Hilton Grand Vacations Club (HGVC) offers three levels of Elite status to members who make at minimum purchases that exceed 14,000 annual club points. Elite requires 14,000, Elite Plus requires 24,000 club points and Elite Premier requires 34,000 club points.
If you purchased resale and crossed the 14,000 club point mark you likely did not receive Elite status. The extra perks are normally only conferred to those purchasing direct from HGVC. Some back-door methods exist for having resale purchases counted toward Elite, including purchasing direct from HGVC and requiring all existing resale points be counted toward Elite, and purchasing at an affiliate and enrolling units valued at over 14,000 points into HGVC.
Before going to these lengths to acquire Elite status, it’s important to understand what the status gets you. Whether or not the perks are worth the price is up to you.
I’ll start with a list of benefits from the 2011 Member Guide:
- Gold HHonors status
- 25% bonus on HHonors base points
- complimentary internet
- bonus points or
- space-available room upgrades
- free breakfast
- $39 online HGVClub reservation fee
- 10% Open Season cash discount
- Priority and exclusive resort access
- No reservation fee for 7-night stays during Club and Open Season reservation periods at any Hilton Grand Vacations resort
- Special resort access with 12 month reservation window
- Direct 800 number
- Special Elite Member check-in desk at select Hilton Grand Vacations resorts
- Elite designated door key
- Enjoy all Elite benefits and:
- $39 for all online HGVClub transaction fees
- 15% Open Season cash discount
- Email invitations to access select RCI affiliated resorts via quarterly exchange promotions
- Current year conversion to HHonors points
- Early check-in (12:00 pm) at select Hilton Grand Vacations resorts
- Late check-out (3:00 pm) at select Hilton Grand Vacations resorts
- Access to The Stirling Club in Las Vegas
- Upgrade to next best unit type at point of check-in
- 50% off upgrade fee when obtaining additional ClubPoints through the purchase of additional vacation interests
- Enjoy all Elite Plus benefits and:
- Diamond HHonors status
- Gold Benefits plus:
- 50% bonus on HHonors base points
- 48 hour reservation guarantee
- Executive floor lounge access
- No fees for online HGVClub transactions priced $84 or less
- 30% Open Season cash discount
- Access to International Holiday Retreats, a selection of private homes and European Villas
- Ability to request specific unit at time of booking
- Membership in Les Concierges
- No upgrade fee when obtaining additional ClubPoints through the purchase of additional vacation interests
Most owners in HGVC are probably not in the 24,000 club point range, let alone the 34,000 club point range, so let’s take a look at the lower level of Elite status that requires 14,000 club points to achieve.
I love having HHonors status and the perks it confers, however, Gold HHonors status is relatively easy to achieve. 16 stays, 36 nights or 60,000 base points will get you there. The HHonors AmEx card will also give you a year of Gold (and a boatload of points) if you spend $20,000 on it. If you liked Hilton enough to buy into HGVC, surely you can handle staying at their hotels enough to earn Gold on your own, and if you can’t then you don’t stay at the hotels enough for Gold to be a big deal. (Okay, maybe that’s not completely true, but a week without free breakfast at an Hilton Garden Inn (Book now) isn’t going to kill you if that’s your only hotel stay of the year.) The value of Gold varies depending on how much you stay at Hilton properties. Free breakfast and internet can add up. I easily saved $400 on a single trip to New York. In a nutshell, it’s tough to put a price on Gold HHonors status since you can get it without HGVC Elite and levels of use will vary widely.
Next on the list is the $39 reservation fee. This is a $10 savings. I’ve been able to make four reservations in a year, which would have saved me $30 (home week doesn’t require a fee). A 10% open season discount may save some money if you use open season frequently. My savings this year would have been under $20. Priority access and a 12 month reservation window has value. I’d love to have it for reservations in places like Hawaii. I’ve never had a problem with the HGVC member service phone people so I’m not sure if that dedicated number perk gets you exponentially better service. The door key and dedicated check-in sound great, but my survival does not depend on them.
If you purchased direct from HGVC, which has it’s pluses, then Elite is a nice recognition of your loyalty to their sales department. If you purchased resale and are evaluating buying direct to get the perks of status, I’d submit that the perks of Elite status are not worth the price difference between direct purchase and the resale market. Your purchase should also reflect your needs, rather than where Hilton is developing properties.
In the limited case where HGVC is pre-selling a development that has pre-sale pricing, a direct purchase may make sense and allow you to wrap all of your points into achieving Elite status.