$1,000+ Hotel Stay for 2 Hours of My Day – How I Survived A Hilton Timeshare Presentation

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If you’re looking for great deals on your next Hilton stay, earning points with their credit cards isn’t the only option you have.

As a Hilton Honors member, you will at one point hear on the phone something resembling “Would you like to earn 500 Hilton Honors points for hearing our promotional offer today?”  Of course, it is hard to say no to easy points like that.  I was suckered into a timeshare presentation and decided to listen.

The offer was actually pretty great!  Spend 4 days & 3 nights in a Hilton Grand Vacations property in either Las Vegas or Orlando for $199 + tax.  In Las Vegas, you have a wide variety of properties to choose from.

Who Wouldn’t Enjoy A Cheap Weekend In Vegas?!

We stayed at The Elara in a One Bedroom King Suite, and it was beautiful.  It had a great view of the Las Vegas International Airport, hot tub in the bedroom, full living room, full kitchen, and washer/dryer.

The catch was I had to sit through a 2-hour Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare presentation.  Being a young college grad, I couldn’t afford a timeshare even if I wanted it.  So I figured it was going to be an easy “no.”

The Terms Of The Offer

While this seems like a slam-dunk deal, there are terms:

  • You purchase the offer on the phone.  From that time, you have (If I remember correctly) 45 days to actually book your trip and you must complete your travel within 1 calendar year
  • You may not complete your timeshare presentation on the day you check in or the day you leave.  I was in Las Vegas Thursday to Sunday so I chose Saturday
  • If you are married, your spouse must attend the presentation
  • If you do not complete the timeshare presentation, you will be charged full retail value for the room

I also go a $200 mail-in rebate form for select Hilton brands inside the United States as another incentive.  Keep in mind that $200 is only for the base rate of the room.  That does not cover taxes or room charges.  And, it is only good for 6 months after your timeshare presentation.  I was able to use mine about a month later.  However, I am currently displeased with Hilton as the room I booked to use the rebate was roughly $170, but I was only sent a $100 Visa Gift Card.

Expectations During The Presentation

Going into the presentation, I knew what to expect for the most part.  I had attended a timeshare presentation at a Holiday Inn Resort in Orlando previously, and it wasn’t all that much different.

During the presentation, you will see all of the different properties in the Hilton Grand Vacations portfolio.  This is actually really informative and inspiring if you are looking for your next travel destination!  You will then meet with a sales rep who will go over the details of purchasing a timeshare.  Timeshares back in the “old days” were a fixed 1-week vacation in Hawaii or other location.  There was very little negotiation room or flexibility.  Now, some timeshare companies operate on a points system.  You purchase points from them, and then you are able to spend how you please within their group of properties.

If you are stern and have no desire to own a timeshare, it is easy to say “no.”  However, there will be a bit of a negotiation with them trying to convince you the numbers work in your favor.  Once I brought up that I’ve earned millions of points through credit cards, they knew I couldn’t be sold!

After you say “no” enough, they will walk you to the checkout desk, give you the $200-rebate form, and you are on your way!

Is It Worth The Two Hours And Semi-Aggressive Sales Pitch?

Absolutely!  Our suite at The Elara would have cost nearly $1,400 for the 3-night stay.  Sacrificing 2 hours of my long weekend was a small price to pay for the value I got in return.  The best part is Hilton Honors members can take advantage of this offer every 6 to 12 months!

Recently, I received a targeted promotion for a similar deal.  I was offered 4 days and 3 nights in Las Vegas for $199 + tax, or New York for $299 + tax.  Each of these offers also come with 15,000 Hilton Honors points.

So if I were you, I would definitely jump on one of these offers!  Next time you call Hilton, just ask to be transferred to the promotions department.  And into the sales cycle you will go!

Have you ever sat through a timeshare presentation?  What was your experience like?

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Million Mile Secrets is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Steve
10 months ago

So, where is the secondary market?

Mones D
11 months ago

Are there other promotional package for HGV with say 5nights for florida?

Mb
1 year ago

How will they know if you’re married? Is it possible to register as an individual even if you go with your family? We have a young child who would absolutely refuse to sit through something like that, so someone would need to stay with the kid.

john
1 year ago

Thanks for the comment

Sheila
1 year ago

I also attended the presentation and received the 200 rebate but just like you only received 100 gift card.

Melissa
Reply to  Sheila
1 year ago

Same. I only received a $100 GC.

Shelanda Griffin
1 year ago

I’m very interested into learning about timeshares and how I can on my family vacations

Jan
1 year ago

What the majority of people do not understand that each time the public goes to these presentations in order to get the free stuff with no intentions of buying a time share it could cost that person their job. Time share employees are on a commission basis and only get paid if you buy something however if they don’t make their sales quota they end up getting terminated. It’s so unfortunate that people will go to these timeshare presentations simply to get the free items offered by the hotel with no thought that the person sitting opposite them at that table could lose their job due to Too many people simply wanting whatever free stuff they can get with no intentions whatsoever a buying a time share.

Shonna
Reply to  Jan
7 months ago

Guess who pays for our stay? The marketing department. It’s a loss leader that’s part of the whole marketing plan. Guess who pays for that? The fees that all the owners pay. It’s all built in to the whole process. Your time is money. They are paying your for your time. The guilt is part of their sales pitch. They are trained to tell you that. Don’t fall for it!!!

Jim Davis
Reply to  Jan
1 year ago

The suck it up buttercup. Make the sale or chose a different occupation. What they dont know is timeshare pitchmen try to fool people with emotion and guilt to make the sale! Just like you are doing

jak
Reply to  Jan
1 year ago

What a childish comment… I don’t want to be you…

Cindy
Reply to  Jan
1 year ago

I cannot believe that you think people go on timeshare presentations to buy a timeshare. Most go on a timeshare presentation for the gift and then promise one another not to get sucked into it, and then of course many do end up buying. What a naive post. If it didn’t work to sell people on an outrageously priced product, they would stop offering gifts. That is ridiculous to think that the only people who should waste a salesperson’s time is a person considering a purchase. Spoken like a true salesperson.

jc
1 year ago

I did the same presentation a few years back at the same property. Absolutely baffled at the expensive price of these points. The rep pretty much gave up talking to me after I told her I traveled to IC Bora Bora twice paying only pennies on flights and overwater bungalows for 2 people.

Andrew W
Reply to  jc
1 year ago

Haha nice, I love it! Those sales people can be prettt aggressive, but it’s hard to make a timeshare sound appealing when you can do a trip like Bora Bora for cheap on miles and points.

Thanks for sharing!

Victor
1 year ago

Great article! Only things I would add, as food for thought:

1. Keep an open mind as the opportunity to own a vacation works in the long run.

2. Your article makes it seem like a victimless crime, taking advantage of the big faceless company. Actually there are people involved trying to earn a living-Salespeople to be specific.

I’m sure you’ll not lose a lot of sleep worrying about your salesperson but he/she may be trying to provide for their family.

Go in with an open mind and heart, if it’s not for you then don’t buy but be respectful. The next time, if you want to save money on a trip perhaps there’s another activity you could do to have a lower rate.

Sd
1 year ago

Timeshares are a Scam!
In the old days…it worked better. You bought a fixed week, fixed unit….assuring you….your week was available…no matter what. NOW…you buy points…and they GREATLY OVER SELL the property….making it impossible to book a vacation. When you try to make a reservation…you will constantly be told….NO AVAILABILITY.
Example: a property with 500 rooms..at 52 weeks a year…means 26,000 weeks can be booked. But they sell an endless amount of points…to tens of thousands of people…..all competing for a weeks vacation. It’s a HUGE money maker for the property….but a losing battle for anyone buying into the property for a vacation.
DON’T FALL FOR THEIR LIES! If a timeshare sales representatives mouth is moving….they are lying.
Just keep saying NO!!!

Diana
1 year ago

Most people don’t have the discipline to say no in a timeshare presentation. They could sell ice to eskimos. I was suckered into one and then found out the timeshare was booked for 3 years out. You will be stuck with it forever, unable to sell it. I had to get a lawyer to get out of that timeshare. Stick to credit card sign ups.

Cindy
Reply to  Diana
1 year ago

Yes, I agree. They are very hard-sell salespeople, and it’s really so sleazy because they know you can buy the same thing on the resale market.

I went to a timeshare presentation almost two years ago at Westin Mission Hills in Palm Desert. The woman was really trying to sell me on the SPG card you get when you buy developer. Now SPG has been rolled into Marriott, and my SPG preferred card is going to sit unused, except that one free hotel night per year. I cannot believe how that product has been devalued.

I feel sorry for people who fell for that garbage that woman was feeding them.

And Wyndham is just as bad. Sure, the product is great, but resale is literally one to five cents on the dollar. So spend $100K to get Gold status, and then sell it on the resale market for $2,000, and the status doesn’t transfer to the resale buyer. That is unbelievable to me. Talk about wasting money.

Andrew W
Reply to  Diana
1 year ago

I used to be one of those people who had a hard time saying no. It just felt so rude for some odd reason. It wasn’t until I met a few sales people with highly questionable tactics that I realized some sales people don’t care about their clients and will do anything to make the sale.

Frank Nitty
1 year ago

I had the exact same deal from Hilton at the Elara in the exact same suite. I went to the 2 hours sales presentation. I said no to any timeshares, and I enjoyed the rest of my Vacation stay.

JA Wands
1 year ago

Some of the sales people are single parents trying to make a living. You mooches waist their time. Hit on only pays 7.35 hr.

Mike
1 year ago

You sir are a mooch, from the looks of it you are of the LDS religion as am I. Are y ou u familiar with the policy of Fair dealings with your fellow man??? Stop encouraging people to waste other peoples time and energy with what you so blatantly see as ok. Bad behavior should not be rewarded.

rick
1 year ago

I wouldn’t call people who go to timeshare presentations losers. We ended up buying a timeshare and if you can go on last minute vacations the value is fantastic. We have been able to go twice a year for the last 7 years and it was the best decision I ever made. Combine that with my credit card knowledge and vacations are unlimited.

Andrew W
Reply to  rick
1 year ago

Thank you for sharing Rick! Glad to hear that there are positive reports and experiences with timeshares.

Gene
1 year ago

I was lured into a Holiday Inn Resort time share presentation a few year ago. They had a sign-up table at a Bass Pro Shop that I was visiting. I don’t think there is anything unethical about taking this opportunity even if you are resolved not to purchase, because the sign-up has no screening process and is akin to cold calls. A great amount of no’s after the presentation must have been calculated into the cost of operating the promo and placing a certain number of salespeople to do the pitch.

The time share presentation almost had me converted from a “definite no” to a yes. I learned a lot about how this kind of time share works and its — shall we say — flexibility. I could have imagined taking yearly vacation visits at the time I wanted to a property I wanted. But the cost was more than I was willing to afford given my wiggle room after newly taking a mortgage.

Would I go through another time share presentation? Probably not. My travel pattern has changed, and the value I place on my vacation time with my family has changed. Hilton did target me with (probably) time share promotions via email recently, but I’ve been deleting them. Maybe in another 20 years I’ll think about it again.

Mike
1 year ago

Instead of only calculating the cost of hotel you got much cheaper, you need to consider the wasted time and the fact vegas hotels are very cheap or free right on the strip. This trip sounds like a waste of time. Lastly, who uses hot tubs in rooms? Do you know how disgusting those things are? The stuff that goes on in there and isnt ever cleaned well enough? Yuck!!

Larry
Reply to  Mike
1 year ago

When was the last time you stayed on the strip? You are lucky to find a room mid-week for under a hundred bucks. And then they will tag on a $40 per day resort fee. Things have changed in Vegas.

SSSS
1 year ago

You can earn 25,000 Hilton points by listening to the timeshare in NYC on 57th Street. The catch, you cannot own a home within 25 miles of NYC.

Are there any other timeshare deals besides Hilton?

Brett Holzhauer
Reply to  SSSS
1 year ago

There are plenty of deals out there to be found. Marriott, Holiday Inn, and other large hotel brands have their own timeshare companies.

Vinnie
1 year ago

I could never sit through another timeshare presentation. Rather, I would prefer to be incarcerated on Devil’s Island and have bamboo shoots stuck under my fingernails.

Cindy
Reply to  Vinnie
1 year ago

Me too.

But I do buy resale and skip the presentations. I am pretty savvy on timeshare, having quite a few of them myself, and I bought almost all on the resale market.

The last timeshare presentation I talked DH into was at Westin Mission Hills, and I found it quite laughable. That resort can literally be purchased for $2,000 on the resale market, prime time weeks, because the company chose to make the Staroptions (now called Options) voluntary, rather than mandatory.

Resale is the only way to own a timeshare, and the presentations are not informative at all. They lie about what you are getting for the $$.

Larry
Reply to  Cindy
1 year ago

Even if you get a timeshare for free, how can you ever come out ahead after paying all the monthly/yearly fees?

Brett Holzhauer
Reply to  Vinnie
1 year ago

Vinnie,

That is too funny! They can be a bore, but I actually found great inspiration to see new places.

In their presentation, they were showing pictures from some of their top-tier properties, and am now saving my points to travel there.

Ethics
1 year ago

Some food for thought….

Just remember, those sales reps make no money if you waste their time to save yourself a few bucks, you are in turn costing that sales rep the chance to meet with a real opportunity to earn their income and provide for their families on a pure 100% commission income.

Imagine if they came in your work and took money opportunity away from your paycheck by wasting your time, meanwhile, a real customer with interest met with someone else because your sales rep was tied up with you.
I will never and have never wasted anyone’s business time to take away from their income.

Just some food for thought, those sales reps have families to provide for and they know when you come in playing games to earn a few dollars and waste their time, they see every trick in the book and read what you are up to quickly. I would be embarrassed to do that to someone trying to earn an income. Surely there are more ethical ways to go on a vacation.
Those sales reps work hard and believe in their product.

If you choose the right brand you can actually wind up owning an incredible product that offsets and lowers your costs immensely in an ethical way, but picking a reputable brand is Crucial.

Just know that every sales person is used to the trickery and games, they’ve heard and seen it all. The breath of fresh air is the honest ethical buyer’s that are truly there to hear, learn and potentially buy. The right brand doesn’t need to be sold, it sells itself.

I hope you do the right ethical thing and consider others that have to earn a living, leave them free to meet with those truly interested and the world will respect how you earn your income in return.

Cindy
Reply to  Ethics
1 year ago

That is ridiculous. Who goes into a timeshare presentation saying, “Oh, we need this and will pay whatever we need to get into this place.” You are dreaming. If you are a timeshare salesperson, you need to accept that fact and get over it because that incentive is the only thing getting buyers into those presentations.

I also guarantee that these salespeople don’t necessarily believe in the product and don’t own it themselves. They go from company to company, and the only thing really worth paying good money for is Disney Vacation Club, and those points are still something you can buy on the resale market.

Bow
1 year ago

At my resort can by week for $18.00 – cost of title transfer secondary to long court battle over sell out of golf course. U can then use RCI as needed ; stay at your Myrtle Beach place ; or rent it out. Why pay thousands. Buy u up some – $18 a week.. yearly maintenance average around $800. Or u can pay $20000 at a fancy place!!! Omg why … deercreek, Myrtle Beach . I have 10 weeks myself!

Rick Smith
1 year ago

Yes, RCI in Vegas. Very aggressive and they refused to let you leave moving you from manager to manager. Unfortunately the pressure finally got to my wife and I and we caved, we’ve used it a time or two but with career change and family changes we no longer use the property. Anyone looking to acquire a timeshare let me know I’ll make you an incredible offer

LISA RODERICK
1 year ago

If you people, who do not own timeshare, wish to use timeshare, rent from an owner. Resorts have to maintain and you user, freeloaders, are a liability. I sell timeshare, have been very successful, have many smart, happy owners and own several timeshares myself. Quit wasting reps time and resorts money. Pay taxes on the gifts you are receiving. Quit abusing the system and brag about where you own and you are smart enough to use it.

Cindy
Reply to  LISA RODERICK
1 year ago

Lisa, find another profession and stop griping about the one you are in. Or go sell Disney points, which are worth something via resale.

This is how timeshare has always been sold, for 40 years! You get a gift and get sucked in, or you are the wise one who doesn’t get buy, but that is how timeshares are sold. This is a numbers game, and so what if you don’t sell to every single person who walks into the door.

I tell everyone to rescind. Find another profession, for heaven’s sake, and stop whining about the game the timeshare developers have invented to bring people into presentations.

No one goes on a timeshare presentation prepared to buy, for whatever price you want.

Rick Smith
Reply to  LISA RODERICK
1 year ago

Want to acquire mine and resell?

Sam
1 year ago

I said that I would take their offer if they were willing to allow the annual points to be converted to “Hilton Dollars” where I could pay for any room at a Hilton property using these Hilton dollars. Sometimes their rooms are not available using HHonors points. So, there would be no blackout period. The salesperson said she would also love that as she was not always able to use her points!

Brett Holzhauer
Reply to  Sam
1 year ago

Sam,

How interesting! Thanks for reading.

rv
1 year ago

We were targeted with a promo like this by Hilton many years ago. One option was for the Big Island of Hawaii. My wife and I have four kids so the offer was a no brainer. Otherwise, we could have never afforded a similar accommodation. Surprisingly, Hilton keeps offering us similar promo even though we kept saying no to their timeshare presentations. At one of this presentation, we asked the sales representative if they are loosing money with these promos and they flatly said no since they don’t have the overhead expenses like marketing, etc. The way I understood it, it’s a win-win situation for everybody.

Brett Holzhauer
Reply to  rv
1 year ago

Thanks for your comment RV. I really don’t see any downside for any party involved either.

Adam
1 year ago

The problem is that I have never been able to get out within two hours no matter how many times I said “No”.

Brett Holzhauer
Reply to  Adam
1 year ago

Adam,

Thanks for reading!

That has been a common theme. What I did is kept an eye on my phone the majority of the time. Once the 2 hour mark was approaching, I politely told them “thank you for the offer, but the appointment was for 2 hours. We are running out of time and I have somewhere to be.”

Rae
1 year ago

How RUDE & DISRESPECTFUL to WASTE a salesperson’s time. They’re generally working on a commission only basis. As they say, what goes around comes around. Shame on you & all those who take food off of these salespeople’s tables.

Cindy
Reply to  Rae
1 year ago

Spoken like a true timeshare salesperson. Get over it. That is HOW IT IS. Don’t offer free gifts and then try to get people in. No one would come, and no sales AT ALL.

The problem with most salespeople is they don’t even know what they are selling. They move from company to company and claim they own that particular timeshare product they are currently selling. They don’t own it at all because they worked for Wyndham, Worldmark, Westin, Hilton, Marriott, Sheraton, and Holiday Inn, yet they cannot own in all of those systems.

Timeshare salespeople are selling something that has very little value on the resale market, which means you are selling something for a high price that is worth basically nothing. People pay to get rid of their timeshares. That is the truth. Your whining is comical.

Anthony
Reply to  Rae
1 year ago

Wow! The HGV timeshare presentation model is built around the understanding that MOST people are only interested in a cheap hotel and freebies. They don’t lure you in with the amazing prospect of parting ways with thousands of your hard earned dollars, do they? No, they lure you in with the freebies. So, please… They already know they are unlikely to sell the timeshare, but they’re hoping it makes sense for you, or that you are susceptible to moderate pressure. To scold the author, as if the only people lured into a timeshare presentation are the people who have already made up their minds that they’re going to buy, is ridiculous. They wouldn’t need sales people if that were the case.

John
Reply to  Anthony
1 year ago

Anthony is absolutely right. Has anyone actually geard the initial sales pitch? It emphasizes freebies and ‘no obligation to buy,’ and ‘low pressure sales pitch,’ and so forth. So if you’re gonna blame anyone for wasting salesperson’s time, blame the corporate office. They are truly the ones with blatant disregard for their employees. After all, they set up the game!

Brett Holzhauer
Reply to  John
1 year ago

Exactly John!

Deb
1 year ago

I have heard horror stories about people having to sit through hour after hour during these. Would like to hear from others who have attended them.

Brett Holzhauer
Reply to  Deb
1 year ago

Deb,

I’ve definitely heard horror stories too unfortunately. I’m sure that drives away people from ever attending.

Mike
Reply to  Deb
1 year ago

I did similar thing. A medium hard sales push. The thing I dislike is they never give you a detailed brochure/paper on how the Timeshare system works. It is quite complicated with fees, points, trading, etc. If this was a good deal, show me the details and let me take home for a week to review. Also they pushed a “this day only” special. Again, this is BS. Before you “buy”, look on resale of timeshares and you can see 1/2 or more off from people wanting to dump theirs.

Brett Holzhauer
Reply to  Mike
1 year ago

Mike,

This is very much the case! Many people try to resell their timeshares on homesharing websites just to try and recoup their losses.

JJ
1 year ago

I too am a recent college grad(2017) and had the Vegas trip already. For me I got a better offer than you, as my stay was comped, $200 stay credit, 2 bedroom suite at the Elara and free uber to/from the timeshare office.

I went over New Years and it was hella expensive.

They called me for the Florida deal which is very similar to yours and I bit the bullet on that even though I wasn’t sure. I thought why not.

The program itself seems very inciting and I would probably join if I were a little older with a better financial situation, but at this moment I had to decline their offers.

Larry
Reply to  JJ
1 year ago

From my own experience, timeshares are a money pit. The timeshare industry is a rip off and I have no sympathy for them or anyone that works for them. As many here have already pointed out, the aftermarket sale of your property is pennies on the dollar. My girlfriend was suckered into purchasing three of them long before I met her. She has already paid off the 10’s of thousands of dollars to the timeshare companies. The maintenance fees and RCI/Interval World/ Marriott Vacation Club fees cost us about $1000.00 for each of the timeshares. It becomes a part time job trying to find availability and we can rarely get booked into the properties when we want them. Sometimes we are forced to take vacation at inconvenient times or we have just taken a total loss on our money and just let the time or points expire. I think that anyone that owns a timeshare can tell you, if you sit down with a calculator and add up all the costs you will never come out ahead with the timeshares. You are just paying ahead for what you can just buy outright as you need it, and probably for less than what you have dumped into the timeshare.

Brett Holzhauer
Reply to  JJ
1 year ago

JJ,

That is awesome that someone else in my similar position took advantage of this!

And I agree, if my finances were a bit different, I potentially would be more interested.

Greg M
1 year ago

Actually just returned from a similar promotion from Hyatt at their Residence Club on Maui. It was fantastic!! Our presentation was 90 minutes, and they respectfully accepted when we declined at the end. Unlike a presentation we did at an independent property in Cancun last year. That one was a disaster. So, if you do this stick with the big names who have a reputation they need to protect.

Brett Holzhauer
Reply to  Greg M
1 year ago

Greg,

I’ve heard very similar stories to this! It seems that internationally, they get much more intense and intimidating.