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Owner Update: How we upgraded and got HGV Max

JillAndrea

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Hi All!

We are "newer" HGVC owners and just attended our owners update... and we bit! By newer I mean we purchased our first EOY HGVC deed in 2019, and then upgraded to an EY BHC deed six months later. I will share the details of our owners update which was primarily focused on HGV Max. There are a few details that are important to understand, but perhaps it is different for every owner update presentation, depending on your current membership level, ownership, and your income/credit rating (just guessing). I also do not know how financing changes things because we buy outright.

There are essentially two options to join the HGV Max tier:

OPTION 1) Make no changes to your current deed(s) and pay a 7K HGV Max initiation fee PLUS 1K for every HGVC deed you own. If you own one deed, the HGV MAX initiation is 8K (7K+ 1K) and if you own four deeds the initiation fee is 11K (7K + 4K). In most of the posts here I do not see mention of the 1K per deed additional cost, so if you own more than one deed it is an important detail. Buying into HGV Max does not cost 7K!​
OPTION 2) If you upgrade your current deed, or add a new deed to your account, you are automatically initiated into the HGV Max tier for free.​

We proceeded with Option 2 because the value of the upgrade that was presented to us was outstanding and we will now have access to the larger portfolio of resorts. The upgrade we purchased doubled our deeded point value from ~5k pts EY BHC Studio Premier to ~10K pts EY 1 Bedroom Premier. Our maintenance costs remained the same because we moved out of a BHC property (which we never used) back to a traditional HGVC Club property. The new deed is valued at ~47K but our trade-in deed was valued at ~30K so our new spend was ~17K, and included the HGV Max privileges. Additionally, we received 17K bonus points (one for every dollar spent in the upgrade) banked to begin in 2023, as we did not want to waste them this year. Our new contract states that we have a 9 month booking window for all HGVC properties and a 6 month booking window for the newly acquired DRI properties. Also note that as an HGV Max member all reservation/booking fees are waived. Also we were told that HGV Max owners will have a unique website/app experience - HGV Max members will see the new HGV Max logo on the top left of homepage, and the site will have different access and features that traditional non-Max owners will not see.

It was also clearly explained that the availability of Diamond Resorts will be trickling in over time, because Hilton is upgrading/renovating them to be of the same quality as the existing HGVC portfolio (not just another RCI). The explanation provided about the DRI integration was this - there 92 DRI properties, overall, which have been acquired by HGV, most which are not up to HGV standards at this time. This is the reason they are not immediately available and will trickle in over time. HGV is investing several billion dollars to upgrade these resorts to HGV luxury and modernization standards. Currently, there are six US Diamond Resorts which will come online for HGV Max owners soon, and additional resorts will be added over time as they are upgraded. The six resorts include Orlando, Sedona, Scottsdale, Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, and Lake Tahoe. Then a handful more will be added each month. I have to imagine that the current supply chain issues will impact this roll-out.

I do not know if the DRI properties will remain available on RCI or not, but based on my experience, if they do, they will not be of the same quality as the rooms available using HGV points.

In summary we spent ~17K to double our deed value/points from 5-10K EY, got 17K bonus points which begin in 2023, and we are now HGV Max tier owners.
 

letsgobobby

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Thanks for that info!

It's not clear if your original deed and/or bHC deed were resale or developer? That is, is Option 1 available to those who only own resale?
 

PigsDad

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The $7K fee is listed in the Club guide that was updated a few days ago online. There was no mention of an additional $1K per deed fee, and this is the first time I have seen that fee reported. Call me a skeptic, but why would HGV have updated documentation to include the one fee but not the other? I strongly suspect the extra fee was just "embellishment" on the part of the sales person to make upgrading directly with him (aka, big commission $$$) look like the better option.

Kurt
 

escanoe

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HGVC: Flamingo & Anderson Ocean Club
Vacation Village: Woodstone at Massanutten and Grandview (RCI Points) & the Colonies
Hilton is upgrading/renovating them to be of the same quality as the existing HGVC portfolio (not just another RCI).

I do not know if the DRI properties will remain available on RCI or not, but based on my experience, if they do, they will not be of the same quality as the rooms available using HGV points.

I find this interesting. So they may just be upgrading the rooms that will be booked using HGV Max points and not the ones traded into via RCI???

I have traded into DRI resorts both for the NC Outer Banks Beachwoods and the Historic Powhattan at Williamsburg using RCI. I may not be getting the crème de la crème rooms using this approach but considering my family economics I am quite sure it is the right approach for us.

I am curious how much Virginia Beach summer inventory there will be available for beach season at the 6 months HGV Max mark.
 
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CalGalTraveler

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Thank you for sharing. This is very helpful.

I agree with the $1k/deed embellishment cited by @PigsDad. I will now go back to them and ask them where this is listed.

1) What sales office what this out of?

2) Including your prior purchases and upgrades how much have you spent all-in for your current 10k points? What resort did you end up buying?
 

dougp26364

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Marriott Grand Chateau
Marriott Shadow Ridge
Marriott Ocean Pointe
Marriott Destination Club Points
Hilton Grand Vacation Club Las Vegas Blvd
Grand Colorado on Peak 8
Spinnaker French Quarter Resort Branson
If upgrading a deed makes sense, getting MAX thrown in as a bonus without charge may prove to be beneficial at some point. MAX isn’t enough to get us to drop several thousands more dollars on a deed upgrade when Hilton has nothing new to offer that’s of interest to us.
 

dayooper

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If upgrading a deed makes sense, getting MAX thrown in as a bonus without charge may prove to be beneficial at some point. MAX isn’t enough to get us to drop several thousands more dollars on a deed upgrade when Hilton has nothing new to offer that’s of interest to us.

This. As of right now, there isn’t enough offered with HGV Max to even have us consider upgrading or even attend a sales presentation.

If anyone sees value with an deed upgrade, then it’s the right choice.
 

JillAndrea

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Thanks for that info!

It's not clear if your original deed and/or bHC deed were resale or developer? That is, is Option 1 available to those who only own resale?

We purchased directly all three times. My understanding is that HGV Max is not available for Resale Owners, however I did read on another forum that some people were given the option to upgrade/trade in their resale deed for a direct ownership deed and get HGV Max. No clue what the cost would be.
 

dayooper

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We purchased directly all three times. My understanding is that HGV Max is not available for Resale Owners, however I did read on another forum that some people were given the option to upgrade/trade in their resale deed for a direct ownership deed and get HGV Max. No clue what the cost would be.

The wording on the club rules page is very vague about resale.

Normally, when a resale is traded in, they use the cost the original owner paid when they bought it from HGVC.
 

JillAndrea

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Thank you for sharing. This is very helpful.

I agree with the $1k/deed embellishment cited by @PigsDad. I will now go back to them and ask them where this is listed.

1) What sales office what this out of?

2) Including your prior purchases and upgrades how much have you spent all-in for your current 10k points? What resort did you end up buying?

Our owner update was out of The District in DC. We worked directly with the Sales Manager from the start - according to him, he is actually the Sales Manager from the NYC sales office and was in DC for a few months to train their local sales staff. I am not sure why we were assigned to him directly and not work through a level-1 sales rep, as there were lots of them sitting around with no clients. We have a few guesses (we have paid cash twice before, we have a high credit rating, and apparently we were owners of a "BHC Trial" but we were not aware it was a trial).

We first purchased an EOY 3600pt deed in Parc Soliel, Orlando for ~15K + 8K bonus pts. Then 6 months later we traded it in for an EY 3600pt BHC deed in The Central at 5th, NYC for another ~15K + 8K bonus pts. This was apparently classified as a BHC trial because the deed was for less than a full week, even though the points were all we cared about. This is now worth 5760 points in the new points system. For our current purchase we have upgraded to an EY 10080pt HGVC deed at Ocean Tower in HI for 17k +17K bonus pts and HGV Max. We are all in for ~47K, no financing and our maintenance fees have not changed. We are not likely ever going to Hawaii, but were primarily after more points and more location flexibility- which is exactly what we got.
 

GT75

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The $7K fee is listed in the Club guide that was updated a few days ago online. There was no mention of an additional $1K per deed fee, and this is the first time I have seen that fee reported. Call me a skeptic, but why would HGV have updated documentation to include the one fee but not the other? I strongly suspect the extra fee was just "embellishment" on the part of the sales person to make upgrading directly with him (aka, big commission $$$) look like the better option.
I agree with @PigsDad. Most of us don't see the benefit if it cost an additional $7K let alone an additional $7K+$1K/deed (also agree that that isn't stated on the website. I would certainly think that is important information to have been left off.) In addition, you talked about no booking fees (which is a plus) and also access to former DRI resorts. But you didn't discuss the booking windows for these former DRI resorts. Where do the former CI/Embarc resorts fall? There are still many unanswered questions for me to even consider changing anything as it currently stands. Basically, call me skeptical, but I want to see the booking rules first and then I will make my decision.
 

GMan82

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Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club
West 57th by Hilton Club
Our owner update was out of The District in DC. We worked directly with the Sales Manager from the start - according to him, he is actually the Sales Manager from the NYC sales office and was in DC for a few months to train their local sales staff. I am not sure why we were assigned to him directly …
Oh I had the same guy then early March. Big beard? Slick dude. See my owner update review for District. It’s probably on the first page of this forum still since it was revived a few days ago. Yeah he told me I was specially assigned to him because I’d been to many owner updates and not bought, and for the one I I’d buy, I had rescinded. So he made himself out to be “crème de la crème.” He wanted me to buy EOYO West 57th Gold 3750 pt old for $21500 and told me that would get my toes into BHC and I can then use my Elara points to book W57th and BHC within whatever special window I was given.

Well, he turned me onto BHC and I’m actively in a resale purchase now through Diane Nadeau. Still waiting to hear about ROFR and if the contract will pass through to me. Maybe then if they honor the underlying retail value during my next update, I can get one of those Studio premiers that are the apparent unicorn AND Max at a decent price.
 

JillAndrea

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... In addition, you talked about no booking fees (which is a plus) and also access to former DRI resorts. But you didn't discuss the booking windows for these former DRI resorts. Where do the former CI/Embarc resorts fall? There are still many unanswered questions for me to even consider changing anything as it currently stands. Basically, call me skeptical, but I want to see the booking rules first and then I will make my decision.

I don't know all the details, but our contract states that all HGVC properties remain a 9 month booking window, and all DRI properties will have a 6 month booking window. If Embarc and CI were owned and operated by Diamond Resorts then it is a 6 month booking window for HGV Owners. The way I see it, the DRI owners seem to be getting the brunt of this acquisition, so they have to give them lead time on what they own.

For us that is not so critical. Our travel style is very ad hoc... find a place that is available and either hop in the car or book a flight and go. My husband and I both have flexible work situations and can work from anywhere as long as there is decent internet access). This is another reason why the offer was so appealing to us.... lots more northeast locations we can drive to. I am looking forward to Quebec, Toronto, and Kennebunk resorts though they won't be among the first available.
 

JillAndrea

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Oh I had the same guy then early March. Big beard? Slick dude. See my owner update review for District. It’s probably on the first page of this forum still since it was revived a few days ago. Yeah he told me I was specially assigned to him because I’d been to many owner updates and not bought, and for the one I I’d buy, I had rescinded. So he made himself out to be “crème de la crème.” He wanted me to buy EOYO West 57th Gold 3750 pt old for $21500 and told me that would get my toes into BHC and I can then use my Elara points to book W57th and BHC within whatever special window I was given.

Well, he turned me onto BHC and I’m actively in a resale purchase now through Diane Nadeau. Still waiting to hear about ROFR and if the contract will pass through to me. Maybe then if they honor the underlying retail value during my next update, I can get one of those Studio premiers that are the apparent unicorn AND Max at a decent price.
BHC is great if you are after NYC. The idea of an owners lounge in the city is appealing but we ended up never using it. I grew up there and still have local family, so it wasn't a good use of our points. We go to NYC about 4x per year and stay with and enjoy home-cooked meals with friends and family... and we still get our fill of Broadway shows.

And I did read your thread and knew it was the same sales manager.
 

JillAndrea

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The $7K fee is listed in the Club guide that was updated a few days ago online. There was no mention of an additional $1K per deed fee, and this is the first time I have seen that fee reported. Call me a skeptic, but why would HGV have updated documentation to include the one fee but not the other? I strongly suspect the extra fee was just "embellishment" on the part of the sales person to make upgrading directly with him (aka, big commission $$$) look like the better option.

Kurt
So the most cost effective options so far appear to be:

1) Do Nothing. Enjoy HGV as it is today (still wondering where Embarc will land...)
2) (If you already own a developer unit) Buy into HGV Max for $7000 plus fees to get 6 month reservations and Diamond version of Open Season. 0 additional MF. Could add more resale HGV to ownership points once enrolled. Easy to exit.
3) Buy resale Diamond. Cost? What is typical annual MF cost for points to cover a week at Poipu or KBC + purchase of points? Benefit: 13 month reservations + Dia OS. Ease of Exit?
4) Rent what you need. Will your stays in Diamond be less than $7000 over the next 10 - 20 years. How do Vegas cost/resale MF/points arbitrage relative to simply renting?

I copied this from another thread. See #2 says "plus fees".... guessing this could be the 1k per deed?
 

Hobokie

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This has been a riveting read, ha! Thanks for sharing, everyone :)

I got my EY Platinum Studio Plus Elara which gave me 3500 points previously (now 5600 after the recent conversion of 60% added) for a mere $147.50 off eBay and my MF excluding Club Dues was $676.61 (add $188 club dues for a total annual payment of $864.61 made December 2021.

@JillAndrea, curious as to why you would buy Hawaii if you don’t think you will be going there much or ever? I understand trading out of BHC if not using since more expensive MF, but Hawaii is probably the next most expensive MF…? (I mean, if you don’t plan on using… why not buy in Vegas, for example, with much lower MFs?)

I will probably go to an owners update on my next trip to hear alllllllll about this HGV Max ;) approaching now “timeshare pro” thanks to TUG, I don’t mind owner updates at all haha!
 
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NiteMaire

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It was also clearly explained that the availability of Diamond Resorts will be trickling in over time, because Hilton is upgrading/renovating them to be of the same quality as the existing HGVC portfolio (not just another RCI). The explanation provided about the DRI integration was this - there 92 DRI properties, overall, which have been acquired by HGV, most which are not up to HGV standards at this time. This is the reason they are not immediately available and will trickle in over time.
Color me skeptical, but I don't think that's the driving factor for availability/trickling. I buy the integration, but think it's more systems integration. Sure, they may prioritize certain properties, but they have to have to integrate the 2 systems or create a new one.
Sales (and marketing) sure seem to focus the lack of quality with DRI resorts. So much so, it almost makes me wonder why they purchased DRI.
 

LAMI

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HGV Grand Waikikian (Honolulu, HI)
We attended the "Owner Update" last month. We added the minimum amount we could to get the "limited time" grandfather-in offer to move all of our points to HGV Max. The subplot from the sales guy was that legacy HGV Elite memberships would start to loose privilege's we are accustomed to enjoying unless we upgraded to HGV MAX. We were told that there would be "exciting news" released on 4/4. So far I only hear crickets. No emails, No letters, Nothing on the HGV Website. The only changes we see so far with the HGV Max Program is that the credit card charge has cleared and our login access to the HGV site was stopped working this this afternoon. We were logged in when it suddenly told us that there were no contracts associated with our account. We have been owners since 2009 and this isn't the first time we have been subject to "website failures". I will be calling someone I know in the Florida corporate office tomorrow morning to find out about what is going on with the latest "MAX" treatment that we have received.
 

Hobokie

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Color me skeptical, but I don't think that's the driving factor for availability/trickling. I buy the integration, but think it's more systems integration. Sure, they may prioritize certain properties, but they have to have to integrate the 2 systems or create a new one.
Sales (and marketing) sure seem to focus the lack of quality with DRI resorts. So much so, it almost makes me wonder why they purchased DRI.
I agree, I’m skeptical as well… I’ve only ever stayed at one Diamond property (Cabo Azul in Mexico) and it was by far the nicest timeshare I’ve ever stayed in… (for context, here’s my list so far… HGV Elara, HGV Marbrisa, HGV King’s Land, WM Marina Dunes, WM Angels Camp, WM Bass Lake, WM Windsor, Cabo Azul)
 
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SmithOp

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It didn't take long for new HGV Max members to show up here, the Kool-aid must be tasty.

Another skeptic about billions in upgrades affecting limited availability as it's rolled out, surprised the creme de la creme sales guy didn't choke on that whopper.

Sent from my Lenovo 10e using Tapatalk
 

JillAndrea

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@JillAndrea, curious as to why you would buy Hawaii if you don’t think you will be going there much or ever? I understand trading out of BHC if not using since more expensive MF, but Hawaii is probably the next most expensive MF…? (I mean, if you don’t plan on using… why not buy in Vegas, for example, with much lower MFs?)

So this is going to sound like more convoluted BS, and maybe it is (!), but this was what was explained to us --- because we were in a BHC "trial" deed (we actually purchased 4 days at Central on 5th before it was built) we were eligible to trade it for a "price freeze rate" from 2019 on a deed for any property that was not yet available at the time we purchased the BHC NYC deed in 2019. The Ocean Tower was not acquired until 2019, so were able to take advantage of this price freeze and got a lower price than what the current price would be. We were able to choose from a few options at the Ocean Tower property, but the one we went with seemed to make the most sense. We were also told that Hawaii may have better resale value in the future, but who knows if that is true. I suppose it is possible that we may go to Hawaii one day, but it is not the top of our list right now.
 

WORLD TRAVELER

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I copied this from another thread. See #2 says "plus fees".... guessing this could be the 1k per deed?
Per the newly updated Member Guide on April 4th on page 26 the enrollment fee for Max is $7000 plus $199 per Contract Activation Fee. If one owns 2 weeks, then the total to enroll both weeks should be $7398.
 

JillAndrea

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It didn't take long for new HGV Max members to show up here, the Kool-aid must be tasty.

Another skeptic about billions in upgrades affecting limited availability as it's rolled out, surprised the creme de la creme sales guy didn't choke on that whopper.

Sent from my Lenovo 10e using Tapatalk
I wouldn't say we "drank the koolaide". We were interested in expanding our HGV ownership. We got a good deal doubling our points and HGV Max was an unexpected bonus. And even better, we could afford what we purchased without financing (which never looks like a good deal to me!). As dougp26364 stated earlier, if the ownership upgrade makes sense and HGV Max is included at no extra cost, then why not go forward?
 

CalGalTraveler

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@JillAndrea Ha Ha you give me too much credit for "plus fees." I was referring to the fees below on the HGV Max Table
Increased club dues plus $199 activation fee + $450 ownership change fee = $649 in addition to the $7k Max.

1649645175419.png


Thanks for sharing your helpful story. If someone owns a retail and resale deed and buys a unit or upgrades to Max will the points associated with the resale work in DRI for MAX?
 

letsgobobby

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I don't know about 2019 prices, Max, or Kool aid. I do know OP has spent $47,000 for about 10,000 old annual points, which are available for about $10,000 or less in Vegas deeds with MF around $1500 total. Even with all the bonus points, that puts the cost of Max at ~$25,000. That's for six month access to DRI resorts, and six month access to DRI is of unknown-questionable-dubious value.

It seems like a lot. Not completely crazy, but high. I would want to know exactly what I was getting for my $25,000 - exactly what kind of availability at which resorts Max gets me - before upgrading to retail and then to Max.
 
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