A full review of all the fees associated with timeshares are necessary so that you fully understand the financial commitment of owning a timeshare. Each program has various fees that are associated with various aspects of timeshare ownership.
A lot of owners get disgruntled about ownership due to the fees associated with ownership rather than the quality of the accommodations. Therefore, I think it is important to understand what these fees are and how to minimize them or least accept them when determining whether owning a timeshare makes financial sense.
While fees are annoying, the financial benefits of owning a timeshare can be very appealing if you do travel each year and want the extra space and full kitchen benefits, among other things.
For this particular post, I will review the fees associated with the Hyatt Residence Club. As discussed in the Hyatt Residence Club guide, there are various options for reserving your home week or reserving a 2,3,4 or 7 night stay at various properties.
As discussed in the guide, the Hyatt Residence Club is a hybrid system where owners own a specific week and that week is allocated a certain amount of points.
In the event that you want to use all or a portion of your owned deeded week, there is no fee to make that reservation. You can reserve your specific owned week for no additional transaction fees. You must reserve the week 6 months before the beginning of your deeded week. This is the Home Resort Preference Period (HRPP).
However, here is a listing of the various other fees associated with the Hyatt Residence Club. As shown below, there are different costs depending on whether you book online or over the phone.
Transaction Fee: $41
Cancellation Fee: $51
Gold Passport Exchange Fee: $133
Guest Certificate: $30
Returned Check Fee: $65
Split Week Resort Fee: $39
Transaction Fee: $47
Cancellation Fee: $57
Gold Passport Exchange Fee: $143
Guest Certificate: $36
Returned Check Fee: $65
Split Week Resort Fee: $39
As you can see, the fees for over the phone are slightly more than booking online. Generally, you should save a few dollars and book online.
The Transaction Fee is applied when you make a specific booking using points. This will apply for each transaction that occurs. As explained in the guide, when you use some of your points for a reservation, you will incur a transaction fee for each reservation. Depending on the time period, size of unit and number of nights, there is a potential to make multiple reservations using points.
GOLD PASSPORT EXCHANGE FEE:
The Gold Passport Exchange Fee applies when you want to convert you Hyatt Residence Club Points into Gold Passport points (soon to be World of Hyatt Points). The exchange rate generally does not make for a favorable exchange and their fee ($133/$143) further makes this type of transaction unfavorable. Unless there is a specific redemption, there are better ways to obtain Gold Passport / World of Hyatt points that to use your timeshare points.
Additionally, if you purchased your week on the resale market, the Hyatt Residence Club prohibits you from exchanging into Gold Passport / World of Hyatt points.
GUEST CERTIFICATE FEE:
One benefit of having a timeshare is the ability to allow friends and family to use it in the event that you cannot use it. Most programs encourage you to show the benefits of timeshare ownership. The Guest Certificate Fee makes sure that the guest is on the reservation upon check in so that the owner will not be liable for any fees or damage that occurs.
In the event that you cannot use a reservation, Hyatt does allow you to cancel the reservation. If you cancel more than 60 days prior to arrival, you will pay the fee but you will receive your points back into your account. You will not receive a refund of the transaction fee so the entire fee for cancellation is really the Transaction Fee AND the Cancellation Fee.
Cancellations made less than 60 days to arrive causes your points to be restricted. You can only make additional reservations with those points for reservations occurring 60 days of the date the reservation is made.
Due to this restriction, you should try to cancel more than 60 days prior to check in. Otherwise, your points can be significantly impaired and you will only be able to use those points for that limited inventory.
SPLIT WEEK RESORT FEE:
The Split Week Resort Fee is charged directly by the resorts for reservations of less than 7 nights. This is annoying fee as you will be charged $39 (same for online or phone) for any reservation less than 7 days. Therefore, you will be charged this fee for a 2, 3 or 4 night stay. The fee is to cover the costs of cleaning the room but I find this fee to be obnoxious. It can significantly add to the cost of the reservation and it does not change whether you have a studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom or larger.
You should note that the following properties DO NOT charge the split week fee:
Hyatt Main Street Station
Hyatt Grand Aspen
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek
Basically, 5 out of the 16 properties do not charge this fee which is nice but still annoying for the other properties.
Like most fees, they are annoying and wish that they did not apply. However, fees seem to be a part of everyday life as travel is full of fees all over the place. Resort fees, baggage fees, priority boarding fees, upgrade fees, seat reservation fees, rollaway fees, etc.
While the fees are annoying, it does help to be aware of them so that there are no surprises. There is generally little reason to make reservations and other transactions over the phone as Hyatt's website is a decent online tool. It most circumstances, it makes sense to save some money and book online.
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