Marriott Destination Points – Buyer Beware!
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”.