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Newbie Questions

RahRah

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Hi All...!

Years ago I did tours of a bunch of timeshares while on vacation in FL, but didn't buy since I didn't think I could afford it at the time and am pretty glad I didn't then since I've now figured out it seems much less expensive to buy on the resale market.

A week ago I purchased our first TS, a week at Branson Yacht Club, 2-bedroom, on eBay.

I *think* I did pretty well....it's in a fairly popular area of the mid-west, is annual, week 42 on the deed, floats 1-52 and if I can't exchange with RCI, it's nearby enough I can use it, maintenance fees are $450 a year....all totaled, with closing fees, etc. it was $346.

Since that I've been tooling around online, found y'all and am now hoping to also buy an RCI Points timeshare also so I will be able to take advantage of depositing my week for points and having flexibility to use points for even shorter stays of just a few days.

What I'm trying to figure out is what the maintenance fees relative to the points should come out to for a good deal? The maintenance fees seem to be all over the place for points - any way to make rhyme or reason out of them?

Here are some other questions:

1. Does RCI charge two fees for the two accounts? That is one for weeks and one for points, or is it just one fee for both?

2. Are there any sites I should look at, other than here and eBay, to find good deals on points weeks?

3. How long does it usually take a closing to finalize when you buy on eBay?

Thanks for all your help.
 

RahRah

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One other question:

How do you find out if a weeks timeshare that is being sold can be converted to points? Do you call the resort? Is there any place online where you can review the conversion fees at the various resorts out there and see which ones convert for no fee?

Thanks again!
 

RahRah

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Well, yeah, I do have one more question....

I found a site where you can "test drive" RCI Points for about $900 - basically get an RCI Points account, with something like 30,000 points for the year to play with and see how it works.

In my mind, since this opens the RCI Points account, which is usually $224 (I think), that means the points are costing me $675 for the year, no obligation to continue it if I don't like it or don't utilize it. So 0.0225 a point? Is that a fair amount to pay for just 30,000 points? I'm thinking that isn't many points, but if I'm an RCI Points member I can also take advantage of last call and such so it might be worth it?

Your thoughts on this, is it a scam? Should I just buy a points week and be done with it?

Would this type of trial account allow me to deposit my week in Branson for points?
 

Jya-Ning

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Your thoughts on this, is it a scam? Should I just buy a points week and be done with it?

Would this type of trial account allow me to deposit my week in Branson for points?
Not scam. A few member has test it. If it worth it or not? It allows you to test drive the RCI point and if it does work well, you will know how many points you want, and what fits you best. You have to decide yourselves.

If your week resort is not converted to point, yes you can deposit it, but I don't know if it worth the cost. Once your week resort is label to RCI point resort, you can not do that even if your week is not converted. By the way, all conversion cost money, there is no free one, your best hope is to get one that already converted.

Jya-Ning
 
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AwayWeGo

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Points, Shmoynts.

Years ago I did tours of a bunch of timeshares while on vacation in FL, but didn't buy since I didn't think I could afford it at the time and am pretty glad I didn't then since I've now figured out it seems much less expensive to buy on the resale market.
Same thing happened to us. Click here for our timeshare story -- see if it has anything in common with yours.
Does RCI charge two fees for the two accounts? That is one for weeks and one for points, or is it just one fee for both?
I'm told that people who belong to RCI Points get a side-by-side RCI Weeks membership thrown in at no additional cost. In our case, we were already paid up in RCI Weeks through 2008 when we took the points plunge. So next year, we'll see if we still have an RCI Weeks account, & if so whether it's free.
Are there any sites I should look at, other than here and eBay, to find good deals on points weeks?
Instead of buying a points timeshare, it's possible to lease 1 for 3 years, renewable, RTU. Works the same as a deeded points timeshare, except that the exit strategy is simple & easy when you're through with it by contrast with trying to sell off a deeded timeshare you no longer want. Click here for information about that. (If we'd known about it at the time, we'd have gone for that instead of buying a points timeshare. Live & learn, eh?)

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

RahRah

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Instead of buying a points timeshare, it's possible to lease 1 for 3 years, renewable, RTU. Works the same as a deeded points timeshare, except that the exit strategy is simple & easy when you're through with it by contrast with trying to sell off a deeded timeshare you no longer want. Click here for information about that. (If we'd known about it at the time, we'd have gone for that instead of buying a points timeshare. Live & learn, eh?)

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
Hey Alan - we moved from Fairfax county (Vienna) a few years ago!

For years I've been itching to buy some timeshares since we usually rent either a timeshare or private home when we vacation since we like more space and having a kitchen....I occassionally watch eBay and right now the prices have seemed to have come down somewhat over where they were last year around this time, so I took the plunge with the Branson week as a surprise for hubby for Christmas. I figure even if we use the Branson week each year rather than exchanging it, it works out to $65 a night for a two-bedroom.....a good deal for us considering last year when we went to Branson we paid $98 a night for a one-bedroom cabin, which was cute and spacious enough....but I'd rather pay $65 a night than $98 a night, ya know?

Since our families are still on the east coast, I have to travel at least four times a year to the NYC and DC area and am thinking a points week, with a high point value with relatively low maintenance fees is an option to be able to stay in Alexandria, VA in a one-bedroom while visiting my sis in Potomac....and then use points to try to stay at the Manhattan Club in NYC when visiting my parents and inlaws since both are each about an hour from NYC in opposite directions, so Manhattan would give me a central location for our visits.

Then we have an annual conference we do each year in Vail - this year we've already booked a rental TS for President's Week at Christie Lodge (a 3-bedroom for $1499 for the week, which is pretty good since hotels in the area are going for $300+ a night).....but I'm thinking, since the conference and/or our vacation time is always always sometime in February to early March, why not try to do this week with points each year, with my maintenace fees basically being our cost to go each year? And if we want to go elsewhere instead of Vail, then we can book with points pretty much wherever (if I understand the points system correctly) and may even get a deal on a week that'll only cost 9000 points too!

Then we also do a vacation week without hubby (just me and my son since DH has very limited time off from work each year)....this year we did Disney and we stayed at WDW, which was expensive despite being "value" season....if I had a week or points, I could have done much better with cost I think and stayed somewhere larger than just a hotel room (and did that with my parents in tow too!)

I just don't want to over-buy, even though I know my travel schedule each year is pretty heavy.....nor do I want to under-buy and have to pay more for hotels if I can't find a good rental - so I'm in buy mode at this point in time.....BUT had no idea about this RTU option.....that's a pretty good way to really test-drive the points and see if I can really use it as I'm hoping I can.....thank for the tip!
 
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Bill4728

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One thing you need to consider, with RCI points you can only trade into a resort if someone trades out. ( and RCI doesn't sell the week for RCI's rental pool) Therefore you may not be able to go to the resorts you want even if you have enough points.

With a TS point system like wyndham or Bluegreen ( and several others) you don't have to wait till someone trades out of the resort. If there is an open room at one of the TS systems resorts, you just use your points to reserve it.

Before buying anything else I'd try and get a feel for what options are out there and see what is right for you.

Good Luck And WELCOME to TUG.
 

AwayWeGo

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Good Luck With That.

I have to travel at least four times a year to the NYC and DC area and am thinking a points week, with a high point value with relatively low maintenance fees is an option to be able to stay in Alexandria, VA in a one-bedroom while visiting my sis in Potomac.
Wyndham (FairField) Old Town Alexandria is in the RCI wish book all right, but it hardly ever shows up as actually available for anybody to reserve on exchange.

We like to stay in luxury timeshares for Motel 6 & Super 8 rates. But sometimes we actually have to stay in Motel 6 or Super 8 -- well, whatever that's a cut above those we can snag via PriceLine. But you get the idea.

Hey, we go to or through Vienna VA fairly often. I've lived in Fairfax County VA since the old man transplanted the family to Falls Church VA from Indianapolis IN in 1949. We moved to McLean VA in 1955. The Chief Of Staff was born in Washington DC. Her family moved to McLean VA in -- wait for it -- 1949. The house where we live right now is 3 blocks from my mom's & dad's house where I lived growing up -- & 6 blocks from where The Chief Of Staff's family lived when she was growing up. Not only that, The Chief Of Staff's sister lives right next door to The Chief Of Staff & me. The Chief Of Staff & her sister built their 2 houses -- i.e., basically served as their own general contractors, buying everything & hiring all the subcontractors, etc. -- 25 or so years ago. Who'd a-thunk ?

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​

 

RahRah

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Wyndham (FairField) Old Town Alexandria is in the RCI wish book all right, but it hardly ever shows up as actually available for anybody to reserve on exchange.

We like to stay in luxury timeshares for Motel 6 & Super 8 rates. But sometimes we actually have to stay in Motel 6 or Super 8 -- well, whatever that's a cut above those we can snag via PriceLine. But you get the idea.

Hey, we go to or through Vienna VA fairly often. I've lived in Fairfax County VA since the old man transplanted the family to Falls Church VA from Indianapolis IN in 1949. We moved to McLean VA in 1955. The Chief Of Staff was born in Washington DC. Her family moved to McLean VA in -- wait for it -- 1949. The house where we live right now is 3 blocks from my mom's & dad's house where I lived growing up -- & 6 blocks from where The Chief Of Staff's family lived when she was growing up. Not only that, The Chief Of Staff's sister lives right next door to The Chief Of Staff & me. The Chief Of Staff & her sister built their 2 houses -- i.e., basically served as their own general contractors, buying everything & hiring all the subcontractors, etc. -- 25 or so years ago. Who'd a-thunk ?

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​

My stint in northern VA was as a transplant from NY (Westchester) for seven years, after two years of being married to hubby, he got an offer he couldn't refuse out here in MO....which left our families where they always were and will always be - NY, NJ and MD. As much as I love my sister (MD), staying with her is trying, inlaws (NJ) too much to deal with and my parents - well, I have no problem staying with them, but getting to the inlaws from their house is a hassle....so I prefer to stay nearby and "visit" everyday, but have evenings free of the hassles, or long drives between places...ya know?

Bill's reply about Wyndham has me thinking now with your reply about the Alexandria property being Wyndham, that a Wyndham timeshare may be an easier way to use the time as I need to if I'm going to use TS points to stay there. Does anyone know if the Manhattan Club is also Wyndham (or where I can find out) or just RCI?

Thanks for all your replies - they're helpful to me! :)

PS: DH plays trumpie!
 
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RahRah

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Another question:

If I were to buy a biennial week with RCI Points....one that has 49,000 points assigned to it every other year - are those points only usable in that year, or do they roll if not used into the next and can be used in the years you don't actually get points but have points in your account? Does that make sense?

Also, if I have a biennial week with RCI Points and also have an annual fixed week, can I deposit for points that week each year or only the years I get points?

Thanks!
 

RahRah

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Another question...since I'm still a bit confused with all the points options available and how to use them alone or combined with other weeks:

If I were to purchase a Wyndham week with points (Fairfield), and then later decide to go with an RCI Points week somewhere - can you deposit the Wyndham week for points with RCI or is that not allowed?
 

Bill4728

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Another question...since I'm still a bit confused with all the points options available and how to use them alone or combined with other weeks:

If I were to purchase a Wyndham week with points (Fairfield), and then later decide to go with an RCI Points week somewhere - can you deposit the Wyndham week for points with RCI or is that not allowed?
You can deposit resale wyndham week into the "weeks" side of RCI and trade into RCI resorts BUT I believe that all wyndham resorts are also RCI point resorts. So you can't do PFD (point for deposits) with any wyndham resorts. You can buy wyndham from the developer and also get RCI points with it but since it is >90% discount to buy wyndham resale vs from the developer I wouldn't recommend that you ever buy wyndham direct.

So IMHO, buy wyndham to stay in the >70 different wyndham resorts. And trade wyndham into RCI weeks but don't think about wyndham & RCI points.

Does anyone know if the Manhattan Club is also Wyndham (or where I can find out) or just RCI?
The Manhattan Club is not a Wyndham resort. It does trade with both RCI (mostly) and II ( only the newest units)

Hope that helps
 

Jennie

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Welcome to TUG! You've come to the right place to sort out answers to your varied and complex questions. It is best, however, for you do more research on the various TUG bulletin board/forums. Your questions have all been asked and answered numerous times through the years. You should take the time to read the hundreds of pages of rules, benefits, pros and cons that pertain to each of the different Points-based programs such as Wyndham-Fairfield. Worldmark, Shell, Disney, Hilton Grand Vacation Club, Sheraton, Starwood, RCI Points, etc...

It can seem overwhelming at first but it begins to make total sense after you spend enough time reading and taking notes, etc... If/when you finally settle upon a product or products that meet your needs, the good thing is that you will know the best way to make it work for you.

There are so many people who buy a timeshare on impulse. They attend a sales presentation to obtain a "free" gift" and walk out owning something they never intended to buy, something they never researched, something that does not match their vacation style, and they have paid about 90% more than they could have, if bought resale.

These same people tend to not take the time to learn the "rules" of the program they now own. Some never even use it; they just pay maintenance fees every year and deeply regret their "big mistake." It's a sad situation for them, but it makes it easier for those of us who take the time to buy the "right" product at a bargain price to be able to reserve what we want, for example, by calling on the first possible day that reservations can be made for prime high-demand weeks/locations.

In most cases, if you want to vacation at a prime resort during a high demand time, you need to purchase points based at that resort so that you will be able to make your reservation 13 months in advance (APR period). People who own points based at another resort in the program cannot make their reservations until 9 or 10 months before the check-in date and by that time, all the good weeks are usually gone. Also, people who learn how to do their own on-line searches on a regular basis are usually more satisfied with the results. I'm not at all saying that you should buy from the developer, but you should buy points that a former owner converted from a fixed week at the resort you like. There are lots of these available on Ebay, and yes, the price has been going down, down, down. Some of the best deals will occur in the next two months as people receive their maintenance bills for 2009 and decide that they "really need to get rid of this thing."But this is a general rule, There are many subtle exceptions.

You obviously have the intelligence and motivation to buy what is right for you and to use it wisely. I think (but am not sure) that you need to become a paid member of TUG to use the search feature of these forums. This feature will bring you to hundreds of discussions of the issues you are asking here. (BTW, your paid TUG membership will also give you access to thousands of Resort Reviews).

Good luck!
 

RahRah

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You obviously have the intelligence and motivation to buy what is right for you and to use it wisely. I think (but am not sure) that you need to become a paid member of TUG to use the search feature of these forums. This feature will bring you to hundreds of discussions of the issues you are asking here. (BTW, your paid TUG membership will also give you access to thousands of Resort Reviews).
Aha! That's why I haven't had luck finding the reviews, other than a few "teaser" samples.....$15 is the fee, worth it so I'll get to that later tonight and pay for a membership to TUG since I do have a lot of questions (ya think?).

And you also provided some good insight....especially about buying where we are likely going to vacation (if Wydham) so we have a couple of months lead time on points users looking to book into the resort - that's a huge advantage in my mind, especially for the week we always go to the Vail area --- if we have a period of time before others can reserve there, that'd work well for that week for us...so thank you!
 
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