Value of Timeshare Points
Determining the value of timeshare points can sometimes be a frustrating exercise, primarily because the various points systems seem so arbitrary in how they assign value to those points. There is no overriding criteria for how these systems work, because each points system operates independently, so the best way to look at them is within their own individual operation.
For instance, the points system for Marriott Vacation Club assigns value very differently from how the system works for Wyndham Vacation Ownership. Value for timeshare points at resorts within the Disney Vacation Club can differ greatly based on which resort you choose as your home resort. This seems to be why so many owners tend to lock in with their exchange providers, such as RCI or II, since those providers have created their own points programs that assign values across each resort within their network.
Confused yet? You’re not alone. But let’s take a quick comparison for some of the major players in timeshare to see how they stack up.
When it comes to the value of timeshare points, the major brands dictate the rules of the game. Because programs for companies such as Marriott, Disney, Wyndham and Hilton Grand Vacations have become so popular, they can set the bar for how their programs operate. Keep in mind that points are often deeded and, even in the event where they are held in trust, the points must correspond to the available inventory within a given program. This allows the program to manage inventory for the benefit of the members. They are not just “printing money” when it comes to points, even though it may appear that way.
The difference between the value of timeshare points as new sales compared to resale can be dramatic. Marriott Destination points can sell for $12-14 per point at the resorts, but can go for as little as a third of the price on the resale market. The reasons for this are the same as with any resale product – marketing costs and sales commissions included in the new sale price are eliminated on the resale market. The same goes for brands like Hilton which, on average, are about a third of the cost as resales. Wyndham, the world’s largest timeshare provider, has resale value averaging nearly a tenth of the new sale prices. The brand that retains the best resale value is Disney, with resale points at about 75 percent of the new sale value.
Remember that no two programs are alike, so it is best to first determine the reasons why you want to own with a specific brand before looking for deals. It could cost 154,000 points within the Wyndham network to stay in a one-bedroom unit for a week. While this may seem excessive, the per-point price is much lower and there are many more destinations than for a brand such as Disney, where a one-bedroom stay in Orlando could cost 170 points in their system.
Also be aware that, as with most timeshare bookings, the season and the resort requested can make a big difference. Christmas in Hawaii is going to cost you more points than September in Orlando.
Be Aware of Benefits
When comparing new versus resale points, keep in mind that some brands have restricted the ability to transfer to resale buyers some of the ancillary benefits provided to new buyers. For example, Disney does not allow resale buyers to have the same access to discounts for merchandise that new buyers can access, nor can they use resale points to cruise with Disney. Most resale buyers are savvy enough to understand this and are looking to buy because they save substantial money with resale prices. They are looking at the specific accommodation, rather than the bells and whistles brands use to justify their inflated new sale prices.