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Hilton Grand Vacations Club®: Is It Worth Becoming a Member?

Hilton Grand Vacations Club®: Is It Worth Becoming a Member?

Old Oct 28, 02, 2:54 pm
  #1  
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Hilton Grand Vacations Club®: Is It Worth Becoming a Member?

I am a Hilton HH Diamond and was interested in becoming a HGVC member. IS anyone here a member? Basically the deal is that you get 7000 HGVC points a year which you can use towards staying at a Hilton GVC - it comes up to a upto 5 weeks a year. OR you can convert those points to 161,000 HH points a year. And THIS IS FOR LIFE - actually it's more than for life - you get a deed which you can sell off to someone else (does anyone know where I can buy one cheaper) or pass on to your family.

The cost is about $21,000 - but the benefits are for life. Also, you get Lifetime Silver Elite Status. However since I am a Diamond, she says she will TRY and see if she can get me LifeTime Gold and 280,000 enrollment HH points. That alone is worth quite a bit.

But $21,000 is a lot of money... but I am 25 so I figure I should have some years to use it. what do you guys think? Has anyone ever done it? Is it worth it? I really would appreciate all the help possible.

Thanks!


[This message has been edited by arawal (edited 10-28-2002).]
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Old Oct 28, 02, 3:35 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
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Here are some tips from a HGVC owner.

1. You alone would have to decide if HGVC membership is right for you.
2. If you do like the lifetime benefits, buy as much as you can afford. It keeps the yearly dues in check.
3. Buy from the resale market. HGVC is the only hotel vacation ownership program that lets you buy resale and still enjoy all the conversion(points) benefits.

The above mentioned ownership package can easily bought for $14-16K in the resale market from an established broker.



[This message has been edited by Bourne (edited 10-28-2002).]
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Old Oct 28, 02, 4:19 pm
  #3  
 
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Since you are from NY, I wonder whether you are considering the HGVC at New York Hilton on 6th Ave? The sales pitch given to me a couple months back were that the ownership is only for 30 years, and not for life. They also are willing to give lifetime Diamond HHonors status.

I also stayed at the Orlando HGVC earlier this month. For $69 a night I got a studio unit. It seems that the have been running this special rate repeatedly.

Can you let me know what are the monthly fixed expenses, in additonal to the payment on the purchase price? I am interested to find out:

- Monthly maintenance/dues
- Annual membership fee (if any)
- Sign up fee for right to exchange with other chains
- Cost to actually exchange

I do not remember the specifics of the pitch in New York City, but vaguely recall that the various cost adds up to about $30-50 dollars a night of my timeshare. With the internet and the ability to easily price different hotel stays, it seems that there is not much financial reason to lock myself into a time share, and forgot the yearly 50K bonus HHonors promotion.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by arawal:
I am a Hilton HH Diamond and was interested in becoming a HGVC member. IS anyone here a member? Basically the deal is that you get 7000 HGVC points a year which you can use towards staying at a Hilton GVC - it comes up to a upto 5 weeks a year. OR you can convert those points to 161,000 HH points a year. And THIS IS FOR LIFE - actually it's more than for life - you get a deed which you can sell off to someone else (does anyone know where I can buy one cheaper) or pass on to your family.

The cost is about $21,000 - but the benefits are for life. Also, you get Lifetime Silver Elite Status. However since I am a Diamond, she says she will TRY and see if she can get me LifeTime Gold and 280,000 enrollment HH points. That alone is worth quite a bit.

But $21,000 is a lot of money... but I am 25 so I figure I should have some years to use it. what do you guys think? Has anyone ever done it? Is it worth it? I really would appreciate all the help possible.

Thanks!


[This message has been edited by arawal (edited 10-28-2002).]
</font>
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Old Oct 28, 02, 4:43 pm
  #4  
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Jet2K, I think you are talking about the Hilton Club at NY. That is a bit different than the HGVC. With the NY Hilton club, you pay $24,000+ and get 6800 city points which would get you atleast two weeks during peak times and perhaps a bit more during off peak for a studio. You can convert the 6800 city points at a rate of 25 to 1.

The reason I was thinking of joining HGVC was:

1. You can convert HGVC points to HH points. I was told that for about $20,000 I would get 7000 points which is equivalent to 161,000 HH points. If I take a vacation every other year and use 362,000 (161 X2) HH points, I can use the GLON award - two R/T airline tickets to any Hilton Property in the World plus 6 nights. That seems interesting but is it worth it?

2. The fact that you can sell the deed to others and it's lifetime.

However the $20,000 invested wisely (real estate) would yield more than what you could get out of the HGVC. So I was not too sure.

HAS ANYONE TRIED SELLING THEIR HGVC OWNERSHIP. IF SO, WAS IT EASY AND WHAT %age WERE YOU ABLE TO RECOVER??
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Old Oct 28, 02, 4:52 pm
  #5  
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There is some very good information and FAQs on the topic at the Time Share Users Group,
www.tug2.net
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Old Oct 29, 02, 1:22 am
  #6  
 
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The reason I was thinking of joining HGVC was:

1. You can convert HGVC points to HH points. I was told that for about $20,000 I would get 7000 points which is equivalent to 161,000 HH points. If I take a vacation every other year and use 362,000 (161 X2) HH points, I can use the GLON award - two R/T airline tickets to any Hilton Property in the World plus 6 nights. That seems interesting but is it worth it?

2. The fact that you can sell the deed to others and it's lifetime.

*****Why spend $20,000 for what you could get 6 nights for 100,000 points*GLON*? Don't understand this one....airfare not inclusive, the room you would get would be probably equivalent to $2300, plus airfare for two people...you do the math, lol...and you would not be locked into a lifetime arrangement....seems to me there needs to be a much better incentive to buy into a timeshare, or maybe i am just innocent as to all the benefits. Between all the maintenance fees, yearly fees, etc, etc, why not just book at a hotel? Just call me clueless, I would really like to know from all of you who are actual members if you think you are getting good value for the BIG bucks*at least for my little earnings* you are shelling out
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Old Oct 29, 02, 12:14 pm
  #7  
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My financial advisor insists that he has never seen a timeshare arrangement in his life that made sense - even when he liberally applies value to a "currency" such as frequent-travel points. I feel somewhat challenged to come up with a good one for him to look at. Not knowing the fees on the back end of the Hilton deal, the HGVC looks better than most...
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Old Oct 30, 02, 8:43 am
  #8  
 
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Don't forget that on top of the initial outlay, you'll be responsible for annual maintenance fees of between $600-800 for as long as you are a member. HGVC also charges $69 to convert HGVC points to HHonors points annually. I'm a member- I own at three different HGVC properties, and I will tell you that, in most cases, converting to HHonors points is the least efficient use of your membership. Consider the capitalized cost, the annual fee and other add-on charges, and there are better ways to get points. That being said, if you intend to use the units, HGVC is about the best timeshare plan going. Here's what I said in a recent Timeshare Users Group BBS post:

HGVC is definitely as good as it seems, and gets even better as time goes by and they tinker (for the better) with the system. For example, you used to have to deposit your unit points for the next year, i.e. 2003's points in 2002, with the Club by March 31 to convert to HHonors points (at a 23-to-1 conversion ratio). This year, they permanently extended the deadline to December 31. You can also now make current year Hilton Hotel reservations with current year's HGVC points at a ratio approximately the same as the aforementioned 23-to-1 point ratio. You
can use HGVC points for RCI nightly stays at RCI participating points resorts. More of the owners in the South Florida HGVC-affiliated properties are joining the Club, which was not mandatory for them, as the costs have come down and the benefits have gone up. This leads to higher levels of Club inventory in those locations. All in all, I think Hilton has one of the best systems going. It is extremely flexible and user-friendly. It has top trading priority in RCI by contractual arrangement, yet still allows use beyond a contracted week for exchanges, by virtue of the points. An owner with a 2 bedroom in platinum season has 7000 in points, yet can reserve an RCI 2 br exchange in red season for only 4800 of those points, leaving a balance of 2200 points for nightly HGVC, Hilton Hotel or RCI stays. Plus, the open season (inside 30 days) cash rental rates are extremely reasonable - $60 studio, $80 one br,$100 2 br, $120 3 br. There is almost always availablity in Orlando and Vegas at these rates- I don't even bother making hotel reservations anymore in those locations. I have yet to be disappointed. Finally, they offer the best customer service I've encountered in this crazy business, handling everything I've mentioned with one phone call. The long and short of it is I LOVE THEM!
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Old Oct 30, 02, 9:21 am
  #9  
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Thanks a lot! Does anyone have the website for RDI? I want to know where all they have their properties? Is it worldwide?? Thanks!
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Old Oct 31, 02, 2:44 am
  #10  
 
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I attended more than a dozen of timeshare presentation by now. By my observation Hilton runs the best program with Mariott being the second best. On the resale market Hilton timeshares are worth about two thirds of the list price, again the highest in the industry.

And still the real estate angle stopped me every time I looked.
Consider this:
Hilton timeshare properties represent an furnished apartment buildings with units between studio and 2 bedrooms. They include maid service and some amenities. They are nicer than hotels, but not quite in the luxury category as apartments go. They tend to be located in nice resort areas, but avoid sky high markets of world capitals.

Now, fun with numbers. Hilton sells 1 bdrm for
$21,000 weekly. Multiplied by 52 weeks it makes it cool $1,092,000 ! On top of that they charge $700+ weekly annual fee, so they rent you your own 1 mil property for $3000 just through this fee. Oh yes, this small fee grows faster than inflation.

This is too good real estate deal to pass, so all major hotels chains, Disney and every major real estate developer is in the business, keeping supply very high.

But guess who's paying for these profit margins ?
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Old Oct 31, 02, 6:53 am
  #11  
 
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The way to purchase timeshare property is through resale by private owner. Most HGVC properties sell in the neighborhood of $1.35-$1.75 per point in the resale market, with a motivated seller. This is clearly a significant discount from the approximately $3.00-$3.50 that is prevalent in the developer sales arena, but not unexpected, as it is estimated that 50-60% of developer price is attributed to sales and marketing expense. If you keep your eyes open and are patient, you can find a good deal in the resale market, making the numbers work on a capitalized cost + annual fee basis. Example- you find a platinum 7000 point deal for $1.65 per point- $11,550. Annual maintenance fee is $650. Capitalized cost @ 10% ($1155) plus MF ($650) is a little over $1800. You use the 7000 points to book a two bedroom condo 2 weeks in the silver season, admittedly not the highest, or you book a 1 bedroom platinium season for a week and a 1 bedroom gold season for a week. In either case, your cost of ownership is less than $130 per night. If you did that in a place like Hilton Hawaiian Village or South Seas Plantation on Captiva, you would be at a distinct cost advantage over rack or even promo rates.
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Old Oct 31, 02, 9:14 am
  #12  
 
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Thank you for the additional information diviaruba. It looks like the aftermarket private seller is the only way to make it worthwhile. Paying full retail price would make the average per night cost around $200.

I guess there are a few other factors to consider:

Pros:
- Additonal HHonors points if purchased from Hilton as a one-time purchase incentive.
- Lifetime HHonors diamond
- Obligated you to pay (for those of us that are not good savers). Kind of like my friend that withhold income tax at a higher rate, so that he can get a big refund, since otherwise, he will not be able to save any money by himself.
- The mortgage payment will end eventually, depending on your financing options. At which point your only on-going cost is the maintenance fee (if you do not care to switch to other properties). This is assuming that it is a lifetime membership, not the 30-year deal that Hilton Club in NYC is selling.


Cons:
- Locks me into the same property year after year, unless I pay a exchange fee, which brings the nightly cost even higher
- Takes away some ability to be spontaneous as for traveling to new location. Timeshare makes me plan my vacations more. Which can also be good in its own way.
- Weekly rentals is less flexible than regular hotels where I can decide the number of days I want.
- Not sure about cancellations at the last minute, but I imagine that there is some cancellation fee involved
- Less likely that I will take advantage of Hilton 50K promotion, for myself or my wife in conjunction with regular vacation hotel stays. With two weeks of timeshare already paid for, makes it harder to fit in additonal hotel stays.

All these factors are difficult to quantify and make a cost comparison. In my personal situation, I think the private seller market is probably worth further consideration, and I will do more investigation.

[This message has been edited by Jet2K (edited 10-31-2002).]
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Old Nov 23, 03, 12:30 pm
  #13  
 
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Hilton Grand Vacations Club Info wanted

Hello,

I am thinking about joining HGVC. I would like to hear from everyone on what they think about the program. The main item I am looking to join for is the open Reservations.

Did you buy on the resale market or direct from HGVC?

Have you used open reservations?

Would you buy agin?
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Old Nov 23, 03, 8:36 pm
  #14  
 
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I have helped many people in this area and often get emails expressing thanks as a result of this post.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum57/HTML/008657.html

Check it out, I hope it helps. In summary, HGVC is an good program to have in your travel portfolio. The main reason being so you have the flixibility to get away from timeshares.

[This message has been edited by PaulGQ (edited Nov 24, 2003).]
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Old Nov 24, 03, 3:27 pm
  #15  
 
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I bought 5,000 points via resale 3 years ago and also sold them that way last year. But beware, if you find a good deal in the resale market, read eBay, Hilton is now enforcing its ROFR (right of first refusal) HGVC program is good with the open season feature. For more detailed information check out www.tug2.net which is for timeshare users what FT is for frequent flyers. Good luck - Albert

[This message has been edited by oronuevo (edited Nov 24, 2003).]
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