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Expert Advice

4 Things Worth Considering Before You Upgrade With Hilton Grand Vacations

One Elite Premier Owner shares his tips

Eric Z
Orange sunrise glow lighting ocean sky, suf washing ashore, Maui, Hawaii.

Where should I own? Will we travel there often enough? Do we have enough Points to go when and where we want? These are questions that I've asked myself over the years of owning my Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare. But the most important question I ask myself now is, "am I happy with what I own?" 

Since becoming an Elite Premier Owner, the answer has been yes for several years. We only do a few Membership and Portfolio Reviews now because I like what and where we own. However, now that HGV Max is an option, it seems like a good time to reevaluate and review our current deeds. 

If you aspire to grow your Hilton Grand Vacations portfolio and upgrade to the higher membership tiers, I want to share a few things that I've found useful over the years as I've upgraded. 

Stunning aerial image, two men playing golf, picturesque oceanside golf course, mountains in the distance, Grand Wailea Maui, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, Hawaii.    

1. Prioritize Points over properties.

Fairly quickly, after my first few years of vacation ownership, I realized it's not about going to the properties where you own.

(Although, the 12-month window for reservations can be helpful when trying to book prime weeks.)

It's about owning the right number of ClubPoints for your travel needs and the ongoing expenses, such as maintenance fees.  

Whether you buy with cash or finance the purchase, that cost will go away eventually. But the maintenance fee is forever, and it's based on location and unit size, so look at that very closely when buying and upgrading.

2. Do you want to be a top-tier Member, and how soon?

I've learned over the years that the cost to buy Points always goes up, and buying as much as you can, as early as you can, will save you money in the long run. So, be honest with yourself about your goals.

3. You may need to assess your travel style. 

Beautiful aerial image, Myrtle Beach Pier and Boardwalk, SkyWheel, South Carolina.   

Don't hesitate to exchange a previous purchase for a new property that's a better fit now than the original purchase. (Remember to think of it as adding Points.) Your travel needs will change over time and being flexible will open up ownership opportunities you may not have considered. 

A good example is an every other year deed. Once you purchase a good number of Points, an every other year deed is a good way to save on maintenance fees. Then, you can always borrow Points from future years when you plan larger or longer trips. 

4.Think outside of the current Sales Presentation. 

Be creative with your Sales Executive and explore several ownership options, even if it's not what they're currently presenting during your Sales Tour. Just ask. There are many different inventory options!

The bottom line? If I could go back in time and purchase the first time specific properties were presented to me, I would've saved a lot of money and enjoyed vacations more. 

Read “Affordable Family Vacations Begin With Timeshare” for a peek inside Elite Premier ownership.

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Hilton Grand Vacations Explorer, Eric Z.

Eric Z

Seasoned Owner and returning Explorer, Eric made his home resort The Grand Islander by Hilton Grand Vacations in 2006 and never looked back on life before vacation ownership — quickly climbing the ownership tiers, reaching Elite Premier status. As an Elite Premier Owner, he and his family including, his wife, teenage son and parents, regularly enjoy elevated access to some of the best amenities and services offered to Members, such as extended vacations. 

Over the years, his travel has afforded him unforgettable father and son trips, priceless multigenerational family vacations and even his once-in-a-lifetime destination wedding at Kings' Land by Hilton Grand Vacations in Hilton Waikoloa Village. He's your go-to guide for practical vacation ownership tips and says, "I love Hilton Grand Vacations and the opportunity to share what I've learned over the years."

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