The reason so many people buy timeshare is because it’s a way to take holidays every year without paying for hotel rooms or buying a holiday home. Once you’ve covered the initial purchase cost, you’re immune from holiday rental inflation, which causes accommodation prices to rise over time.
That said, timeshare isn’t as simple as ‘free holidays forever’, so it’s important to understand exactly what costs are involved. If you’re uncertain about the fees associated with a specific timeshare Club, simply look it up in their PDS.
To join Points-based timeshare, most Clubs require that you purchase a minimum number of Points, each of which are worth a given amount of money. In Australia, this typically costs between $20,000 and $40,000. Some Clubs also have a once-off joining fee.
To cover ongoing expenses like administration and property upkeep, Clubs normally require their Owners/Members to pay annual maintenance fees. This fee varies between Clubs, averaging roughly $600 per annum, but may cost more or less depending on which properties you own or how many Points you own. Some terms you might hear used instead of ‘maintenance fees’ are Annual Levies, Annual Fees or Club Fees.
Some Clubs require Owners/Members to pay for housekeeping when staying at a resort. This is essentially designed to offset the cleaning and room service costs of a Owner/Member’s stay. Housekeeping fees are only paid if and when you stay somewhere.
Special Administrative Costs
Most Clubs also have various fees for things like transfer of Ownership/Membership, late payments, late cancellations, and so on. These will all be clearly outlined in each Club’s PDS and will only be incurred under certain circumstances.