Timeshare Users Group Forums
TUG Links external to TUG BBS:    TUG Home| TUG Resort Databases| Marketplace | TUG Help | Advice | Join TUG  

Timeshare Users Group Bulletin Board
Go Back   Timeshare Users Group Forums > Timeshare Resort Systems > Starwood Vacation Ownership
Log into the TUG BBS:

Starwood Vacation Ownership Discussions about the Westin / Sheraton branded Timeshare network

GLOBAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
TUG Turns 20 Years Old! Read More

Free Timeshare Exchanges on TUG! View current exchanges!

Free TUG Newsletter! Sign up today!

TUG Banner Travels the World! Follow the Banner!

 
Forum Jump


Reply « Previous Thread | Next Thread »
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old May 3, 2012, 08:49 PM   #26
jarta
TUG Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Feb 1, 08
Location: Chicago
Posts: 2,916

Resorts: FS Aviara (X2), WLM (X3), WKV, WMH, Harborside & Starwood 5* Elite
michael, ... One last thing about credit cards and the concept of "buying."

I consider that you buy SPs when you give Starwood money or something of demonstrable worth and you get back SPs. As I stated, you can have an effective cost if you trade your annual MFs paid at a place like Lagunamar of around 1.6 cents per SP.

I think you should consider that there is a reason a lot of vendors don't accept American Express cards for a credit card transaction. That's because AmEx charges higher fees for the transaction than Visa or Mastercard. http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2009/0...ocessing-fees/

If AmEx (or anyone else) charges 3% on the transaction, it gets 3% off the top (without counting renewal fees, interest or late payment fees). In effect, you give AmEX 3% of the purchase price and you get SPs equal to a cost of 3 cents (not 1 cent) per dollar of transaction processed. (The actual numbers are a lot more complicated. Westin 5 Star can run you through it. He says he owns a processing company.)

And, if you don't think the prices of the vendor for the goods and services are increased to cover the processing fees, you are sadly mistaken. The vendor does not eat the fee with a decreased profit margin. It's passed on to you through a higher price.

There is no free lunch and, any way you look at it, you are paying something to Amex for those SPs. And, it's a lot more than 1 cent per SP. (Why would AmEx be so generous with the SPs if it was losing money by doing so?)

http://truecostofcredit.com/372542 Salty

Last edited by jarta; May 3, 2012 at 10:24 PM. Reason: Add 2nd link
jarta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2012, 09:00 PM   #27
sptung
 
sptung's Avatar
TUG Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Dec 5, 10
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,419
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveS1 View Post
I wanted to add something to answer the question from OP. I received my SPG Amex card in February. I received the initial 10,000 bonus SP right after my first use of the card, it went to my SPG account right away even before my first statement. However, I never received the additional 15,000 bonus SP and I have long since charged $5000. I called Amex, and I called Starwood to ask about my eligibility for the additional 15K bonus SP and they said the system shows that I am not eligible, that my bonus is only 10K I already received.

Although I didn't print the screen when I applied, I was pretty sure the promotion hadn't changed since Feb. So then I reviewed the promo carefully, looked carefully at the terms and found this statement about the extra 15K SP bonus included in the fine print:

"You must use your Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card to complete $5,000 of eligible spending by the end of your first six months of Cardmembership, based on the date of your Card approval. 15,000 Starpoints will be credited to your account 8 to 12 weeks after you reach the spend threshold. Offer not available to existing consumer American Express Card members. "

So I am pretty sure it was the last sentence of these terms that got me. I *did* have another Amex card which I canceled only after receiving the SPG card.

Just a warning, it isn't clear in the promotion, but if you have another Amex you may only get 10K SP bonus, not the full 25K bonus.

Other than that the card has been "as advertised", I did offset this mistake by getting a card for my spouse.
I have several active Amex cards when I enrolled. I remember it was $15K within 6 months to get the next 15K bonus and I received the full 25K bonus when I hit $15K within 3 months. I wonder in Feb when you were enrolled if it was $15K or $5K as the way it is currently stated on the website. You may want to call them to check and chock up to $15K before 6 months is up.
sptung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2012, 11:34 PM   #28
Ken555
 
Ken555's Avatar
TUG Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Jun 7, 05
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 6,380

Resorts: Westin Kierland, Sheraton Desert Oasis
Keep in mind that many would consider the opportunity cost of the money used to purchase the mandatory week which is used in conversion of a week to StarPoints. It's not as simple as assuming the maintenance fee directly converts to StarPoints and is a specific, easy to determine, amount. It's actually quite higher, since Starwood has your money which you spent to purchase the deed. This is why converting is still a developer purchase (or requal) benefit, and not available to all. It's just not as simple as some would make you think. The StarPoints I acquire from AMEX are a direct benefit, and comparable to a cash back card or other direct replacement. I have not purchased a real property deed which use I am converting in lieu of use, such as is done with the conversion of a week to StarPoints.

Last edited by Ken555; May 3, 2012 at 11:37 PM.
Ken555 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4, 2012, 06:39 AM   #29
jarta
TUG Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Feb 1, 08
Location: Chicago
Posts: 2,916

Resorts: FS Aviara (X2), WLM (X3), WKV, WMH, Harborside & Starwood 5* Elite
"It's not as simple as assuming the maintenance fee directly converts to StarPoints "

But, it is just that simple. The maintenance fee directly converts to SPs. By paying the MF and complying with the rules, you have the right to use the week - or rent out the week to someone else to make money - or trade into WKORV from SDO using II and save money - or, if you are in the SVN, bank the StarOptions for use somewhere else - or, again if you are in the SVN, convert to SP.

Why do renting for a profit and using II to trade receive unanimous approval on this forum as having value but converting is felt to have no value?

I think it is because only SVN members have the ability to convert and the non-SVN members here are jealous of the great value over MF cost that can be obtained by conversion to SP. So, they pooh-pooh the benefits of converting to SP. After 4 years of demonstrating the value of converting to SP and nobody challenging the math, it's just sour grapes, IMO.

Off to sunny SoCal this morning to use some converted SPs! Salty
jarta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4, 2012, 11:55 AM   #30
Ken555
 
Ken555's Avatar
TUG Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Jun 7, 05
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 6,380

Resorts: Westin Kierland, Sheraton Desert Oasis
Nonsense. Of course, others will understand that you quoted out of context. My only point is that you don't even admit that there are other costs other than the MF when everyone else understands that you need to pay Starwood for the deed in order to convert to StarPoints, and that the expense for that deed should be accounted in some fashion. StarPoints acquired thru hotel stays or credit card usage have no similar up front expense, and therefore are as simple as they seem. Converting a timeshare to StarPoints should include some increase in cost of the points for the actual money spent for the deed, without which you wouldn't be able to convert in the first place. Of course, once you have the deed converting is a simple process...after all, Starwood wants you to buy more developer weeks (at huge profit for SVN).

I wouldn't have replied at all had you only included that there are other associated (and required) expenses which need to be made in order to convert to StarPoints when you mention conversion. Your incomplete statements often discuss the benefit of the conversion without the required developer purchase, which can easily paint a partial picture of truth. I suggest you just be more complete with your summary in future so readers understand fully what is required in order to convert a week to StarPoints.

And, note that I am not taking about the relative merits of converting the week to timeshare here, only that I believe your posts should be accurate in regards to what is needed, per Starwood, in order to make the conversion in the first place. Your only reference in this thread is:

Quote:
Converting doesn't recoup all the money that I spent for my only developer purchases, the Lagunamar weeks. But, converting substantial StarOptions to air miles each year helps make lemonade from the lemons. I figure I'll be working with free timeshares in about a dozen more years.
Even simply including 1/20th of the initial purchase of the week (or perhaps less, since you could argue it's actually less since you retroed a week with the purchase) would add value to your posts by being more complete and objective than they are now.

Last edited by Ken555; May 4, 2012 at 11:59 AM.
Ken555 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4, 2012, 12:06 PM   #31
mstoyanov
TUG Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Jan 4, 09
Posts: 260
I am sorry jarta but it is not that simple. It will be THAT simple if you could buy WLR for $1 and then only pay MFs to convert to SP but when you have to spend $20k on something that drops to almost $0 you can not ignore depreciation and opportunity cost associated with it. And whether you buy this WLR from developer to convert to points or to rent or to exchange it is the same. What makes it bad financial decision (at least for me) is not what you plan to do with WLR (convert to SP, rent, exchange) but the sunk cost of developer purchase.
The opportunity cost of $20k loss is at minimum 3% each year (for me it is more than 5% since my investment return is >5%) and that loss is compounded each year. So by wasting $20k on EOY WLR I am also looking at minimum $600 opportunity cost ($1000 for me personally).
So the true cost for me is more like $2200 for each use year and it is guaranteed to rise (due to MFs increase and compounding on opportunity cost) while the value of points will continue to drop.

I can easily afford to go all the way to 5* but I will never do it since it doesn't make financial sense for me. And this has nothing to do with "envy" or "jealousy" but simply common sense. Of course everyone is free to spend his/her money the way he/she sees fit but when you try to justify this as a good financial decision then there is no way I am not going to criticize it on the actual financial grounds. Maybe there are other non-financial benefits for you that apply to your personal decisions but please don't try to sell it to me as making sense financially.

As for people obtaining these points from credit cards - you have a point that cost of CC rewards is passed to consumers as higher prices but unfortunately many(most that I tried) big chain stores does not give you discounts for paying cash. I have tried it for example with Home Depot and Lowes for larger projects and they will not give me 3% discount for paying cash (which is funny because they had no problems giving me 10% for a coupon at the same time). So for us consumers it makes sense to go with credit cards that gets the best benefits and to base our valuation on these accrual rates.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jarta View Post

But, it is just that simple. The maintenance fee directly converts to SPs. By paying the MF and complying with the rules, you have the right to use the week - or rent out the week to someone else to make money - or trade into WKORV from SDO using II and save money - or, if you are in the SVN, bank the StarOptions for use somewhere else - or, again if you are in the SVN, convert to SP.

Why do renting for a profit and using II to trade receive unanimous approval on this forum as having value but converting is felt to have no value?

I think it is because only SVN members have the ability to convert and the non-SVN members here are jealous of the great value over MF cost that can be obtained by conversion to SP. So, they pooh-pooh the benefits of converting to SP. After 4 years of demonstrating the value of converting to SP and nobody challenging the math, it's just sour grapes, IMO.

Off to sunny SoCal this morning to use some converted SPs! Salty

Last edited by mstoyanov; May 4, 2012 at 12:07 PM. Reason: spelling
mstoyanov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4, 2012, 12:13 PM   #32
YYJMSP
 
YYJMSP's Avatar
TUG Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Apr 2, 09
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 1,474

Resorts: WKORV, WKORVN, SVR (Cascades, Spas), WLR, WDW -- SVN 5 Star Elite
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken555 View Post
Even simply including 1/20th of the initial purchase of the week (or perhaps less, since you could argue it's actually less since you retroed a week with the purchase) would add value to your posts by being more complete and objective than they are now.
In my particular case, my cost per StarPoint is 2.2c just based on the 2012 MFs, or 4.1c if you include amortizing the up-front costs over 20yrs.

Obviously, a huge difference -- it basically doubles the numbers being thrown around.

I suspect other owners may have a slightly better ratio, as we have 5 developer + 3 requalified weeks, so we're a little high on the up-front cost.

So, when they offer you the chance to purchase StarPoints at ~2c, it's a good deal in comparison to converting weeks.
__________________
Upcoming: Vancouver, Ventura, Dana Point, Hawaii, Puerto Rico? USVI?, Portland?, Whistler?
YYJMSP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4, 2012, 02:09 PM   #33
LisaRex
 
LisaRex's Avatar
TUG Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Mar 10, 07
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 5,419

Resorts: SVV EOY odd 2 bdrm platinum
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken555 View Post
Even simply including 1/20th of the initial purchase of the week (or perhaps less, since you could argue it's actually less since you retroed a week with the purchase) would add value to your posts by being more complete and objective than they are now.
That (1/20) is the figure I use, too. I have to say that it does make me chuckle to see some posters bragging about their incredible ROI by only using the cost of MFs in their equation:

Salesman: "You should buy this Lexus SUV because it's really cool, super convenient...and 25% more affordable than taking the bus."

Customer: "MORE affordable? How's that?"

Salesman: "It's easy. Just do the math and compare your daily costs. It costs $2, or $4 per day, to take the bus the 10 miles to and from work. For the same $4, you can buy one gallon of gas. This car gets 25 miles to the gallon. By driving, you're getting an ADDITIONAL 5 miles per dollar! That's 25% more!"

Customer: "Wow. That sounds great. But I don't have to buy the bus. I have to buy the car, in order to take advantage of that great gas mileage. Right? I mean, you're not going to GIVE me the car, are you?"

Salesman: "No, but once you write us the check for $50,000, or better yet -- put it on terms and finance it over 6 years -- you'll forget all about the upfront money. Out of sight; out of mind!"

Customer: "Have you included the cost of repairs in your equation...?"

Salesman: "Listen, the point is that it's not always about MONEY. Sometimes you have to think about your IMAGE. You're too good to ride the bus. This car is not just convenient; it's luxurious! Sooo much nicer than taking a bus. Look, it has leather seats, and personalized climate zones, not to mention really spiffy cup holders."

Customer: "I do enjoy a good cup holder."

Salesman: "And if you buy from us, we'll also enroll you in our Elite Club for no additional charge."

Customer: "That sounds impressive. What is that all about?"

Salemsan: "Well, for starters, whenever you stop by the dealership for oil changes, you can use this special, dedicated "elite" lane. Plus, all the attendants will start out the conversation by saying, "Welcome back, Mr. Elite Club member."

Customer: "Finally, the respect I've yearned for, but have never gotten because I'm a cantankerous, ill-mannered contrarian!"

Salesman: "As an Elite Club member, you'll also be entitled to 10% off our oil changes, which are only marked up 200% vs the ordinary garage down the street."

Customer: "That's got to add up over the years."

Salesman: "I know. I mean, with all these savings, we'll be writing you a check soon!"

Customer: "Let me ask you this. I've seen this very same car advertised in my local paper for only $35,000. Same make, same model, same year.

Salesman: "Yes, and while that may SEEM like a fantastic deal on paper, do you really want to spend your life driving around in a car that was in someone else's name first?"

Customer: "Does it really matter? I mean, who would know?"

Salesman: "The oil change people would know because there's a little crown icon next to your name if you're an Elite Club member."

Customer: "Mmmm."

Salesman: "Wait a minute. I haven't even begun to explain about our Elite Exchange program, where we ask you to give up your Lexus SUV for a week, in exchange for 3 days in a Mini Cooper."

Customer: "It's going to take a lot of sugar to turn that sour lemon into lemonade."

Salesman: "Well, let me just say..." (waggles his eyebrows) ...that the Mini Cooper is in Paris!"

Customer: "I love Paris!"

LisaRex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4, 2012, 03:18 PM   #34
pianodinosaur
 
pianodinosaur's Avatar
TUG Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Jun 6, 08
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,773

Resorts: HGVC SeaWorld, HGVC Las Vegas Strip, Marriott's Mountain Valley Lodge
I have an SPG AmEx. It comes in very handy when I want to stay at a Starwood resort for a meeting. We do not own a Starwood TimeShare nor have we ever exchanged into one but that may change. I have had my card since 2004 and now have about 100,000 points. We are planning our first redemption next year.
__________________
Pianodinosaur
pianodinosaur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4, 2012, 04:19 PM   #35
Ken555
 
Ken555's Avatar
TUG Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Jun 7, 05
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 6,380

Resorts: Westin Kierland, Sheraton Desert Oasis
Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaRex View Post
That (1/20) is the figure I use, too. I have to say that it does make me chuckle to see some posters bragging about their incredible ROI by only using the cost of MFs in their equation:
Nicely said
Ken555 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4, 2012, 06:07 PM   #36
DavidnRobin
 
DavidnRobin's Avatar
TUG Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Dec 20, 05
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 6,914

Resorts: Westin St. John (WSJ) x2; Westin Ka'anapali (WKORV); Westin Kierland (WKV) x2; Westin Princeville (WPORV) EOY
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken555 View Post
Nicely said
Agree - and (LR) I really enjoyed reading the Lexus analogy.

In addition with the SVO cost factor for ROI (as said) - it cost more to travel that just airfare and lodging - including having the available time-off (since time=$ for folks that work and have limited vacation). Plus, SP value depends on how may you already have or need to use (which depends on the ability to use them - versus other methods - like using FF miles, other hotel points, or cash).

It is correct that SPs likely cannot be bought from SVO for less than 1.85cents/SP - this is why I do not buy them and pass on these great 'deals' - (especially the standard 10% discount off of 3.5c/SP) and accumulate them using the AMEX-SPG card instead (~300K now). An analysis done on SPG FT - put the value of 1.35c/SP for airlines with a 1:1 exchange under normal conditions, and I tend to agree with that.

If I did have a need - I would considering purchasing SPs for <=2c/SP, but only if I could find usefulness in redeeming them (vs. other methods of obtaining flights or hotels - miles/cash/etc.). However - I [meaning... ME] only put a nominal use value of ~2.25 cents per SP, and if I get more value (which I often do)... then, gravy. My value of 2.25c/SP prevents the natural tendency of using fuzzy math to justify their worth - and also agrees with a low-end consensus use value from experienced SPG FT travelers.

IMO - YMMV

PS - pianodinosaur - careful not to let the SPs expire.
__________________
- David
DavidnRobin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4, 2012, 07:16 PM   #37
jarta
TUG Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Feb 1, 08
Location: Chicago
Posts: 2,916

Resorts: FS Aviara (X2), WLM (X3), WKV, WMH, Harborside & Starwood 5* Elite
pianodinosaur, ... Those who don't use SPs creatively pooh-pooh their value in use all the time. They are so clueless they don't even realize that SPs earned by hotel stays and credit card use (like yours) never expire. Don't be frightened by the naysayers who do not use and, therefore, do not know. Enjoy spending the SPs - any time you decide to. Salty

Last edited by jarta; May 4, 2012 at 07:29 PM. Reason: Add credit card
jarta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4, 2012, 09:51 PM   #38
MichaelColey
 
MichaelColey's Avatar
TUG Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Jun 4, 10
Location: Mansfield, TX
Posts: 4,158

Resorts: Summer Bay Orlando (3BR LO), Palace View Branson (4 Lockouts), Grandview (Points), CMV (UDI), DVC (SSR 25)
A classic, Lisa! Love it!
__________________
Upcoming: Branson, Hawaii, Orlando, RTW Trip?
MichaelColey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 2012, 01:06 AM   #39
J&JFamily
 
J&JFamily's Avatar
TUG Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Jul 9, 09
Location: So Cal
Posts: 214

Resorts: Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas North; Grand Pacific Palisades
Excellent Summary

Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaRex View Post
because I'm a cantankerous, ill-mannered contrarian!"
Priceless!!!
J&JFamily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 2012, 01:23 AM   #40
Lulubelle
 
Lulubelle's Avatar
TUG Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Jul 20, 05
Location: Moreno Valley, CA
Posts: 22

Resorts: WMH, AKV, GCV
I just wanted to say that I love my Starwood Amex. I have accumulated many points over the years and used it for several Sheraton/Westin stays. Regardless of the analogies, it works for me.
Lulubelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 2012, 12:13 PM   #41
DeniseM
Moderator
 
DeniseM's Avatar
TUG Lifetime Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Jun 6, 05
Location: Northern, NV
Posts: 38,328

Resorts: Starwood-WKORV, SDO, & SVR, Roark Vacation Club, Kingsbury Crossing, Edinburg Residence, 7 x Kauai Beach Villas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lulubelle View Post
I just wanted to say that I love my Starwood Amex. I have accumulated many points over the years and used it for several Sheraton/Westin stays. Regardless of the analogies, it works for me.
Hi Lulubelle - No one here will disagree with you about credit card points, but many of us feel that converting one's timeshare to points is a poor value.
__________________
Aloha!
DeniseM
TUG Moderator

my webpage
DeniseM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 2012, 12:16 PM   #42
DeniseM
Moderator
 
DeniseM's Avatar
TUG Lifetime Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Jun 6, 05
Location: Northern, NV
Posts: 38,328

Resorts: Starwood-WKORV, SDO, & SVR, Roark Vacation Club, Kingsbury Crossing, Edinburg Residence, 7 x Kauai Beach Villas
Lisa - You are a hoot!

Quote:
Customer: "Finally, the respect I've yearned for, but have never gotten because I'm a cantankerous, ill-mannered contrarian!"
__________________
Aloha!
DeniseM
TUG Moderator

my webpage
DeniseM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6, 2012, 09:30 AM   #43
ValleyGirl
TUG Member
 
BBS Reg. Date: Nov 24, 08
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 73

Resorts: WPORV-2BR OF OY X 2 & 2BR OF EY; WLOR-2BR OF ANN; WRMV-2BR X 2; 5* and Done
Me Too

Wanting to add my 2 cents, trying very hard not to quote and thereby ruffle feathers, gain another valuable increase in my "total post #" and caveating with the obligatory IMO!

I feel the above discussion looks at the SP cost/value issue from different sides of the door (one side labeled "Entrance" and the other "Exit").

I believe the math fully supports never buying/"Entrance" a TS from a developer and using all the salesperson's fuzzy math/reasoning to overcome your objections and thereby allowing for an emotional decision. That said - I agree with the 1/20th purchase price added for cost/value when trying to determine the cost of exchanging a week for SPs in the general sense.

"On The Other Hand" (Ref - Nationwide commercial)
If one already owns a timeshare, and is already obligated to pay mx fees then:
When one finds they cannot use their week/"Exit", cannot sched a convienent time, wish to give a vacation at a different location to a family member then banking, exchanging for SPs, deposit to II, or renting provide different alternatives for valuing your decision and Salty's valuation is also accurate.

The CC issue seems to go down a similar trail - again if you are going to use a CC and there is no difference in price whether you use cash or credit - then you simply use the CC that provides you with the most value. For most on this BB that would be AMEX SPG.

I will hold myself back from a further discussion of exchanging for Airline Miles!

Last edited by ValleyGirl; May 6, 2012 at 09:37 AM.
ValleyGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:06 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.8.7
BBS Software Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Editorial Content Copyright ©1993 - 2014, Timeshare Users Group
Customized for TUG by Makai Guy.