De-bunking Bonus Time

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Most memberships to clubs come with benefits.  The InnSeason Vacation Club is no different.  There are certain perks that come with membership in the Vacation Club.  Bonus Time is probably one of the most talked about perks.  However, some of you may have tried to book Bonus Time and found some obstacles.  Let’s talk about Bonus Time – what it is, how to book it, and what it really is all about.

First – What is Bonus Time? Bonus Time is a deeply discounted owner rate available only to owners within a short-term booking window.

Bonus Time came from the fact that there was often last-minute cancellations, unsold developer inventory that was never rented, delinquent inventory from owners who had not yet paid their fees, and early check-outs that created a surplus of available rooms that we were unable to turn around and rent.

Because this inventory comes at different times from all these different sources on such short notice, there are booking windows for this benefit.  The booking window is based on your VIP status within the Club.  Most of our members are Gold members and that means that Bonus Time is available 14 days in advance.  Platinum members are able to book 16 days in advance and Diamond members are able to book 18 days in advance.

Bonus Time is only available to the OWNER.  You cannot book this rate for friends and family.  Be sure that if you want this rate for your friends and family, you have the person added to your contract for usage status only (the more economical option) or you can add them to your deed (the much more expensive option).  If you do try to book this rate for friends and family who are not listed on your contract for usage purposes only, then the full nightly rate will be adjusted and charged to the guest.

How come when I call to book, I’m told there are no Bonus Time rooms available but I can get the 25% Owner Rental rate? – Remember that the Vacation Club does not own the entire resort and at all of our resorts, we still have owners who are traditional timeshare owners.  That means they own the week and unit and if they want to, they have the option to rent the unit for their own benefit.  Often, when given the option, these owners will rent their unit in the hopes of being able to earn cash for the rental.  It also means that we are not able to offer the highly discounted rates of Bonus Time in that inventory.  So don’t get frustrated when you first call and they are only able to give you the 25% discount rate – just call back in a day or so to see if there have been any cancellations.

When are the best chances to get Bonus Time? – Bonus Time is probably best booked during mid-week non-peak periods.  While that may not be the time you want to travel, the fact of the matter is that during peak periods, the inventory is usually booked pretty quickly and there are very few cancellations.  That’s not to say that there aren’t any cancellations or delinquent owners during those times, but the chance that the inventory will not rent 14 days prior to arrival is slim.  That’s why if you do want Bonus Time during peak or holiday periods, often you will find that you won’t be able to get it until the morning of the arrival date you are trying to request.

Be flexible.  The more flexible you are about your travel plans, the better chance you have of taking advantage of bonus time.  For example, if you want to book a Bonus Time stay in Falmouth, be open to all three properties in Falmouth and you’ll have a better shot at getting a room.

There is also a 2 night minimum to be aware of so when calling to book, make sure that the stay you want will be at least two nights.  Also, any cancellations will be subjected to the standard cancellation policy which reads that if the reservation is canceled within 72 hours of arrival, one night’s room and tax will be charged.

Another great tip is to use Bonus Time to add on to your InnSeason Vacation Club Points vacation.  If you use your Points for a few nights to stay but want to add on to your trip and not use any more Points, Bonus Time is a great way to do so!

In our next post, we’ll take a look at the Owner’s Inn – how to create an account, how to look things up, and how to make the most of your online account access!

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