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Elite Premier and bonus point value?

Discussion in 'Hilton Grand Vacations Club / HGVC' started by Melifluonze, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Melifluonze

    Melifluonze Guest

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    Sorry about the length... If you're an Elite Premier, please help out! Check out my "deal" and tell me if I'm nuts...

    I've been surfing quite a bit here. I have an "opportunity" to become an Elite Premier owner, and I am having trouble coming to resolution on whether it's worth it or not. I understand from what I've read here that most (if not all) members here feel that it is never worth purchasing from the developer, unless maybe from the lodges in Scotland... but, how many of you are actually an Elite Premier that has actually experienced the perks and discounts? I don't see much benefit in just being non-elite, Elite or even Elite Plus, but no fees, 50% greater HHonors point generation with Diamond status and all the perks that come with that status, 30% off open season rates, further upgrades to top tier rooms at hotels and clubs and various other perks of Premiere such as being able to book properties 3 months before any other owners, dedicated support and travel planners (Elite Premier only planners)... do they add up to making it worth it?

    I've been offered 260,000 points for purchasing 34,200 points of Las Palmas Platinum property with a total annual maintenance fee of $5750. I have not seen any bonus points like that mentioned here. That's ~8 years of annual allocation in the bonus points alone... You folks know what the initial 34K of developer points costs, so I'll leave that alone... yeah, it's ugly.

    I've done many calculations on the bonus points, and the "value" ranges from about $26,000, if you do a basic $0.10 per point calculation for flights or cruises for example, to $53,000 if you divide the 260,000 by the standard 3,400 points per week at a 1 BR Suite at a Club property, if sold for $100 a night (going price for many properties in the bargain forum), to some crazy numbers if you consider the actual rate for a resort suite, including the upgrades you can get. For example, if you could stay at a resort normally costing about $360 a night (ouch), the bonus points would effectively pay for the whole purchase... and I suppose things range between these two maximums and minimums...

    If I were to subtract what 34,200 points would cost normally in resale (sure there are great bargains to be had, but I'm seeing $1-2 per point, approximately). Subtracting the $68K or so and things begin to be interesting... The $ per night to pay off the developer premium to get Elite Premiere over resale using just the 260,000 bonus points would be less than $250 a night... That starts to sound normal for a premium suite (after the upgrade) in a Hilton resort or a premium Hilton hotel, and you get Elite Premier/Diamond status.

    Then add the value of 12x HHonors points for every dollar spent to buy the property (which I was given the opportunity to do), or 3x every dollar spent to purchase airline miles to go to all of these places I can only imagine going to... that's on top of the bonus points... Because since you purchased from Hilton directly, all "hotel stay" bonuses on credit cards are valid for the full premium amount. To give you an idea, that's another $14K in HHonor value at $0.006 per point, or about $21,000 in flights.

    I'm looking at that, and I'm looking at all of the fees being waived. Reservation fees, cancellation fees, guest coupon fees, etc. etc. (probably $2,000 a year or more easy with 34,200 points to allocate) and the increase in ability to earn 50% more HHonors points, etc. and I think I start to see a benefit. That's basically offsetting the maintenance fees and reducing them to about $3,700 a year.

    Then you look at the other side... if you invested this amount of money and used the money earned with it to pay for all the perks you lost... do you make out over what I was offered?

    To be honest, I'm not sure it's as cut and dry as it would be if you just compared it to the straight up cost of purchasing and owning 34,200 points through resale (no status).

    I understand that some of the perks are somewhat useless... like your own reservation line, maybe even one way travel from the airport to the resort, stuff like that... But, it does add up. Free breakfast, free lounge access, free Wifi, free "gift" all those little things... they do add up, but not to that much. I think the upgrades are significant, and the discounts and lack of all fees is significant, and I think the quantity of bonus points, if used well, offsets things greatly.

    I'm asking whether my thought process is flawed. I'd respectfully request that if you're simply a "resale only" type of person, and you have not really taken a hard look at Elite Premier perks and all of the methods of discounting and gaining further points at the time of purchase and after, then just keep it to yourself, because you probably don't really know. I've read all that, and I agree that if you're not going to the top status with your purchase, it's not a good idea to buy anything but resale.

    But if you DO actually know about Elite Premier and understand how to use it to your benefit on that quantity of bonus points, and you can provide actual insight, that would be GREAT. If it really is not worth it, I'm listening...

    Thanks for your patience!
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  2. hdins

    hdins TUG Member

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    Great question. I am also interested in seeing what some of the better educated member have to say.
    HD
     
  3. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    Congrats on finding TUG and researching this.

    Here are some perspectives from Premium Elites: Review these threads:

    https://tugbbs.com/forums/index.php?threads/benefits-of-elite.267717/#post-2092210

    Post # 17:

    "I have been Elite Premier for many years now. I own all of my weeks in Scotland at this point. I find very little benefit to the program except the following:

    No Club Fees for reservations including the ability to book night by night.
    Reduced Open Season Rates although benefit very minimal at this point in Vegas where I have used it.
    Registry Collection a mild benefit that I look at but have yet to actually book through."
    ...
    https://tugbbs.com/forums/index.php...lite-premier-staus.253253/page-2#post-2096318

    Considerations:

    1) How much are they asking you to pay for these units? Look at Redweek.com lowest prices for the Palmeras units you are buying for a proxy of current values then reduce by half since Palmeras is new and will depreciate significantly in the next few years. (Orlando is not worth much resale because of oversupply.)

    a) If they want more than $50k you would be better off taking that money and putting into a CD and using the annual income to rent timeshares/VRBO for the next decade. Plus you will have your original investment back at the end of the period. (Alternatively, you could take approx $15k - $25k of that amount and buy several resales and still do better.)​

    2) The MF/point is .168 which is not bad but you can do much better with other properties. See spreadsheet sticky at top of HGVC section.

    3) To gain Premium Elite is your buy-in price plus maintenance fees for 10 years less than the following alternative ways you can get these benefits??

    * No Club Reservation Fees: Buy NYC West 57 resale for $10k - $12k (3250 points plat) or $16k - $20k (5250 points = same maint fee as 3250 unit) for All-Inclusive Fee of $120 per year. This has had high value for us as we have saved thousands per year and can really stretch our HGVC points by booking/rebooking into lower point options when they come available. This also provides great flexibility to change our plans up to 31 days before check-in.
    * HHonors Diamond: sign up for the Aspire Credit Card $450 per year minus credits = $150 per year.
    * Open Season rates - Most of the desirable properties are sold out with 15 - 30 day advance and rates are not that good anymore. With 260k bonus points you will not need Open Season.
    * Registry Collection - Compare to VRBO costs.
    * Upgrade - If you have this many points why wouldn't you simply book the unit type you want?

    4) It would be difficult to use 260k + 68k annual points in 2 years unless you travel everyday and stay in penthouses. This means you would use for less effective purposes which are not a good return on investment.


    IMHO...I would run away from this deal because the Orlando units will not hold developer value and you may find yourself paying $5.7k+ per year for several deeds that cannot be easily broken apart so few resale buyers can afford nor are willing to pay $6k - 7k+ in maintenance fees when you factor in 2.5% MF growth every year. In addition, your MFs are probably subsidized since this a new development and you could see these jump once the building sells out. You may have to give away the units in the end to get out of this obligation or you may be stuck. Life happens.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  4. Melifluonze

    Melifluonze Guest

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    Thanks, CalGal. That is the perspective I'm looking for... I thought there was something fishy about Las Palmeras. I was initially looking at Las Vegas 5000 point silver properties, but that had a $15,000 premium with a bit more in maintenance (but 800 more points...).

    $195,700 for 5x 1 BR Platinum, 6200 points each and 1x Studio Gold for 3400 points.

    When I add up all of the discounts and credits (using the bonus points and purchase credits on appropriate cards) I end up at $4.10 a point in the worst case (just $0.006 per HHonors point after conversion of the bonus, and the added Ascend points), or $2.76 per point if I rent out my bonus points for $150 a night and use the purchase for 3X miles.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  5. RX8

    RX8 TUG Member

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    Although many have rented using their allotted points according to HGVC reference guide the only reservation that can truly be rented out by an owner is your home week.

    "Accommodations available through the Club are for the personal use and enjoyment of Members, the Members’ immediate family, and guests personally known and acquainted with Members. The Club strictly forbids the use of the Club for commercial purposes of Members or their guests including the use of a confirmed reservation in an Affiliated Resort for any rental, resale or other commercial use (other than an owner’s Home Week)."
     
  6. Melifluonze

    Melifluonze Guest

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    THAT is important! Thank you!!! The sales force does not like to talk about that. Trust me, I asked multiple HGVC folks whether they could be "rented" and the answer was not on a commercial site.

    It sounds like that is what makes the Home Week VERY important!

    And they try to kind of tone the importance of Home Weeks down...

    I also just noticed a few other things in the contract that were glossed over as well... and could have put me in jeopardy of losing my deposits and interim payments!
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  7. knagel

    knagel TUG Member

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    We bought from the developer and are elite premier. We traded our 14000 pt parc solies in on 14400 Kings Land and a 21,000 2br penthouse Grand Islander. At the time we got (for a developer) a decent deal for price as they just started selling it when we were on Oahu. Plus they gave us 150,000 bonus club points which was equivalent to a week at Hilton Bora Bora at a peak season. We ended up not going to Bora Bora and used the bonus point to pay maintenance fees for 2 years as that is how long they last before they expire. I believe we took a trip on them too, can't remember.

    As far as worth it, to each is own. I like the no fees for any transaction, lifetime diamond at the hotels. I agree with a previous poster that you will never use that many points in 2 years. Thats why I paid maintenance fees with it. I think it converts to each point is .10, can't remember for sure though.

    On top of that, ask yourself if you will really be able to use 35k+ annual points per year. We have converted our penthouse points to HH because of the 50:1 ratio for this year because we wanted a trip to Curacao and nothing on RCI tripped our fancy so we opted to stay the the hotel and use HH.

    You can do all the math you want, but that's a lot of points every year. We are not retired yet so vacations now consist of family and friends to be able to use up all the points. Renting is always an option but seems like a pain just like trying to rent a house. Plus you will be competing with the open market for those destinations so you will need to be competitive with their prices. Would take a lot of management which i do not have the time for.

    Would I do it again the same way? Probably not, but at the time we bought, my business was booming and I had the cash. Now, business is still good and we just built a new home so my priorities have changed.

    Make sure the locations you want to go are covered by a time share. We would love to go to Turks and Caicos but there is never any availability, at least on the RCI site. We even did an ongoing search for a year and no hits.

    Almost $6k in maintenance fees will go a long way toward a room where you want to stay if you add in the expense of the initial purchase.

    Wish we could change and have the money back?, yes. Do we use it and am I satisfied?, yes. Only disappointment I have from the purchase is the penthouse at GI are fixed weeks. This does not allow you the reservation window that everyone else has there that are non penthouse. You are automatically reserved every year the week you own. If you release the points it just goes to either HH or in to your club pool and it is like you don't own there when reserving. Kind of a bummer as we had hoped to have the longest window to reserve a regular 2 BR as we will never have an interest to stay in a penthouse. Now our Kings Land ownership allows us to book at 12 mo like all owners.

    Good luck with your decision. What ever you decide I hope you have a lifetime of good vacations!
     
    janckenn likes this.
  8. knagel

    knagel TUG Member

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    I do need to add that on our trip to Curacao we used the minimum points per room and they automatically upgraded us to the Highest floor and best view with automatic Lounge access. We have the trip scheduled for June but already have confirmation on the rooms direct from the Hotel. When I spoke with them on reservation and they saw I was Diamond and booking this far in advance they did the upgrade right then instead of on arrival.
     
  9. Melifluonze

    Melifluonze Guest

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    Hi Knagel,

    Thank you VERY much for the insight! It seems that the home week is way more important than I first thought. I was under the impression that it was the points (and getting the maintenance low, and initial price low) was important. I hear you loud and clear about it being difficult to use the 34K points in a year, and that is why I thought I would be able to rent out reservations that I was able to make. Now I understand that it is really only the home week that you can actually rent. It's a little grey, though, the contract says things differently from the quoted text in one of the replies here... mentions renting and exchanging, but states that commercial transactions are strictly prohibited. That implies to me that I can rent, but I cannot make a business out of it, or have a rental income. When I discussed it with the sales manager and contracts (client services representative) I was told that advertising on sites such as Air B&B is prohibited, but that renting through sites such as Ebay and Craigslist was OK. I had a lot of trouble with this...

    It seems more clear that the location and week you own (home week, I guess) is really the only week you can actually rent. I'm going to have to double check... since my agreement may have slightly different text than above. I was told that as long as I wasn't trying to make money (which would effectively be in competition with Hilton, or HGVC so I get it), then I wasn't "commercial".

    The only way this would work for me is if I could rent most of my weeks until I actually retire, and try to pay down the initial cost and cover the maintenance fees with the rentals and benefits. Either that or go back to the sales folks and tell them exactly the properties I wish to have (give them a list of properties and weeks I would accept) and what I would be willing to spend (but along the lines of my current offer) and see where it went. If they say no, I guess that settles it.

    There are many locations covered by the timeshares that we would love to visit... and I could see blowing points on a villa every now and then. We also like cruising, so that might be another inefficient way we would use points, possibly... There's also the HHonors points auction, and all of the affiliates. I have a funny feeling we might use a ton of points as HHonors, which is bad, I know...

    Your description of the penthouse at GI is not so cool... I wonder if there is some hidden thing here where you can't just use your points as points and "buy" the time you want at any resort you want... That was what was represented when I was presented with Elara and no Las Palmeras.

    I also had a couple of other questions that I haven't had answered yet... I'm still reading...

    - Upon my death, can my timeshares AND my status as Elite Premier be transferred to a beneficiary? What about remaining points? There's a clause in the contract that states that under no condition can points be transferred... that's somewhat of a killer.

    - The Guest Certificate fees... The contracts person called management and was told that these fees are waived for Elite Premier. I'd like to see that in the contract.

    Thank you so much for helping me with your viewpoints!
     
  10. Mosescan

    Mosescan TUG Member

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    Sending you a PM
     
  11. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    FWIW...There is a resale listing for a 1 BR Platinum 4,800 Palmeras unit on Redweek for $4000. Assuming you pay resale $6k per unit * 5x for a 6,200 unit and $3k for the Studio Gold you would have spent $33,000 plus closing costs - a savings of approx $162,700. (No Elite Platinum and bonus points - however you could pick up a NYC W57 unit for $10k - $15k and get Free reservations and get an Aspire Card for Diamond) and still be ahead about $150k which could be invested in a CD and the interest used for your other travel or cruise needs with no strings attached.

    But as the previous poster mentioned, why would you want/need so many points? Why don't you just just wait, research home resorts with the HGVC VIP try before you buy packages ($1600 for 7k points)j rent from owners, read TUG, and then buy only what you need resale when you are ready to retire. Why add the hassle of renting? Plus Orlando 1 bedrooms at HGVC Tuscany only go for $100 - $159 per night which may not cover your maintenance fees. Over time resale prices may even go down further and there will be new properties.

    Keep your money. You may need it someday.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  12. Melifluonze

    Melifluonze Guest

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    Great points.

    Do the NYC W57 units provide free reservations for any HGVC timeshare reservations, or just NYC? I don't think I understand...
     
  13. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    I sent you a PM
     
  14. Mosescan

    Mosescan TUG Member

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    If you leave all of your units to one person then that person owns enough "legitimate"points to be elite premiere and would also get that status. I may see about leaving mine in both of my kids names together as a trust so they keep the status or just leaving it all to one with an order to share! LOL!

    Yes, guest certificate fees are waived for Elite premiere, they would be a transaction fee I believe.

    Reduced Hilton Grand Vacations Club reservation fees - Save up to $80
    Online and Phone fees are complimentary

    Reduced Hilton Grand Vacations Club transaction fees - Save up to $114
    Online and Phone fees are complimentary
     
  15. Sky313

    Sky313 TUG Member

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    I took this picture from the owners update at Vegas when the agent was pulling my file. Seems like the guest fees are not included as a no charge option even with elite premier.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Mosescan

    Mosescan TUG Member

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    I stand corrected. That’s rather disappointing but I guess it’s when the member is not there so I guess guest status doesn’t matter.
     
  17. Melifluonze

    Melifluonze Guest

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    Actually, I was told they are waived for Elite Premiere by the contract manager, who contacted the higher-ups to get the answer (no one asked before?).

    Anyways, for me, this has suddenly become less important due to some financial issues that have come up from the latest market movements. Oh well... As they say, for the most part, these things are definitely not investments. I've been convinced to keep my money close to me, which is why I posted here in the first place...

    As someone else said... my gut was yelling at me, and I just needed some convincing to listen.

    Thank you ALL for your responses! I can't get around the cost for what is actually received right now. I'll find my way in carefully in the future!
     
    CalGalTraveler likes this.
  18. 1Kflyerguy

    1Kflyerguy TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Always good to step back if you are at all uncertain with a purchase. When it comes to developer purchases, they will almost always have a similar deal in the future..
     
  19. WildCat45

    WildCat45 TUG Member

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    This thread is relevant to me. I currently own two properties in Scotland for 14k points. MFs for both at current exchange rates are about $1450/yr at current exchange rates (they were much less last year, but the dollar has gotten weaker against the pound...a big risk when buying overseas). I'm strongly considering purchasing three more Scotland properties for a total of $14k to get 21k additional points to be at 35k total for Elite Premier. That would take my MFs to $3615/yr at current rates. I think the best perks are Diamond HH status, and not paying all the fees for reservations. I think it would be pretty easy to rent 3-4 of my weeks every year to cover the MFs and retain 1-2 weeks per year for our personal use. I'm still at least 15 years away from full retirement and the ability to use more of my points, but I think they're a very good value now. However, I didn't know about the Aspire Credit Card until I read this thread. $450 into $14k is 30 years of Diamond HH status without all the extra money, MFs, and hassle of renting. From talking to the sales rep in Scotland, I think that loophole is going to close soon. She told me that they're now reporting sales to the corporate office in America, and there was a rep out there last week checking things out. So there's a strong risk of losing this opportunity to get the good deals and Elite status. What do you all think?
     
  20. Mosescan

    Mosescan TUG Member

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    I think it would be a shame if they closed that loophole. For the 1 or 2 people a year who are likely to use it, they are removing a valuable resource from the current owners. Many of the ones I have read stuff from online that are trying to sell have owned for decades and are just at that age where they can no longer use their TS. I think it is a great service to their owners for them to offer this service. It lets a loyal owner who has kept their maintenance fees up to date over the years recoup some of their initial costs and allows others who want to enjoy the lodges in the future buy in at a reasonable price. The salesman I spoke with said that he does it because it's a valuable service to his owners, which I thought was really high class of HGVC in Scotland. He also stated that they do it because they can make money doing it so really it's a win/win for HGVC. Really, the people that buy multiple properties there to get elite status would likely not buy retail if this loophole was closed and would instead have purchased a resale somewhere else so in the end, the only people hurt by stopping this practice is the current owners who are ready to sell.

    just my $0.02
     
  21. WildCat45

    WildCat45 TUG Member

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    It sounded like they may implement ROFR. That could be better for current owners, but the market is still going to drive the price.
     

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