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Please help with RCI tips

Discussion in 'Exchanging' started by Vacationsarefun, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. Vacationsarefun

    Vacationsarefun TUG Member

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    After dithering for years, I have finally gotten an RCI membership, but now I am a bit unsure how best to utilize it. I think I know the basics but it would be great if people with more experience would share some tips and tricks.

    So far I have deposited my week for 2018 and have a decent but not huge number of TPUs. I would kind of like to use (some of) them for this summer but if that doesn't work out I would probably set up an OGS for next year.

    Some things I am unsure about:

    There is no way to see anything costing more TPUs than I have available, is there?

    Is there a way to set up a search so I don't have to go through different filters etc. every time I want to check?

    Is there a specific day/time etc. that is best for checking?

    Anything else anyone wants to share?
     
  2. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Using RCI is an acquired skill. No, I don't believe you can see something higher-TPU than what you have to work with. So you can spend a lot of time waiting to see something that may never show up for you. I don't think they offer a way to save your searches from one session to another. There is no perfect time or day to search, although some believe Sunday mornings after the Saturday night "maintenance" period show better inventory.

    The exchanges you see in the RCI inventory are the leftovers. Theoretically, all the "good stuff" has already been taken via ongoing searches. So if you want to try and find something good, put in your ongoing search now - they are weighted by date of entry. So the sooner you do it, the better your chances are of getting what you want. If your needs are very specific, such as a certain resort, or a narrow date window, then an ongoing search is very necessary. The broader your search parameters, such as a resort area vs. a specific resort, or a range of dates instead of a specific week, the better your chances are of getting what you want.

    Combining deposit TPUs is a good way to get more TPU to work with, which will help your entire exchange dreams. But be aware that combining deposits may shorten the available exchange time of the newer deposit. (Instead of three years to use them, as you'd get with a deposit, a combined deposit is good for two years from the date of the combination. So you'd lose that extra year on the later deposit.)

    Also, make sure the exchange you're after is one you can potentially match up with. Use their Deposit Calculator to get a general idea of what the resort you want will take, TPU-wise, for an exchange. But make note that RCI generally charges more TPUs to exchange into a place than they give you for depositing that same thing. (So if the Deposit Calculator says it's 25 TPU for a deposit there, it may take 30 TPU to exchange in.)

    You don't indicate what you have to work with TPU-wise, or where it is you want to go. Some exchanges rarely happen, and some exchanges NEVER happen. I once wasted over a year on an ongoing search that RCI assured me would be in "just any day now." Then Tuggers told me the resort I wanted never shows up for deposit because it's too high of a demand. I was able to arrange a private exchange with another Tugger, and I got what I wanted. RCI never did come through for that.

    Good luck with your searching. RCI sometimes delivers surprising things, but you have to work the system to get the best return for your time and money.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
  3. Vacationsarefun

    Vacationsarefun TUG Member

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    Thanks so much, Dave. This is indeed helpful.

    I only have one timeshare so combining is out for now (I could deposit my 2019 week I guess but I may want to use it). However, I do have what I consider a fair number of points (37). I realize there are exchanges requiring more but I probably wouldn't be willing to spend much more for one week anyway (but I would like to see what is available just to get a better idea of what could be out there).

    If I do not find something I want for this summer I will definitely set up an ongoing search for 2019. Unfortunately, I have a hard time making up my mind and planning so far ahead is hard (I know it would be best though). I am thinking of going to Orlando mid/late August and there is quite a bit available that would work. I would of course prefer DVC but the required points with an ongoing search are too high as far as I know. I guess there is a chance of something becoming available last minute though?
     
  4. vacationhopeful

    vacationhopeful TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Looking to go to Orlando? ... late August is a better bet. The Southern USA goes back to school in midAugust or a week later verses Northerners going back after Labor Day.

    If you are only going to visit WDW for a day or two ... just drive over for that time. By not staying at WDW onsite resorts, you won't have Extra Magic Hours Or free parking (w/o APs). You most likely will not desire spending the $$$ for Disney's fancy dining in the evenings (or any other times).

    Hence ... IMHO ... and limited Florida living there, stay at an oceanside TS resort. Daytona area (most northern beach), New Smyra and further down the coast to Cocoa Beach (NOT UP). Melbourne area would be the furtherest reaches going SOUTH.

    Do a MAPQUEST to see mileage, tolls, ROUTE and length of travel to WDW parks.
     
  5. Vacationsarefun

    Vacationsarefun TUG Member

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    Yes, I realize that later in August would be better. But as we come from overseas it really isn't worth it unless we stay two or three weeks in total and as kids go back to school fairly early in September we would probably look to start our trip around 15 to 20 of August.

    Disney restaurants are expensive, one of the main reasons I am still hesitating. We have been to Disney several times before but the prices just keep going up. We'd definitely stay at least one (possibly two) weeks in the Orlando area. I have thought of adding a week at the coast but am a bit nervous about hurricanes. I wouldn't mind too much hunkering down for a couple of days at an Orlando resort but evacuating along the coast etc. doesn't sound like a lot of fun...
     
  6. JudiZ

    JudiZ TUG Member

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    Vacationsarefun asked: There is no way to see anything costing more TPUs than I have available, is there?

    I have a paltry 11 TPUs in RCI right now. I went in and searched for Orlando in May since this was only for exploration. I received 17 results ranging from 4 TPUs to 33 TPUs. I have future weeks that could be deposited and more than reach the 33 but nothing on account to combine to get that number. It reminded me several times I would need to deposit if I wanted some of the weeks but it seemed to show the inventory they have right now.

    Judi
     
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  7. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Thanks for that, Judi. I don't deposit with RCI anymore, so wasn't aware of how it is to search now with TPUs on deposit. When you search with nothing on deposit, all it shows are Extra Vacations and Last Minute stuff - for cash. Nothing TPU-related turns up.

    Dave
     
  8. Vacationsarefun

    Vacationsarefun TUG Member

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    Interesting. I looked at a bunch of stuff and didn't notice anything with more TPU than I have (but I may have just not noticed if I wasn't interested in that exchange anyway). I will have to check on that some more.

    ETA: You are absolutely correct. I checked more closely and did find an exchange with 40+. Not sure why I thought this doesn't work - thanks for letting me know.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
  9. Jan M.

    Jan M. Guest

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    Look at the ticket prices on tickets2you.com. These are the best prices I've seen. Right now there is a deal on a 5 day Universal pass for $224. Crayola Experience is fun too. We pack lunch, snacks and bottles of water to take into the parks. We take a break and go back to our resort unit to swim and eat dinner or off property to eat dinner.
     
  10. tschwa2

    tschwa2 TUG Member

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    You have to have at least 1 tpu on the books and then you can search everything. There aren't really that many very high tpu resorts sitting around. DVC would be one but they don't just sit they are booked relatively quickly. If you want to see what the higher you can go to advanced search and then trading power and then 33+ trading power. There are currently 61 resorts in the US that have units available that are 33 or more points.
     
  11. Vacationsarefun

    Vacationsarefun TUG Member

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    Thanks, this is very helpful (I hadn't realized you could sort like that). I am not really looking specifically for resorts with high value but I was wondering whether I would see them if they pop up and apparently I can.
     
  12. silentg

    silentg TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Yes you can. I often browse RCI just to see what’s there. You do have to have at least 1 TPU deposited to view though.
     
  13. mdurette

    mdurette TUG Member

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    There is no way to see anything costing more TPUs than I have available, is there?
    When I search a particular resort and click on Available Units, the results page is broken down into two sections. The top half shows what is available with the TPUs I have and if I continue to scroll down their is a lower section that lists units weeks that I don't have enough TPUs for.


    Is there a way to set up a search so I don't have to go through different filters etc. every time I want to check?
    Yes, once you set up the filters - look for the button that says something like Save to Favorites. This will store that search under a name you create (like Florida August). When you log in the next time go your favorite and click on the name.

    Is there a specific day/time etc. that is best for checking?
    Not that I am aware of.

    Anything else anyone wants to share?
    RCI has some great Extra Vacation Prices - always check those before you exchange and use your TPUs. Many of the RCI trips we have taken have been available for under $500 as EV. For just the few $100 more than the exchange fee - somethings it is worth it to keep your TPUs for something else.
     
  14. taterhed

    taterhed TUG Member

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    IF you really want to go somewhere......set up a search with resort ID's You might NEVER see a particular resort/code and then suddenly...pop, there it is. Happened to me with a ski week in Colo. Couldn't go, but really wanted to.....
     
  15. moonstone

    moonstone TUG Member

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    There is a smaller chance of a hurricane in August than if you were going in October. In our over 40 years of vacationing in Florida in the fall we have encountered 1 hurricane. We were in St Augustine when it started on our check-out day (it had been sunny the day before). We drove from there to Orlando and had rain all that day and then sunny skies the next morning and for the rest of our week.

    ~Diane
     
  16. chemteach

    chemteach TUG Member

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    Placing an ongoing search is always your best bet. You can always modify the search. YOu can search for anything at any time even if you have only one deposit that is tied up in an ongoing search. THe earlier you set up the ongoing search, the better off you are. Just do it! :) FInd the resorts/dates you would be happy with, put them into an OGS, and wait. (And then keep searching each day to see what happens to be there.)
     
  17. flybefree

    flybefree TUG Member

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    You can save searches along with specific resorts. Just click on "favorite" when looking at a resort or "save search" on the left side after getting to the local you're interested in (i.e. specifically Orlando Area). I have several saved and will just click on them to get an update of availability.
     
  18. Vacationsarefun

    Vacationsarefun TUG Member

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    Thanks, everybody! I have managed to save a search and I can clearly see weeks that cost more TPU than I have.

    I do still have some questions about an OGS though:

    I pay the exchange fee up front when I place it, correct?
    What if they never find a week / what if I cancel the OGS because I found something else?
    I can change an OGS if dates/destinations etc. change, correct?
    If they find a match, do I have to take it or can I say no (especially as I don't know upfront how many TPU it would cost)?
    I seem to remember something about weeks not matching to OGS any longer if the time to check-in is short but I am not sure if this was for RCI or II (or if I am getting something confused). Is that right?
     
  19. moonstone

    moonstone TUG Member

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    Yes you need to pay upfront, but you will get a credit if there are no matches. Often (in my experience anyways) RCI will just keep the money in "your account" and then the next time you go to book for something the money is there. But you can call and ask for the money to be refunded to your credit card. I realized that I had to call the first time it happened to us. When I called RCI to enquire about a refund the girl asked "oh, did you want your money back?"! Now that we seem to timeshare (or I book an Extra Vacation/Last Call for a family member) every couple of months I just leave it there for next time.
    You can adjust the places &/or dates (slightly) on your search without affecting your "place in line" (as far as I know, but I may be wrong).
    If they find a match you have a set time (48hrs?) to accept it or keep searching.


    ~Diane
     
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