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Newbie Question's

Oregonbeav

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Sat through the Westin's Cancun presentation here in Maui. And thankfully found this website to clarify a few things but I have more questions.

What I liked about the Cancun presentation was the ability to convert my weeks to Starpoints. Most of my travel is 3-4 day trips and mostly to Westin Hotels. I know everyone says its a bad trade, but for me Points is where it's at.

I looked at an ad on here for Kierland for $6,9000 that came with 81,000 Staroptions. And a maintenance fee of $750 a year. Could I convert those 81,000 options into about $40,000 Points and have 6-7 pretty nice hotels nights a year? I do see there are restrictions on Option to Points transfers...is this a hard thing to do? What is the transfer ratio?

I may also want to use Kierland as we spend at least a long weekend in Arizona each spring.

With the Kierland purchase what would my chances be of trading it for say Maui??

Thanks
 

DeniseM

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Hi and welcome to TUG! :hi:

First of all - you can forget most of what the timeshare sales person told you - they will say ANYTHING to make a sale - especially in Mexico!

Buying a timeshare with the purpose of converting it to points is usually not a very good value.

81,000 Staroptions will certainly not convert to $40,000 in points!

I believe you would get 48,000 Starpoints for that unit. You would have to convert the entire week to points - you can't just convert part of it. It's all or nothing.

The popular Starwood hotels are 10,000 Starpoints AND UP per night, so 48,000 Starpoints is no where near $40,000 in points!

For instance, with 48,000 Starpoints, you could get 4-5 nights in a standard, no-view room, at the Westin Maui.

Please see the Starwood FAQ at the top of the forum for all the details about how Starwood works.

With your goals, I recommend that you buy a 2 bdm. at the Sheraton Desert Oasis for $1,000 or so, and a maintenance fee of about $900, and use it to trade into the Westin Kierland Villas and Hawaii through Interval International for a fraction of the cost. More info. - http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=138433
 
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VacationForever

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Note: Resale Kierland is not eligibile for Starpoints conversion. Only developer purchase allows owner to convert to Starpoints.
 

DeniseM

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Note: Resale Kierland is not eligibile for Starpoints conversion. Only developer purchase allows owner to convert to Starpoints.
Thank you! I forgot to say that!

More info. - Only units bought directly from the developer are eligible for conversion to StarPOINTS, but some resales CAN be used for StarOPTION exchanges - there is a list in the FAQ.
 

Lennyk325

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81,000 Staroptions will certainly not convert to $40,000 in points!

My unit at svr has 76k staroptions and converts to 42k points but as said above you cant convert to points if you buy a resale.
 

Oregonbeav

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sorry

I meant to say 40,000 points, not $'s. But it seems as if I can't covert to Points? is Desert Oasis a "mandatory" resort?

Thanks for all the help.
 

Oregonbeav

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I guess what I was hoping for was to be able to spend $6,900 (for weeks 1-21) (as advertised) at Kierland. Convert my 81,000 options to around 48,000 starwoodpoints use hotels when I felt like it. Or use my week at Kierland or trade for a week elsewhere. All for $749 a year in MF's. But I didn't know you couldn't convert options to points. I still need to confirm that and am looking around.....
 

scootr5

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I meant to say 40,000 points, not $'s. But it seems as if I can't covert to Points? is Desert Oasis a "mandatory" resort?

Thanks for all the help.
No, Desert Oasis is not mandatory. You'll get use or exchange in II or RCI only (not that that's necessarily a bad thing).
 

DeniseM

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I guess what I was hoping for was to be able to spend $6,900 (for weeks 1-21) (as advertised) at Kierland. Convert my 81,000 options to around 48,000 starwoodpoints use hotels when I felt like it. Or use my week at Kierland or trade for a week elsewhere. All for $749 a year in MF's. But I didn't know you couldn't convert options to points. I still need to confirm that and am looking around.....
You can only convert to points, if you buy directly from the developer, and 48,000 Starpoints will get you 4 or 5 nights in a standard room, in most Starwood hotels.

For a list of the mandatory resorts, see the Starwood FAQ at the top of the forum. The mandatory resorts are resorts that have Staroptions, when you buy resale.
 

alexadeparis

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If you just want to convert to starpoints - ask the developer about a 2 bedroom annual unit at Sheraton Vistana Resort - the cost should be around $12k I think to buy it, and you can convert to 42,000 starpoints for a cost of about $850 a year in maintenance fees.
 

VacationForever

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If you just want to convert to starpoints - ask the developer about a 2 bedroom annual unit at Sheraton Vistana Resort - the cost should be around $12k I think to buy it, and you can convert to 42,000 starpoints for a cost of about $850 a year in maintenance fees.
Don't forget other costs: $125 SVN fee and an additional $130 to convert to Starpoints if you are not 4 or 5 star elite. Both fees increase each year, and so does maintenance fees. That's about $1000 to get roughly 3 to 4 nights at Starwood hotels.
 

jarta

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"... $125 SVN fee and an additional $130 to convert to Starpoints if you are not 4 or 5 star elite. Both fees increase each year"

Both Starwood fees must be paid yearly. Both fees have increased - but not each year.

Are you are suggesting that II is feeless or that II fees haven't risen substantially? II has an $84 annual fee for an II account. II also charges additional money each time an II timeshare reservation is made. If you split a 2-br lockoff in II, you pay 2 fees to make the 2 separate reservations. If you split a 2-br lockoff and make 2 reservations using StarOptions, you pay no additional fee.

If you set up an II account (the $84 II annual fee is included in the annual Starwood fee of $125) and make 2 annual II reservations - rather than 2 Starwood SVN Staroptions reservations - the overall cost in addition to the annual assessment for II trading exceeds the overall StarOption cost of splitting the unit and making 2 reservations ($125). II charged $75 per reservation in 2007, raised to $95 in 2008, and by 2010 the per reservation fee was raised $129 per reservation and now $139 - at least. $84 + $139 + $139 = $362.

And, II has nothing similar to depositing StarOptions to Starpoints. II charges no fee to trade into Starpoints (or something similar for hotels) because the option to do so does not exist in II.

The OP will have to forego StarOption to Starpoint conversion by buying outside of Starwood. But, the OP will find that very good trades are possible - in II at an additional cost and with attention and persistence and the Starwood preference - if the OP buys a Starwood timeshare week in the open market.

However, do not imply II trading is cheaper because Starwood has annual costs. Please do not be one-sided about listing costs. List the total trading costs for both and point out that the costs for either system can increase annually (although neither has in the past).

Nevertheless, in the end, buying a Starwood week from Starwood should only be done for considerations other than the Starpoints conversion opportunity (like for retroing a previously puchased resale unit to gain the benefits of 4 Star or 5 Star Elite). Otherwise, the whole package becomes too expensive and impracticable for most people. ... eom
 
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VacationForever

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Jarta, my response is in response to OP's thinking that conversion of a timeshare unit into hotel points is a good deal. Owning timeshare needs to be more than that. It's the enjoyment of vacation whether it is at a resort or a hotel, not about $.
 

DeniseM

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The upfront and ongoing cost of owning a II trader is significantly cheaper, and a knowledgeable II trader can get more out of II than Starwood.

Regarding: $84 + $139 + $139 = $362

Note that that:

1) Most of the time you can get two years for the price of one with a II membership, so $84 will pay for two years of membership. (I've never paid full price.)

2) $139 is for a trade outside Starwood - you get a $20 discount with a Starwood trade: $119 (The main reason to own a Starwood trader is for Starwood to Starwood trades.)

3) It is more difficult to get two weeks vacation from a 2 bdm. L/O with Staroptions, because with Staroptions, trading is less flexible.

4) The cost quoted above is for 2 weeks of vacation - not the cost per trade.
With a Starwood-Starwood II trade, the cost for per week for a 2 bdm. L/O would actually be more like: $21 + 119 = $140 per week.

So let's say I split my SDO 2 bdm. L/O and trade for 2 weeks in a 1 bdm. on Maui using II. My cost would be $140 per week.

If the same week was in the SVN with 148,100 Staroptions, I wouldn't even be able to make the trade, because I wouldn't have enough Staroptions.
 

jarta

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Denise, ... "The upfront and ongoing cost of owning a II trader is significantly cheaper"

The upfront cost to buy resale from the market is cheaper. We agree.

The MF is the same either way. We agree (I hope).

The annual cost to split a single 2-br lockoff into 2 one week uses is cheaper in II than in Starwood? I don't agree. ($140 + $140 [your lowest weekly numbers] is still more than double the total cost of using StarOptions [$125, $133 for 2012].)

And, as you use more and more SDO traders in II, you incur more and more II fees at $119 per week traded. The total cost using StarOptions is capped at $158 (IIRR).

As an example, if you take out the II account fee, but leave in the Starwood SVN account fee, to split 3 2-br lockoffs for 6 weeks of Staroptions uses costs $158; to split 3 2-br lockoffs for 6 weeks of II online (calling costs $20 more per week used) ongoing request uses costs $714 (6 x $119); if all 6 weeks are Starwood reservations; $864 (6 x $139) if they are non-Starwood reservations in the US. Calling again costs $20 more per week used. International: $154 and $174 per week. Ouch!

Different systems; different strengths and weaknesses. The initial acquisition cost of staying out of the SVN is much less; the yearly cost to use to use 2-br lockoff weeks, especially multiple lockoff weeks, is quite a bit less using SVN than ongoing requests in II.

I guess we will just have to agree to disagree. ;) ... eom
 
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LisaRex

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If you love points, then you might consider buying SPs while they're on sale on SPG.com. You can buy a max of 20k per person. They're 20% off the normal 3.5 cents per point. Depending on how and when you use them, it might make sense to buy them outright during the holidays each year.

And, of course, if you don't already regularly use the SPG AMEX, I'd sign up immediately for that. There's a 35k SP bonus offer floating around now, which is pretty nice.
 

SDKath

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If you love points, then you might consider buying SPs while they're on sale on SPG.com. You can buy a max of 20k per person. They're 20% off the normal 3.5 cents per point. Depending on how and when you use them, it might make sense to buy them outright during the holidays each year.

And, of course, if you don't already regularly use the SPG AMEX, I'd sign up immediately for that. There's a 35k SP bonus offer floating around now, which is pretty nice.
What she said! I use my Am Ex card exclusively and have earned a LOT of points for airline miles and hotel rooms. I love it!

For example, I just transferred 20,000 StarPoints to American Airlines. I get a bonus of 5,000 mile bonus on transfer so I earned a total of 25,000 miles. That's a free ticket for my trip to Chicago next summer to see the inlaws! :)

Kath
 
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