Timeshare

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A few years back I fell into earning credit card rewards, and have been hooked ever since. I love being able to strategically open and use credit cards to earn points for flights, hotels, and car rentals.

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We started by opening several Chase cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, to rack up points within the Ultimate Rewards program and then moved to others afterward. Since then, our family has earned a week-long hotel stay on the Big Island, and flown to places such as Washington, DC, Salt Lake City, and Fort Lauderdale with points.

Read more: I haven't paid for a hotel room in 10 years — here's how I stay for free

We've also used points to rent cars in some of those locations. Needless to say, pursuing credit card rewards has really paid off for our family. But credit card rewards points aren't the only way to travel for free. 

We're focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won't be worth it if you're paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it's important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

A free hotel stay without using credit card rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

> Chase Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Apply Now "> Apply Now
Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Credit Score
A tooltip Recommended credit score. Note that credit card lenders may use many different variations of credit score models when considering your application.
A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star 4.8 out of 5 Stars
Editor's Rating
A tooltip Our editor's ratings are primarily based on 3 things: simplicity, affordability, and value. Our credit card editor takes those factors into account, and comes up with a rating to best reflect how the card performs in that criteria - relative to other products we've reviewed. Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Credit Score
A tooltip Recommended credit score. Note that credit card lenders may use many different variations of credit score models when considering your application.
A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star 4.8 out of 5 Stars
Editor's Rating
A tooltip Our editor's ratings are primarily based on 3 things: simplicity, affordability, and value. Our credit card editor takes those factors into account, and comes up with a rating to best reflect how the card performs in that criteria - relative to other products we've reviewed.
Featured Reward
A tooltip Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening 60,000 points Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
Pros
  • High sign-up bonus starts you off with lots of points
  • Strong travel coverage
Cons
  • Doesn't offer a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
>Read Our Review Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

Earlier this year I had to change a hotel stay for a conference I was attending in Austin for work. I called the Hilton hotel I was staying at and was transferred to its customer service line. The representative was able to add an extra night for me at the group rate I originally booked at, so I was thrilled.

He then asked if I wanted to hold on after our call to chat with someone about some deal. Honestly, I can't remember exactly the terminology he used, but I was excited about adding an extra night to my stay at the discounted rate so I agreed. 

Read more: The best Hilton credit cards

After our call finished I was transferred to a Hilton Grand Vacations representative. I wasn't super familiar with the brand but was willing to hear him out. He walked me through a few different promotions they were offering, including staying in Orlando, Chicago, or Las Vegas.

I was able to get the details for each of the trips, including how much it would cost us out of pocket. I'm typically not one to turn down a good deal on flights or hotels, and love the excuse deals give us to travel! 

From our conversation, I discovered that we could stay for three nights at a Hilton Grand Vacations property in Orlando, Chicago, or Las Vegas for around $200 total. Being hotel rooms typically cost around that much per night, I knew this was a deal I wanted to consider, whether for a family vacation or a trip for just my husband and me.

It's possible to redeem Hilton Honors points for many Hilton Grand Vacations resorts, but you'll often pay more points because you'll usually be booking into what's considered a premium room. 

The representative explained which types of rooms were included in the deal for each city (such as a studio room versus a standard room) and where extra fees applied (it would cost an extra $100 if we checked in on a Friday or Saturday). He also stated that we would get $199 back after our stay, making the hotel stay essentially free. 

So what was the catch to this deal? Drumroll, please ...

We had to sit through a two-hour timeshare presentation. 

A free stay for two hours of our time

I know very little about timeshares. No one in my family or husband's family has owned one (or not that I know of!) and I don't hear a lot of chat about them within our circles of friends. What I do know is that you pay a fee upfront to be a part-owner in a property, where you can then stay for an allotted amount of time (usually one week a year). You can typically rotate properties around the US or the world.

While this may sound like a dream to some people, there are plenty of cons. This type of ownership can be expensive, have hidden fees, and be hard to get rid of if you no longer want it. 

Read more: I haven't stayed in a hotel in over a year — here's how I'm using all the credit card points and free night certificates I've saved up

So while we love to travel, I know for a fact we won't be purchasing a timeshare. Although I didn't outright say this to the representative, I did express my concerns and he addressed them. His advice? Set a timer for two hours when the presentation starts and walk out when it goes off if it isn't over. 

Of course, I had to accept the deal over the phone (but could decide on the location afterward) or it would no longer be available. These types of decisions I normally involve my husband in, but he was working. While contemplating if this was a legit deal I remembered that my in-laws sat through a timeshare presentation on our family vacation to Hawaii in 2020.

I figured since they had done it before it was a valid opportunity (the deal, not purchasing a timeshare!) and that my husband would be excited about a free hotel stay. After paying, I received an email and text message confirmation. Later on, another representative called me to discuss which hotel options were available at the locations I was considering. 

Read more: 5 real-life trips taken by credit card reward travel experts to inspire your vacation planning — especially if you have lots of points and miles to burn

Although I'm not very great at saying no to people, including solicitors that come to our door, my husband is. When I told him about the deal he was a little surprised but mentioned he had sat through a few presentations when he was younger while vacationing with his parents.

After discussing it we decided to use this as an excuse to take a vacation without our kids, called the representative helping us, and booked the three nights for Vegas. We were given the choice between a few Hilton Grand Vacations properties and booked the one with the highest ratings and best location.

A quick Google search showed me that the cost for the nights we booked is between $284 and $334 a night! There will be a resort fee to pay (around $25 per night) but that's still worth it being the rest of the hotel stay will be paid for. 

We even invited some of our friends, and now there is a group of eight of us going. While the deal had me a little skeptical, I have no doubt that we will make it through the timeshare presentation unscathed, and have a fantastic warm-weather getaway with our friends.

Source : https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/free-hotel-stay-timeshare-presentation-2021-10

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I normally use credit card points to book hotel nights — but when I was offered a free stay for listening to a timeshare pitch, I couldnt refuse

Source:Business Insider

I normally use credit card points to book hotel nights — but when I was offered a free stay for listening to a timeshare pitch, I couldnt refuse

Vacation Ownership (Timeshare) Market Size Soaring at 7.6% CAGR to Reach 20460 million USD by 2025

Source:MarketWatch

Vacation Ownership (Timeshare) Market Size Soaring at 7.6% CAGR to Reach 20460 million USD by 2025

Timeshare Users Group Celebrates 28th Birthday as First Timeshare Website on the Internet!

Source:Digital Journal

Timeshare Users Group Celebrates 28th Birthday as First Timeshare Website on the Internet!

Judge Urges Green Light For Wyndham Timeshare Exit Claims

Source:Law360

Judge Urges Green Light For Wyndham Timeshare Exit Claims