Many timeshare owners have become disgruntled with the lack of flexibility of timeshares. Once you exchange through an exchange company, you are stuck with that particular unit or resort. While they indicate that you can cancel, you forfeit your exchange fee of either $179 for online bookings or $189 for over the phone. Depending on how far advance you cancel will depend on what type of replacement week you will be offering. Some replacement weeks have restrictions that only allow their use within 60 days of check-in. This can be severely limiting. In addition, you are then required to pay a new exchange fee. As you can see, cancellation can be costly.
Sometimes, a better unit becomes available at a better resort, airfare changes occur, family issues occur or some other item comes up where you need to change or cancel your reservation. In order to provide more flexibility to timeshare owners, Interval International came up with a feature called E-Plus.
This is truly a fantastic addition to Interval International. In addition to your exchange fee, you can pay a fee of $54 in order to be able to exchange your confirmed reservation up to three additional times for no additional fees. I have taken advantage of this program by completely changing destinations or changing resorts. It has been extremely advantageous and gives you much more flexibility that what you had in the past.
Additionally, if you confirm into a studio unit for a particular resort but really wanted a one bedroom unit, if one becomes available you can exchange into the 1 bedroom unit. If you are on points, you will be required to deposit the additional points but will not be responsible for an additional exchange fee.
You can elect to purchase E-Plus at the time of exchange or within five days after confirmation. If you use Request First or Deposit First, you can elect to pay for E-Plus at that time or within 5 days of confirmation of your week.
In order to utilize E-Plus, you will need to go into your exchange history, "My History" and navigate to the Exchange tab. If you purchased E-Plus, you will click on "Start E-Plus Retrade" in order to search within the current inventory. There is a box on this page that also indicates how many retrades remain for that particular deposit.
While E-Plus does provide a tremendous value since it opens up flexibility, one thing to consider is that you no longer have the opportunity to put in an ongoing request for a certain week or resort. Once you are confirmed into a week, you can exchange into other weeks through E-Plus but you are confined to current inventory and cannot set up an ongoing request that would automatically book you into the desired week or resort. Inventory constantly changes so you need to be diligent and constantly search.
Alternatively, you can sign up here and be on the lookout for fantastic exchange opportunities!
Overall, E-Plus is definitely an enhancement to timeshare exchanges as flexibility is becoming more and more of the norm. In the past, timeshares became to be viewed negatively since you were locked into the same week and resort year after year. The industry responded with the introduction of points and hybrid systems and continues to evolve in order to meet the demand of today's timeshare owners. E-Plus is another step in the right direction to provide greater flexibility.