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Expert advice

New Normal, New Hilton Grand Vacations ClubPoints Strategy

One Owner shares how he's maximizing his ClubPoints and finding ways to reconnect with the whole family

Derek R
Man relaxing with his hands behind his neck on a bench overlooking the ocean.

As Hilton Grand Vacations resorts begins to re-open in phases, we took some time to reassess how we will continue to enjoy vacation ownership and maximize our Points in the remaining year and into 2021.

First, There’s a Lot of Good News

Hilton Grand Vacations is doing its best to ensure Owners get the most out of their timeshare despite the potential obstacles we’re all facing with travel restrictions. 

Here are some of their efforts, current as of this writing (be sure to check the Hilton Grand Vacations website for details and changes).

  • Unused 2020 ClubPoints will be automatically saved into 2021 for free. 
  • If you already paid to save your 2020 Points into 2021, you will receive a refund of the amount paid.
  • Points that you saved in 2020 will be extended through 2021.
  • Bonus Points used for a canceled reservation that have expired will be returned and given a 60-day extension (while travel is interrupted).

Also, you can enjoy reduced Points stays at select resorts and properties in several destinations, including Orlando, New York and Las Vegas, for travel in 2020.

Stay up-to-date with the newest announcements on the HGV Member website

Points Strategies – Small Nibbles or One Big Bite?

My wife and I still work, so most of our trips are long-weekend getaways (think: three to four nights). We also try to get in a one-week or longer vacation when we can synchronize with our grandkids’ school calendar. Besides managing our personal time-off balances, we also work hard to get the most out of our Points. 

Here are a few ways we do that:

  • Look for “off-season” time slots that use fewer Points. This trick doesn’t work for many of the most popular locations, but it doesn’t hurt to scan for surprise discounts.
  • “Downgrade your stay” is popular with my wife and me. While we own a 1-bedroom plus at Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club in Las Vegas, we usually opt for a studio for our long weekend trips. 
  • “Hot bunk” with family or friends joining you. Some may think this is odd, but because it’s so hard to synchronize schedules, we’ve saved Points by booking a smaller suite and having our family join us in phased groups.

We used the last strategy during a stay at Hilton Grand Vacations at MarBrisa near San Diego. My wife and I booked a 2-bedroom suite that sleeps six. My wife and I stayed in one bedroom, and our youngest daughter and her fiancé had the other bedroom. 

Hilton Grand Vacations suite interior, including dinning space, living room and balcony.

Then we timed it so each of our other daughters and their children would join us for half the stay and sleep on the sofa bed. I’m also proud that we were able to coordinate the air travel pick up and drop off. We timed things, so we dropped our eldest daughter and child at the airport to go home and picked up our next daughter with her child to visit for the last half of the trip. 

The result? We saved Points overall and everyone had a getaway (and I got to visit Legoland, twice).

Other Considerations      

Sometimes there isn’t a Hilton Grand Vacations or RCI resort available for the time or location you want. In situations like this, we stay with the Hilton portfolio of hotels. That happened 

Exterior shot of a Hilton hotel entrance.  

with my wife and me for our January trip to New Orleans.

Converting ClubPoints to Hilton Honors™ Points is an excellent way to reduce the cost of staying with Hilton. 

Even in normal times, my wife and I opt to pay for staying at Hilton properties using our Hilton Honors American Express card to maximize our Points.

Go Your Own Way

Not everyone takes the same approach to strategizing their Hilton Grand Vacations ClubPoints — depending on your personal and financial situation and your travel preferences, there are many ways to use your Points. 

Read Our Journey Into Hilton Grand Vacations Upgrades to learn more about Derek’s story. 

Derek R

Ask Derek what his favorite vacation destination is and he’ll tell you it’s the next one. When he travels, he’s always on the go: sightseeing, taking walking tours, trying out all the best local restaurants. Somehow, he still finds the time to share his travel insights with friends, family and millions of people around the world. In fact, he’s a level 7 Local Google Guide in Northern Virginia, where he hails from, and his photos have exceeded 3 million views to date! Derek is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, so he knows a thing or two about seeing the world from different perspectives. While he and his family were stationed in the U.K. and Germany, they caught the travel bug and haven’t looked back since. He and his wife, Linda, are now Members at Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club in Las Vegas. Derek is approaching retirement and planning to spend more time traveling the globe with Linda.

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