What is World Ventures all about? Is there a travel scam going on with this MLM? How does this travel company operate and is it even remotely worth it to join?
Note to reader: World Ventures is now defunct and rebranded to DreamTrips International in 2021. For archival purposes, the rest of this World Ventures review is available below.
What is World Ventures All About?
World Ventures is an MLM (multilevel marketing) travel club that boasts of great travel deals in exchange for monthly membership dues. The compensation plan is convoluted and filled with bonuses that most representatives never achieve, while the expensive dues don’t actually make the trips discounted.
- World Ventures’ True Colors: It’s an MLM travel club claiming to offer great deals for monthly fees. However, the actual savings are questionable and the complex compensation plan often doesn’t pay off.
- The MLM Stigma: World Ventures, operating since 2005, combines a travel club with network marketing, but MLM’s reputation for being pyramid-scheme-like raises doubts.
- Customer vs. Representative Roles: As a customer, you get promised travel discounts; as a representative, you earn by selling memberships and recruiting. But, reality often falls short of expectations.
- High Joining Costs, Limited Rewards: Membership tiers are pricey, ranging from $99.99 to $999.99 initially, plus monthly fees. Despite the “Get 4 Pay No More” offer, the actual travel discounts aren’t as significant as they seem.
- Representative Reality Check: The majority of representatives don’t earn commissions, as revealed by World Ventures’ own income statements. This, combined with the overall downward trend in representative numbers, suggests it’s a challenging path to profitability.
Let’s dive in and show you why this travel program isn’t filled with the savings you think it is. The math doesn’t add up and the MLM side of it is definitely something you should run from.
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World Ventures Founders & Business Structure
Most people nowadays are very careful about getting involved with anything that has those three little letters in its branding: MLM. Multilevel marketing (also known as network marketing) has a negative stigma associated with it because people instantly associate it with pyramid schemes.
So how does this travel club with a network marketing compensation plan stack up? Is it just another scheme?
- About World Ventures: World Ventures is a private company since 2005, operating in 34 markets as a travel club with a network marketing strategy.
- Dual Structure: Offers two roles – customer and representative, each with its own set of pros and cons.
- Membership as Product: The core product is the membership, promising customers savings on travel deals and access to Dream Trip experiences.
- Earning as a Representative: Representatives earn by selling memberships and also building a team to do the same, earning commissions on personal and team sales.
- Classic MLM Model: Follows the standard MLM approach, where selling and heavy recruiting are central to the business strategy.
How Much Does World Ventures Cost to Join? (Customer Side)
There are several tiers to the World Ventures membership as a customer: Titanium, Platinum, Gold, and Standard. The two most popular are Platinum and Gold.
- Standard Membership – $99 Initial Membership Fee + $31.99/monthly
- Gold Membership – $279.98 Initial Membership Fee + $56.99/monthly
- Platinum Membership – $479.98 Initial Membership Fee + $99.99/monthly
- Titanium Membership – $999.99 Initial Membership Fee + $149.99/monthly
You might think these packages are a bit expensive, and I would absolutely agree. As a Platinum member, for example, shelling out $500 along with a recurring $100/month is steep. But, there is a way to remove the monthly premiums. It involves referring 4 others to join as World Ventures customers.
- The “Get 4 Pay No More” Offer: Eliminate monthly fees by referring 4 new customers to World Ventures.
- Effective Cost Reduction Strategy: This referral program can significantly cut costs, making it the only viable way to enjoy true travel savings in my opinion. Without removing your expensive dues, the “discounts” are nonexistent.
- Continued Benefits: Once you refer 4 customers, your dues are waived starting the following month, as long as your referrals remain active.
How Do Dream Points Work?
- Points for Premiums: Each dollar you pay in membership fees becomes a DreamTrips point for discounts on vacations; $1 equals 1 point.
- Accumulating Points: As an example, as a Platinum member paying $99.99 monthly, you collect 100 DreamTrips points each month, usable for lowering vacation costs.
- Yearly Availability: These points become accessible on your one-year membership anniversary, but you’ll lose them if you exit before a year.
- Initial Point Bonus: Platinum members start with 300 immediate-use points, while Gold members get 200 points to use right away.
This is an example below of a World Ventures Welcome DreamTrip. 4 days and 3 nights in Melbourne at a luxurious resort hotel with a full day Great Ocean Road excursion for $399. Also included is a daily buffet breakfast, 1 lunch, and 1 buffet dinner. Pricing is per person, minimum 2.
Take a look at the bottom left corner of that photo above for the Australian DreamTrip and you’ll see tiny sticker in the bottom left that says “Apply up to 100 Points”. This means that you can apply 100 DreamTrip points to this trip. With those points, this package gets discounted $100 from its total, making it now $349/ea. for a couple.
However, if you’re traveling solo, prices go way up. When I changed the number of travelers from 2 to 1 there was a significant price increase from $349/ea. to $598. I was able to apply my 100 DreamTrip points though, so with that I was able to bring it down to $498 for the 3 night stay.
At that price point, I would say this is a great deal. However, you have to remember that you’re paying monthly premiums every month that need to be factored in. As a Platinum member, for example, you’ve paid $1200 in premiums throughout the year. Taking 2 Dream Trips this year? Then don’t forget to add in the additional $600 per trip.
Additionally, World Ventures DreamTrips vacation packages do not cover airfare. Major bummer. Buying your airfare is the most expensive part of any trip and gets really expensive when you need to buy tickets for specific dates.
There are some extras that are included with your membership. These are nice perks, but remember, you’re paying for them monthly whether you use them or not.
Gold Membership Extras
- Airport transfers, welcome receptions, hosts, excursions, and activities on DreamTrips with 20 or more adults travelers
- Exclusive travel deals year round
- Flight accident insurance
- DreamTrips Mall
- DreamTrips concierge
- Personal website
- Airport parking and limousine service discounts
Platinum Membership Extras
- All the Gold membership extras
- 7 day advanced booking access to DreamTrips
- Access to exclusive DreamTrip Platinum experiences
- Trip-specific upgrades on many DreamTrips, such as resort credits, room upgrades, lift tickets, green fees, spa discounts, culinary classes and more.
- Ability to use 50 percent more DreamTrips Points on DreamTrips
- Emergency evacuation services
World Ventures also has dining and entertainment perks. If you go out to eat or shop through participating merchants, portions of your purchases are credited to your World Ventures account for future travel.
Get 3000 Dream Points from your referrals in one year and World Ventures removes the limits for how many Dream Points you can use on any trip. In the Dream Trip example above, if I qualified and had 498 or more Dream Points to use, I’d be able to apply them all and get the Dream Trip without paying anything extra.
To accrue those 3000 Dream Points in a single year you would have to refer 15 Platinum memberships or 30 Gold memberships or a combination of both. Is it possible? Yes. Does that happen very often at all? No.
- Discounted luxury stays available all over the world.
- Many of the Welcome Dream Trips available to brand new members have an on-site representative to help you with anything you need. They can suggest places to go and are really friendly and good at their job.
- You can use your monthly dues and enrollment fees directly to further discount most Dream Trips.
- The group dynamic is a fun one.
- Potential for free vacation packages if you make enough referrals.
- Membership can be expensive.
- Airfare is not included.
- Discounted stays aren’t nearly as cheap for a single traveler. The Australian DreamTrip went from $399/ea. to $598 for 1 traveler.
- While there are plenty of trips you can book throughout the year, some go quickly and are unavailable.
- You don’t have absolute freedom when booking packages. You have to plan around the dates they have set, not your own.
- If luxury accommodations aren’t your focus, you can find much cheaper vacation packages, many including airfare, through Expedia, Priceline, or a travel agent.
- Unless you’re making lots and lots of referrals, you can never quite catch up to using 100% of your accrued DreamTrips points that come from your monthly dues. The cap on each package limits how many you can use.
Becoming a World Ventures Representative (Business Side)
While the business side of World Ventures isn’t a scam, it is multilevel marketing. This involves recruiting others to be members of your team. They in turn will also be recruiting, and so on. In my experience, MLMs and network marketing businesses just are not sustainable.
In addition to the membership fees you pay to join World Ventures as a customer, you pay an additional $100 to become a representative + an additional $10.99/month.
The Convoluted World Ventures Compensation Plan
MLM compensation plans tend to be a bit confusing and convoluted with lots of bonuses and commissions popping up all over the screen. World Ventures is no different. There are downlines, strong legs, binary organizations, sales credits, direct commissions, lifestyle bonuses, and to be honest it gets foggy quickly.
If you’d like to take a look their compensation plan to see what I mean, check out the video below.
And that is where World Ventures Annual Income Disclosure Statements come into play. I’m going to warn you right now, they don’t look good.
World Ventures Annual Income Disclosure Statements
Take a look at the 2016 & 2019 World Ventures Annual Income Disclosure Statements below and you’ll see that not only has the number of representatives dropped significantly, (225k in 2016 down dramatically to 57k in 2019), but 80% of all reps in 2016 and 85% of all reps in 2019 DIDN’T EARN A SINGLE COMMISSION FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR respectively.
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While there is no World Ventures Travel Scam going on, by their own documentation and numbers the organization is trending in the wrong direction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is World Ventures Considered a Scam?
World Ventures isn’t technically a scam, but its MLM structure and lack of significant earnings for most representatives raise concerns about its legitimacy and profitability.
What Are the Costs of Joining World Ventures as a Customer?
Joining costs range from $99.99 to $999.99 initially, followed by monthly fees depending on the membership tier, which can be costly over time.
Can You Really Save Money on Travel with World Ventures?
While World Ventures promotes travel savings, the monthly membership fees and conditions (like needing to refer four customers to eliminate dues) often negate the supposed discounts.
Is It Worth Becoming a World Ventures Representative?
Considering the low commission earnings for a vast majority of representatives and the declining numbers each year, becoming a representative is generally not recommended for sustainable income.
What Are the Alternatives to World Ventures for Making Money Online?
There are various other ways to make money online that are more sustainable and less risky than MLMs, such as freelance digital marketing, content creation, affiliate marketing, or setting up an e-commerce business.
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And if you’re curious if solo travel could be a good fit for you, check out my article “Should I Travel the World Alone?” for all my tips on my FAVORITE way to travel!