Wyndham Timeshare Presentation Survival Guide. Get Your “No” Face On.

Your dog’s so cute. What breed is she?

And thus begins the tale of how we ended up at a Wyndham timeshare presentation.

My wife (Shae) and I were visiting Myrtle Beach for a few days and decided to check out Broadway At The Beach with our dog one morning. While walking along, a woman at the Information Center called out to us and asked that question about Truffles.

The Wyndham timeshare hook

The Wyndham timeshare hook

We’re used to people asking about Truffles, so we went over to chat to her. She then asked what brought us to Myrtle Beach, so we told her about our 50 state road trip.

Given that she was chatting to people who obviously like to travel, she sensed her opportunity and asked us if we’d like to have a free lunch or breakfast. By this point, we were inside the Information Center and saw all kinds of Wyndham branded posters, flyers, etc.

Knowing what we were letting ourselves in for, we listened to her pitch and what we’d get out of it. There were two offers if we went to a timeshare presentation – either 45,000 Wyndham Rewards points or a certificate for a 7 night stay at a timeshare resort.

Seeing as we weren’t jumping on the offer, she came back with an additional option. We could get both those rewards if we paid $150 and attended the timeshare presentation. I’m sure you’re thinking what I was thinking: why would anyone pay $150 to attend a timeshare presentation?

After chatting to each other outside though, Shae and I decided to do it. Even if the 7 night certificate turned out to be worthless, 45,000 Wyndham Rewards gives you three free nights at any Wyndham property (or even better value than that.) Effectively paying $50 per night to stay at any Wyndham brand meant we wouldn’t – in my opinion – be losing out.

Still, it was probably a little naive on my part to accept that offer. In hindsight, I wish I’d tried to get both sets of rewards for free. If it’s any consolation, we paid with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and it coded as 3X, so we also earned 450 Ultimate Rewards.

With that, we dropped Truffles back at our Airbnb and headed to Plantation Resort which is where the Wyndham timeshare presentation would be taking place, arriving shortly before 1pm.

Just before going inside, we practiced our ‘No’ faces in the car. I call mine ‘Angry & Unshaven Blue Steel.’ Shae was a middle school science teacher, so she already had her ‘No’ face perfected.

Practicing our 'No' faces (I call mine Angry Blue Steel)

Practicing our ‘No’ faces

Seeing as we were in Myrtle Beach on a dreary January day, Shae and I figured we might be the only ones there.

Nope.

There were at least two dozen couples there, including a couple who were on their first anniversary.

This was our first timeshare presentation, so we hadn’t been sure if we’d be in a large group getting the hard sell or if there’d be a rep for each couple.

After a few minutes, they started calling up each couple pair-by-pair and introduced them to their own timeshare rep. Uh-oh, they were going for man couple coverage rather than zone.

We were introduced to our rep whose name was Eric. He brought us through to the lunch area and waited for us to fill up our plates before showing us to our table. Each couple was seated at their own small table, with their timeshare rep sitting opposite them.

The lunch consisted of mac & cheese, pulled pork, chicken tenders, green beans, etc. It was OK, but hardly a Ruth’s Chris.

The bread rolls were the worst though. If I’d realized how rock-hard they were, I’d have grabbed a few extras in case we needed to throw them to make a quick getaway if it turned out they were immune to our ‘No’ faces.

An OK lunch

An OK lunch

We’d been told ahead of time that the presentation would last two hours. The paperwork made a vague reference to “about two hours” or something like that. Still, we didn’t want to get stuck there and so Shae set a timer to go off after two hours.

The only thing is, she’d turned her phone on silent which also apparently silenced her timer when it went off two hours later.

Our 2 hour countdown

Our 2 hour countdown begins

While we were eating, Eric asked us a few questions to get to know us and learn about our general travel patterns. Shae’s super-chatty (as in she always makes friends while in line at a store, even if it’s a 1 year old in a cart who can’t talk yet), so I’d warned her not to divulge too much info to our rep so that it wouldn’t give them anything to ambush us with.

We therefore didn’t tell him about the fact that we’re on a 50 state road trip for the next five years. Imagine the ammunition that’d give him.

Once we’d finished our food, Eric left us with a form to complete about our travel experiences and hopes for the future. We answered the questions truthfully, albeit in a way we hoped would stop him from getting a foothold.

How much did your last vacation cost? ~$3,000 for a month in Australia & New Zealand, including business class flights for two each way.

What trip do you most want to take? Kayaking in Antarctica (we doubted Wyndham have timeshare properties there.)

What was your favorite travel experience? Hiking to see the Susa group of mountain gorillas in Rwanda (we couldn’t imagine Wyndham had properties in Kigali or Musanze. Besides, it was genuinely our favorite travel experience.)

Baby mountain gorilla in Rwanda

The baby mountain gorilla we saw in Rwanda. Good luck beating that Wyndham!

Once we’d answered all the questions, it was time for the actual timeshare presentation to begin. The starter pitch was given by a guy called Jordan whose father, father’s father, father’s father’s father, etc. had all owned Wyndham timeshares.

We also quickly found out that this wasn’t a timeshare presentation but a chance to participate in “Vacation Ownership.” After all, you only rent hotel rooms, but you can own your vacation with Wyndham 🙄

I think all the timeshare Vacation Ownership reps chat before the main presentation to discuss who has the most outgoing person. That’s because they ask one of the guests to help write stuff down on a whiteboard during the presentation.

Unsurprisingly, Eric asked Shae if she’d be Jordan’s Vanna White. This worked out perfectly for them as a) Shae makes everything more fun and b) she was a teacher so she’s part of the 1% of the population who can write legibly on a whiteboard.

Shae helping with the presentation

Shae helping with the presentation

The purpose of this initial section was to find out where people most wanted to go on vacation and how much they expected it to cost.

It was jokes. Not because of Jordan or Shae, but because of the answers people gave. Being so focused on points and miles, it’s easy for us to forget that many people pay huge amounts of cash for vacations. People said they expected to spend $15,000+ on a trip to Hawaii, $8,000 on a week in Italy, $6,000 to visit Scotland.

My eyes were wider than that scene in A Clockwork Orange.

After ascertaining that people like to drop large sums of money on vacations, Shae’s glamorous assistant job was done and the timeshare Vacation Ownership pitch continued.

The presentation was extremely interactive, with Jordan getting the crowd involved as much as possible. He asked how much the average amount we spend per night at hotels was. I wanted to answer 4,500 points, but restrained my British cynicism and allowed others to answer.

Their answers allowed him to complete the vacation calculator which put the 25 year hotel cost in excess of $110,000.

The 25 year cost of hotels. Apparently they've not heard of travel hacking.

The 25 year cost of hotels. Apparently they’ve not heard of maximizing hotel loyalty schemes.

With this huge figure in mind, it was time to find out how Wyndham could fulfill our travel dreams and more. After all, look at what 400,000 Club Wyndham Plus points (for an undisclosed cost) can get you!

How Club Wyndham points can be used

How Club Wyndham points can be used. In theory.

After a couple of short videos showing off Wyndham properties and some timeshare vacation owners extolling its virtues, Jordan finished his presentation.

To be fair, it was an interesting enough presentation and he explained the whole concept in a way that it was easy to understand. There were disingenuous aspects though which I’ll come on to later.

With the initial hour-long presentation over, it was time for Eric to try to work his magic. First up, he told us about all the free things we’d get if we signed up for Timeshare Vacation Ownership that day. I’ll admit – I was a little disappointed when he didn’t say “But wait! Buy now and we’ll send you an additional Vacation Ownership for free (just pay separate shipping and handling.)”

Look at all the amazing free stuff we'd get if we signed up that day

Look at all the amazing free stuff we’d get if we signed up that day

Apparently RCI are used by companies like IHG and Hilton for their Timeshare Vacation Ownership. However, they’re actually owned by Wyndham which is why that benefit’s offered for free.

We were also told about the great value we could get from our points if we booked our accommodation within 30 days of travel.

Reduced point rates

Reduced point rates

By this stage, we were upfront with Eric that we had absolutely no intention of becoming timeshare vacation owners. He didn’t seem dissuaded though, saying that no one came in expecting to say yes.

Still, I think he knew he was on to a loser with us. So much so that Shae had to ask him how much their packages actually cost as he hadn’t told us. This was a dangerous move – and possibly the angle he was working – but to be fair I was curious too.

He went out for a minute and came back with a laminated sheet, always the sign of something being official.

The opening offer (DO NOT TAKE THIS!)

The opening offer (DO NOT TAKE THIS!)

Yep, with a down payment of more than $15,000, we could be the proud (vacation) owners of a $642 payment for the next ten years. Even our old mortgage wasn’t $642 per month (although we did live in what many regarded as the New Jersey part of Virginia.)

That wasn’t the craziest part though.

Look at what’s in bold at the top of the sheet.

200,000 Club Wyndham Points.

Now think back to the presentation. I’d mentioned I thought some of it was disingenuous and here’s why. During that, Jordan showed how many nights (20) you could get for 400,000 points. (That turned out to be misleading too – more on why later.)

That meant for our $15,000 down payment, $642 monthly payment and 200,000 points, we could only expect 10 nights per year. From what I gathered, you get these points every year for as long as you live. If you live 20 years, that’s $460.20 per night. If you live for 40 years, that’s $230.10 per night. Even if you live for 60 more years, that’s still the equivalent of $153.40 per night you’ve paid.

The per night cost obviously goes down if you don’t finance the $35,664 balance. That’s because the interest adds more than $40,000 to the final total. Still, even without financing I doubt it’d be a great deal for most people.

I think Eric sensed our incredulity, so he went out back and returned with some “better” offers. I say “better” in that the effective cost was halved, but still nowhere near being worth biting on. Unfortunately I didn’t get photos of those offers, as I’d taken the other photos above when he’d gone out back.

Something important to note is that he also mentioned that there’d be additional maintenance fees payable every year. They were likened to HOA or condo fees as the resorts needed upkeep. However, it meant you’d be getting an even worse deal than expected and unavoidable (and presumably increasing) fees every single year.

By now, our two hours were up. Eric knew he wasn’t getting a sale, so by 3:20pm his pitch ended.

But that’s not all…

Next up was his sales manager. She came over to chat to us, ostensibly to get some feedback on our experience, but it seemed like it was a last chance to get us to bite on something. She was friendly though and didn’t give us a hard sell either. With that final obstacle out the way, we were done at 3:35pm.

The sales manager gave us a form to hand to the front desk where we’d get our rewards. That process was painless too, so by 3:40pm we were 45,000 Wyndham Rewards points and a 7 night certificate richer. We got a better deal than some, as Shae overheard the couple ahead of us only getting a gas card.

With that, we went out to our car, breathing a sigh of relief that we’d said no.

Our 'Phew!' faces

You saw our ‘No’ faces. These are our ‘Phew!’ faces.

Redeeming The Rewards

The 45,000 Wyndham Rewards points were easy to redeem. We simply entered a code on their website along with my Wyndham Rewards account number and they were credited to my account immediately.

My Wyndham Rewards balance

My Wyndham Rewards balance

The 7 night certificate isn’t going to be as easy to redeem. We created an account at Resort Vacation Certificates and entered our certificate number. We now have 12 months in which to use the certificate.

They have a decent enough search functionality on their website, allowing you to filter by continent, country and state / city. I filtered to include all the states we’ll be visiting this year (Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin – they didn’t have any resorts in Alabama or Ohio) and there were 76 resorts listed.

76 properties, but...

76 properties, but…

The wrinkle for us is that we’re traveling with our dog. When filtering for pet-friendly properties, this is what we’re left with:

3 pet-friendly properties

3 pet-friendly properties

Yep, a grand total of three properties.

The good thing is that their filtering might not be correct. When researching some of the 76 properties on the original list, some of them are definitely pet-friendly, so it looks like they might just not be tagged correctly on the Resort Vacation Certificates website.

I’m therefore hopeful that we’ll still be able to use our 7 night certificate before it expires. I’m also hoping we’ll be able to do so at no further cost.

The reason why is because not all the locations seem to have ‘No Charge Accommodations.’ Those are properties where we can use our certificate for what’s presumably a studio suite.

Instead, many of the properties only list ‘Upgrade Accommodations starting at $xxx‘ and which appear to be 2 bedroom suites or larger. Some of the upgrades don’t seem to be too unreasonable, such as $149 for 7 nights.

Having said that, there are more than 20 costing over $400 for 7 nights. If we wanted, we could even drop almost $8,000 on a week at Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge, CO

Book now? Um, no thanks.

Book now? Um, no thanks.

The other thing to be aware of is travel dates. It looks like we’re only able to book up to 10 weeks ahead of time, so that makes it harder to redeem the certificate.

We’re visiting Vermont in May, Wisconsin in June/July, Illinois in July/August, Oklahoma in September, Texas in October and November and Colorado in December. We can’t properly check our options for those as we can only book up to mid-April right now.

We’ll therefore likely book the first resort we can, simply so that the certificate doesn’t go to waste.

Behind The Scenes Info

After attending the presentation, we mentioned what we’d done to the Airbnb owner where we were staying. It turns out that he did Wyndham Timeshare Vacation Ownership sales pitches for a short amount of time but didn’t stay too long.

He shared that some of the examples they give aren’t particularly truthful. For example, in the presentation Jordan had a slide showing how 400,000 Club Wyndham Plus Points could get you 20 nights at all kinds of wonderful resorts.

Our Airbnb host explained that although that’s possible mathematically, you’d never be able to get those redemptions in real life. Your 400,000 points would therefore likely get you closer to 10-15 nights.

That means the 200,000 point offer we saw (the one requiring a $15,000 down payment and monthly payments of $642) would more realistically get you 5-7.5 nights per year.

It’s easy to see why sales reps earn good money if they can get people to sign up.

Final Thoughts

The Wyndham Timeshare Vacation Ownership presentation was much less painful than we expected. It was interesting enough and it didn’t go over two hours by too far.

Our rep Eric seemed genuinely nice and although he was a bit sales-y, it wasn’t in a sleazy way. I was glad we didn’t get the rep at the adjacent table as he was incredibly obnoxious.

Overall, it was worth attending the presentation for the points and (hopefully) the 7 night certificate. It’s also good to know that we’re able to stay firm with saying no. We’ll therefore probably check out IHG, Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt & SPG timeshare presentations in the future to get more free nights. If we do, I’ll try to see what we can get without having to spend anything for the rewards.

As for the timeshares themselves, I’m sure that there’s some kind of value there for the right person. The more that I’ve thought about the offer and calculated the numbers though, the harder it is to find that value.

With the high upfront cost, unspecified maintenance fees every year and property availability issues, there’s no compelling reason I can see why you’d choose to invest so much money in a timeshare.

One of the key selling points mentioned in the presentation was the benefit of having access to a larger space with more bedrooms so that families can travel together. That might have been useful in the past, but Airbnb would be a better option for most people nowadays.

Question

Have you ever been to presentations like this? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below.

About Stephen Pepper

Stephen Pepper is on a 5 year, 50 state road trip with his wife Shae and their dog Truffles. Finding opportunities to earn miles and points is one of the ways they can afford to do this, so he'll try to help you do the same for your own travels.

More articles by Stephen Pepper »

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104 Comments on "Wyndham Timeshare Presentation Survival Guide. Get Your “No” Face On."

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Cleo
Guest

“Angry and Unshaven Blue Steel” …love it! New blog?

Ramzi
Guest

I do Hilton and IHG timeshares annually, well worth it for me. Thanks for the breakdown with Wyndham!

voyager
Guest

How do you sign up for them? I did mine in the past two years, said No, and they don’t call me back. Do you call them and say you might consider doing it after all?

Sam L
Guest

My husband and I own Wyndham and have gotten pretty good use out of it. Here’s the thing—we pay maintenance fees, but nothing else. It’s a terrible value if you buy from Wyndham. Find an owner ready to unload their timeshare and its’s free or cheap (eBay or TUG are good places to start). We payed about $300 for title work and nothing else for a 105k point Club Wyndham package. Because of the maintenance fees it’s still not as good a deal as using hotel points, but when you are traveling with kids the extra room is great. We usually get a unit with a full kitchen, which helps us save money on food.

The long and short of it is—go to the presentation and get your free stuff if you want, but it almost never makes sense to buy directly from the timeshare company. If you like the pitch and think it’s for you do your research and buy resale—from a current owner. We have Wyndham and Disney timeshares—both resale—and we have gotten a great value from both. You just have to know how to buy and how to use them to get the best value. I’ve never been to one of the presentations. Maybe we’ll go the next time one is offered to us if the freebie is good enough. Thanks for the great post!

Geoff Stuart
Guest

Steven and Shea, you did good. As a 30+ year timeshare owner, I could write chapter and verse about the right and wrong way to approach timeshare ownership. But the short answer, for any one even considering attending a presentation, is first to subscribe to Timeshare Users Group for $10 a year. TUG is a virtual encyclopedia of experienced people who run a super well-organized site. Every week there’s a lead article about how TUG saved another would-be owner from shelling out $20,000 or more for something they can buy for pennies on the dollar from a current owner. Subscribe and read!

Michael
Guest

Great read.

I’ll save you some time when it comes to the Marriott Timeshare presentation. We’ve been owners for over 30 years (when it was relatively inexpensive). Periodically when we visit a resort we attend a sales mtg To kill a rainy day just to see what’s coming down the road. We’ve never seen an incentive that makes attendance worthwhile. Free breakfasts and lunches ate long gone, replaced with coffee, juice, soft drinks and maybe a pastry. I dont think we have ever received more than 25k points, usually it’s a $75 to $125 gift certificate to a choice of local restaurants and stores (not much for a collective 4 hrs of your and your partner’s vacation time).

The sales pitch is low key. They would rather have you say no than yes only to cancel when you get home. Marriott no longer sells real estate but sometimes they will package deeded resales weeks with the purchase of points, but you are also purchasing even higher maintenance expenses. Beware of maintenance fees and plan that they will increase by about 10% each year (our Ft Lauderdate TS maintenance fees got hit with a surcharge this year because the $3.4M dollar hurricane damage was less that $4.8M deductible).

We have been VERY happy with our 3 weeks (6 when you split the lock off). We trade for about 250k points per year (about $.012/pt) and lifetime gold elite staus (closing in on platinum lifetime) but only because we spent less that $12k per week. We have traveled all over the world and taken multiple 4 week vacatons. And the upgrades at hotels in Asia and Australia were amazing. But those prices are long gone along with their value.

Forest
Guest

I’ll have to say I’ve been very happy with my Marriott Timeshare. I own a 3 Bedroom lock-off unit that I always separate into two vacations. For my $1,900 maintenance fee, this year I booked a two bedroom at Marriott Frenchman’s Cove in St. Thomas USVI and a one bedroom at Marriott Ocean Club in Aruba. These two vacations would normally cost $3,500-$4,500.

Ed
Guest

My wife and I have been to 4 timeshare presentations now, and I will have to say that the more that we go to, the easier it is to get through them without buying. First of all, as some of the previous commenters indicate, you can buy ownership for almost nothing by going through a 3rd party website–then it will be a matter of paying the annual fees. We make it very clear that we have lots of points in many hotel programs, along with additional free nights from credit card renewals and that we hardly have enough time to use what we already have. They always ask “why did you come?” The answer, that they can never refute, is that their offer was “such a good deal!!’ And, indeed, it often is. Last one we went to turned out to be a 3 night free stay in a wonderful suite near Disney along with a $200 certificate for a future stay at a hotel.

Shonuffharlem
Guest

In a market with multiple timeshares easy to reject just say you deciding from three resorts and they were your first tour. It’s not a no for people who hate saying no and they can’t push to hard they could blow a (fake) super interested buyer. If they do push to hard you can be like umm I don’t want to feel pressure I have two others to see.

Michael
Guest

Be advised that if you buy Marriott TS from anyone other than Marriot that you can not trade the weeks for points.

Berlusconi's Back
Guest

What is the New Jersey part of Virginia like? What do you mean? Oil Refineries?

Cockapoo Dundee
Guest

Truffles = Cockapoo

BT
Guest

My gf and I just returned from 4 days/3 nights in Orlando. We stayed at a Wyndham property on International drive for $249. The deal was pay $249 and get a $200 AMEX gift card+ $100 rebate after staying in any Wyndham property. This was our first timeshare presentation. We got there at 10, they called us in at 10:30 and we sat through the same presentation as above. Then our guide brought us into a few of the rooms. There were BEAUTIFUL! High ceilings, kitchens, nice furniture and large balconies overlooking a large lake. Our guide asked about us, kids, travel, etc. She was very personable. Then we sat down and she asked me to fill out a form. I looked it over and realized it was like a credit application. I kindly refused to fill this out before hearing her pitch. She said no problem. Then came the numbers as in the article above. Our offer was 400,000 points for 100K! 30K down and finance 70 for 10 years at 18%!! My car loan is 1.99%! You must be kidding. She asked how much we usually paid for vacations. I said flights and hotels are mostly paid by points and miles. She wanted to know more. I told her a little about sign up bonuses, etc. She didn’t seem to believe me at first, but after a few trips away from the table, she said “I’m going to sign you out”. I was very pleasant with her, but her demeanor changed immediately. We got our $200 and I’m using my free night next week. Planning on doing it again in New Orleans at the end of the year!

Geoff
Guest

You got it right. Just enjoy the experience of saying NO and then enjoy the perks. Their marketing budgets can support it.

Michael
Guest

I cant think of any place worse to own TS. We boight there 1st and sold 1st. Absolutely no trade leverage. Fortunately we still made money. That tells you how long ago that was.

Robin M
Guest

I own 3 TS. One since 1978 and have had a wonderful experience. Used it for honeymoon in England, 2 trips to Caribbean and many more. It is an RCI resort in Snowbird Utah. I trade it every year. My second is Hilton at SeaWorld. This combined with a Hilton honors AmEx card has been great as well. The resorts are a higher quality and I have the option of getting 2 or 3 bedroom unit when bringing more family. I use it to go to Disney on the weekend when in Florida for the winter. I have been to Hawaii 2x and I thought the value and use for me was good. My third is through Grand Pacific in California. It has access to different resorts not as classy as Hilton but many in the west and Hawaii. We stayed in a cute tiny house in Napa last year and it was centrally located to many things. We also stayed at Marbrisa in Carlsbad, CA and one of the best resorts. Owning a TS is very different for everyone. If you spend time researching locations it can be a fun adventure. But you need to use it every year to get your value out of it.
We went to a Wyndham sales pitch and didn’t like their plan at all. I just used the one night stay at Orlando last weekend. You are right not to say yes the first offer. They up the freebies if you stand firm.

Ken
Guest

My family has lived off of timeshare presentations for vacation deals. We’ve been to several Hilton, Marriott, SPG, and a few others I can’t think off the top of my head. The deals vary but the presentations are generally the same with a 3-man/woman team. First the free meal, then the introduction and fishing for info, then the showing and sales pitch. All followed by a 2nd closer for a “better” deal if we declined everything and finally the manager for a cheaper final offer (usually the worse offer going by numbers). We’ve said no to every one so far.

I would say spending the 1.5-2 hours on a presentation has been worth it for us. Most offer a couple hundred $s in future stay vouchers, points, etc. One of the best deals we took was just last year from SPG, where we paid $800 for a week stay in a cat 7 SPG Hawaii resort, that came with a rental car, 5k SPG points, plus $250 voucher and free buffet breakfast every day in exchange for a 1.5hr presentation.

We recently purchased an option for 5 presentations at 5 different locations for $600 with no time limit on use. We just used one of the options in Cancun for a 5 day, 4 night stay at an all-inclusive resort. The other stays are going to be at Grand Cayman (6d/5n), Orlando (4d/3n), Miami (3d/2n) and an open stay at any domestic resort they own for 4d/3n. We’re not going to wait long to use these up cause you never know if any rules change or the company goes under.

Geoff
Guest

We said NO at a Marriott presentation in Thailand and they put a “Welcome Back” offer on the table: for $1500, we got 110,000 Marriott points plus a week at the same Thai resort, to use within a year. We did actually go back because we love Thailand so much. What a deal!

John Power
Guest

Great article! However your review only touched on the pure (lousy) math of purchase of one of these “Vacation Owership” opportunities. My wife and I bought a flexible timeshare about 20 years ago. Our math was a bit better – our price was $14k for a 2-bdrm for one week in “good” annual time periods and was exchangeable. We have used the purchase ourselves and with friends a lot and do not regret it. However, the long-term value of our deal has turned out to be much less than expected for 3 more mundane reasons:
A) the annual fees – like HOA fees have increased from ~$300/yr to ~$1,100/yr. Forgetting all other factors, today we could buy a 2-bdrm AirBnB for a week each year in many great spots for less than that.
B) even though we can begin to book a timeshare spot 11 months in advance from the time of use, you would be amazed at the paucity of timeshare options we see in our desired time slots every year, which only continues to worsen.
C) they don’t tell you this, but they will offer the same types of timeshare on a per-night spot basis through other channels for “transient” guests (not “owners”) to get every dollar they can – they offer them like hotel rooms to all comers.
There simply is no exclusivity or advantage anymore to long-term “ownership”.

Treesha
Guest

I’ve owned WorldMark for 18 years (had other timeshares before that which have since been sold/traded), and since it’s been taken over by Wyndham, it has gone downhill as far as space availability goes. I have a negative feeling about Wyndham overall because of this. It is pretty laughable when you’re sitting there thinking about how you’re using points to stay/fly and these salespeople are trying to sell you absurdly priced dreams. With AirBnB and VRBO, and some hotel rooms that include kitchens, it’s really not that difficult to stay in home-like surroundings.

I’ve also sat through Marriott and Hyatt timeshare presentations and they’re all similar. As some have pointed out above, your best bet is to join TUG and anything you buy (if you buy), do it on the resale market. Yes, you may lose out on some of the fine print details so definitely research and research more to see what resale gets you vs from the developer.

It’s the inescapable maintenance fees that really make timeshares a worse deal than hotels, as well as their lame cancellation policies, and locations. This year’s maintenance fees will cost me an average of $117/nt for rooms that I could find for an average of $175/nt which makes for decades before I ever make up for the cost of the timeshare in the first place.

The only timeshare program I would ever advise a person to consider seriously would be Disney, just because the demand is always there for renting it out, or for resale.

Manny
Guest

We are Worldmark timeshare owners, which I inherited through my mother. All we have left are the annual maintenance dues, but it works out for my family. We are a family of 5 and normally take other family along so it’s nice to all be in a 3 bedroom condo. There are tricks to get the best mileage out of your points, which are staying Sunday’s through Fridays for the lowest point redemption’s.

The only times we were confronted with timeshare pitches are when we use our points at Wyndham properties. We’ve attended one pitch because they lured us with a $200 Visa gift card, I figured 2 hours of our time and breakfast was worth it. The young lady and her sales manager seemed defeated when we kept telling them no, and the numbers didn’t add up to savings. The sales manager relented and told us that if we were interested that we should just buy points off market.

If I had more vacation time and received timeshare presentation perks the other commenter’s were receiving I would definitely attend more.

Cheers!

VICKIE HOLLAND
Guest

Good article and I loved the comments. We have only attended one timeshare presentation (Hilton). We said no and got a bunch of points and 3 days in NYC Hilton. It was worth the time spent, but I definitely don’t love these situations. Its like dealing with a telemarketer in person and it is impossible to hang up.

I don’t remember the exact pitch, but it revolved around the fact that we were spending thousands of $ on vacations per year and we could spend less than we were already spending and be assured of high quality prepaid accommodations. We didn’t get far enough to talk about maintenance fees, but our argument against the scheme was that even if the per year cost through them was less than we were spending on vacations (its not as we use a lot of points and miles), what happens if we have a year where we can’t or don’t want to travel? Costs keep going without benefits. We told them we preferred the flexibility of paying as we go.

Suzanne
Guest

My husband and I have attended several timeshare presentations – we decide based on the incentives offered – and have found that the most effective way of cutting short the pitch process is to present ourselves as too poor to buy. So at the first question, which is always how much you spent on your last vacation, we tell them we drove to relatives for two weeks and only paid for gas – a typical vacation for us. And so on. We have a big mortgage we’re barely covering, our combined incomes are very low etc. Pretty soon, they’re the ones thanking us and hustling us out. Works every time

Kate
Guest

Just went to my first ever timeshare presentation at hyatt Bonita springs. The sales people polite, didnt have an unpleasant experience. We almost got tempted to buy an overpriced $2500 week at a resort plus 84,000 hyatt points…but I’m glad we resisted. The property quite pretty, and you can also pay cash to rent or use hyatt points.

Dennis Bauer
Guest

My wife and I while in Waikiki attended the Wyndham time share presentation and received $125 Amex gift card. Then we went to Marriott presentation and received a $100 Visa gift card. After that we went to Hilton presentation and they apologized for taking to long and gave us $200 gift card.
Off to Maui, and Hyatt invited us, and we received another $100,
Not bad for a trip to Hawaii!

anameofaguy
Guest

That’s got to add up to nearly a day of your vacation, times two people? For $500, I’d rather spend that day on the beach or hiking 🙂

Redweek
Guest

Congratulations, you just flew to Hawaii to attend TS presentations, what a great way to spend your hard earned vacation days. You think it’s not bad, but others think you are just dumb…

Marlene
Guest

Years ago, I attended a Wyndham TS presentation with my sister in law in order to get Disney Park tickets in Orlando. Same thing… it was supposed to be a 2 hour presentation. My sister in law brought along her son who is behaviorally challenged. SIX hours later, we were finally getting released after being told to wait, and wait, and wait… My sister’s kid was out of control and we were pretty pissed off that we were held hostage for SIX hours by Wyndham people. I reminded the Wyndham people that they had a much better chance of a sale if they would’ve kept their word and given us our tickets after TWO hours (for their presentation) like they promised!

That was wayyy too much aggravation for a couple of Disney tickets!

Adam
Guest

My general observation about nearly everything travel related is that having a level head and the use of a calculator to make decisions benefits you in the long run. Whether it’s a timeshare presentation or a promotional credit card offer, these companies feed on the heightened emotional state to offer something that doesn’t return great value in the long run. Most who read this blog will do the minimum effort possible to maximize any benefit. So if that means we are trapped for 2-3 hours to hear a sales pitch in exchange for points/gift certificates/free nights then we’ll run the cost/benefit analysis and do the minimum to reap the maximum. Same with applying for a new credit card: we meet the minimum spend, sock drawer the card (if it’s not worth additional regular category/daily spend) and then cancel or change the card after a year. We are above-average consumers of travel offers and we do it over, and over, and over again. Isn’t it great?!?!

Benedikt
Guest

May I ask of which TUG Groups you guys are talking about? If I google it, I find several of them…
Thank you in advance!

And nice article! Our family owns a timeshare in Park City, UT, and the first years we were pretty happy with at, as it is directly at the slopes and ski in/ski out, but management changed and things got more and more strange, especially the often mentioned maintenance fees.
We often did go to presentation at Canyons village to get free ski passes along with restaurant credits etc., so it was definitely worth it back then.

Geoff
Guest

Sorry I wasn’t specific. It’s https://tug2.com/Login.aspx for the main site, http://tugbbs.com for the forum site.

Benedikt
Guest

Thank you very much

beth
Guest

I did a timeshare presentation in Vegas years ago. I was a single female and therby hit their targets. I kept saying no, I didn’t want to do it and they kept upping the offer. I didn’t get points but I got a delicious free breakfast, vouchers for two more meals, a bunch of show tickets and some gambling dollars at a specific casino. Not as great as some of the people here have done but I was really happy with what I got.
However, I did have the same issue with the how much was your last vacation? $25(I had to pay the taxes on a flight. Where do you most want to go? Tibet. There was a pause and “I’m sure we have places in Tibet” at which point a bunch of people were frantically trying to find a timeshare in Tibet. Still, the price was so low I was actually tempted to buy.
It also did seem like different people got way different offers. I got the best out of everyone who said stuff like, “I got the free breakfast” or “they gave me dinner tonight.”

beth
Guest

Hey, do you need a guide/suggestions for Wisconsin? No one ever comes here so I’m always excited by someone who wants to!

harold smith
Guest

We’ve been with Hilton Grand Vacation Club for 21 years, buying on the resale market then buying from the developer. Now we are Diamond forever, can trade our HGVC points into 800K Hilton Honors points each year if we wanted, and since they are in a trust, our kids will be able to keep them after we are gone. We’ve been very happy, but you have to learn how to game the system. We spent 4 months in Europe, between time shares, Hilton hotels, and RCI properties. We use our points every year and can borrow into next year.

Kathy
Guest

I have had timeshares in Santa Fe and Sedona, but fees kept going up and especially in Santa Fe, I had to book two years in advance to get the dates when Santa Fe Opera was in season. Now that airbnb is available for about the same costs, I am so happy to be out of them!

OTOH, I have two weeks in San Francisco across the street from the Opera House in a one bedroom and a two bedroom. About $1200 per year and mostly available when I want it. It is certainly possible to find and airbnb for that price but the location and great suite makes this a good deal for me. Plus, at 74 I am thrilled to just walk across the street to my hotel when the performance is over!

I also have 200, 000 points in Royal Holiday, a much maligned TS company that deserves much of its bad reputation. However I can get into London, Paris, New York, etc for much less than hotels would charge and it is truly nice to have a kitchen or a suite when you are staying for awhile. I get such good rates for these places that I rent out about half of my points and go a long way toward making my maintenance fees. But I have spent a LONG time on the Tug bbs forums learning about how to use ts wisely. I also have walked away from two timeshares I couldn’t unload (I did not do that lightly but they doubled my maintenance). I got dinged on my credit but at my age, who cares?

I have attended some presentations – mostly too long, high pressure and unpleasant but I do like the various goodies. Depends if I am there for a week or just a few days….

Benjamin Hunt
Guest

As a former sucker who bought a Wyndham timeshare, I can without a doubt say that it was the worst financial decision in my life. Look on eBay and see how much they’re really worth. With annual maintenance fees increasing every year, they are a liability, not an asset. If a hurricane blows through and destroys the place, the cost of rebuilding is distributed to all the owners, sometimes astronomically (yes, this is worst case). Fees too expensive? Too bad, they will take you to collections and garnish your wages. However, the worst part is that you own it in perpetuity and your heirs inherent the liability upon your death. Sorry kids, here’s a monthly bill that you’ve got to pay until you die and then your kids will have to pay it. There are thousands of owners desperately trying to get out of their ownership and very few people looking to purchase. To get rid of ours, we bought another timeshare in Mexico with optional annual fees that we never intended to pay and they took ours as a trade-in. Turns out they didn’t want it either. They called us later to offer us a special opportunity to buy it back at sequentially lower prices. Finally, we could keep it for free! No thanks. We had to threaten legal action for them to finally process the transaction and rid ourselves of it for good. A TERRIBLE experience.

peter miller
Guest

I am not a lawyer, but this is a very good point, that contracts can be “in perpetuity”, whereupon heirs have to specifically disclaim receiving them to avoid this mess, and then the TS company can go after the estate blah blah blah.

net – if you own one of these, make sure it is handled properly in the even of your death.

For myself, i have no plans to ever own one, even for $1 from ebay/tug, just due to the potential hassles. I’d rather rent weeks from owners or do airbnb

beth
Guest

I don’t think you can force heirs to take something over on death. There is a fair amount of law in the United States to stop that from happening. You can accept something and the estate can inherit something, but you can’t force personal liability on someone after death.

peter miller
Guest

its true you can never force heirs to accept something, but I was googling just out of interest, and state laws vary, but I think you have to actively disclaim an inheritance within a period of time or you’ll be deemed to accept it. again, IANAL and YMMV.

and in that case, the estate itself still has that legal liability, so its still a drag on heirs, even if indirectly

bottom line – timeshares can be deadly to your financial situation if not handled correctly.

Beach Miles
Guest

We’d like to read more about traveling with Truffles. Many more of us are traveling with our dogs these days. Did you consider bringing Truffles to the presentation. I always thought my dog would be a good excuse for saying no. Too few dog friendly properties.

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[…] play by play of a Wyndham Timeshare Presentation. Make sure you know what you are signing up […]

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[…] Wyndham Timeshare Presentation Survival Guide. Get Your “No” Face On. by Frequent Miler. One of the most thorough run throughs of a time share presentation I’ve seen before. […]

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[…] Wyndham Timeshare Presentation Survival Guide. Get Your “No” Face On. by Frequent Miler. One of the most thorough run throughs of a time share presentation I’ve seen before. […]

Lantean
Guest

Can you please make a post about how to get targeted for these offers?
I don’t mind sitting thru the presentation just to get the free stuff. I can say NO to everything… just pretend like I am poor and that’s it.
Last one we did in Pigeon Forge was great, we got 3 free nights at a hotel and $200 Amex gift card. The sales lady almost started crying when we refused… it was comical. She kept screaming “what did I do wrong? what did I do wrong?”
hahaha

Ed
Guest

The times I have been given a deal on a timeshare sales visit always involve me calling the reservations line of the hotel chain to do some business and being asked to stay on the line after the call for a “special offer.” With Hilton, I have been offered 500 points just to listen to the telephone sales pitch. It may be that I have some level of status as well, but I really do not know.

peter miller
Guest

Good luck when you visit vermont in may. The snow should be gone from most places (but still accessible on the mountains depending on when exactly you get here). (Our first year here we had flurries on July 4th!). You may or may not hit black fly season depending on the weather, but the roads will be drivable, and the masses of touristas won’t have arrived yet. Happy to give you suggestions depending on what/when/where you want to go (I am an hour south of canada).

Cheapblackdad
Guest

We split maintenance fees with another couple for our timeshare that they bought for $1. We each pay about $360/year. Yes. Per year. We’ve gotten tons of value in Mexico, Florida, and the Caribbean.

Not so good for Hawaii trips, however. Makes it easy to focus on just points and miles for airline tickets, and with kids we appreciate having access to gorgeous resorts with great pools and rooms featuring full kitchens, separate bedrooms, and living rooms.

Whrn done right as outlined by posters above, tim shares work great.

George
Guest

We own over 1,000,000 Wyndham Vacation Ownership Points we paid about $100,000 for 15 years ago. This makes one platinum owners which comes with points discounts and upgrades and a number of perks. Since that time prices have increased dramatically. We do our “owners’ updates” and they give us our gift and are always trying to get us to buy more points. I always tell them I would buy on EBAY if I need more points as they are almost free there at times it seems. In the end, we have gotten a lot of use from ours as we had flex with travel times (getting units when kids are out of school is limited and takes more points). We are avid points and miles collectors and users and are in the middle of a 50 day trip where we are staying almost all on points (including IHG Intercontinental this week in Monterrey for the Pebble Beach Golf Tournament. But we have stopped twice for short stays at Wyndham condos in Sedona and Oceanside to use the condo to do up all the laundry and have a change of pace. But I loved your review and think overall you nailed it!

JRG
Guest

Great read, including the comments. You’ll never see me at one of those sales events, though….

JP
Guest

Love this article! Off topic – I’m curious about your Rwanda trek. I seem to recall it being extremely expensive to do the gorilla hike. Did you find a way to do this on points somehow?

William
Guest

I’ve never had a trouble saying no to anyone no matter how pushy or obnoxious they are. And if able the reap the benefits that many of the you mentioned from attending these presentations it seems like an easy way to get some extra points and cash.

I actually find it fun to say no to people pushing so hard to make a sale haha. Especially knowing they’ll never beat the rate at which I earn and redeem points 🙂

Michael Margolies
Guest

We purchased a timeshare at Smugglers Notch through RCI over 10 years ago, and then converted to Wyndham 4 years ago. You would probably be able to redeem your certificate to go there, even on short notice, as Spring is not a prime season for the resort. Unfortunately, they only allow homeowners to bring their pets, and they close for a couple weeks around the time you want to go there. It’s a beautiful area any time of year, and if you are hikers, I’m sure you’d love walking the trails around the Notch. You also have to look into when the road leading directly to the Notch reopens for cars. Quechee is also a beautiful area with much to do, as you are close to Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire.
We’ve attended many timeshare presentations, and now reached the point where the time spent isn’t worth the gift. (usually a gift card, reduced admission to a local attraction, or Wyndham Reward points for a free night). The salespeople we’ve encountered tell us “just enough” truth so legally, they aren’t lying. For example, they will tell you that you will be able to offset maintenance fees by purchasing a Gold membership. What they gloss over is the fact that it would require a huge amount of time and luck, by booking popular resorts during peak time periods, (such as New Orleans during Mardi Gras,) and then trying to sell them for a profit. When you go to one of the Wyndham owner pages on Facebook, you often see conversation threads with many comments about other unethical and borderline illegal practices. Every time, I get a survey from Wyndham, I say that it is unlikely I would recommend it to others.

Sue
Guest

I am a Smuggs owner and they are really putting the pressure on to switch. Are you happy with Wyndham?

Michael Margolies
Guest

As I stated in the last line of my previous comment, I am very hesitant to recommend a Wyndham purchase. When we’ve attended sales meetings. we’ve experienced sales people who have given us inaccurate information, as well as misleading half-truths regarding our benefits. I belong to a Wyndham Owners Facebook group, and frequently read conversation threads in which owners have related similar experiences. For example, the sales people emphasize that you would be able to reduce your maintenance fees by upgrading your membership, as if, this is an automatic benefit. The truth is, that upgrading your membership only allows you to book reservations three months sooner than lower grades, which then gives you the ability to sell those reservations at a profit. Obviously, in order to take advantage of this “benefit” there is the assumption that you will be able to make the reservation, and then find a buyer for it. My recommendation, based upon my own experience, and from what I’ve learned from others, is that if you truly want to become a Wyndham owner, purchase points on resale either on Ebay or TUGS.

wise2u
Guest

considering timeshare advertising makes up 75% of the cost, anyone who buys a TS from a developer is a fool. Myrtle beach has $50K vacation rentals on the beach that you can own completely pay around 6k a year in taxes and HOA fees, rent out when your not using it (at roughly 40% management fee)…they are not good investment properties because of all the fees, but if you want to make a few grand in rental income and have a place to vacation on the beach for free then it is a much better deal than a TS…people mention TUG, but I haven’t seen anyone mention TUG2 which has a bulletin board with bargain TS FSBO….I have seen them go for $1 and the owner pays closing costs and/or first year maintenance fees…people that have a few and just want to get out from under the debt liability….If you have points you can vacation at hotels all over the world, when you want, at a fraction of the cost….some people like trading points on REI and playing the TS game, personally I think they are stupid…there is no logical argument that justifies their costs (no matter what the salesman with the free gas card tells you)

Physician on FIRE
Guest

We just took the pitch after spending four nights in a Wyndham property that we booked via Airbnb. All we got was $150 AmEx gift card, but it took maybe 100 minutes, and was actually interesting enough that we didn’t mind it at all. I’ve been somewhat intrigued by the idea of buying points on resale for a tiny fraction of what they sell for new.

I contacted the guy who was our Airbnb host, who must have a bazillion points based on all the Airbnb reviews of his hosting at Wyndham properties. He said the VIP status, which you only get by buying directly from Wyndham gets you the best access and discounts to make it reasonable to earn money reselling high-demand bookings online.

FWIW, you can currently buy 692,000 annual points for $1,200 on Redweek.com (https://www.redweek.com/timeshare-companies/wyndham-vacation-ownership/points-for-sale).

Nice work on the No face. We were wearing ours, as well.

Cheers!
-PoF

Martdoc
Guest

PoF, we bought resale points for Wyndham pennies on the dollar a few years back, 308k points for less than $1,000. We have had pretty good use. A few recommendations, research things on TUG, timeshare users group, do this first. Lots of info on the timeshare world, gives you benefits and drawbacks that come with resale points. Also, you can put other family members on the title if you wish, we have my wife’s sister on there so we can “gift” timeshare weeks to her family and avoid any transfer costs (usually $350 or so).

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[…] For a little while there, I was interested in some resale timeshare points. The more I’ve learned, the less enthused I’ve become. The Frequent Miler gives a humorous account of an opportunity they entertained: Wyndham Timeshare Presentation Survival Guide. Get Your “No” Face On. […]

Stephen
Guest

Excellent review. A couple things worth repeating. Like someone else who posted, we owned 1 million Wyndham points (total cost was probably about $950000) for 20 years.
The good was we took many family trips, and it’s ready to forget that years ago it was hard to find non hotel rentals. And we could book for half price with a free upgrade if under 60 days
The bad. In addition to this you spend $500 a month on maintenance fees. So even if you were given a free timeshares, it might still be a worse deal than Airbnb.
Many family events are not in a wyndahm location, so you have to spend on vacation anyway.
For several years I booked units at Daytona during races to rent out. But barely broke even after fees.
Then I found a profession timeshare rental agent who paid for my points. Again just broke even.
Wyndham has clamped down on that, but we had sold the next three years of points. So we gave them back to wyndahm for free. (But we have the $15000 we would have paid before getting more points).

The takeaway.
Never buy from a timeshare directly.
Research at https://tug2.com/Login.aspx before buying anything from anyone. At best free points are an ok deal. TUG (timeshare user’s group) is fantastic.
Instead of buying, just rent.

Ailsa Witherington
Guest

We are going to one tomorrow! We have been offered $100 on an AMEX card! So good to hear what we have in store!

Ellie
Guest

At least you got your vouchers, we never did. I recently accompanied a relative, who owns a timeshare with Plantation, for an HOA meeting and (what she thought) a Wyndham presentation. Wyndham sales staff stated they were now co owners with Plantation (the signs do state Wyndham Plantation Resort) and when we told them we had to go to the HOA meeting. they said it was combined with the sales meeting; both of which were lies. The Wyndham Sales Staff did so many under handed tactics; trying to get lure me away from my older relative so they could get her to sign something; the co-ownership life; the combined meeting lie; not telling us how much money it would cost and how many points were needed to reserve any type of room (kept saying they were waiting on Joey to calculate- then we Joey joined us, she was waiting on someone else to do it); even saying they meet my relative before at previous meetings (a lie); my relative kept repeating she was not signing anything that day, that she wanted to think about it and they kept repeating “the meeting is not over yet and you will not get your free dinner tickets and vacation voucher if you don’t stay till the end of the presentation(which were promised if we attended, but It was obvious that unless she bought into Wyndham the presentation would never be over); having 4 additional sales staff (evidently each one was the manager of the previous one-up the chain of command/power I guess) try to talk her into signing over her property to Wyndham for points. The lady called Joey was so condescending for example she said “so what do you ladies do in your spare time, knit or make quilts?” There were 3 people gathering around her, pressuring my elder relative to take out a loan or at least let them run a credit check and the lady they called Joey, kept jamming her finger on a paper, saying over and over “just initial here; just initial here” when my relative finally had enough (I had already got up and was walking out). Finally after 3 1/2 hours of the most unscrupulous sales tactics I have even been a witness to we just got up and walked out as they shouted, “You’re not getting your vouchers” Really — No Lie! The ordeal left both of us so stressed out.

Bohemiana
Guest

Just went through the Wyndham presentation last night. What a bunch of BS! First of all, the main reason we bothered with it is because we “won” a 7-night stay “at any Wyndham property including RCI.” Of course, we were pretty excited planning on using it in Hawaii so we figured we’d sit through a 90-minute presentation. We have done a few of these presentations in the past with other companies and gotten pretty great gifts like a free golf at a great course and a helicopter tour over a volcano. As it turns out, Wyndham only gives you a nearly worthless certificate for 7-nights. And you only have a 30-day booking window. We looked up a variety of dates and the ONLY place in California to stay is in San Bernadino. LOL! She originally offered us 15,000 Wyndham Reward Points instead of the vacation, which we should have taken so at least we would have had one night at a decent place.

gabi
Guest

I’m getting ready to attend one in July for Hilton I’m ready to say NO when I called today to let them know my time for the presentation was wrong the girl was like you’re single correct I said yes
She’s like we need to validate that I was like excuse me how do you show you’re single?
That’s crazy

Jill Siebert
Guest

Omg… we just attended our first Wyndham presentation this morning. I told my husband that we were out of there in 90 minutes because we were heading to Virginia Beach for the day. Well….. we had a really nice salesman, but when he knew that we were not going to sign anything today before going back to our condo to talk about it and the pros and cons his attitude changed and he stepped out to get another higher up salesman. We were there for 90 minutes and I said to my husband….Lets go! We met him in the short hallway and thanked him for his time, he was not happy and the other guy was not either. They made us stop at another table to see if they could talk us in to purchasing a week or some days…. that was a big nope for us also, about 10 minutes more of our time… Needless to say, we stuck to our guns and headed to Virginia Beach and had an amazing day at the beach. Not sure I would do it again just to get the free stuff.