An Overview of the Hilton Grand Vacations Club (HGVC) Timeshare Points System

Hilton Grand Vacations Company, LLC (HGVC) markets and operates the Club, which is a points-based vacation ownership and exchange system that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilton Worldwide, formerly known as Hilton Hotels Corp. HGVC also provides property management services to Club and Affiliate resorts. At the date of publish, there are 50 HGVC affiliated resorts worldwide!

Hilton Worldwide was purchased in July 2007 by the Blackstone Group LP (stock ticker symbol BX) in a deal valued at $ 26 Billion. Blackstone also owns a number of other well known companies including Universal Studios Parks, Legoland, Madame Tussauds, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, Allied Waste, Pinnacle Foods, and even the Weather Channel!

Early History of the Brand:

In 1919 Conrad Hilton went to Texas to take advantage of the oil boom. When he arrived, he found the local hotels so overbooked that he could not secure a room! One hotel owner told him that he wanted to sell. Within a week, Conrad had put together an investment group and purchased the Mobley Hotel in Cisco, Texas. Business continued to boom and the next year Conrad purchased two more Texas properties, the Melba Hotel in Fort Worth and a hotel in Dallas named after the famous Waldorf. Thirty years later, Conrad came full circle when he purchased the lease on the actual Waldorf-Astoria!

Conrad's ambition and business savvy created an empire of wealth so vast that even the legendary spending of his second wife Zsa Zsa Gabor and great granddaughter Paris Hilton have not made a dent in the family fortune! Today, this behemoth brand owns, manages, and franchises thousands of hotels and the Hilton name continues to be one of the most recognizable in the world.

The Timeshare Resorts:

HGVC destinations offer both developed and affiliated resorts. Most people do not realize, but only a few timeshare resorts have actually been built and developed by the Hilton brand. The majority of Hilton Grand Vacation Club properties are actually affiliate resorts. These resorts were developed by other companies, and then later entered into an affiliation agreement to participate in the Club. HGVC manages many of the affiliated resorts, but not all of them. Regardless of the original developer, you can be assured that all affiliated resorts conform to the high standards and renowned luxury of the Hilton brand, earning numerous award designations such as RCI's coveted Gold Crown rating!

Affiliation and reciprocal usage agreements are always subject to future change, but at the time of writing this article the HGVC vacation destinations include:

Carlsbad, California: • Grand Pacific Marbrisa • Grand Pacific Palisades • Carlsbad SeaPointe Resort

Palm Desert, California: • Club Intrawest Palm Desert

Breckenridge, Colorado: • Valdoro Mountain Lodge

Orlando, Florida: • HGV Club at SeaWorld International Center • HGV Club on International Drive • Parc Soleil by Hilton Grand Vacations

Miami Beach, Florida: • HGV Club at South Beach

Stuart, Florida: • Plantation Beach Club at Indian River Plantation Resort

Captiva Island, Florida: • The Cottages at South Seas Island Resort • Harbourview Villas at South Seas Island Resort • Plantation Bay Villas at South Seas Island Resort • Plantation Beach Club at South Seas Island Resort • Plantation House at South Seas Island Resort • South Seas Club at South Seas Island Resort

Fort Myers, Florida: • SeaWatch on the Beach Resort

Marco Island, Florida: • The Charter Club of Marco Beach • Club Regency of Marco Island • Eagle's Nest Beach Resort • Sunset Cove Resort • The Surf Club of Marco

Sanibel Island, Florida: • Casa Ybel Resort • Hurricane House Resort • Sanibel Cottages Resort • Shell Island Beach Club Resort • Tortuga Beach Club Resort

Sandestin, Florida: • Club Intrawest Sandestin

Island of Oahu, Hawaii: • Grand Waikikian • Hilton Hawaiian Village- Kalia Tower • Hilton Hawaiian Village- Lagoon Tower

Big Island of Hawaii, Hawaii: • HGV Club at Waikoloa Beach Resort • King's Land by Hilton Grand Vacations • Bay Club at Waikoloa Beach Resort

Las Vegas, Nevada: • HGVC at the Flamingo • Hilton Grand Vacations Club Las Vegas • HGVC on the Las Vegas Strip

New York City, New York: • The Hilton Club New York • West 57th Street by Hilton Club

British Columbia, Canada: • Club Intrawest Whistler

Quebec, Canada: • Club Intrawest Tremblant

Cancun, Mexico: • Fiesta Americana Villas Cancun

Acapulco, Mexico: • Fiesta Americana Villas Acapulco

Los Cabos, Mexico: • Fiesta Americana Villas Los Cabos

Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico: • The Explorean Kohunlich

Zihuatanejo, Mexico: • Club Intrawest Zihuatanejo

Vilamoura, Portugal: • Hilton Vilamoura Vacation Club

Coylumbridge, Scotland: • Hilton Coylumbridge

Craigendarroch, Scotland: • Hilton Craigendarroch

Dunkeld, Scotland: • Hilton Dunkeld

Introduction to Ownership, System Rules, and Usage Strategies:

The First Rule of Timeshare is that ownership should never be considered a financial investment in real estate. Timeshare properties do not generally appreciate over time. Often, the only true gauge of a timeshare's value is your usage and enjoyment of the property, and in the photos and memories of your incredible vacations!

You should never make an impulse purchase for any type or vacation ownership program! Also, take time to consider the secondary or resale market. Purchasing a timeshare interest on the secondary market from a current owner who no longer uses their ownership can save you thousands on your purchase price. Some benefits may not transfer via the resale market, so you'll have to compare the positive and negative aspects carefully before buying. Finally, purchasing from an experienced and respected brokerage is the safest way to ensure you have all the information you need to ensure the timeshare you purchase provides you with years of great vacations!

Ok- now on to specific info about the Hilton Grand Vacations Club system …

The Club is in reality just a point based reservation system. Club members receive a point allotment based on the villa type and season they own (or have reserved in some cases) at their home resort. As with any point system, proper planning can greatly enhance your usage and satisfaction. It's important to understand the different ownership types available, the benefits of ownership, the basic rules of the system, as well as some strategies that current owners utilize to maximize their usage and enjoyment.

Ownership Types:

When learning about this system, the distinction between HGVC developed resorts and HGVC affiliated resorts becomes important. The ownership and usage rules may be quite different depending on which home resort you own. For example, some of the affiliated resorts located in the southwest region of Florida were originally sold as fixed week timeshares. For fixed and event week ownerships, the home week is automatically reserved each year unless the owner cancels the reservation. Most HGVC developed and built resorts are all sold as floating week timeshares. The underlying ownership is always based on the home resort. Because of this, usage strategies will vary slightly based on your home resort.

The deed itself may also vary from resort to resort. Some ownership documents show a specific week and unit, even if they are just used for inventory purposes. HGVC at Seaworld is an example of this type of deed. Other ownership deeds do not have an assigned week and unit, but instead show a usage type in a specific villa size. HGVC on International Drive uses this second type of deed format. Finally, when you consider the international affiliates Fiesta Americana resorts in Mexico- these properties are sold as non-deeded right to use leaseholds with a specific expiration date when your usage will end.

Also, it's very important to understand that Elite Status designation can not be obtained via resale purchases and that not all affiliate resorts allow the Club membership rights to transfer on the resale market. For example, the Carlsbad affiliates do not allow the HGVC point usage to transfer to a buyer but the Fiesta Americana contracts do allow the point usage to transfer. Another distinction is that some affiliates require a $ 399. reconversion fee be paid to Hilton after the transfer deed is recorded, in order for the new owner to be enrolled into the Club and have the ability to convert their week into Club points. If you are not sure what type of ownership exists at a specific resort, consulting with an experienced real estate broker or associate is something that you need to do before you buy! Contact us with any questions you may have.

Seasons:

This is another area which can often be confusing to newbies! Generally, there are four main season names that are used by HGVC: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. The particular weeks that fall within these seasons will vary depending on the resort. Some locations will have all four seasons, while others may only be divided into two or three seasons. The real confusion begins with a few of the affiliates. Some affiliate resorts were originally sold with different season designations than those used by Hilton. Also, a few of these resorts may have a float season that encompasses weeks which fall into different HGVC season designations. It's possible that an owner may have the ability to reserve a week in part of the platinum and also the gold season. For these ownerships, the amount of Club points the owner receives may actually vary from year to year depending on the actual week that is reserved. The good news is that this example is the exception rather than the rule.

Club Point values The for the weeks, seasons, and sizes for each unit The Club resort can be found in the published Member's Guide Http://www.hiltongrandvacations.com/mg/ . Most resale buyers tend to focus on the Hilton built properties, to avoid confusion and ensure they receive a consistent number of Club points each year.

Exchange Options:

There are different ways to exchange your ownership week for another resort. The easiest way is often simply using the Club points to reserve at another Club affiliate. To go outside the Club, a third party exchange system must be used such as RCI, Interval International, or a smaller system such as SFX Resorts. Your home resort will determine which exchange systems you have access to as an owner.

Fees:

Maintenance fees are determined each year based on the overall operating budget of the home resort. Fees can vary widely from one resort to another, and these assessments will vary from year to year. Maintenance fees will increase over the years. You should always consider maintenance fees before making a decision to purchase, and should compare fees between several resorts as part of your research. In some cases, the annual fee can actually be more important over time that the negotiated purchase price!

Generally, the unit type and size determines the base maintenance fee amount, not the point allotment. A one bedroom villa in the platinum season will be assessed the same base maintenance fee as a one bedroom in the silver season. Only the property tax is likely to vary because of the season, so the tax assessment does create a slight difference between the one bedroom platinum and the one bedroom silver. It's often a good buyer strategy to purchase a 1 bedroom platinum season ownership rather than a 2 bedroom lower season week, even if the 1br villa has a higher purchase price! Your brokerage can help you compare different scenarios to determine which property best meets your needs and your budget.

There can also be some differences in when fees are paid from resort to resort. A good example of this is can be seen in ownerships at the Bay Club at Waikoloa. For a Bay Club owner to borrow points from a future usage year, they will have to prepay an estimated amount for the next year's maintenance fees (any difference from the estimate is paid or credited at the time the fees are actually billed). International owners at Craigendarroch can not prepay, so are unable to borrow from a future allotment. An owner at HGVC at SeaWorld can borrow next year's points without paying the equivalent annual dues as long as their account is current at the time of reservation.

Club dues must also be paid each year. For most resort, members living in the US and Canada are currently charged $ 99. while members living outside the US or Canada are currently charged $ 139. (West 57th owners are charged $ 197. And $ 232. Respectively). Members who own a US resort and also an international resort may be required to pay Club dues for each account as the two systems may not be able to be combined into a single billing account. This is very rare and seems to be a system glitch rather than intentional.

Finally, point systems also have incidental fees that may be charged for various services and transactions such as making club reservations, point rescue, changeable option reservations, guest certificates, and RCI exchange system deposits. It also is a good idea to ask about resort specific fees such as parking fees and tourist taxes prior to confirming a reservation. If you are not aware prior to arrival, parking fees at destinations like New York and South Beach can be quite a surprise!

Reservations:

Hilton Grand Vacations Club has five reservation types.

Home Week Reservations are a full seven night stay in the exact unit type and season owned at your home resort. Reservation can be from nine months up to one year out of your check in day. The required check in day varies from resort to resort. Because owners get a longer reservation window at their home resort, it's often a good idea to buy at the resort you believe you will use most often, in the unit and season that best meets your future plans. Home week reservations have the greatest opportunity at finding availability, other than fixed and event week ownerships.

Home Resort Reservations are currently only available to owners of the West 57th by Hilton Club resort in New York City. There is no minimum stay requirement for these reservations, but the reservation must be made at the West 57th resort. These reservations may be made from 45 days up to nine months in advance of the check out date.

Club Reservations can be made up to nine months prior to the requested check out date at most resorts. Club reservations must be for three days or greater in duration. Reservations can be made at most resorts during this period (West 57th in New York for example, only allows Club Reservations to be made up to 44 days prior to the check out date) and all points owners have an equal opportunity to get reservations. You can reserve any type of villa, and in any season- only being restricted by the number of points that you own!

Open Season Reservations can be made at most resorts (West 57th is excluded) up to 30 days prior to your date of check out and require only a two day minimum stay. These reservations are paid for with cash, but at rates that are heavily discounted! Currently, the 1br open season reservation rate is $ 80 / night for Sun-Thurs and $ 100 / night for Fri-Sat reservations.

Hilton Honors Reservations are reservations made via the Hilton Honors system. All HGVC members are given Silver VIP privileges in the Hilton Honors program. Owners can choose to deposit their ownership week into the Honors program in return for Honors points which can be used for a variety of services and hotel accommodations into affiliated Hilton brands. These deposits must be made more no later than December 31st of the year prior to receiving the points. (In other words, the points for the 2010 use year would have to be deposited prior to Dec. 31, 2009). Trading your timeshare ownership week for hotel stays is not generally a strategy that is recommended, but a few owners find this perk to be beneficial.

Point Charts:

Please review the Member's Guide for the latest point charts and season calendars.

How To Be Successful Selling Timeshare and Vacation Owner – Get Your Share of the Big Bucks

Timeshare and vacation ownership. what are they about? What is it like to have a career in this industry? What does it take to make a six-figure income and to stay employed in the industry?

I am not writing these articles with the intention of hiring anyone since I'm not a sales recruiter. I do have an MBA in real estate development and management and my pet peeve in business is employee turnover. I just do not like it. Turnover in the vacation ownership / timeshare industry is horrible.

My MBA side of my brain tells me that turnover is expensive and not exciting or positive for anyone involved. You've also probably heard that dissatisfied customers or employees can do more damage to the business in the long run than the happy customers and employees can do to improve your bottom line.

If something frustrates you or gets you mad, the best thing you can do, instead of anger management or psychotherapy, is to take action. So here I am.

Most salespeople hired to sell vacation ownership or timeshare need a real estate or timeshare sales license. If you have the time and the money, the more comprehensive full real estate license will allow you more career options and I highly recommend more education in any field if you want to be successful and stay in the industry.

What happens when a person gets a job selling timeshare or vacation ownership. At this time in the industry, potential guests or prospects are marketed and invited to a sales presentation. The majority of these guest invitations include an incentive or gift for the participant's time. People love gifts, and incentives, and a good deal. We're greedy, bargain hunters. The industry knows this and depends on us to fill the sales centers for presentations.

As a salesperson, the presentations you will make will often range from 90 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the company you work for. With timeshare or vacation ownership sales the unique factor is that the guest or participant you will try to sell has come to see your resort and product with intentions of getting a gift, getting out fast, and most have no intention of buying anything.

Selling people who have not come to buy anything and often who have an agreement not to buy no matter what you have, no matter how good it sounds, and no matter how affordable. This is such a different form of selling than working in a retail store where people have come in specifically to buy something and with intentions of taking it home with them.

The employee turnover in the timeshare and vacation ownership sales industry is huge. It's horrible. Employers spend an amazing amount of money to find salespeople and salespeople get in the business and are shocked by the rejection and how hard it can be to sell people their vacations and they run away. A successful timeshare salesperson must be perceived by the guest as authentic and sincere. Companies should have more comprehensive sales training to help build the employees skills so they will be able to stay on the job.

I attended a financial seminar and they discussed the "Asset Value of Employees." My question is, "If employees are your greatest asset, how much money and value are you adding to the bottom line of your competitors when they leave you and go to work for your competitors?" If the companies finally calculate these numbers they will have to pay more attention to keeping their employees and not letting them fail and leave.

Timeshare Problems and What to Avoid

Ultimately, what you need to avoid is the necessity for a timeshare get out when it is too late. If you have decided that you want to buy a timeshare property and have looked at some timeshare reviews then you will no doubt be approaching the purchase with a cool head. However, the ideal situation for the seller is one where you have had no opportunity for research and that could leave you looking for a timeshare get out later, so take your time.

Many people realize the value of owning a timeshare and being able to get away on vacation on an annual basis without having to worry about paying for it all at once. However, that being accepted, there are numerous, quite different timeshare scams out there in the market place and it is easy to get fooled by one of them. That is why it is important for you to make sure that you are well informed whenever going into a timeshare presentation and that you do so with both eyes wide open.

The first thing to point out, is that just because a timeshare presentation is high pressure it does not necessarily mean that it ranks as one of the timeshare scams that are prevalent. The companies that run the legitimate timeshares spend a lot of time and money learning how to make as many people purchase as possible during these presentations. Essentially, you are being subjected to some well researched psychology. You might call it immoral but it is not illegal. Just be on your guard.

It does not matter what you were told at first; you are going to receive some kind of pressure while you are sitting at the table and you may have to say NO multiple times if you are truly not interested in buying a timeshare property. These are not timeshare scams; they are simply high pressure sales tactics that tend to work well for the sellers.

Of course, one of the most important things for you to keep in mind is the old saying, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true". You can expect to be offered some kind of concession in order to sign up for the timeshare and many of these are fairly reasonable. If you are offered something such as a car, or perhaps a very expensive cruise in order to sign on the dotted line, you might be sitting at the table with one of these timeshare scam companies. You might also get caught up in the fine print at one of these negotiations, and more than one buyer has fallen for this.

In order to avoid timeshare scams, you might want to avoid any of the timeshare companies except for one of the well known companies that are available. RCI and Interval International Timeshare are two of these companies that are generally trustworthy. Although they will still fall under the general timeshare banner, with all of its popular misconceptions, as far as their reputation is concerned they are generally to be trusted. There are very few timeshare scams that never occur in these companies but they are both what is known as a true timeshare organization and scams are rare. Any company can have a rogue seller and these two companies are hot on keeping the business clean.

Other obvious timeshare scams would include being sold two timeshares and then being told that you are able to sell one, in effect sticking you with two different sales. You should also avoid any 900 numbers which may offer you one of these timeshares at an amazing price, as it is more than likely a scam. If all else fails, do not overlook the possibility of having somebody, such as a lawyer or a real estate agent look over the fine print of one of these documents before you sign it. The seller will not like it because it delays or even stops the sale but do it anyway. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially whenever you are talking about a large sum of money.

Is There an Alternative to Timeshare Ownership?

Timeshares are still very popular today, despite the soaring costs associated with owning one.With a typical timeshare, you will have to have to put money down up front, pay money for the timeshare itself, and then most likely pay either monthly or yearly maintenance fees. The average cost of a timeshare is around $ 15,000 plus the maintenance fees. Others are more high end at $ 60-80,000. Typically these timeshares do not require maintenance fees for this price and are more flexible then the others. There is an alternative to timeshare ownership where you can actually travel to four and five star resorts that have timeshare properties without owning a timeshare or without ever having to pay maintenance fees. There's companies that are offering timeshare alternatives through it's online membership. You can join for three years for under $ 1500 and for a lifetime membership for just under $ 3,000.

You will be able to travel to 3, 4, and 5 star resorts for as little as $ 298 per week to the very most, $ 698 per week. You can also take cruises and get discount airfare. This type of timeshare alternative is wildly popular today and those who own timeshares can see the value immediately. Timeshares devalue so quickly and are worth about 10 cents on a dollar. You can find very expensive timeshares for sale for ridiculously low prices on the internet because people realize that once they buy them, they are stuck with the maintenance fees as long as they own them.

Those maintenance fees can go up after a major hurricane, or when the timeshare owners decide they just want to remodel, or for no particular reason at all. With the timeshare alternative, the Global Resorts membership club, you do not have to worry about any additional costs. Do not buy a timeshare as your first choice. Look into joining a membership club. You will save money.

The Many Ways to Be Relieved of Your Timeshare Obligations

While it is true that a timeshare contract is a binding legal document, it is often mistakenly thought that such a contract can not only be cancelled. In fact, most timeshare companies maintain that their contracts are not capable of being cancelled.

This misconception is perpetuated by timeshare companies and user groups that are funded, maintained and controlled by the timeshare industry.

The truth of the matter is, that under the law, contracts are subject to being cancelled for a variety of reasons, including fraud and mistake.

Moreover, a person who is burdened by the obligations of a contract may "terminate" it and no longer be bound by the contract for reasons other than breach.

"Cancellation" occurs when either party puts an end to the contract for breach by the other and its effect is the same as that of 'termination' except that the canceling party also retains any remedy for breach of the whole contract or any unperformed balance. "Uniform Commercial Code 2106 (4); see 13 Corbin (Rev. ed.), §73.2; 13 Am.Jur.2d (2000 ed.)

"Termination" occurs when either party, pursuant to a power created by agreement or by law, puts an end to the contract otherwise than for its breach. Uniform Commercial Code sec. 2106 (3)

Since it is the law of the land, that a breach of contract by a party to the contract may result in the other party being released from their obligations under the contract, the notion that one is forever bound by a timeshare contract is erroneous as a matter of law.

The purpose of this article is to provide a ray of hope to those timeshare owners who are no longer interested in being tied to their timeshare and its lifetime of financial obligations.

To start, when you first purchase your timeshare, most states have a rescission, or "cooling off," period during which timeshare buyers may cancel their contracts and have their deposit returned. This is know as the "right of rescission."

Once this period expires, however, most timeshare companies will have you believe that their contract is not capable of being cancelled and you are thereafter bound in perpetuity to pay the ever increasing maintenance fees that go along with timeshare ownership.

Moreover, the proponents of timeshare ownership would have you believe that once the initial "right of rescission" expires the only legal way to end timeshare contracts involve a transfer of ownership whether by selling, donating or giving it away.

In fact, most timeshare user groups and virtually all timeshare companies want you to believe that under no circumstances will a timeshare company voluntarily take back their timeshare. This again, is not true.

What is true is that most timeshare companies will not willingly take back their timeshare. As will be seen below, when faced with litigation or the potential of litigation, many timeshare companies will in fact either take back their timeshare or simply agree to release the timeshare owner from any future liability in connection with the timeshare contract.

Before I discuss the latest developments in cancelling a timeshare, I'd like to devote a little time to the more traditional means of cancelling or getting rid of an unwanted timeshare.

As mentioned above, the traditional means of ridding oneself of an unwanted timeshare is through a sale, donation or transfer.

On the subject of selling a timeshare, many unwary timeshare owners seeking to rid themselves of their timeshare fall pray to listing companies that propose to list their timeshare for sale. Such companies have been under investigation by state Attorney General's for fraudulent and deceptive practices and a proposed timeshare seller wishing to sell his or her timeshare obligation should first consider selling their timeshare by listing it on sites like eBay or Craigslist.

Other options are to list it through the developer, if the developer handles re-sales, or through a timeshare resale broker. One thing the proposed timeshare seller should not do is pay an advance fee for the sale of their timeshare. It is these advance fee practices that have fallen under the scrutiny of state Attorney Generals.

Another frequently discussed solution to the problem of how to be released from your timeshare's financial burdens, is to donate the timeshare. Where there once were a number of organizations that accept deeded-timeshare donations, with the ever increasing burden of maintenance fees which seem to go up every year, such organizations are a vanishing breed.

Transferring ownership to a third party who will merely take over the yearly maintenance obligations is another "exit strategy." These persons, however, will not pay you for the timeshare and in many cases the timeshare company will simply refuse to recognize the transfer or alternatively impose onerous resort transfer fees making the transfer to a third party prohibitive for those faced with financial difficulties.

Recent years with In, However, new techniques Pioneered by vBulletin® by real estate attorney's WHO COMPLETE a specialize in timeshare litigation have Emerged. These techniques reached their ultimate fruition in a series of lawsuits filed in California which resulted in each and every plaintiff being released from their timeshare contracts.

Other similar actions have followed, all seeking damages for the type of fraudulent and deceptive conduct that is frequently utilized by timeshare sales people to induce unwitting potential owners to sign on the dotted line.

Such conduct includes the following representations, typically made at the time the timeshare was sold:

a. That the timeshare interest purchased would appreciate and increase resale price and value over time.

b. That the timeshare interest purchased could be freely exchanged, transferred and sold.

c. That the timeshare interest purchased was a financial investment.

d. That the timeshare interest purchased would result in the purchaser receiving booking priority over non – purchasing vacationers wishing to stay at one or more of the properties owned and / or maintained by the defendant, timeshare.

As a result of the filing of such actions, timeshare companies have become much more amenable to releasing timeshare owners from their timeshare obligations even without resort to litigation.

In order to avail yourself of such a solution, you should retain an attorney familiar with timeshare laws and the various techniques for terminating a timeshare contract.

In sum, do not believe the naysayers who tell you that it is impossible to get out of a timeshare contract. Should you be the victim of one or more of the foregoing misrepresentations, you too may be able to cancel your timeshare contract.

Timeshare Verses Travel Club – Which is the Real Deal?

Until recently, timeshares have been the way to go when someone wanted to get a good deal on yearly vacationing, but with the recent rise in discount travel clubs is it still aa smart move? I will compare the two vacation plans and show how discount travel clubs are the better choice for people who want to save on their vacations.

1) Initial costs- Purchase a timeshare at a resort or second hand from the original owner and you will pay anywhere from say $ 6,500 to $ 20,000 depending on where your unit is and how good you are at haggling when they try to close on you. Paid either in a lump sum or over time, you now own a week of time at a resort that you can exchange with others looking for something in your area. Let's go midrange for a buying price of $ 13,250.

If you joined a discount travel club, you paid somewhere between $ 199 and $ 500 to get access to vacations around the world … Gotta give that win to the vacation club for a more affordable initial price.

2) Recurring costs- According to memorable-beach-vacations.com, ownership has its privileges because you now are responsible for ongoing maintenance fees, upkeep, furniture and appliances, roof and pool replacement, and of course insurance and property taxes. We'll use their figures for time share resorts in Virginia Beach, which they found range from $ 390- $ 550 a year, and use a midrange figure of $ 475 a year. This annual fee would be adjusted for inflation and probably increase over time. Your total annual timeshare costs over 10 years, barring any roof or pool rework, is $ 4,750. If you trade for other units around the world, there are other costs involved that vary from group to group, so it would be hard to determine the exact costs other than to say they would be at least several hundred dollars more expensive a year.

Monthly fees vary between vacation clubs, so we will use World Ventures number for accuracy. Lets say you liked the presentation and went with the most expensive package that makes you a representative. You would pay $ 59.93 a month for an annual rate of $ 719.16, but there is a way to not have any monthly fee by bringing in four people who buy any package that is offered. So if you know four friends who like to travel and join the club, you've just erased your annual costs! That is something to consider, but let's pay the monthly fee for the sake of the exercise.

Over 10 years, club costs are $ 7,191.60. There are no additional costs for staying at resorts or hotels around the world, but vacation packages are bought in bulk and offered to the members at cost. Other advantages with travel clubs include discounted rates for air travel, hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, and travel insurance that can be used any time of year as many times as you need. There is even concierge service which you can use anywhere and anytime to get information on just about anything you need while home or abroad. I'll give this one to the timeshare with an asterisk just using the base numbers, but there is more value built into the vacation club membership.

3) Variety of vacation experience- Timeshares give you the same vacation every year staying in the same unit or a similar one every time and swapping is only available at participating resorts in their network.

Travel clubs offer you many different experiences all over the world- you do not have to repeat the same trip twice (unless you want to). Over 60,000 vacation and rental properties available in over 160 destinations. World Ventures even has a program called DreamTrips where all the reservations and planning are taken care of for you. You have your choice of event, cruise, sport, or theme packages at deeply discounted prices- examples from 2009 include a Cozumel cruise, 5 day / 4 night for $ 179 per person including taxes and fees, trip to Madrid, Spain for $ 150 per person taxes included, and so on. Get lodging and tickets to the Masters, the final four, even the World Cup in South Africa for hundreds less than you can find online. The vacation club gets this vote easily.

So while the timeshare won the recurring cost section with a handicap, the best overall bargain is the travel club membership for its low initial cost, variety of vacation experiences offered, and the abilities to save on all travel expenses and make money by becoming a representative . The numbers are not exact, but do represent a fair comparison between the two vacation choices.

Is There an Alternative to Timeshare Ownership?

Timeshares are still very popular today, despite the soaring costs associated with owning one.With a typical timeshare, you will have to have to put money down up front, pay money for the timeshare itself, and then most likely pay either monthly or yearly maintenance fees. The average cost of a timeshare is around $ 15,000 plus the maintenance fees. Others are more high end at $ 60-80,000. Typically these timeshares do not require maintenance fees for this price and are more flexible then the others. There is an alternative to timeshare ownership where you can actually travel to four and five star resorts that have timeshare properties without owning a timeshare or without ever having to pay maintenance fees. There's companies that are offering timeshare alternatives through it's online membership. You can join for three years for under $ 1500 and for a lifetime membership for just under $ 3,000.

You will be able to travel to 3, 4, and 5 star resorts for as little as $ 298 per week to the very most, $ 698 per week. You can also take cruises and get discount airfare. This type of timeshare alternative is wildly popular today and those who own timeshares can see the value immediately. Timeshares devalue so quickly and are worth about 10 cents on a dollar. You can find very expensive timeshares for sale for ridiculously low prices on the internet because people realize that once they buy them, they are stuck with the maintenance fees as long as they own them.

Those maintenance fees can go up after a major hurricane, or when the timeshare owners decide they just want to remodel, or for no particular reason at all. With the timeshare alternative, the Global Resorts membership club, you do not have to worry about any additional costs. Do not buy a timeshare as your first choice. Look into joining a membership club. You will save money.

Red, White and Blue – What Are The Timeshare Seasons?

The timeshare year is divided into seasons, it is these timeshare seasons which govern when you can use your timeshare. In the timeshare industry the seasons names can differ, instead of the traditional Summer, Winter, Spring and Autumn, most timeshares go by Red, White and Blue. This is the system used by Resort Condominiums International (RCI), although II (Interval International employs a moderately different system of Red, Yellow and Green, which for all intents and purposes works in the same way.

Red weeks are usually referred to as the "high season" due to the higher demand in these weeks. This usually ties in with the best weather and the summer holidays – so properties with two and three bedrooms during red weeks are like gold dust in the best resorts such as Anfi Beach, Gran Canaria or Sheraton Pine Cliffs Portugal. White (or yellow weeks to Interval International) are thought of as "medium season" and Blue weeks, or Green are low season.

Calling them seasons is slightly confusing though, rather than working like Spring, Summer etc, the dates of timeshare seasons can vary depending on the club and the developer who own the timeshare. For the most sought after locations in constant high demand this can vary even more. Gran Canaria is "red" or high season because of the climate of the area and its popularity throughout the year. Public holidays give great weight on what the type of week it is, in US resorts Independence day or New Years day in Scotland dictate high season.

The timeshare seasons used by RCI and Interval International are not the only systems used though, some developers choose to use their own classifications for seasons. Marriott Marbella Beach Resort is a prime example of this, its high season weeks are named Platinum time within the resort and as red weeks with II.

Fixed and floating weeks are also governed by these timeshare seasons. A fixed red week timeshare is a set date within peak season of a resort, but a white floating week can be any available week within the mid-season. Fixed weeks (sometimes known as units not only guarantee the same date of time of your timeshare, but also where your timeshare is located within the resort. For timeshare owners who wanted a particularly spectacular view of the sea buying a fixed unit is certainly the best option.

If you are in the process of selling timeshares or looking to in the future, it is the season (red, white or blue) which will be most important for its sale price (in addition to resort location, number of beds etc). Equally for those thinking about trading or exchanging their timeshare through RCI or other company the season of the timeshare has real importance in the "trading power" ie what you can trade it for.

The different methods for indicating timeshare seasons most often reference demand over any other factor, and are the best idea of ​​price. The emphasis on date is not so important because there is no universal standard between destinations. If you are about to buy a timeshare at a particular club at a specific time of year it makes life easier if you establish the type of week first; that way a "2 bed high at Anfi beach" will mean much more.

Avoid Timeshare Resale Companies

Timeshares are a tricky thing. At first, they seem like such a great purchase. Who would not want to reserve a few weeks at a vacation condo by splitting the cost with hundreds of other buyers?

Unfortunately, like most things in life, there's a catch. When you consider the hefty initial payment, consistently rising maintenance fees, and special assessments that blindside owners, timeshare ownership far exceeds the cost of conventional vacations. These fees are so outlandish due, in large part, to the fact that the resort's marketing campaigns are responsible for nearly 50% of the final timeshare price. These wildly aggressive strategies lead to a huge mark-up in your costs.

On top of the costs associated with owning a timeshare, it's important to remember that they can also be extremely expensive to sell. Most resale agencies require a significant upfront sum to list your property, and they continue to charge monthly fees until your timeshare sells. Overall, listing your timeshare will cost you thousands, and they rarely sell, even after your financial commitment.

Of course, timeshares rarely sell due to a number of factors, not the least of which is that the reseller has little motivation to do so as long as their clients continue to line their pockets. Coupled with the fact that a large number of these companies are nothing more than fronts for scam artists, timeshare resale companies simply are not the way to go. Usually, people only turn to them when they're desperate to dispose of their contract, only to lose hundreds, if not thousands, more in the process. In fact, according to The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, complaints about timeshare resale companies doubled in 2009 to become the most frequent complaint reported to the state's Attorney General.

These fraudulent companies do an excellent job of disguising their true nature, so here are a few suggestions to help you determine the soundness of the company:

• Verify the business' physical address: This is a surefire way to determine the validity of the business.

• Do your research: A simple way to ascertain the legitimacy of the company in question is to contact the Better Business Bureau and the state Attorney general.

• Look for the guarantee: If the reseller does not offer a full and guaranteed money-back refund of your money if you are not satisfied with their service, DO NOT COMMIT to anything in writing !!

Considering the many drawbacks of listing agencies and the fact that many of them are illegitimate, I strongly urge you not to enlist their help. The surest way to avoid being scammed by a resale company is to not seek out their assistance in the first place. But there is an expedient, affordable, and sensible way to end your timeshare ownership.

The best option for timeshare owners who are looking to dispose of their timeshare contract is to enlist the help of Newton Group Transfers for a guaranteed exit from your timeshare. Unlike resellers, we offer the following features to keep you confident and informed throughout the process:

• All pertinent information is documented in writing .

• An immaculate track record that can be referenced and verified via the Better Business Bureau.

• A swift transfer of your timeshare property with a nominal, one-time fee.

• Every detail of the terms and conditions of the service offered.

• 100% money-back guarantee to successfully complete your transfer in a timely fashion.

We urge you to be diligent in your search for an efficient and expedient timeshare exit solution. We realize that most timeshare owners have dealt with less that reputable individuals and organizations in the past, and we understand the hesitation to move forward with an exit solution that requests an upfront fee. However, the bullets above speak volumes about our credibility and our honest commitment to our customers.

Timeshare Sales Techniques – Warm Up

Warm up is all about making friends with your clients. Nobody will buy off you if they do not like and trust you. That means you have to spend some time getting to know your clients on a personal level and let them get to know you personally before you can get into the all important part of fact finding. Your fact finding is the foundation on which your sale is built, but you have to earn the right to move into fact finding. That is done during the warm up period when you become your client's new best friend.

I'm often asked "how long should the warm up period last" And the answer I give is "As long as it takes" There is no set time for warming up a client. Each client will be different. Some will be very open and easy to talk to. This type of client can be warmed up in minutes and before you know you're laughing and joking like you've known each other for years. Other clients are very reserved and take what seems forever to start to relax with you and open up. What ever happens you should never move into fact finding until your client is ready, other wise you're just wasting your time and you would have been better off staying in warm up, enjoying the coffee and not even showing them your product.

A good gauge is your clients' body language. When you first meet you will see that your clients are normally seated stiffly with their arms and legs crossed, the lady will probably have her handbag held tightly on her lap and they could be slightly turned in towards each other and away from you. These are all defensive / protective body language positions. When you start to see that the arms become unfolded, the shoulders start to drop slightly and the lady puts her handbag on the floor or on another chair. Then you know your clients are starting to relax and feel comfortable in your company.

Take control right from the beginning with alternative choice closes like: "Would you like to sit in the sun or the shade?" "Would you prefer to be by the window or over in the corner where it's quieter?" People feel more comfortable when they're given a choice but not too much choice. For example, do not ask them what they want to drink you will get all sorts of answers. Ask them if they would like a hot drink or a cold drink, "Tea or Coffee?" They will not realise that you're controlling the answers and getting them used to making choices right from the word go. They will see it as you being very polite and well organised and that will make them feel more comfortable.

Once you have them seated and have ordered the drinks get back into relaxing your clients. People love to talk about themselves and their achievements. Remember your warm up should be 20% talking and 80% listening. Find a common interest but men do not be tempted to talk about football and leave the wife completely out of the conversation or you will have lost the sale before you even start.

There are two types of warm up, I call them, the bus stop warm up and the pub warm up. The bus stop warm up is like two people at a bus stop who make light conversation to pass the time but do not really get to know each other and most of the conversation goes over their heads. The pub warm up is where you start chatting to someone in a pub and before you know it you're buying each other drinks, chatting about things you would never discuss with a stranger and arranging to meet again next week for a game of darts. If you make all your warm up's pub warm up's I guarantee you will write more deals and you'll have a lot more fun while you're doing it!

Now go out tonight and practise just talking to people and finding out as much as you can about there hobbies, interests and favourite pastimes. Who knows, you might even make some new friends.