Furnishing, décor and amenities may change at your timeshare, but one thing stays the same: that yearly maintenance fee bill. Arriving in mailboxes over the coming weeks, it is a regular expense for a timeshare owner.
While maintenance fees are the “necessary evil” of timeshare ownership, you are likely saving a comparable amount to your annual bill if you calculate how much you would spend if you booked the same accommodations directly from the property or as a third-party rental. Plus, our family always plans on eating at least two meals each day in our unit when we are in a timeshare, and we have calculated that we save, on average, $1,000.00 on food each time we vacation with our family of 5. And even more for the times that other family joined us.
Here are some of our suggestions for planning for and managing your maintenance fee bills. A do’s and don’ts list if you will:
- Pay early if there is a discount to do so.
- If there isn’t a discount to pay early, pay on time.
- Don’t pay the extra “optional” amounts. These should be clearly marked as optional on your bill (like an ARDA contribution) but are also automatically included in the total.
- If you pay annually, calculate how much your fees are each month and put that monthly amount into a savings account so that when the bill arrives, you have the funds to write a check or to quickly pay off your credit card bill if you charge the fees to a card.
- Use a credit card that offers cash back or other rewards to pay your maintenance fees, as long as you can pay the bill in full and avoid interest charges.
- If you can’t pay on time and it is due to a hardship (such as loss of income or illness), contact your resort’s ownership department. Ask if they can give you a grace period before late fees are added. They might not be able to make an accommodation, but if you are in contact with them, it shows good faith on your part to keep your account current.
- You can also book a highly desirable week and rent it out to recoup some or all of your maintenance fees for that year.
And if the time has come that you are ready to be completely finished with maintenance fees and their annual billings, it might be time to sell. The licensed agents at Premier Timeshare Resale with RE/MAX will give you a free evaluation of what your timeshare is worth.
There is currently a high demand for weeks at Marriott’s MountainSide and Summit Watch. If you own a Platinum Season or Fixed Week at either of these resorts, contact us today to talk about listing with us and being finished with maintenance fees for good.