Marriott Timeshare Presentation: What to Expect, Plus My Experience in Vegas
Timeshare presentations are a great way to book a free or cheap vacation. One of the reasons why they give away these cheap trips is because there’s a requirement that you must attend the presentation, usually for at least 90-120 minutes.
I booked a Marriott Vacation Club stay with a timeshare presentation requirement. I stayed in Vegas for three night and sat down with a Marriott timeshare salesman for 90 minutes. Check out the details below, and learn what to expect from these timeshare offers from my Marriott timeshare experience.
What is a Timeshare?
A timeshare is a property with a divided form of ownership or use rights. These properties are typically resort condominium units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property, and each owner of the same accommodation is allotted their period of time. You might be assigned a specific week, or you purchase a number of points which you get to use annually at any eligible properties that are part of the program.
Marriott Vacation Club for example has more than 10,000 vacation options in the most desirable travel destinations worldwide, including villas, and hotels.
Pricing varies widely. The average cost of a timeshare is $22,942 per interval, based on data from the American Resort Development Association. Then there are maintenance fees, which again will vary, but will be on average around $1,000 per year. Additional recurring fees could apply as well. These fees often keep going up every year, unless your contract specifically notes that it is a fixed price.
This article is mainly focused on timeshare presentations and how to leverage them into getting a free or cheap vacation. But if you are really considering buying a timeshare, then your best option should be the secondary market. You will get a big discount on the purchase price from people looking to sell their timeshares, but you will keep paying the same maintenance and recurring charges annually.
Marriot Vacation Club
Marriott Vacation Club is one of the options if you are looking for timeshares, or for timeshare presentation offers. When you become a Marriott Vacation Club Destinations Owner, you receive an annual allotment of Vacation Club Points. These are the “currency” you use to book your vacations.
As I mentioned above, Marriott Vacation Club has more than 10,000 properties around the world and experiences that you can book with these points. These include:
- Marriott Vacation Club Resorts
- Vacation Homes
- Marriott Bonvoy Hotels
- Marriott Vacation Club Pulse
- Hotels and Luxury Residences
- Interval International Partners
- Adventure Travel
- Guided Tours
- Specialty packages
You can see all the options for each points allotment here. To have access to every single property and experience, you need 15,000 Vacation Club Points. With the minimum range of 1,500 points that is shown on the slider, you get access to about 2,400 properties. The minimum amount of points that you can buy is 1,000. So you have access to even fewer properties at the entry level, and most likely you can’t book any of the villas and hotels shown to you throughout the presentation.
During my timeshare presentation I asked about the pricing for the minimum amount of points. Here’s how much you would have to pay for 1,000 Vacation Club Points (minimum purchase):
- $15,600 Purchase Price ($15.60 per points).
- $620 Annual Maintenance ($0.62) per point.
- $260 Fixed Annual Fee.
For 2,000 Vacation Club Points it would be $31,200 to purchase, and then an annual maintenance fee of $1,240 and a fixed annual fee of $260. You can either pay upfront or finance with an interest rate on 15.99%.
I was told that Vacation Club Points do not devalue, the price is fixed for life. I was also told that the annual maintenance fee will not go up ever. But the fixed fees might change.
During the presentation we asked about the resale value of our timeshare. We were told that Marriott Vacation Club will buy it back anytime, but at a fraction of the cost.
Marriott Timeshare Experience
I did one of these offers recently on a trip to Las Vegas. The offer was for three nights in Orlando, Myrtle Beach or Vegas. I chose the latter since I had a trip planned. This wasn’t one of the best offers I have received, but the weekend I was traveling, pricing were sky high. So $199 for a three night stay was decent compared to going hotel prices. I called in and was actually able to get an even better offer, $149 for three nights. But there was no points bonus.
I made the payment over the phone and the received an email confirmation. I received a call from Marriott Vacation Club a few days before my stay. They were just checking in to see how many people were traveling with me and to confirm the dates of the stay and the time and place for the presentation. The same information was again confirmed upon check-in.
I stayed at Marriott’s Grand Chateau, located on Harmon Ave, less than a block off Las Vegas Strip. The property was a bit outdated. The owner’s suites that you could get once you purchased a timeshare, looked better. There were two pools, one on the fifth floor and another on the top floor with a small rooftop bar.
The timeshare presentation is usually done on the day before you check out. Ours was at 11AM and we were required to attend for at least 90 minutes.
The 90 Presentation
We walked in at 11AM and sat in the waiting area for about five minutes. We were offered coffee or refreshments. Then a sales representative came by, introduced herself and then we went directly to her office. There was no group presentation involved.
For about 30 or 45 minutes, we just chatted away about what countries each one of us had visited. She told us where she grew up, how she ended up working for Marriott etc… She asked about dream vacations, whet we look for in a destination or a hotel stay and other details about our travel habits. It was just a pleasant conversation and not pushy at all up to that point. I explained that I don’t really look for much in a hotel room. I usually look at the location, I expect decent service, a clean room and a good bed.
Then she started asking about the cost of our travels. I explained that I have minimal costs when traveling because of credit card miles and points. As for costs, I said that meals and activities were probably the largest out of pocket expense. She countered that you need a lot of points to stay for free and asked about my points balances. She was impressed 🙂
The sales rep went into a short pitch that I have to spend money to get those points, and instead it would be better to invest them in a timeshare that I could later leave to my kids. I didn’t really get into my spending habits for earning credit cards, but I countered with signup bonuses that get you large amounts of points at once.
We then went into one of the owners’ suite in the hotel so we could see the luxury we could buy with a Marriott Vacation Club timeshare. It was huge and decent, but not really luxurious. We then got back to her office and she asked what would be our ideal price. I said that I wouldn’t pay more than one or two thousand, and even for free I would still have to think if the annual fees make sense for me.
She didn’t push much after that, and she didn’t call in her manager either to show me more incentives (which she told me would happen at the beginning). After that I met with another rep for a quick survey about the experience. There they offered me a Hawaii stay for 5 nights for $999. The cost would be deducted from the timeshare price if I decided to buy. That was a quick no, and we were on our way to enjoy Las Vegas. We actually ended up staying about 10 more minutes past the 90 minute requirement.
Attending a Timeshare Presentation: What You Should Know
- It’s not fun to attend a timeshare presentation during your vacation.
- Always ask for a better deal when booking. Ask for more points or a lower price.
- If you are married or cohabitating and combining income, the couple is most likely required to visit and attend the presentation together.
- Most of these timeshare offers have an income qualification such as $50K, $75K, or even $100K per household.
- They will show you some of the most amazing properties they have. But when it comes to pricing, they show you the cheapest packages that don’t get you anywhere close to those fancy properties.
- Do you really need a three bedroom villa? If you travel alone or as a couple, most like not.
- Take your time and do the math if you are really considering buying a timeshare. Do your research ahead of time. Check out the secondary market or even eBay where you can buy them for as little as $1.
- You don’t have to purchase a timeshare. The only requirement is to attend a timeshare presentation.
- You are only required to stay for 90 or 120 minutes usually. After that you can leave.
- Prepare some counterpoints, on why timeshares don’t work for you. (You don’t need a mansion for two people. You stay for free with points and free night certs, etc.)
Marriott Timeshare Experience: Guru’s Wrap-up
If you’re seriously considering a timeshare, take your time. The secondary market is probably your best option. But normally, timeshares are not the great deal that sales reps make them to be.
On the other hand, a timeshare presentation can be a great deal if you know what to expect. You can get a cheap stay at popular destinations like Las Vegas, Hawaii, Orlando, Myrtle Beach and more. Plus these offers usually come with bonus points such as Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors or Wyndham Rewards. My deal was not one of the best. I often write about much better offers here on the site. But I needed a cheap stay in Vegas on a weekend when everything was overpriced.
As for my Marriot Timeshare Presentation experience, I expected it to be much worse. But it was actually painless. That clearly varies between programs and sales reps. But if you have a plan on how to counter the offers, it should make everything easier. Hopefully you can learn from my experiences with Marriott Vacation Club.
Please feel free to share your Marriott timeshare experience, or other timeshare packages (good or bad).