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Many people love the flexibility that timeshare exchange programs offer. Along with having a home resort to depend on for a great holiday every year, the opportunity to explore further afield is very desirable. When it works, it’s great. It’s only when things go awry that a timeshare exchange program is not worth it!

The idea of a timeshare exchange program, like those offered by RCI, is to give timeshare holders the opportunity to exchange their timeshare holiday in their home resort for an equivalent holiday in a sister resort, which may be in a far-off destination that you wish to experience. Often this is offered via a points-based system, wherein the timeshare holder acquires points based on their home resort timeshare quality (i.e. the week it falls within, the star rating of the resort, and so on), or by adding more cash to their ‘pot’ to increase the amount of points they have to barter with. An exchange resort will be worth a certain number of points, and if you have enough in the bank, then you can exchange your timeshare for that one.

It seems like a good idea in theory, but there are two ways that the timeshare exchange program can go wrong.

Firstly, the entire concept relies on a member spending more for their annual holiday than if they were to just book a trip on their own without a timeshare membership at all. With the initial outlay of buying your timeshare contract, along with the maintenance fees of that timeshare, plus the fees of joining a timeshare exchange program and any extra points you need to buy in order to afford your desired exchange, that certainly mounts up over the years. You need to decide if it’s cost-effective for your holiday needs before you sign up.

Secondly, there have been many reports of people in exchange programs being unable to book a timeshare exchange at a desired resort, even when doing so sometimes a year in advance. Some programs have been found guilty of offering priority to their own staff or to non-members, which makes the entire membership a waste of time and money. Even finding an exchange you want and can afford can be onerous, fraught with difficulties that make it more stressful than simply booking a holiday outside of any such membership scheme.

Nonetheless, when it works, it works well, and plenty of people are perfectly happy with their timeshare exchange program. But, it goes without saying that you don’t know what you’re going to get until you’ve got it, and it might be hard to go back and cancel your membership once you’ve signed up.

If you want to know more about timeshare exchange, or if you are experiencing problems with your timeshare exchange membership, give Timeshare.Lawyer a call. We’ll provide you with impartial advice and be there to help you on your way should you need further assistance.  

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