My name is Syed Sarmad and I’m the Principal Broker for Advantage Vacation. We are a licensed real estate company specializing in the timeshare resales. Our office is located in the Lahaina Cannery Mall in Lahaina, Maui.
Today I would like to discuss StarOptions. StarOptions is a benefit extended to Starwood timeshare owners who purchase a timeshare interest directly from Starwood or purchase a timeshare resale at a Mandatory resort or if they purchase a timeshare resale at a Voluntary resort and then subsequently have their transaction “retroed” through Starwood. In other words, they have StarOption benefits.
When you have StarOption benefits you can exchange or internally use these StarOption benefits at any Starwood Vacation Ownership property up to 8 months in advance. Based on the number of StarOptions you have you can use any number of days and you can make reservations for as little as a couple days at a time, your check-in and check-out days can be any day of the week, there are no restrictions as far as whether you have to check-in on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
You can also bank or “roll over” your StarOptions. If you are a single week owner you have to do it by July 1st of that calendar year and there is a $99 fee that you pay. That would give you a full two years to use it through the Starwood Vacation Network system. For example, if you purchased a timeshare and you banked your unused StarOptions in 2015 you’d have until December 31, 2017 to use your banked options.
If you have multiple timeshares and you are a 3 or 4 Star Elite member then you can bank these options by October 1st of that year and there is a $79 rollover fee. If you are a 5 Star Elite member then you can bank your StarOptions by December 31st of that year and there is no rollover fee.
There are a couple things to keep in mind about banked options – you can use them at any resort including your own home resort. Now in a place like Hawaii, especially like Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas or Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas North, you can only make those reservations 8 months in advance. Therefore, when you make reservations a maximum of 8 months in advance, your view is not guaranteed. In other words, any reservations made less than 8 months in advance – your view isn’t guaranteed. So, when you use your banked options, those StarOptions can only be used to make reservations up to a maximum of 8 months in advance.
Now a couple things to keep in mind when you are selling your timeshare. The banked Options expire on resale – in other words the Seller doesn’t get it nor does the Buyer get it. However, if you’ve got banked options and you are selling your timeshare and you make reservations and have a confirmation for that – include that in your sales contract to that buyer stating that these reservations with that confirmation number remains with you. Then Starwood is given notice and these banked options and the reservations that go with the banked options remain with you. That is the only way you will be able to keep banked options – otherwise they will expire on resale and neither the buyer nor the previous owner will get to keep them.
The other final thing to keep in mind is, if you cancel your reservation less than 60 days in advance, Starwood’s policy is that you can only make reservations within that 60 day time frame, you cannot bank those StarOptions. And finally, when you make reservations – if you are going to borrow StarOptions, you can call up Starwood, pay your maintenance fees for that future year and make reservations with your banked options. If you’re going to use it in the current calendar year you can do that on line or use it for the following year.
Once you bank your StarOptions you cannot use them in that calendar year of that use – you’d have to use it in the following two years, anytime in the following two years.
You can view the StarOptions Defined video below:
Click on the following link to find information regarding the 3, 4 and 5 Star Elite Memberships:
For additional information, check out our blog resources:
Buying a Westin timeshare resale on the secondary market is much less expensive than purchasing direct from the developer because of the fact that the developer incurs marketing costs that are passed on to the consumer. It is the developer who sets the price on the retail market.
On the secondary market of timeshare resale, prices are determined by individuals and current market conditions. A timeshare interval should be purchased for enjoyment. The purchase of a Westin timeshare resale ensures that you will be able to vacation and spend quality time with your family and friends each year. You might want to think of it as vacation insurance for all your future vacations!
Syed Sarmad, Principal Broker for Advantage Vacation