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  Your Location: Timeshare Users Group Advice: Fairfield Points Information

 Homepage Updated: 11/15/07 

 

Fairfield Info Gleaned from Fairfield Egroup List Archives

Article submitted by:
Ron Donze
rdonze@earthlink.net
Revised 9/8/00




TUG Disclaimer
With permission from the list moderator, the following data was extracted from some of the archives from the email list. It is not considered comprehensive by any means. Anyone wishing to add to the data herein is encouraged to submit their data to TUG for inclusion. To request membership in the list go to: http://www.egroups.com/group/Fairfield_timeshare . The correctness of the data provided herein is not certain and TUG does not provide any warranty to its use. The reader should verify for himself that the content is appropriate for their own use. Any mention of brokers or individual sales persons within this document is not to be construed as an endorsement by TUG.
 
 

Buying Points Resale / Developer

  • I'm a Fairshare Plus points owner who did buy points at two FF developments...they are both of the newer resorts, and the markdown, from what I've seen at VCI's classified listings, isn't that much in most cases. I certainly can understand the value of buying points resale, it just didn't happen in our case (the first time, we had never heard of resale before buying, and the second time, I guess we were just vulnerable and wanted to buy more deeded points.
  • In any case, if you are buying points, whether resale or from Fairfield, it would be much wiser to buy deeded (fee-simple) points, rather than the new Right-to-use or leased points; the latter only have a 20-year life span. Of course, some people might like that idea. However, we would have NEVER bought points from Fairfield if they only sold leased points - that's what kept us from buying at Disney's DVC club (besides their high price!).
    This year, I am following the advice of one Fairfield salesman, who told me that one can bank as little as 28,000 points converted to a studio, quiet week with RCI. The trick is to wait until 45 days or less, and then call RCI to request your exchange. The salesman says that one can get "bigger units" and "better resorts" by doing so. Time will tell if he is correct (in my case). If this ploy works, then it will be yet another advantage to owning Fairfield points, since this would allow one to stretch those points into several t/s weeks.


    Points- Advantages over Non-Point Timeshare Ownership

    • The real advantage of points is the flexibility they offer. Also, purchasing at least 300,000 points would make you a VIP owner and allow you a 25% point discount if the reservation is within 60 days.
    • Bought some Fairfield points earlier this year and with it came the deal that Fairfield would pay my RCI dues. I requested a refund for the remainder of my dues that I had already paid and sure enough, today a check arrived. Now I believe it
    • Do you receive a 'full membership' with RCI through your FairShare Plus membership? By 'full membership', I mean you receive the directory, Endless Vacation Magazines, able to upgrade to RCI Plus, ability to participate in the 'getaways' and ability to trade your other timeshares through RCI.
    • I've been investigating Club Sunterra and found that the RCI membership given is of a 'limited' type.
    • I've owned FF points for over 3 years, and have been able to use all the RCI benefits you mentioned, except for actually using getaways (have had a few studio weeks banked and would rather use them since the exchange fee is usually cheaper). I did call last week and they offered me some getaways; haven't decided if I want to book them yet. Finally, we don't own any other timeshare weeks or points, so I can't speak from experience, but I believe that you can use your RCI membership (through FF) for all exchanges.
    • I own both Fairfield and other resorts, and all my timeshares are available for exchange thru the same RCI account. However, I can no longer make online deposits since everything is geared to a phoned-in Fairfield deposit. The deposit buttons online are disabled.
    • Yes I have all that and bought resale
    Converting FF Fixed Weeks to Points

    The PIC (Personal Interval Conversion) plan allows timeshare owners to convert their current non-Fairfield timeshare ownership into Fairfield's FairShare Plus points-based program. There is a brief explanation of the program on my web site listed below.

    Here's how it works. Become a FairShare Plus member by purchasing a new ownership interest with the number of vacation points that best suits your needs. The minimum level is the greater of 105,000 points or the points equal to the value allocated to your non-Fairfield interval (see chart on PIC Program allocations on my web site).

    Complete the PIC enrollment form and receive a point allocation based on your specific week.

    You then have the option each year to exchange your week for points in FairShare Plus. Or you can use the week yourself or deposit it for exchange through RCI.

    To qualify, you must own at an RCI-affiliated resort, be a United States resident and your timeshare ownership can be fixed or floating.

    I am not sure what the current PIC conversion cost is. You will probably need to contact Fairfield to find out.

    Keith A. Halfpop
    http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Paradise/2273/index.html
     

    • When Converting fixed weeks to points, - is that the way it is - you either (1) purchase points and
    Fairfield will convert your existing fixed weeks to points for free or (2) pay the fee to make the conversion? .
      • Yes, that is usually the way it works. For the 1st scenario, you normally have to purchase at least 154,000 points. For the 2nd scenario, you normally have to be the original owner. Also, FF has the option of deciding which weeks they will convert. Some weeks, usually blue and white weeks, they will not convert at all. Unlike with most FF policies, the individual resorts do have some flexibility in what weeks and how much.
        Just to clarify, the directive we received here on Edisto Island regarding "conversions" the owner, for a single week "free" conversion, must purchase a new package of points of at least 77,000. A second week, converted in the same transaction can be converted without charge for an additional purchase of 49,000 points. Each week, beyond the first requires a 49,000 point purchase for FF to waive the conversion fee.
    Very few, if ANY sites do the $1995.00 first week, 995.00 second and so on anymore. I "believe" only corporate has that latitude. A word about our "PIC" program if I may, at first blush, I really didn't think it was such a good deal, that is, until I found out what a fantastic way to get to VIP level! I didn't realize that the owner of the non-Fairfield week doesn't "give up" anything! They KEEP their week, intact, with all the advantages (and disadvantages) intact. Each year, the OWNER chooses which way they would like to use it, either use it the exact same way they always had, OR, take the value of that week in points via the Fairfield system. Still doesn't beat the cost of acquiring points via the re-sale method, just gives me a little better look at what the PIC program is all about. Also on this points conversion issue, I purchased FF Harbour which was a fixed week but in the closing of the sale, the fixed week was converted to 154,000 points at no cost to me or the buyer. I was told that this is something that some of the FF resorts are now doing now of converting to points during the sale at no cost.
    • I bought a resale from Angel Bittle at RPMI. The price wasn't inflated to cover the cost of the conversion as I paid less than 2 1/2 cents a point. As I understood, this was a deal that many of the resorts are now offering with the closing through Century 21.
    • Anytime you purchase a deeded week through a Broker and they tell you that they will convert it to points for free, then you know it is going to be a co-broke with Century 21/Fairfield Realty. They are the only office that can get the weeks converted for free. Of course there are weeks available for sale that have already been converted. The only thing the buyer has to do to protect himself is to make sure everything is in writing! If they agent puts on the contract that the week will be converted at closing with no cost, then that is what you will get. If not the deal would then be null and void. Also, for anyone who is working with any broker from Florida or if the property is located in Florida, they have to give you a 10 Day right of recission per Florida State Law!
    How Many Points Should Be Bought
    • I would also recommend buying a minimum of 77,000 points for a family of 4 or less, and at least 150,000 for more than 5 people in one family. We were fine with the 77,000 points until our third child was born; now, we really like having a 2-bedroom or bigger unit. The nice part is that we can still use 77 to 84 k points to trade into the RCI system for a 2-bedroom unit at FF or elsewhere, but we can also book into a FF resort, using the FF points system with @152,000 points (or more) if we need to.


    Ins and Outs of Points Usage

    • The number of points is determined by resort and size of unit. All weeks FF has designated as "Prime" weeks (not neccesarily exactly the same as what RCI designates as "red" weeks) in the same resort will be worth the same number of points as long as the unit size is also equal.
    • You must also consider that Fairfield will not rent you points if you still have some in your account. Suppose you were saving points for a trip next year and you wanted a quick weekend trip next month. Sorry, but you have to use the points you have first before you rent any points.
    • My wife and I are still researching the best place to buy our points in the Fairfield system, and the same response keeps coming up that points are points. Our main concern is what happens when you want to trade your points with RCI. If you have 154,000 points at a ocean resort or Orlando, does it give you better trading power then if you banked 154,000 points at Fairfield Glade (just an example)? What is the exact process that RCI goes through when you want to bank 154,000 Fairfield points. If anyone could clarify this, we would greatly appreciate it.
    • Some people think buying points in a certain Fairfield resort affects trade power with RCI. While it is true that a generic Myrtle Beach resort in summer will trade better other locations and times, you need to be aware that FF decides where your week to deposit comes from, not you. That week may come from anywhere in FF's system, not necessarily (in fact, probably) NOT the resort where you own. FF manages the amount of trade power necessary for you to achieve your requested trade and deposits what is required.
    • If you buy a fixed week that has been converted to points, you do have some control over what is deposited to RCI. In this circumstance only, you may reserve your own week during the 10-13 mo. Advance Reservation Period (ARP) and then deposit it. Most of us do not have this option. For most of us, it makes no difference whatsoever where in the FF system we own our points from the standpoint of depositing with RCI. Regardless of where we own, FF determines which week will be deposited, not us. If you buy at Myrtle Beach it is likely a week you deposit will come from some other resort in the FF system. The only way around this is to buy a fixed, converted week, make sure you get it reserved during the ARP, and then deposit it. There are no guarantees this exception will continue, but it is an option for the time being.
    You can only use ARP at the resort that you own at. Not the Associate resorts, unless you are a VIP. Then you can use the ARP at the Associate Resorts.
      • I have gotten a variation on a theme on this one. I own points at Nashville and was advised by Fairfield that I could use ARP to book a week (I chose the millinium week) to deposit to RCI. They have confirmed again since I did this, that points owners can use ARP for a week and deposit that one direct to RCI. That way you know what you are getting.
    • If you want to reserve a three day stay at Fairfield Flagstaff beginning October 3, 1999, you would need to wait until 60 days prior Express Reservation). That is true of all Prime and High weeks at Flagstaff. During Value and Quiet seasons you can reserve for less than a full week 10 months in advance (Standard Reservations), unless it's your home resort which allows reservations up to 13 months in advance (Advance Reservation Priority).
    This is true of all Fairfield resorts during Prime weeks and most also include High weeks. The same time limits apply to full week reservations (except for the 60 day limitation).

    Additionally, some resorts such as Ventura Harbortown, Orlando High Point and 2 HOAs at Sapphire Valley will not let you reserve split weeks. The members guide spells it all out. I could see where you could be pretty confused without a members guide but it gets easier with time.

    Just some info for all.... (good news) Express Reservations are now 90 (NINETY) days instead of 60! To my knowledge, the change was made by corporate as of 3/1/99!

    • Could someone please explain about pooled points "drying up". I have not had any problem using my pooled points and don't remember anything about needing someone to deposit the same use year.
      • If you do not think you will be using your points within the use year, then you can request that FF place your points into a pool with other points. The cost is $20 and it must be done at a minimum of 10 months before the start of your use year. So if your use year begins on January 1, you would have to pool your 2001 points by March 1 of 2000. You then have 3 years from the date you pool them to use the points. You can place all of your points in this "pool" or you can place a portion of them in the pool.
    You can begin using pooled points immediately. In the above example, you could start drawing from your pooled points in March of 2000, even before the use year. The only con to this is that the pool sometimes dries up. This is very rare and it is only temporary. But, if many members draw from the pool at the same time, before new points are replenished (such as at the beginning of the year), the pool may end up dry. You would have to wait until the pool was replenished to use your points. Also, pooled points cannot be used for ARP reservations.
      • Fairfield keeps track of your points that are in the pool by the year. Currently I have 2K points in the pool from 1999 and 128 points in the pool that are year 2000 points.
    Next time I make a reservation, can I insist that the agent use the 1999 points first and then use the year 2000 points? Otherwise, I would loose those last little points from 1999.

    How I ended up in this situation was my 28,000 point week deposit. I tried to get the agent to start with my 1999 points to make the deposit. She told me that for RCI deposits, all 28,000 had to come from a single use year of points. She also told me that those 2K points would pobably be lost.

    Not a big deal, but it could be more when important when I start having larger sums of points left over at the end of the year? Any insight?

      • Some of us, like myself, are just in the habit of calling every year in Jan or Feb (assuming your use year begins Jan 1) and pooling our next year's points. It costs $15, but that way we don't have to make any early decisions about where and when to go. If you do it automatically every year, you always have three years to save or use your points.
    There are some considerations. If you own at a very high demand resort, such as Myrtle Beach, you may not want to give up your Advance Reservation Priority at your home resort. Or you may not want to risk the pool being dry when you want to make your reservation. Since I never have any problem getting a reservation at my home resort less than 10 mos. before check-in, the ARP is not a big deal to me. I have experienced the points pool being dry, but I have still been able to get my reservation within a matter or days, so neither of these issues, to me, outweighs the benefits of having 3 years to save or use my points. Without this feature, we would not have been able to save and borrow enough points for our family reunion last summer.
      • When you pool your points to extend their life they are placed into a pool with points from other owners that have your same use year (e.g. 1 Jan). At the beginning and ending of the use year, the pool can go dry if a lot of people request points out. It happened to me. I had to wait about two weeks for other FF members to put points in our 1 Jan use year pool. I've decided that dry pools are something I can live with in return for extending the life of my points.
    • I know that in the first year of membership, your points cannot be banked in the pool. Question is, if a person purchases more points resale, does the "no banking" rule apply to that points package in the first year of ownership of it, or is the rule just for an individual's first year of membership in Fairshare Plus? Maybe an example- I buy my first 77k, new FField member. I know I can't bank those points first year. Then in year 2, I buy 77k more. Can they be banked that year, or does the first year rule apply?
    • I put my points in the pool a few weeks after buying resale. So this must apply just to new Fairshare owners who buy direct from Fairfield. Another great reason to buy resale.
    • We were told we could put our week in RCI bypassing FF. I thought we had to call FF and ask for a week to put in RCI.
    • If you buy a fixed converted week, and reserve your own week during the 10-13 mo. ARP, you can deposit it directly with RCI.
    • Just put some points into RCI for the first time (I've pooled my points for the past two years, since I have several "fixed week" timeshares). However, my RCI on-line account just says "You have additional weeks that can't be accessed. Call RCI...". Thought we get a week somewhere to search with/etc? What do I need to do to get an actual FF week deposited (studio, prime)?
    • I deposited a 28k week about a month ago. I had very good input from the RCI email help desk. FFD advised me that I would not be able to see the week online to use the search function on the net. RCI wrote me to ask for a conversion to a standard week instead of a pooled week. BINGO FFD converted all three of my weeks and I can now search RCI online. The 28k is pulling up some really nice stuff--mostly off season (Oct - May). If FFD won't convert your week so you can see it contact RCI by email. They mail the response to FFD. It worked.
    • I don't know if I got a bad rep or not. When I tried to do a 2000 transaction, they informed me that I would have to pay the extra transaction fees because I had used up all my '99 transactions already and the right to use my 2000 transactions allocation didn't kick in until my use year started after 12/31. I argued the point with about 3 different individuals and was told the same by each. I made a big issue of the fact that this rule effectively penalized a person for taking advantage of the 10 month advanced reservation right for early year reservations, and the response was "well, that's the way they have it set up. Sorry".
    • Tom, I believe you get one free reservation transaction per calendar year for each 77,000 points you have -- regardless of what use year the reservation is for. Example: I have 154,000 points, which equals 2 free transactions per year. If I used two different calls in 1999 to make reservations with 1999 points, and then called a third time (during 1999) to make a reservation with year 2000 points, I would have to pay the extra $20 for the third transaction. But if I made both my 1999 reservations in a single phone call, and then called back to make a reservation using year 2000 points, I would not have to pay extra.
    Another way to look at it: If you paid extra to make your year 2000 reservations in 1999, then next year you will not need your year 2000 transactions for year 2000 trips (which are already booked) so you can use your free transactions to make your reservations for year 2001. So with any luck (and planning), you would not encounter the extra fees again in future years.
      • It is my understanding that if you are a VIP gold member you get unlimited transactions. Anyone heard anything different?
        • According to the VIP book "As a VIP Gold or VIP Platinum member, you are entitled to unlimited Reservation Transactions at no additional cost to you."


    Fact vs Fiction

    • As I recall the conversation during the sales pitch, the "counselor" ranked the FField resorts in order of demand. He then gave an example of myself trying to use FF Bay points to get a certain high demand FF resort and getting turned down, and then someone owning pts at a higher demand resort requesting and getting approved for the same transaction because their resort was more popular. As you say, it does take away the advantage over RCI, and really would put the kibosh to "points are points"!
    • Points are points are points no matter where they are purchased!!! If someone in Fairfield told anyone any different they are just trying to make a sale by "puffing" a resort. It doesn't matter one iota where the points are from or from which resort! That's the very reason we went to a "points" based system, most of the "original" Fairfield resorts had NO demand in the RCI system at all! Most people in the world have NEVER even heard of Crossville, Lake Lure, Villa Rica, Greer's Ferry, or several other of our locations. In my opinion, it's baloney to see one resorts points have preference over another. (From Dick who works at Fairfield)
    • I have had very good results with RCI. At first I was disappointed that I couldn't bank my Myrtle Beach, but I broke my points up and got about 3 weeks out of it. The first time they gave me a 90,000 week and I lost 15,000 pts. The second yr. I learnt my lesson and broke my points into lower point weeks. I have a HGVC booked for Feb on a 28,000pt wk.
    Historical Points of Interest

    When FF first got into the timeshare business, weeks were sold as fixed weeks rather than points. Later, they introduced the point system and fixed week owners were offered the option of converting. The owners who did so retained the deed to their particular week, and have a window of between 10-13 months before check-in date to reserve their own week. After 10 mos. prior to check-in it is open to anyone in the FF system. What this means to you is that IF you buy a week that was originally a fixed week, you could reserve your own week, during the 10-13 mos., and deposit it with RCI. This is the ONLY way you can be sure of which week and resort you will have to exchange through RCI. This is the way it works at the present time, although it is not guaranteed to remain this way.

    I would suggest verifying which type of week you are buying before you sign anything. In addition to fixed converted weeks, I believe there may have also been floating weeks at some resorts, and there are resale weeks that were points at time of original sale. Neither of those would give you the right to reserve a specific week and deposit with RCI.

    Fairfield Owners web sites

    http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Coast/5214/

    Iowa Hawk's Timeshare Page A most exstensive Fairfield Owner Site

    http://www.geocities.com/iowahawk.geo/05.html  Housekeeping points explanation

    http://www.geocities.com/iowahawk.geo/12.html Complete explanation of VIP benefits

    Pertinent Points Ownership Data

    • Undivided interest refers to the point system. It means you receive a deed to a percentage of that phase of the resort. In other words, instead of being divided up by weekly units, it is all owned in common by the points owners, based on the percentage of points you own.
    • Generally points are points! There are some considerations, however. First of all there are points called UDI or undivided interest. These were purchased as points. Then there are points that were converted from a formerly fixed week. These points do have an extra FairShare Plus fee tacked on to the yearly maintenance charge. There is some advantage to trading this type of week according to a recent post on this list. The most important factor of all is to make sure it is a deeded week rather than right to use.
    The owner should be able to tell you which type the points are. The legal description on the deed will indicate x number of points if they were originally purchased as points. If it was a fixed week it will say Bldg. xx, Unit xx, Week xx etc.
    • FF VIP Gold level requires ownership of 500,000 points; VIP Platinum is 1,000,000 points.
     
     

     

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