Hotel timeshares – are they worth it?
Once viewed as schemes to be wary of, timeshares have begun to regain popularity across the world. There are stricter regulations in place these days, including a cooling off period and the ability to transfer the membership in most cases, so couples and families are feeling more relaxed about these holiday programmes. But are timeshare holidays good value, and what are the drawbacks and advantages of being in a vacation club?
Traditional timeshares are where a person owns a fraction of a holiday home. For example, if 52 individuals clubbed together and buy an apartment, they each own 1/52 of the property and could visit it for one week a year sharing the initial cost and future maintenance expenses. These timeshares are still available, but it does mean that an owner has to visit the same apartment during the same week every year, so offers little flexibility. Holiday clubs, such as the Accor Vacation Club timeshare scheme, work slightly differently. These programmes give the club member points each year to use when booking hotels, apartments and even cruises anywhere in the world. The number of points issued depends on the level of membership purchased, and they offer flexibility when used to plan holidays in advance. Points can be used for short breaks or longer holidays, and can be booked well ahead of time. There are a wide range of places to choose from, including some of the best international hotel brands such as Sofitel, Mercure and Pullman in conjunction with partners, like AccorHotels Select Elite.
When considering if these timeshare holidays are good value, it is advised that you think about the next five years, and even further into the future, and where you hope to go. Work out the amount this will cost, and compare it to your investment. When interest rates are very low, as they are currently, this could make even more sense, depending on your individual situation. Reading some of Accor Vacation Club reviews, there are many happy customers who make full use of all their points by thinking ahead, and enjoy their holiday time to the full. To maximise their vacation points, savvy members make sure they plan well in advance and see places they have dreamed of, rather than putting it off for another year. There are also other benefits with some vacation clubs, such as discounted dining offers and associated holiday programs (such as Accor Vacation Club Travel and reduced AccorPlus membership), which makes the timeshare membership more valuable. With varying levels of membership, you can also choose the amount of investment you can comfortably afford so you don’t overstretch yourself.*
Some of the disadvantages to these vacation clubs is that there is often an annual administration fee to pay, so make sure you understand how much this is, and whether it increases over time. It is often possible to transfer your membership to someone else, such as a child or friend, but there may be costs to cover. There is a website where you can see the Accor Vacation Club costs and benefits so you can take time considering your options. Here they call themselves a lifestyle programme, and that is a great way to think of it. A timeshare is a lifestyle choice for those who put holidays and fun at the top of their personal agenda.
*Please note: The information in this article is not personal financial advice and has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Before making a decision to purchase or upgrade a membership in the Accor Vacation Club, you should consider the PDS dated 1 January 2017, issued by A.P.V.C. Ltd AFSL 245515 and available at www.accorvacationclub.com.au or by contacting A.P.V.C. Ltd on 1800 70 81 90.