Hilton’s timeshare portfolio is broken down into three different categories where there are Hilton developed resorts, Hilton affiliated resorts who are managed by Hilton and affiliated resorts that are not managed by Hilton.
Hilton currently offers a hybrid system of ownership where you own a specific deeded week that can be converted into a specific number of Hilton Club Points. The amount of Hilton Club Points will vary according to various factors such as the resort, location, size of the unit and season. Hilton does offer annual weeks as well as Biennially weeks which gives the owner the right to use the week or points every other year.
As with other hybrid systems, the strategy to maximize ownership is to own a high demand week that is allocated the most points. Since the maintenance fees for each week at each resort will be the same regardless of the amount of points allocated to that week, the more points per week essentially decreases the cost per week. However, these point weeks will inevitably cost more regardless of the source of purchase.
Hilton does not have one chart that breaks down the various point options but rather you need to go to each property to determine the amount of points needed for each night or for each week depending on the season. The following website includes all of Hilton’s resort collection and you can search by location. Once the resort is found, you can review the “more info” button to determine the various point requirements. This is a bit cumbersome to go through all the options but we will go into more detail in other posts.
For those owners who own 14,000 or more Hilton Club Points, Hilton awards Elite Status. Hilton currently offer three levels of Elite Status. Elite requires 14,000 or more Hilton Club Points. Elite Plus requires 24,000 Hilton Club Points and Elite Premier requires 34,000 Hilton Club Points. There are various perks associated with each Elite level but there generally include room upgrades, daily newspaper, separate check-in area, early/late check-in/out, discounted reservation fee and discounted open season rental rates, a separate Elite Member Services telephone number, along with a number of other Elite benefits.
One of the largest perks is the Elite members have the ability to make reservations for Club resorts prior to the general population. In addition, although Elite Status with Hilton Grand Vacation Clubs is different that Elite status with Hilton hotels, Elite Status members with the Hilton Grand Vacation Club do receive Hilton Honor status. Elite and Elite Premier members receive Hilton Gold Status and Elite Premier receives Hilton Diamond. There are many perks associated with Hilton Hhonors status with the best one arguably being free breakfast for Gold and Diamond members.
SEASONS OF OWNERSHIP:
Hilton currently uses five different seasons to categorize their ownership. This is Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Holiday. The weeks of these seasons will vary according to the demand of the particular resort. You will need to review each resort to determine the point allocations for the specific seasons and weeks.
The following chart shows the various seasons based on the specific week. This chart is not very user friendly but basically the week number is the top row with the resorts to the left. The color code is located on the bottom.
As indicated, Hilton is a hybrid system so an owner of a specific week has the option to use their own deeded week or convert that week into Club Points and use those Club Points for other resorts within the Hilton portfolio, exchange those points through RCI or SFX which are both affiliated with Hilton to allow exchanges into other non-Hilton properties or various other options. Hilton allows an owner to do the following:
Reserve their home reservation for a 7-night stay in the unit size and season they own.
Use points to book a different location, unit size, season, or # of nights (3-night minimum).
Trade their points for another location, season, or unit size in RCI or SFX’s inventory.
Make a reservation through RCI nightly to book individual nights.
Use Club Perks for cruises, guided journeys, car rentals and airline tickets.
Book Hilton Hotels with their Club Points, or Convert them to Honors Points.
Borrow points from the following Use Year.
In order to make reservations with Hilton, Hilton breaks up the reservation windows into three distinct period. The first reservation window is the “Home Week Reservation Window”. The Home Week Reservation Window begins 12 months prior to check-in of your deed week and ends 9 months prior to your check-in. Basically, you will have 3 months to decide to reserve at your home resort. The “Club Reservation Window” begins 9 months before check-out and ends 1 day prior to check-in. During the Club Reservation Window, you will receive the allocated amount of Club Points and will allow you to use those points for a variety of different reservations. Hilton allows you to book a minimum of three nights at any of its resort provided that there is availability. The points per night vary depending on whether it is a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday as opposed to a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. The points differ but generally the point allocations for a Friday, Saturday or Sunday can be as much as double the amount of points for a Monday through Thursday stay.
The “Open Seasons Reservation Window” is available for bookings within 30 days before check-out. The Open Seasons Reservation Window allows you to use cash instead of points to book units at any of Hilton’s Grand Vacation Club properties and affiliates provided that the member books a minimum of 2 nights.
Hilton owners can exchange their deeded weeks through RCI or SFX. RCI is the largest exchange company and has approximately 8,000 resorts. Hilton owners who deposit specific weeks can reserve as early as 2 years in advance. RCI does support an ongoing search request so owners can place an ongoing search request for prime weeks and resorts.
In contrast, if you deposit points into RCI, you can reserve units as early as 10 months in advance. Additionally, there are no ongoing search requests for points so you will be required to do manual searches and see current inventory. RCI fees are currently included in Hilton maintenance fees so Hilton owners are only required to pay the exchange fees with RCI.
Owners who desired to use Club Points for RCI reservations will need a certain amount of points for the desired season. RCI uses three seasons, Red, White and Blue. Red, being the high demand or prime season, will require the highest amount of points.
The following are the required amounts of Hilton Club Points for RCI exchanges.
POINT VALUES FOR RCI EXCHANGE RESERVATIONS
Unit Size Points Required per Night Points Required per 7-Night Stay Studio Starting at 120 to 480 Starting at 1,200 to 2,400
1 Bedroom Starting at 170 to 680 Starting at 1,700 to 3,400
2 Bedroom Starting at 240 to 960 Starting at 2,400 to 4,800
3 Bedroom Starting at 290 to 1,170 Starting at 2,900 to 5,800
As you can see above, RCI does allow you to reserve nightly rentals instead of just week rentals. This feature can be beneficial and provides some additional flexibility for owners.
An additional feature of Hilton is the ability to convert your Club Points into Hilton Hhonors points. Each Club Point is currently with 25 Hilton Hhonors points. While this feature does provide an owner with access to Hilton’s hotel portfolio, Hhonors programs has gone through some significant devaluations over the years and converting at this ratio may not be advantageous. It is highly recommended to review the options before going forward with this conversion.
As with all timeshares, there are various fees associated with usage including reservation fees, exchange fees, cancellation fees, guest certificates and so on. Here is the current list of all fees associated with Hilton.