Is the Hilton Grand Vacation Club Worth It?
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Perhaps you stay frequently enough at a certain hotel or destination that you've started to wonder whether to join a timeshare program. Many major hotel chains offer this option, which provides partial ownership of a hotel or resort and a guaranteed way to vacation. Hilton is no stranger to this type of program, and the Hilton Grand Vacation Club provides customers with the ability to use dedicated points for stays around the world.
But is the Hilton Grand Vacation Club worth it? Let’s take a look at Club Hilton Grand Vacations and how it's different from Hilton's loyalty program. Once you know how much Hilton timeshares cost, you'll be able to decide whether they’re worth it for you.
How the Hilton Grand Vacation Club works
Timeshare programs vary, but Hilton’s method includes the ability to use ClubPoints to book your stays. Each year you pay for a specific number of ClubPoints, which can then be redeemed at one of Hilton’s Grand Vacation Club properties.
Otherwise, you can elect to exchange your points to stay at one of RCI’s 4,200 locations or choose to redeem them for cruises, houseboat rentals and guided tours.
The cost of being a member will depend on how many ClubPoints you’d like to purchase, meaning the more points you buy, the more vacations you can take.
So, how much is a Hilton Grand Vacation Club membership? On average, the price to become a member is $22,000, though keep in mind that you’ll also have to pay recurring annual fees.
If you don’t end up using your points one year, you can bank them for the next year. Similarly, if you want to take a vacation that costs more than the points you have available, you can borrow points from your future balance to fund your trip.
Hilton offers frequent deals for those interested in learning more about their timeshare program. These specials can include discounted travel packages, a bonus of Hilton points and even a $200 free night certificate. To obtain these offers, you’ll need to commit to attending a two-hour timeshare presentation at some point during your stay.
» Learn more: When is a timeshare presentation offer a good deal?
Hilton Honors points vs. Hilton Grand Vacation Club points
Hilton Honors is the loyalty program for standard Hilton hotels. These include more than 6,800 properties worldwide, all of which can be booked using your Hilton Honors points.
ClubPoints, the currency you’ll receive as a Hilton Grand Vacation Club owner, isn't inherently usable at Hilton hotels. As we mentioned above, you can redeem these at different Hilton Grand Vacation Club properties or exchange them for RCI-redeemable points.
However, it is also possible to convert your ClubPoints directly into Hilton Honors points. You may want to do this if you’re looking at a location where there isn’t a Hilton Grand Vacation resort, or if you aren’t able to use your ClubPoints before they expire.
Hilton Honors points don’t expire as long as you’ve had activity on your account within the past 24 months. Activity can consist of many things, including earning and redeeming points.
The ratio at which you can convert your ClubPoints to Hilton Honors points varies depending on when you’re booking your stay, as noted recently in several blogs. You’ll want to check with a customer service representative to confirm the rate you’ll receive before taking any action.
» Learn more: Your guide to booking award nights with Hilton Honors
Where you can use your Hilton Grand Vacation Club points
There are thousands of places in which you can redeem your ClubPoints, including Hilton’s 55 Vacation Club properties.
These hotels and resorts are located in a wide variety of locations around the world. Many of them offer different layouts, including studios, one-bedroom or two-bedroom units. For example, there are multiple Hilton Grand Vacation Club options within Las Vegas, including the Hilton Grand Vacations Club on The Boulevard, where you’ll find units with as many as three bedrooms.
You can book many Hilton Grand Vacation Club properties with your standard Hilton Honors points. You don’t have to use ClubPoints.
If Vegas isn’t your style, how about a tropical vacation? The Grand Waikikian by Hilton Grand Vacations Club in Honolulu is an all-suite resort located near the beach. Or, if you’re looking for something a little closer to home, you could opt for the Hilton Grand Vacations at Anderson Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
All of this is to say that there are plenty of options for using ClubPoints. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you may even decide to redeem points for a trip to the Galapagos, rent an RV for a cross-country tour or embark on a whitewater rafting trip.
» Learn more: The pros and cons of the Hilton loyalty program
Should I join the Hilton Grand Vacation Club?
Whether you should buy into a timeshare program is a personal decision. We’ve all heard the stories of people who purchased a timeshare and were unable to make use of it, losing both time and money each year.
If you’re a regular traveler who is interested in having dedicated time off each year, buying into the Hilton Grand Vacation Club may be worth it for you. This is true if you’d like to take advantage of the variety of redemption options available to you as an owner.
However, it’s difficult to recommend timeshares to most people, as their ongoing costs and lack of flexibility can hinder many would-be owners. As an alternative, consider using reward points to fund your travel. These can come in the form of Hilton Honors points, but can also include the ability to earn and redeem points with many other hotel chains.
Reward points grant flexibility and give you greater access to a variety of properties (like those 6,800 Hilton hotels worldwide), but be aware that redeeming points is reliant upon award availability.
The Hilton Grand Vacation Club does its best to provide value to its owners, but whether you’ll find it to be worth it depends on your vacation style, the amount you travel and any alternative options from which to choose.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card