Posted on August 04, 2020
Timeshare operator Wyndham Destinations has announced the creation of a new branded division of the company designed to significantly grow its travel business.
Called Panorama, the new division will bring in the company’s exchange, rental and technology businesses under one new umbrella.
Regarding exchange, you may already know that RCI has been under Wyndham’s control for a number of years now. What you may not know is that RCI purchased competitor Dial an Exchange (DAE) in 2017. DAE will be renamed 7Across under this new arrangement, with the high end exchange platform The Registry Collection also coming under the new banner.
The company’s online rental platform, Extra Holidays, will also be included, as will consumer platforms Love Home Swap and TripBeat. Travel technology platforms @Work International and Alliance Reservations Network (ARN), also owned by Wyndham, are also part of this equation and appear to be undergirding the move toward consolidating these brands into a streamlined, travel-related consumer business.
From the public statements and articles written about this, it appears that Wyndham is looking to create a super-sized, travel club-type operation that will move beyond its traditional exchange and timeshare business. Olivier Chavy, the newly-announced president of Panorama and, most recently, president of RCI, explained in a press release that “our strategy is to expand beyond our core and legacy timeshare business into the broader travel market.”
The company also announced the creation of Panorama Travel Solutions to do just that, offering discount travel membership clubs outside of its traditional market structure to businesses such as banks and retail outlets in the U.S. and beyond. Thanks to its newly acquired tech entities, it is in a position to create significant, tailor-made programs for these new customers.
This could mean millions in additional revenue for the company, which reportedly made $898 million collectively in 2019 from the businesses mentioned above.
What this means in the long run for existing members of RCI and Wyndham timeshare owners remains to be seen. According to HotelBusiness.com, Wyndham is planning to rebrand RCI in some fashion which would be an extraordinary move after RCI has held such a dominant positon in timeshare exchange over the past 45 years. Currently with 3.9 million members, over five million people used RCI for vacations last year according to the website.
In theory, this could be a major benefit for RCI and Wyndham members, if they are provided with the new benefits that will be released over time. RCI members already have access to travel products such as cruises (when the ships are actually cruising), discounted hotel stays, flights and rental car bookings. The brand has an estimated 4,200 resorts in its network, but expanding beyond these affiliates could mean even more choice in vacation accommodation options for its membership.
What this definitely means is a shot across the bow for Marriott Vacations Worldwide and its own band of brands such as RCI’s top competitor, Interval International. Wyndham has put them, and the rest of the timeshare industry, on notice that they are planning to significantly expand beyond their current structure to go after more travel-related market share. This, even with Wyndham now considered the largest timeshare company in the world with nearly 900,000 owners.
It’s still too early to assess the potential success of this new endeavor, especially as the travel industry is still in the throes of the COVID pandemic. Give Wyndham credit for even pondering such a bold move considering that so many travel businesses are struggling to survive. Perhaps that is the underlying cleverness of the move, to step in using its corporate pockets and position itself now to expand.
Timeshare has always had a built-in advantage over its hotel brethren due to the pre-paid nature of the business. Leveraging that advantage now could reap big rewards sooner rather than later.
Wyndham points in the Club Wyndham timeshare program can be rolled over in a couple of ways. By using the Points Deposit Feature offered through Club Wyndham, points can be deposited for use in a future use year up to two years out from the current use year. The timeframes allowing for this feature vary depending on the status of the owner, with Standard status owners allowed to deposit into future years at any time up to three months into the current use year. The timeframe incrementally increases with the higher status levels, with VIP Platinum and VIP Founders members allowed to deposit their points into future years at any time during the current use year.
Another way to rollover Wyndham points is to deposit them into your RCI account. Wyndham points deposited into RCI are available for use for two years from the time of deposit – allowing you to use them to stay at one of the 4,200 resorts within the global RCI network.
A Wyndham timeshare cost really depends on whether you buy directly through Wyndham or through the discounted timeshare resale market. Wyndham estimates that the average cost to buy a Wyndham timeshare is about $21,000 but, because they have so many different packages available, this would estimate the average cost for a week’s worth of Wyndham timeshare. Points packages vary depending on the level of membership and the amount of points purchased and remember that the most popular resorts at the highest demand seasons require more points.
On the timeshare resale market, the costs are significantly lower because there are no sales commissions and marketing costs included, which increase the resort retail prices. Wyndham timeshare resale packages can go for under $10,000 for a week’s worth of vacation points, so it is definitely worth looking for value on the resale market before buying Wyndham timeshare points.
Yes, the Margaritaville Vacation Club is one of the Club Wyndham timeshare ownership programs that falls under the management of Wyndham Destinations. Margaritaville Vacation Club owners have a home resort designation in one of the Margaritaville timeshare resorts, giving them a preferred early booking window at their home resort of 11-13 months in advance of the requested vacation dates. Owners can then exclusively book a stay at any of the other Margaritaville resorts within 10-11 months before the vacation dates. After 10 months, owners can book at any of the Club Wyndham resorts in the program, subject to availability.
If you are talking about Wyndham timeshare points, the best way to stop your Wyndham points from expiring is to use them during your use year. Wyndham points are issued each year on the quarterly cycle based on the anniversary date of your purchase. You have a year to use them, either over a week or by splitting them up into shorter stays or long weekend getaways.
Another way you can keep them from expiring is by using the Points Deposit Feature which lets you save your points to be used for vacations in a future use year. You can also deposit your points with RCI and use them up to two years in the future.
Remember that you will get a new package of Wyndham points each year, so by depositing your points to be used in the future you can essentially double your points and upgrade to larger units or next level seasons.
This primarily depends on your desired resort, the time of year you want to vacation and the size of the unit you need for your family or traveling group. The number of Wyndham points you need can also depend on the length of your trip, since you can break up your points use over multiple shorter-stay trips rather than using them all for a full week’s worth of vacation time.
As an example, a stay for a week in Orlando at Wyndham Bonnet Creek can range from 84,000 points for a one-bedroom unit during Value season to 224,000 points for a two-bedroom unit during Prime season. The same Prime season two-bedroom unit can go for 27,000 points a night from Sunday to Thursday, so you can get in a three- or four-night stay for less points. This is why choosing the time of year, duration and unit size for your vacation is so important.
Looking to hit the beach in Panama City on the Florida Panhandle? A studio unit over summer at Wyndham Vacation Resorts Panama City Beach can set you back a minimum 126,000 points. Hitting the ski slopes in Park City? Try 250,000 points for a one-bedroom unit during the best ski weeks at Wyndham Park City. A bit of Vegas excitement? Wyndham Grand Desert can set you up in a two-bedroom deluxe unit for 182,000 points during High season.
By now you get the idea. Once you’ve decided on a particular area and time of year you want to vacation, give our licensed agents a call on 877-624-6889 and we can help you find the number of Wyndham points you need for great vacations.
The first thing you will need to do is make sure you have an active account with RCI. Remember that although Wyndham and RCI are technically part of the same company, they operate independently so you will need to activate an RCI membership to deposit Wyndham points to RCI.
As a Wyndham points owner, you will have access to an RCI membership as part of your ownership, but you will be indirectly paying for your RCI membership through your annual club dues paid to Wyndham. Therefore, it is not actually a free RCI membership, even though it may appear to be. Wyndham weeks owners pay a separate RCI membership like any other timeshare owner.
Once you access your RCI membership, you would deposit your Wyndham points into your RCI account in order to use them to reserve accommodation. Remember you can search for an available timeshare accommodation first before depositing your points, but once points are deposited it is considered a final transaction and all points and associated booking and exchange fees are non-refundable.
Your points would be credited to your account and you can place your booking request for your accommodation into the reservation system. You’ll receive confirmation for your request and can begin planning your next vacation. Any follow up questions would be directed to RCI.