Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Accor Holiday Club

You know how you're walking through the mall and there's the competition (that always seems to be there) where you could win a car/cruise etc.... Well, we were walked past it a few months ago and I decided to enter us. We haven't won a car (so far) but we got a letter inviting us to come in to a presentation. We finally had time on Saturday and got up painfully early to get ready and drive out to Greenlane.
The presentation was well tailored, if a bit obvious in its ploys, and essentially boiled down to this. We were offered the chance to buy into the parent company of a number of hotel chains plus their reciprocal arrangement with hotel chains outside of the Pacific. For a lump sum (and a yearly maintenance fee) you received membership points each year (increasing as the fee does) and can cash these in for hotel stays. The points rollover each year and membership is indefinite. If you die then you can pass it on in your will, as can your kids etc...
Now, by the time its passed through the hands of a few generations then the yearly sum seems quite reasonable and the lump sum is forgotten - the lump sum by the way was about $26,000 for two to four weeks accommodation. You also had the option of booking the rooms and then selling them to someone else.
They had some really nice places but by the time everything was factored in, like the interest on the weekly fee if you used their payment plan, it ended up costing $40,000 over the first ten years. Then you have to factor in a mortgage to pay at some point in those ten years and kids. Then with kids you can't get a studio anymore, you have to get 2 bedroom and go in school holidays - which means that you pay the premier rate and use far more points.
We thanked them kindly for their time and turned them down (as we'd expected to) and walked out with our free hotel voucher (the incentive for showing up) so now we get 4 nights free accom. in a four or five star hotel in Fiji next year :)


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