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.

Top 10 Best Rated Timeshares

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.

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What features matter most?

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 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.

Fees

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 ownerships.
  • 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 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.

What are different 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 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 companies

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's it for?

Large families

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. Timeshares allow users to pay only for the time they use the vacation property and not the time that the property will sit vacant.

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.

Company reviews

  • SellMyTimeshareNow

    SellMyTimeShareNow.com is a company that specializes in the reselling of timeshares. The company is based in Exeter, New Hampshire and Orlando, Florida, and they are currently the largest reseller of timeshares in the U.S.

    • Large selection: Because SellMyTimeshareNow is the most popular reseller of timeshares, they have a huge selection of timeshares for sale, which means they'll most likely have something to meet the needs of most customers.
    • Global exposure: The company operates in more than 218 countries, so people all over the world have access to their properties and services.
    • Brand Partners: The site works with well-known and reputable brand partners, like Disney, Hilton, and Marriott, so customers can find properties that are guaranteed to be high quality.
    • Professional customer assistance: The company has licensed real estate agents on staff to help customers pick and purchase the right timeshare option.
    • CRDA membership: SellMyTimeshareNow.com is an active member of the American Resort Development Association, proving their reputation as an upstanding company.
    • Best for Travelers with a favorite vacation destination, large families, and young professionals with disposable income.
  • Welk Resort Group

    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.

    • Selection of properties: The properties associated with the Welk Group Resorts are located in destinations known for great activities, landscapes and entertainment.
    • Flexible ownership options: The company offers customers a range of ownership options, so they can choose the purchase plan that best works for their schedule and budget.
    • Villa rentals: The properties that the company rents are villas, so guests have large size accommodations when they use their timeshare.
    • Online fee payments: Welk Resorts offers owners the ability to easily pay their annual fees online, making the process simple and convenient.
    • Platinum points program: The company has a platinum points program, which offers users the ability to take advantage of benefits the more they use their timeshare.
    • Best for Large families, people who want a luxury vacation property and young professionals with disposable income.
  • BuyATimeShare.com

    BuyaTimeshare.com was founded in 2000 and is an exclusively online outlet for timeshare owners to sell, buy and rent vacation ownership. Buyers and renters can search timeshares from around the world, and sellers can reach a large target audience that is dedicated to buying a timeshare.

    • Explore different timeshare developers: BuyaTimeshare.com works with major developers such as Wyndham, Hilton, Diamond and Bluegreen, making it easier for people looking to buy or rent a timeshare to get a feel for the property and decide which one will work best for their vacation needs.
    • Credibility: BuyaTimeshare.com is the only timeshare resale advertising company to be accepted into all three North American industry associations, the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), Canadian Resort Development Association (CRDA) and the Mexican Resort Development Association (AMDETUR). Such support ensures the credibility of the company.
    • Customer service: The team at BuyaTimeshare.com is on stand-by to help sellers, buyers and renters with their timeshare needs, with over 70 hours per week of live support to help owners position their timeshares for sale.
    • Email notification when an offer is made: Sellers don’t need to constantly check the website to see if anyone has made an offer on their timeshare. BuyaTimeshare.com will send an email when an offer is made, and the seller will respond through their secure online account. At that point, sellers can choose to accept, decline or counter the offer.
    • Secure: BuyaTimeshare.com has several ways of protecting the private information of their customers. They use captcha security software on their “Make Offer” forms to eliminate offers from fraudulent buyers. They also have a free secure login account for both buyers and sellers that makes open communication possible without the need to disclose private information.
    • Best for BuyaTimeshare.com is best for those who are looking to sell, buy or rent a timeshare.
  • Timeshares Only

    Timeshares Only is a large timeshare resale company that has been in operation for nearly 20 years. Located in Orlando, the company offers customers the ability to buy or rent timeshare properties, and they also help people resell their properties.

    • Best for Young professionals with disposable income, travelers with a favorite vacation destination and large families.
  • Wyndham Vacation Resorts

    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.

    • Best for Large families, people who want a luxury vacation property, travelers with a favorite vacation destination and young professionals with some disposable income.
  • Vacation Village Resorts

    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.

    • Best for People who want a luxury vacation property, large families, travelers with a favorite vacation destination and young professionals with disposable income.
  • Vida Vacations

    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.

    • Best for Large families, people who want a luxury vacation property and young professionals with disposable income.
  • RCI

    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.

    • Best for Large families, people who want a luxury vacation property, travelers with a favorite vacation destination and young professionals with disposable income.
  • Bluegreen Corp.

    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.

    • Best for People who want a luxury vacation property, large families, travelers with a favorite vacation destination and young professionals with disposable income.
  • Westgate Resorts

    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.

    • Best for Travelers with a favorite vacation destination, young professionals with disposable income and large families.

11 – 22 Best Rated Timeshares

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.