Published on June 20th, 2017 | by William Charles40
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.
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.
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 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
- 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 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
- 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.
- 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 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 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.
- 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.
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.