About two years ago we received a call for the HICV timeshare tour promotion.
Let me just start by saying yes, the majority of reviews are terrible on these things. They're not for everyone, and not for the faint of heart.
At the time we turned it down and didn't meet the requirements anyways. Then once again last year we got the call. This time I was prepared for what was coming, had done research and we met the requirements.
Their end goal is of course for you to purchase into the program. Which we had no intention of doing....playing the points game is the win-win situation for us.
But a cheep vacation isn't something I turn down. And that's what MY end goal was.Throughout the course of the phone call you'll talk to several people, offing you several options. 7 or so resort locations, and an upfront price. Maybe something like $300 with $50 back and a 4 night stay. The stay most likely will not be at the actual resort, but a nearby Holiday Inn Express.
You will be required to attend the timeshare presentation, or they will charge you for the full stay at retail price.
After about an hour on the phone we got it down to $199 out of pocket, $100 back in cash at the conclusion of the presentation, $100 IHG gift card mailed to us once we sent the hotel invoice to them, and a long weekend (I think 4 nights) at a Holiday Inn Express across the street from the beach. The location we picked was the Cocoa Beach resort (formally owned by Ron Jon) due to how local it was.
I can honestly say everyone of these things were fulfilled. The hotel we stayed in was super nice and in a great location. We took the timeshare tour, had a great salesman (I think the youngest salesmen there...and former NFL player oddly enough) and even the upper management salesman that jumps in at the end was super nice. We even stayed for the longer than the "presentation length" because we got caught up in chatting. I got to explain how we play the "point game" and how much we've accumulated and spent and then earned back over the past couple years. Not something the salesmen are typically familiar with, but they seemed moderately impressed. I can honestly also say that they really backed down on the sale once we went though that explanation. And we were by far the youngest in the room, another thing that made them say multiple times "We know this isn't the program for you, you need more flexibility in your travel options. Come back in a few years maybe."
The resort is beautiful, and yes we'd go back and stay. But on a low season when cash rates are cheep. We took a trip to the Orlando location less than a year later at that!
At the end of the presentation we got our $100 cash, and then we mailed in our hotel invoice and 6 weeks later got the check in the mail for the rest.
Lets be honest, if you're a pushover this isn't for you. If you can't haggle at a car lot, you can't successful escape one of these things unscathed. I'm proud to say I've survived both experiences.
They're brutal and will haggle you to death.
And when your time is up (literally, keep any eye on how long you've been there) you have the right to leave.
When we stayed at the Orlando property, they said we're allowed to take a tour every 90 days per property. Meaning we could take one fairly often.
If we had taken one that weekend, they were offering resort play passes (pretty much rental for tubes,kayaking,etc) or 20,000 points. I didn't try and haggle for more since we didn't have the time.
All said and done, we would do it again. Why not, a couple hours for a free weekend away? To me, its worth it.
I think different resorts offer slightly different packages too. I've heard the Orlando resort has offered 1 day Disney passes before.
Have you done something similar? What was it like? Would you do it again?