The Art Of Vacationing

Timeshare Talk

Marriott Destination Points - Buyer Beware!

Pam Keystone - Friday, February 11, 2011
Before you purchase Marriott Destination points you need to be aware of what you are NOT being told.

Did you know that there are 2 pools of inventory that Club points can access?

The majority of Marriott owners own deeded weeks which can be "elected" for Club Points in any given year. These points can be used to reserve Marriott Vacation Club stays for any number of days that you choose. These "enrolled" Club points can only access the available inventory of resorts and dates that are made available from owners turning their deeded weeks into Club Points. This is known as the Exchange Inventory.

When you purchase Club points these are considered "Trust" Club points and with these points you can only access the Trust Inventory. This is the inventory comprised of unsold weeks, resale weeks and re-acquired weeks. In other words, this is the inventory that Marriott owns, not the owners.

What if you acquire just Enrolled Points?  This means you have access to the limited inventory deposited by owners. What happens with new properties or new buildings that are built where Marriott no longer sells deeds? All of this inventory will be in the Trust inventory and not in the Exchange Inventory. Will Marriott make it available to the Enrolled Owners? The reps at Marriott I have spoken to have said "no". I find it hard to believe that Marriott would shut-out the existing owners from new properties and new buildings on existing properties, but maybe this is their way to force us to buy points.

What if you are a deeded owner and you buy Trust points? Some owners have been told by Sales Executives that if you purchase Trust points your enrolled points will also allow you to choose from the Trust inventory. Not true. Your enrolled points can access only the enrolled inventory and your Trust points can only access the Trust inventory. Marriott reps are encouraging owners to purchase the minimum of 1,500 points which does not go far in the point program. If the week you desire requires 2,500 points and the inventory is only in the Trust inventory, you can't book it since you don't have enough points. You will have to hope that the inventory is in both the Trust inventory and the Enrolled inventory so that you can cobble together your vacation days using both sets of points.

What if you are a new owner and only have Trust points? The majority of the Marriott properties are sold out completely or sold out of prime vacation weeks so there would be very little inventory in the Trust for these properties. And since Trust owners can not access the Exchange Inventory then you will have the most access to the few, newer properties.

What I don't understand is why Marriott had to make this new program so complicated. The pie of available vacation weeks is now split 3 ways: Exchange Inventory, Trust Inventory and Interval International Inventory. The more times you split the pie the less there is for everybody.

Before you put out your hard-earned cash to buy more points, make sure you understand the implications of this new program. Like I have always said, "it is not what you are being told, it is what you are NOT being told that you have to be concerned about".

Steve commented on 18-Feb-2011 05:27 PM
I have thoughts on each side of this. I am thinking about existing deeded owners, like me at Palm Desert red. Looking up the cost for someone to purchase destination points to get into my resort red season, it's a lot. So, for all those new customers buying into the points program, it will cost them close to double what I paid for my week. Shouldn't this have the effect of actually raising the resale value of my week eventually? If someone truly wanted to head to Palm Desert each year, they'd be better of buying a week from someone, right? More-so than before this program. Also, their maintenance fees would also be lower. And in reality, isn't the likelihood they would have better trading power with II since non Marriott exchanges though II cost a ton of points also? Lock offs exchanges have always done wonders for me. I realize that they may have less inventory for exchanging to Marriott properties. But, overall, it seems like it may raise the resale prices over time?
Pam Keystone commented on 15-May-2011 03:06 PM
Resale prices of timeshares since the announcement of Marriott Vacation Club's Destination Points program have plummeted. I was surprised as I thought that they would increase for the reasons stated by Steve above. I agree that if a new owner wants to
have priority at a home resort that they will stay at most of the time, than buying resale is the best option. The price new owners will have to pay to stay prime time at prime locations is ludicrous. Marriott is primarily marketing this new points program
to their existing owners as I think they also see the flaw in their program. Hopefully resale prices will start to climb in time but right now they are very depressed. I refer my clients to a reputable reseller so contact me if you would like her information.
Mark Rainey commented on 30-May-2011 11:02 PM
I just sat thru my third presentation of this new point system and want to give you my impressions. First let me say I love the Marriott PROPERTIES and the services I receive while on them; HOWEVER, the new point system (a spin off company piggybacking
on Marriott's name), while claiming to be better has NOT endeared me and with my conversion of points, showed me the LACK of customer care that the old program was famous for. Let me give you my story. I own 5 properties, 3 in Maui, 1 in Ko'Olina, and 1 in
MountainSide Park City. I love Maui. Ko'Olina is for trading and Mountainside, well let's just say this is the property that cost my loyalty, as I have never been able to use the system the way it was intended to get to stay there. I have had to buy my way
in, scream, or complain and beg to get any time for skiing and I own the ski weeks. So here is the point. Marriott decided on the point values. They assigned to me 12875 points (125 shy of the Premium Elite Status and its advantages). After much talk, and
pleading I was denied the rights to buy 125 points, BUT was told for a mere $20,200 additional dollars I could buy into the new system and get 2000 points in the new system thereby allowing me the advantages of the new system (i.e. 13 months reservations and
access to the new up and coming properties). My 15 years of loyalty to the Marriott Hotel system (Platinum Elite) and 5 properties was LOST all over this requirement to spend $20,000 MORE. From what I read above, many of you have similar issues where you were
told you had to BUY MORE to get equivalent status and access to NEW programs and property. How sad! This is a spin off company that does not Understand about the loyalty that the Marriott HOTEL SYSTEM is famous for. I will always love Marriott PROPERTIES (still
owned by Marriott) but have no love for the MVC spin off company. I STRONGLY urge you to study your situation before investing more in this spin off program. I may be wrong in my perception and am open to talking with again but after three appeals I am at
the end of my patience. I will continue to voice my opinion of the issues on all sites and try to get Marriott to intervene and understand how many of us feel but until then, I recommend you not give in and BUY more. Mark Rainey Florida
Pam Keystone commented on 30-May-2011 11:27 PM
I agree Mark, with many of your comments above, but I believe that the decisions being made by the company and people in place is not due to the spin-off of MVCI. The same Marriott Vacation Club management team that was in place before the spin-off is
still in place now. The design of this new program has been in the works for a couple of years before it was released. I believe that Marriott Vacation Club desperately sought a solution to shrinking sales and looked to the existing owners to solve their problem.
This entire program and pricing is geared to upgrading the existing base of customers by taking away privileges they have now, like access to new properties, and making them feel that they need to get to a higher tier just to enjoy the same benefits that they
always had available. The tier structure is a joke since whenever a client has called 13 months ahead, there is no inventory to book and they are told to call back at 12 months just like the lowest tier owners. The new program definitely has benefits and has
made it easier to book at some resorts. If they would remove the strong arm tactics of threatening no access to new properties, I think we would all be much happier.
Richard commented on 20-Jul-2011 02:18 AM
As with all things, if you don't know what questions to ask, then information is going to be left out that will come back to haunt you. 1. I was not told that any of my Destination Points would expire at the end of the year. 2. The bonus points for signing
up were also points that will expire, but I was not told that would be the case. 3. I signed up for the program, received an email that I was enrolled that indicated the points total for enrollment, then was told that I had not "elected" anything so I had
no Destination Points at all!! Now I have a week in Hawaii for this year that I have not used and thought it was turned into Destination Points. 4. Then when I tried to work out a vacation with the Marriott Vacation Club using my converted points for next
year, I was told that the "cost" of the same property that I held was more than the points that I got for the property. In other words, the Maui Ocean Club is more in July than I got for putting the points into the program!!! OMG! Am I going crazy or is this
a joke? 5. DO NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS PROGRAM until you have all of the information. Pam's website has given me way more information than I learned from the Marriott people at the Vacation Club!!!! 6. What is the 600 dollar fee for? To save fees? How many years
will it take to save 600 dollars in fees? Ridiculous. 7. My question is: How can I sell my two weeks in Maui ASAP?
Bryan A. commented on 16-Aug-2011 07:58 AM
I somehow missed the imposed "deadline" for transferring 10,000 plus points to 2012. I just booked a trip to the bahamas for my family at Christmas and was only able to use 4100. The problem is I have yet to talk to my "assigned" advisor in over 2 years.
I receive a few sparse emails. I am going to look back at emails that supposedly reminded us of the 6/30 cutoff date and also listen to old voice mails. They claim they do a good job of notifying us of this important decision. So what is 5900 points worth
in real money? That is how much they are asking me to burn. We own 2 weeks every 2 years in Waiohai and 1 week every year in Newport Coast. While I am a fan of Marriott and thought the Destinations program would give me more flexibility, I am dumbfounded by
this arbitrary transfer date deadline. With 2 children in college and 2 in high school, it is next to impossible to plan TOO FAR in advance.
Bodinie commented on 11-Oct-2011 11:15 AM
Does anyone have anything positive to say about this new program? I've noticed that the sales people I have made acquaintance with over the years don't even try to sell me this anymore. Would enough voices force Marriott to go back to the way things were?
This entire DC process gets more complicated by the minute.
Jody commented on 30-Oct-2011 08:14 PM
My sister is an owner at both Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head. She has become so dissatisfied with the system that she is willing to pay a company called a bunch of money to take over her deeds/maint fees. Nothing about the deal they are
working sounds right to me. Any comments on the above mentioned company or any advice on holding on to Marriott Propery?
Pam Keystone commented on 01-Nov-2011 09:42 AM
I would strongly recommend that your sister not deal with any company that is agreeing to take over the deeds. There are numerous cases of companies like this "taking over" the deeds but not actually recording the deeds and not paying the maintenance fees.
The original owner is then subject to credit problems and foreclosure. I would suggest that your sister either sell through an actual Broker, who does not ask for any money upfront, like Transaction Realty or have us assist with managing her weeks so that
she will be happy again with her investment. We have assisted many owners who were trying to sell their weeks who are now so happy that they did not.
Bob commented on 03-Nov-2011 06:54 PM
I just sat through my third Destination program presentation and still am a little unclear about things. I joined the program for $695 last December and was told it included free II membership, no lock off charges and the ability for me to deposit my week
into the Destination pool. Now I understand that if I deposit it in the pool I do not have access to what Marriott describes as "Trust Inventory". If this is the case what inventory do I have access to? Does anyone on this board know? Also a heads up in case
you did not know that the II membership Marriott gives you with your membership and renewal only allows you to deposit weeks with II that are Marriott properties. I happen to own a Divi property that is part of II and went to deposit it and was told I could
not since my Marriott II membership does not allow this so I have to also buy an II membership if I want to trade my Divi property. This is one more thing that is never told when you are being sold their new program. While I like Marriott's I feel this is
just is a money grab that they have implemented. What also has me concerned is the sales person I just met with told me it will become harder for my to get my Platinum weeks in Aruba going forward due to this program, when I was told that if you bought into
a prime season and owned two weeks, that you had a good chance of getting your requested weeks 13 months out. Another thing Marriott is changing, at least based on what the salesperson told me.
Karen commented on 10-Nov-2011 02:29 PM
Oh boy... I wish I would have read these comments before going on vacation and listening again to the DC pitch. Unfortunatley, I bought in for $695 enrolling my 3 weeks. I was told if I ever wanted to trade within the MVCI thru II, I would have great difficulty
because all Marriott owners were enrolling and there would be very few resorts or weeks available thru II for Marriott. I told my sales person how disappointed I was, that I felt the Marriott was trying to increase revenue at my expense, promising me only
what I thought I had originally bought in to - stronger trading power by being a Marriott owner. Please let me know if there are any other sites available to publish my displeasure with them, maybe as a group we can force change or a refund.
Anonymous commented on 01-Dec-2011 05:16 PM
New point system is terrible. It has devalued your deeded week. Class Action lawsuit is coming soon!
Old sales employee commented on 16-Dec-2011 12:43 PM
Hello everyone. I would like to explain exactly how this new points system works. I used to work at Marriott in sales but transferred to another company (Marriotts' major competitor!;) Anyways, the trust inventory / enrolled inventory is true, however,
it is just a sales pitch to get owners to buy more. I own 4 weeks and once you enroll you will find it very easy to get what u r looking for. For example, owners from Branson once enrolled can book at Marco Island. Almost impossible with interval, yet of course
the points they need will be more than they have. Behind the scenes Marriott swaps from the exchange inventory with the trust inventory, meaning at the end of the day regardless of what points u r using they will all work the same pretty much. The reason an
owner should buy points is because they might need more now to book certain locations. But believe me as an owner for 20 years the benefit and ease of points is worth the investment. With that said, I enrolled my cypress harbour weeks and can book just as
easy as a new points owner. Believe me, I worked in sales when this thing launched, and all the rubbish about having to buy trust points is a lie. But the new system works great and you should buy them before the prices go up as they always do. Hope this helps!
-former long time employee
donna commented on 12-Feb-2012 06:15 PM
I think time shares are like a BMW. Big Money Wasted. I could vacation on an island, ALL INCLUSIVE, for my maintenance fees. This was my husbands idea. And perpetuity makes me want to die before him.
barb commented on 10-Mar-2012 03:55 PM
As a long time Palm Desert,, Desert Springs Villas I and Maui Ocean Club owner, what happens if I DON'T enroll in this points system which seems to have no advantage that I can figure out? However, when I try to book my week at Palm Desert for 365 days
from now, or any dates in March 2013, no availability shows up. Does that mean the points people have an advantage over the weeks owners?? This is so d**** complicated! What is the best thing to do? I've already purchased 3 years of Interval International
at Platinum level. Please help me figure this out.
Anonymous commented on 12-Mar-2012 05:11 PM
Has anyone heard anymore about a class-action law suit? We would be interested to partake in it as we too are furious that Marriott is taking advantage of it's loyal owners and making them feel like they have to dump another $10,000 in just to continue
to use what they already invested so much in.
Annoyed As Hell commented on 14-Mar-2012 05:33 PM
I purchased many thousands of points last summer as a new owner. All I can say is all of the criticisms are correct -- lack of inventory, the maintenance fees are insane - my fault for not really thinking about that, trying to sell u more points, the hot
weeks are unavailable, the hot weeks can be purchased or rented on secondary sites for way less that purchase cost of points, etc. I am a fool for not investigating better, I guess, but the disclosure here really sucks. I work in the securities industry and
we are so highly regulated. If these clowns were subject to the same sort of disclosure regulations, the SEC would shut them down. Problem with a class action lawsuit is only the plaintiff's lawyers will gain and MVCI can be put into bankruptcy.
Anonymous commented on 19-Mar-2012 10:29 AM
I have just been to U.S V.I.The club points programme topic came up.Why should a name such as Marriott get sucked into a money making scheme and make their loyal members,wonder what on earth is going on.I was in utter disbelief to think that such a reputable
company would sink so low.It has to think very carefully as the many owners take the same view,and are not satisfied with the new scheme.Please think again.
Anonymous commented on 22-Mar-2012 08:23 AM
As a long time owner, I also just recently sat through a sales pitch a few weeks ago about the new points system. As usual, the sales rep made the proposal seem totally reasonable but fortunately I requested to demo the proposed process of future reservations.
Once I realized that Marriott placed the price at my home resort (Canyon Villas) at over 4100 points for a prime week, but was only offering me ~2900 points if I deposit my prime week, I lost all interest. It appears to me that when Marriott decided that my
week was worth ~2900 points, that value was determined by taking my original purchase price times the introductory price per point when the new system started. This essentially wiped out any equity that may have built up and explains why the values of our
time shares have dropped so significantly. When I asked about the discrepancy, I was told that the difference reflected the value of increased flexibility that I would have within he new system, but a 40% increase seemed a bit much for some alleged increased
availability. I also noticed a much harder sell than I have ever experienced with Marriott. Previously, whether or not I made a purchase, the experience with Marriott was a positive one. This time, when I said no thank you, I had to talk to 2 more supervisors
while they tried to pitch me and then a third person on the way out tried to sell me a promise to lock that day's point rates for an agreement to book a week in the future for cash. Then when I declined that and again asked for transportation away from the
sales center, I was told that I could still have that day's rates anytime in the following week and to just give them a call. There was a reason that Marriott was the only time share I would consider, but that reason seems to be fading.
Richard commented on 01-Apr-2012 04:23 PM
We attended the sales presetation 1 year ago. Marriott told us it's an "educational" seminar for explaining how the new point system works. At the end, before we even had a mere idea of how the whole thing really works (since the sales rep just sold "dreams"
to us), just learned some terms like "destination", "trust", etc., the sales rep "made a decision" for us and asked us rudely to give him $15000. I don't know why Marriott hired a dumb ass like him, but we just looked at him and said nothing for at least 20
seconds, hope he gets it. As we asked some questions that pointed out the unreasonable area, the sales got more and more nervous and finally a little angry about our right-to-the-point questions. And when we asked to take a look at the pamphlet he had in his
hand that he read to us about point values of the resorts, the sales just refused even to let us touch it. He said we might "lose it". Of course we refused to convert my 2 platinum weeks, since we felt the system is so weird and so strange and so unreasonable.
Such as, 1. the points we get from our own week is much less than the points needed to request it or at another similar resort/week. In other words, you have to spend more $$$$ to get what you want that's about the equal value of your own weeks. 2. the points
expire at the end of the year. That's a big shock to us when the sales person murmured that info out after we asked the question "how long can we keep the points before we use it". But, hey, the up side of that is, you always have fresh, red hot points, no
old and rotten points anymore..... 3. if you are 1 point short, there is no way you can request that resort. 4. etc. etc. etc. And, how the sales rep talked and acted raised a biiiiiig red flag. It's not the "Marriott Way" that we are familiar with. He tried
to act like a con artist. After he failed to persuade us, his "manager" stepped in and was about to continue, I just told her to forget about it and sign us out. Last summer when we were at Hilton Head, a sales rep called us no less than 5 times trying to
get us into the presentation. Although we could get 15000 points, we skipped it since we believe it's a waste of time. I definitely will not get into the new system. I bought the week and want to exchange the "week" with other owners. I believe that's exactly
why Marriott want to change the game rule. Since if the owners just exchange with others directly, Marriott gets no profit thru the exchange process (only the deposit and exchange fees, but that's about $200 each year). Now, if Marriott can force the owners
exchange into "points" (which is 40% less than your actual value), then, it blocks the direct exchange. And, the points you get from your own week will be guaranteed to be short to get any resort with similar or higher value than your week that previously
you can get by exchange. If you want it, the only way is to give money to Marriott to buy more "points". In our case, that's $15000 every year to Marriott. So, viola, the profit generated thru the new exchange system to Marriott. How smart Marriott is and
how stupid its owners are (or at least Marriott thinks they are) .........
Anonymous commented on 08-Apr-2012 07:28 PM
Has anyone else received an email stating the increase of prices to change over to MCV Destination Points? It stated that if we do not switch over now for the cost of $695, it will eventually go up to $2000 or so. Crazy or what?
Anonymous commented on 11-Apr-2012 07:12 AM
We just had a horrible experience at a recent sales presentation. We own two deeded weeks in Florida (one bought in 1996 and one in 2010). We were made to feel like bottom feeders unless we bought into the trust for another $20+ thousand dollars --When
we refused, our sales rep. so generously offered us the 1st time deal we passed on two years ago-- around $15,000 for 2,000 trust points. Of course we were furious that he made us feel that without these points our trade value was extremely limited--practically
worthless. I'm afraid this may come true, unless all deeded owners ban together and not buy into their trust. The rep. declared the new program was what deeded owners were looking for and want. The made us to feel in the minority. What's the reality? From
what I am reading online, the once positive deed owners are generally angry and distraught over the change in program. Are we in the majority or minority?
kim commented on 16-Apr-2012 08:18 PM
WOW, I wish I read this information prior to "enrolling "in destination points program for $595.00 for my week that I own in Marriott Grande Vista Florida. My sales rep, repeatedly told us that if we don't enroll we will be limiting our ability to trade
our week, because inventory would be taken over by DC owners. Like so many of you out there Marriott is using loyal paying owners to keep on footing the tab, in this down market. I am so fed up that asked Marriott to buy back my week, 9when we originally purchased
we were told that the resale value is very high. Well I was told that maybe my week would be worth $5000. (we paid $25,000.) but there is a wait list to have them even consider purchasing your week. At the end of the day for $1000. per year main. fees, you
can go on a great vacation, and stay in a first rate resort, we are getting abused!!! It is not fair of Marriott to ask existing owners to pay more, it should be all or nothing. They should have either grandfathered owners in, or not done the DC program. We
should begin a class action law suit.
Tim commented on 18-Apr-2012 10:15 AM
What's going on here? Just minutes ago, my wife and I got back from the Marriott Destination Program presentation at the Aruba Surf Club. We are long-time Marriott owners in Kauai and in 2007 were proud to buy here in Aruba as well. The last 90 minutes
of the Destinations Program has been the downer of our whole vacation and has left us both feeling so terribly exploited that instead of enjoying the beautiful day, we're here scouring the web to see if others have had the same experience. The many, many thousands
of dollars that we've invested in Marriott has been significantly devalued with the Destinations program. We expected the usual friendly and at least inviting 90 minute pitch, but this presentation was undisguised as something between a bait-and-switch scheme
and a shameless upsell. Instead of learning what wonderful new opportunities Marriott's vacation engineers had crafted for us loyal owners, this presentation explained how the value of our original investment has been gutted - and cautioned us to get on board
with the new program. How did this happen? We were so happy with the MVC and looked forward to decades of amazing family experiences as we have come accustomed to. Now we understand that we need to spend a minimum of $16,000 just to hopefully continue enjoying
what we though we had purchased years ago. And if we can't afford the minimum entry point investment, we need to BUY a $695 membership and extra $199 annual fee to have entry level access and use our previous investment as part of their lesser program? We
were hit completely by surprise and asked only the most natural questions that came to us in the moment. The friendly sales rep was left without answers. "What you had has now changed", she kept saying. Marriott is changing and our weeks no longer have the
same power. This is a solid predictor of how Marriott will change the rules on us again in the future. Even if we did stretch ourselves to invest in the new program, the time would soon come for us to be chopped down and upsold again. At 8am today, we would
have avidly recommended MVC. Now at noon, we're embarrassed about all the recommendations that we've made over the past 10 years. We set many of our friends up for this. What a truly unfortunate thing...
talala commented on 27-Apr-2012 11:14 AM
Hi i was told and asked the sales person many times about the new trust. The company did not explain the new trust to me before. The did at the meeting I has with them in March. They also told me if I purchased something in the new trust that I could use
all my points between the two marriott accounts. Someone wrote this is not true is this correct?

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Dreaming about upcoming vacations is always fun. Then the frustrating tedium of transferring points, black out dates, rules and regulations, innumerable contacts... the fun is gone. Thanks so much, Pam, for listening to our dreams, and then doing the hard part, so we could anticipate the fun

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