Free Travel From Timeshare Presentations

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 12.10.17 AMThere are tons of ways to get free hotel nights. It’s incredible. And while most of us only focus on turning credit card rewards into amazing vacations, there are other ways folks! I mean ways outside of our circle, besides the big promotions and hotel Best Rate Guarantees. One way, outside of the normal ways to get free nights, would be Timeshare Presentations.

Lately people have shared stories with me about getting all kinds of free things including food or room and board. First let me explain a little bit about what a timeshare presentation is and how getting free stuff works.

Timeshare (noun)

“The arrangement whereby several joint owners have the right to use a property as a vacation home under a time-sharing scheme.”

Years ago I met a guy who really works the system to get timeshare rentals, which I’ll share more about in a later post. But I never really pursued it until recently.

Basically, hotels and hotel chains really want to sell you a longterm/lifetime commitment to their hotel. This is so profitable for them that they will actually pay you to sit through their sales pitches (that should be warning enough that it’s a bad sign for you). In fact, there are companies and individuals that make a living providing “leads” to the hotel. Meaning, that someone can get paid just by telling you about or taking you to the timeshare sales pitch. So you and the person who made the connection (a website or person off the street) get paid for sitting through this “90 minute” presentation.

 

So what do I get?

It can be a wide range of things. Show tickets, food vouchers, hotel nights, hotel discounts or even cash, all for just listening to the presentation.

How do I find these things?

That is a good question. Sometimes it’s pretty simple and sometimes it’s luck.

I heard that people at the concierge desk at a resort will sometimes invite you to a presentation. But I’m not sure how high percentage that is. So we’ll stick with strategies people can consistently score free things, food and travel with.

On the street

If you’re in touristy areas like Las Vegas, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Cancun, etc… These people will snatch you off the street. They might have a booth or a place set up on the main drag to grab “targetted” people. Again, these people are mostly commissioned and are more worried about getting people to the presentation and the hotel is more worried about doing the targeting.

You may be able to google “timeshare promotions” or “timeshare presentations” “in [Las Vegas]” or wherever you’re planning on going and see where these people lurk. Perhaps there will be a forum thread of people sharing their experiences and where they got scooped up.

Online

There are a number of ways to find presentations online. This is also the best source that I’m aware of for securing your presentation ahead of time. These deals are usually discounts on the hotel giving the presentation. You can find all inclusive resorts for $50 a night for two adults. It’s not free but it’s still a good deal. I’ve never done an all inclusive (after all if you’re spending $100 a day in food in mexico, you are getting ripped off!), but food, drinks and lodging, all resort-quality for $50 a night is a great deal. At the cost of a “90 minute presentation.”

Erik in the comments has a great but simple tip: It’s not too hard to get a an offer, simply go to one of the major timeshare company web sites (Hilton Grand Vacations, Diamond International, Marriott Vacation Club, Starwood Vacation Network, etc.) and fill out their contact form. They may call you – if they do, ask about promo offers because you prefer to “try before you buy”.

The digital middle man

It’s the same middle man concept except online. There are companies that have a template to sell these presentations. Here is a great example.

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 2.38.27 PM

First of all this is not a one day sale. The sale does not end in “12 hours, 21 minutes, 21 seconds”, it’s just a bunch of sales tactics. Everyday it will be the same deal for this hotel on this site.

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 2.44.22 PM

At the bottom of the website you’ll find the terms and conditions, I guess it doesn’t hurt to read them but you have to call anyways and they’ll let you know if you qualify or not.

In this case the participants must be between the income levels of $30,000 – $60,000. And this example says that there is a daily $20 resort fee. Making the real price $70 a night. Still not bad… but I hate hidden fees! I wonder if you can call and bargain the rate down to $30 a day then, making the realistic price $50.

But there are other options but let me give some examples of this template style timeshare presentation seller.

I found these by googling the phone number on the above 5 star Cancun page:

Similarly I found these on google as well:

[side rant]: Vacation People is my favorite. Not because of the deals but because it’s such a good attempt at pretending to be a real hotel site. They have a fake calendar set up to show unlimited availability. It’s to prove that your timeshare can be used whenever. They even have a preloader .gif to the calendar (that I copied and put below) that makes it look like the calendar is actually checking availability. When it’s just a calendar that shows green for every date ever. No searching is involved. Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 3.04.33 PM[/side rant]

Online Classifieds and Auctions

Ebay and Craigslist are also good ways to find presentations. In touristy resort areas like Cancun you can try searching Ebay with the following format: [Location] and words like “presentation”, “90 minutes”, “all inclusive”, or “resort”. You can also check different Ebay categories like “travel packages” and use broader words in your search.

If you see a great deal and are interested in related locations try viewing that seller’s profile and their other items for sale. Even on the Ebay results the person selling often pretends to be personal, when really they are just selling leads, chances are they’ll have multiple options.

Make sure you know whether the price is nightly or for the entire stay.

The phone

This happened to me when I was in Queenstown, New Zealand. I was at the Crowne Plaza and liked the Hilton better so wanted to switch back, so I called the Hilton (because PC doesn’t give free internet to Plats). Deals online were awesome! Like $60 a night but over the phone the rate was much higher so I backed out and said I’d book online instead (at a nearby coffee shop). But before I hung up I was given the pitch, “would you like ‘X’ amount of miles for learning more about Hilton vacations?” Sure.

 

Who they target

In general they look for married couples above the age of 35. I’ve seen a few pages that suggest that the “wife” needs to be present. Maybe they feel it’s easier to take advantage of the kinder gender. And the real reason they target people 35 or above is it’s their best guess as to who is financially secure. I guess they assume that the majority of the time you can assume someone in their 20s is not financially secure.

They also might ask your income as they are looking for people who are financially secure. One inside source said they targeted people with incomes above $50,000 a year. With my experience calling Hilton it was very apparent that they were targeting people who make more than $80,000 a year. On the phone they quick asked me some preliminary questions to figure out if I qualified. The “questions“ were… “how much money do you make a year”. There were four choices and the first option was “under $80,000 a year”. Either they wanted to a tactful way to figure out if I made under $80,000 and gave four options as an illusion, or they would do further sales pitch targeting based on your income. Either way, I was given the boot and a slight points compensation after revealing my income was indeed in the first category.

Warning and things to remember

First of all, if you are buying online, make sure you read what it is you’re buying. It’s good to know when you can use it and also good to know of any restrictions.

Do not buy a timeshare! They will use every sales tactic to make it seem like a good idea and that you should buy now, but it’s not a good idea and you don’t need to buy now. Whether you’re looking at a timeshare site or listening to a presentation remember this: it is not a one day sale, it will be the same price tomorrow.

I’ve heard horor stories as to how long the “90 minutes” lasts when the prize is given after the presentation. At least if you book online you already have your room and aren’t expecting any more goodies. But still the presenters do often give hard sells. I’ve heard two strategies going in: First, just say you’re not going to buy upfront and that you’re not interested in the pitch but only in the prize. Maybe even say that you would never buy without thinking about it for a week and that you don’t believe the scarcity sales pitch (that it won’t be here tomorrow). Others have said that acting interested makes the sales pitch softer as the presenter thinks the sale is in the bag. I kind of prefer the first, more honest approach as the presenters are commission pay and should have the option to not waste their breath. Win win.

Christian (a regular reader and friend I got to meet recently) was telling me about his hilarious experience in the timeshare sales pitch. When it came time to close the deal they got serious and asked him how much he spent on travel a year. Their next question was how often- when he told them about all the international destinations he and his family of four had gone to on the price he mentioned, they thought he was being goofy. So they started to ask him how he does it and by the end of it they were taking notes! “I’m going to email you later!” They told him as he walked out.

I want people to feel free to comment any tips or experiences they have had in getting great deals from sitting through timeshare sales pitches. If you have anything to add that could help other people interested in the subject, including links and places to check out, add them below.

My honest recommendation

This is not the best way to get free or cheap travel. Generally the rates are only discounted and the pitch can be intense. I’m currently spending two weeks at a 5 star luxury hotel and it’s completely free. As I always say, miles and points can be acquired cheaper and used better. One great credit card signup bonus could earn enough for a free week at a hotel (or better yet an international flight). Seriously, if I have a good credit score and can get good signup bonuses, why in the world would I suffer through a timeshare presentation? If I have credit cards that earn points and I can find sneaky ways to rack up spends on gift cards I can turn into cash, why would I do a timeshare? In short, I will give it a try, but I will never see this being as beneficial as collecting miles and points, and learning how to use them. But if it works for you, maybe I can learn from it.

Update: I do not have contacts to any hotel, resort or organization that does timeshares. I just used Dr. Google and put together a post on it. I specialize in using rewards points from the best credit cards and promotions, and using them to book dream trips. If you would like to find a presentation, I’m afraid I can’t help anymore than the post above and the comments below. CKANbanner_300x250_v3b

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94 Responses to Free Travel From Timeshare Presentations

  1. Erik says:

    We’ve done a few of these presentations, they can be great values especially if you are a family. You just need to have the willpower to forcefully say no and mean it, no matter what they say. Keep track of the time and if your agreed time has lapsed, you can safely walk out because you have fulfilled your obligation under the promotional terms. It’s not too hard to get a an offer, simply go to one of the major timeshare company web sites (Hilton Grand Vacations, Diamond International, Marriott Vacation Club, Starwood Vacation Network, etc.) and fill out their contact form. They may call you – if they do, ask about promo offers because you prefer to “try before you buy”. Understand that it is rarely ever a good deal to buy a timeshare from the developer. If you are interested in the concept, do your research at sites like http://www.tugbbs.com and buy your timeshare on the resale market. Your wallet will thank you.

  2. Laura R says:

    I’ve done several of these. Back in the day, the “prizes” were very good. The best one I ever did gave me $100 in actual restaurant gift cards (Olive Garden and TGI Fridays I believe) just for showing up. And then, after the presentation, we got a voucher for a free Carnival (yeah, Carnival) cruise to Mexico. From LA. We lived in ATL at the time and I worked for Delta, so we could fly out there to catch the cruise for free.

    Nowadays though, it seems the “prizes” are tied up in lots of strings and it’s almost impossible to actually use them.

    My “bad” experience (which really wasn’t horrible) was last summer. I bought a deal on Groupon for $30. It gave me a 2 night hotel stay in Gatlinburg and a $100 dining voucher (worthless restaurants.com) for sitting through a presentation. (of course the 90 minutes is usually more like 3 hours) Anyway..when I made the booking I had to pay a $50 deposit that I was told I would get back after I mailed in the stamped voucher from the timeshare place. I did. But no $50 refund. I called them in Oct and they said they were working on processing all the refunds. I called again in Jan and the number was disconnected and no sign of the company online anymore. OUt of business. Buyer beware.

    • Paty says:

      Inalso bought a groupon for a place in playa, but every time i have tried to book, there is no supposed availability. Money wsted. And no one would refund my money!

  3. Paul says:

    How lame do you have to be to sit thru a sales pitch for 90 minutes, let alone consider doing it? I’d rather sleep in the gutter than whore myself for the sake of saving a few bucks.

  4. Temo says:

    I was able to get a Wyndham Resorts stay down to $99 for a 3 day, 2 nights with a $150 Amex gift card and a $25 Avis voucher. I’m willing to sit through the presentation. Experiencing New Orleans Mardi Gras in French Quarter for free is worth it to me.

  5. Jasmine says:

    Last winter we gave the IMS website a try and booked at an all-inclusive in Cancun. Our deal was ridiculously cheap. It came out to about $300 for the 2 of us for 4 nights. The hotel was fine, food okay, beach pretty. I am not a fan of all-inclusive and it will be a long while before we do it again. But considering we flew down to Cancun with miles, and that I live in Western NY and it was the dead of winter, I was happy to get away for a cheap vacation. The time share presentation wasn’t too bad. They got a little nasty the last 5 minutes when they sent in the head honcho to use a last resort technique (bullying) on us. But we escaped just fine.

  6. Travel Is Free says:

    @ Erik – Thanks I added that tip in the post.

    @ Laura – Yea, I try to stay away from unknown brand incentives that are tied up or require deposits and things. But a Carnival Cruise is killer!

    @ Paul – I don’t imagine I would mind listening to someone for 90 minutes all that much but I do know other people feel it would be awful. But a Carnival Cruise can be over 1 grand! So unless you make $660+ an hour, it seems totally worth it.

    @ Temo – That’s a great deal, how did you find and get it?

    @ Jasmine – Yea, that’s unbeatable. Although, I’m not sure I value all-inclusives too much as they are normally well over $100 more a night. Why people pay for that in Mexico where food and drinks are super cheap, I don’t know.

  7. Carry says:

    Best solution I ever heard for the pitch (and I have not researched this heavily) was simply to say ‘I’ll take it’ !! Most if not all of these timeshares have a backout policy that allows for a full refund within 3-7 days of making the decision. Once you sign up, get out of there, have a good time and cancel when you get home. They cannot apply the same pressure over the phone…..

    • Jodie Cordell says:

      Unfortunately, it seems the resorts are catching on to this strategy. They are putting a clause in the contracts now that says the contract is not cancellable by the member/owner. There may be a way around it, but probably only with legal help. Also, I’ve read some other accounts where they employ other strategies to keep you from canceling, including avoiding phone calls and making threats regarding foreclosures, reporting to credit bureaus, filing suits, etc. So, I’m not sure this strategy works so well these days. They’ve figured that one out.

  8. David says:

    Me and my wife did one of these things through http://www.lasvegastimesharepromotions.com. It was alright, but it lasting longer than the “90 minutes” that we were told. However, if you want to get hooked up with some free gifts just for showing up it seemed worth it to us. We had a good time, they hooked us up with a show and dinner just for coming. Hard to complain…

  9. Bob says:

    There is a lot of bad stigma when it comes to timeshare presentations. After years in the Resort business I’ve decided to give back to the future travelers to Las Vegas. After working out different venues with several Geo Holiday Resorts and Shows as well as Dining. Im now extending a 3 day 2 night VegaStay complimentary at one of our Resorts. Once you have arrived into Vegas and checked into your Resort courtesy of VegaStay, you will be required to take a 120 minutes timeshare tour of Geo Holiday at the Jockey Club. I know other companies say 90 minutes but ours if 120 minutes. If you decide you are purchasing a timeshare then yes it will take longer. Now we do offer a $99 refundable deposit and you will get this back in cash after your tour or in the form of payment you first paid with. There is no voucher that you have to mail back or anything like that. If you would like to learn more please feel free to visit our website or give me a call. Thank you Drew for letting me tell my short story on your site. Happy Travels!!

  10. Iris says:

    Looking for a timeshare in New Hampshire, Maine or Cape Cod for August 23-26 or August 28-31

  11. David Jauchen says:

    I would like to receive offers for time share presentations in California.

  12. Laquitta Walker says:

    I want to celebrate my 62nd birthday and retirement in 2014, late February or early March in the Carribean. How can I visit a presentation to connect me with this vacation spot?
    Thank you!

  13. Laticia Frost says:

    I’m trying to go to las vegas for my birthday and would like to get in on a trip

  14. Raymond says:

    Me an my wife will b traveling to Las Vegas november 1, 2013 we would like to learn about your timeshare promotion

  15. Patricia Fancher says:

    Hook me up with web sights for Florida and/or Vegas.

  16. Joanne says:

    thanks for your info on time shares

  17. charles crider says:

    Would like to see what timeshare is about

  18. Jacklynn says:

    I work in the front end of timeshares i book all inclusive vacations plus mini vacays across the us that has tours attached reasonably priced anyone interested contact me jbellingham86@gmail.com

  19. Pnina says:

    Would like to go with my kids to cancun mexico in January something reasonable or possible Florida!! Does any of the timeshare include the fligh? Cause sometime that could be quiet expensive for us 5. What is the hotel/hilton, marriot etc….

  20. Joe Johnson says:

    I actually work in the industry and sell the packages to visit a beautiful time share resort in Orlando or Las Vegas. 4 or 5 days for free. You pay the taxes and resort fees ( $25 to $40 per night) and go to a 2 hour presentation. The presentation is a piece of cake, since the resort is owned by a very respected hotel brand and they don’t want to lose the hotel business. Best deal going right now. My family has all taken advantage of this deal and want to do it again. I have no problems with the product at all. Feel free to email me for details.

  21. I’ll do you one better. There is an all-inclusive resort on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic that has $12-$30 sales several times throughout the year and you do not have to attend the presentation (even though they sure as hell hope you will. I paid $12 a night there last year (and they gave us a junior suite!) and coming again for $19 a night in 2 weeks.
    I have a write up about it: $29 a night All-Inclusive in DR

  22. Do not believe everything you hear during the timeshare presentation: Timeshare presentations are known for being extremely high-pressure and for using misleading sales tactics. You will be told that a timeshare is a good investment, that you can travel all over the world with it, that you can sell it easily, that you can rent your weeks in case you cannot use them. Those statements are not true. Ask as many questions as possible and be sure that all the verbal promises are written in the contract.

  23. Vijay Gurajala says:

    I would be interested in a timeshare presentation during Thanksgiving/Christmas. you can send me the details at
    gurajala.vijay at gmail

  24. There are good timeshares out there, as well as there are people who feel happy about their timeshare purchases, especially those who enjoy to vacation at the same place and are not spontaneous travelers. Unfortunately, due to the big number of timeshare scams being committed against many vacationers, the industry has gained a terrible reputation.

  25. Beverly says:

    Looking for a time share in Curaceo

  26. Timeshare fraud has been around since the timeshare idea was created, but they increase during poor economy. When times are difficult, timeshare owners are stuck with properties they can´t travel to or even afford. Desperate to recoup some money to pay for bills, they can easily become victims to scams artists pretending to be their timeshare salvation who will take upfront fees -as much as five number figures in some cases- but fail to fulfill their promise.

  27. Jennifer G says:

    Top3Travel Destinations Can you please email me some information to jennigalvis06@hotmail.com Thank you

  28. Erick says:

    Hi guys. If you live in Southern California (la, OC and San Diego) I have travel vouchers for hawaii, vegas and a few other locations. We also offer cruises and restaurant vouchers, all you have to do is attend the 90-120 min presentation and you will receive your gift. There is no obligation to buy, you only need to show up on time and listen to the presentation. For more info, please email me at Skyhighvip@gmail.com

  29. Tonya says:

    I am intersted in a timeshare tour for Shenandoah Crossing in Gordonsville VA. Does anyone ahve any information on that?

  30. Andrew says:

    Top3Travel Destinations and others, I am considering taking our family of 5 on a 4-day vacation with a Timeshare promo at the beginning of April. Would prefer a location Mexico, Carribean or Florida on the beach. All-Inclusive is an added bonus.

    If any promotions are available, please email me.

    Thanks!
    - Andrew

  31. If you take a look on eBay, you will certainly find a cheap timeshare for sale. Some time shares are sold for even less than a dollar. Unfortunately, the majority of timeshare presentations, if not all, are high-pressure and misleading, and they use all type of deceptive sales tactics to get a sale done. However, a cheap timeshare for sale is not a good deal. Even when the timeshare is paid in full, there are still lots of financial responsibilities that are attached to them

  32. HANNAH WOLFGANG says:

    I’d like to attend a presentation at a timeshare in Hawaii. I’m not too picky about which Island, but Kona or Maui would be ideal. My husband and hope to go to Hawaii this May or June. Any promo presentations out there? We’d consider Cape Cod as well, since it is closer to home…I am interested in timeshares that may be exchanged with other people’s properties internationally. Thanks. Hannah

  33. ashleyhager says:

    looking for a presentation in fl preferably Jacksonville or somewhere close please and thank you

  34. Dee says:

    I am interested in packages for Vegas in August 2014.

  35. if you live in FL and are willing to drive to Daytona Beach, OR in Southern CA and are willing to drive to either Ontario or Orange, OR live near Pittsburgh, PA I can help you get some nice gifts just for taking a 90 minute tour including a vacation.
    Visit http://www.promochoices.com, fill out the contact form and you will get a response (be sure to include a phone number in the comment section). Qualifications: married or cohabitating, earn minimum 50k combined income, major credit card (not debit cards). Not required to buy anything to get the gifts.

  36. Izabela says:

    I went with my husband to Villa del Palmar presentation and we paid 399 for 5 days vacation. We didn’t mind the 3hours presentation since we were there without kids. The lady was nasty but we knew we won’t buy any timeshare.
    I would def go again

  37. Lin Ronald says:

    I have some very nice packages available for Mexico Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Puerto Vallarta.
    In addition I have Punta Cana DR, Florida Orlando ( actually Kissimmee ) and Daytona, Bahamas, (Freeport on the beach).

    I also have fabulous deals in Bali Indonesia, I lived there for 6 months, and I have Phuket and Koh Samui in Thailand. I lived in Phuket for 6 years so I know it well.

    Ill be happy to help anyone who would like to take advantage of them.

    Please be aware that the presentations are generally getting softer and more sincere as the hotels with good reputations realize that people i.e. you and I , are perfectly willing to listen to their story and evaluate their holiday programs in return for a discounted or free room for a few days. Its good business for everyone.
    Cheers from Cozumel, Mexico.

    Lin Ronald
    My phone is +521 987 105 1103 and email is remaxbocas@gmail.com
    skype is lin.ronald

  38. I have access to about 30+ timeshare vacation promotions. We are all about the terms and conditions. If you have questions about timeshare promotions give us a call at (855)804-8381 or visit our sit at http://www.IWantToTravelTo.com Thanks!

  39. Alicia says:

    Are you still interested in a package? I’ve got some to Orlando, Vegas, Myrtle Beach and the Smoky Mountains! 4 days 3 nights and more nights can be added on. You can stay at the hotel or the resorts. Travels 4-9 guests. These are with a very reputable hotel branch so the tour is 120 minutes and they don’t want to lose your business staying there in the future.

  40. Ariann says:

    Personally, I think that timeshares are really scary. I get really nervous, because I know that they really try to sell things to you until you give in, but fortunately I have never fallen for it. I was recently introduced by a friend to a page that does exactly what this article is about. It’s for the Grand Palladium resort chain in the rivieramaya and I went with my husband for a week. We only had to pay 1000 dollars and we had a great time. Although, the presentations aren’t the best it was worth the savings. It was a Palladium discovery promotion thing the web page that we used if anyone wants to go down there.

  41. Anyone living near or going to Vegas, or Salt Lake City call me to get details on presentations and great gifts for attending including free Vegas Stays.

  42. Shi says:

    I just came back from the Massresort.com timeshare promotion. The place is beautiful. We did a $75 deposit for 3 days 2 nights. After the ” 1 hour” tour (ended up being about 3 hours) we went back to the little cafe thingy and was given some figures about the prices of timeshares. The first price we were given was $19,000 then my boyfriend and myself said no. Then, some lady came in and said she can “CRUNCH” the numbers for us. Came back and said $10,000. We declined that also, and she was VERY SHORT with us after that. Finally, we said out thank you and good-byes and we hauled off to another room where some other guy asked if $4000 was a better price….. (How does the price go from $19,000-$4,000?) After, all of that was done, we were given a $200 Visa Pre-Paid debit card and a coupon booklet that included an entire weeks stay for free along with free activities.

    Overall, I enjoyed it all.

  43. Dahlia says:

    I’ve noticed that the majority of the rentals state income of $50,000. Is there a way to get around that?

  44. Melissa says:

    I would like to go to a presentation in Vegas and stay for free while we do the presentation!!

  45. Toney Poucy says:

    I would really like to take my wife to Las Vegas for our anniversary

  46. Corrisa says:

    Never buy a timeshare in Mexico (or any other foreign country). I’ve heard more than my share of horror stories. Not to mention, you are bound by the laws of that country which can end up very badly for you if things go south!

    Having been in the timeshare industry (not anymore), but still in the travel industry, I can tell you that there are much better alternatives like travel clubs that offer the same kind of resorts and even more properties for a fraction of what you would pay for a timeshare.

    You’ve just got to do your research – and be a savvy traveler.

    Corrisa
    http://globalresortsmembershipnetwork.com/

  47. Lorrie says:

    Looking for a time share presentation in Disneyland! Within a month!! Thank you!!

  48. gary says:

    anybody know of a timeshare deal for new orleans?

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