If you’re asking whether you should sit through a timeshare presentation, one of two things has probably happened:
- A hotel chain that you have rewards with called you inviting you to a free stay at one of their properties in a prime vacation city if you attend a timeshare presentation.
- Someone invited you to stay at their timeshare. To get a reduced room rate, you have to attend a timeshare presentation.
This raises the question, is it worth sitting through that timeshare presentation?
Yes! It is absolutely worth sitting through that timeshare presentation! There are a number of perks you receive by doing so. Your stay is going to be extremely cheap (if not free) regardless of whether you purchase the timeshare or not. You’ll also be able to enjoy all the amenities that the timeshare offers regardless of whether you buy or not.
If you work it right, you can turn attending timeshare presentations into almost free vacations!
Let’s get into this a little deeper. And I’m going to use my own experiences to make the point.
When Your Hotel Rewards Program Invites You to a Timeshare Presentation
The first experience I want to tell you about is when a hotel chain invites you to attend a timeshare presentation.
I’m a Hilton Honors member.
That means whenever I stay at a Hilton property and use my rewards number, I always – ALWAYS – receive a follow-up call from Hilton Grand Vacations inviting me to go to a timeshare presentation.
The locations are prime vacation destination: Las Vegas, Orlando, and Myrtle Beach.
The only catch is that I’d have to leave a small deposit and attend the timeshare presentation. This is to make sure that you attend. You get it back once you go to the presentation.
The reason they’re doing this is because the hotel chain also owns timeshare properties. And because you are a rewards member, you’re already loyal to the brand.
If the hotel can convince you to take them up on their offer, not only will they make money off of your hotel stays throughout the year, they’ll also make money from you purchasing a timeshare.
But let’s get back to my experience.
I did take them up on an offer to stay at a hotel in Myrtle Beach, SC.
The hotel was smack-dab on the beach. Walk out the back doors of the property and sand is scattered across the ground because you’re so close to the beach.
On top of that, to the left and the right were private homes. That means that the hotel was on a private beach!
So let’s digest this.
Since I said I would attend a timeshare presentation offered by Hilton because I am a rewards holder, I got to stay in a hotel on that private beach for three days for FREE in Myrtle Beach.
And the only thing I had to do was to attend a timeshare presentation.
I could have also selected Las Vegas.
Had I done that, I could have enjoyed everything Las Vegas has to offer. That means shows, restaurants, and anything else I wanted to indulge in in Las Vegas.
And the hotel would have paid for my stay regardless of whether I purchased the timeshare or not.
So far, it seems like a pretty good reason to go to a timeshare presentation.
Let’s get into our second scenario….
When You Get a Discounted Rate at a Timeshare In Exchange for Attending a Presentation
For the second scenario, my sister-in-law invited us to stay at a Westgate Resort timeshare in Kissame, FL she and her husband own.
Now, it is possible to stay at a timeshare you don’t own.
You’ll pay a reduced price if you agree to attend a timeshare presentation. But you don’t have to buy after the presentation is over to keep the reduced rate.
In my case, Westgate Resorts offered a 3-night stay for only $99! Had I done it on my own without agreeing to attend a timeshare presentation, I would have paid $179/night.
Agreeing to attend the presentation would have lowered that to $73/night.
But because an owner invited me to stay, we got the best possible rate.
This allowed us to enjoy everything the property offered: the pool, the gym, the in-house movie theater, etc.
The only thing I had to do was sit through a 90-minute Westgate timeshare presentation.
Why Do Timeshares Give Away Stays at Their Properties?
You might be thinking that there’s a catch. That there’s some sneaky, underhanded thing the hotel chain or timeshare is going to do. And that you’ll only find out about it when an unexpected charge hits your credit card.
The truth is, it’s all legit.
No suspect charge is going to show up on your credit card. Nothing except what you agreed to put down as a deposit.
So why would they do this? Why would Westgate give me 3 nights for $99 when they could get that much and more each night?
In the case of a current timeshare owner inviting someone to stay at a reduced price, it’s all about leads.
In the world of marketing, companies will pay a lot of money to get a guaranteed lead. Because the amount they pay to get that one lead is still cheaper than spending money on ads to “hopefully” get someone to be interested.
When a timeshare owner invites a friend, the timeshare now has what’s called a “hot lead”. They don’t have to convince the person (lead) to try them out. The timeshare owner has already done that for them.
The timeshare owner has also probably explained how much they like their timeshare, how convenient it is, and on and on.
This gives the timeshare property a much higher probability that the money they give away for a few nights will return to them in the form of a new timeshare purchase.
The reason is similar for a hotel chain that has timeshare properties.
The difference is that you are a “warm lead”. This means that you are more likely to take them up on their offer than someone who isn’t a hotel rewards member.
You already like the hotel chain. That’s why you signed up for rewards.
However, you may not be interested in a timeshare. But if the hotel chain can entice you by giving you free nights, you might be more open to purchase their timeshare.
After all, the whole point of signing up for rewards is to eventually get a free night after a certain number of stays at the hotel.
So if they give you a practically free stay in a location that you would have paid to vacation at anyway, there’s a good chance you’ll at least consider what they have to say about their timeshare.
Use Them for Your Advantage
As you can see, the reason why a timeshare property is willing to practically give you free stays (or actually give you a free stay in some cases) is because it’s cheaper for a timeshare to offer someone who’s open to considering a timeshare free stays than trying to convince a total uninterested stranger to listen to them.
Because of that, you can create opportunities to vacation at a discount (or even for free) just because you agreed to listen to a timeshare presentation.
How Do I Get Invited If I’m Not In a Hotel Rewards Program or Know a Timeshare Owner?
If after reading all of this you want to get a free or reduced stay in return for attending a timeshare presentation but don’t have a rewards program that offers timeshares or don’t know someone with a timeshare, what can you do?
You can find a timeshare that you like and see if they will allow you to book a room.
If they do allow non-owners to book rooms, you will absolutely see an option to get a reduced rate if you click the box to attend a timeshare presentation.
It will be VERY easy to spot.
And that’s it! It really is that easy.
The timeshare gets to make money off a room an owner isn’t using along with the potential for the vacationer to become an owner.
Just make sure you read this post on the anatomy of a timeshare presentation so you’ll know what to expect.
And if you already know before attending the timeshare presentation that you won’t purchase, read this post on how to say No to a timeshare presentation.