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Timeshare Points

Recent statistics show that almost 50% of timeshare owners now own a point-based product of some type. Points can give owners much more flexibility in use over traditional week-based timeshare and in most cases, present a more equitable way of using your timeshare.

Here is some basic information about point-based timeshare:

  1. Think of points as the currency that you use to make your vacation reservations. For example: using a two-bedroom will generally require more points than a one-bedroom.
  2. Keeping track of reservation windows is crucial when attempting to use points. Different timeshare programs have varying reservation windows, which confuses many owners.
  3. Points are not the same in all systems in which case the numbers of points bear no relation to each other. For example: you may own 133,000 RCI points each year, but this will give you fewer options than 400 Disney Vacation Club points.
  4. Just as with week based timeshare, there are point based products that are deeded and right to use. In some cases, the points are “backed up” by physical real estate, in other cases, they aren’t.
  5. Most point based timeshare products give you the option to use your points for things other than timeshare; cruises, car rentals, etc. It is important to do some price comparison before utilizing your points this way. More often than not, your best use of points will be for timeshare resorts and not for other vacations such as a cruise.
  6. As with week based timeshare, the numbers of points are deposited into the owners’ account each year or in some cases, every other year based on the purchase agreement.

While point based timeshare programs vary greatly from one type to another, it’s safe to say that they all have one primary PRO and CON that should be taken into consideration:

PRO (Flexibility and Fairness)
If you own a two-bedroom timeshare in a week-based system and all you need (or all the resort has for exchange) is a one-bedroom, you won’t get any “change back.” With points, you spend the number of points based on what you want or what is available. Another example would be a family planning to spend 3 nights at one resort and 4 nights at another. With traditional week-based timeshare, this would either be impossible, or it would require two weeks of timeshare…with several unused nights being lost. Points make this type of vacation much easier to accomplish.

CON (Points May Not Be “Inflation Proof”)
A week in 2013 was a week in 2006 and will still be a week in 2025. This scenario is not necessarily true with points based programs. For example: Three nights in a two-bedroom timeshare resort in New Orleans this year may require 300 points this year and 375 in two years. It’s important to ask questions about point usage such as: Who decides how many points are required? How often have they changed in the past? As well as, can my yearly allocation of points go up or down?

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