One of the perceived best features of timeshares is the ability for timeshare owners to “exchange” their timeshare for another timeshare in another part of the world. An owner will “bank” their week at their home timeshare resort and depending on the value of their timeshare, they will be granted access to a timeshare with similar value in a different location. Some programs allow multiple banking opportunities so that timeshare owners can upgrade to more luxurious accommodations with their exchange.
When purchased, a timeshare exchange program sounds like you’re getting access to potentially thousands of timeshares for a price of one…or is it the price of one PLUS exchange fees. Like maintenance fees, popular exchange programs require annual membership fees for the administration of the exchanges. Although not exorbitant, these fees are required whether your timeshare is exchanged or not. Then, there are fees when you execute an exchange. There are also a la carte fees for other options and features in these exchange programs.
The results for many timeshare owners is similar to timeshare maintenance fees. The exchange fees get paid because owners justify the cost of potentially using an exchange in the future. It’s a mental trap that keeps people paying these fees year after year without much benefit.
Our advice is the same as fora timeshare: USE IT OR LOSE IT. If you don’t use your timeshare exchanges, then drop the program. Luckily, exchange programs in general do not lock you into a long-term contract, so you can cancel. Keep in mind that if you’ve banked time in the past, canceling your membership will most likely discard your accrued time.
And of course if you’re not using your timeshare, contact Timeshare Relief and let’s see what we can do to get rid of that timeshare.