Marriott has finally updated their website to allow owners to view their points balance and search for destinations using their points. You can even book stays at Marriott Vacation villas and research where your points can be used. Check it out at the Owners website. Once you are logged in, go to Check Availability. All of your points balances and options will appear.
I was able to go online and book Vacation Club resorts for some of my clients over the Christmas holidays. Some of the resorts were available at 12 months out but the highly sought after properties such as Maui Ocean Club and Aruba Surf Club had no inventory available. When I called and spoke to Customer Service, I was told that the inventory was ALL booked 13 months out by the Premier and Premier Plus owners. One agent even told me that one owner was allowed to book 6 villas at the Aruba Surf Club over the Christmas holidays. I have to wonder if this owner is really going to use these weeks or just pooling points from several owners to create a rental business, thus shutting out the many owners who truly would like to be use their points to stay at the resort. Marriott has created a system where unscrupulous owners can now profit from being able to pool Club points from many owners with no limit as to the number of weeks they can book at any one time.
After speaking to several agents who said that only 1/2 of the available Points inventory can be booked 13 months ahead (the same way that booking deeded inventory works), I am now told that ALL of the points inventory can be booked 13 months ahead, leaving nothing available for Enrolled owners (those that have a total number of Club points less than 6,500). This means that once again the majority of owners will have no access to booking high-demand holiday weeks. And as Marriott continues to push many of the owners into the Premier or higher tier, there won’t be nearly enough inventory to satisfy the need from these owners, even though they have just spent more of their money to gain advantages that can never be guaranteed.
Marriott has created a tier system where only Marriott wins out. They make money while the owners continue to be frustrated with perceived benefits that can’t be realized.