Posted by William Charles on June 20, 2017
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Published on June 20th, 2017 | by William Charles

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Complete Guide To Renting Timeshare Properties On The Cheap

This is a guest post written by The Timeshare Guru. If you enjoy this post then make sure to check out their site. Very detailed guide on renting timeshare properties for big discounts is found below. 

Introduction

In my previous guest post ‘An Introduction To Timeshare Offers‘, I discussed some ways to get targeted for timeshare presentation offers. There were a lot of comments to that post where readers definitely had converging views of timeshares, both positive and negative. In my opinion, most of the problems with timeshares and there resulting poor reputation are due to:

  • Exorbitant initial cost that almost never makes financial sense
  • Difficulty in selling your timeshare for a profit much less for any value whatsoever
  • Difficulty in exchanging your timeshare for desirable weeks and the constant rise in maintenance fees year after year even if you do not use your timeshare.

These are all real issues with timeshares. The one item that rarely provides any issue for timeshare owners is the quality of the accommodations. Timeshares come in various sizes (studio units to 4 bedroom units) and most are usually well appointed, comfortable, spacious and have similar amenities to hotel counterparts or provide access to hotel amenities at adjoining hotel resort properties. Regardless of whether you think timeshare ownership is a good idea or bad, renting timeshares can be a fantastic way to travel in spacious, luxurious accommodations without the upfront cost of timeshare purchases and the ongoing requirement of fees.

Renting Timeshares

There are many outlets that allow you to rent timeshares. Many times, timeshares are rented only for week intervals with most check-in dates on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Renting timeshares does not obligate you to attend a timeshare presentation. One of the best places to rent timeshares is directly through the exchange companies. The two main exchanges companies are RCI and Interval International. A third less well known company, SFX Resorts, is another company that is smaller than the other two but still offers quality accommodations.

RCI

Direct link to website

  • RCI offers members the ability to book weeks for cash for what are termed “Extra Vacations”. Extra Vacations do not require you to deposit a timeshare week (if you own) or use any points (if you have points). However, in order to be able to see inventory, you do need to be a member.
  • RCI allows you to register for their site. When you go through the registration process, they do require you to indicate what timeshare you own but they do not verify ownership. You can simply register with their site, pay a membership fee (now $99 per year with discounts for longer periods of time) and get access to their Extra Vacations.
  • RCI allows you to book weekly rentals throughout the world. There are some incredible deals with RCI as I have seen weeks for under $200 for the entire week are very high-quality resorts (Hilton, Wyndham, and many other quality resorts).

SFX Preferred Resorts

Direct link to website

  • SFX Preferred Resorts is a smaller exchange company but offers what are called “Resort Escapes”. Resort Escapes are just like RCI Extra Vacations as these do not require any deposits with SFX (no weeks/points) but does require registration with their site and payment for the week.
  • If you are an existing timeshare owner, you can register with SFX for free by inputting the ownership details of your timeshare week. Once you register, you can get access to their Resort Escapes. You can see the current inventory and pricing here without having to register by clicking here
  • Although not confirmed, SFX does indicate that they do verify ownership details with the timeshare that you input in their system so if you do not actually own a timeshare, there is a good chance that your free registration will not go through or it will be cancelled. Comment below if any readers have any experience with registering with SFX.
  • Alternatively, even if you do not own a timeshare, you can become a member for a membership fee of $349 for three years. This membership gives you Diamond status and gives you 50% off the weekly rental rates of their Resort Escapes. While reviewing this information, I can see weekly rentals for as low as $99 for the entire week – not too bad.

Interval International

Direct link to website

  • Interval International is the other big exchange company. Like Extra Vacation and Resort Escapes, Interval International offers Interval Getaways where again, you can rent weeks for a cash payment.
  • Again, no deposits are required and no timeshare presentations are required with these rental options. However, despite multiple attempts to register with Interval without owning a timeshare, Interval International does not allow membership to anyone who does not own a timeshare.
  • I personally have attempted to register with Interval International by inputting any timeshare resort but despite getting brief access, my membership was swiftly revoked and refunded once they were unable to confirm my timeshare ownership.
  • Despite this setback, there are a few interesting loopholes that can be used by some people to get access to Interval International. If you know someone who owns a timeshare that is affiliated with Interval International, you can be given administration privileges on their account. This will allow you to rent Interval Getaways with cash as you will be given a login as an administrator on an actual account.
  • Another loophole is that if you own a timeshare, register with Interval International and subsequently transfer or sell that timeshare, you are still eligible to be a member with Interval International despite not having any current timeshare ownership. Interval International only requires that you own a timeshare at the time of registration in order to have access, they do not require ongoing timeshare ownership.
  • Interval Getaways offers some fantastic values as I have personally rented 1 and 2 bedroom units in very nice properties for approximately $200 for the week.
  • In my opinion, Interval International does have higher quality exchange partners as compared to RCI as you can rent weeks with Four Seasons, Hyatt, Marriott, and Westins, to name a few of the more quality partners.
    While Interval International does not provide a way to get access to their Interval Getaway inventory without being an owner, they do encourage members to book weeks for friends and family. There are no restrictions to how many Interval Getaways that you can reserve for others but these reservations will require a guest certificate. The guest certificates cost $59 but is free for Platinum members.

Trading Places International

Direct link to website

  • Trading Places International is affiliated with Interval International. Unlike Interval International, it appears that you can sign up for a free account and get access to their “Hot Deals” inventory.
  • Similar to the other exchange companies, these weekly rentals allow you to book a week with cash with no timeshare presentation.
  • The current available inventory is shown online and there appears to be some decent deals. However, make sure you review the “Important Notice” link on many of their offers. These resorts may appear cheap but generally require the payment of mandatory all-inclusive fees which can add thousands, yes thousands, of dollars to the cost of the reservation.
  • Their inventory appears to be mostly smaller or independent properties. I do not see many name brand timeshares included in this inventory.

Alternative Methods

  • If you own a specific week, you are generally allowed to rent that specific week out to any third party, even for cash.
  • There are many forums, websites and timeshare resellers that can rent timeshare weeks.
  • However, if you exchange your weeks through an exchange company (RCI or Interval International) or are on a points based system and exchange your deeded week, you are generally NOT ALLOWED to sell/rent weeks that you do not own.
  • This happens regularly but if caught, the exchange companies may cancel the reservation without any refund and could revoke your membership.
  • If you are a renter, you do not have much protection in this scenario so you need to be careful about these types of transactions.

Redweek

Direct link to website

  • Redweek is a popular website that focuses on timeshare properties. In addition to being able to buy and sell timeshares, they do offer timeshare rentals.
  • You can browse their inventory and see availability but you need to become a member in order to exchange details with the advertiser of the week.
  • Membership is fairly cheap at $18.99 for 12 months.
  • I do not have much experience with Redweek but the rentals are mostly by timeshare owners who tend to price rentals with a reasonable discount as compared to retail nightly rates. There are still savings to be had but I find that the exchange companies offer the better deals and provide more security than renting through individuals.
  • Additionally, many rentals could be secondary exchanges (from RCI or Interval International) so there is that possibility that the rentals are technically against the rules. Redweek even posts a warning on its site so you need to be vigilant when you are searching their inventory and renting directly through individuals.

Skyauction

Direct link to website

  • Skyauction has been around a few years and is a travel booking site.
  • They do have an auction component where you can bid on nightly rental rates but also do have buy it now vacation rentals that are really timeshare condos.
  • The buy it now prices vary widely but there can be some decent rental opportunities.
  • Make sure to read the fine print with Skyauction as there can be significant additional fees added or various strict restrictions concerning availability.

USAA Explore Cruise and Travel

  • If you are a USAA member, you have access to the USAA branded travel agency.
  • You do need a login in order to get access but once you get access, they do have a good inventory of various timeshares rentals.
  • The timeshares are generally mixed in with other hotel properties but I have found a few great timeshare properties and deals using their system.

Ebay

  • You can buy anything on ebay and timeshare rentals are no exception.
  • There are various listings for a multitude of resorts, locations and times.
  • Like most purchases on ebay, you need to be careful.
  • Most timeshare rentals could be exchanges and are not allowed to be exchanged for money. Again, if caught, you could be out your money and trip.

Conclusion

In my opinion, the best places to legitimately rent timeshare weeks is through the exchange companies. The weekly prices are very hard to beat. I have rented weeks for cash through the exchange companies even though I only needed a property for one or two nights as the nightly rental rates were more expensive than the weekly rental rates through some of the above channels. Some thoughts:

  • RCI is a great option since you can register for $99 and get access to their Extra Vacations inventory for a year even without owning a timeshare. I think the $99 fee is more than worth it to get access. If you do not find anything in a year, you are only out $99 with no ongoing commitment.
  • SFX Resorts does show transparent pricing without having to immediately become a member, so if you find a week, their 3-year membership option may be worthwhile and will likely pay for itself in just one vacation.
  • Interval International has some great options for renters but do require timeshare ownership and they do verify that ownership. If you have a friend or family member who owns a timeshare, it could be very worthwhile for them to share their login details with you solely to book Interval Getaways.If readers are interested in a particular destination or resort, I would be more than happy to review inventory!

IMPORTANT: When you reserve weeks through the above channels, these require full pre-payment and are non-cancellable or changeable. You should only reserve these weeks if you will definitely travel or are prepared to take that risk!
There are many other sources out there but I hope that this is helpful. I consistently say that timeshare ownership is not for everyone but renting is a very viable strategy to get spacious, luxurious accommodations for a fraction of the cost of hotel units. What have your experiences been? Have you rented from other sources? Make sure to share in the comments below. Reach out if you have any questions and thanks again to Doctor of Credit for their continued support.

A note from Will: Thanks again to the The Time Share Guru for sending over this guest post. If you haven’t already go over and check out his site. 



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Robert Dwyer

Nice overview of these options! I agree that renting timeshares can be a good play, though the cancellation terms and date/duration of stay flexibility can be challenging to work with.

What I’ve been doing lately is using bank points (Citi ThankYou points or Chase URs) or Citi Prestige 4th night free to pay for timeshare rentals directly through hotel timeshares. This can work well for Disney Vacation Club timeshares, Four Seasons Residence Clubs, and Marriott/Hilton/Hyatt timeshares.

This is nice because you can use points (rather than cash), you have peace of mind dealing directly with a hotel rather than a 3rd party, more flexible cancellation terms, date flexibility, and full daily housekeeping.

Caleb B
Caleb B

Perhaps I’m slow this morning, but how are you using TYPs or URs for Disney Vacation Club timeshares, Four Seasons Residence Clubs, and Marriott/Hilton/Hyatt timeshares?

Are you going through the Citi/Chase websites to find the timeshares, or is there a way to book timeshares directly with TYPs or URs?

Robert Dwyer

By going through the Citi/Chase website or by calling Citi/Chase if it’s a more complicated booking (like for example if you want to include park tickets in a Disney stay, which can be a pretty good redemption if you’ve got the Chase Sapphire Reserve for 1.5 cpp uplift).

Many (most?) *hotel* timeshares can be booked like a regular hotel booking, so if you can see the property in online travel agencies you should be able to book it through Citi/Chase.

I’d recommend doing some trial searches on their sites and calling if you can’t find the property you’re looking for – sometimes phone agents can find redemptions that aren’t available online.

The Timeshare Guru

This can be a good way to book timeshares but the nightly cost is usually quite high as compared to booking through the mechanisms in this article. You can use the Citi or Chase booking engine and sometimes the rates will be reasonable but many times the cost for a 1 or 2 bedroom condo will be astronomical. If the prices are reasonable, this can be a good way to book the timeshares for nightly use although the exchange companies are generally exponentially less expensive.

gman
gman

Fantastic comprehensive article. Thanks!

Frito Pendejo
Frito Pendejo

Yes this is very interesting and something I hadn’t considered. Could easily make hotel churning moot.

Balalah
Balalah

Is AirBnb a viable option for renting timeshares?

The Timeshare Guru

I have seen some timeshares through AirBnb but it is not an avenue that I have direct experience. Generally, when timeshare owners offer to rent their weeks, they look at the nightly rental rates and attempt to get 20% or so less than that. It seems like a decent savings for someone will to pay those rates but when you book through the exchange companies, the cost of the week can sometimes be less than the cost of one night.

Audrey
Audrey

I used to be a member of Interval International and had a log in, but have not owned the timeshare for years. I tried to log in but it errored out. Were I to contact Interval, would I really still be eligible to have access to the site?
Thanks.

The Timeshare Guru

You should be able to but you will likely need to purchase a Interval International membership since your previous timeshare is not paying for one.

Please post back here when you confirm.

Audrey
Audrey

Thanks again. Also what about Endless Vacation rentals? Too expensive?

The Timeshare Guru

I am not familiar with them. I will review as well.

Kent C
Kent C

‘When you go through the registration process, they do require you to indicate what timeshare you own but they do not verify ownership.”

Shady stuff. Surprised DOC is promoting this. If you falsify ownership with a fake member ID #, RCI can easily check later if they want, maybe right when you are on vacation and kick you off the property.

The Timeshare Guru

You are paying RCI a membership fee and that is all that they care about. Even if you own a timeshare and register with RCI, there is no obligation to deposit your week or ownership with RCI so to RCI, I do not think it makes a difference.

If you think that this is shady or unethical, you do not need to do this. I agree that this is a grey area and is subject to each individuals own comfort / ethical level.

MSer
MSer

Worried about consumers being shady? Oh, that’s rich.

The time share industry makes ambulance chasing lawyers, banksters and used car salemen look downright respectable.

J
J

There’s a whole section on Manufactured Spending on this website that some could consider “shady stuff”. And you’re complaining about this one article? Agreed, that’s pretty rich.

Kim
Kim

Surprised you did not mention the last minute rental forum on the Timeshare Users Group Bulletin Boards (TUGBBS) or maybe I don’t understand your criteria for the list in this post?

The Timeshare Guru

TUG is a great place for last minute rentals. I should have included it. The potential issue is that those are only posted 45 days out whereas other sources have a much longer timeframe.

Sergey
Sergey

How are prices on RCI compared to TUG?

The Timeshare Guru

TUG caps the prices at $100 per night for last minute rentals. No restriction on other rental time periods. RCI does not have any restriction on prices and I have seen and booked weeks for just over $200 for the week. With TUG, you are renting through individuals and while I have generally had good experiences with that, there is not much protection for either party especially if the unit you are renting is an exchange.

Chicagoan33
Chicagoan33

Hi thanks for the great article! Is there anyway we can view the inventory of RCI before paying the $99 fee? I’m interested in Playa del Carmen Mexico, Las Vegas Strip, and Orlando. Thanks!

The Timeshare Guru

Happy to check inventory for you. Shoot me an e-mail with desired dates and I’ll get back to you. With just a quick look, I see many, many units available in Las Vegas at Hilton’s, Wyndhams, Trump Las Vegas and others. I see tons of availability for Riviera Maya as well as Orlando. These three destinations are perhaps the most densely filled areas with timeshares.

My email is theguru@thetimeshareguru.com

Chicagoan33
Chicagoan33

Thanks, I really appreciate it. If I can get these locations for $200 like you did that would be an amazing deal! Are taxes and resort fees included in the $200ish price? I’ll shoot you an email soon. I’m waiting to get Southwest Companion Pass which should be very soon & then I’ll email some dates.

Audrey
Audrey

For Playa del Carmen definitely check out Skyauction. I don’t know about $200 but I’ve definitely seen $300 for the week in that area. Just as noted read auction terms carefully.

Jack
Jack

“with RCI as I have seen weeks for under $200 for the entire week are very high-quality resorts (Hilton, Wyndham, and many other quality resorts)”

This information seems very dated. I’ve actively used RCI for over 10 years and while they may have had “Last Call” weeks for under $200 years back, I don’t believe that they longer exist. In the last couple of years I would say you’re closer to $300/wk. Still a good deal, but it takes a lot of regular searching and a lot of flexibility in your plans to get them.

Further, its nonexistent for highly desirable locations like San Francisco or New York.

As for “When you go through the registration process, they do require you to indicate what timeshare you own but they do not verify ownership” — I’ll be sure to send RCI a note on the matter.

As an owner and active user, I don’t appreciate people trying to get a free ride and depleting inventory for legitimate members. Desirable weeks are hard enough to come by without the rif-raf.

The Timeshare Guru

The sub $200 weeks or close to $200 weeks are generally found in off peak times in low seasons. I have recently seen a prime week in Costa Rica for $239 for a week and have seen some Orlando and Playa del Carmen weeks for under $200 so I do not think that this data is old. I 100% agree that you need to constantly look for these weeks and be flexible as I am sure that you will never find Christmas week in any destination for under $200.

I’m sorry that you feel that non-owners should not be able to see and use inventory. You still need to be an RCI member and pay their membership fee. My post has not exposed any mechanism that allows people to book weeks for free or outside of the RCI system.

It is a similar argument that explaining how to obtain frequently flyer miles through credit card sign ups and using them should not be allowed as these non-frequent flyers are able to use seats at the expense of true frequent flyers who earn miles actually flying.

I disagree and think that timeshares are a great way to travel and I am trying to explain to people how to do it.

I think timeshares have been a great “secret” and I am trying to show people how to use and maximize timeshares for travel.

Eric
Eric

I don’t agree with your analogy. The example that you gave in the post is lying. The second is not.

I realize that Jack was not complaining about the lying part but I’m sure there are at least a small amount of people that still value honesty.

Jack
Jack

“I’m sorry that you feel that non-owners should not be able to see and use inventory.”

It’s not that I particularly care about limiting access for members, but its an RCI rule and if I can get better access for something I use frequently by having the rules enforced in my favor then all the better. Doing the right thing can be favorable.

I also appreciate what you’re trying to do and feel that you have an understanding of the subject matter. However in this case it seemed that the picture was actually much rosier than the reality. But I also understand its hard to give a complete picture in a blog post.

I’ll defer to your expertise on the $200 weeks, but I have not seen them in my searches. There are also “mandatory fees” that seem to always add to the total cost.

I didn’t mean to be overly critical, as I agree with you that timeshares can be useful given the right conditions. For the readers at large, please do your research and don’t ever buy at the presentation.

Thanks to Eric for the support. Peace…

J.
J.

Sounds like someone over payed for a timeshare

Jack
Jack

If you consider $1 for a deeded red week at a prime facility, that’s been traded all over the world, overpaying; then you’re 100% right J.

I should have had the owner pay me to take it, but I didn’t feel right about it.

Charles
Charles

I’m looking to give 1 year of access to RCI membership for $50. Email me for details. [removed, somebody has it now]

I’ll post below once gone. Thank you.

Charles
Charles

FYI the membership mentioned in my above post has been taken. Thank you for your interest.

I know it isn’t practical for mods to do this all the time, but if convenient it would be really nice to remove my Email address from the above post. (Or delete the post entirely if needed.)

If not, no big deal. I simply had forgotten about “bots” scouring the web when I made the post.

Dia

I’ve been advocating timeshare rentals for years. I agree with most of this post with a couple of addendums:
1. Endless Vacation Rentals is the weekly rental arm of RCI and does not require membership. Pricing can be close to RCI and it’s a good option for those who aren’t RCI members. They’re also on portals which is a nice bonus. Sign up and you’ll get frequent promotional updates.
2. Skyauction is great! They now have a search engine you can review in real time before buying a certificate.
3. If you’re military look for Armed Forces Vacation Club and if you’re a first responder look for Heroes Vacation Club. Both are sources for weeks on the cheap.

Terri Clark
Terri Clark

I am curious, I really want to stay at Hyatt Carmel Highlands and I found an online offer for the timeshare units. It listed $159.00 a night for 3 nights, which IMO is very doable. I would use Barclay Arrival points. It also offers either 10K Hyatt points or a $100 voucher for the restaurant, etc. Problem is, DH does NOT want to attend a presentation. Does this sound like one of those deals where we would be expected to attend a presentation? Thanks.

Ben
Ben

Thanks for the detailed post. This seems like a very good value. I am looking at the Marriott Ko Olina Beach in Oahu, are there any deals for this one? if there are it may be worth it for me to pay the registration fees

chack
chack

I made an exchange with Interval International for our week with Marriott and have not paid the maintenance fee. Can Marriott pull the reservation that is scheduled through Interval International even though we have paid the other resort to upgrade the unit?

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