Marriott Vacation Club is one of the leading hospitality brands in the timeshare and vacation ownership business. Since 1984, Marriott has been a major driving force behind the improvement in quality and service at timeshare resorts across the country. Now with their Marriott Points program, called Marriott Vacation Club Destinations, owners have a new way to plan their vacations.
Created in 2010 as a way to bring more flexibility to the Marriott timeshare program, Marriott points (under the Destinations program) allow the purchaser to buy points and use those points as a type of vacation currency to use when booking a timeshare at one of over 50 Marriott timeshare resorts around the world.
Marriott Points for Timeshare vs Rewards Points
Consumers often become confused when it comes to the different types of points programs that Marriott offers:
- Marriott points through the Destinations program are the timeshare points that are purchased for vacations within the Marriott timeshare network, plus uses such as shorter stays and other travel products such as cruises.
- Marriott Rewards, often referred to as a points program, is a free program that anyone can sign up for and is a loyalty program based on its hotel network.
Because these two programs operate on points, they can often be confused with one another. However, they are two separate programs operated independently from each other and mainly used by different travelers. However, Marriott has been known to give additional Rewards points to Destinations owners as a type of value-add for purchasing the Destinations product through Marriott, but these programs are not interchangeable.
June 2010 – The Turning Point
In June 2010, Marriott rolled out their Vacation Club points program, referred to earlier as the Destinations program. This meant Marriott would no longer sell timeshare weeks in the traditional sense, but sell points packages in an effort to eventually operate a points-only system of timeshare ownership.
While timeshare owners could continue to own and use their Marriott weeks, Marriott Vacation Club began to reach out to those owners to convert those weeks into points. Many of those owners chose to convert, but others continued with their week ownership since it guaranteed them a week at their home resort, rather than entering a Marriott points program which could possibly jeopardize the availability of that week, and at a potentially higher cost.
In essence, this set up Marriott as operating a timeshare program on two levels, one for weeks owners and one for points owners. Same timeshare resorts, just two different ways to access accommodation.
Destinations Points on the Resale Market
Both Marriott weeks and Marriott points ownership are available on the resale market. For buyers looking for weeks, the resale market is the only way a buyer can purchase a Marriott timeshare week, where a buyer can make an offer on a property and the owner can negotiate the sale. Owners looking to sell their Marriott points in the Destinations program can place those points for sale on the resale market, where they are subject to additional transfer fees from Marriott.
Marriott Week Conversion into Marriott Points
This is again where the June 2010 timeline comes into play. For those owners who bought before then, they have the option of converting their week into Destinations points for an additional fee. A week purchased after that date cannot be converted into points and will remain as a Marriott timeshare week.
In addition, for owners who converted their week into Destination points, those points are removed once the product is sold resale and the product reverts back to the original timeshare week.
However, the good news is that the price of a Marriott timeshare week is significantly reduced on the resale market and most of the usage benefits can be obtained through an exchange company. Interval International is the exchange company affiliated with Marriott Vacation Club and you’ll have the ability to exchange your week for resort stays at another Marriott resort or one of nearly 3,000 resorts worldwide. Even cruise and tour products are available through Interval International, which has its own points program that allows the same style of short-stay and alternative vacation product use that Marriott does.
Marriott vacation ownership products have been around for over 30 years, with the high standards of excellence associated with the Marriott brand. You’ll find Marriott timeshares for sale here on BuyaTimeshare.com and whether you consider a Marriott week or Marriott points product, you’ll know that you will be getting the same quality accommodation and wonderful vacation experience that over 400,000 satisfied Marriott owners enjoy every year.