Posted on January 16, 2012
I saw a story the other day about a start-up exchange company, Fractionalexchange.com, celebrating its second anniversary and it got me thinking about how much the timeshare exchange business has changed over the years.
Years ago, it was simple and there were only a couple of companies who did exchange. You bought a timeshare week, deposited it with your exchange company and began searching for that needle in a haystack that the salesman promised you when he said your January week in Cape Cod could get you to a Hawaii timeshare, no problem.
The main exchange players, RCI and Interval International, are still the big kids on the block, but there have been a few more spring up that give owners more choice as to where they can exchange. And that doesn’t even account for internal exchanges within a branded club such as Marriott Vacation Club.
Throw points into the mix and you really have flexibility … or confusion. Depending on what you own and who you talk to.
One of the complaints that I hear now is that people don’t know where they own. When asked where they own, they reply “oh, I own with RCI” or something similar. Because of the way the timeshare exchange memberships have been sold over the years, is it possible that people have exchanged so much and are so confused about how the process works that they really don’t understand how their ownership works?
I’ve heard this more than once. And, contrary to some viewpoints, an owner is not locked into one particular exchange company just because their resort may have included the first year’s membership with their initial purchase.
Some timeshare owners are just buying up points now, so there’s not much I can do about your situation in this context, but if you own a specific week at a resort then you can bank it in just about any exchange company that will take you.
Dial an Exchange is one such company, with offices in the U.S. as well as Australia, Europe and a number of countries around the world. Platinum Interchange is another one. Trading Places is a smaller exchange company and even though they’ve been bought by Interval International, they are being run as a separate entity.
So you have choices for who you want to use to exchange your week. Different companies work differently, so do your homework. Dial an Exchange, for example, does not have a membership fee and you only pay when you make your exchange.
Check out your options and see what deals you can get. Remember, you can always browse for the best timeshare resale deals on Timeshare Broker Associates by clicking here or speaking with one of our licensed agents by calling 877-624-6889.