Maximize Timeshare Ownership
The ultimate resource to understand, maximize and leverage timeshare ownership to travel in luxury accommodations on a reasonable budget.
Timeshare Strategy: Buy a Trader (high quality, low maintenance fee week to trade in RCI or Interval International)
here are a lot of timeshare strategies that you can implement in order to get great weeks for very reasonable cost.
One potential strategy is to acquire a "trader". By trader, I mean purchasing a timeshare solely to exchange with the large timeshare exchange companies (RCI and Interval International).
The general idea is to purchase a timeshare that has high trading power within the exchange companies but comes with a low maintenance fee.
The trick is to find such a timeshare. Fortunately, there are a few good ones that can be very worthwhile.
As you can probably see, I am a big fan of Hyatt timeshares. Their current system is very advantageous for trading within Interval International.
As you can see in the chart below, it takes 1,300 Hyatt Residence Club Points to trade into a 2 bedroom. 1,300 Hyatt Residence Club points rarely gets you the ability to exchange into a two bedroom Hyatt property but easily gets you the ability to trade into high quality resorts such as Marriott's, Four Season's and various high quality independent resorts..
My first Hyatt timeshare purchase was a 1,300 point week. I used this week solely to exchange through Interval International. While I could not exchange into Hyatt weeks (you cannot trade Hyatts within Interval International, only through their internal system),
I used my Hyatt week to exchange into Marriott properties, Four Seasons, and other high quality resorts.
The lowest maintenance fee for Hyatt properties is generally found at Hyatt Pinon Point in Sedona, Arizona.
A very good strategy would be to acquire a 1,300 point week at Hyatt Pinon Point and use that week to exchange through Interval International. You can likely find some weeks on the secondary market that are very reasonable and come with a maintenance fee of less than $1,000. You can then use those points to exchange into a 2 bedroom unit through Interval International or break out those points and get two weeks using a 1 bedroom and a studio week or even 3 weeks in a studio.
This is a personal strategy that I have used and received tons of great weeks.
Starwood / Vistana:
Starwood / Vistana has some very nice properties. Once of the best traders in the Starwood program is the Sheraton Desert Oasis in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Sheraton Desert Oasis is a very nice resort that has reasonable maintenance fees. Starwood / Vistana properties trade very well through Interval International.
The one issue is that resales on Starwood / Vistana properties do not automatically come with Starpoints. Starpoints is the point currency that allows you to reserve internal or external exchanges.
If you purchase a week at the Sheraton Desert Oasis, it will not come with StarOptions so you will only be able to trade on a week basis - 1 week for 1 week.
Despite this limitation, you can easily use a 2 bedroom week with the Sheraton Desert Oasis and trade that for a 2 bedroom week in much more expensive or desirable locations.
Additionally, Interval International has a preference for Starwood / Vistana properties. If you own with Starwood / Vistana, you will be able to see other Starwood / Vistana properties before other Interval International members. By owning the Sheraton Desert Oasis, you would have the ability to get into higher quality Starwood / Vistana properites before others including the newest Westin Nanea in Maui, Westin St. John or the Westin Princeville Resort in Kauai, Hawaii. All top notch properties.
There are many timeshares that you can purchase and use solely as a trader. My favorite is Hyatt since you can reserve weeks within their internal program and also reserve weeks through Interval International. However, there are many timeshares than can qualify as a good trader depending on where and what resorts you desire to trade into.
What timeshares to you use as a trader? Please post below!