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Old Jan 16, 10, 3:23 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 21
Starpoints vs Star Options

Looking at Vacation ownership...Im a platinum starwood so investigating their offerings.

Before I get into hard sell I see some resales are offering Starpoints and Star options.

Are these annual inclusions or case by case..

Whats the difference between the two.

Anyone have any advise on buying new from Starwood vs resales??
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Old Jan 16, 10, 3:37 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfer727272 View Post
Looking at Vacation ownership...Im a platinum starwood so investigating their offerings.

Before I get into hard sell I see some resales are offering Starpoints and Star options.

Are these annual inclusions or case by case..

Whats the difference between the two.

Anyone have any advise on buying new from Starwood vs resales??
The trading currency for Starwood Vacation Ownership for their timeshares are Star Options. For example, ownership of a two-bedroom for one week at Resort X may provide you with 80,000 Star Options. You can use these Star Options for stays at your home resort or you may use their value for stays at other SVO resorts. You may also elect to not use your Star Options during the year for stays at SVO resorts and convert the Star Options to SPG Starpoints for use for hotel stays or airline mile conversions, etc. 80,000 Star Options might convert to say 44,000 SPG Starpoints.

You receive these Star Options annually or every-other-year, based upon whether you own an annual week or every-other-year week.

As to advice on buying new from SVO or resale, you will primarily receive advise from posts on FT to buy resale. I'm biased and did not do that as I own three weeks through SVO which I purchased directly.

Hope that helps.
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Old Jan 16, 10, 3:44 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Diamond, SPG Platinum
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfer727272 View Post
Looking at Vacation ownership...Im a platinum starwood so investigating their offerings.

Before I get into hard sell I see some resales are offering Starpoints and Star options.

Are these annual inclusions or case by case..

Whats the difference between the two.

Anyone have any advise on buying new from Starwood vs resales??
All of your questions can be answered at: www.tug2.net (starwood forum). In summary:

(1) Do not buy directly from starwood, buy resale.
(2) Do not buy to convert staroptions to starpoints (extremely bad value)
(3) Resale purchases do not qualify for staroptions to starpoints conversion.
(4) Some resorts are mandatory (staroptions transfer in resale purchase) and some resorts are voluntary (staroptons do not transfer to new owner in resale purchase). Mandatory resorts have much better value in resale market than the voluntary resorts.
(5) I own 5 starwood vacation Network (SVN) ownerships.
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Old Jan 16, 10, 3:52 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: YWG
Programs: AC *E, NWA (DL) Plat>Gold>Silver, SPG Gold, AMEX Plat
Posts: 298
Be careful

Resale or some from SVO and most from resale. Be tough in negotiating as they are hurting. Be very careful. Keep in mind MFs (maintenance fees). Ours went from $1400 to $2400 in 4 years on Maui. Right now you can get about 5-6 days in a 1 BR at WKORV for the MF without any investment. Don't look at it as an investment but rather a forced vacation.
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Old Jan 16, 10, 7:33 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: YYC
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I did the presentation recently in Maui. The maintenance fees are currently $2700 according to the *wood pitch, APR through *wood is 12.9% (you can do much better with your own financing or pay cash to save a fair amount). There appears to be no negotiating on price but you can pay monthly on a credit card which earns you whatever points you earn from that credit card.

If we would have signed up same day we would have received 140,000 *points as an incentive bonus (in lieu of the no negotiating aspect of the presentation). Additionally, there would be further options to buy discount *points (I don't really ever need to buy any so I would never exercise the purchase option). In the end this was not for us this year as this is our first Maui visit. We may consider this in the future but there wasn't really much time to think about it (or do our "own" math). I would also investigate resale as well as my feeling is there may be good savings there. Apparently on a resale the option to turn your week(s) to *points is not transferable from the original owner. This might be a drawback to some who feel this is an important option.

Once you leave the presentation the bonus I spoke of disappears so there is some pressure to sign if this is important to you. You would need to wait 12 months before getting any incentives offered again. The incentives may be different then - expect less incentive as the economy gets better. You are free to purchase after you return home however you must be present in Hawaii to execute the agreement and of course, no incentives per *wood.

We were staying at the Sheraton so if you are coming this way you will be invited to do the tour. Besides the calendars and box of chocolates they give you there is also 7500 *points that you will be credited with.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old Jan 16, 10, 7:54 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by samuel99 View Post

Once you leave the presentation the bonus I spoke of disappears so there is some pressure to sign if this is important to you. You would need to wait 12 months before getting any incentives offered again. The incentives may be different then - expect less incentive as the economy gets better. You are free to purchase after you return home however you must be present in Hawaii to execute the agreement and of course, no incentives per *wood.
We are owners and this was not our experience. They allowed us to leave and talk it over on our own for the day. We came back and signed the next morning. We also "added a unit to our portfolio" about a month later from CA. We got all the bonus points that we were promised.

I'll add that we are happy with our purchase and have enjoyed both our resort and others. We will be happier, however, when they are able to "add more resorts to their portfolio" as was the plan before the economy took the downward slide.
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Old Jan 17, 10, 5:23 am   #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samuel99 View Post
I did the presentation recently in Maui. The maintenance fees are currently $2700 according to the *wood pitch, APR through *wood is 12.9% (you can do much better with your own financing or pay cash to save a fair amount). There appears to be no negotiating on price but you can pay monthly on a credit card which earns you whatever points you earn from that credit card.

If we would have signed up same day we would have received 140,000 *points as an incentive bonus (in lieu of the no negotiating aspect of the presentation). Additionally, there would be further options to buy discount *points (I don't really ever need to buy any so I would never exercise the purchase option). In the end this was not for us this year as this is our first Maui visit. We may consider this in the future but there wasn't really much time to think about it (or do our "own" math). I would also investigate resale as well as my feeling is there may be good savings there. Apparently on a resale the option to turn your week(s) to *points is not transferable from the original owner. This might be a drawback to some who feel this is an important option.

Once you leave the presentation the bonus I spoke of disappears so there is some pressure to sign if this is important to you. You would need to wait 12 months before getting any incentives offered again. The incentives may be different then - expect less incentive as the economy gets better. You are free to purchase after you return home however you must be present in Hawaii to execute the agreement and of course, no incentives per *wood.

We were staying at the Sheraton so if you are coming this way you will be invited to do the tour. Besides the calendars and box of chocolates they give you there is also 7500 *points that you will be credited with.

Good luck with your decision.
Great description thank you a bunch. Question, what was the purchase starpoints at a reduced rate option? If you don't remember others freel free to chime in.

Also your 140k was for what type of unit? Does the starpoints incentive go up as you purchase a more expensive unit?

Thanks
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Old Jan 17, 10, 7:18 am   #8
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Diamond, SPG Platinum
Posts: 356
never buy developer

No matter how much staroptions do you get as a promotion (or bonus), never buy directly from starwood, when you can buy in resale for 99% to 60% off from the starwood prices.

Yes, some of these starwood ownerships at Voluntary resorts are not even selling for $1 (with a starwood price tag of $20 to $25 K).

The only benefit of buying from starwood is the ability to convert staroptions to starpoints, which is a terrible value. You end up paying more than 35 cents per starpoint in this conversion (in most cases), which is the retail cost of buying starpoints directly from starwood.
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Old Jan 17, 10, 8:37 am   #9
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: YYC
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Posts: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by schley View Post
Great description thank you a bunch. Question, what was the purchase starpoints at a reduced rate option? If you don't remember others freel free to chime in.

Also your 140k was for what type of unit? Does the starpoints incentive go up as you purchase a more expensive unit?

Thanks
There were 4-6 purchase options for the year when combined would allow the owner to purchase up to 148K *points at about $0.025 per point (or something close to that).

The incentive 140K *points was for for an Ocean View or an Ocean Front. It could be annual or every other year. (I thought it a little strange that the same incentive was offered for either option.)

And lastly, lifetime Gold status...
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Old Jan 17, 10, 8:45 am   #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: AEX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samuel99 View Post
The maintenance fees are currently $2700 according to the *wood pitch, APR through *wood is 12.9% (you can do much better with your own financing or pay cash to save a fair amount).
As to financing, unless you are going after a home equity loan or line of credit, then you will find it difficult to get much better than the SVO mortgage rate. There are only a handful of companies that write mortgages on timeshare units and the bottom rate appears to be around 12%.

One benefit if you should finance with SVO and have the SPG Amex: mortgage payments charged to your card earn you two SPG points for each $.

Also, a down payment or complete purchase may be made with your CC including receiving two points for each $ if it is a SPG Amex.
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Old Jan 17, 10, 2:49 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 21
Folks

Thanks for the terrific background info.

Much appreciated...I have now joined TUGS..and am reading dilligently
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