Why I Think Spending a Few Hours of Your Vacation Time at a Timeshare Presentation Is Worth It

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In the world of miles & points, booking your getaways with the rewards you earn from any number of the best credit cards for travel is the name of the game.

But here’s a secret…there’s also a way to save even more money while you’re on vacation!  All you need to do is attend a timeshare presentation.

I know, I know.  The idea of spending time in a conference room while you’re supposed to be relaxing on the beach is an oft-debated topic.  But the salespeople that put on timeshare presentations usually offer valuable incentives to get you through the door.  And in my experience, the payoffs have been worth my while!

I Earned 2 Free Tickets for a Boat Tour Along the Napali Coast in Kauai, Hawaii, for Attending a Timeshare Presentation

I’ve been to timeshare presentations in Arizona, Belize, and Hawaii.  Each experience was different, but I always left feeling like I’d come out ahead.

On one occasion, the timeshare presenters served rum punch throughout the entire presentation and gave us a golf cart tour of the hotel grounds.  I even walked away with $200 in food and drink vouchers!  The difficulty there was making sure I didn’t drink too much and actually walk away with a timeshare. 😉

At another presentation, I brought my mom and sister along.  We were all given $100 Visa gift cards for our time and only spent ~45 minutes listening to the presentation.  I’d say that’s a pretty good hourly rate!  We certainly had fun spending the gift cards on tasty margaritas.

Bottom line is if you can handle the pressure of the sales pitch and walk out without actually buying anything, sitting through a timeshare presentation CAN be worthwhile!

For anyone interested, be sure to check out this post with tips for getting in on timeshare presentations.

Do you have any experience in attending a timeshare presentation?  If so, how was it?  Would you do it again?  Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Steve
1 year ago

To all of you saying what about the sales people….

Timeshare companies have done the math. The reason they give away the free stuff is because they know if they can get enough people in the door they will make money. They use a combination of sales tactics and other psychological and social pressures to influence people into signing long-term contracts that have an overwhelmingly low satisfaction rate long term.

If the freebies are intended for purchasers, they can stipulate that. They choose not to because they are playing a number game and if they can turn over 10-15% of the free people the timeshare contracts and maintenance fees will more than cover the business operating cost. The salespersons commission is their personal business; I’ve never had a sales person voluntarily tell me what their commission is or offer to share it so I don’t ever concern myself with it.

If someone tells me all I need to do is sit in a chair for an hour, listen to them try to sell me something, and they will give me something of value whether I buy or not; why shouldn’t I go?

Scott
1 year ago

You didn’t ask any ethics questions like,”is it okay to take marketing money from a company with no intention of buying? Is it cool to cost some poor sales rep their commission and eventually job because you want free stuff? Should you be coaching others to follow in your imoral footsteps?”

Gerardo
1 year ago

I did one with Holiday Inn Resorts Club. I ended up with a $100 off certificate for a future booking and 3 days free a the SLS. It was worth it but the experience was awful. The presentation went for 3 hours instead of 2 hours. I told the guy the numbers didn’t add up for me. He just scribbled the same thing over and over again. I think he was trying to wear me out. His supervisor told him to process me in a curt and seemingly passive aggressive way. I was very composed throughout as they had the right to rescind the offer.

scott
1 year ago

I did this once in Las Vegas to get half off Penn & Teller tickets plus two free dinner buffets. It was a horrible experience and I’ll never do it again.

Jenni
1 year ago

My husband and I just attended a time share in Florida. Walked away with $100.00 cash and 20,000 IHG points. While they did not put us up in the “Grand” resort we still spent 3 nights in a Holiday Inn upgraded to a king suite with hot tub and enjoyed the free breakfast every morning. We don’t ever intend to purchase a timeshare but take advantage of bonus offers for attending when they reach out to us. A few hours of our time for the bonuses have made us very happy over the years.

Judy rosenthal
1 year ago

We have one with wyndham…and they just lie and lie. We can’t get what we want or need for vacation times.. you can’t enjoy a vacation as you have to listen to a high pressure pitch EVERY VISIT. told us we could walk to Disney from the wyn. Resort…yeah..miles away!! Not happy..want out

Dan
1 year ago

Resale timeshares from eBay are the way to go. Some can be had for as little as $1 although some have values b North of $10,000 and justifiably so.
When I go to a presentation I make it known in advance that I probably will not be buying if I attend their presentation.
If the salesperson insists, and invariably they always insist, I go ahead and attend their presentation, take their money, and feel good that I was honest.

Wes
1 year ago

I was offered a time share presentation when we stayed at a Sheraton for our trip to Disney (10/2018). I was down for it until they provided the information:
90 minute presentation
AND
Both my wife and I must attend to get the gifts
($100 Visa GC & some knockoff light sabers)

Ohhh, and there were not times available that would allow us to not miss out on time at the parks (all options given were between 9AM & 3PM).

I’d do something like this if I could just show up myself and not drag my wife and kids along, but no way would I do this while having to truck them with me.

JD
1 year ago

Written by aka Meghan, from one of the presenter. Runnnnnn

Judy sSnow
1 year ago

I will never ever attend another “update of your membership” sales pitch again! EVER!! Recently was frauded by my timeshare company and the sales rep by signing, without my knowledge or consent, a contract that added thousands to my account. Don’t even ask me…..just give my flipping parking pass and save your speech for another poor sucker!!!NEVER EVER!

Westerndream
1 year ago

These folks are at work and trying to make a living. To show up just for gifts leaves a bad taste In my mouth. That being said, an overpriced negative equity program with upfront money lost immediately, reoccuring increasing costs, availability problems, and little to no resale value and its a hassle in perpetuity. With the Internet one can travel with no Long term obligation but to yourself. I see no advantage resale or otherwise.

scott
Reply to  Westerndream
1 year ago

They shouldn’t be offering gifts to get people to show up if they don’t want people to only come for the gifts. I will never feel sorry for timeshare presenters.

Dan
Reply to  Westerndream
1 year ago

I regularly pay $800 for reservations that in the open market would cost over $2000. Timeshares are indeed worth it when you a) are traveling with kids or relatives who can’t pay their way b) are not looking to eat at restaurants all three meals b) are going to the same place year after year.

Kate
1 year ago

Actually got a free weekend in Poconos. Didn’t buy from them ($6,000) but bought a resale for $2,000 a few months later. Used it or traded off for 8 years, & resold for $2,500.

Patricia
1 year ago

My husband and I love timeshare presentations. Once in Vegas, we earned $100 a day for 6 days. We refuse to pay for shows, we always let timeshare people pay for our shows. I still have tickets for 3 shows that we didn’t have time to see. I also love the food vouchers.
Once in St. Maarten we received a rental for a week for free. My husband and I are timeshare king and queen.

JD
Reply to  Patricia
1 year ago

Another paid comment

Amaya
1 year ago

Time shares are one of the last legal scams.
Unaffordable, as they continue to raise maintenance fees annually.
Unsellable, as you but for many thousands and if you’re lucky enough to sell, it’s pennies on the dollar.
Unbookable, many times shares allow meetings to sell points to non-members. The ‘resorts’ are full of people not members, and not paying maintenance fees. They do not care about the resort, or other owners.
It’s a huge scam.
Don’t be dumb.
Buy off eBay, if you HAVE to, but never, EVER play retail.
This writer is obviously working for someone in the industry. Everyone else with a brain (or experience) knows it’s a scam.

Patrick
1 year ago

I always attend timeshare presentations for the sole purpose of the free gifts. I am finding out Ebay is the way to go( I purchased week 14 in Palm Beach, FL for $1.0O) I let the salesman know of this and am left alone from that point on. Concerning timeshares, do NOT forget their is an annual fee involved and, I believe this is the reason why so many timeshares are on EBay.

R
1 year ago

Totally wrong.
It’s never MINUTES. Always HOURS they keep you and make you wait while you COULD be vacationing.
Don’t ever take a tour. If you went a timeshare, I have a 2BR first floor/golf course in Orlando I’ll sell you for EXACTLY what I paid for it 15 years ago. Don’t get sucked in to wasting your vacation time.

Angel
1 year ago

Absolutely not worth it usually it takes about 4 hours never 90 minutes and the voucher for of 50-100 for tickets or food are way overpriced which u can usually get much cheaper at other discount locations

Joel
1 year ago

I’ve been through 3 time share presentations. Bought at the first session. My wife doesn’t regret it. The next two did give enjoyable perks as gifts. But as usual I didn’t find the offerings worthwhile. I like flexibility in vacationing and not having to plan so far ahead within the rigidity of timeshare companies. Plus, in spite of having a deeded ownership there is really no resale value. My advice: only buy a timeshare if you are madly in love with one place and can see yourself going there every year. Most of us want more flexibility than that.

Sami Jabron
1 year ago

Your a scumbag, stop taking advantage of people. That’s how the salespeople make a living!

Jerry
1 year ago

We own two timeshares, and love using them. Only one of them has the salespeople trying to sell you another. They used to offer decent gifts, but have lowered value of them to a point that it’s not worth the time or bother. They want your time and money, but give little incentive to get you there.

Mags
1 year ago

Yes I agree dont be.talked into buying one if you.domt wamt to but it is the best way to.vacation love my vacation timeshare amd yes I go on.vacation and do the presentation and I get $$ and use for eating shopping etc.

Mags
1 year ago

I love my.time share go on vacation every.year been owning for over 20 years

Molly
1 year ago

I have taking my family on several vacations, spending very little and getting valuable rewards. Once I got 6 nights in Florida (4 Orlando and 2 in Ft Lauderdale) all for 2 hours out of our vacation. We also were fed breakfast and given 2 free Disney passes. I think the stay cost me $199 total.
I’ve toured a few other times and it amazes how the selling works! One company started at 25k and by the time we got to the last offer they were down to $5. We never bought one through them. I ended up buying one in New Orleans from an owner on Redweek.

Jack Kidder
1 year ago

Have attended several of the high pressure presentation. One guy even threw a fit because we wouldn’t buy one! Oh by the way time shares are lifetime ownership and are worthless, even the people selling you one won’t by yours after you one it! Beware… ripoff.

John
1 year ago

Read my blog on TripAdvisor or Google maps, timeshares are not only dangerous but rife with fraud.

Brandy
1 year ago

Thanks to an invitation to a presentation I own my timeshare.Becauce of the free gifts I now spend quality time with my family at beautiful 5 star resorts .The resorts are way above the grade I could normally afford.Thankyou to a great salesperson who gave me an opp8 to save thousands!

Amber
1 year ago

What about the sales reps that feed their children by doing this job? The ones that may be having a bad month and their numbers have dropped so low that they are on probation. You could be their last shot at a sale before they lose their job. No that isn’t your fault or problem but think about it, when you go to a doctor, they get paid whether or not they fix you. A timeshare rep may not be getting a paycheck if they don’t make a sale and to be honest it isn’t fair. No, you are not obligated to buy anything especially if it isn’t the right fit for you but if you are playing a game to get worthless free crap because you are being cheap, that is pathetic. If you are going to waste the day sitting in a presentation, at least have an open mind about the concept and be willing to hear it out because it could help you. I know several people that own timeshares and it has been the best thing they have ever done for their families. Taking a presentation just for the free junk gifts and not leaving any room for consideration is a waste of your time and could cost someone their job. They may have gotten someone actually willing to listen instead that may have bought to help themselves travel more and instead they got you. Food for thought.

Jason
Reply to  Amber
1 year ago

So is it you or your husband that sells time shares?

Amber
Reply to  Jason
1 year ago

Neither. Proud timeshare owner here.

Jason
Reply to  Amber
1 year ago

That’s great. It’s always important to remember that we all choose what works best for us and should respect others choices.

Amber
Reply to  Jason
1 year ago

I agree. And the more info you have going into the situation the easier it can be to make that choice. The choice here would be whether or not to do a presentation just for the free stuff. This post specifically says that it’s worth it if you can get out without buying anything. But why go into it with that mindset? Why not have an open mind and truly see if it’s for you? Why not think about both sides? If timeshare isn’t for you and there is absolutely no way you would join then why waste your time? If your contemplating it, then think about what it could cost that sales rep. If you choose to still go and not give them a chance to earn your business then that is the person you want to be, that is what you feel your time is worth and you don’t need to be concerned with what happens to that rep. But most people don’t think that far into it. I have become close friends with my sales rep because she is an honest and kind person. She does very well being transparent and helping people. They aren’t all bad people. Some of these presentations can last over 4 hours so if you are thinking about going to one for the gifts, at least do yourself the service of having an open mind in case you see something that you like or something that could help you. Otherwise, what’s the point? What if the gifts have limitations that cause you to not be able to use them?

Artur
1 year ago

If you decide to waste half your day (do NOT count on 90 min, it WILL be more), at least make sure you are getting at least $400-$500 value out of it. And yes you can bargain. If you are not getting what you want, walk away. And never, ever, ever purchase a timeshare from a presentation. It is a Bad deal, ALWAYS. No matter what they try to tell you.
Now if you do want the ability to spend a weeek or 2 or 3 in a 5* resort, for less than the cost of one day’s rack rate, go on ebay and purchase an RCI points timeshare for $1. (Just watch those maintenance fees). Then any weeklong reservation you make costs $239. (Plus your maintenance fees). Your goal is to purchase the most amount of points for the least amount of maintenance fees. If you can purchase a timeshare that cost you $.01/point in maintenance fees, you have a good deal.
A traditional timeshare lets you exchange your weeks 1-1. And RCI points timeshare will let you exchange your 1 week into 2-4 weeks. Now we’re talking. (Written from The balcony of Hacienda Tres Rios, Riviera Maya, 1 week in a 1 bedroom apartment, for 7,500 points plus $239 exchange fee – total cost – $314 for the entire week)

Kimberly Purvis
1 year ago

I attended two. My first in Hawaii n got six tickets for free to dinner show, but I bought my first timeshare there. So peaceful on that one.

Second one was I. Florida and they were horrible. They said I needed to update my Info n pick up my gift for coming ended up there five hours n getting screamed at n cut down because I wouldn’t upgrade on my timeshare. Never again.

neminem
1 year ago

My experience with attending a timeshare presentation made me never want to ever do it ever again. I knew the actual presentation would be terrible, which it was, but I was expecting that at the end, I would walk away with the thing they promised.

Actually, the first time we drove all the way there, and didn’t have the documentation they required, which was different from what they told us to bring (which we had brought), so we had to drive all the way back home, reschedule, and come back another day. For the hassle, they promised us an additional gift, which of course they then never actually sent us.

So the second time, we do the whole thing, they lie a ton about everything, we suck it up and don’t cause trouble, the 2 hours ends up being 4 like we expected, then at the end it’s all worth it cause we got a 4-night cruise for $80 (taxes and port fees) like they said, right? Nope! We got a 4-night cruise for “taxes, port fees, and booking fee”, which ended up being almost $200 a person. Note: the same cruise was about $230 when booked directly from the cruise line while on sale (which it was, frequently). I’d call that an outright scam. So at that point, I wasn’t even feeling like bothering them about the free night at a hotel on Catalina they promised and didn’t deliver, as I figured that’d end up being a scam too.

Never again.