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New to RCI points . . .

Discussion in 'Exchanging' started by JustAddVodka, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. JustAddVodka

    JustAddVodka TUG Member

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    Thanks to all posters. I've read a lot of threads and picked up a lot of useful info. I do have a couple questions still and also some ideas about my plans I'd like to hear advice from TUGers about.

    Background: I own 229K HICV - originally a Ron Jon owner bought resale then had to make a purchase to bring the resale contract into the club. (Kinda sorry I did that. Could have just keep my contract, red high float and traded it . .. but oh well, live and learn.) My MF combined run .08/1000, so not bad. Between the resale and the purchase I'm into the deal for under 8K. Considering our friends who introduced us to Ron Jon spent 24K on their first purchase, and another 10K to HICV to add points and join the club, I'm feeling decent about that. (although it could have been better.)

    We did an RCI trade into the Flamingo Beach Resort in May of 2015. Loved it. No frills for sure, but relaxing, beautiful and perfectly located. I was surprised by how few HICV points I needed to use to secure two 1 br studios. This year I traded into the Atrium Beach resort 2 bedroom unit, which we had visited while there before. This resort didn't sustain as much damage as others on the island. We loved it.

    Upon return, I happened to come across an ad for the Atrium 2 bedroom float week with RCI points of 69,500, (and free RCI point account transfer.) MF $967. Got it for $9, plus, $99 closing. I feel pretty good about this purchase. I didn't really look into the whole RCI points aspect before I purchased. I knew from casual reading that it's a perk to have that versus weeks, but other than that didn't know much. It hasn't transferred yet, so I can't get into the RCI account.

    So since the purchase I've done some reading here and have figured out the basics. Someone who owned this before put it into points and now I have 69,500 points to exchange into RCI points or weeks with unless I exercise my right to use at my home resort within a certain time frame. (seems to be a year or 13 months in advance?) That's generally not a problem, as we are planners.

    My question is, as I can see us wanting to use home resort at least a few years, if I use the home resort option but keep paying the membership fee, will I still be able to use the other membership perks, (last call, extra vacations, rent points, etc.), and if yes, is there a point where that stops. Like if I don't exchange for X number of years will I lose the ability to? Do I have to exchange every so often to maintain the contract as an RCI points contract?

    I also noticed by looking into RCI points resort guides that there are properties that are RCI properties that I was excluded from in the HICV RCI portal. I didn't know that! DVC is an example. Probably because HICV has so much inventory in Orlando. I'm a little annoyed that I'm paying an annual fee of $121.03 to HICV, which includes this RCI membership from HICV that's basically a watered down version of RCI. (Blocked properties, no extra vacations, no borrowing points)

    I've noticed the recommendation is to find RCI points contracts that have MF under .08/1000. I'm over that at .14/1000 on the Atrium property. I'm good with that because with extremely low buy in price, a 2 bedroom in one our favorite places is well worth $1,000 a week.

    Future plans: was considering picking up another contract . . . perhaps the larger Grandview one to cost average that down to around a penny a point, but then I see renting points is actually rather cheap and also there are points for sale on ebay for around the penny a point mark, so I'm wondering if it's wise to add to my portfolio and therefore my obligated MFs when I can just rent or buy points as needed. Am I missing something here or is that a reasonable assessment of the situation? Once you're in, there doesn't seem to be a lot of value to adding more points.

    Is there a limit to the number of points you can rent or buy from third parties? I know there is in HICV, you can borrow up to one year's points from your next year by prepaying MFs or rent up to half of what you own. (at an inflated price, not worth it!)

    I'm also watching for a 3 bedroom at HICV south Beach, as I'd like to have home access and I want the most points for my MF, but I haven't found the right contract for the right price yet. I'm also looking for suggestions on if this is a good idea or adding to the RCI points account would now be a better option.

    The Atrium is also a Festiva resort. Does anyone know anything about this company? As this is an RCI points contract now, will we also have membership into the Festiva? They have a lot of nice properties! (Of course, if I do get membership into that, it'll probably come with another membership fee which . . . how many of those do I need?)

    So this post was mostly a, "Thanks for educating me, Tug'ers" post and an update on how my portfolio is expanding, and if anyone can answer my few questions, or can offer advice, that would be fantastic!

    Also a little about us . . . married couple, early 50's, teens and a mom that travel with us. Also like to travel with other couples. 4 weeks vacation a year. And also love cruising. Would love to have points to be able to help our kids continue to vacation as they become independent and for family vacations as our family grows into the next generation, but don't want to commit my retired self to too many MFs. I'm sure as we move into retirement we will be able to be more flexible and use the last minute deals to maximize membership.

    Happy vacationing!

    Betty
     
  2. rboesl

    rboesl TUG Member

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    Resorts Owned:
    Divi Village Beach & Golf Resort
    Vidanta Grand Mayan
    Villa del Arco Cobo
    Grandview Las Vegas
    Vacation Village at Bonaventure
    Regarding this question: "My question is, as I can see us wanting to use home resort at least a few years, if I use the home resort option but keep paying the membership fee, will I still be able to use the other membership perks, (last call, extra vacations, rent points, etc.), and if yes, is there a point where that stops. Like if I don't exchange for X number of years will I lose the ability to? Do I have to exchange every so often to maintain the contract as an RCI points contract?"

    To my knowledge RCI has no requirements that you must trade your home week every so often to maintain an account. As long as you maintain your account with RCI and own at an affiliated resort you can continue to take advantage of last call, extra vacations, and all the other features.
     
  3. montygz

    montygz TUG Member

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    I would use the RCI points you have now and see how it works for you before buying more. I have been surprised by how few points I use as RCI seems to be running sales all the time. Its the exchange fees, not the points, that seem to add up.
     
  4. breezez

    breezez TUG Member

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    Location:
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    Resorts Owned:
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    Wyndham 406K
    RCI Points 196K
    The good the bad and the ugly.

    The good - If you like your resort and plan on using your home week then be happy you got an okay deal. As they say a good deal is a state of mind. Owning where you will probably go a lot is beneficial and will come with less RCI fees.

    The bad - your MF’s per point are extremely high. Decent is $.01 per point $.0065 per point is awesome. Really you want to be somewhere in between, obviously the lower the better.

    The ugly, your point cost is $.0139 per point. So plus partners, cruise exchanges, car rentals and other uses of your points will not really be a good use of your points considering RCI only issues around $.01 value per point for these programs. People with points contracts at the low end pay less than 50% in Points cost you are for same vacation but they probably paid $2500+ up front for contract, so they have a higher buyin.

    RCI points program is very flexible and they could care less if you use your home week for ever. If you do use your home week you won’t get points and there is no exchange fee. But you have to tell them in your time window. However if you plan on staying at this location a lot you might want to consider not renewing the RCI points and it will just revert back to a weeks unit but that is a personal choice.

    With RCI Points as far as I know nothing is hidden and you will see everything. The ugly with RCI is your points will go far but your exchange fees will be high. They have a way of milking you. Say member X has a 2 Bedroom lock off and deposits it in week or points. RCI will a lot of the time lock it off and the exchange out 2 - 1 bedrooms 1 with full kitchen and 1 with partial. This way they collect 2 exchanges. More and more of the resorts are tacking on fees for all kind of BS some even housekeeping fees for stays less than a week some even for stays that are a week. So you must look at the fees before booking to make sure it makes good sense.

    Deals where points may be reduced 80% closer to check in still might be cheaper booking last minute get away you always have to search both ways and see.

    Positives your points last a long time. You get points at start of use year, they auto save at no cost for the following year. You can then extend them for yet a 3rd year for a fee based on amount extending, however, if your Platinum RCI they give you a free extra year for extending them. You can also borrow from future use year.

    I have 2 Grandview 98K RCI points contracts. When I purchased them 1 had 186K points in 1st one an the other had 294K points. So I started my first year 480K points. Let’s just say it’s really hard to use this many. Oddly when they transferred the accounts to me they made all points current use year points. I have rented multiple cars and stayed at multiple resorts and have stuff book in the future.
     
    Jan M. likes this.
  5. JustAddVodka

    JustAddVodka TUG Member

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    Yes, I know. There was an error on the ebay listing. The MF was listed first as $751, which is just over a penny a point, but later in the ad it said $967. I didn't catch it or as for clarification. I did catch it in time I could have rescinded, but since I definitely want to own there and a search didn't bring up many listings for units for sale, and even fewer with RCI points, I decided to go with it. I will have this years points in the bank as well, so I'll start off with a free use. Maybe more depending on how I use it.

    I'll probably stick with what I have for a year or so and wait for just the right deal to come up on something lower to cost average things out.

    I hear ya on the exchange fees. I've been eyeing Parkway and Grandview auctions, but I know I'll never want to use those, so the MF + exchange fees, (probably multiple fees to use up 122K points for instance) comes out to about the same as paying the higher MF upfront.

    Timesharing is so complex. Thank God for all the people on this site sharing all their knowledge and experience.

    Good advice! Thanks!

    Excellent!
     
  6. JustAddVodka

    JustAddVodka TUG Member

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    I thought of another question.

    If I reserve my home resort, and then later decide not to use that week. Can I then deposit the week as a week for an exchange?
     
  7. breezez

    breezez TUG Member

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    RCI Points 196K
    This one I’m not sure of if you could you would have deposit in weeks not points then mess with TPU. Not sure if you need 2 bedroom or not but 1 bedrooms show as 23500 points most of the time at your resort.
     
  8. breezez

    breezez TUG Member

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    RCI Points 196K
    One cheap way to cost average your points down way cheaper than a 122K Grandview is doing a points for deposit.

    You can deposit any resort that trades in RCI as points for deposit provided the resort doesn’t have RCI points already. The Summit at Massenutten is one such animal. A 4 bedroom lock of there can be locked off an each side deposited for 61,000 points for 122,000 points for $854MF and (2) $39 fees for point deposits. This brings MF per point .0076. You could also stay in 1 half and deposit other half for half the points also
     
  9. breezez

    breezez TUG Member

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    A positive thing if you like your home resort exchange fee to home resort outside of your assigned Week is $50 vice $239 but will consume all your points if booked with reduced exchange fee
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  10. rboesl

    rboesl TUG Member

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    Vidanta Grand Mayan
    Villa del Arco Cobo
    Grandview Las Vegas
    Vacation Village at Bonaventure
    There's one other item to consider. In your original post you mentioned future plans:

    "Future plans: was considering picking up another contract . . . perhaps the larger Grandview one to cost average that down to around a penny a point, but then I see renting points is actually rather cheap and also there are points for sale on ebay for around the penny a point mark, so I'm wondering if it's wise to add to my portfolio and therefore my obligated MFs when I can just rent or buy points as needed. Am I missing something here or is that a reasonable assessment of the situation? Once you're in, there doesn't seem to be a lot of value to adding more points."

    Grandview is a Vacation Village Resort. Vacation Village has a special arrangement with RCI that offers VV Owners additional perks. Like $99 exchanges to other Vacation Village properties for 2 years then $139 after that, free annual Sam's Club Membership, plus some others. These perks will help reduce overall costs and they do add up.
     
    Fredflintstone likes this.
  11. breezez

    breezez TUG Member

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    RCI Points 196K
    To get the Vacation Village deal requires you join their plus program for a few thousand bucks. Not worth it in my opinion.

    As far as buying points. Legally only RCI can sell points. Points account holders can have account shut down for selling points. That said buy all you want just don’t risk selling them. But if you buy as needed you are correct in you will have less continual expenses.
     
  12. JustAddVodka

    JustAddVodka TUG Member

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    So Much Information! Thank you!

    So once you have a points property and thereby an account, you can buy an RCI affiliated resort and deposit it for points at a fee? That's amazing knowledge!

    You Tug'ers are amazing!
     
  13. JustAddVodka

    JustAddVodka TUG Member

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    But I can deposit my week and then use my points, full exchange to trade into my own resort, correct? For instance if I want to do 2 weeks in a 1 bedroom?
     
  14. breezez

    breezez TUG Member

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    RCI Points 196K
    Yes
     
  15. Jan M.

    Jan M. TUG Member

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    We went to a presentation at Grandview this Spring because I wanted to hear for myself about Vacation Village Plus and see how it compared to the RCI platinum benefits. I had asked an RCI rep about them but wanted to hear it again and be able to really study them on paper. The extra benefits you get over what RCI platinum offers are only for 2 years like roboesl posted and if you aren't able to make sure you use them a whole lot during those 2 years then you've wasted your money. I honestly can't see most people being able to use them enough to justify spending that much more than what you would spend buying resale and paying RCI to be platinum. Also there was one of the RCI platinum benefits I do use that isn't offered with Vacation Village Plus but I don't remember what it was.
     
  16. Fredflintstone

    Fredflintstone TUG Member

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    In my mind, RCI rates should be 50 buck MAXIMUM an exchange for everyone. Honestly, how much is it costing RCI to electronify an exchange, and send communications to resorts on who is exchanging? Let’s be generous and add staff costs. I bet you their cost is no more than 10 bux a trade. Yet, they charge 100s of dollars?? Well, I am glad I dumped them.

    I think RCI needs a strong competitor to cut them down to size.

    My 2 cent rant complete. Thanks. I feel better now


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    mpumilia likes this.

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