When you purchase a timeshare, you are usually given a choice of buying a blocked week or points, although more and more timeshare resorts are moving towards points-only for new customers. The concept is very similar, you buy either the equivalent points to use a week in your vacation home or the rights to use a specific week only.
The reason that timeshare points were introduced was to make timeshare more flexible for owners and to facilitate exchanges. You buy points equivalent to the value of a week or more in a particular level of accommodation – one bedroom suite, two bedroom penthouse etc. You have the choice of using these points each year in the same kind of unit in the same resort or you can exchange your points for other options. In effect, one timeshare week can then be divided into two shorter vacations or your points saved (banked) for the following year so that you can stay in a bigger or more luxurious unit.
Timeshare points can also be easily transfer to vacation clubs so that you can stay in resorts all over the world and benefit from the ever increasing options offered by vacation clubs like RCI and the Registry Collection. Vacation clubs now offer cruise exchanges too. Therefore, more and more blocked week owners are opting to change their week into points for greater flexibility.
There are however, benefits to owning a blocked week, especially if you only wish to stay in the same resort every year. When you buy a fixed week you are guaranteed the dates specified on your contract and you do not have to worry about missing out on great accommodation. This is particularly beneficial if you have bought a timeshare week during peak times like Christmas and spring break.
Blocked weeks also provide owners with a pleasant vacation routine, whereby they will form a community with other blocked week owners that use their timeshare during the same weeks. Knowing your neighbors gives you a sense of truly arriving to your second home!
On the whole, there are benefits to both schemes, although the points scheme tends to serve modern vacation needs better and offers greater value for money in the long term.