The short answer is
"NO" as it is the general consensus on TUG is that Timeshare Vacation
Clubs a poor value for your vacation dollar for a number of reasons
that will be defined in this article below.
is a Timeshare Vacation Club anyway?
The term "Vacation Club" is used in a variety of different places in
the Timeshare Industry today! It is important to distinguish
between the two major categories. The one we are focusing on
in this topic are the Vacation Clubs that provide a "membership" only
product that allows you access to properties not specifically owned or
operated by the club itself.
It is these clubs that merely provide (for a fee of course) the promise
of extremely cheap or discounted vacations within a huge range of
resorts or destinations, none of which are actually owned or operated
by the "Vacation Club" itself.
The pitch usually sounds something like this:
- You are asked to pay a significant purchase price
(usually in the $thousands)
- You may or may not be obligated to pay an annual fee
to continue your membership
- You are offered a fixed number of vacations to choose
from each year from their "pool" with your membership.
are offered a number of other "discount" options ranging from travel
rebates, to discounted airline tickets/miles/promotions, etc etc
- You may or may not be offered to "trade in" your
existing Timeshare to join this group.
are not to be confused with Timeshare Memberships that actually
provided deeded weeks or points, or Right to Use intervals at resorts
that are owned or operated by the Club or Resort Developers themselves.
why are Vacation Clubs a bad purchase?
First and foremost, you are being asked to pay for something that truly
has no product. You don't actually own anything but the
"right" to attempt to reserve a vacation from their pool of "discount
intervals". The pitch from most of these clubs is that you
can "travel anywhere you want" for huge discounts off the normal retail
price for that vacation! Right off the bat you are being
asked to pay upfront for a product that is promising you nothing more
than a chance to reserve a vacation at a cheaper price than if you
tried to book it on your own.
The main reason these clubs are a poor value for your money (if we
have not already convinced you that paying a significant sum of money
right off the bat to own absolutely nothing is a bad idea), is that in
most cases the inventory these clubs provide you access to is already
available at these same discounts to anyone for a significantly cheaper
membership fee (interval international) or completely free to the
general public (RCI Endless Vacations).
You see, Timeshare exchange companies have huge amounts of unused
Timeshare weeks both provided from the resorts they partner with, and
excess inventory from their Exchange Pools (opinions vary on how many
of these weeks get moved from the exchange pool to the rental side, but
thats a discussion for another time. This means there are
countless Timeshare Vacation Weeks available directly from them
at any time!
Do I need
to own a Timeshare
to get these discounts?
Yes and No!
of RCI, they have a website that is open to the general public that
allows anyone to have access to their discounted vacation packages, its
located here: RCI Endless Vacation Rentals
said, you can also purchase an RCI membership and have access to even
more discounted vacations that go by the name "Last Calls".
These are rentals available at huge discounts that are
generally going to expire within the next 6 weeks. These can
be had for as little as $129 for the entire week (prices vary)!
All are available to anyone with an RCI membership, however
you must own at an RCI resort to purchase an RCI membership!
Luckily there are literally thousands of RCI resorts for sale
on the resale market for pennies on the dollar (and many even
completely free to purchase), thus making your initial investment
significantly less than the many thousands of dollars the Vacation Club
was offering you! Or you can just use the public rental
website above without owning anything!
(II) has a variety of discounted vacation
options for their members, including "Getaways" and "Last Minute Deals"
that are roughly the same concept as the RCI system above, just for II
option is to join Dial an Exchange (membership is
free) and they also
provide access to deeply discounted vacation weeks much like RCI and II
do above, you can own any timeshare with any affiliation and become a
member of DAE for no cost.
option is to RENT your timeshare vacations from existing Timeshare
owners. There are a huge number of Timeshares available for
rent in the TUG Timeshare
Marketplace and a variety of other legitimate Timeshare
Rental outlets. This option includes the lowest initial cost
($zero), the least amount of obligation ($zero), and the widest
selection of resorts to choose from! It is also the suggested way to
get into Timesharing for those with little or no experience with them!
didn't they mention this in the presentation?
an easy one, if they would have done so, you wouldn't be
interested in purchasing the Vacation Club package they were trying to
sell you! You will find that in most instances, extremely
important details about a purchase are left out during the sales
presentation, this however is not unique to the Vacation Club itself,
you will find this situation in many a regular Timeshare Sales
presentation as well. After all, its the salesmans job to
sell you on the positives to get you to buy, not educate you on the
negative. This is why TUG exists to give you ALL of the
information so you can make the correct decision before spending your
hard earned money!
The Final Word!
Vacation Clubs are certainly one option to get into the Discount
Timeshare Vacation world, however we hope we have explained in
this article how they are for the most part, a very poor value and
under very few circumstances would we suggest an individual enter into
one of these programs without completely exploring exactly what you are
getting before you sign any contract!
Feel free to stop by our Timeshare Online Community Forums
want to ask specific questions, with more than 65,000 other Timeshare
owners and experts, no question goes unanswered!