Marriott Vacation Club has a number of “hidden” rules that you may only find out about the hard way.
Last year we booked a 7-night timeshare vacation stay for a client using their Club points. We booked the vacation 12 months prior to the desired check-in date. After several months, our client requested that we cancel 1 night of the vacation as she had to return home early. This was done 7 months before her check-in date. We contacted Marriott and cancelled one night of the stay and the points were returned to the owner’s club point bank. What Marriott did NOT tell us is that they placed these points into a HOLDING account. This means that my client could only make a booking with these points 60 days prior to their intended check-in date. We found this out by accident when reviewing her account online. When we questioned Marriott they informed us that any reservation booked for 7 or more days, by a Premier or Enrolled owner, more than 10 months prior to the check-in date, that is subsequently changed to be less than 7 days in length, the unused points are put into a Holding account. This was quite a surprise!
Marriott’s goal is to prevent owners from getting around the “system” by booking a 7-day vacation 12 months in advance when they really only need 5 days, for example, but don’t want to wait for 10 months prior to the check-in date to book it as the inventory may be gone.
I can somewhat understand their reasoning but unfortunately it adversely affects those owners that really do have a legitimate reason for shortening their vacation.
Needless to say, our client and I fought the case with Marriott, since we were not informed about the points going into a holding account, and we won. We did need to escalate several levels to get it done.