This Guide is broken into several parts: How It Works, Different Worldmark Programs & Incentives, Critical Issues (Sales Pitch), and The Last Word. If you are only interested in understanding how Worldmark works, you can read How It Works and skip the rest. Thank you.
How It Works
Before jumping into the mechanics of Worldmark, a little bit of clarification on the names might be appropriate. Worldmark is officially known as Worldmark, the Club. Worldmark, the Club was originally developed by Trendwest Resorts. Trendwest was purchased by Cendant and absorbed into their hospitality division. Cendant renamed their hospitality division Wyndham Worldwide. Currently, Worldmark is being re-branded as Worldmark by Wyndham. You might see several different references to Worldmark: Worldmark by Wyndham; Worldmark by Trendwest; Worldmark, the Club; or simply Worldmark. In any case, the same timeshare is being discussed and Owners will simply refer to it as "Worldmark".
Points Based System
Worldmark is a pure points based system (Worldmark refers to their points as "Credits"). Every year, you receive a specified allotment of Credits that you can use however you wish. You are allowed to choose which resort you would like to visit (Worldmark has 61 resorts in their network), the size unit you need (from Studios to Penthouses), the length of stay (as little or as long as your Credits will allow), when you would like to go, and you can make a different choice each time you use it. One of the primary advantages to owning Worldmark should be obvious: flexibility.Every Owner receives their annual allotment of Credits on their anniversary date (the first day of the month in which you purchased). They have up to two years to use their Credits (unused Credits roll into the next year). Owners are also allowed to borrow from the following year's Credits. The chart below shows how Credits would be issued for a 10,000 Credit Ownership with a December anniversary month.
10,000 Credits 10,000 Credits 10,000 Credits 10,000 Credits
As the chart shows, the Credits are received every year. This goes on into perpetuity (forever). Credits issued in December of 2007 would not expire until December of 2009. As an example, if you used only 6,000 of your 10,000 Credits in 2007, then you would have 4,000 Credits that would roll over into 2008, giving you a total of 14,000 Credits available to use in 2008. If, in 2008 you needed more Credits than you have available, you could borrow Credits (up to your annual allotment) from 2009. You can only borrow from the next year's Credits. You cannot, for example, borrow the next two years worth of Credits.
The lowest level of ownership is 5,000 Credits and there is no real upper limit to how many Credits you can own. You can upgrade or purchase more Credits at any time, the only requirement being that they are bought in thousand Credit chunks. So, you could not go from owning 5,000 to 5,500, but would have to upgrade to at least 6,000. You can purchase as much at a time as you like, i.e. 1,000 or 15,000.
The amount of vacation time a specified number of Credits translates into depends on how you use those Credits. A couple of examples will suffice (for a more comprehensive list of resort Credit Values, visit the Worldmark website directly).
Worldmark Angels Camp, located in Angels Camp, California has three seasons (High, Mid, and Low). Below is an example of how many Credits it uses:
1 Bedroom Mon-Thur Fri-Sat Sunday TOTAL
High 1,000 1,450 1,100 8,000
Mid 700 1,125 950 6,000
Low 450 825 550 4,000
As the chart indicates, if you were to stay in Angels Camp on a Tuesday nigh for just one night during High Season, it would use 1,000 Credits. If you were to take a two night get away during Low Season, say Friday and Saturday, it would use 825 + 825 = 1,650 Credits. To stay an entire week during Mid Season would use 6,000 Credits. In general, a week long stay during High Season would use:
8,000 10,000 12,000 14,000
Again, it is best to visit the Worldmark website directly to see the Credit Values for individual resorts. In any case, Seasonality is different for each resort and is subject to change.
Worldmark also allows Owners to use the resorts without using Credits. Instead, they can opt to pay a preferred rate per night. Currently, the rate is 4.4 cents per Credit. So, if a one night stay uses 1,000 Credits, you can opt to not use Credits and instead pay 4.4 cents x 1,000 = $44.00. There are some limitations to Bonus Time. The maximum stay is 4 nights in a row. Bonus Time is unlimited during weekday stays, however Worldmark does limit the number of weekend Bonus Time stays to one per quarter (and a weekend stay must be for a minimum of two nights). A weekend is defined as any night that includes a Friday or Saturday. You can book a Bonus Time vacation no more than two weeks in advance. Because of the limitation of being able to book only two weeks in advance, availability is extremely limited and almost non-existent in the more popular destinations. Bonus Time, within the limitations, can be used as often as you like.
When you own a timeshare, you usually enroll in an exchange company. This allows you to trade the time in your resorts for time in other resorts that belong to the exchange company. If you go to a presentation at a Wyndham Sales Office you will automatically be enrolled in RCI (Resort Condominiums International). RCI is the primary exchange company offered by Wyndham. Actually, there are two primary exchange companies; RCI and II (Interval International). Membership in either exchange is optional from year to year. You can belong to II, RCI, both or neither each year. In this author's opinion, the primary difference between the two exchanges are this: RCI offers more resorts and locations while II offers higher quality resorts and locations. As any seasoned timeshare owner can tell you, many timeshares belong to both exchanges. Each exchange company offers plenty of locations and choices. The details of timeshare exchanges are beyond the scope of this Guide. For more information it is best to visit their websites directly.
When you exchange your Worldmark Credits with RCI and II, you must do so in weekly chunks. The chart below shows how many Credits are needed for one week depending on season and size.
Size Studio 1 Bedroom 2 Bedroom 3 Bedroom
Red (High) 8,000 9,000 10,000 12,000
White (Mid) 6,000 7,000 8,000 9,000
Blue (Low) 4,000 5,000 6,000 7,000
Instant 4,000 4,000 4,000 4,000As the chart indicates, if you were to select a One Bedroom Unit during Mid Season, it would use 7,000 Credits for the week. Any unit booked 45 days or less in advance is called an Instant Exchange and is only 4,000 Credits regardless of size or season. In addition to taking your Credits, there is an exchange fee for each week exchanged (under $200).
Travel Share is a new program offered by Wyndham. Travel Share is a benefit you cannot resell and cannot purchase on the resale market. However, any Worldmark Owner can purchase more Credits from Wyndham directly, and those Credits would be Travel Share "qualified". Below are the benefits of having Travel Share.
EXTENDED BONUS TIME
If you own Travel Share "qualified" Credits you are allowed to book Bonus Time up to three weeks in advance (Owners who do not own Travel Share can only book up to two weeks in advance). However, if you are booking in that third week out, you do not pay the normal 4.4 cents per Credit, but you pay a rate of 7 cents per Credit. This could be a real advantage if you utilize Bonus Time often and regularly.
One of the benefits of Travel Share is that you get automatic enrollment into RCI (Resort Condominiums International) every year. This is partially true. When attending a sales presentation at a Wyndham Sales Office, they will show you various Credit Packages, all of which are Travel Share "qualified". They will also show you one maintenance fee. If you purchase, it will be during the document signing that they will break up the maintenance fee accordingly. You will discover that Travel Share costs right around $7.00 per month, or $84 per year. RCI membership costs $89 per year. You are getting a small discount, but RCI will offer discounts also if you opt for a multi year sign up. Actually, Worldmark initially offered RCI to new Owners, then switched to II (Interval International). When Cendant purchased Worldmark, they switched back to RCI. The reason is straight forward, Cendant owns RCI and they were losing millions to II sign ups and renewals. If you purchase a Worldmark timeshare (either resale or retail) you can choose to be a member of either RCI, II or both. Membership is optional each year. In this author's opinion the difference between the big two exchange companies is as follows: RCI tends to have more resorts and locations, while II tends to have higher quality resorts and locations. A seasoned timeshare owner will notice that many timeshares belong to both exchanges. The author is currently a member of II.
USE OF AFFILIATE RESORTS
Credits which are Travel Share qualified have access and use of Affiliate Resorts. That increases the network of available resorts by 26 resorts (most of the affiliates are in Australia and a few across the US). The difference in resale prices (roughly $0.70 per Credit) versus retail prices ($1.90 per credit) does not justify the advantage, because you can trade into the affiliate resorts for a fee (less than $200 per week). For example, if you purchased 10,000 Credits on the resale market it would cost you roughly $7,000. If you purchased the same package in a Wyndham Sales Office and purchased Travel Share "qualified" Credits, it would cost you $19,000. The difference is $12,000.
DISCOUNTS ON HOTELS
Remember, Cendant owns Wyndham Worldwide (Worldmark is part of Wyndham). Wyndham Worldwide owns or franchises a variety of hotel chains. As of this writing, the hotels are: Super 8, Days Inn, Ramada, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Travel Lodge, Baymont Inn and Suites, Wingate by Wyndham, Howard Johnson, AmeriHost Inn, and Knights Inn. Presumably, as part of Travel Share, you can stay at Wyndham Worldwide hotel chains and receive a 10%-20% discount. This discount is difficult to ascertain, because hotel rates are constantly changing and you can find rock bottom rates on these brands if you search the Internet. However, the advantage of this benefit is not certain. If one assumes that the average rate at these hotels is $100 per night, and you stay 10 nights a year, you'll save $200 per year. This author is not sure that a price difference (from the prior section) of $12,000 is worth any potential hotel savings.
TO TRAVEL SHARE OR NOT?
The decision to go with Travel Share or not is a personal decision. However, even if you purchase a resale, you can still phone the Wyndham Upgrade Department and purchase Travel Share "qualified" Credits (minimum purchase is 5,000 Credits). If you go to a sales presentation at a Wyndham Sales Office, they will present you Travel Share Credits priced at $1.90 per Credit. So a typical package of 12,000 Credits would be priced at $22,800. Eventually, they will show lesser packages (10,000 Credits - 6,000 Credits). However, if you mention the resale market, they will offer you a special program - 5,000 Credits for $1.78 per Credit with a one year price freeze to buy an additional 5,000 Travel Share "qualified" Credits also at a $1.78. The total for this rock bottom package would be: $17,780. However, you could purchase a resale package of 6,000 Credits for roughly $5,000 then call Wyndham Upgrades and purchase an additional 5,000 Travel Share "qualified" Credits for $1.78 - the total cost for this package would be: $13,900 and you would own 11,000 Credits. The savings would be $3,880.
TRAVEL SHARE - AN OWNER'S OPINION
This author has owned and enjoyed Worldmark for nearly 7 years. I do not own any Travel Share "qualified" Credits. I am happy with my Worldmark timeshare and have no plans to upgrade. However, an interesting question is the WHY of Travel Share.
Travel Share is a new program offered by Wyndham. The resale market was really non-existent prior to the Internet. Most developers never gave much thought to the impact of resales on their bottom line because they knew that timeshares were, essentially, impossible to resell. Due to the Internet, there is now a vibrant and active resale market for timeshares. It did not take too long for developers to notice - it started to severely impact their sales and profits. In response, many developers have attempted to introduce programs that you cannot resell. Travel Share is one of those programs. It is clearly motivated by greed and it is not in the best interests of the Owners (particularly older Owners who should have been grandfathered into the program - but that would have cut down on upgrade sales). Unfortunately, what developers don't realize is that this will do nothing to curtail the resale market. The reason being is that it does nothing to curb the desire or need for an individual owner to sell. The purpose then is obvious, to make resale packages less attractive. The true effect for the developer is not an increase in sales, but a decrease in the value and prices for existing ownerships and resales.
Although the above may seem like a rant, it is important to understand why Travel Share is a benefit you cannot resell and cannot purchase on the resale market. Again, any Worldmark Owner can purchase more Credits from Wyndham directly, and those Credits would be Travel Share "qualified". (Any existing Worldmark Owners are encouraged to contribute to this opinion, positive or negative. You may do so by contacting us through eBay at: Timeshare Village. For more information, I would suggest that you visit the Worldmark website and also do a Yahoo! or Google search on the term "wmowners", which is a great discussion board devoted to Worldmark.
Different Worldmark Programs & Incentives
This section will be short. You have four different programs available.
- The Worldmark Credit packages as described above.
- The Worldmark Credits that are Travel Share "qualified" (again, described above).
- The Residence Club.
- Eagle Crest
The only programs that need some explanation is the Residence Club and Eagle Crest. The Residence Club was a Trendwest exploration of the Fractional Timeshare market. Fractional Timeshares differ from regular timeshares only in the amount of time you purchase (instead of weeks, you purchase "fractions" of a year - 1/12, 1/6, 1/3, 1/2, etc.). The Trendwest Residence Club was a Fractional offering available at the Depoe Bay Resort and the Lake Tahoe South Shore Resort. You purchased at least a month and it was deeded. The Residence Club Fractionals are convertible to regular Worldmark Credits that can then be used like regular Worldmark Ownerships.
Eagle Crest is where Worldmark started. They sold deeded weeks and fractionals in that location. These are convertible to Worldmark Credits in the same way as the Residence Club Ownerships.
Critical Issues (The Sales Pitch)
- Timeshare Village is a California based Corporation and a LICENSED Real Estate Brokerage. Many firms pass themselves off as real estate agents - but always check to see if they are a Licensed Broker. Only a Broker has the knowledge and experience to handle your transaction correctly.
- The Managing Broker for Timeshare Village is a Worldmark Owner and an expert in how to use Worldmark Ownerships. We have agents that can help you decide if Worldmark really is the timeshare for your vacation needs. It might not be the right fit. Contact us so we can help you decide. If Worldmark isn't right for you, we can help you find the timeshare product that works.
- Since the Ownership has been properly verified, you can be sure the description in the listing you are purchasing is accurate.
- You are making an important purchase. You want to be sure the transfer of Ownership is legal and is handled properly.
- Timeshare Village has spoken to numerous timeshare owners who thought their timeshare was paid off and all fees brought current. Having a Licensed Broker verify the timeshare, you can be confident you will not be saddled with unexpected delays or worse yet, end up inheriting unpaid fees and expenses.
The Last Word
As the Managing Broker for Timeshare Village and an Owner of Worldmark, I certainly hope you found this Buyer's Guide useful. I thoroughly enjoy my Worldmark Ownership and believe it is a great product. However, timesharing isn't for everyone and saying that one timeshare is necessarily better than another doesn't quite make sense. It all depends on how you like to vacation and your particular needs. Our goal is to become the number one reseller of Worldmark timeshares, and timeshare in general. We feel that this will be best accomplished in a very simple way: offer our clients the best in service, the utmost in integrity, and great value. If you would like to contribute to this Guide, please, don't hesitate to contact us. Thank you and happy vacationing!
PLEASE NOTE: Trendwest, Trendwest Resorts, Cendant, Wyndham, Wyndham Worldwide, Worldmark, Worldmark, the Club, Worldmark by Wyndham, II, RCI, Interval International, Resort Condominiums International, Super 8, Days Inn, Ramada, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Travel Lodge,
Baymont Inn and Suites, Wingate by Wyndham, Howard Johnson, AmeriHost
Inn, and Knights Inn are all Trademarks of their respective companies. By writing this guide, Timeshare Village is in no way implying a relationship to any of the entities mentioned in this guide. This guide is provided for informational purposes only. One should not rely on this guide to make any buying decision, and should fact check all figures and statements. All information is provided as opinion only. Timeshare Village, Inc. is an independent company offering timeshare products and services on the secondary or resale market.