As I explained in my other post found here, there are multiple timeshare strategies to utilize in order to maximize ownership and get multiple weeks in very nice resorts. In this post, I want to explain why you can purchase a timeshare solely for exchange purposes and how the different programs compare.
For this post, we will compare a timeshare for the Marriott Vacation Club, the Hyatt Residence Club and Vistana Signature Experiences (Formerly Sheraton and Westin Vacation Club).
These three timeshare systems all trade through Interval International. In addition, all three of these programs have point components. Marriott is now an all point system whereas the Hyatt and Vistana systems are hybrid systems meaning that you own a specific week that can be converted to points.
In this analysis, I want to compare ownership of 2 bedroom units. These are by far the most common in most timeshare systems and provide the most flexibility. Owning a 2 bedroom unit allows you to reserve 2 bedroom units, 1 bedroom units or studios.
The following charts show how the various point systems trade with Interval International. For this analysis, I am assuming that all desired weeks should be the highest demand weeks. You can definitely get tremendous value by exchanging into lower demand weeks but I want to compare the programs using the highest demand. Most weeks tend to be high demand weeks and low demand weeks can be much less desirable.
Marriott Vacation Club:
As you can see in the attached chart, you will need 4,500 Marriott Vacation Club points in order reserve a peak demand week in a 2-bedroom unit through Interval International.
Hyatt Vacation Club:
As you can see in the attached chart, you will need 1,300 Hyatt Vacation Club points in order to reserve the highest demand week in a 2 bedroom through Interval International.
Vistana Signature Experiences:
As you can see in the attached chart, you will need 110,000 StarOptions in order to reserve the highest demand week in a 2 bedroom through Interval International.
In comparing these programs, it is interesting to see how the minimum number of points for each program for a 2 bedroom can exchange into various different sizes of units.
For this analysis, we will assume that we have 4,500 Marriott Vacation Club points, 1,300 Hyatt Vacation Club points and 110,000 Vistana StarOptions.
If you wanted to exchange your 4,500 Marriott Vacation Club Points, you could reserve 2 weeks in a prime demand studio unit (2,250 x 2 = 4,500).
If you wanted to exchange your 1,300 Hyatt Vacation Club points, you could reserve 3 weeks in a prime demand studio unit (430x3=1,290).
If you wanted to exchange your 110,000 Vistana StarOptions, you could reserve 1 week in a prime demand studio unit (110,000 – 60,000 = 50,000) and have 50,000 StarOptions points left to reserve a lower demand prime demand studio unit.
Based on these exchanges, the Hyatt system is actually a clear winner. You can reserve 3 weeks in a prime demand studio unit when you exchange your points through Interval International as oppose to 2 for Marriott and 1 for Vistana.
Another interesting point that should be reviewed is what can be done with the remaining points should you only need a 1 bedroom unit. A 2 bedroom unit is great for a family of four but as a couple, it is not needed as the second bedroom will just go to waste.
Doing the same analysis, if I owned a 2 bedroom unit but wanted to exchange my points for a 1 bedroom unit, here are the results:
Marriott: 4,500 – 3,000 (1-bedroom unit in prime season) = 1,500
Hyatt: 1,300 - 870 (1-bedroom unit in prime season) = 430
Vistana: 110,000-70,000 (1-bedroom unit in prime season) = 40,000
Marriott: With these leftover points, I would only be able to reserve a studio unit during medium demand or a 1 bedroom during low demand.
Hyatt: With these leftover points, I would only be able to reserve a studio unit during high demand.
Vistana: With these leftover points, I would only be able to reserve a studio unit during medium demand or a one bedroom in the two lowest demand categories.
In comparing these results, it is difficult to provide a clear winner but I would give the win to Hyatt since you can get a prime demand studio unit while the other programs would only allow you to reserve units during the lower seasons.
In other posts, we can review the seasons within Interval for these various programs but from my review, most weeks where you would actually want to travel are categorized as high demand weeks. There are low demand weeks but these tend to be beach resorts during the winter or mountain resorts between seasons.
This analysis is meant to show you the major difference between these programs concerning how they exchange within Interval International. This analysis clearly does not factor in maintenance fees, initial purchase price, internal exchanges or other pros and cons of each program. However, it is meant to show you that all points are not equal when exchanging with Interval International.
Before you go forward with a purchase in any program, you should understand how they can be exchanged through Interval or RCI. Exchanging can provide you tremendous value and you can take one timeshare and convert that into multiple weeks of vacation.
My view is that you should own the minimum amount of points in order to exchange through Interval for a 2-bedroom unit. Anything less than that and you will be excluded from many resorts that are only 2 bedrooms or you will be limited in obtaining prime 2 bedroom units.
Depending on your desires, that may be okay if you don’t need a 2 bedroom (now or in the future) or you know that you will never travel during peak seasons (Christmas, holidays, etc.). However, 2 bedrooms seem to be standard and I think that they provide much more flexibility than other size units.
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