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How to Maximize your Points - Wyndham Points article 8 of 10
This Timeshare Advice article discusses the "nuts and bolts" of Wyndham Points.  Written by TUGGERS and provided to you free by the Timeshare Users Group!

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Article VIII - How to Maximize your Points

"The Nuts and Bolts"

by TUGGER: GoofyHobbie


If you are already an owner of Wyndham points looking for TIPS scroll through this article to see what is here. Do not try to digest the content all at once. Think of this article as a key reference area. If you are new to the Wyndham point system take your time and read carefully.

In the tenth article of this series you will have the opportunity to review how I used the flexibility provided by the Club WyndhamSM Plus program to maximize the potential of the points that I purchased one year ago. If you were thinking of skipping that article, re-consider. You may notice something that could benefit you as your points are used.

If you are a long time owner of Wyndham points it is likely that you have been using them primarily to make internal reservations. That is fine; but as you may notice here and in Article X there are ways to get more vacation value than you may have received in the past.


USE YEAR

As used by Wyndham, your Use Year is the 12-month period during which you may vacation using the points allocated to you by Wyndham. Your points do not roll over from one Use Year to another, so you should always be aware of the status of your points in your current and following Use Year. If you eventually purchase more than one Wyndham contract you may have the same Use Year for those points or your Use Years may overlap. 

The Use Year for each of your contracts was originally determined based on the date that the points were purchased from the developer and entered into the Club WyndhamSM Plus program. The contract that conveyed the points and the deed or assignment & assumption (A&A) that the original owner received when the purchase was paid off, should spell out the original owner’s Use Year. If you are a subsequent owner you will have the same Use Year and the same points at the same resort as the original owner. As a purchaser of Wyndham points you could get a Use Year that runs from Jan 1 – Dec 31; Apr 1 – March 31; July 1 – June 30; or October 1 – September 30.  
 

TIP:  Points used for internal vacations are taken from the Use Year in which you will actually be traveling and NOT from the Use Year in which you make the reservation. Plan your vacation far earlier than you would have as a non-points owner. You do NOT have to wait until your Use Year start date to begin your vacation planning. Effective planning and management of your points should begin 16 to 13 months before your vacation is to start.

 
Note:
  If you wait much longer than 10 months out you will find it increasingly harder to get what you prefer. Yes, there is an advantage during the Express Reservation period (explained below) when Wyndham travel guidelines become more flexible; but what you find available may not suit your needs.  However, during the last six weeks of the Express Reservation period you may be able to grab a great vacation at the last minute and conserve your point usage.





Making Reservations

The ARP Advantage

Wyndham’s internal booking window starts at the 13th month mark for most Club WyndhamSM Plus members. The period that begins 13 months out and ends on the last day of the 11th month out is the Advanced Reservation Priority (ARP) period for booking an internal reservation at a member’s “home resort.” An owner may make a reservation into his or her “home resort” beginning 13 months to the day from the reservation check-in date.

ARP gets you access to the highest demand inventory at your “home resort” before other Club WyndhamSM Plus members, who do not own there, can get access to that same resort. ARP is available to any Club WyndhamSM Plus owner, including secondary market purchasers. But, to take advantage of the ARP feature, an owner’s vacation ownership interest must consist of an interest in the specific Wyndham resort location where the owner is making his reservation and the symbolic points owned at that “home resort” location must be available in sufficient quantity in the owner’s account for the Use Year of the reservation. In other words, with a few exceptions, to get a reservation at a particular Wyndham resort during the ARP period (13 to 10 months prior to check-in) you must be an owner of points at that particular Wyndham resort location and you must have enough points associated with your “home resort” in your point account for that check-in date.  If your vacation needs include a guarantee of access, then ARP should be important to you in determining which resort(s) you choose to be your home resort(s).

  

Home Resort

Your “home resort” is the specific resort location of your ownership interest as indicated on your purchase agreement and/or your warranty deed or assignment and assumption document. As pointed out above, the location of your “home resort” is important because of the feature known as Advance Reservation Priority which provides an exclusive privilege to book an internal reservation at that “home resort” up to three months before the opportunity becomes available to Club WyndhamSM Plus members who have a different “home resort.”  


TIP:  A re-sale contract specifying the previous owner’s ”home resort” may have originally been created while the previous Wyndham owner was at a totally different resort from the one that ultimately became that purchaser’s “home” resort. If so, it is possible that an eleven month ARP at the resort where the sale took place was attached to the original contract in the Wyndham computer. Whether this situation applies to a contract can be determined by contacting a Wyndham employee in the Research and Transfer of Ownership department: (866-812-9798).

 

Example: One of my contracts for points at Wyndham Ocean Boulevard in North Myrtle Beach, SC that was originally purchased at Wyndham Old Town Alexandria had a Wyndham computer notation that confirmed an 11 month out ARP advantage at Wyndham Old Town Alexandria as well as the 13 month out ARP for Wyndham Myrtle Beach, SC.  Always consider your ARP advantage when shopping for your contract(s).

 


Standard Reservation Period

The Standard Reservation period for an internal Wyndham reservation begins the first day of the month that is ten months prior to check-in and ends 91 days before the desired check-in date. All members of Club WyndhamSM Plus (regardless of where they own and regardless of how they obtained their points) can begin making reservations at the ten month mark at any of the Club WyndhamSM Plus resort locations and at Affiliate or Associate Locations.

The Standard Reservation period is significant because it opens the reservation window wide so all Club WyndhamSM Plus members can get access to vacations throughout the Wyndham system of resorts. To peruse resorts and see the points required for a vacation simply access the Club WyndhamSM Plus Member’s Directory using this link:

 Club Wyndham Plus Member Directory

 

Reservations for prime season require a three, four or seven night stay.  A member taking advantage of the prime time season is required to either check-in or check-out on the resort’s designated check-in day(s). In periods other than prime, if a resort you want does not require a seven day stay, you can check-in any day of the week for as few as two nights. Take a look at the individual point charts to determine if a seven night stay is required. Additional points, if needed, can be rented, during the Standard Reservation period to complete a portion of a last night’s stay.


The Express Reservation period begins at the 90 day mark (90 days or less from check-in.) A member may make an Express Reservation if there is availability and the member has sufficient points. The Express Reservation period is the least restrictive and, as you will see in the following TIP, sometimes the most economical period to make an internal reservation. However, to fully benefit from the Express Reservation feature you need flexibility and you need to be aware that inventory can be very limited since the window of opportunity is so close to check-in.

TIP:  What I refer to as the Wyndham Reservation website and/or Member resource website can be found at the following web address: www.wyndhamvacationresorts.com.  On the first page, bottom left, of that website there are “Resort Specials” available to all Wyndham owners regardless of how their points were obtained. If you have the flexibility, the “Resort Specials” section may provide you the opportunity to get as much as a 40% discount between six weeks and the week of check-in at Wyndham Resorts where there is availability.

 


Reservation Transactions

Each calendar year, on January 1, your Wyndham account receives one complimentary reservation transaction for each 77,000 points that you own. The following features of Club WyndhamSM Plus are available for re-sale owners and for owners who purchased retail. Each feature requires a Reservation Transaction. You should conserve transactions by doing more than one on the same business day.  Reservation Transactions not used during a calendar year expire on December 31.

  • Internal Resort Reservations
  • Cruising with Club WyndhamSMPlus [see Directory]
  • Converting Club WyndhamSM Plus points to Maintenance Dollars [see Directory]
  • Exchange Deposit with your designated Exchange company (RCI or II)

Note:  If and when additional reservation transactions are needed you may purchase them from Wyndham by phone for $59 or at www.wyndhamvacationresorts.com for $30.

 


Housekeeping Credits

As a member of Club WyndhamSM Plus and regardless of how you obtained your points you are provided with Housekeeping Credits (HC) at the start of every Use Year to use when making your reservations or when depositing points with RCI or II.  Wyndham gives you one credit for each one thousand points allocated to you each Use Year.  Housekeeping Credits or “Maid” Credits are deducted from your Wyndham account at the time you confirm a reservation or when you deposit points with your assigned exchange company. The credits required for a reservation or deposit is determined by the size of the unit and the length of stay.  Depending on the way you choose to vacation, you may find that you have enough credits for your entire Use Year.

However, IF you take several small vacations in a given Use Year; more “Maid Credits” are required, and IF you use all the credits available to you during your Use Year, you will be required to purchase additional credits if needed.  If you deposit points for an exchange using your assigned exchange company, the appropriate number of credits is taken from your Housekeeping Credit allotment for 7-nights in the size unit represented by the points deposited.      

Example: A deposit of 28,000 points with your exchange company or a reservation through Wyndham for a studio unit requires 28 credits. When booking a reservation during the Express Reservation window you have the option to borrow credits (HCs) from the next Use Year. HCs cannot be used to request additional daily cleanings during a stay.  If you need additional HCs to make a reservation, you can purchase them from Wyndham at a current cost of $2.25 per credit.  

Notice in the chart below that IF you stay in a 1-BR Unit at a resort for just two nights the deduction from your credits will be 63.  But, if you stay in a 1-BR for 7-nights the deduction is   also 63 credits. If you take a lot of short vacations you can use up your credits quickly.

Type of Unit                 Period of Use                  Credits Required

Studio                          2-7 Night                                  28 HC

1-BR                            2-7 Night                                   63 HC

2-BR                            2-7 Night                                   77 HC

3-BR                            2-7 Night                                 140 HC

4-BR                            2-7 Night                                 154 HC           

 


Renting Wyndham points

 
As of March 1, 2009 Wyndham took away the ability of an owner to transfer points to another owner.  Removal of a benefit such as the ability to transfer points between owners is an example of how the rules can change in a point system.

 
During the Standard Reservation window, an owner of Wyndham points that does not have enough points to complete an internal reservation can exercise their option to rent additional points for $10 per thousand. However, that option to rent during that window allows for the rental of just enough points to complete a portion of the last night’s stay.  If you are attempting to confirm an “Express Reservation” in the 90 day reservation window before check-in, you are allowed to rent as many additional points as you need for that vacation up to the total amount of points that you own. The Wyndham fee for renting during the Express window drops to $8 per thousand for on-line transactions. The regular cost to rent points is $10 per thousand.

Note: The annual allocation of points that you receive each year, not counting Bonus Points or PIC Points, is the maximum number of points you can rent in a calendar year.

 


 

Guest Confirmations


A Guest Confirmation is the documentation required when an internal reservation is made and the owner is not going to occupy the Unit that the owner reserved. All owners of Wyndham points receive one complimentary Guest Confirmation per calendar year.  Additional Guest Confirmations are available for $99 when the member makes the guest reservation on-line and $129 when booking it by phone. The free Guest Confirmation is available to re-sale purchasers and to those who bought from the developer.

TIP:  When setting up a Guest Confirmation for family or friends, put two names in the space provided, just in case one or the other cannot be there at check-in. Prevent the possibility that a subsequent Guest Confirmation may have to be obtained simply because the first “guest” put on the confirmation is unable to be present at check-in.

 Note:  If you plan a vacation and have to reserve more than one unit, a Guest Certificate will be required for the additional unit(s) if an owner of record is not staying in the additional unit(s).

TIP:  Be sure your guest is actually going to use the Unit you book because once the confirmation is set-up a replacement name will cost you $99 on-line or $129 by phone.

TIP: When and if you buy Wyndham points, consider putting additional members of your extended family on your deed and your Wyndham account, especially if you might not be traveling with them on vacation. The day may come when you take separate vacations. You do not want to pay unnecessarily for a “Guest Confirmation” because you are not there at check-in.

 

VIP BENEFIT:  If you purchase your points through the developer you can get additional complimentary Guest Confirmations when and if you obtain VIP status.  A VIP Member can get five and a Gold VIP Member can get ten Guest Confirmations per calendar year. If one chooses to become a Platinum VIP Member that member can get 15 complimentary Guest Confirmations per million eligible points purchased from the developer.

TIP:  Club WyndhamSM Plus members who are listed as owner or owners of record are not required to obtain a Guest Confirmation for folks in their party, if one or more of the owners of record are present at check-in and are going to occupy the unit. However, a Guest Confirmation is required by Wyndham for any unit NOT occupied by at least one owner of record.



CAUTION:
   On rare occasions you may book overlapping reservations. This can involve the same resort or different Wyndham resorts during the same time frame. If the Wyndham computer detects that you have more than one unit reserved for dates that overlap, the extra reservation(s) may be cancelled and the involved points forfeited.  Here are some examples: 
  1. Two owners of record take separate vacations during the same time period at two different Wyndham resorts, i.e. one goes to Vegas and the other goes to the beach.
  2. A week at Orlando could be booked with an overlapping stay at Daytona Beach, FL.
  3. A ten night stay is desired; but only a seven and an overlapping four nights are available.

TIP:  If you must book overlapping reservations, avoid cancellation and forfeiture of points by obtaining the required Guest Confirmation(s) well before the computer rejects the reservation. The Guest Confirmation must be in place at least 15 days before the check-in date.


 

Borrowing Points

The Wyndham point system allows you to borrow points from your next Use Year if you are booking an internal reservation during the Express Reservation period and either have no current year points remaining or do not have enough current year points to get the vacation you desire.   If you cancel a reservation that involves borrowed points, the points will not be returned to the Use Year they were borrowed from. They will be returned to the same Use Year as the reservation and will be identifiable as “cancelled reservation points” within your account.  

 

Example: If you make a reservation for a vacation in 2010 using borrowed points from your 2011 Use Year and later cancel the reservation, the points you borrowed from the 2011 Use Year will return to your 2010 account as “cancelled reservation points” and will remain in your 2010 Use Year account for your use through the remainder of the 2010 Use Year.

TIP:  If at the end of your Use Year, you find that you have a few thousand points left; but not enough to make a deposit with your exchange company there is a solution. You can borrow enough points to make an internal reservation for the current Use Year; cancel the internal reservation so that the borrowed points are returned to the current Use Year as cancelled points; and then take the cancelled points and the points that were left over at the end of your use year to make a deposit with your exchange company. A Wyndham VC can help you or you can do the transactions on-line. To avoid excessive Reservation Transactions get it done the same day.

Example:  Your Use Year runs from Jan 1 to Dec 31. In December you find that you have used all but 10,000 of your allotted points for the current Use Year; but you do not want the points to expire. You can go to the Wyndham reservation website and if there is a Studio unit available for a three night stay, say at Wyndham Mountain Vista, for Christmas week for 18,000 points you can borrow the 18,000 points from the next Use Year allotment to go with the 10,000 points that you do not want to lose in the current Use Year. Borrow the points, make an internal reservation, cancel the reservation, and deposit 28,000 points with your assigned exchange company.


Biennial or EOY points

An owner of a Biennial point contract has a Use Year with a start date of Jan 1 and an end date of Dec 31 every odd year or every even year.  The biennial allocation of points has to be fully used within the 12 month Use Year. Do not let them expire!

TIP:  You may be looking for a Biennial or Every Other Year (EOY) contract re-sale or through Wyndham.  If so, it is probably because you vacation every other year. But, every now and then you may want to take a vacation in the year that you do not receive and allocation of points.

By taking advantage of the Express Reservation window during the year you do not receive and allocation, you can borrow points from the upcoming Use Year.  For 90 days or less, prior to check-in, in the year you do not receive and allocation of points you always have the option to reach into the next Use Year and borrow points or you can rent points to get your vacation.

TIP:  When buying re-sale you can find sellers trying to sell or auction an EOY odd year and an EOY even year as a single transaction. By taking advantage of such a deal you can effectively acquire the same points every year and reduce your acquisition cost. If you are charged a closing fee, it should be just one fee although there should be two transfer fees payable to Wyndham. When you own a biennial point contract the future points can be used for ARP at your home resort 13 months before the check-in date within the Use Year that the points will be allocated.

 

Note:  If you acquire a biennial ownership you will receive the points every other year. But you are responsible for your Club WyndhamSM Plus assessments every year. The assessment is one half of what the same assessment would be annually for a regular year contract. If you purchase a biennial contract from the developer and later buy more retail points to get you to VIP level, only half of the biennial allocation will count toward your VIP status every year.

 


Cancelling a Wyndham Reservation
 

TIP:  When and if you acquire Wyndham points make your reservations as far in advance as possible while the inventory is available in quantity.  If, after a booking, your plans change you can cancel your vacation. To cancel you can do so at the Wyndham reservation web site

www.wyndhamvacationresorts.com or contact a Vacation Counselor (VC) at 1-800-251-8736.

 

Note:  As an owner of points, if you cancel a reservation 15 days or more prior to the check-in date, the points used for the reservation will be returned to your account as “cancelled reservation points.”  Cancelled reservation points will expire at the end of your Use Year; but they can be used prior to the last day of your Use Year for all current programs except: 
  • Conversion to Maintenance Dollars
  • ARP Reservations
  • Points Credit Pool
  • Rotating Priority List

 

TIP:  The loss of the above programs is not of major concern because use of those programs has to have occurred before your Use Year began or early in the Use Year. What is important to know is the fact that if you have to cancel your reservation within the 14 days prior to the check-in date, the points you used to make the reservation are forfeited.  Don’t let that happen!   
TIP:
  If you as an owner make a reservation within the cancellation period (less than 14 days before check-in), Wyndham will allow you until the end of the same business day to cancel the reservation without forfeiting your points. If the reservation is cancelled during that business day, the points are returned to your account as cancelled reservation points.

 


Points Credit Pool

Sometimes life and work get in the way; but planning can go on.  If, when considering your next Use Year plans you anticipate that you may not fully utilize the points allocated for that year, consider putting some or all of the up-coming Use Year points into the Club WyndhamSM Plus Points Credit Pool. The fee is $39.00 and the benefit is the availability of those points for up to three years after the date of deposit into the Points Credit Pool.  Making such a proactive move before your Use Year starts provides a way to manage and conserve your points and your Housekeeping Credits for future vacations.

Since the Points Credit Pool is not something that every Wyndham owner would appreciate and benefit from, I have decided to provide more detailed Tips and insight in Article IX.  If you have no interest at this time in the Points Credit Pool you very well may have interest at a later date. At that time re-consider Article IX because you may find some TIPs that may prove helpful.


TIP:  If you are a “Newbie” or someone who wants more information about how to use the Wyndham system in addition to these articles, I recommend that you read the Primer for Timesharing in Wyndham Resorts – Source: Wyndham Resort Forums at this link:

http://forums.atozed.com/viewtopic.php?f=1337&t=4185



Footnote:

If, you have any inquiries regarding how to use Wyndham’s product features or benefits consult Wyndham’s written documents and materials including the resort directory for additional information about how to use the product.

 

Wyndham Forums on TUG




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