Best Timeshare Companies

Save money on your annual vacation with a timeshare

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The cost of vacations is on the rise, but if annual travel is a priority for you and your family, a timeshare may help you cut down on costs, especially for future vacations. Timeshares give you ownership in a particular property and typically allow you to vacation there for a set number of days or weeks throughout the year. 

Traditionally, timeshare use was limited to a specific location and time of year. However, many timeshare providers now allow for more flexibility and offer plans that let owners use their allotted timeshare days (or points) to vacation when and where they want, as long as the destination is part of the providers portfolio.

Despite their benefits, timeshares or vacation clubs can be costly, long-term investments. If you’re considering one, it’s important to thoroughly analyze your vacation habits, budget, and expectations as well as the company’s fees, terms, and conditions before you sign a contract. To help you get started, we analyzed 15 of the most popular timeshares and chose the best ones based on flexibility, accommodations, destination locations, and membership perks. Read on to see if one of these timeshares and vacation clubs is right for you.

The Best Timeshare Companies for 2021

Best Overall : Marriott Vacation Club


Marriott Vacation Club

Marriott Vacation Club

Marriott is one of the top hotel chains worldwide, and Marriott Vacation Club offers a little bit of everything, making it easy to schedule trips that fit your needs, whether you are seeking adventure, relaxation, romance, or family fun.

Pros
  • Use points in the U.S. and abroad

  • Borrow against future points

  • Upgrade points plan at any time

Cons
  • Not ideal for traditional, deeded-interest timeshares

  • High annual maintenance fees

The Marriott Vacation Club (MVC) is a points-based timeshare that gives members access to over 10,000 vacation destinations that span the globe and can cater to travel desires of families, couples, adventure seekers, or relaxation chasers.  MVC’s flexible vacation policies, expansive destination portfolio, and additional perks, like Marriot Bonvoy Point exchange opportunities, make MVC the best overall timeshare.

The list of MVC destinations is expansive, with numerous resorts located in U.S. hotspots—Florida, Colorado, and Hawaii, to name a few—as well as destinations in the Caribbean, France, Spain, Thailand, Indonesia, and Australia. MVC members can also trade their points in for Marriott Bonvoy Points to further expand or enhance their vacation options.

The MVC offers five different membership levels starting with the Owner level (4,000 or fewer points) and topping out at the Chairman's Club (15,000+ vacation points). The basic membership option starts at about $22,000, which provides access to over 2,300 vacation options, and upgrades are available for owners seeking increased access or additional vacation days. Members must also pay additional fees, including maintenance fees ($915 to $9,155) and annual Exchange Company Dues ($215 to $280). 

As an MVC member, you can gain access to personalized vacations and global experiences from a trusted brand in the travel industry. Plus, members can also convert their Vacation Club Points to Marriott Bonvoy points, which can be used for airfare, car rentals, and other travel perks both domestically and abroad. 

Additional membership information:

  • Exchange company: Interval International (II)
  • Buyback program/exit services: Yes
  • Membership/contract expiration: No

Best for Flexibility : Club Wyndham


Club Wyndham

Club Wyndham

Club Wyndham’s approach to ownership includes traditional and new points-based models. The club also has an extensive portfolio of destinations across North America as well as a robust international exchange program.

Pros
  • Multiple ownership types

  • Domestic and international destination

  • 24-month trial option

Cons
  • Limited cost and fee transparency

  • Fewer Experience/Cruise destination options than other timeshare providers

Many timeshare companies have updated their models to adjust to consumers' demand for flexibility, and Wyndham is no exception. However, they earn the title of best for flexibility because of their approach to ownership, their domestic and international portfolio, and recent response to the financial crisis. 

Club Wyndham has over 220+ resorts across North America as well as destinations in South America and on the Australian coast. Members can also take advantage of a robust exchange opportunity to tap into 4,200+ properties worldwide. 

Club Wyndham membership includes deeded, undivided interest at a single resort or certificate, points-based ownership, providing flexibility for members who prefer a more traditional timeshare experience. Travelers who are new to timeshares can even test the waters with the Club Wyndham Discovery option, which lets new members leverage a 24-month trial program to test out ownership benefits. This option really sets Wyndham apart from other timeshare companies and can make it easier to decide if timeshare ownership is right for you. And, with so many options and opportunities to customize your experience, it is best to reach out to Club Wyndham directly to find the pricing and amenities that best suit your needs.

Additional membership information:

  • Exchange company: Trading Places International (TPI)
  • Buyback program: Yes
  • Membership/contract expiration: No

Best for Families : Disney Vacation Club


Disney Vacation Club

Disney Vacation Club

The Disney Vacation Club (DVC) was created with families in mind, and its vacation options, which include park visits, cruises, and non-park destinations across the U.S. and internationally, make this a good choice for all ages.

Pros
  • Family-driven

  • Multiple membership plans

  • Destinations and resorts around the globe

Cons
  • Costly option for families who don’t plan to visit Disney

  • Theme park tickets are not included

The Disney Vacation Club is ideal for families that frequent Disney properties, but destination options aren’t limited to the Walt Disney theme parks. As a DVC member, you can also book vacations to Disney Tokyo, Paris, and Hong Kong. The points-based timeshare also includes Adventures by Disney, which includes non-theme park destinations across the U.S. and in Europe, Central and South America, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. You can also use points for Disney Cruises. Regardless of where or when your family decides to travel, the Disney Vacation Club's flexible, family-focused membership plans and destination portfolio make it the best timeshare for families. 

Membership costs are points-based, with plans ranging from 125 to 325+ points. Points are $201 each, making the minimum purchase $25,125. Members also must pay one-time closing costs (starting at $620) and annual dues (starting at $79/month). Once fees are factored in, a 125-point plan that’s financed through Disney costs about $366 a month or about $4,392 a year. 

If you’re considering DVC membership, you can use their convenient points tool to help you decide which points plan makes sense for your family. Once you determine which plan you’d prefer, it’s easy to determine if the plan makes sense for you. Keep in mind, however, that DVC membership does not include park tickets, though members are eligible for a slew of discounts, deals, and promotions. 

Flexible plans, vacation options both inside and outside the resort, and a healthy collection of things to do for adults and children alike make it the best club for the whole family. 

Additional membership information:

  • Exchange company: RCI
  • Buyback program/exit services: Yes
  • Membership/contract expiration: Varies based on package

Best for Luxury : Four Seasons Residence Clubs


Four Seasons

Four Seasons

The Four Seasons Residence Club is modeled after the same concepts that made the Four Seasons brand popular among guests seeking high-end luxury and industry-leading service.

Pros
  • Excellent customer service

  • Exclusive access

  • Limited fractional ownership

Cons
  • Limited travel flexibility

  • No external exchange partner

  • Limited availability

Four Seasons Residency offers two ways to take advantage of the luxury experience synonymous with the Four Seasons brand. Residencies can be purchased outright by interested parties, but the resort also offers the Residency Club, which makes ownership more affordable through fractional interest. The Residency Club makes it easier to gain all the luxuries expected from the Four Seasons brand without the steep financial commitment of total ownership, making it our choice for the best luxury timeshare.

However, ownership opportunities are limited to a few select Four Seasons locations, including Aviara in San Diego, California; Scottsdale, Arizona; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo; and Punta Mita, Mexico. Further, because Four Seasons keep fractional ownership low (e.g., 1/7 ownership, 1/14 ownership), property availability changes based on location and demand.

Similarly, usage, pricing, and fees also vary by location and based on the rational ownership opportunity. For instance, an owner with 1/7 interest may access their property three out of four seasons of the year. Fortunately, Four Seasons provides world-class customer service, and interested buyers can contact the desired club for available properties and rates. 

Four Seasons Residence Club offers everything you’d expect from a luxury resort, including the beautiful, sprawling properties and first-class accommodations and amenities that you’d expect from the best luxury timeshare. 

Additional membership information:

  • Exchange company: Members-to-member exchange
  • Buyback program/exit services: Yes
  • Membership/contract expiration: No

Best for Rewards : Hilton Grand Vacations Club


Hilton Grand Vacation Club

Hilton Grand Vacation Club

The Hilton Grand Vacations Club all offers all the perks of a flexible, points-based vacation club with the added benefit of a deeply integrated rewards program that provides in-club and out-of-club rewards and point redemption opportunities.

Pros
  • Automatic Elite status in the Hilton Honors Club

  • Domestic and international destinations

  • Members-only pricing for exclusive trips/experiences

Cons
  • Lacks pricing and fee transparency

  • Fewer international destinations than other timeshares/vacation clubs

Hilton is another world-renowned resort and hotel chain that extends timeshare and vacation club benefits to travelers who love their properties. Hilton Grand Vacations Club members can tap into a network of over 6,300 hotels and resorts in over 118 countries. Though many of the top-rated, resort-based timeshares offer some crossover rewards programs, Hilton’s Grand Vacations Club’s extensive integration with the Hilton Honors program makes this timeshare the best for earning and using rewards. 

The Hilton Grand Vacations Club is a points-based timeshare, allowing for optimal travel flexibility. Members are automatically elevated to Elite status in the Hilton Honors program, which creates extended benefits. 

Elite Hilton Honors members can earn 20% to 100% bonus points when staying at Hilton properties and enjoy other on-property benefits, like late checkouts, free Wi-Fi, etc. Hilton Honors has several redemption partners, and points can be redeemed for things like rail and air travel, shopping and dining experiences, and free stays at Hilton properties.

In addition to Elite status, Hilton Grand Vacations Club members also receive bonus points that can be used toward RCI Exchange vacations and hotel and resort reservations within the Hilton portfolio. Bonus points can also be redeemed for ClubPartner Perks. 

The ClubPartner Perks program is a collection of adventure and experience-based vacations, including cruises, luxury houseboats, or group excursions around the world. Past trips have included tours of Scotland and the Greek Isles. ClubPartner Perks vacations aren’t free, but members do get exclusive discounts.

When paired with the Hilton Honors program, the Hilton Grand Vacations club can yield significant rewards for travelers who frequent Hilton properties for work or pleasure. 

Additional membership information:

  • Exchange company: RCI
  • Buyback program/exit services: Yes
  • Membership/contract expiration: No

Best for Long-Term Investors : Equity Estates


Equity Estates

 Equity Estates

Equity Estates isn’t a traditional timeshare, but rather, it's a private equity fund for accredited investors. We’ve included it because it offers investors a unique chance to take advantage of high-end, luxury residences as part of a long-term investment.

Pros
  • Access to high-end, luxury homes

  • Low member-to-property ratio

  • Unique alternative to traditional timeshares

Cons
  • Extremely high capital buy-in

  • Only a few homes within branded hotel/resort community

  • Holiday access is dependent on a lottery

Equity Estates isn’t a traditional timeshare, but we’ve included it because it offers members a unique chance to take advantage of high-end, luxury getaways as part of a long-term investment. With access to exclusive, multi-million-dollar homes and the opportunity to earn equity on your purchase, Equity Estates is the best timeshare-like option for long-term investors.

Unlike points-based or property-based timeshares in which you purchase the deed, Equity Estates allows investors to truly invest in the property to gain a real equity stake as well the ability to vacation in $2- to $5-million-dollar vacation homes. Investors can choose luxury vacation destinations around the world, including in Belize, Turks and Caicos, Prague, Venice, and the United Kingdom.

Members can choose from 15-, 30-, or 45-night plans with a minimum capital investment of $299,950 plus an additional $14,500 in annual dues. Your investment will last 10 years, at which point you can capitalize on a divestment plan and get 100% of your initial investment back plus 80% of the appreciation thereafter. 

In addition to the allotted 15- to 45-night stays, you’ll also gain a personal travel concierge, destination manager to plan your vacation, a local host to pre-stock your fridge and offer guidance, and housekeeping services daily, if preferred. 

Equity Estates is truly a luxury investment that isn’t for everyone, but the features and amenities, when combined with the unique investment opportunity, can make it an option worth considering. 

Additional membership information: 

  • Exchange company: Reciprocity portfolio in 25+ countries
  • Buyback program/exit services: Pre-defined path to liquidity through sale of residence
  • Membership/contract expiration: 10-15 years

Bottom Line

If you’re committed to annual travel or enjoy vacations multiple times a year, a timeshare may make it cheaper in the long run, particularly as vacation prices, including hotel and resort rates, continue to climb. However, much like buying a home, timeshares are a long-term commitment that can be difficult to exit.  

When you’re considering a timeshare or a vacation club, always analyze your own vacation habits and compare them to the purchase costs and annual fees of your preferred timeshare provider. It’s also a good idea to consider what you’re looking for in a timeshare. For instance, if you want luxury accommodations with minimal fractional shares, the Four Seasons Residence Club or Equity Estates may be worth consideration. Conversely, if you want to leverage your timeshare to travel across the U.S. or internationally at your convenience, then a timeshare or vacation club like the Marriott Vacation Club, Hilton Grand Vacations Club, or Club Wyndham may better suit your needs.

Compare Providers

Timeshare Provider  Key Benefits
Marriott Vacation Club
Best Overall
Points-based vacationing at over 10,000 destinations; Great for all types of travelers
Club Wyndham
Best for Flexibility
Flexible plans that offer traditional and points-based timeshare experiences; 24 months “trial” period for new members
Disney Vacation Club
Best for Families
Flexible, family-centric vacationing with destinations around the globe
Four Seasons Residence Clubs
Best for Luxury
Fractional ownership for affordable, annual access to Four Seasons properties
Hilton Grand Vacations Club
Best for Rewards
Flexible, points-based vacation club with the added benefit of a deeply integrated rewards program
Equity Estates
Best for Long-Term Investors
High-end luxury vacation homes with the opportunity to earn equity

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is a Timeshare?

A timeshare is an investment in real estate interest and usage rights to a particular property or group of properties. Traditionally, timeshare owners purchased deeded interest that allowed them to use a specific property (e.g., condo, villa, etc.) during a specific time period each year. However, many timeshare providers now offer more flexible usage options. One such model is a points-based timeshare in which the owner purchases points that can be used to book stays throughout the year at one or more properties. 

Regardless of the timeshare model, owners are typically required to make an upfront investment similar to other real estate transactions. This may include a deposit or down payment and a monthly loan payment until the timeshare is paid in full. 

How Many Weeks Do You Get With a Timeshare?

The number of weeks you get with a timeshare depends on the timeshare provider and the ownership plan you choose. Some timeshares allow owners to vacation one week out of the year, while others may have more liberal options that allow for multiple weeks. Further, owners who have purchased a points-based timeshare may find that the total number of days or weeks available depends on when and where they use their points. 

What Is the Difference Between a Timeshare and a Vacation Club?

Strictly speaking, a timeshare is a single property that an individual buys into, while a vacation club is a membership-based purchase that grants the owner usage rights for the duration of the membership. As timeshare models shift to allow for more flexibility, the two terms are frequently used interchangeably. 

How Much Does a Timeshare Cost?

The cost of a timeshare depends on a number of factors including the location, accommodation size, additional benefits and amenities, and the timeshare provider. Timeshare costs are not limited to the price of the property. Instead, the total price includes any interest associated with financing, closing costs, annual dues, maintenance fees, and a number of other fees that can vary from provider to provider. 

What If I Can’t Afford My Timeshare? 

Timeshares are long-term financial commitments, and if your financial circumstances change, the financing payments or annual fees can be an untenable burden. Many timeshare companies offer buyback programs, though it’s not guaranteed that you’ll recoup your investment. 

There are also several “timeshare resale” companies that facilitate transactions between timeshare owners and potential buyers, but owners considering this route should research any company before selling to avoid instances of fraud. 

If you’re considering selling your timeshare, particularly due to financial hardship, your first call should be to the provider. Some timeshare providers, like Wyndham, offer assistance during hardships.   

Methodology

We researched 15 of the most popular timeshares available to travelers and evaluated them based on flexibility, number of available destinations or resorts, types of activities and benefits, and usage/ownership options. First, we consider which timeshares provided owners with the widest range of vacation options for their investment. Then we determined which timeshares offered flexible use options. Finally, we looked at the plans available and the benefits that came with membership.

Article Sources

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  1. Club Wyndham. "Certified Exit." Accessed May 7, 2021.