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Booking Hilton resorts through RCI vs. Internal

kool_kat

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Does anyone book Hilton & Hilton affiliates mainly through RCI instead of using Hilton's internal exchange? I'm finding that I have much better success & it costs much less points to go through RCI.

For example, I booked a 2 bedroom GPP for 6/11/11 for a week through RCI with an ongoing search with no problem and it only cost me 4,800 points. I think this would have cost 8400 internally.

Today I booked the Hilton Club for a studio for 4 nights (Wed - Sun) for 1440 points. It would have cost over 2x as many points to book this through Hilton , not to mention the 45 day window.

Even with the exchange fee for RCI it seems that this is a much better use of points than going internally through Hilton. Just wondering what everyone's thoughts were on using RCI vs. Hilton intenal exchange.
 

alwysonvac

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Does anyone book Hilton & Hilton affiliates mainly through RCI instead of using Hilton's internal exchange? I'm finding that I have much better success & it costs much less points to go through RCI.

For example, I booked a 2 bedroom GPP for 6/11/11 for a week through RCI with an ongoing search with no problem and it only cost me 4,800 points. I think this would have cost 8400 internally.

Today I booked the Hilton Club for a studio for 4 nights (Wed - Sun) for 1440 points. It would have cost over 2x as many points to book this through Hilton , not to mention the 45 day window.

Even with the exchange fee for RCI it seems that this is a much better use of points than going internally through Hilton. Just wondering what everyone's thoughts were on using RCI vs. Hilton intenal exchange.

Just remember.....
(1) The 1 in 4 rule applies at the HGVC developed resorts. See - http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=124897
(2) HGVC members can only see HGVC developed resorts in RCI Weeks up to 9 month before check-in while non-HGVC owners can reserve weeks at these resorts much further out. For example, SeaWorld and Intl Dr have weeks availability in RCI Weeks thru Dec 2011 however HGVC member can only see availability up to 9 months before check-in.
(3) HGVC normally deposits weeks at their Hawaii resorts more than 9 months out in RCI Weeks which means we can't see these via the HGVC RCI web portal.
 

kool_kat

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Just remember.....
(1) The 1 in 4 rule applies at the HGVC developed resorts. See - http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=124897
(2) HGVC members can only see HGVC developed resorts in RCI Weeks up to 9 month before check-in while non-HGVC owners can reserve weeks at these resorts much further out. For example, SeaWorld and Intl Dr have weeks availability in RCI Weeks thru Dec 2011 however HGVC member can only see availability up to 9 months before check-in.
(3) HGVC normally deposits weeks at their Hawaii resorts more than 9 months out in RCI Weeks which means we can't see these via the HGVC RCI web portal.

I did not know #2 or #3. That's good to remember, especially if trying to snag a Hawaii exchange.

If these are the only real disadvantages of booking RCI vs. Hilton I will definitely look to book through RCI if I want to go to one of the locations that usually has plenty of availability.
 

optimist

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It is interesting that Hilton allows this. With Hyatt, I am never able to even see any availability when I search in II. Hyatt has made a deal with II to block their availability for Hyatt owners.
 

alwysonvac

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It is interesting that Hilton allows this. With Hyatt, I am never able to even see any availability when I search in II. Hyatt has made a deal with II to block their availability for Hyatt owners.

Interesting... Marriott and Starwood don't seem to follow that practice with II and some RCI resorts don't apply the 1 in 4 rule for owner exchanges back into their family of resorts.
 

tahoeJoe

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Does anyone book Hilton & Hilton affiliates mainly through RCI instead of using Hilton's internal exchange? I'm finding that I have much better success & it costs much less points to go through RCI....

Today I booked the Hilton Club for a studio for 4 nights (Wed - Sun) for 1440 points. It would have cost over 2x as many points to book this through Hilton , not to mention the 45 day window.

I did not know we could do this, great idea. Thanks for the heads up!

Just curious, was the Hilton club reservation an instant conformation or was it a wait list? If you were on a wait list how long did it take?

-TJ
 

kool_kat

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I did not know we could do this, great idea. Thanks for the heads up!

Just curious, was the Hilton club reservation an instant conformation or was it a wait list? If you were on a wait list how long did it take?

-TJ

The Hilton Club was in the nightly reservation. Someone had posted seeing it in the sightings section about it, but it was gone by the time I decided to book it. I then started checking every morning putting in the latest date for nightly & mine popped up. They go quickly though.
 

travelguy

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I routinely book HGVC resorts through my RCI weeks account with low-trade power non-HGVC resorts. I can always book HGVC Vegas & Orlando and usually Waikoloa. HHV always requires a strong non-HGVC trader or a booking directly through HGVC points.

This allows me to keep my HGVC points for harder trades through HGVC/RCI or other HGVC points reservations. I can also book the HGVC resorts through RCI weeks up to 2 years out. Very convenient for use with FF miles.

Example - I have a two week trip reserved to HGVC Bay Club (we prefer over other Waikoloa HGVC resorts) with one week directly through HGVC points during a low demand 3400 points time period. The next week was a 4800 point week so I booked that week with a RCI low-power trade week. I paid the higher RCI exchange fee but the MF on the week I used to trade is < $550 so it pays off.
 

tahoeJoe

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I routinely book HGVC resorts through my RCI weeks account with low-trade power non-HGVC resorts. I can always book HGVC Vegas & Orlando and usually Waikoloa. HHV always requires a strong non-HGVC trader or a booking directly through HGVC points.

This allows me to keep my HGVC points for harder trades through HGVC/RCI or other HGVC points reservations. I can also book the HGVC resorts through RCI weeks up to 2 years out. Very convenient for use with FF miles.

Example - I have a two week trip reserved to HGVC Bay Club (we prefer over other Waikoloa HGVC resorts) with one week directly through HGVC points during a low demand 3400 points time period. The next week was a 4800 point week so I booked that week with a RCI low-power trade week. I paid the higher RCI exchange fee but the MF on the week I used to trade is < $550 so it pays off.

Does HGVC know about this pathway? Should we keep this topic on the "down low" so HGVC doesn't put a stop to it? I would hate to see a good thing end.

-TJ
 

Talent312

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Does HGVC know about this [RCI] pathway? Should we keep this topic on the "down low" so HGVC doesn't put a stop to it? I would hate to see a good thing end.

I think it likely that the RCI specialists in the call-center figured it out long ago.
However, if the HGVC-executives in the large MetroWest corner offices are typical of most corporate-officers, they're oblivious, preferring to spend their days on Orlando golf courses than rooting out the various exotic techniques which the unwashed masses use to "game the system" (or reading TUG).
 

Sandy VDH

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Are you sure that you can't see weeks inventory farther out than 9 months. I think that you can, you just may have to call the HGVC desk and do it manually for you.

I have not tried but I think you should be able to.

Sandy

Just remember.....
(1) The 1 in 4 rule applies at the HGVC developed resorts. See - http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=124897
(2) HGVC members can only see HGVC developed resorts in RCI Weeks up to 9 month before check-in while non-HGVC owners can reserve weeks at these resorts much further out. For example, SeaWorld and Intl Dr have weeks availability in RCI Weeks thru Dec 2011 however HGVC member can only see availability up to 9 months before check-in.
(3) HGVC normally deposits weeks at their Hawaii resorts more than 9 months out in RCI Weeks which means we can't see these via the HGVC RCI web portal.
 

alwysonvac

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Are you sure that you can't see weeks inventory farther out than 9 months. I think that you can, you just may have to call the HGVC desk and do it manually for you.

I have not tried but I think you should be able to.

Sandy

Yes, I'm sure. I can see further out with my WorldMark account.
I first discovered this from another TUG member. See this thread - http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=118606

Perhaps the HGVC desk can do it manually but it doesn't show availability online.
 

GregT

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I routinely book HGVC resorts through my RCI weeks account with low-trade power non-HGVC resorts. I can always book HGVC Vegas & Orlando and usually Waikoloa. HHV always requires a strong non-HGVC trader or a booking directly through HGVC points.

This allows me to keep my HGVC points for harder trades through HGVC/RCI or other HGVC points reservations.

This strategy makes sense to me -- I'm planning to do something similar in 2012.

I expect to book Bay Club in Sept 2011 for Week 24 2012, while simultaneously waiting for a trade request to come thru RCI for any of the Waikoloa properties (I've already placed the RCI trade request). If the RCI trade comes thru (with my Worldmark) then I will get the more valuable HGVC points back by canceling my HGVC reservation.

If RCI never matches, then I go as planned with the HGVC points. I hope this works!!

Have you found that Bay Club is generally accessible, even in June? Why do you prefer Bay Club to the other HGVC properties? We will have younger children with us (12, 10, 7 at that time), so the pool access is a consideration for us.

Please advise and thanks!
 

travelguy

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Does HGVC know about this pathway? Should we keep this topic on the "down low" so HGVC doesn't put a stop to it? I would hate to see a good thing end.

-TJ

Yes. Not only do the HGVC/RCI reps know about this pathway, they help me work with it. Their motivation is to make an HGVC/RCI exchange. As I've said before, these reps are MUCH better than the typical worthless RCI reps.
 

travelguy

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Are you sure that you can't see weeks inventory farther out than 9 months. I think that you can, you just may have to call the HGVC desk and do it manually for you.

HGVC members can see two years out with a standard RCI weeks account, the RCI system doesn't care that I'm also a HGVC member. The 9 month limit on HGVC developed resorts is only through the HGVC/RCI online account.
 

travelguy

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This strategy makes sense to me -- I'm planning to do something similar in 2012.

I expect to book Bay Club in Sept 2011 for Week 24 2012, while simultaneously waiting for a trade request to come thru RCI for any of the Waikoloa properties (I've already placed the RCI trade request). If the RCI trade comes thru (with my Worldmark) then I will get the more valuable HGVC points back by canceling my HGVC reservation.

If RCI never matches, then I go as planned with the HGVC points. I hope this works!!

I employ this strategy also. If I don't have a reservation with RCI at the 9 month mark, I'll reserve with HGVC points and keep the ongoing RCI search in place. I then move (not cancel) the HGVC reservation if a match is made on the RCI ongoing search. I do this right up to check-in since there is no penalty. This allows me to plan the FF flights in advance and be sure I have a resort on reservation. Also, something may come up on the RCI search that is BETTER than the HGVC resort that I have targeted.

Have you found that Bay Club is generally accessible, even in June? Why do you prefer Bay Club to the other HGVC properties? We will have younger children with us (12, 10, 7 at that time), so the pool access is a consideration for us.

We go to Hawaii in Spring or Fall so I don't know what availability is like in summer. We don't use the pools other than a few laps a day. The Big Island has so many different private beaches that we always strike out in search of the perfect sandy spot with tasty waves. We prefer Bay Club because it's quieter, bigger and has better lanais. The fact that it's being remodeled and it's still cheaper in HGVC points is a plus (although you don't care about points if booking through RCI).
 

GregT

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I then move (not cancel) the HGVC reservation if a match is made on the RCI ongoing search. I do this right up to check-in since there is no penalty.

What is the significance of moving (not canceling) the HGVC reservation? Is this only if it is within 30 days (to avoid loss of points)?

Assuming the RCI trade comes thru 31+ days before check-in, isn't it the same to just cancel the HGVC reservation at that time versus moving it?

Thanks very much!

Greg
 

travelguy

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What is the significance of moving (not canceling) the HGVC reservation? Is this only if it is within 30 days (to avoid loss of points)?

Assuming the RCI trade comes thru 31+ days before check-in, isn't it the same to just cancel the HGVC reservation at that time versus moving it?

Thanks very much!

Greg

I move the reservation later in the year to keep the points and reservation fee. I typically use the moved reservation as a place holder against another HGVC/RCI or straight RCI ongoing search (or actual straight HGVC points reservation). The only time this doesn't work is within 30 days of Dec 31st or when I run out of trips to book. :(
 

GregT

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I move the reservation later in the year to keep the points and reservation fee. I typically use the moved reservation as a place holder against another HGVC/RCI or straight RCI ongoing search (or actual straight HGVC points reservation). The only time this doesn't work is within 30 days of Dec 31st or when I run out of trips to book. :(

Got it -- place holder/free option on another reservation -- thanks again!
 

Purseval

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I have 5000 points so I use RCI to book my home resort and get a 2br for 4800 points. The same unit through HGVC would be 7000 points. As long as I can do that I'll never book through HGVC.
 

kool_kat

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I have 5000 points so I use RCI to book my home resort and get a 2br for 4800 points. The same unit through HGVC would be 7000 points. As long as I can do that I'll never book through HGVC.

I bought my timeshare in 2008 & did my first booking through HGVC for 2 studios at HHV. Since then, I have used RCI every other time. To me, it's a great way to stretch your points. I find that using RCI 5,000 points is plenty for me. I pretty much work it where I get three weeks of vacation every 2 years.

Like I said in my original post, I was trying to get GPP 2 bedroom for next year. If I had booked through Hilton it would have cost me the rest of 2011 points (I had borrowed some for this year) and all of 2012 points. Instead, I could use the points I saved from 2012 to book a 4 night stay at the Hilton Club through RCI & still have 2,100 points left. To me, that's like getting 4 nights for the price of the RCI exchange fee & cleaning fee.
 

Sandy VDH

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RCI Week inventory is available 2 years out.
RCI Points inventory is available 10 months out.

Since HGVC resorts are in RCI Points they do not show up in the RCI Weeks online. HOWEVER, some HGVC Inventory is deposited into RCI Weeks NOT RCI Points. You can get this inventory but at point prices, but since for HGVC members these are both the same point value it does really matter.

I do know that you can't get this inventory ONLINE, however, you should be able to do it over the phone, BUT I AGREE you can NOT.

I know it should works this way in general. In my points account, where inventory is both in Weeks and Points. For instance Disney is a RCI Points resort but there is seperate and distinct inventory in the WEEK inventory. I have done this before on my Wyndham account.

There is HGVC inventory in RCI Weeks, for Dec 2011. I verified this with my RCI weeks account. It is over 10 months away. I call HGVC and they can NOT see this weeks inventory that I see. So they can not book it for me. However they agree that there is NO rule that should prohibit an HGVC member from booking back into a HGVC property. And RCI Weeks inventory should be available 2 years out.

So I asked them to log an issue with the way the online systems and their systems are working. I am escalating this issue at HGVC to see if they can figure out why this is NOT working. A supervisor is suppose to call me back and let me know what they find out. As Weeks inventory, if available, should be able to be booked 2 years in advance.

I will followup with HGVC to see if they get any response back from this issue that is logged with RCI.

It should work but it is not.
 

alwysonvac

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There is HGVC inventory in RCI Weeks, for Dec 2011. I verified this with my RCI weeks account. It is over 10 months away. I call HGVC and they can NOT see this weeks inventory that I see. So they can not book it for me. However they agree that there is NO rule that should prohibit an HGVC member from booking back into a HGVC property. And RCI Weeks inventory should be available 2 years out.

It will be interesting to see what they say...

I really don't think this is a bug. I'm assuming HGVC requested this restriction since it only occurs for HGVC developed resorts. All other RCI weeks are available online 2 years out.

JMHO...This 9 month restriction in RCI weeks exchanges along with the RCI 1 in 4 rule (which was updated to include wording about HGVC owners) seems to show that HGVC really wants to limit the availability of exchanges into their HGVC developed resorts by HGVC owners. Perhaps they're hoping owners will buy more points :rolleyes: when in fact it's better for HGVC members to buy a non-HGVC timeshare instead to avoid the restrictions. ;)

See this thread about the recent change in wording for RCI's 1 in 4 rule for the HGVC developed resorts - http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=124897
 

alwysonvac

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Update... It looks like the restriction includes more than the HGVC developed resorts.

I can't see the Bay Club weeks that are currently available during 4th qtr 2011 but I can see the HGVC International resorts in Scotland during 1st qtr 2012 with my HGVC account for RCI weeks.
 
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