The Marriott Vacation Club Features A Dynamic Portfolio Of Global Resorts And Adventures But Points Ownership Can Becomplicated Curious As To How A Marriott Timeshare Can Work Alongside Your Travel Goals From Points To Rewards Well Explore Vacation Ownership With Mvc
Sam Clegg – Nov 10, 2020
Although the timeshare industry in the US dates back to the 1970s, Marriott has played a key role in introducing the concept of vacation ownership to the broader travel market. In 1984, Marriott became the first hospitality brand to offer timeshares, establishing the originally called Marriott Ownership Resorts, Inc. with a resort on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.
How Do I Value My Timeshare
A timeshare is a shared ownership model of vacation real estate in which multiple purchasers own allotments of usage, typically in one-week increments, in the same property. The timeshare model can be applied to many different types of properties, such as vacation resorts, condominiums, apartments, and campgrounds.
Selling Your Membership Back To The Resort
The timeshare resale market is difficult in the best of circumstances. Marriott is a bit more open about this process than other vacation resort companies. They do have contact information for their in-house exit specialists on their website, which is relatively forthcoming. Rest assured, though, that the Marriott timeshare resale process is not tilted in your favor.
In the past, this in-house exit program allowed timeshare owners to give their interest back to MVC as long as the initial purchase price had been satisfied. That is no longer the case, a fact that many MVC owners have come to resent.
In several cases, owners were persuaded to purchase their units based on the promise that MVC would take them back. This change in policy has led to many unhappy owners saddled with fees they were led to believe they could get rid of if necessary.
You should know that MVCs exit specialists have been trained to keep you in your MVC membership at all costs. If you purchased your timeshare at an MVC presentation, you may remember how aggressive and unhelpful the sales tactics were.
Expect to experience those aggressive tactics again. Also, keep in mind that the exit specialist on the other end of the phone has a vested interest in keeping your business with Marriott. Therefore, once you have made up your mind to exit your timeshare, it can make more sense to hire a company like Centerstone Group to do the work for you.
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Operation Of The Loyalty Program
The Company sells Points to Participating Properties and partners, redeems Points for cash , airline tickets and merchandise, and administers the Loyalty Program. The Company promotes the Loyalty Program including, without limitation, by creating and launching marketing campaigns, developing and maintaining the Loyalty Program website and managing partner relationships.
Not Responsible For Acts Errors Or Omissions
The Company is not responsible for: any loss or misdirection of, or delay in receiving, any Member application, correspondence, redemption requests, Redemption Awards or Member benefits theft or unauthorized redemption of Points or Redemption Awards or use of a Redemption Award any acts or omissions of third parties or any errors published in relation to the Loyalty Program, including, without limitation, any pricing or typographical errors, errors of description, errors regarding Participating Properties, and Loyalty Program affiliates, and errors in the crediting or debiting of Points from Member Accounts. The Company reserves the right to correct, without notice, any errors.
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Loyalty Program Member Benefits And Exclusions
6.4.a. Premium Internet Access. For any co-brand credit card outlined in 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3 that has premium internet access as a benefit, cardholders will receive enhanced in-room internet access where available at Participating Properties worldwide regardless of booking method.
6.4.b. Premium Internet Access Exclusions. Refer to section 1.3.c.
How Do Marriott Timeshares Work
Like many other companies in the timeshare business, Marriott originally sold traditional timeshare units. In other words, the company might break a condominium at one of its resort properties into 52 segments, each corresponding to a week of the year. Weeks would then be sold to purchasers.
The current state of the industry, and MVCs business, is a bit more sophisticated now. While MVC does still sell week units to people who want them, the more popular and modern system of vacation ownership is with points. Rather than owning a unit at a home resort, you receive annual Vacation Club Points that are used as currency to book your stay at Marriott Vacation Club resorts.
For example, lets say that you purchase 5,000 annual Marriott points from a resort in the Caribbean. You can use those points to reserve time within a specified window at any of the resorts that MVC directly owns.
The Marriott sales pitch, though, is that you can also use those same points for a unit in South Carolina at Hilton Head Island or the Grand Chateau in Las Vegas. There are also offers for units at other Marriott Vacation Club destinations like Hawaii , Thailand, and Spain.
If owners want more options, MVC allows you to trade points for reservations at resorts operated through its sister company, Interval International. The Marriott rewards system is thrown in as another measure to ensure that you stay loyal to their brand for all your vacation needs.
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Can I Sell My Marriott Vacation Club Points
You can sell your timeshare yourself, use the services of a licensed timeshare resale broker or go directly to Marriott and see if they will place your timeshare in their resale program. If you want to sell it yourself, you should look for a timeshare-specific website that specializes in timeshare resales.
To Be A Marriott Owner
With any timeshare purchase, while you may be ready to dive into your dream trip, keep yourself grounded on the financial front. Annual maintenance bills and club dues are a serious commitment, while purchasing points on the resale market may come with unexpected, and significant, fees.
As a timeshare owner, you are essentially paying for your vacations in advance. This lifestyle purchase, along with its rewards programs, can indeed bring savings over the years. But take time to crunch the numbers first. And remember, you can also discover Marriott Vacation Club destinations by renting from MVC owners through KOALA! Check out our current Marriott listings here.
The pros and cons of Marriott ownership can be endlessly debated, but at the end of the day the value of any timeshare product is in the eye of the beholder. On a given day we hear everything from serious problems to unparalleled vacation memories as a result of these programs. As always, we strongly recommend that you do your research before entering into any sort of ownership agreement or sales presentation. For those that choose to move forward, .
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Changes To A Reservation Made With Destinations Points
Last year we booked a 7-night timeshare vacation stay for a client using their Club points. We booked the vacation 12 months prior to the desired check-in date. After several months, our client requested that we cancel 1 night of the vacation as she had to return home early. This was done 7 months before her check-in date. We contacted Marriott and cancelled one night of the stay and the points were returned to the owners club point bank. What Marriott did NOT tell us is that they placed these points into a HOLDING account. This means that my client could only make a booking with these points 60 days prior to their intended check-in date. We found this out by accident when reviewing her account online. When we questioned Marriott they informed us that any reservation booked for 7 or more days, by a Premier or Enrolled owner, more than 10 months prior to the check-in date, that is subsequently changed to be less than 7 days in length, the unused points are put into a Holding account. This was quite a surprise!
I can somewhat understand their reasoning but unfortunately it adversely affects those owners that really do have a legitimate reason for shortening their vacation.
Needless to say, our client and I fought the case with Marriott, since we were not informed about the points going into a holding account, and we won. We did need to escalate several levels to get it done.
Take Advantage Of Your Resources
Log on to your account at My-VacationClub.com, where youll find easy-to-use planning information and booking tools. Visit VacationClubLearningCenter.com for webinars with valuable tips and insights to help you get the most of your ownership. And dont forget, your Vacation Ownership Advisor Team is available at 888-MVC-4VOA .
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What To Include In A Cancellation Letter
A cancellation letter should typically include the following information:
- the current date
- the purchaser’s name as it’s written on the contract
- the purchaser’s address, phone number, and email address
- the name of the timeshare company
- the timeshare description
- the date the timeshare was purchased, and
- a clear statement that the purchaser is canceling the contract.
While it’s usually not necessary to provide a reason for canceling the timeshare contract, you do need to explicitly state that the purpose of the letter is to rescind the contract. A statement like “I am contacting you within the rescission period to cancel this timeshare contract” will usually work. Be aware that state law might provide specific information you have to include in your cancellation notice.
Want To Get Out Of Your Timeshare Here’s How
If you want out entirely, the easiest way is to see if your developer or resort operator will take or buy back the timeshare at no cost. Some will even offer maintenance-free usage for a few years in return.
Alternatively, you can sell it yourself on a site like the Timeshare Users Group or hire a timeshare resale company to help unload the property for a fee. For owners who still owe money on their loan, this is one of the few ways to recoup some losses, particularly if the unit is in a desirable vacation destination like Florida.
However, there has been an influx of scammers targeting owners that are not able to use their timeshare due to the pandemic, according to Gordon Newton, author of The Consumer’s Guide to Timeshare Exit.
If you are looking into hiring a third party, check the Better Business Bureau to verify they have a trusted track record, he said.
The American Resort Development Association also oversees responsibleexit.com, which gives owners a number of vetted, and many times free, exit options.
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Individual Earning For Qualifying Charges And Qualifying Nights
2.5.a. No other person except the Member may earn Points/Miles on Qualifying Charges and Elite Night Credit on Qualifying Nights for his/her Membership Account. Points/Miles and Elite Night Credit for a room shared by two Loyalty Program Members will only be awarded to one Loyalty Program Member.
2.5.b. Point/Miles and Elite Night Credit accrual is limited to individual travel and the room must be paid for individually by the Member or direct billed to the company who has arranged payment for the Members stay that is not associated with a convention or group meeting.
2.5.c. If the Member attends a convention or group meeting and individually pays the hotel or other property directly for the room, he/she will be eligible to receive Points/Miles and Elite Night Credits for the Stay. However, contract rooms, rooms reserved by corporations on an ongoing basis, and master-billed rooms are not eligible to earn Points/Miles and Elite Night Credit.
2.5.d. Military rates at certain overseas locations are subject to local restrictions and may be ineligible for Points/Miles and Elite Night Credit.
How To Handle A Timeshare In A Pandemic
Ask for a break: Depending on the terms of your contract, you may be able to rent your timeshare for a year or two while you are not using it or defer payments. “Start by calling your developer or go to the resort and ask what the options are,” advised Jason Gamel, CEO of the American Resort Development Association.
Plan a post-pandemic vacation: Many of the major timeshare companies waived reservation and cancellation fees due to Covid-19 so owners who didn’t use their timeshare in 2020 can bank their points and double up in 2021.
Take a road trip: If you aren’t going to use your timeshare in Hawaii, for example, consider exchanging, or trading it for a destination within driving distance, such as Williamsburg, Virginia or the Rocky Mountains, Gamel suggested. Units often come with a fully equipped kitchen, separate bedrooms and a living area, which make them particularly attractive for social distancing from other resort guests.
Transfer the property to your brother or best friend: One of the biggest selling points of a timeshare is that they can be passed on or gifted to a friend or family member and that’s still the case. Someone in your circle may be interested in picking up the annual payments in exchange for a dedicated vacation.
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Booking Marriott Reservations Online
Marriotts online reservation system is extremely efficient for owners. Within minutes of logging on, you can have your reservation booked and confirmed. To use the my-vacationclub website, you must be booking within the 12-month reservation window or using Destination Club points. Owners that are trying to book during the 13-month window should call in, to make those reservations and will need to book multi-weeks that are consecutive or concurrent.
Consecutive weeks dont have to be the same day of a check-out to check in. If you want to book your trip from Friday to Friday, you can check into your next resort on that Saturday, if you desire. A note, 50% of inventory is released to multi-week owners 13 months prior and the other 50% is released one year prior to the Thursday before that check-in week. An example is that if you wanted to book for Friday April 20th, 2015, that week would be available Wednesday April 19th, 2014 because April 19th, 2015 is the Thursday prior your desired check-in.
Its Broken Into Two Types Of Reservations Youre Looking To Cancel
More than 60 days from arrival
The updated terms arent really anything different from normal cancellation terms
If you are seeking to cancel your reservation booked with your Vacation Club Points and are due to arrive more than 60 days from the day you cancel, you may do so without penalty. Your usage will be returned to your account and will be accessible for use upon completion of cancellation.
Within 60 days of arrival
Heres where things are becoming more lenient. Typically, if you use your Vacation Club Points to book a property, lets say Mandapa in Bali. 6 weeks before youre arrival you want to cancel. You may do so, but the big caveat is that you can only then use those points to book a trip within 60 days of check-in. Meaning if you wanted to use those points and it was September 1st, you could only book properties in the 60 days following September 1st. That 60 day window is doubling to 120 days. Personally, I would have like to have seen these points become deposited and fully re-instated, but its at least a bit more lenient. Often times families will plan a year in advance around school schedules, and suddenly those trips planned a year ago have been cancelled due to not fault of their own. That means they wont be able to use those points to book again next year, but instead are bound by 120 day window.
They have pushed the expiration to 12/31/21
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Marriott Cancellation Policy Changes
After the merger was completed between Marriott and SPG, Marriott changed its standard cancellation policy. The standard policy was to allow cancellations so long as you did it 24 hours before check-in time. But in 2017, Marriott changed their policy requiring cancellations to be made 48 to 72 hours before check-in.
In reality, a lot of Marriott properties already had a 48 hour to 72 hour cancellation policy so this wasnt a drastic change but it means that many hotels changed their policy, forcing you to cancel your booking earlier to avoid a penalty.
Cancelling Marriott Bookings With Points
If you make a booking with points, the cancellation policy should be the same as it would be for the standard rate. When I clicked on the Rate Details for the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, I noticed that it contained the same cancellation language.
The difference is that the cancellation fee language is different. For award bookings, they typically will take the cost in points for the first night but some properties might charge you a cash fee. Your best bet is to contact the property to see what their individual policy is.
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More About How The Marriott Vacation Club Membership Works
The Marriott Vacation Club membership works on a point system. When you purchase a membership, you receive a certain number of points for the year. The points work like cash, and you can apply them towards your next vacation. The more points you have, the more opportunities there are that become available to you.
As of 2020, packages begin at around $22,000, and prices vary based on when and where you want to travel and on the number of weeks of the timeshare you purchase. People who are looking to buy into the program can make their purchase from presentations offered by Marriott employees, or they can buy resales, which can be a great way to save money. These are timeshares that the current owners, not the resort or developer, are selling. Resales are available on sites like eBay, SellMyTimeshareNOW and RedWeek.
Members can choose from thousands of destinations around the world. These include the more than 50 premium Marriott Vacation Club resorts in places like Miami, Lake Tahoe, Orlando, Hilton Head, Oahu, Mallorca, the Virgin Islands and other locations. Members also have access to Marriott Bonvoy Hotels around the world, Marriott Vacation Club Pulse destinations in must-see cities, ocean and river cruises, dozens of international partners, adventure travel experiences, guided tours, customized specialty packages, vacation homes, and luxury hotels and residences.