• The TUGBBS forums are completely free and open to the public and exist as the absolute best place for owners to get help and advice about their timeshares for more than 30 years!

    Join Tens of Thousands of other Owners just like you here to get any and all Timeshare questions answered 24 hours a day!
  • TUG started 30 years ago in October 1993 as a group of regular Timeshare owners just like you!

    Read about our 30th anniversary: Happy 30th Birthday TUG!
  • TUG has a YouTube Channel to produce weekly short informative videos on popular Timeshare topics!

    Free memberships for every 50 subscribers!

    Visit TUG on Youtube!
  • TUG has now saved timeshare owners more than $21,000,000 dollars just by finding us in time to rescind a new Timeshare purchase! A truly incredible milestone!

    Read more here: TUG saves owners more than $21 Million dollars
  • Sign up to get the TUG Newsletter for free!

    60,000+ subscribing owners! A weekly recap of the best Timeshare resort reviews and the most popular topics discussed by owners!
  • Our official "end my sales presentation early" T-shirts are available again! Also come with the option for a free membership extension with purchase to offset the cost!

    All T-shirt options here!
  • A few of the most common links here on the forums for newbies and guests!

Our Great Timeshare Purge!

HappyRon

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2024
Messages
24
Reaction score
13
Resorts Owned
Welk
SummerBay
Wyndham
Perennial Vacation Club
Grand Timberlodge
Hilton
Last year I attended my first two timeshare presentations with my girlfriend, who bought both times. When we attended another Hilton presentation, the guy said about the Hilton Diamond we just bought "Why did you buy THIS???" like we were stupid. I started to realize that something was off. I quickly realized that, especially since my girlfriend is 65, buying these things was 33k down the crapper. I decided to investigate ways of getting rid of the SIX timeshares she now owns. I had TUG on my list to investigate but I figured I had till the end of the year.

I felt particularly foolish and like I let her down in giving her advice as I am a bit of an expert in credit card points and legitimately squeezing value out of credit card signup bonuses. They sold her the Hilton by saying "If you can't find a timeshare you convert to Hilton Honors Hotel Points". I did the math, Hilton Honors Points are thought to be worth about .6 cents each, and figured that for $1200 a year in maintenance fees we would be getting $300 in Hilton Honors points, minus a $125 conversion fee! It's like the evil opposite of what I do, where I would get a credit card for a hundred bucks and would get like $1000 bucks in Hilton Honors points and can cancel the card after a year.

Then my girlfriend went on a trip and told me "I'VE BOUGHT ANOTHER TIMESHARE!" WHY??? "Because they are going to help us get rid of our timeshares!!!!" 20K and then 10k in fees!! She figured it would be worth it to save the 6k that she spends in maintenance fees every year. I explained that we use all but one of the timeshares as we travel a lot so taking on an immediate 30k more in debt and ending up with NOTHING but one week in the new timeshare. This would turn us into slaves working to pay off 60k of timeshare debt she had added over two years, some of which would be at huge interest rates. They sold it to her on the idea that she may not be able to travel soon due to age, BUT with this new debt we wouldn't be able to travel immediately due to paying on the debt.

I quickly contacted TUG and Brian helped me figure out the best way of getting rid of all of them, the presumably total cost will be less than 2k. So I convinced her to send a cancellation letter two days after she bought them.

Just to add drama the letter got "lost" in the mail and STILL hasn't arrived a month later. The tracker showed it as nowhere for three weeks and it is finally on its way. Fortunately, she sent them an email with a picture of the registered letter and they said the process is started. Strangely when she arrived at the post office the postal worker from across the room said "Oh you're going to cancel a timeshare! We get lots of these" How he realized this I don't know but perhaps it's a good sign that people even on vacation realized that they were getting ripped off.

LISTING OF TIMESHARES and yearly fees

HYATT/WELK $1700 They have program but not for our particular one. Gonna try to give away on TUG
Wyndham $1068 week Contacting their program to exit
Hilton Diamond $1200 for 4000 points on list for the transitions program.
Summer-bay/exploria $2658 for 479 expos (but that includes the club fees so the cost per expo is only ) Gonna Try to give away on TUG
Grand Timberlodge $800 The only one she can't use at gonna give away on TUG
Perennial Vacation Club $1200 $50 to exit already sent it in.

I'm still not entirely clear why people would buy a timeshare for even for $1, but I'm guessing since people with lots of points in one system only usually have to pay the "club dues" once and having lots of points get them other bonuses that it might be worth it to someone who stays a lot at one particular place.

Anyway very grateful for this group and I'm hoping to help her be timeshare-free by the end of the year and then for us to continue traveling as long as she is able. Ironically we traveled so much this year trying to use up the extra signup points she got from these timeshares that I'm burnt out on traveling. I'm a singer/songwriter and enjoy combining traveling with playing a few shows as we travel so looking forward to being able to travel only when we really want to.
 

HappyRon

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2024
Messages
24
Reaction score
13
Resorts Owned
Welk
SummerBay
Wyndham
Perennial Vacation Club
Grand Timberlodge
Hilton
EDIT: It's 3.10 per expo on Club Exploria
 

rickandcindy23

TUG Review Crew: Elite
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
32,924
Reaction score
9,662
Location
The Centennial State
Resorts Owned
Wyndham Founder; Disney OKW & SSR; Marriott's Willow Ridge and Shadow Ridge,Grand Chateau; Val Chatelle; Hono Koa OF (3); SBR(LOTS), SDO a few; Grand Palms(selling); WKORV-OF ,Westin Desert Willow.
Your girlfriend should stop going to presentations.

Honestly, disparaging timeshares and comparing the value to hotels, there really is no comparison.

I am glad TUGBrian could help you get rid of timeshares. The money is gone, but I don't understand giving them away rather than using them.
 

CalGalTraveler

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
10,095
Reaction score
8,673
Location
California
Resorts Owned
HGVC, MVC Vistana
@HappyRon Congrats on getting rid of those dogs.

Where you are wrong is to say that all timeshares are bad. You are a credit card hacker so you should understand that not all should be playing the credit card hack game,

Like all of these hacks, you need to research and know what your are buying. This is not a game for casual players. TUG is a community of people who win at timesharing.

Rule 1: This is real estate - location, location, and season. Buy the wrong property and you will lose big time (like the deeds you own). Buy the right deeds and you will save thousands over hotels. About 10% of timeshare deeds are winners. Know what you are buying.

Proof? We just traded our Hilton and spent a week for $800 in a 1 bdrm with view of the ocean and marble floors in Algarve, Portugal. Comparable rental cost? $3000 for the week!

We stay in Oceanfront Hawaii Penthouses and 2 bdrms at Hilton for $1100 for the week. Those rooms rent on Hilton.com for $1200/night. Again we win big.

Rule 2: No one should buy developer. You can buy resale of these deeds for pennies on the dollar - but you have to know what you are buying. See Rule #1.

Rule 3: Similar to credit card travel hacking you should not play if you don't spend time to research or you will lose. This is what happened to your girlfriend.

So please don't let your girlfriend's lack of research drive your opinion of hacking timeshares. There are many here on TUG who are winning big, but similar to credit card hacking, we have done our homework.
 
Last edited:

HappyRon

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2024
Messages
24
Reaction score
13
Resorts Owned
Welk
SummerBay
Wyndham
Perennial Vacation Club
Grand Timberlodge
Hilton
Thanks for the comments, I don't mean to imply that timeshares are bad
Your girlfriend should stop going to presentations.

Honestly, disparaging timeshares and comparing the value to hotels, there really is no comparison.

I am glad TUGBrian could help you get rid of timeshares. The money is gone, but I don't understand giving them away rather than using them.
So far I haven't been able to find any real value in keeping them, with RCI fees and the like we are paying about $150 to $200 a night to stay and I've found that we can get something comparable, and sometimes literally the same location through regular hotel channels for the same amount or less. The only exception is the Exploria where I figured next year it would be only $100 a night due to the fact that we haven't used any of this years points (cause of using the bonus signup points this year).
 

HappyRon

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2024
Messages
24
Reaction score
13
Resorts Owned
Welk
SummerBay
Wyndham
Perennial Vacation Club
Grand Timberlodge
Hilton
@HappyRon Congrats on getting rid of those dogs.

Where you are wrong is to say that all timeshares are bad. You are a credit card hacker so you should understand that not all should be playing the credit card hack game,



So please don't let your girlfriend's lack of research drive your opinion of hacking timeshares. There are many here on TUG who are winning big, but similar to credit card hacking, we have done our homework.
It's not my intention to say that all timeshares are bad, just the deals we got.

It's also possible that some of the timeshares she bought decades ago she might have gotten value out of after using them for years but the newer ones have definitely been bad deals.
 

frytard

TUG Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2021
Messages
208
Reaction score
71
Resorts Owned
Marriott Grand Chateau
@HappyRon Congrats on getting rid of those dogs.

Where you are wrong is to say that all timeshares are bad. You are a credit card hacker so you should understand that not all should be playing the credit card hack game,

Like all of these hacks, you need to research and know what your are buying. This is not a game for casual players. TUG is a community of people who win at timesharing.

Rule 1: This is real estate - location, location, and season. Buy the wrong property and you will lose big time (like the deeds you own). Buy the right deeds and you will save thousands over hotels. About 10% of timeshare deeds are winners. Know what you are buying.

Proof? We just traded our Hilton and spent a week for $800 in a 1 bdrm with view of the ocean and marble floors in Algarve, Portugal. Comparable rental cost? $3000 for the week!

We stay in Oceanfront Maui Penthouses and 2 bdrms at Hilton for $1100 for the week. Those rooms rent on Hilton.com for $1200/night. Again we win big.

Rule 2: No one should buy developer. You can buy resale of these deeds for pennies on the dollar - but you have to know what you are buying. See Rule #1.

Rule 3: Similar to credit card travel hacking you should not play if you don't spend time to research or you will lose. This is what happened to your girlfriend.

So please don't let your girlfriend's lack of research drive your opinion of hacking timeshares. There are many here on TUG who are winning big, but similar to credit card hacking, we have done our homework.
Curious about your Two BR Hilton Maui Trade - Which place did you trade and which place did you stay?
 

CalGalTraveler

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
10,095
Reaction score
8,673
Location
California
Resorts Owned
HGVC, MVC Vistana
HGVC Vegas Blvd or Paradise 11,200 points annual for Lagoon Tower 2brdm OV or OF or 3 bdrm penthouse.
 

VacationForever

TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
16,652
Reaction score
11,400
Location
Somewhere Out There
Buying timeshare directly from the developers is usually an extremely bad deal. That's the mistake that your girlfriend made over and over again. Hence they were all bad deals.

Now, use of timeshare is almost always a great deal. I own alot of timeshare and my maintenance fees cost me about $15K a year. I get to travel and stay at nice 2BR resorts for about 3 months a year, mostly using Interval International to trade and others using points to book directly within the system - Vistana, Marriott and Worldmark. If I were to pay to stay at these places, it would easily cost me $70K to $100K a year.
 
Last edited:

HappyRon

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2024
Messages
24
Reaction score
13
Resorts Owned
Welk
SummerBay
Wyndham
Perennial Vacation Club
Grand Timberlodge
Hilton
Interesting the responses here. Perhaps there is a limitation in my knowledge of how to squeeze value in what we have?

I've been figuring that she has a bunch of money locked into these maintenance fees and that she's been getting okay value on them (like I said about 150 to 200 a night) but when we look online we are generally able to find the exact same place we are staying at for the same price so I'm having trouble seeing the advantage of keeping the timeshare.

The Grand Timber Lodge she hasn't gotten any value out of it at all for a while because the conversion system is such a mess she says. The Diamond Hilton is more like 300 bucks a night and when we used it to stay we were again able to find the same thing cheaper.

She's been doing this a long time and is frustrated and believes that it's better to just free up the money and use it to get similar value without being locked into their systems.

Another factor is that she is disabled and it's not clear how much longer she'll be able to travel at all. She has limited mobility and can only walk 5 minutes at at time. A lot of people would have stopped traveling at all but she is amazing and just keeps going somehow. (I'm partially disabled and she wears me out with her amazing energy) But we're concerned about a time that could be any moment where she can no longer travel and then getting stuck with all these maintenance fees. As it is we probably travel too much and trimming down to fewer weeks is probably a good idea.

Still I'm open to understanding ways of how to get more value out of what we have or other strategies rather than just getting rid of everything
 

VacationForever

TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
16,652
Reaction score
11,400
Location
Somewhere Out There
You need to figure out how much you want to travel each year and where you would like to travel to.

I think most of your timeshare except Welk trade in RCI. There are different ways to use your/girlfriend's ownership. One way is to use the internal booking system to stay at other resorts within the same system. There are usually no third party exchange/trade fees to pay when you use internal booking systems but the choices are limited. Using third party exchange systems you can "score" great deals or even simply good deals. It expands your options, i.e. resorts and locations, as to where you can stay at. It costs you an exchange fee to trade.

You should look through the RCI resort directory and Interval International resort directory to see the thousands of places that you can trade into.

Also, take time to read the wealth of information in the various sub-forums on TUG. After you understand the travel options available to you and your girlfriend, you can decide which ownership is worth keeping and which one to divest.
 

HappyRon

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2024
Messages
24
Reaction score
13
Resorts Owned
Welk
SummerBay
Wyndham
Perennial Vacation Club
Grand Timberlodge
Hilton
You need to figure out how much you want to travel each year and where you would like to travel to.

I think most of your timeshare except Welk trade in RCI. There are different ways to use your/girlfriend's ownership. One way is to use the internal booking system to stay at other resorts within the same system. There are usually no third party exchange/trade fees to pay when you use internal booking systems but the choices are limited. Using third party exchange systems you can "score" great deals or even simply good deals. It expands your options, i.e. resorts and locations, as to where you can stay at. It costs you an exchange fee to trade.

You should look through the RCI resort directory and Interval International resort directory to see the thousands of places that you can trade into.

Also, take time to read the wealth of information in the various sub-forums on TUG. After you understand the travel options available to you and your girlfriend, you can decide which ownership is worth keeping and which one to divest.

Thanks for the clarification, my girlfriend does all this and tends to get about the same value as simply off the shelf prices at hotels.com etc. We also tend to have some travel that are specific places we go to at specific times which makes it harder

It seems like what you are saying is that the trick is to check frequently to see when great deals are on RCI, which may be relatively rare, pop up and jump on them. You'll probably still end up paying around $175 a night for places in fees but you may get some really good value of a place that might go for $400 or $1200 a night.
 

SmithOp

TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
Messages
7,797
Reaction score
3,631
Location
Huntington Beach, CA
Resorts Owned
HGVC King's Land 2BR Premier 23.040K Points.
@HappyRon I agree that people over 65 should not be buying timeshares at developers prices, there isn't enough time left to realize the value. I first purchased in my early 40s and have been enjoying wonderful vacations for 25 years.

Here's how I hack HGVC points, I never stay in the 2 bedroom unit I own. I can stay three weeks in a one bedroom Hawaii condo unit in the shoulder seasons for $125 a night, try and find a hotel room in Hawaii for that rate. Being retired makes it easier to avoid the peak travel seasons.

Stick around and read how seasoned timeshare owners get the best value out of what they own.
 

frytard

TUG Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2021
Messages
208
Reaction score
71
Resorts Owned
Marriott Grand Chateau
HGVC Vegas Blvd or Paradise 11,200 points annual for Lagoon Tower 2brdm OV or OF or 3 bdrm penthouse.
Yay nice! I am casually shopping for one of these and I was hoping one of these is what you used. Thanks for the info. 2BR Platinum I am assuming? (sorry no Hilton/RCI experience, just II/Marriot)
 

jp10558

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2022
Messages
972
Reaction score
645
Location
Southern Tier NY
Resorts Owned
HGVC Seaworld
Wyndham Smoky Mountains
Foxrun Lake Lure
I think the most I've paid is $250 a night for a 2BR Ocean Enclave Ocean view in April via VIP tour. I just pulled up the room online at Hilton.com looking next April and it's $391 average a night.

I'd love to see some comparisons you're doing - because I often see people compare "random cheap 1 hotelroom on booking.com" vs a 2 bedroom suite with full kitchen and laundry in a timeshare. This is not the right comparison to make.
 

HappyRon

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2024
Messages
24
Reaction score
13
Resorts Owned
Welk
SummerBay
Wyndham
Perennial Vacation Club
Grand Timberlodge
Hilton
QUESTION: If you sell a timeshare for $1 here but you've already booked a vacation with it, do you get to keep that booked vacation or does that revert to the person who bought the timeshare?
 

HappyRon

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2024
Messages
24
Reaction score
13
Resorts Owned
Welk
SummerBay
Wyndham
Perennial Vacation Club
Grand Timberlodge
Hilton
Here's how I hack HGVC points, I never stay in the 2 bedroom unit I own. I can stay three weeks in a one bedroom Hawaii condo unit in the shoulder seasons for $125 a night, try and find a hotel room in Hawaii for that rate. Being retired makes it easier to avoid the peak travel seasons.

Stick around and read how seasoned timeshare owners get the best value out of what they own.
Yes, my girlfriend specifically says the only place she can get great deals is Hawaii but doesn't want to go to Hawaii due to the weather there being bad for her.
 

CalGalTraveler

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
10,095
Reaction score
8,673
Location
California
Resorts Owned
HGVC, MVC Vistana
Yay nice! I am casually shopping for one of these and I was hoping one of these is what you used. Thanks for the info. 2BR Platinum I am assuming? (sorry no Hilton/RCI experience, just II/Marriot)
Yes 2 bdrm. Always buy platinum season for best maintenance fee value per point. Resort also matters. (Blvd, Paradise)

Other option is a Craigendarroch 2 bdrm which gives 11,200 pts or 1 bdrms. In addition to HGVC and RCI it now belongs to EU DEX so you can trade week for week into Kaanapali Beach Club or Kauai.
 

HappyRon

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2024
Messages
24
Reaction score
13
Resorts Owned
Welk
SummerBay
Wyndham
Perennial Vacation Club
Grand Timberlodge
Hilton
I'd love to see some comparisons you're doing - because I often see people compare "random cheap 1 hotelroom on booking.com" vs a 2 bedroom suite with full kitchen and laundry in a timeshare. This is not the right comparison to make.

The last one we did was the Welk in san diego where she found the exact place and time we were staying at for about the same as our maintenance fees. There have been several others.
 

rjwehr

TUG Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
121
Reaction score
125
Location
The Lone Star State
Resorts Owned
Mountainside @Granby Ranch,
Landmark Holiday Beach-PCB,
Inverness @ New Braunfels
Last year I attended my first two timeshare presentations with my girlfriend, who bought both times....
HYATT/WELK $1700 They have program but not for our particular one. Gonna try to give away on TUG
Wyndham $1068 week Contacting their program to exit
Hilton Diamond $1200 for 4000 points on list for the transitions program.
Summer-bay/exploria $2658 for 479 expos (but that includes the club fees so the cost per expo is only ) Gonna Try to give away on TUG
Grand Timberlodge $800 The only one she can't use at gonna give away on TUG
Perennial Vacation Club $1200 $50 to exit already sent it in.
Despite the downsides to buying retail, the number of completely different timeshares you've managed to amass in a short period of time is mildly impressive.

As mentioned above, it's probably in your best interest if neither of you attends any more timeshare presentations. Hope you can get untangled quickly. Best of luck.
 

VacationForever

TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
16,652
Reaction score
11,400
Location
Somewhere Out There
Thanks for the clarification, my girlfriend does all this and tends to get about the same value as simply off the shelf prices at hotels.com etc. We also tend to have some travel that are specific places we go to at specific times which makes it harder

It seems like what you are saying is that the trick is to check frequently to see when great deals are on RCI, which may be relatively rare, pop up and jump on them. You'll probably still end up paying around $175 a night for places in fees but you may get some really good value of a place that might go for $400 or $1200 a night.
Not exactly. You can put in an ongoing request to exchange into resorts that you want to travel to.
 

WaikikiFirst

Guest
Joined
Apr 20, 2023
Messages
727
Reaction score
305
Ron, what they are telling you is
a) you MUST have bought resale, otherwise the up-front cost obliterates all of this
b) you have to have bought a week (or Pts?) that inherently have good "value"
c) you most likely have to trade them (TRADE UP) to some other place that is "worth more" but can be exchanged 1-for-1 (oh OK, some may get 2-for-1)
d) you will have to spend time / schedule so that you make the exchange early when the "better place" still has availability
e) in some instances, there are other time-consuming gymnastics

It is actually some shade of "efficient market" logical that if you just buy a TS, pay the MFs, and then use it, the all-in costs (MFs + member + ...) are in the ballpark of the market rental price (but generally lower by TBD% depending on locale).
 

HappyRon

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2024
Messages
24
Reaction score
13
Resorts Owned
Welk
SummerBay
Wyndham
Perennial Vacation Club
Grand Timberlodge
Hilton
Despite the downsides to buying retail, the number of completely different timeshares you've managed to amass in a short period of time is mildly impressive.
Well, only two were done last year, but the rest she collected over 40 years.
 

WaikikiFirst

Guest
Joined
Apr 20, 2023
Messages
727
Reaction score
305
Despite the downsides to buying retail, the number of completely different timeshares you've managed to amass in a short period of time is mildly impressive.
"Impressive" is not in the Top 10 words that come to me about that. do those all have separate member fees? The overhead costs and the overhead of juggling seems exhausting. I got it. It seems "impulsive", just a few letters off from "impressive"
 
Last edited:

jp10558

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2022
Messages
972
Reaction score
645
Location
Southern Tier NY
Resorts Owned
HGVC Seaworld
Wyndham Smoky Mountains
Foxrun Lake Lure
The last one we did was the Welk in san diego where she found the exact place and time we were staying at for about the same as our maintenance fees. There have been several others.
Huh. I just checked booking.com and it was still $304 a night compared to my most expensive $250 for Ocean Enclave in May. I just checked an II getaway, one of my more expensive ones (though not the MOST expensive) for Sheraton Vistana Villages Dec 1-8th this year. Booking.com says $1,567 for the week in the 2BR units, II Getaway was $760 for the week, and that was non platinum member, if I was a higher member in II it would have been $710 for the week.

Not to say you can or want to "do timeshares right", but almost every time I see people tell me this stuff, they're not even hitting "average, off the shelf just sitting there" prices via the companies or the like. I will say, to my mind, owning the timeshares are for 3 reasons
1) to get into the club, specifically II or RCI or like me both.
2) For access to otherwise hard to book via getaways / extra holidays for location / times.
3) For the places that you want to go to again and again where rental rates do tend to be more than MFs.

You can "mess this up" by buying bad timeshares with way too high MFs for what they are as you're finding out - never own what you can rent cheaper especially if you can rent it "whenever you want it".

You also have to be comfortable with renting - a lot of us on TUG have gotten burned with booking.com style sites where having the middle man means you don't get your rewards points, you don't get your status perks if any, and most of all, if there's any issues, you're trying to call a website cause the actual company disclaims most responsibility over to the third party booking company or person. At least at timeshares, they DO give better units to owners, and if something messes up and overbooks, they're bumping the renters first and the owners *last*.
 
Top