CWA versus Deeded Points

Q. What is the difference between Access points and deeded points?

A. Deeded points (aka Wyndham Select) are points deeded to a specific resort. That deed is in the name of the owner. Access points, are Club Wyndham Access points. Club Wyndham Access (CWA) is a trust. The trust holds the deeds to those points that make up the trust, and the Owners have a membership to the trust. They do not hold any deeded property. Some people like to hold “real” property because Wyndham has less control over what you own, and more control over the trust. In a way they are right, however, Wyndham still has to abide by the terms of the trust. They also have to publish a public offering statement which gives it more visibility. It’s not as easy as you might think, to change things in the trust. They can do some changes, but whatever they change, has to adhere to the terms of the trust. Aside from that, two main differences might affect you.

Advance Reservation Priority (ARP). At 13 months from check-in, CWA owners have ARP booking at 68+ resorts. What the salespeople leave out, is that the ARP is limited to CWA designated inventory only. They cannot book deeded inventory at 13 months. Deeded owners at a resort have ARP to deeded inventory only. They cannot book CWA inventory in the 13-month booking window. However, at 10 months from check-in (the standard booking window), both deeded and CWA owners can book deeded and CWA inventory. So, the ARP window is the only time booking privileges that are different. Once the 10-month window opens up, it’s all fair game. If you never intend to book more than 10 months out, you don’t need this benefit. The public offering statement that they give new owners, lists all the resorts that participate in the trust, and how much “interest” they have in that particular resort. You have to do some digging and calculations to determine percentages. At the time of this writing, Bonnet Creek was 27% CWA, and Canterbury was less than 1%. Those percentages are general. That 27% number is not consistent. The interest is spread out unevenly throughout the year and in specific units. The public offering statement details which units they have interest in and what week that interest is in. So summer break inventory might only be 5% CWA or 50% CWA. The inventory could consist of mostly one-bedroom or mostly four bedrooms. There is no way of knowing which will work best for you at any given time, but CWA does at least get you 13-month booking rights at more resorts. Whether that gives you an advantage, varies by resort and who is trying to book at the same time you are. The directory has a list of CWA participating resorts.

Maintenance fees – A lot of people believe that the CWA maintenance fees are the average maintenance fees of CWA participating resorts. It’s not. It’s the average of all the maintenance fees paid on those points. To put it another way, for easy math, let’s say the trust consisted of two resorts. Resort A’s maintenance fees are $1 per 1,000. Resort B’s maintenance fees are $2 per 1,000. If the maintenance fees were the average of the maintenance fees of the resorts in the system, the average of those two resorts would be $1.50 per 1,000. That would be right if each resort had the same number of points in the trust, but they do not. So, let’s say Resort A had 1000 points in the trust and Resort B had 2000. The total maintenance fees on all 3000 points would be $5. Divide that by 3,000, and you get $.166 per point or $1.66 per 1,000 points. See the difference? If they were only charging $1.50 per 1,000, they would only get $4.50. That’s not enough to cover all the fees for the points in the trust. Now times that by hundreds of millions of points. For this reason, if Wyndham keeps adding high maintenance fee resorts to the trust, it will increase maintenance fees at a higher rate than the actual resorts. Many will opt to go with a low maintenance fee resort instead. If you never book more than 10 months out, you should consider buying a low maintenance fee resort. The salespeople may claim that the maintenance fees will go up 300% next year and you need to buy CWA to stabilize your maintenance fees. I’ve heard that one personally. The fact is, they have no way of knowing how much it’s going up unless they own there. Even then, the annual budgets do not come out until the fall. So, if it’s summer break, and they are trying to tell you, they know what it’s going up to, it’s safe to say they are lying. Sadly, this is a tactic that is used at many timeshare sales offices. It’s not exclusive to Wyndham and is not used by all salespeople. Sometimes, brokers will make the same claims, because they were former timeshare salespeople. Even if it was going up 300%, think about what your maintenance fees would be, and then compare it to the $30,000+ they want to spend to exchange it. Be sure to factor in the additional maintenance fees on the new points. Do your math. Don’t let the salespeople confuse you with their math.

There you have it. It boils down to, Will you be booking more than 10 months out? If the answer is no, CWA does not give you any additional advantage. If you go with deeded, either choose a low maintenance fee resort, or one that you might want ARP to. Daytona Bike Week, Mardi Gras, New Year eve in New York, would all likely need to be booked as far out as possible.

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