Newcomers to timeshare might well be confused by all the options that are now part of the timeshare repertoire. There are so many terms to contend with like fixed week, rotating week, fractional ownership, points, vacation clubs, trading power and so on, that it is no wonder that people get confused by timeshare.
In short, there are two basic concepts in time share, blocked week purchases and points systems. Today, you can usually opt for either one (unless you join a vacation club directly where you will buy points) and both have their advantages.
The history behind blocked weeks versus points
The original time share model was to sell blocked weeks, whereby you would be the owner of a week or more in a particular property. For many, this was perfect as timeshare owners would guarantee the dates they wished to travel every year and get to own a vacation property at an affordable price.
As vacation trends changed and people began to want to visit a variety of destinations, vacation clubs became more popular, allowing blocked week owners to exchange their timeshare with other timeshare owner in different destinations worldwide. In these cases, you could swap like for like properties but could not upgrade by banking your timeshare week for the following year.
Out of this desire for more flexibility came the points system. In the timeshare points system, you buy the equivalent points for a certain level of membership and types of accommodations, and can then use those points for a range of different locations offered by your timeshare chain or exchange the points through a vacation club. A points timeshare membership gives you the freedom to divide your time share week into two or save your points for the following year to stay in a more luxurious unit or destination. In reality the points system rose out of the desire for flexibility.
Benefits of Points and Blocked Weeks
While the benefits of timeshare points is clear thanks to their flexibility and ease for making exchanges, blocked weeks continue to attract owners who want to visit the same place each year and who enjoy the familiarity of returning to what really is their second home. Likewise, if you have very limited vacation time, having accommodation for the dates that you wish to travel guaranteed is a great benefit. Fixed week timeshares provide the security that you have your vacations planned way in advance. This is particularly advantageous if you wish to travel during peak times such as Christmas, spring break and the summer school vacations.
Whether the points system is better than blocked week, is essentially a matter of opinion and knowing what you need from your timeshare membership. On the whole, the points timeshare system suits more people and is certainly more attractive for younger owners, however, it all depends on what you are looking for from your purchase.