everything you can about your ownership. I only own MVC and not Vistana, so I won't be helpful in explaining that system but regarding Tug, as a member you will be able to see forums that are not visible to non-members. These forums include sightings of weeks in Interval and last minute rentals from other owners.

Regarding Interval, the best way to use it is to deposit a week or points and set-up an ongoing search where Interval will continually search for matches for your request. Manual searching is not as effective though you can get lucky.

Good luck!
 

rickandcindy23

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If you bought from the resort and paid $10k or more, you bought developer, and you should rescind if you can still rescind. You don't want what they sold you because it's not worth the paper it's written on, most likely. You need to give us more info.
 

DeniseM

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I purchased Marriott/Sheraton Vacation Club last April

It is too late to rescind.
 

DeniseM

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@TheKrizzz - I think you are trying to absorb too much at once. The link below explains the basics of Flex Options - before you go any further, you need to read it, maybe several times, and ask questions about it, until you understand how Flex Options work:

Click here: Flex Option FAQ

I'm not sure what developer is, but this is what I have is in the screen shot attached. My contract says "VOI Type Annual" with "44,000 VOI Ownership Points" if that helps. I don't have much in the way of literature, unfortunately, but that is probably a "me problem".

Buying "developer" means that you purchased from the resort sales person - not from another owner. Buying from another owner or a resale company is called "buying resale."

Just looked at your screen shot: You own Sheraton Flex - 44,000 Star/Flex Options every year. 44,000 is a small number of options which is enough to reserve a studio at some Sheraton/Westin/Vistana resorts, and a larger unit during the off-season at some others. For comparison: a studio at the Hawaii resorts is 67,100 Options. In Interval - you should expect to be able to exchange for studio size units.

Here is the Staroption Chart - It shows how many options it takes to make reservations at all of the VSE resorts - starting on the 3rd page:


To get started - look at the last column on the right for each resort - this column tells you the number of options required for a week at each resort. Here is an example from Sheraton Desert Oasis. You can see that you have enough options to reserve a 1 bdm. premium (large one bedroom) during weeks 22-27 and 36-49.

Screenshot 2024-06-17 at 10.22.22 AM.png
 
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Ken555

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I'm not sure what developer is, but this is what I have is in the screen shot attached. My contract says "VOI Type Annual" with "44,000 VOI Ownership Points" if that helps.

Sadly, 44k isn’t much. The program is designed based on unit size and time of year, with some resorts having a high value all year (Hawaii). I suggest you login to your account and download the StarOption chart PDF for reference, as this will help you plan future trips. Flex has certain benefits for a few resorts, which I’m sure others will comment on as I’m not as knowledgeable about that, such that you are able to reserve those specific resorts up to a year in advance.

For comparison, a week in a studio unit in Hawaii is 67,100 SOs (staroptions) and a 1-bed unit is 81,000. You can certainly find a week at a resort for 44k, but not likely during high season and not a large unit.

Other than Europe, where did you hope to visit with this ownership and at what time of year?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

jp10558

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Hi @DeniseM - our goal was to travel internationally and stay at nice places with our kids. Another thing I've found is that the properties only seem to be beach type places, not cities, so if doesn't really help. Much for going to Rome or Frankfurt, unless I'm missing something.
Cities don't tend to have timeshares exactly. Some have 1BR "upgraded hotel rooms" that seem good for a couple and that's about it (to me anyway). None of the major US chains have stuff in European cities.
 

TheKrizzz

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If you bought from the resort and paid $10k or more, you bought developer, and you should rescind if you can still rescind. You don't want what they sold you because it's not worth the paper it's written on, most likely. You need to give us more info.

Fantastic. (Sigh)
 

TheKrizzz

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@TheKrizzz - I think you are trying to absorb too much at once. The link below explains the basics of Flex Options - before you go any further, you need to read it, maybe several times, and ask questions about it, until you understand how Flex Options work:

Click here: Flex Option FAQ

This is very helpful. Thank you.

Buying "developer" means that you purchased from the resort sales person - not from another owner. Buying from another owner or a resale company is called "buying resale."

44,000 describes what you own in terms of the number of Staroptions/Flex Options. 44,000 is a small number of options which is enough to reserve a studio at some Sheraton/Westin/Vistana resorts, and a larger unit during the off-season at some others. For comparison: a studio at the Hawaii resorts is 67,100 Options. In Interval - you should expect to be able to exchange for studio size units.

QUESTION: Where were you staying when you bought this timeshare? Do you have the contract that you signed?

We stayed at the "Sheraton Vistana Villages Orlando". And yes, I have the contract. Is there specific information that I can provide?

I suggest you login to your account and download the StarOption chart PDF for reference, as this will help you plan future trips.

I will download the StarOptions chart. Thank you for that.

Sadly, 44k isn’t much. The program is designed based on unit size and time of year, with some resorts having a high value all year (Hawaii). Flex has certain benefits for a few resorts, which I’m sure others will comment on as I’m not as knowledgeable about that, such that you are able to reserve those specific resorts up to a year in advance.

For comparison, a week in a studio unit in Hawaii is 67,100 SOs (staroptions) and a 1-bed unit is 81,000. You can certainly find a week at a resort for 44k, but not likely during high season and not a large unit.

The "upside" (from what I've read) about me making a terrible choice in buying this is that I can buy additional options very cheaply to supplement my 44K. I have no idea how that works, but it might be a good way to go, if anyone has recommendations on doing this. (Or is that a bad idea?)

Other than Europe, where did you hope to visit with this ownership and at what time of year?

We like to travel anywhere that is interesting, honestly. We'd like to visit a lot of European counties, Asia, South America. Anywhere that will be a cool, interesting experience. As far as time, right now we are handcuffed to when my kids have school breaks (summer and Christmas). Eventually, that will change of course, but that definitely limits the availability of properties because everyone is going at those times.
 

DeniseM

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@TheKrizzz - I recommend that you first figure out how your ownership works, and then use the options to make a reservation in the Westin/Sheraton/Vistana system, before you jump to more complicated strategies or buy more timeshares.

There is no sense worrying about what you already bought, that is water under the bridge, but don't buy anything else until you completely understand what you own and how to get the best value on the resale market. Many of us here on TUG bought from the developer the first time (ME!) and we learned from that experience and moved on. You will too.
 
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rickandcindy23

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As Denise said, water under the bridge. Move forward, learn to use it, then buy resale because what you bought isn't much.
 

Ski-Dad

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@TheKrizzz Don't sweat the fact that you bought retail vs resale. Most of the seasoned members here made that mistake on their first purchase. Like you, they subsequently took time to learn. Many then go on and learn how to extract the most value from their units, which has included buying more via resale.
 

Venter

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Ok, so here goes. Yes, you bought developer but, you have bought one of the most flexible ways into the Marriott/Vistana system with the most options available to go somewhere. Yes at a price and not allowing you to go somewhere high season and high demand without some compromises. In my opinion you bought the best way into a system available to new 'developer buyers'.

With your Sheraton Flex Home Options you can book 12 months out into any of the resorts within the Sheraton system which are:

  1. Sheraton Vistana Resort (FL)
  2. Sheraton Vistana Villages (FL)
  3. Vistana's Beach Club (FL)
  4. Sheraton Desert Oasis (AZ)
  5. Sheraton Broadway Plantation (SC)
  6. Sheraton Steamboat Springs (CO)
  7. Sheraton Mountain Vista (CO)
  8. Sheraton Lakeside Terrace (CO)
  9. Sheraton Kauai Resort Villas (HI)
Except for Hawaii you will be able to stay in a 1 bedroom unit during mid(most of the time gold season) season for 44 000 home options.

Secondly at 8 months you will be able to book into any of the other resorts within the Vistana system depending on availability(reports so far is that it is good most places except during really high demand times). Most except Hawaii and the westin in Avon can be booked during mid(gold season) season in a 1 bedroom premium for 44 000 Staroptions(when not booking your home resort the options become Staroptions). Our favourite is being able to book at Westin Lagunamar during gold season in a 1 bedroom for 44 000 Staroptions.

Gold/mid season is mostly during some fall and spring breaks and even parts of summer depending on where you live and what school district you live in.

That is using within Vistana in a nutshell.

Now remember I said better options are available with some sacrifices.... If you want to go to Hawaii or stay in a 2 bedroom during gold you can bank and borrow points to/from the following year. This means if you want to satu in the Hawaii resort in a 1 bedroom it will cost 81 000 Staroptions. You then bank your 44 000 points to next year and combine it with next years 44 000 points. You now have 88 000 points and depending on check in dates you can stay another day or bank the 7000 points to the next year to use etc., etc. This can be reserved 8 months out. You can do the same if you want yo stay in a 2 bedroom unit during gold season or high season in some of the Sheraton properties.

More to follow...
 
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Venter

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More positive talk. Some new developer buyers may have paid 50-100% more than you did and don't have the flexibility within a system that you do. Maintenance fees although not comparable to high season within resorts are not terrible. If you convert your Staroptions to Abound points you pay close to the same MF per point as Abound points owners and as mentioned the only owners better off are the high season weeks owners who can convert. Those weeks owners who bought developer paid thousands to be able to convert and have low MFs per point and resale don't have the flexibility to convert to points unless, they pay thousands more to enroll their week by buying more points which will increase maintenance fees. Within the Vistana Flex system Westin gets more Abound points but have higher MFs for the 44000 Staroptions and Aventura pays less per point MF but can only book into a limited number of Mexican resorts. Which brings me to abound conversions.

You have the ability to convert to Abound points and reserve 10 months out for 1 plus days or 12 months out for 7+ days to any of the resorts available in the Abound system. These resorts are the Marriott and Vistana resorts. You will get 1 Abound point by converting 32 Sheraton Flex Home Options. This translates to 1375 Abound points. Unfortunately you are not going to get high season in a 1 bedroom or higher for those points and Hawaii will be 6000+ in a 2 bedroom and 8000+ Abound points during holiday events.

You can however use those points creatively to stay in the lowest season time(Oct and early December) in a 2 bedroom ground level resort view at Crystal Shores. You can stay 2 weeks in a 2 bedroom at Barony Beach Club early December and January. There will be 1 bedrooms or studios in gold and lower seasons and just like with Vistana you can bank and borrow to combine points for reservations in higher seasons or bigger accommodations.

Now here is another positive. For a smaller amount upfront and less MF per year you are now in a system where you can rent Abound points from other owners(this is probably what they meant when saying you can combine points you buy elsewhere) to satisfy your yearly points needs. The rental market at the moment is below the yearly Abound point MF per point. So if you want to go to Hawaii you use your converted Abound points and rent the rest needed. The only downside to this is that you need to plan far in advanced with some flexibility to be able to use what you have because as with everything the devil is in the 'availability'.

You can also use this method to reserve at Vistana properties if you don't want the hassle of banking/borrowing because you cannot rent Staroptions.

More to follow...
 
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