Many of the destination clubs and several private residence clubs have been offering trial memberships over the last year. A&K Residence Clubs new offer is one of the longest trail periods that we've seen.

Here at SherpaReport we're big fans of the trial memberships. Very simply they are a great way to give any club a real test run. You get to try out the homes and the services that the club provides to its members. So you really know if it's the right choice for you and your family.

The way Abercrombie & Kent Residence Club has structured its latest trial is based on the clubs standard membership plans. So you choose a 15-night, 30-night or 45-night membership plan and you pay normal Club dues with a 10% premium, but no initial membership deposit. There's also a one-time security deposit of $5,000 required, which is refunded within 45 days of the conclusion of the Trial Membership.

The 10% premium paid on annual dues can be applied to the price of a full equity membership, if you decide to fully join the club. The three trial membership levels are summarized below:

Two-Year Trial Membership (TYTM) Benefits Summary:

  15-Night Plan 30-Night Plan 45-Night Plan
Annual Dues
$18,700 $31,900 $46,200
Number of nights at Club residences /year 15 30 45
Space-available nights for purchase * Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Number of Priority Booking Window reservations. For reserving holiday reservations each calendar year 1 1 2
Number of nights available for unaccompanied use by direct family members for long-term or short-term reservations Up to 15 Up to 30 Up to 45
Maximum A&K travel credit provided during the TYTM term in exchange for use nights of Club residences ** $18,000
(in exchange for 15 nights)
(in exchange for 30 nights)
(in exchange for 45 nights)
* additional nights available for purchase outside of your Annual Usage Plan. Nights available 22 to 45 days in advance for $1,400/night or 2 to 21 days in advance for $700/night
** value per night exchanged = $1,200

A&K Residence Club has 18 club homes in North America and the Caribbean, provides access to several European villas, many boutique hotels and members can exchange ther nights for travel on any Abercrombie & Kent tour organized by the parent travel company.

Other clubs currently have trial programs including Quintess LRW, Exclusive Resorts, and Ultimate Escapes and there are a couple of articles on try-before-you-buy programs at private residence clubs.