TUG - THE Timeshare Users Group - providing the truth about timeshares since 1993!
Contact TUGJoin TUG now!Search All of TUG!
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER ... Sir Francis Bacon         
Timeshare Vacation Club Information!
This article is meant to provide a quick overview (and warning) about Timeshare Vacation Clubs!

TUG Banner Ads .. click for details on this banner program

Should I buy a Timeshare Vacation Club?

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.

What 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.
  • You 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.

*These 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.

So 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!

In terms 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

Now that 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!

Interval International (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 affiliated resorts!

A 3rd 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.

A Last 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!

Why didn't they mention this in the presentation?

Thats 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 if you want to ask specific questions, with more than 65,000 other Timeshare owners and experts, no question goes unanswered!


Why become a TUG member?

  • Ratings and Reviews from Timeshare owners of over 5000 Resorts 
  • Free Timeshare Classified Ads and Exchanges
  • Online discussion forums with tens of thousands of owners and experts to answer all questions
  • Hundreds of Timeshare Advice articles covering all topics
  • You want to learn the Truth about Timeshares and avoid being ripped off


and Sell, Rent or Exchange your Timeshare for free!

-Click to learn more-

Timeshare Users Group
Send comments/feedback by email to: tug@tug2.net   Copyright 1993-2013 Timeshare Users Group
PO Box 1442, Orange Park, Fl 32067
Phone: (904) 298-3185

page updated Oct 2013  by B Rogers - Send email regarding this page to tug@tug2.net