Maximize Timeshare Ownership
The ultimate resource to understand, maximize and leverage timeshare ownership to travel in luxury accommodations on a reasonable budget.
The ultimate resource to understand, maximize and leverage timeshare ownership to travel in luxury accommodations on a reasonable budget.
Free Two Night Stay at the Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch in San Antonio Texas (Targeted to Existing Hyatt Owners living in Texas)
Last week, I received a surprising phone call from a representative of the Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch. They indicated that they were offering a free 2 night stay at the Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch in San Antonio for the month of January and February in exchange for taking a tour of the newly constructed building on premises and learning more about the Hyatt Portfolio program.
Many of these timeshare offers usually require some upfront free such as one of their current offers that was found on my facebook feed which is for a studio unit at a rate of $130 per night.
In contrast, this offer is completely free and the offer is for any size unit! Many of these offers are very restrictive in that they only allow a certain size unit or block out weekend nights. However, I was able to book this offer in a 2 bedroom unit for a Friday and Saturday night stay.
The total cost: $0.00! No resort fees, no deposits, no credit card.
While I will have to attend another timeshare presentation, (you are welcome yet again) hopefully I can find out some more good information on the Portfolio program that I can share with my readers.
As I mentioned, this offer appears targeted to current Hyatt owners who live in or around San Antonio. This may apply to those existing Hyatt owners who live in the State of Texas. However, if you could potentially use this offer, I would simply call the Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch and see if they can accommodate.
They have a new building and appear anxious to get new owners acclimated to the Portfolio Program so even if you were not targeted, you may be able to take advantage of this offer.
Here is their direct phone number: 210-647-9500
Wild Oak Ranch
If you have not been to the Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch, it is a spectacular property. The rooms are fantastic, they have tons of activities going on, they have water slides, a lazy river, fire pits and more.
While January / February will be slightly chilly, it is a great property and there should be enough activities in and around the resort to keep you busy for two days. Also, the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, a full service hotel, is about a 2 minute drive from this property and guests at Hyatt Wild Oak can use those facilities.
Overall, this is a great offer and definitely worth 1 1/2 hours of my time to see the new buildings. I am curious to see if they are the same or better than the existing units. The existing units are very nice so we will see how much of an improvement, if any, the new units will be.
Have you been to the Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch?
If you can use this offer, please post below on your success or failure! It will be helpful to see whether this offer is really targeted or open to anyone who can use it.
Hyatt Residence Club Owners: Opportunity to Book Properties Using New Portfolio Points (Daily Nights Available)
If the timeshare world could not get any more complicated, Hyatt is in the process of rolling out a new Hyatt program called the Hyatt Residence Club Portfolio Program.
Here is an overview of the new program.
The new Portfolio Program is different than the legacy program in that it has become an all points based system. Instead of purchasing a week, you purchase points where you can redeem those points for night stays.
I will do a detailed post on the differences soon but one of the key differences and huge benefit of this program is that ability to book properties for as many nights as you want rather than being handcuffed by the legacy program of only allowing you to book 2, 3, 4 or 7 night stays.
The tremendous benefit of this new program is that the nightly rates are reasonable with the exception of Saturday night.
The exchange grids for the new program are included here but for the purpose of this post, here is the exchange grid for Aspen Colorado.
As you can see, the amount of points vary by dates and whether it is a Sunday through Friday night, Saturday night or 7 night stay.
For example, if you want to stay in Aspen for January 7 through February 3 in a Studio, it would cost you 70 points per night for Sunday through Friday and 260 points for Saturday night. The Saturday night stay costs about 4 times the amount of points.
Therefore, if you elect to stay Sunday through Friday, it would cost you only 420 points (70 x 6 = 420) or 680 for the week or as many days as you want where you can simply add the point requirements together based on the day of the week.
Essentially, this new system will have tremendous value if you can avoid staying Saturday nights.
Access to the New System
I think it is fair to say that the new system has some benefits as well as drawbacks but current owners who do not purchase Portfolio points will not have the ability to book under this new system.
However, one of my readers (thank you Cindy!) alerted me to a potential anomaly which may or may not be permanent.
It appears that current owners who have not purchased into the Portfolio program are given the option to book properties using Portfolio points ONLY when using LCUP points.
LCUP points are limited club use points and only allow you to book 60 days out. These are very restricted points as opposed to CUP or Club Use Points that allow you to book 12 months or more (maybe) in advance.
As you can see from this screenshot, even though I am not a Portfolio Program member, I am given the opportunity to reserve a one night stay in Aspen for only 75 points.
Out of curiosity, the same one night stay booking directly with Hyatt would cost $579 before taxes and fees which look to add another $93.26 to this reservation for a total of $672.26.
I do not know whether the ability to book Portfolio Program properties with LCUP legacy points is intentional, an error or simply a way to introduce legacy owners to the Portfolio Program by getting rid of last minute inventory. Remember, LCUP points only allow you to reserve 60 days out.
In any event, the ability to book one night stays and the ability to book six night stays without a Saturday night can given you tremendous amount of value in the new Portfolio Program.
In terms of whether you should book using the legacy LCUP points or using the Portfolio Program, it will simply depend on the desired length of stay and which program / points gives you the best value.
A big thank you to Cindy who alerted me to this update! I encourage all readers to reach out if you have specific questions or comments! It helps me generate content that you want to read and gives you answers (I hope) for your questions.
World of Hyatt Status: As a World of Hyatt Member, what perks will you receive at Hyatt Residence Club Properties?
As a follow up to my post on Marriott Elite Status, I wanted to explore the various perks associated with Hyatt's World of Hyatt program and what to expect at its portfolio of Hyatt Residence Club Properties.
As you may know, Hyatt completely overhauled its Hyatt Gold Passport program in early 2017 and revised the program to be the World of Hyatt.
The World of Hyatt program changed a lot and there has been a decent amount of ridicule for the logo (see below) as well as their chosen name designations for the level of status.
Instead of the general way that most programs name various tiers by using names of precious metals or valuables, (ie. bronze, gold, diamond, sapphire, platinum, etc.), Hyatt chose to create levels using the names Member, Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist.
Without knowing the program, just by their names, you would not know the difference in tier levels. Fortunately, despite their awful names, they have provided a decent chart that shows you the various benefits that one would receive based on the tier level.
As I discussed in my other post, achieving top tier status, Globalist, can come with various meaningful and significant perks. As I explained in that post, simply being a top tier Globalist will save me about $3,600 for a ten night stay.
Hyatt Residence Club
The Hyatt Residence Club is the timeshare portion of Hyatt's brand. While they share the Hyatt name, the Hyatt Residence Club properties operate significantly different than its hotel counterparts.
Benefits at the Hyatt Residence Club
As I explained in my previous post as well as shown by the chart above, having hotel status can be very worthwhile, depending on where and how often you travel.
Those with Hyatt status (Discoverist, Explorist, and Globalist), there are definitely a few great perks. Let's go through them one by one and see what applies to Hyatt Residence Club Properties.
Fortunately, even if you stay at a Hyatt Residence Club property, you can still earn World of Hyatt points. You will earn 5 points for every dollar that you spend. For those with status, you will receive a bonus of 10%, 20% or 30% with 30% being reserved for Globalist members.
Waiver of Resort Fee
One of the perks of using timeshares is that most properties do not charge resort fees. Some properties, even if they do charge resort fees for those individuals who book the timeshare resort directly, will not charge resort fees for those owners that either own with the brand or exchange through Interval International or RCI.
Unfortunately, if you use your World of Hyatt points or free night stays at a Hyatt Residence Club property, you WILL be required to pay any resort fees. Hyatt Residence Club properties are excluded from this standard perk. Disappointing for sure.
Suite Free Night Awards
For those who achieve top tier Globalist status, you will receive four suite upgrade awards to use at various properties, If you choose to book a stay at a Hyatt Residence Club property using cash or points and book directly, you WILL NOT be able to use those certificates to upgrade into a suite.
All Hyatt Residence Club properties do not have club lounges. Therefore, regardless of your status, there is no opportunity to use any club lounges.
For those properties like the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa which is a hotel and a timeshare property, unfortunately, you will not receive access at the Club Lounge if you book at the timeshare portion of the property.
Points and Cash Awards
Points and cash awards can be a great deal but unfortunately, are not valid at Hyatt Residence Club properties.
Nope! Unfortunately, regardless of your status, you will not receive any complimentary upgrades at Hyatt Residence Club properties. You will receive the specific room and room type that you booked! Your status will not help you here.
Upgraded Internet Access
Hyatt Residence Club properties do not offer this service so it is not available to anybody. I have personally never had an issue with internet at a Hyatt Residence Club property.
Late checkouts can be a very valuable perk depending on your departure schedule but regardless of your status, no late checkouts are provided for Hyatt Residence Club Properties.
Bottled water has been offered more frequently as a way to show guests that their resort fee is actually beneficial. Pay $25 or more per day and receive a free bottle of water daily. Insulting to your intelligence. The resort fee is ridiculous but do not even expect free water at your stay at Hyatt Residence Club properties. Not included!
Best Room Available
One of the best perks of having hotel status is getting complimentary upgrades. Unfortunately, this perk does not transfer over to Hyatt Residence Club Properties. You get what you book, regardless of status.
Guaranteed Room Availability
For some travelers who have to book at the last second, having guaranteed availability is an important perk. Unfortunately, Hyatt Residence Club's do not offer this either.
Guest of Honor Benefits
A fairly new benefit for Hyatt was its Guest of Honor benefits. If you held top tier status, you can make an award reservation for friends or family and they can receive all of your perks. In this case, don't make it at a Hyatt Residence Club property since they will not receive any of those nice perks.
Many Hyatt Residence Club properties offer free parking but those that don't, even those with top tier status with Hyatt will still have to pay. Free parking is NOT a perk that transfers over to Hyatt Residence Clubs.
Having gone through this entire list of various perks of achieving status with Hyatt, the ONLY perk that applies to Hyatt Residence Club properties is the ability to receive more points for your spend at the property - either 10%, 20% or 30%.
As discussed before, timeshares and hotels are both run and operated differently. They have different perks associated with them. By having status with Hyatt hotels, it does not provide you with any real benefits at Hyatt Residence Club properties.
Despite this, I still highly prefer timeshare properties mostly due to space, comfort, and full kitchen facilities. Most timeshares, unlike their hotel counterparts, do not nickel and dime their guests for every little things and generally include free parking for everyone as well as do not charge resort fees for actual timeshare owners.
If you are accustomed to the various perks associated with the hotels, it is important to realize that these perks do not transfer over to Hyatt Residence Club properties.
Have you ever received perks at Hyatt Residence Club properties? Make sure to leave comments below.
Timeshare maintenance fees are one of the most unenjoyable aspects of owning a timeshare. These fees generally increase year over year. To most people, these fees may make timeshare ownership either unaffordable or undesirable.
While I do not like paying maintenance fees, I am able to maximize my timeshare week to get multiple weeks of vacation using just one timeshare. Therefore, even though I pay about $1250 in maintenance fees, I am able to get about 4 weeks of vacation and with exchange fees, pay about $400-$500 per week which makes it not only affordable, but a deal and many times, an absolute steal!
As with many things, if you understand what goes into the maintenance fees, you may have a better understanding of why they charge you what they charge you.
In my previous post, I showed you what one of my Hyatt Residence Club weeks maintenance fee bills look like. In addition to that bill, I received a few more details on what expenses are included in the maintenance fee.
In the following, I have uploaded a copy of the 2018 budget for the Hyatt Beach Club resort in Key West, Florida. This has all the details on the expenses likely to be incurred by resort in 2018, broken down on a per unit / per week basis.
2018 Budget and Maintenance Fee for Hyatt Residence Club:
I will not go through all the line items but it is interesting to see the actual categories and expenses of the resort and how it is broken down per unit.
For the Hyatt Residence Club Beach House, the maintenance fees have increased about 1.7% from last year. Considering inflation is about 2.5%, a 1.7% increase does not appear too unreasonable especially considering the various items that goes into these calculations.
As I explained in my previous post, the Hyatt Residence Club has reserve category for unanticipated expenses or those expenses that cost a lot of money that need to be replaced every so often.
In the chart below, the major capital expenditures are listed that includes the estimated useful life of the various components of the resort as well as the amount currently funded.
As you can see from the above chart, the Hyatt Residence Club Beach House has a certain amount of large items that will eventually need replacing.
Instead of waiting for these items to break down or fail to collect funds, they collect funds annually and keep them in reserve so that they may be replaced without having to do a special assessment or drastically increase maintenance fees during one year.
Paying maintenance fees for your timeshare is not very enjoyable but it is necessary to maintain the resorts and keep people wanting to come back year after year. Depending on how you use your timeshare, paying maintenance fees does not have to be painful especially if you understand the fees and are able to maximize your usage.
I personally think of my maintenance fees as a prepayment for my vacations.
While I do not like paying maintenance fees, it does make me feel better to fully understand how the resort compiled the maintenance fees each year and to make sure that there are not unreasonable items included in these figures.
Are the details helpful to you? Does disclosing the details help you better understand timeshare ownership?
Make sure to comment below!
Generally, most timeshares generate their annual maintenance fee bills towards the end of the year. As the year gets closer to the end, many timeshare owners are beginning to receive their maintenance fee bills.
Since timeshares are not very transparent, I thought that I would show my readers what my Hyatt timeshare maintenance fee bill looks at and what makes up the fee.
Here is my statement for my Hyatt Residence Club Beach House maintenance fee for week 47. Fort his particular week, I receive 2,000 Hyatt Residence Club Points.
While the scan is less than ideal, you can see that my maintenance fee for 2018 is $1265.03 which includes a voluntary contribution to ARDA which is the American Resort Development Association.
Here is the breakdown on how they came up with the total maintenance fee for 2018.
2017 Property Taxes: $16.40
2018 Maintenance Fees: $794.14
2018 Reserves: $341.49
2018 HRC Dues: $153.00
Voluntary ARDA Contribution: $5.000
The Meaning of these Categories:
2017 Property Taxes: This appears to be my portion of the 2017 Property Taxes. The Hyatt Beach House paid property taxes for 2017 and likely assessed each individual owner their pro rata portion of taxes based on owning 1 week for one (1) two (2) bedroom unit.
2018 Maintenance Fees: This amount is the bulk of the fee which covers all operational costs of the resort. This likely covers upkeep, staffing, utilities, and the various other items required to run the day to day operations of the resort. I will be posted a look at the 2018 budget that has more details on how this fee was compiled.
2018 Reserves: Like most businesses, the ongoing monetary needs of the resort can be estimated but there are always items that come up that were either unplanned or cost more than estimated. These reserves are additional funds that are kept by the resort for unexpected expenses and for those expensive items that will eventually need replacing. This includes major items such as buildings, elevators, roofs, HVAC and other expensive items. Instead of having to go out to the owners for additional funding, the resort includes a reserve amount for these unexpected costs.
2018 HRC Dues: These HRC dues are for use of the Hyatt Residence Club name, reservation systems and management services. Most resorts are not owned by Hyatt but are rather branded with the Hyatt name and are operated by Hyatt management services. These dues cover those services and fees.
Voluntary ARDA Contribution: According to ARDA's website:
The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington, DC - based trade association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries (timeshares). With nearly 600 corporate members and 5,000-plus engaged associates, ARDA members hail from privately held firms to publicly traded corporations with extensive experience in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate. Developers, exchange companies, vacation clubs, resellers, and timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, industry vendors, suppliers, and consultants - as well as owners, through the ARDA-Resort Owners' Coalition (ARDA-ROC) - all experience ARDA.
The voluntary $5.00 contribution apparently goes to ARDA to assist with ongoing legislation that attempts to help the timeshare business and timeshare owners. I have posted some information that has been generated by ARDA which is helpful. $5.00 is a nominal amount but you can easily elect to opt-out of this contribution.
The timeshare industry is not very transparent so a lot of information is simply not able to be found unless you own a particular timeshare. My goal is to make timeshare ownership more transparent so that you can decide whether timeshare ownership makes sense for you and your travel style.
I do not own all timeshare brands so it would be helpful to share other bills that you receive so that readers can see how different timeshares and brands bill their maintenance fees. Please send your bills to firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can post additional bills to show readers what to look for and how different brands differ on their bills and amounts.
Timeshare ownership may not be for everyone but for many, owning a timeshare can open up new destinations and provide you with spacious accommodations for much less than the cost of renting hotels or even through Airbnb. There are so many negative views on timeshares that most people simply shut down the thought of ever buying one since their reputations are so horrendous.
Despite many issues, my view is that if you understand timeshares and understand how to maximize their use, they can be very worthwhile.
The older timeshare systems generally had people buying week intervals for use at that resort year after year. Over time, exchanging became popular where you could exchange that week into other weeks at other destinations. As the system progressed, many timeshares evolved into points based systems where owners purchase points or get allocated a certain amount of points based on their owned week which can be exchanged into a certain amount of nights stays at resorts.
Today, most timeshare systems have evolved into points based systems. Timeshare systems are actually quite familiar to hotel, airlines, or credit card loyalty programs. Instead of earning points through stays or credit card spent, you purchase your timeshare points or your timeshare week.
Once you have the points, you can use them in various different ways. Like loyalty programs, you can use them for top tier properties or spread out your points for staying at lower quality properties.
Unlike hotels, generally speaking, timeshare points systems do not vary based on the quality of the resort. Timeshares are not based into categories or tier levels but rather use seasons or time periods to change the amount of points necessary. For lower demand periods, less points are required whereas in high season, more points are required.
Hyatt Sweet Spots
In other posts, I explained some portion of the Hyatt system. While the Hyatt system is undergoing a switch to an all points system, their existing system for owners will remain in place. For the purpose of this post, I will discuss the current system.
Here is the exchange chart for Hyatt:
As you can see, the amount of points are based on the season, size of unit and amount of nights. The choices are 2, 3, 4 or 7 nights.
While this chart may be a little daunting, if you do some math you can see that there can be tremendous value in using points for 2 or 4 nights. These 2 or 4 nights stays are midweek stays so they must be either a Sunday and Monday night, Tuesday and Wednesday night or a Thursday and Friday night. The 4-night stays are Sunday through Thursday or Monday through Friday.
For example, if we take a 1-bedroom week during Diamond season, it would cost 1,450 points per week. Per night, this is approximately 207 points. If you elect to use 2 nights during Diamond season, this would only cost you 145 points per night. If you elect to use 4 nights during Diamond seasons, this would also cost you 145 points per night. This results in a 30% discount on the amount of points – not too shabby.
Basically, if you owned a 1-bedroom week worth 1,450 points, you could either use it for a one week stay for all 1,450 points or you can use it for two 4-night packages and one 2 night package and receive a total of 10 nights instead of 7.
Hyatt Mountain Season
I have mentioned mountain season before but it should be mentioned again since it is such a tremendous deal. Mountain season is for the ski properties in Aspen, Avon, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Park City. Mountain season occurs during the absolute lowest time as it is between seasons but the amount of points to stay in these properties is absolutely miniscule. For an entire week in a 1 bedroom unit is only 130 points – about 18 points per night.
Therefore, if you owned the 1 bedroom above, you can literally stay in a 1 bedroom unit for 11 weeks for the same amount of points.
Here is a post on this subject for those of you interested.
Marriott Sweet Spots
Unlike Hyatt, Marriott has exchange charts for each individual resort. Instead of seasons, Marriott uses dates to determine the amount of points required. Unlike Hyatt, Marriott owners can reserve as little as one night.
For example, here is the chart on the Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club.
As you can see, the amount of points will be based on the time of travel, the size of unit, type of view (Island View, Mountain Garden, Ocean View or Ocean Front) and the day of the week.
For example, if you have a one-bedroom island view unit for August 25 to November 15, it would require you to use 2,525 for a week. This would be about 360 points per night. Instead of using a week, during the same time frame you could reserve four nights (Sunday through Thursday) and only use 325 points per night – a savings of about 10% per night.
Since each property has its own exchange chart, you need to dig through to see the various potential savings. The key is that most mid-week stays (Sunday through Thursday) are significantly cheaper in points requirements that staying a full week or during the weekend.
Here is the link to the Marriott Vacation Club charts.
Timeshare and Points Strategy
As I have mentioned before, I am an avid fan of travel points and have tons of frequent flyer miles, hotel loyalty points and exchange credit card points. For those of you that are familiar with this, you realize that there is a tremendous value in obtaining these types of points and determining how to maximize their use.
Like these types of loyalty points, timeshare points systems are similar in that there are ways to maximize them if you understand the exchange charts. As shown above, some of the easiest ways to maximize timeshare points is to use points during mid-week stays (Sunday through Thursday).
Depending on the program and depending on the resort, traveling on these times can produce a significant savings on points and can turn your one week of timeshare ownership into multiple weeks of travel.
Like most people, I am sure that you are thinking that while it may be cheaper, no one travels mid-week as most people would want to take advantage of two weekends so that they only have to use 5 days of vacation for a 9-day trip.
The way that I use a lot of my timeshare points is to book them for a 4-night stay and use my hotel loyalty points for the weekend portions. Most hotel loyalty programs do not change the points requirements for staying over a weekend as opposed to staying on a Monday night.
Therefore, in order to maximize both types of programs, I use my hotel points for weekend travel and my timeshare points for weekday travel. This can be a great way to maximize both types of programs and can be great for those types of travelers who either do not like to travel for a full week at a time or prefer to stay in different hotels / locations.
My favorite way to use this strategy is for ski trips. I can book a Saturday night stay at a hotel and then book a four-night mid-week stay using timeshare points. A lot of the timeshare ski properties are ski-in / ski-out and can cost multiple hundreds of dollars per night so using timeshare points for mid-week stays can be very advantageous and literally can save me thousands of dollars.
Without timeshares, most ski trips would simply be prohibitively expensive for me!
Timeshare points systems are very familiar to other popular loyalty systems and both systems, if used correctly, can really stretch the value of your points. The key is to really understand the systems and find the various sweet spots. These sweet spots described above relate to the internal exchanges but there are others when dealing with external exchanges as well.
We'll cover those in later posts!
What are your timeshare sweet spots? Leave your comments below!
Like many readers, I am a tremendous points and miles fanatic. I have about 30 credit cards and am constantly earning and churning my points for free flights and hotel stays.
I really enjoy our timeshare and use it for many trips but timeshares simply do not have the same footprint as hotels. Timeshares associated with the major brands know this and as a way to entice ownership, offer the ability to convert their timeshare points into hotel points for use at hotels.
In this post, I will explore this option with a Hyatt timeshare. In other posts, I will go through a similar analysis with other timeshare brands including Marriott, Hilton and Vistana (Starwood). Stay tuned for more.
Hyatt Residence Club Points to World of Hyatt Points – Major hurtle
The significant issue with converting your timeshare week/points into hotel points is that Hyatt does not allow this conversion if you purchased your timeshare from someone other than Hyatt. As a result, this likely will not be a viable strategy for most since you need to purchase through the developer and therefore, are likely paying top dollar for your timeshare week.
Most programs have a resale program where they will sell you a resale week that does not have the same penalties as buying outside of the developer but these resales are still generally much more expensive than purchasing from the individual owner.
Despite this important limitation, I wanted to go through the economics and potential use of this feature of the Hyatt Residence Club.
Hyatt Residence Club Points to World of Hyatt Points Chart
Here is the current conversion chart:
The chart is fairly simple to understand. Basically, the conversion values will be based on the size of the unit and the season which you own.
As you can decipher from the chart above, be cautious about buying a Mountain time unit as they do not offer this feature for those weeks. I have talked about Mountain time here but definitely do not purchase one of those weeks if conversion is of any interest. As discussed above, Mountain time can be an awesome value but has major limitations.
Economics of Conversion
Let’s use my current Hyatt week as an example. I own a 2-bedroom unit in Platinum season. I purchased resale but, if I was eligible for the conversion feature by purchasing directly, I would be able to convert my week into 82,000 Hyatt World of Hyatt points each year that I can then use those points to book Hyatt hotels. The Hyatt Residence Club charges you a fee of $133.00 for this option.
Let’s do some math based on my week:
Comparison to Purchasing with Hyatt
For those of you who do not know, Hyatt offers the ability to purchase World of Hyatt points. They offer the ability to purchase a maximum of 55,000 per year. They usually run promotions that give you a bonus depending on the amount you purchase – either 10%, 20%, 30% or 40% more.
For example, if I wanted to purchase the maximum amount of points (55,000) and their standard promotion is running, I would be able to purchase 55,000 plus a bonus of 22,000 for a total of 77,000 points for a purchase price of $1,320.
$1320 divided by 77,000 = $0.017. Therefore, Hyatt offers you the ability to purchase points during a promotion period of about 1.7 cents per points.
Absent the promotion, the math would be as follows: $1320 divided by 55,000 = $0.024. Without the promotion, the cost per point is 2.4 cents. If you are in the miles and points world, there are various subjective measures of how much points are worth. While this is very subjective, many people value Hyatt points around 1.8 cents.
Breaking Down the Math
There is a decent of amount of math is this post so let’s break down the final figures:
Is this a good option?
With all the math, the question remains on whether this is a good option. Like most questions, the answer is “it depends”. The tremendous flaw in the above math is that it excludes the cost of purchasing directly from the developer as compared to the cost of purchasing resale.
Unfortunately, the retail prices of timeshares are not very transparent as the general mantra is to get someone to purchase for the largest price possible. In all presentations that I have been to, they start out with one large number and continue to go downward to a price that could actually make sense to the purchaser. It is extremely difficult to say the developer price that you can obtain a similar 2-bedroom unit to the one discussed above but it will likely be many times the resale value.
If this is something that could actually make sense based on your travel style, I would inquire about purchases / resales directly with the Hyatt Residence Club and do the math from there.
If you simply ignore the initial price, and just base the math on the comparison from purchasing points, there is a decent discount ($0.16 as opposed to $0.24) to using this option. If you only purchase during a promotion period, the discount is much less ($0.16 as opposed to $0.17).
Regardless of the cost of the points, the true value of the points is how you use them. 82,000 is not a tremendous amount of World of Hyatt points but can give you some good options to travel in Hyatt hotels around the globe and with much more flexibility than timeshares.
Value in World of Hyatt
Hyatt has category 1 through 7 hotels where category 1 hotels cost 5,000 points per night while category 7 costs 30,000.
If you used all your points for a category 1 hotel, you would receive about 16 nights (82,000 divided by 5,000 = 16.4). Values can fluctuate but let’s assume that most category 1 hotels cost about $100 per night. This is an estimate – I have seen some less than this but I have also seen some much more. If that is the case, by converting your week, you would get about $1600 of value from $1333.00 – about a 20% increase in value.
If you used all your points for a category 7 hotel (30,000 points per night), you would receive under 3 nights.
Let’s assume that you have extra points so that you could get a full 3 nights. Category 7 hotels prices fluctuate wildly based on the hotel and timing. Let’s assume that the cost per night is 7x the amount of a category 1 hotel, therefore $700 per night. Therefore, if that is the case, by converting your week, you would get about $2100 of value from $1333.00 – about a 57% increase in value.
Overall, I get tremendous value out of my Hyatt Residence Club points so the conversion option is not very relevant to me. Even if it was available to me, I would likely never do it. I think that there are much better ways to get World of Hyatt points (i.e. Hyatt credit card, Chase Ultimate Rewards, etc.) so I would not run out to purchase a timeshare for this option.
However, Hyatt’s hotel footprint is significantly larger than its timeshare footprint (though much smaller than the other major hotel brands), so I can see the potential value in giving timeshare owners this option and in many cases, the timeshare owner can actually come out way ahead in electing to convert their week depending on how and when to use those points.
I have received close to 6 cents per point in value for some of my Hyatt redemptions so if I could replicate that year after year, I would happily pay $1333 to convert into 82,000 World of Hyatt points. The key question is the differential in the price to acquire an eligible Hyatt timeshare versus the resale cost.
What do you think of this analysis?
Would you convert with these prices?
Do you think that the ability to convert is a worthwhile feature that would encourage you to purchase from the developer?
Make sure to leave comments below!
Timeshare systems are very complicated but once you get a handle on the various in and outs of the programs, there are some clear strategies that you can use to maximize ownership.
EXCHANGING YOUR WEEK
The general strategy that I use is to exchange my weeks through the exchange companies. By doing so, my weeks turn into points and my points are worth more through the exchange companies then through many of the internal trading systems. This is not always the case but I can say that this is generally the case for my particular weeks that I own.
As I discussed on Doctor of Credit, one of my weeks is at the Hyatt Beach House in Key West, Florida. I have never been to this resort and will likely never go. While I would like to visit Key West at some point, my existing week is too valuable through my use of points to simply use my one deeded week. As a result, I will never use my deeded week
WHY I BOUGHT MY WEEK
I bought my Hyatt for a couple of key reasons.
1. I really enjoy Hyatt hotels and resorts. While their footprint is smaller than some of the other hotel chains, their properties are generally top notch.
2. Hyatt has a timeshare property close to where I live. We use it a few times a year and I wanted to be able to have a resort close to home for any years where we did not or could not travel by plane.
When I first bought this particular timeshare, I recognized that there was some value based on our travel and vacation style and the system but did not fully understand the ins and outs of the program. Most first time timeshare owners do not do a ton of research and end of purchasing a timeshare without a plan. I got lucky in that despite not knowing everything, this week continues to work out very well for my families use.
INTRICACIES OF THE HYATT SYSTEM
One of the interesting parts about the Hyatt program is that you can trade it through their interval exchange system or use Interval International for the external system. The interval system allows you to book 2, 3, 4 or 7 nights for various amounts of points.
Here is the overview of the Hyatt system:
There are some ways to maximize your points in the internal system but the amount of points required for the external exchange is generally much better. For example, you need 750 points to get a studio during the highest demand times through the internal system but you only need 430 points to get a studio during the highest demand times through Interval International.
The fees with Interval International are much higher but I still find this to be a better use of points despite the additional cash outlay.
THE HYATT INVENTORY BLOCK
The interesting thing about Hyatt and Interval International is that Hyatt owners cannot trade into Hyatt properties through Interval International. If a Hyatt owner wants to stay at a Hyatt property, you NEED to book through the internal system. Interval International blocks all inventory from Hyatt owners so you cannot see any available exchange weeks or any Hyatt getaways.
I find this a little frustrating as I really enjoy Hyatt properties. However, as a result of this, I actually stay in more Marriott properties than Hyatt properties despite being a Hyatt owner.
It is somewhat surprising than this is what occurs, but since the external exchanges are more advantageous and since Hyatt inventory is blocked through the external exchanges, I end up looking for other high quality resorts which many times are Marriott properties.
Marriott is obviously a large hotel chain but they are also one of the largest timeshare operators. All of the Marriott timeshare properties that I have been to have been high quality accommodations.
BUY A HYATT FOR TRADING TO MARRIOTT
Getting back to the point of my post, if you are interested in staying predominantly in Marriott properties, it may actually be advantageous to purchase a Hyatt timeshare rather than a Marriott property. This is completely counterintuitive but can be a fantastic strategy.
I am actually currently looking to buy a Marriott timeshare solely to be able to trade in Hyatt properties and to get access to Interval International's Hyatt getaway weeks. I'll post more about this process including what property I will choose, the cost and additional strategies resulting from this purchase.
You can definitely exchange into Marriott properties with other timeshare brands that trade through Interval International but I wanted to highlight this particular strategy of buying one brand of timeshare even though you actually prefer staying in an alternate brand of timeshare.
This particular strategy can work in various ways with various different brands but the point of this post was that you need to see what exchange company a timeshare trades through and if there could be some limitations. If there are, you need to fully understand them so you can figure out how to maximize it.
In other posts, I will go through other intricacies of particular programs and what other strategies may work to your advantage.
What strategies do you use? Did you ever consider a similar strategy before purchasing your timeshare?
DISCLAIMER: THIS INFORMATION HAS NOT BEEN CONFIRMED AND CAN BE CHANGED. THIS INFORMATION SHOULD STILL BE CONSIDERED RUMORS.
As had been rumored, the Hyatt Residence Club has apparently rolled out their new points program called HPC Club which has been previously referred to in the rumors as the Hyatt Pure Points program. While this in not the official name of the program, it is currently how it is being referred to outside of the official documentation. Reports have come in that some of the Hyatt sales centers have been discussing this program but a lot of specific details and important facts have not been disclosed at this time.
The Marriott Vacation Club entered into a similar program in 2010 where the various properties and weeks were deeded into a Land Trust. Instead of buying deeded weeks, Marriott Vacation Club now only sells points which are exchangeable into nightly or weekly stays.
Following on the footsteps of the Marriott Vacation Club, the Hyatt Residence Club is pursuing a similar strategy. Details of the new Hyatt Pure Points program are still being rolled out but here in the information that is currently available. I will update this as necessary as further details on information is disclosed.
Unfortunately, some of the material information that has not been divulged is the exchange charts, differences in tiers, exchange charts for Interval International (the likely exchange partner), further details on the effects to existing owners, pricing and what, if any benefits, are being offering for legacy owners to contribute their weeks to the new Pure Points Program.
Here are the rumored details as currently known. These can be clarified or altered as additional details are known.
The Hyatt Residence Club has created a HPC Club Declaration of Vacation Ownership Plan (the “HPC Club”). The HPC Club will govern the Pure Points program. The HPC Club and the Hyatt Residence Club (“the Legacy Program”) will operate independently and are considered distinct and different programs.
Structure of HPC Club
Hyatt has or will transfer various weeks to the Trust. All developer owned inventory at these properties will be considered property of the Trust. Owners who purchase the HPC Club Points will be given a deed conveying a Vacation Ownership Interest in the Trust Association. The Vacation Ownership Interest grants the owner the ability to use Trust property, subject to the terms and conditions of the HPC Club.
Similar to the Legacy System, the HPC Club will allow owners to reserve accommodations using points which are being called “HPC Club Points”. They are also allowed to sell fixed weeks where owners have the right to use a specific week at a specific property. Owners will also have access to the External Exchange Program (almost definitely, Interval International), the World of Hyatt program (Hyatt’s hotel loyalty program) and the HPC Club Benefits Program (no details on this program yet but apparently will be some type of travel benefits)
Request Lists and Wait Lists
As with the Legacy System, Owners will have the ability to put in requests for various accommodations.
Membership Tier Levels
The current Membership Tier Levels are Elite, Premier, Executive, Classic and Non-Authorized Resale.
The various Membership Tier Levels will provide different rights for the following:
(1) Reservation Window restrictions based upon the number of nights in the Vacation Period;
(4) Points Discounts;
(5) Owner Rental Discounts;
(6) World of Hyatt provisions, including conversion rates;
(7) Points Transfer Provisions;
(8) Wait Lists for HRC Resorts;
(9) Request Lists;
(10) Wait Lists for the HPC Club;
(11) Cancellation Provisions;
(12); Guest Certificate Rights;
(13) Rental Opportunities;
(14) Point Rental;
(15) Fixed Reservation Rights; and
(16) Room Attribute Guaranty rights.
I am very concerned about the Non-Authorized Resale category. That obviously does not sound good and can be very detrimental depending on the various penalties or restrictions being implemented for resale owners.
Assessments / Maintenance Fees
Through December 31, 2017, the assessment will be calculated as $0.9314 per Ownership Point.
Since we do not know the required amount of points to reserve weeks, this figure does not mean much at this time.
As with the Legacy Program, Hyatt has maintained its right of first refusal.
Interestingly, the following disclaimer is included in HPC Club documents:
The purchase of an interest in a multisite timeshare plan should be based on its value as a vacation experience or for spending leisure time, and not considered for purposes of acquiring an appreciating investment or with an expectation that the interest may be rented or resold.
In other words, this is not an economic investment!!
Overall, with the information disclosed at the present, it is difficult to make an informed decision on whether this will be a beneficial change and the overall effects on the Legacy System and the existing owners. I assume that there will be some benefits but the likely desire to move into this type of system is the ability to sell more inventory and make more money. I am slightly concerned at the moment but will wait to make my opinion until the further details are disclosed.
Does anyone else have any more details of this program? Have you been to a sale presentation recently that has discussed the roll-out?
Provide any more details below in the comments.