Club Ultima Scam, Is It Really?

I got a call from Club Ultima that I won a 3D/2N stay at Crown Regency in Cebu. Honestly, this isn't new to me. I experienced it sometime two years ago with a competitor company when we were in Boracay.

It is true when they say you can claim the gift certificate without financial obligation, but there's a catch. There will always be a catch. You have to sit in with them and listen to their presentations. And for us who had nothing better to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon, my husband and I decided to accept the invitation. What do we have to lose anyway?

So we went on with the usual procedure. We ate, and we listened. But this time, we took it seriously and listened intently.

Club Ultima: Scam or Not
This is what you'll expect in a Club Ultima presentation.
A quick Google search about Club Ultima will lead you to negative reviews. And these reviews are mostly coming from people who have not gone as far as listening to the presentation. So for someone who has attended, heard, and understood what the presentation is all about, I dare say, Club Ultima is not a scam.

But I have to be brutally honest here, the manner on how they lure you to attend their presentation so that you can listen to what they have to offer is somewhat annoying and invasive to the point that it will lead people into thinking it is a scam.

First, they call you and can be aggressive about it. You see, I hate taking calls, especially when it's coming from someone whose name is not registered on my contacts list. It gives me anxiety. And it doesn't stop there. Once you have confirmed, the texts keep coming in, reminding you about the time, asking for your whereabouts, and whatnot—which is honestly, a little off for me. And from what I've read, this is how they invite potential clients.

Second, comes the profiling. Once you are there, you have to fill up a form with your details. I am not so eager to give my complete information, especially when it comes to my salary. The only person in the world who knew how much I earn is my husband. And with them insisting that I fill up completely was another eye-rolling moment for me because I find it irrelevant. I mean, if I wrote minimum wage, would that matter? I would still be listening in the presentation anyway. But I wrote an estimated minimum to get it over with.

Thirdly is the today-only offer. And we're talking about a hefty amount of your hard-earned cash here. Such amount needs thorough thinking—when one isn't emotionally clouded under such a tempting offer. But that isn't the case here. You have to decide then and there, on the spot, pronto about shelling out your cash. This gives the people an impression of a desperate move, thus, a big red flag for them.

Lastly, it is not for everybody. But to me, it seemed like they are offering this to anybody. And I bet 9 out of 10 would come unprepared just like us who only had a hundred and twenty pesos in our pockets combined.

I know I am in no position to say this since I have not studied marketing, but from a customer's perspective, they're targeting the wrong market. To give you an idea about our lifestyle (please, don't think about this as bragging), we can afford at most three international travels and a few domestic trips in a year on top of our insurmountable bills, payment for car plus gas and maintenance, house mortgage, tuition fees, funds for stock market, and can still splurge on a few things. But even if we significantly cut those unnecessary expenses, we still could not afford the Club Ultima membership. So for most people who are on the same financial bracket as us, this might not be applicable.

But to tell you again, despite the Club Ultima's seemingly eyebrow-raising marketing strategy, it is not a scam at all. It is honestly worth taking a look at if you have the money and the time to put into it.

The agent we talked to was amiable and explained everything in detail. I would have loved to walk you through about everything I learned that day, but I was overloaded with information that I do not know where to start. But here's what I mostly remember:
  • Club Ultima offers you a lifetime club membership where you are entitled staycation privileges in any of their affiliated hotels (mostly Crown Regency), plus you can also use this for international travels since they have tie-ups with different hotels and resorts outside of the Philippines;
  • You can carry over this annual room privilege in the following years if unused or you can use it in advance if you need more vacation time for the year;
  • Members are entitled to free use of many amenities such as gym, pool, and library (amenities offered will depend on your location), which could already offset the annual fee if done regularly;
  • Membership is lifetime, does not expire, and best of all, transferable.

Honestly, for someone who loves traveling, it was a pretty attractive offer. We already have a slight idea of how much their tie-up hotels outside the country cost (since we frequently scour the internet for different hotels), so while they were doing the talking, we were also mentally computing the value and savings. Although our results were only a rough estimate, we could say that the fees, even with the add-ons, are pretty reasonable.
Some of my travels.
I know a few people (close friends at that) who have availed of the membership, and I could see that they are enjoying the perks. We were able to experience it too when one of our friends (whose parents are members) got our barkada a premier suite in Crown Regency for our Christmas Party for free.
Crown Regency, Cabaguio, Davao
Crown Regency in Davao. This is where we stayed.
So I don't get how people labeled it as a scam when in fact, Club Ultima DOES NOT FORCE YOU TO BE A MEMBER. They even kept on repeating that we should sign up ONLY when we can afford it. It is a luxury. We were, however, offered a 15-year trial pack, which is honestly affordable. But despite that, it was easy for us to decline politely since we already have our priorities sorted out.

IT IS NOT FOR EVERYBODY. But to be fair, their offer is quite useful if you are a big-time business owner who is also a frequent traveler. It is not a scam. You just have to know what you're getting into because you might just end up paying for something you do not actually need.






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