Profiting from 2 Timeshare Presentations in Hawaii (Secret: Attend, but do not Buy!)

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Full disclosure: I have only been to 3 timeshare presentations in my life (Hilton Elara in Las Vegas, Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas in Maui, and Hilton Waikoloa Village in Kona), so I am no timeshare expert.  I am not married, so I go to the presentations by myself.  I have never gone to a presentation outside the US, but I have heard nightmare stories about timeshare presentations in Mexico lasting hours.  Proceed at your own risk!

Good morning everyone, greetings from my local Peet’s Coffee at the SF Ferry Building.  Between the pushy salespeople (usually a small sales team), lengthy presentations, and overpriced fees, timeshares get a bad rap in the travel community.  But, if you can sit through the presentation and leave without buying a timeshare, the sales presentation can be worth your time.  To illustrate this point, I want to tell you about my 2 timeshare presentations in Hawaii last week.

The first presentation was at the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas in Maui, Hawaii, where I was staying thanks to the targeted vacation package offer I received a few months back.  I wrote about the offer details here, but to recap, I received 6 days / 5 nights in a villa studio, 5,000 SPG points, and a 6 day Avis car rental for $798.  I value 5,000 SPG points at $100, the Avis car rental at $150, so that means the stay in the studio villa cost about ~$550 for 5 nights in Maui.  That’s a great deal if you ask me.  The property is very nice, I loved the $5 Mai Tais during happy hour (4-6pm and 8:30-10pm) and the pools were great.  Valet parking is only $12/day or $10/day for self parking.

5000-spg-points-westin-vacation-package Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas

As an incentive to attend a timeshare sales presentation, I was offered my choice of 6,000 SPG points, $100 resort credit, $100 spa credit, or a sunset sail for 2 people.  If I was on the trip by myself, I would have chosen the 6,000 SPG points, but my travel companion wanted to do the sunset sail for 2 (since she would “never see the 6,000 SPG points” – very true).

teralani-2-sunset-sail

We enjoyed our sunset sail on the Teralani 2 catamaran and even got a nice picture souvenir of our trip.  The catamaran does have an open bar and appetizers.  The ride was a little choppy at the beginning, so if you get seasick, I recommend taking some medicine prior to boarding.

sunset-sail-grant-rhianna


After spending 5 nights in Maui, we flew to Kona for another 5 nights and stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, which comes complete with its own monorail that connects the lobby to all 3 towers.  I used a combination of cash and points for the first 2 nights (20,000 Hilton HHonors points + $125 for each night) and 3 free night certificates.  2 free night certificates came from my new Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Credit Card and the third was from my old Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Credit Card after spending $10,000 on the card in a cardmember year.  By staying on points/certificates, you avoid the $30/day resort fee, but the valet parking was $30/day not waived (self parking is $25/day).  The hotel has a ocean-fed lagoon (pictured below), where you can rent snorkel gear, stand up paddle boards, kayaks, and more.  There are 3 different pools with a few water slides and a dolphin tank where people can swim and train the dolphins.

hilton-waikoloa-village-lagoon

As a Hilton Diamond elite member, I received 10 $10 dining credit vouchers for my stay.  Since I was staying there 5 nights, I figured 2 vouchers per night.  I’m not sure if Hilton Gold or Silver elite members get these vouchers, but you can use them at all restaurants and cafes on the property and apply as many as you want toward the bill.  I used 6 vouchers for breakfast and my final bill was under $4.

hilton-waikoloa-village-10-dining-credit-voucher

While I was waiting for my breakfast check, a Hilton Grand Vacation Club (timeshare rep) came to our table and asked if we needed help planning any activities.  She also asked if I was a Hilton Grand Vacation Club owner.  I said no, but I am a Hilton Diamond elite member.  Her ears perked up and she asked me if I would be interested in attending a timeshare presentation in exchange for $100 resort credit or 40,000 Hilton HHonors points.  I quickly choose the points option, but I am sure I could have bargained for 50,000 Hilton HHonors points or more.  The following morning, I attended the timeshare presentation and left with 40,000 Hilton HHonors points in my account.  40,000 Hilton HHonors points is worth about $200 to me and covers the “points” portion of the cash and points stay for the first 2 nights.

40000-hilton-grand-vacation-club-timeshare-points


Just as I was working on this post, I received a timeshare offer from Hyatt for a stay at their Hyatt Pinon Pointe in Sedona, Arizona.  For $249, you can stay 4 days / 3 nights in a 1 bedroom suite, and receive 10,000 Hyatt points (worth about $150), making this stay about $100 / 3 nights, or $33 a night.  You must purchase by October 31 and complete your stay before June 30, 2017.  If you have any interest in a cheap vacation to Sedona, I would definitely consider this timeshare offer.

hyatt-pinon-pointe-timeshare-presentation-email

Here are the complete terms and conditions of the above offer:

ELIGIBILITY/HOW TO REGISTER: To participate in this offer and receive 10,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points, guest must book by October 31, 2016 for a 4 day, 3 night stay in the best available room up to a 1 bedroom, 1 bath suite at Hyatt Pinon Pointe, a Hyatt Residence Club Resort during the Promotional Period and meet the following qualifications:

• Attend a 90 minute sales presentation (not exceed 120 minutes) at the Hyatt Residence Club sales center during their stay.

• Have an annual household income of at least $75,000 and be at least 25 years of age and cannot have attended a sales presentation at any Hyatt Residence Club resort in the past 12 months.

• If you are (i) married, (ii) cohabitating, (iii) engaged or (iv) single and bringing a companion, we require that both parties travel together as part of the package and attend the private sales presentation.

View complete Details of Participation.

PROMOTION PERIOD: Promotion begins October 17, 2016 and ends June 30, 2017 (“Promotion Period”).

BONUS POINT POSTING: Please allow 30 days from the end of your sales presentation for bonus points to be posted to your Hyatt Gold Passport account.

GENERAL CONDITIONS: Inventory availability is limited and varies by Hyatt Residence Club resort location and unit. Inventory is typically offered on a relatively short term basis. Hyatt reserves the right to alter or withdraw this promotion with a suitable substitute offer of equal value (if legally required) at any time due to actual circumstances. This promotion is subject to the complete terms and conditions of Hyatt Gold Passport, available at goldpassport.com. Void where prohibited. The trademarks Hyatt®, Hyatt Gold Passport®, Hyatt Residence Club® and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation.

We have sent you this email because we have your email address designated as eligible to receive promotions and special offers. We value your privacy and will only use your information in accordance with our Global Privacy Policy available at privacy.hyatt.com.

To manage your email subscriptions or to opt-out of receiving email marketing from us you may:

1. Manage your subscriptions online

or

2. Write to:
Hyatt Gold Passport Customer Service
9805 Q Street
Omaha, NE 68127

Please include your Hyatt Gold Passport account number and your e-mail address when submitting your request in writing and please allow at least seven full business days from receipt of your message for us to remove your name from our subscriber list. If you have questions or comments regarding this email, please contact us at goldpassport@hyatt.com.

THE PURPOSE OF THIS ADVERTISING IS TO ATTEMPT TO SELL YOU A TIMESHARE INTEREST IN ARIZONA.

What is it like to go on a timeshare presentation?

  1. You speak to a friendly timeshare rep who asks you how you like to travel, how many nights a year you travel, how much you pay per hotel night (on average), and how many years you plan to travel.  After factoring in inflation, they show you a huge number (mine were both $600,000+) and then they tell you that is how much you will spend on travel over the rest of your lifetime.  They then try to sell you on buying a timeshare presentation for a fraction of that amount.  You may go on a tour of the units and talk about peak times of the year.
  2. The “inventory manager” comes in and tells you that they have a perfect room for you, that just came available and that there is a promotion for this unit.  He/she tells you this offer is too good to last and you need to act fast.  You politely decline stating the price is too high.  They then scour their inventory sheet for the cheapest room available, do some calculations on total purchase price, down payment, closing fees, and financing (usually 15% or higher).  Politely decline that offer due to price.
  3. The rep and “inventory manager” will leave the room and then the “quality assurance” / “customer satisfaction specialist” will come in and ask you some questions about the presentation.  Were you treated professionally?  Were you unsure of anything mentioned in the presentation?  Then they lead into these questions… Does the idea of vacation ownership entice you at all?  Yes?  Would you be interested in coming back in the next 1-2 years, staying at the property in a nice 2 bedroom unit and attend a followup presentation?  Yes?  We have a great offer for you for $2500 + a bunch of bonus points.
  4. At this point, you can accept their offer and get a discounted vacation next year, or you can decline the offer.  Both times, I declined their offers since the price was too high for me.  At that point, they thank you for coming, walk you out and get you set up for your gift/bonus for attending the sales presentation.

As always, going to timeshare presentations can be tricky.  The salespeople are very good at what they do and make vacation ownership look very enticing.  They can work the numbers to make an expensive purchase look very affordable.  I equate going to timeshare presentations like going on a test drive in a new car (like test driving a Cadillac CTS for 7,500 American Airlines miles).  If you are not planning on purchasing, just go with the flow, enjoy the conversation, and walk away after your time is up.  If you know what you are doing, going to timeshare presentations can be very informational and rewarding (for the free gifts/bonuses).  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

38 thoughts on “Profiting from 2 Timeshare Presentations in Hawaii (Secret: Attend, but do not Buy!)

  1. Erik

    Wow! That target offer to Maui + rental car is too good to be true. Averaging $110 per night at a luxury hotel is such a good deal :) I wish I know how to sign up for the targeted offers.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      There is no secret. I used to have the SPG personal and business cards (closed 12+ months ago) and am SPG Gold from the free status with AMEX Platinum.

      Reply
  2. Zeng

    We are going to Kona in April for 3 nights and planning to stay at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, where can I sign up this timeshare presentation before our trip, I will use my two free night certificates from Citi Hilton reserve card. Will go to Kauai island on same trip, any offer there? Thank you for sharing this timeshare info.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Hi Zeng, enjoy your time at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. There are several Hilton Grand Vacation desks around the resort. If you visit one and ask around, I am sure they will offer the timeshare presentation to you. When you check in, the desk agent will give you your hotel keys and there will also be a slip of paper about attending the timeshare presentation, but the offers are only 20,000 Hilton HHonors points or $100 resort credit. The timeshare sales reps can offer you more points.

      I have never been to Kauai (my last Hawaiian Island to visit), so I am not sure what offers are available, but I would guess that if there are nice hotels on the island, there will be timeshare offers.

      Reply
  3. Rene

    Several years ago my husband and I did timeshare at the Westin Kaanapali
    We were treated rudely because we didn’t purchase
    Basically implied we were stupid to not purchase!

    Will never return!

    Reply
    1. Grant

      The property is beautiful, I’m sorry your time there ended badly due to rude timeshare sales people. Hopefully your next presentation will go better.

      Reply
    1. Grant

      I am only a Hyatt Platinum elite member (comes free with having the Chase Hyatt Credit Card), so I’m not sure why I get so luck with these offers.

      Reply
  4. Suzanne

    My husband and I travel extensively around the world, staying in high-end hotels and taking frequent luxury cruises. But we have done several of these hotel chain timeshare presentations and have found a way to make the process quite short. When you get asked right at the beginning how much you travel, underestimate heavily. ‘Oh, this is our first trip in four years and we’ve never stayed at a place as nice as this before! Our annual travel budget? Maybe $300 if you figure the gas to go see the kids at Thanksgiving.’ Very rapidly they write us off as having no money at all, and we’ve even been sent on our way once with our goodies without having to inspect the demo suite. Usually we get out of there in about half an hour

    Reply
  5. Every Married Travelhacker

    Grant, need some advice. My wife refuses to take advantage of these timeshare deals. We’ve passed up a number of opportunities with SPG and Hyatt.

    Should I find a new wife?

    Reply
  6. Kat

    Hi Grant: I have always hesitated to attend these because of the income requirements. Now I am retired and my income is lower than ever. How closely do they scrutinize this in light of the fine print that states a minimum income in order to attend? Thanks!

    Reply
  7. Pingback: 4 Days / 3 Nights in Orlando, Florida for $349 at Holiday Inn Club Vacations Orange Lake Resort (Timeshare Presentation)

  8. Mary jo tomak

    I’m married, travel a lot without my husband, but with female friends instead. I have done some presentations saying goes I was single. My husband will never go to another timeshare presentation. The last one was the Omni in Cancun & we ended up buying! That was 10 yrs ago, we only bought for 10 yrs, so it’s done this year. We will not buy again. When I’m traveling with friends who , like me, would like to sit in one a presentation for some freebies, can we each do a presentation, or should we pretend we’really a couple? Our ID’s have different addresses. I’m going to oahu next month , any current offers there that you could share?

    Reply
  9. Tracie Draper

    Hello Grant. We are going to be staying at the Hilton Waikoloa village in July for 12 nights. We have 2 rooms. One using points and one we are paying for. My husband is a diamond member. We were thinking about doing the luau there. They do not offer any discounts to Hilton honors members. I was wondering if we took the time share tour while we are there if they would offer us tickets. We are a group of ten so even 2 would be a help. What are your thoughts?

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      That is a great idea. It never hurts to ask the timeshare people if they will comp you a few luau tickets. Have a great time at the resort. There is a lot to do :)

      Reply
  10. Zeng

    Just got back from our Hawaii trip, one week each on Kauai and Big Island. We did went to Grand Hilton Vacation timeshare before boarding our flight coming home. By the time we arrived LAX, 40k Hilton points posted to my account. Just want to thank you for your information. Hilton Waikoloa is a huge resort, our room was upgraded to MAKAI with view of Dolphins.

    Reply
  11. Minah

    You completely forgot to mention, or didn’t know that those sales rep work on commision only, and they do that for a living. So if you are there for just for a gift, not only you are wasting their time but also building a very bad karma……… I would personally never do something like that.

    Reply
    1. Tracie Draper

      Thank you for your concern about my karma. The only time I have ever taken a time share tour I have made it clear that I had no interest at all in buying and they would push me into coming to the tour anyway. Actually the only one or two I have ever been on were ones where I was asked to tour. I did not seek them out. I would even go as far as telling them again once I arrived at the tour before starting that I wasn’t​ interested in purchasing and they always pushed for us to still take the tour. I would do the same in this situation. Not looking to screw anyone out of anything here. Thank you for your input.

      Reply
  12. Maggie Willoughby

    I have 2 vacation tours booked for the same week in Orlando.
    1 at the Hilton the other at Marriott.. The sales man on the phone from,Hilton said its allowed.. As we get closer to our vacation I am nervous its not allowed.. Son you know anything about this?

    Reply

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