I have received many questions from my clients and I thought you could all benefit from reading the questions and answers:
If I enroll in the points program do I lose my deed?
No, you still retain your deed. Every year you just have the option to turn your week into Destination points, but it is just an option. This is similar to the concept of turning to Marriott Rewards points. But instead of receiving points to use at hotels, you get points to use at timeshares.
What happens if I decide not to enroll in the new program?
If you decide not to enroll, your options will the stay the same: book at your home resort, trade through Interval or trade for Marriott Rewards points.
Is there a downside to enrolling?
No, there is no downside. You will have all of the same usage options that you had in the past plus the option to turn to Destinations Points.
Is there a benefit to enrolling?
For many owners the benefit is the reduced cost of the fees each year to trade, lock-off, turn to Rewards points, etc. For others, there will be little reduction. For some, exchanging with Destination points may be advantageous but for many it is not.
Is there a downside if I don’t enroll?
The only downside may be that you continue to pay higher fees each year than you would if you enrolled. You will continue to pay as you go for Marriott-to-Marriott trades, Rewards points conversions and lock-off fees. If you enroll, you would only pay one flat fee per year for most of your usage options. In the future, there may be some downside if Marriott builds new properties and you can only use points to stay at these properties.
Once I enroll, does this mean my ownership week(s) is automatically turned into Destination Points every year?
No, turning to Destination Points is just another OPTION. You have to elect to turn your week into points. It is just another one of the many decisions you need to make each year.
Do I still pay a Maintenance Fee even if I turn to Destination Points?
Yes, this never goes away. Think of it like this: Do I pay my maintenance fee when I turn to Marriott Rewards points? Yes. The concept of turning to Destination points is the same.
Do new Marriott owners who purchase into the Destination Points program still pay a Maintenance Fee?
Yes they do. Marriott charges them a fee based upon the number of points they purchase. You can never get away from paying Maintenance Fees. Someone has to pay to keep these properties operating and upgraded.
When do I have to decide to enroll?
Marriott has fixed the enrollment fee of $595 or $695 until December 31, 2010. And they are offering 800 Destination points as an incentive. After December 31, 2010, the fees could go up. I believe you will always have the option to enroll. And if Marriott does not get the number of people they need to enroll, who knows what kind of incentives they may offer in 2011!
Are you recommending your clients to enroll?
There is no definitive answer for all owners. Every Marriott owner uses their weeks differently and therefore each situation needs to be analyzed at a personal level. For my existing Platinum Membership clients, I will assist them with the decision. For those of you who are not clients, I am offering a consultation for a fee.
I am sure you have more questions than I have answered above. To help all Marriott owners learn more about this new program, click the Comments link directly below and ask any general questions that you may have. I will offer the best, unbiased advice that I can.