Best Timeshare Companies
Updated on 02/27/2018
Timeshare companies offer customers partial ownership and regular access to a resort, condo or vacation property, giving them a dependable and affordable vacation option. Timeshare units and resort rooms, often are located at popular travel destinations like beaches, mountains or theme parks.
Timeshares and vacation clubs are a serious investment. Potential owners and members should think about the upfront cost, the type of ownership they will have, annual fees, the number of locations and whether there they will have flexibility with scheduling. Choosing a timeshare carefully before purchasing will ensure years of easy-to-plan vacations.
Compare Reviews for Top Timeshare Companies
Read 1453 Reviews
Vacation Rentals by Owner, or VRBO, offers a large online database of homes that are available for either short or long-term rental. The VRBO.com website tools focus on connecting homeowners with potentially tenants.
Read 336 Reviews
Sell My Timeshare Now was founded in 2013 and has made 2.8 billion dollars worth of timeshare sales and rentals over the Internet. The company's website allows users to peruse and compare a wide variety of timeshares for purchase.
Read 121 Reviews
Royal Holiday Vacation Club sells memberships that allow you to accumulate points to spend on resorts and cruises. You can use points at any of the company’s 180 destinations, located around the world. It was established in 1983.
Read 484 Reviews
Bluegreen Corporation offers timeshare vacation resorts throughout America, Aruba and the Bahamas. It serves over 175,000 timeshare owners in 60 locations. Users can also exchange timeshares with other in-network resorts.
|Wyndham Vacation Resorts|
Read 585 Reviews
Wyndham Vacation Resorts offers numerous vacation resort timeshares across the United States and in the Caribbean. It currently offers over 900,000 families points-based vacation products that they can use at over 190 locations.
|Welk Resort Group|
Read 141 Reviews
Lawrence Welk founded the Welk Resort Group in 1964 after buying a motel and golf course. Today, it offers vacation homes for rent throughout the Southern California area as well as in parts of Mexico.
Read 583 Reviews
Westgate Resorts offers vacation villas at 28 resorts throughout America. Most of its resorts are located in the Southeast, although there are also resorts available in Arizona, Nevada and Utah for vacationers to experience.
Read 564 Reviews
RCI opened the first vacation exchange program in 1974, and is still in operation today. Users can exchange time at their home resort for time at another member's resort, allowing customers to vacation anywhere in the world.
Read 139 Reviews
Vida Vacations offers resorts throughout the world. With the Mexican-based company, users can travel up and down the coastline in exotic locations or spend more time visiting Mexico through purchasing timeshares.
|Vacation Village Resorts|
Read 53 Reviews
Vacation Village Resorts has been offering timeshares since 1983. It offers fully furnished vacation homes throughout the United States and allows timeshare members to stay at whichever resort they prefer each time they travel.
What to consider when choosing a timeshare
Type of ownership
Timeshare companies sell partial ownership of their properties to buyers. There are several types of ownership plans available for interested consumers.
- Timeshare ownerships: Timeshare ownerships allow customers to purchase one week of access per year. Timeshares are designed so that each unit has about 52 individual owners, each with access to the unit annually.
- Fractional ownerships: Companies that sell fractional ownerships make units available to owners anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks per year, and these properties are often more upscale than standard timeshare properties. Owners can choose how much stake they want in a property, whether that's for 1/26 of a property or 1/13.
- Variety of ownership plans: Some companies have properties that sell both timeshares and fractional ownerships and thus attract a broader base of clientele with different wants and needs.
Flexibility of schedule
The flexibility of a timeshare owner's schedule, both dates and lend varies, depend on the timeshare deal they purchase.
- Fixed schedule: Fixed schedule timeshares allow owners to access their unit at a specific, fixed time each year; this means that for the length of their purchase, timeshare owners will return to their timeshare on the same dates annually.
- Floating schedule: Timeshares with a floating schedule designate an amount of time a timeshare owner can access their timeshare each year, and they can choose the dates they want. This is a good choice for consumers who may be changing jobs or school situations and will want to vacation at a different time depending on the year.
- Combinable time: There are some timeshare companies that allow customers to skip timeshare weeks, and then make up their vacation time during another year or at a later date. While these are less common, they do allow for customers to skip a short vacation one year to then go on a much longer one the next year.
Number of locations
Timeshare companies can have one resort or vacation destination, or they can have multiple destinations across the world.
- One destination timeshare: A company with one destination for timeshares has only one location for owners to vacation.
- Multi-destination timeshare: Some resort timeshare companies have a number of properties where owners can choose to vacation.
- Points-based timeshares: Points-based timeshares have multiple locations that are worth a certain level of points, but timeshare owners only have access to high-level properties after accumulating points from buying into properties or purchasing points from the company.
Flexibility of use
Timeshare companies have a variety of restrictions about who can use the timeshare property.
- Owner-only timeshares: Owner-only timeshares allow only the actual owner to spend time there, prohibiting family and friends.
- Timeshares that are friends and family friendly: Some timeshares allow owners to give their unit to friends and family for vacation use if they are not able to use it.
- Rentable timeshares: Some timeshare companies allow owners to rent out their unit for a year if they're unable or don't want to use their vacation time.
Timeshare companies can charge owners fees, in addition to the cost of buying into the timeshare.
- Annual fees: Some timeshare companies charge timeshare owners annual fees to maintain ownership of their timeshare; these fees start at a fixed rate and often increase through the years of ownership.
- Fee-free: Timeshare companies that are fee-free charge owners nothing more than the cost of buying into the timeshare. This means that once the timeshare owner has purchased their right to use the property, they never have to pay the timeshare company again.
- Maintenance Fees: Timeshare owners often pay additional maintenance fees, with maintenance fees rising each year. Maintenance fees cover things like damage done by weather or natural disasters.
Presence of Owners' Association
Timeshare companies can have owners' associations who preside over the group of owners of the units.
- Timeshares with Owners' Associations: Timeshare companies with owners' associations have a group of owners presiding over timeshare units. This association gives the property owners a voice by advocating for things that timeshare owners want and need the timeshare company to do, like maintenance fees, concerns about the property or beliefs about fees and rates.
- No Owners' Organization: A unit with no owners' organization is completely run and presided over by the company that owns the resort timeshare.
- Owners' Club for Sales: Some timeshares have an owners' club that can help individuals interested in selling their timeshare unit. These owners' clubs advertise available units to friends and family, as they have a vested interested in ensuring the timeshare property is filled with people they enjoy vacationing around.
Types of timeshare companies
Specified time-block or week companies
Fixed and floating week companies give owners the right to a certain amount of weeks in a certain timeshare unit each year. These timeshare companies split units between multiple owners who occupy the unit throughout the year.
Timeshare exchange companies
Some companies are solely devoted to helping timeshare owners swap their weeks with other owners. These companies make it easy to find a resort timeshare that is appealing for an owner if they can't or don't want to use their traditional timeshare week.
Timeshare companies with points programs
Timeshare programs with points programs allow owners to accumulate points by buying into properties or purchasing points. Access to destinations varies based on the number of points accumulated.
Right-to-use timeshare companies give customers the right to use a certain timeshare unit for a certain portion of the year. This means timeshare owners never technically own the property, but rather have a right to use their unit.
Who uses timeshares?
Timeshares can be great for large, extended families who want to vacation together every year. Timeshares designate a fixed time during which family members from all over will convene in one place for a vacation.
People who want a luxury vacation property
People who want to vacation at a luxury property may choose a timeshare because it is more affordable than purchasing one outright. Resort timeshares allow users to pay only for the time they use the vacation property and not the time that the property will sit vacantly.
Travelers with a favorite vacation destination
People who love one particular vacation destination should consider a timeshare. A timeshare allows travelers to consistently visit that place each year.
Young professionals with some disposable income
Young, healthy professionals may want to consider a timeshare because they offer a vacation destination that is dependable and affordable. They are a good choice for someone who has some excess income, but not enough to invest in a property to buy.
Expert reviews for timeshare companies
Welk Resorts is a company that was founded in 1964 by Lawrence Welk. The company is known for providing upscale, luxury resort and hotel accommodations, and it has properties in Escondido, Palm Springs, Cabo San Lucas and Branson.
Wyndham Vacation Resorts is one of the world's most popular timeshare companies. The company is a member of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies, and currently works with more than 900,000 owners.
Vacation Village Resorts is a timeshare company that offers timeshare properties at more than 50 resorts. The company was founded in 1975 by James E. Lambert, and they have nearly 500,000 owners across the world.
Vida Vacations is a timeshare company that was founded in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico in 2010. The company offers real estate interests in 15 resorts in Mexico.
RCI is one of the largest brokers of timeshare properties in the world. The company was founded in1974 by Christel DeHaan, and they offer a wide range of timeshare options, from resort stays to partial condo ownership.
Bluegreen is a company that specializes in timeshares and adventure vacations, and it was founded in 1966. The company caters to more than 175,000 owners and is headquartered in Boca Raton, FL. The company features a deeded timeshare program with timeshare locations across the United States and Caribbean.
Westgate Resorts is a timeshare company that was founded by David Siegel in 1982. The company offers customers more than 13,500 timeshare villas and access to properties at 28 resorts.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
Compare Reviews for Top Timeshare Companies
Read 62 Reviews
WorldMark TravelShare is part of the Wyndham Vacation Ownership community, which is one of the largest timeshare services in the world. There are over 20,000 different Wyndham units scattered throughout North America.
|Global Exchange Vacation Club|
Read 59 Reviews
Global Exchange Vacation Club offers first class travel options to customers and uses an RCI points-based system that allows greater flexibility for those who want to travel to multiple unique locations each year.
Read 73 Reviews
BuyATimeShare.com is a timeshare exchange program that connects sellers with renters and buyers. They have over one million unique visitors each year, and their customer service team is available for marketing help or questions.
|Shell Vacations Club|
Read 115 Reviews
Shell Vacations Club started in 1978, specializing in the sales and management of various timeshare resorts. They operate 24 resorts throughout North America, and the company has over 100 awards for industry excellence.
|Timeshares By Owner|
Read 46 Reviews
Timeshares By Owners includes an extensive database and a timeshare exchange service for potential buyers, sellers and renters. Customers can take advantage of a professional staff committed to selling their timeshares quickly.
|Westin Vacation Club|
Read 17 Reviews
Westin Vacation Clubs, a part of Vistana Signature Experience, Inc., has several locations in the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Mexico. Resort destinations have fitness facilities, spas and restaurants.
|Lost Valley Lake Resort|
Read 22 Reviews
Lost Valley Lake Resort is a private resort that offers its members access to exclusive amenities throughout the year, including features such as 24-hour security, stables, a boathouse, accommodations and a spa.
|Blue Bay Club|
Read 32 Reviews
Blue Bay Club includes 52 hotels in 27 different travel destinations, so customers always have a unique destination to visit. They own four different brands that cater to business travelers as well as families and leisure.
|The Manhattan Club|
Read 117 Reviews
The Manhattan Club, which is located in central New York City, combines vacation ownership with an upscale hotel experience. The hotel features spacious suites, fully deeded ownership, pillow top mattresses and more.
|Calypso Cay Resorts|
Read 30 Reviews
Calypso Cay Resorts is a timeshare located in Orlando near Disney World and Universal Studios. Resort amenities include large villas, mini-golf, two pool bars, daily activities and a grocery service.
Read 11 Reviews
Timeshare Adventures features an interactive timeshare directory service with a website that includes more than 2,000 different timeshares at any given point. They strive to provide their customers with honest service.
Read 88 Reviews
TimeShares Only allows users to browse, rent and purchase timeshares through its website. Users can also get up-to-date news about the timeshare industry, including information about pricing and investment trends.