Do The Timeshare Presentation For This Perk Alone!

GTN is a franchise that sells memberships for a travel company called Global Connections, Inc in Overland Park, Kansas where they have purchased condos and time shares all over the worldwide to offer to members for a membership fee.
To attend their presentation you pay a $20 non-refundable deposit and you get either:
1. 4 day all inclusive/airfare to Mexico for two OR
2. $119 Resort week at one of their condos.
You also get a $50 gift card to
Before I went I googled “Global Travel Network”. There were a lot of negative reviews like the ones here on Yelp but most of the negative ones were about not getting the travel bonus for attending the presentation and most of the positive ones were from members who signed up and used the service. I’m very leery of any vacation club/timeshare presentation but I thought I’d go ahead and attend the presentation so I could provide an accurate and thorough review about GTN on Yelp.
Melissa w a sales rep call us to make the appt. to come in. Ours was Melissa and she was very professional and friendly and addressed my concerns about the negative reviews (she said they used to work with a company that made it very difficult to book the bonus and hence the complaints but they don’t use them anymore).
Presentation: you arrive and you make small talk with their salesperson then you go to a 60 min group presentation with Nicole where she shows you how much travel increases with inflation and how expensive it will be in the future and how you can stay for just $179-$389 a week in one of their condos (which is a steal for $25-$50 a day).
After the presentation we met with our sales rep Jen and she went over some pricing. Then we met with Sean who gave us discounts on the pricing for the 1-4 star program. I still said no, so then Nicole offered us a 0 star program which seemed pretty reasonable and by that point we had been there 3 hours and I was starving and just gave her my credit card because we had 3 days to think about it and would give us more time to review. Jen gave me a free sandwich to help me out which was very kind. Everyone seemed very honest, and professional.
By the way, the 3 hours was due to the fact that it takes a lot of time to understand all the options but I do think the presentation could be more efficient by starting the group presentation right away because we spent 30-45 min before that waiting and making small talk with the sales rep. They told me they do keep their word that if someone doesn’t want to become and member and just wants their free gift, they honor that and let them go with the gift.
I spent many more hours reading more forums and reviews and looking through their website. My husband wanted to do the 0 stars, Expressways program but I had hesitations about spending money right now when it feels like the US economy is going to tank any day now so I texted Nicole to cancel it and she did right away. Did I do the right thing? I’m not so sure. I actually feel like this is a very good deal.
Some other things I learned:
They have a star system where you buy a certain number of stars. One star will get you a one-bedroom week at a condo off peak and you cash in a star for peak and another star for a two bedroom. You still pay $179 plus using your star for using your week.This includes a cleaning fee.
1. Staying in a condo is so much better than a hotel. Having a kitchen will allow you to save money on meals and it’s so nice to have one or two bedrooms for people to have privacy.
3. Their interest rate on financing is something like 23% so of course avoid it if you can.
5. Their Expressways deals allow you to book extra weeks at condos that are still available but you can only book them as far out as 60 days or less.
6. If you want to get a high demand location you need to give 120 days notice.
7. The only cruises that you can use your membership stars with are Norwegian (decent but a large elderly population) and Carnival (mixed reviews, they are cheap and you get what you pay for). You can book other cruises but won’t be able to use your stars.
10. You can get discounts on condos, resorts, cruises, camping, shopping and you also get a full service travel agency and concierge service.
11. If you want to go somewhere that isn’t listed on the website, you can call the travel services and they can try to get you something with a trade on RCI.
12. You can get perks for every person you refer, 10 referrals = a refund of your membership.
Overall I feel this program seems like a very good deal and is worth a visit to learn more. They have a 50% close rate and 150,000 members. They gave me a 1 week voucher to stay somewhere in their network so I chose their St. Kitts location and they made it easy to book. We are booked in Jan 2016 at an upscale resort that would normally cost us $1,750 at $250 a night so we are pretty thrilled with this company so far. Do the timeshare presentation for this perk alone!

Karen S, 2015