Hilton Timeshare Presentation Experience
Last week I finally had my 150,000 point Hilton timeshare presentation offer meeting in New York City. This is the second time we have done one of these offers with Hilton, but this one was very unique. I doubt many will be able to recreate my Hilton timeshare presentation experience fully, but I think there are things that can be learned from it. Because of that I figured it was worth sharing with all of you.
Booking The Hilton Timeshare Offer
This amazing offer was available earlier this year. Believe it or not it was actually one of my first articles at ToP. We wanted to take the kids somewhere for their birthday so I let them pick from the destination list. They decided on New York City and I booked it for October (right around both of their birthdays).
The deal was we would need to go to a 2 hour, or less, sales presentation put on by Hilton Grand Vacations. For doing that we would receive a great reduced rate on a three night stay and 150,000 Hilton Honors points upon completion.
We did a similar offer in Orlando back or 2019 and it took about the full two hours to complete. This time around was completely different though.
Sharing My Hilton Timeshare Presentation Experience
There were several things that were a bit different with this Hilton timeshare presentation experience compared to last time around. I'll go through each of them with you.
The Presentation Center Was In The Hotel
The first thing that was different was that the Hilton Grand Vacations offices were in the Hilton Midtown hotel. They had several timeshare presentation offices within the same building. I believe there were three in all where you could be sent. Our meeting area was the one located on the top floor. It was wasn't the easiest to find, it required riding an elevator to the top floor of the hotel and then walking down a hallway to another small elevator up the last level. This was one of those small one floor elevator types.
From what I could tell there was a Hilton Grand Vacations property on the top few floors of the Hilton Midtown hotel. I have to imagine those rooms were better than what we had below, since the hotel was not great.
There Was No Big Rah Rah Room
This could be a change since covid, or it could just be the limited space of New York City, but there was no rah rah room. In Orlando we were grouped together with like 30 other attendees and the head salesperson went through some things with us and got us in the habit of saying yes. Then we broke off with our individual reps for the one on one sales pitches portion at the same time.
This time around our rep promptly met us upon arrival and took us straight back to her desk. I prefer this set up so that there isn't a needless 30 minute pep rally. I think this set up works to our favor as well, but more on that in a bit.
We Were Done In Under 15 Minutes
This is where things got interesting. We sat down with our representative for some small talk, and the normal chit chat. She seemed super nice and from what I could tell we got one of the more straightforward, honest people in the business. I think she really believed in the program for the right person and that showed.
While chatting, how we found out about the presentation offer came up. I informed our rep that I wrote about it for work and then decided to take advantage of it. That is when we got into miles and points and the fact that I would write about my experience during the meeting as well. I also told her were mainly there for the points bonus.
You could tell this threw her for a curve. She immediately understood that I was not a person that this program would mesh with. I told her I pay next to nothing for my trips, thanks to miles and points, and that is when she said hold on for a few minutes. I assume she left to speak to a supervisor and came back to the table about 5 minutes later. That is when she told me we could leave if we wanted to or we could ask any questions we had. She said there was no point in going through the presentation with us etc. I appreciated this bluntness and we were free to leave after around 15 minutes of entering the sales room.
She was very open about the fact that selling these were her job, and time spent pitching me was wasted and wouldn't benefit her much. I totally agreed with this.
Asking Some Timeshare Questions That Had Been Bothering Me
I didn't leave right away because I actually enjoyed her company and I had a few questions I was interested in hearing the response to for timeshare offers / companies. We also talked about miles and points for 5 – 10 minutes. During that time I encouraged her to get into it a bit more for the airfare side of her travel even if she owned some timeshares. I can not stress enough how open she was and willing to discuss anything, which I found super refreshing. Here are some of the things we discussed:
They Offer A No Fee Credit Card – The Hilton Amex
While we were talking about my work, and using credit cards for discounted travel, she brought up that they have one they offer people. She wasn't sure if it was unique to them, but it was mainly for people that want to buy a timeshare but weren't prepared to do so. She said everyone comes in here expecting to say no, and that all they ask is they have an open mind. The reason for the card offer is the 0% APR it has. The card ended up being the no fee Amex Hilton card. I forgot to ask if they get any bonus etc. for card sign ups, but I assume they do.
What Is Her Response To Someone Buying Timeshares On The Secondary Market
I was really intrigued by this question, since I know it is something people say to bring up in your sales pitch meeting. Grizzled timeshare presentation vets say this is a way to give a firm no! Hilton Grand Vacations, and maybe others, figured out a work around for this. They have the right of first refusal if you ever try to sell your timeshare. If the price is too low they will buy it back themselves to keep it off the secondary market. This ensures the public prices stay where they want them to be. If the price is high enough they will pass on buying it back. Pretty smart.
What Happens When You Die And Your Kids Don't Want It?
I was also curious about the stories of people's heirs getting stuck with the maintenance fees after their parents pass away. From what I had heard they need to inform the company they want to forfeit their right to the timeshare, or they get stuck with the monthly dues. She was not 100% sure on this but she said she didn't think they did anything when someone passed away, assuming the no one in the succession line wanted it.
Points Transfer Rates Depend On Where You Buy
One thing I liked about the Hilton Vacations Timeshare program in particular, and maybe others offer it too, is that you can turn your timeshare points into Hilton Honors points if you are unable to use them that year. The rate at which you can transfer (I believe the two options are 16 to 1 or 32 to 1) depends on where you buy. It has something to do with the deeds etc. for those areas. She informed me that where you have your meeting doesn't matter though. She can sell you to any of these. So if you are in Myrtle Beach, but the NYC package works better for you (one of the 32 to 1 options), then they can make that happen. It should be noted that the higher transfer rate is a more expensive package.
She said if you want to just go to the same destination every year then the lower package makes more sense etc. They will tailor your individual package to whatever your travel desires are.
Who Are Timeshares For?
The last thing we discussed is who she thought timeshares were for. She admitted that they are not for everyone. The ideal person is a middle class couple or family that struggles to use their vacation time. Owning a timeshare forces them to make time for a trip. If you paid for it already then you are more likely to use it.
Being able to pass it down to kids is something many people like as well. Once the upfront cost is paid they look at the monthly dues as a reduced cost vacation. That may be more space than they would have gotten for the same price or a discounted rate in an expensive destination like Hawaii.
She admitted that miles and points people did not fit into this box. Really wealthy people didn't either, because they can pay for wherever they want to go. In her view, this program makes more places accessible to the middle class. I can see where she is coming from.
Hilton Timeshare Presentation Experience Main Takeaways
While my experience was unique I still think there are lessons to be learned.
Individual Pitches Are Our Friend
I think getting straight to the sit down with a sales rep portion is helpful to us. That makes me think they keep pulling from the constant flow of people and they don't want to waste time with a lemon such as us. With the old set up they likely didn't have a new pool to pull from until the next pep rally happened. They were stuck with who they got for the duration. I am not so sure that is the case with this set up.
Be Upfront About Your Travels
I think explaining that you travel A LOT, and most of it is for pennies on the dollar, helps you to a quick exit. I tried to do this in Orlando as well, but in a more roundabout way. They didn't really pick up on that though and when I asked questions for work purposes they mistook that for interest. This time I was as upfront and blunt as I could be. If you do the same maybe they will see you are a lost cause and quickly discard you. Tell them you did it for the discounted room and bonus points.
The Points Posted Really Quickly
They said it could take a few days, but the points were in my account within a few hours. This was a huge improvement compared to my last Hilton timeshare presentation experience years ago. Previously, it ended up taking a few weeks and some follow up to get.
It wasn't special blogger treatment either, since multiple people in the ToP Facebook Group said theirs posted within minutes of their meeting. I was really happy to hear that.
Overall, our Hilton timeshare presentation experience was surprisingly pleasant and refreshing. They were okay dropping a losing hand and our rep was very open and up front about everything. I enjoyed speaking with her and it was interesting to get some more color on the program. It was cool to hear about her experience as a salesperson too.
I don't know if this is unique to her, the New York office or if it is a testament to the entire Hilton Vacation Club company, but I was pleasantly surprised. It almost made me feel bad about not buying something, almost.