I've booked 2 trips with HSI. The only advantage I can see is access to condo's which are upgraded. I highly doubt we'll ever see the full value of the $3500 we spent upfront to become a member.
Pls note: I do not own a timeshare just an HSI membership so I've never dealt with the timeshare part of this.
I booked a 2BR condo in Vegas at Summer Bay Resort for 1 week. It worked out to be pretty cheap with 5 people. The rooms at that resort can be booked by anyone online and are cheap anyway but with HSI we did have an upgraded room (which I don't think is available to general public). Flat screen tv, granite counter tops, nicer decor & furniture and good room location. So for Vegas I would say it was good.
I've also booked an Alaska Cruise which I haven't taken yet. We saved about $150 over what we could find online. Not a huge savings considering the upfront cost of the membership. We are yet to get our room assigned (guaranteed ocean view). So will see how that one works out.
Otherwise I've asked for a few quotes but the reps do not seem very knowledgeable. For example, I asked for options in the South of Spain and a week later got a quote with only 1 option for the Canary Islands. Called to get the quote changed and that was 4-5 days ago with still no update.
- have to call multiple times to get a proper quote
- they generally only provide 1 option when presenting a quote
- hotel vs. cruise vs. flights vs. resort are all handled by different HSI reps so nearly impossible or would take a really long time to get a quote with multiple options
- often put on hold/takes a long time to get a quote
- upfront and annual membership costs
- breakaway and burn weeks generally Sat to Sat with little flexibility on dates
- upgraded condos for resort weeks (I was quite happy with Vegas)
- burn weeks seem like a good deal if you can travel last minute
- small savings on Cruises (approx $100- $200 from what I've seen)
This has been my experience. Would be great to hear yours!