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Using MR points for vacation club properties

Using MR points for vacation club properties

 
Old Jul 6, 16, 7:01 pm
  #1  
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Using MR points for vacation club properties

Hello FT peeps,

I am a long time MR platinum member and I have run into a road block booking vacation club properties. My family and I used to stay at Hilton Head Island vacation club properties every summer using my MR points. They were spendy at 50k or more per night, but they were easily attainable. For the last two years, I have not been able to find a single reservation available for points and I have been checking for availability at least every two weeks for the past year in advance.

The Marriott property manager has discounted rates advertised on VRBO and there are rooms available for a cash rate on marriott.com, but if you switch from cash rate to points nothing is available. I reached out to the MR team on facebook and they said that only so many rooms are available for MR points. It seems they would rather have a cash room sit empty than let it be booked with MR points. Has anyone else noticed the inability to book vacation club properties with points? I am very aggravated with the MR rewards program now and I am considering ditching the MR credit card and switching brands for the first time in a decade.

Chris
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Old Jul 6, 16, 7:59 pm
  #2  
 
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I also used to book Marriott Vacation Club properties with MR Points. It always took a lot of persistence to find availability but I did succeed at getting stays at Monarch at Sea Pines (3 units during the same week), Maui Ocean Club Lahaina and Napali Towers, Kauai Lagoons Kalanipu'u, and Marriott Manor Club Sequel. While I never stayed there on points I also found availability at most of the other Hawaii MVCI properties, most of the Hilton Head MVCI properties, Marriott Oceanwatch at Myrtle Beach, MVCI Florida properties, and MVCI Arizona properties. Basically if you were persistent and somewhat flexible you could usually find some reasonable MVCI property available for a MR points stay.

Since the major push to convert Marriott Vacation Club owners over to the Destination Points systems from the weeks system, I have had an increasingly hard time finding availability at MVCI clubs to the point where I no longer look. Instead I rent from owners for cash. It is actually lower cost than the relatively low effective ROI for using MR points for a MVCI stay. That still doesn't excuse Marriott from basically totally blocking out MR Award stays at MVCI properties. If they have the availability to list it for a cash stay on the Marriott Website or for a discounted cash rate stay on VRBO, then they should also make it available for MR points (at least for a portion of the inventory). My two cents...

What have other folks seen with MVCI availability for MR point stays?

--Jon
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Old Jul 6, 16, 8:02 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by backspinnn View Post
Hello FT peeps,

I am a long time MR platinum member and I have run into a road block booking vacation club properties. My family and I used to stay at Hilton Head Island vacation club properties every summer using my MR points. They were spendy at 50k or more per night, but they were easily attainable. For the last two years, I have not been able to find a single reservation available for points and I have been checking for availability at least every two weeks for the past year in advance.

The Marriott property manager has discounted rates advertised on VRBO and there are rooms available for a cash rate on marriott.com, but if you switch from cash rate to points nothing is available. I reached out to the MR team on facebook and they said that only so many rooms are available for MR points. It seems they would rather have a cash room sit empty than let it be booked with MR points. Has anyone else noticed the inability to book vacation club properties with points? I am very aggravated with the MR rewards program now and I am considering ditching the MR credit card and switching brands for the first time in a decade.

Chris
The thing with the vacation club properties is that only the units that Marriott still owns are available for point redemptions. In most cases there aren't a lot of units available for points. You may want to check redweek.com where you can rent a week directly from an owner generally at very reasonable prices.
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Old Jul 7, 16, 8:59 am
  #4  
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As mentioned above the availability can vary a lot and some properties have more points redemption available while others have little to none... and it is getting to be less available for points.

Last edited by rylan; Jul 8, 16 at 7:04 am
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Old Jul 7, 16, 11:20 am
  #5  
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First, welcome to FT.

Second, as you are probably already surmising, MVCI award availability is not the same as hotel room availability. Once a property is sold out, Marriott doesn't own the "weeks" there, the owners do. If they use their week, Marriott can't offer it for paid or award stays. If they don't use their week, Marriott can't offer it for paid or award stays either (its the owner's week and they can use or not use it as they want.)

An owner could offer up a week for rent (or ask Marriott to do that for them). In that case, Marriott can offer it as a paid stay, but not an award stay as the Marriott has been contracted by the owner to rent the week. The owner could trade their week into Marriott for points. If they do that, then Marriott gets the week and can do what they want with it (try to rent it, offer it for awards, etc.) At some MVCI properties, it just doesn't make much sense to trade your week in for points. At others, it might be more appealing.

So some properties will almost never have any award availability (the property is sold out and the owners will never trade their weeks in for points). At other properties, during off-seasons you might see some popping up. At others, like Orlando, there is so much timeshare availability plus the initial costs and annual maintenance fees might provide more year round award availability. It just depends on the property, its location, costs, and the season.
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Old Jul 7, 16, 12:03 pm
  #6  
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I have used my points at these properties on 3 different occasions previous to this year. I would be happy with any of the MVCI properties on Hilton Head Island, but like I said before something has changed and they are no longer available with MR points.

The strange thing is that if you ever stay at these places, they are pretty empty in the summer. We stayed at the Harbour Club twice and at Barony Beach Club once with points. All stays were in different years 2012-2014 in July. You can play around with the reservation tools and none of these properties are available at any time in the next 12 months with MR points.

They were a pretty good reward benefit at one time, but now we no longer can book these properties with our points. The Marriott pages on Facebook deny that any changes were made, but it is pretty obvious that these properties are no longer an option for us.

If you are willing to pay cash, they are readily available from Marriott.com. I just think it is a pretty crappy policy to let a place sit empty instead of allowing MR members to book them. At least they could tell us the truth about the policy on these properties.

Last edited by backspinnn; Jul 7, 16 at 3:12 pm
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Old Jul 7, 16, 3:36 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by backspinnn View Post
I have used my points at these properties on 3 different occasions previous to this year. I would be happy with any of the MVCI properties on Hilton Head Island, but like I said before something has changed and they are no longer available with MR points.
Marriott does change their policies at times. Back in the day (when the kids were still young), we'd plan vacations around MVCI openings. Since the properties were just opening, there was still tons of unsold and unused inventory. We've been to Hawaii a couple of times staying a MVCI properties (Kauai and Oahu). We've had a few trips to Florida as well and one to Nevada.

But a few years ago, Marriott changed something and they stopped having tons of available award availability at opening. Didn't Marriott convert their timeshare program to a "points" system a while back? That might change how owners use, trade weeks or even turn in their weeks in for MR points.
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Old Jul 8, 16, 7:08 am
  #8  
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What might hurt things is that the redemption value for vacationclub owners exchanging their week for points has declined substantially over the last several years due to devaluations in the marriott reward points.

Marriott hasn't changed or increased the number of points they will give for exchanging your week, but you get a lot less value for it. For example, 5 years ago say you could exchange your Hilton Head property platinum week for 110k marriott points. That could get you a decent stay at a nice hotel. Now with higher categories and everything moving up, you still get the same 110k points for your week but that is now only enough to stay for a couple days somewhere instead of a week. Hence a lot less people are trading for points and so there are less weeks open for points redemption.
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Old Jul 8, 16, 7:42 am
  #9  
 
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[QUOTE=rylan;26887395]What might hurt things is that the redemption value for vacationclub owners exchanging their week for points has declined substantially over the last several years due to devaluations in the marriott reward points. QUOTE]

We are multiple MVCI week owners and no longer exchange for points for this very reason. It is no surprise that point availability on Marriott.com has declined significantly in recent years.
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Old Jul 8, 16, 9:18 am
  #10  
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We went through a phase a few years back where we had some successful (and very nice!) MVCI award redemptions. These days the categories/costs are higher and the availability is much thinner.

Now, if I want a timeshare-type stay, I just book it with cash. There are almost always good values to be found here, as long as you aren't trying to hit peak weeks. Sometimes Marriott.com rates are good; sometimes VRBO, Redweek, etc. are better.

I enjoy the MVCI brand, but find it mostly interchangeable with HGVC or SVO. Since loyalty programs hardly matter at these places, I just book wherever has the best unit for the money within one of these brands. Or I book an individual's condo or house via VRBO or Booking.com.

Only thing I *won't* do is stay at a lower-tier timeshare brand...some of those are pretty sketchy, plus you have to deal with their hard-sell salespeople calling your room or hounding you in the hotel lobby, even if you have no obligation whatsoever to take one of their tours.
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Old Jul 9, 16, 5:57 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Jon Maiman View Post
I also used to book Marriott Vacation Club properties with MR Points. It always took a lot of persistence to find availability but I did succeed at getting stays at Monarch at Sea Pines (3 units during the same week), Maui Ocean Club Lahaina and Napali Towers, Kauai Lagoons Kalanipu'u, and Marriott Manor Club Sequel. While I never stayed there on points I also found availability at most of the other Hawaii MVCI properties, most of the Hilton Head MVCI properties, Marriott Oceanwatch at Myrtle Beach, MVCI Florida properties, and MVCI Arizona properties. Basically if you were persistent and somewhat flexible you could usually find some reasonable MVCI property available for a MR points stay.

Since the major push to convert Marriott Vacation Club owners over to the Destination Points systems from the weeks system, I have had an increasingly hard time finding availability at MVCI clubs to the point where I no longer look. Instead I rent from owners for cash. It is actually lower cost than the relatively low effective ROI for using MR points for a MVCI stay. That still doesn't excuse Marriott from basically totally blocking out MR Award stays at MVCI properties. If they have the availability to list it for a cash stay on the Marriott Website or for a discounted cash rate stay on VRBO, then they should also make it available for MR points (at least for a portion of the inventory). My two cents...

What have other folks seen with MVCI availability for MR point stays?

--Jon
You can also use your owner discount code (7VC/2VC) to get a really nice discount which is usually cheaper than renting points.
jamflyer is offline  

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