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Would you sit through a two-hour timeshare sales presentation to get three nights at a hotel in Orlando, plus 15,000 Hilton Honors points — all for $199? How about for dinner or a spa voucher at a Marriott hotel in Dubai? Would three nights in Tahoe plus 10,000 IHG points for $249 be worth enduring a long sales pitch?
Companies dangle generous perks to try to sell you a timeshare, with offers ranging from free parking to free hotel nights to deeply discounted hotel stays — provided you sit through a timeshare sales presentation of 90 minutes or more.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering a timeshare sales presentation offer.
How timeshares work
What is a timeshare?
A timeshare is a fractional ownership of a vacation property or vacation property lease — usually at a popular travel destination or resort. It’s a lifetime commitment, although it’s possible to resell it. You’re basically investing in the opportunity to spend a week or more at select properties every year.
The question "Is a timeshare a good deal?" is different from the question "Is this timeshare presentation offer a good deal?" Timeshares are often pitched as ways to save money on future vacations. Depending on your travel habits, it’s possible the timeshare pros and cons could tilt in your favor. But in most cases, collecting points and miles redeemable for travel is a better way to save.
But even if you know the timeshare route isn’t for you, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should skip out on the timeshare presentation offer. The perks could be well worth your time.
» Learn more: Are timeshares worth it? Possibly, if you buy smart
Timeshare presentation offers
A timeshare presentation offer is any benefit or discount — like free or reduced hotel stays, bonus points or free spa treatments — that you can receive by agreeing to sit through a timeshare sales presentation. These offers can include things like free parking at a resort where you’re staying, free hotel nights or deeply discounted hotel stays and resort experiences.
To determine whether it’s worth sitting through a presentation, consider the value of the perk being offered. In the case of free parking, you would probably be better off spending $50 to self-park and skip the sales pitch.
Can attending timeshare presentations offer a good deal?
Even still, there are times when sitting through a timeshare presentation can be worth your while. You can find good timeshare deals on offers for discounted stays, free nights and more online — or get offers through phone calls or targeted emails. In some cases, you might decide the savings are worth it.
Tip: Watch out for blackout dates, hidden charges and more
Depending on the hotel chain, your offer could be subject to blackout dates, high-season charges and package expiration dates. Read the terms and conditions carefully.
» Learn more: Find the best hotel credit card for you
Worthwhile timeshare offers, by chain
Here are a few offers from major hotel chains that, depending on how you feel about sitting through a sales pitch, might be worth grabbing.
Hilton has a timeshare presentation offer that gets you a three-night stay in Orlando or Las Vegas, plus 15,000 Hilton points for $199. That’s a pretty decent deal considering that rooms normally cost $175 to $500 per night.
This offer is good at several hotels, including the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista — an official Walt Disney World hotel. This means it gives its guests additional benefits, such as extra magic hours and access to FastPass. (Note that both services are currently on hold).
Other Hilton offers include a five-night stay at a resort in Hawaii for $649 plus taxes. The online offer includes 15,000 points. But a recent phone call to Hilton proved that sales representatives have some leeway to negotiate, in this case switching the offer to 5,000 Hilton points and a $200 Hilton gift certificate.
There are two different Hilton packages available for Hawaii — you can pick either Honolulu or the Big Island. Considering room rates here often hover around $500 per night, you can save a bundle by sitting through a timeshare presentation. For example, five nights in September 2021 at the Ocean Tower at the Hilton Waikoloa Village cost about $1,891.
That’s a big discount, not counting that $200 gift certificate and the value of those points, at a sprawling oceanfront resort featuring a saltwater lagoon.
Marriott Vacation Club has a number of specials for travelers willing to attend a timeshare presentation. In Dubai, for example, you can score two free nights at a number of hotels throughout the Middle East.
You can also participate in timeshare presentation in exchange for a dinner or spa voucher at select Marriott hotels in Dubai.
IHG’s vacation club is extending offers for properties in Gatlinburg, Tennessee; New Orleans; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Lake Tahoe, Nevada; among others.
At the Lake Tahoe resort, you can pay $249 plus tax and get three nights in a one-bedroom villa at the Holiday Inn Club Vacations: Tahoe Ridge Resort, as well as 10,000 IHG points.
Considering three nights at that resort can cost upward of $1,000, the timeshare presentation offer may be well worth it.
Some IHG hotels cost as little as 8,000 points per night, which means you can turn those 10,000 points into another free night.
Who qualifies for timeshare presentation offers?
Not everyone will qualify for these offers. Requirements vary by chain, so check the details of your offer before committing to one of these packages.
In the case of Hilton, you must not have attended a timeshare presentation within the past year at the property where you’ll be staying or within the last six months at any other properties. You’ll also need to meet certain other criteria, though they don’t publish details about what these are.
For Marriott’s Vacation Club offer in Dubai, you must be a married couple 30 to 65 years old with a joint income of over $130,000 who has traveled to Europe at least once in the past three years.
IHG’s Holiday Inn Club, meanwhile, requires that you be older than 25 with a minimum income of $50,000.
If you’re tempted by a timeshare presentation offer
Are all timeshare presentation offers a good deal? No, especially if you’re staying somewhere cheap or they’re just handing out free parking. But if you do some research, you can score serious discounts in truly exciting locations.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card