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IHG hotels is currently offering 4 days, 3 nights at its Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal property (sleeps 2 adults, 2 children) in Orlando, Florida for just $199 before tax. For $100 more you can stay in a one-bedroom villa (sleeps 4) at Holiday Inn Club Vacations Orange Lake Resort, complete with its on-site golf course, 9 restaurants, water slides, and 12-acre lazy river.
Just how good a deal is this? Well, if you were to book a 3 night stay over the Thanksgiving weekend (25-27 November 2016), you would pay $405 for 3 nights in the same room as at the time of this writing. The ($100 more expensive) Orange Lake Resort one-bedroom villa option would cost $390 3 nights before tax for the same dates (which strongly suggests that $199 package beats the $299 option for value!)
PLUS – if you book your stay by October 17, 2016 you will also receive 20,000 IHG Rewards Club bonus points, or 2 one-day, one-park passes to your choice of Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando or Walt Disney World Theme Parks.
Benefit: Normally a one-day ticket to the Magic Kingdom would cost $105/person. If you prefer points, 20,000 IHG Rewards points will get you, by way of example, 2 free nights at an IHG category 1 hotel or a massive 4 free nights during the period IHG PointBreaks promotion. If it helps, I value 20,000 IHG points at around £100 (based on a 0.5p per point valuation).
Sweet! Nothing like a few extra Benjamins to spend!
So what’s the catch?
Well, there is a pretty big one.
To fulfil the terms of the offer, you are required to attend a two-hour timeshare sales presentation for the offering of a timeshare interest. What does this mean? They want to give you a “VIP tour” around the Orange Lake Resort and try and talk you into purchasing a timeshare.
A timeshare is a property that several owners have the right to use as a vacation home. There are several different types of timeshares – some offer greater savings while others offer greater flexibility.
Minimum qualifications for the promotion include:
- at least 23 (twenty-three) years of age
- household income of $50,000 USD (the combined income of unmarried persons living together can be used to determine “household” income)
- gainfully employed (not to exclude retirees or the disabled with household income as described above) and creditworthy
- may not be in bankruptcy at the time of the tour
- must present a personal major credit card (prepaid cards not accepted) and identification such as a valid U.S. driver’s license, valid U.S. state identification card or valid passport at time of sales presentation
- if married or cohabitating, couples must attend sales presentation together and must present the aforementioned identifications (cohabitant’s identifications must contain matching addresses)
Obviously, before you sign-up for any promotional deal like this, read the rules very carefully. If you do take advantage of the promotion, don’t be surprised if you get a hard sell from people professionally trained in hard selling. Just remember however, there’s no obligation to purchase.