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Do you use RCI AND II?

ski_sierra

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For those of you who use BOTH RCI as well as II, I'm curious how you decide to use each system for maximum advantage. I have Marriott/Vistana preference in II and I don't feel like using up those deposits for non-Marriott/Vistana. I get a feeling that II is great for high value weeks (large units at nicer resorts) but deposits of holiday weeks are rare. RCI is better for lower quality resorts during holiday periods as owners choose what weeks to deposits. It's also good for smaller units or last minute since you spend fewer TPUs while II will charge you a full deposit. RCI is good for DVC as well but we won't be doing that often as Orlando is pretty far from where we live. With RCI there are points, TPU weeks and grid based points exchanges (Wyndham and Worldmark).

How do you optimize your usage of RCI, II and owned weeks/points?
 
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I just check both when looking for a week and see who has the best option. II sucks for depositing IMO because you can't see inventory before you deposit...
But bonus weeks and getaways I feel II is better/cheaper.

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missyrcrews

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There are some resorts here in Maine that are in II but not in RCI. I've never traded in II, but have used their getaways and ac's a few times. For trading, I prefer RCI. I can often put two weeks together and get three weeks of vacation. I've learned that system really well, and so I confess that I stick with what I know!
 

ski_sierra

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I just check both when looking for a week and see who has the best option. II sucks for depositing IMO because you can't see inventory before you deposit...
But bonus weeks and getaways I feel II is better/cheaper.
I have used an II getaway for Hyatt and it was fantastic value. I haven't found a use for the ACs. I don't do many online searches and rely mainly on getaway alerts and OGS. I have found ACs to be difficult to use and search.

With RCI, I find "bonus" weeks are straightforward with small TPUs left from bigger exchanges. You can set up an OGS and not deal with the exchange grid or online searches.


For trading, I prefer RCI. I can often put two weeks together and get three weeks of vacation. I've learned that system really well, and so I confess that I stick with what I know!
This is definitely better than II where you pretty much get 1:1 ratio for deposit to exchanges.
 
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"I have used an II getaway for Hyatt and it was fantastic value. I haven't found a use for the ACs. I don't do many online searches and rely mainly on getaway alerts and OGS. I have found ACs to be difficult to use and search.

With RCI, I find "bonus" weeks are straightforward with small TPUs left from bigger exchanges. You can set up an OGS and not deal with the exchange grid or online searches."

I use II ACs at Branson or Orlando a couple times a year.
Through the Welk portal, we can't see bonus week inventory and have to call to find out what's available....

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mdurette

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I use both......
For places that have branded TS (Marriott, Hyatt, Westin) I use II
For places like New England with limited high end properties I use both RCI and II

If find it hard to use RCI TPUs because whatever I end up wanting with them is usually so cheap as an extra vacation I do that instead of exchanging.
 

travelhacker

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I've been using II a couple of years, and consider myself relatively experienced (lots of good trades).

I got RCI a few months ago, and find it's a great complement. I'd absolutely advocate for picking up a cheap per point (in maintenance fees) RCI points contract.

I use Points within RCI, so here's how I plan to take advantage of each system:
1) When going to Orlando, II is a no brainer with getaways in II
2) If going to just Disney World, I plan on exchanging into DVC.
3) When going to Hawaii, we really like the big island, so we plan on putting in exchange requests will in advance for HGVC resorts, and then try for an additional week at Marriott on one of the other islands for a 2 week vacation.
4) Look for last minute deals when we have flexibility in travel in RCI. I have put a number of vacations on hold, to double check with the work schedule to make sure it could work. If I don't have the option to Hold, I can pay for the exchange and cancel within 24 hours (in practice up to 48 hours).

I have contemplated picking up a Marriott trader for use in II because that adds a different dimension, but my Hyatt has been a good trader and I've been able to get lots of great trips with it.

I compared the systems in general, if you are interested:

What I like about II:
- Getaways are typically more reasonably priced, and a slam dunk for the Orlando area with so many quality Marriott options.
- Higher end resorts in general.
- I prefer the website in general -- easier to find what I want faster.
- ePlus -- seriously, the extra flexibility is such a nice breath of fresh air.

What I like about RCI:
- Weeks inventory gets seriously reduced in points (and I assume in TPU) as it gets closer to check in. I've been able to score a couple of really nice 7500 point exchanges at GREAT resorts.
- Bigger footprint in lots of locations that I would like to visit (but this is a good reason to have both).
- Holding reservations (I have platinum)
- Being able to cancel reservations within 24 hours.

If I had my druthers, this is what I'd like to see RCI do:
- Get their website more responsive (searches are a bit slower than II)
- Adopt an ePlus like product.
- Price Extra Vacations a bit more in-line with the market. I haven't see anything that I could get for significantly cheaper through other means, but I also haven't looked that hard.

This is what I'd like to see II do:
- Lower points requirements for last minute exchanges (this is a Hyatt issue -- there is no flexchange reduced point cost with Hyatt)
- Implement Holds
- Allow cancellations within 24 hours.
- The ability to exchange a studio for a 2 bedroom is just a bit too "cheap". I always hear about people swapping a studio at MGC (Grand Chateau) for MKO (Ko Olina) -- which just seems incredible unbalanced. I know this isn't a popular opinion, but since I'm tied to points, a 2 bedroom exchange in II is 3 times more expensive in points. Obviously my opinion would change if I bought a Marriott :). I think RCI is a bit more "fair" in this respect.
 
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ski_sierra

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If find it hard to use RCI TPUs because whatever I end up wanting with them is usually so cheap as an extra vacation I do that instead of exchanging.
What is the typical price for extra vacations where using TPUs doesn't make sense? In my limited searches, the extra vacation options I have seen are $600 and above so it makes sense to spend the 10-20 TPUs.
 

ski_sierra

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- Price Extra Vacations a bit more in-line with the market. I haven't see anything that I could get for significantly cheaper through other means, but I also haven't looked that hard.
you mean it's too high or it's too low?
I do see some desirable resorts are only available for cash booking and the rates are outrageous. SoCal beach locations for around $2000 -3000 per week. I'm not going to do that.

This is what I'd like to see II do:
- Lower points requirements for last minute exchanges (this is a Hyatt issue -- there is no flexchange reduced point cost with Hyatt)

- The ability to exchange a studio for a 2 bedroom is just a bit too "cheap". I always hear about people swapping a studio at MGC (Grand Chateau) for MKO (Ko Olina) -- which just seems incredible unbalanced. I know this isn't a popular opinion, but since I'm tied to points, a 2 bedroom exchange in II is 3 times more expensive in points. Obviously my opinion would change if I bought a Marriott :). I think RCI is a bit more "fair" in this respect.
These are Hyatt problems rather than II problems. But you already know the solution!

This thread is not about fairness, rather it's about how to take advantage of the unfairness :D
 

travelhacker

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you mean it's too high or it's too low?
I find the price of extra vacations to be way too high, particular in comparison with II Getways.

These are Hyatt problems rather than II problems. But you already know the solution!

This thread is not about fairness, rather it's about how to take advantage of the unfairness :D
This is true! I'm trying to be patient and pick up an MGC at some point. I do love exchanging in II with Hyatt when booking studios though :)
 

Eric B

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This thread is not about fairness, rather it's about how to take advantage of the unfairness :D
I don't really think of it as taking advantage of unfairness, but instead identifying the differences in the exchange rates and using the more beneficial ones. Sort of an arbitrage approach. The interaction between mini-systems like Wyndham and RCI is a prime example. If you are Wyndham VIPG and deposit a 3+BR PIC for $129, you get 254,000 Wyndham points, which you can deposit back into RCI and get about 450,000 Wyndham-RCI points to use with their grid exchange cost, which could yield you several weeks in an equivalent size unit depending on the season. Wyndham Destinations, which owns both, is happy because they get paid on every part of the transactions; HOAs are happy because empty TS units don't buy TS contracts (even if you don't plan to, they have a shot at you anyway and you might), and you're happy because you've been able to stretch your travel dollars. Outcome is win-win-win, nobody is really taken advantage of.
 

dukebigtom

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First, several of you have mentioned "OGS " I assume you are referring to Ongoing Search. Correct? Sorry, sometimes all the abbreviations get lost on me.......................

I do use both RCI and II. I find II is great for certain areas of the country and mainly like it because of the ability to exchange into higher end properties like Marriott, Hyatt, etc. I've been able to get some really nice exchanges in this sense. I have never found an Extra Vacation that I thought was a good value. I have had a couple of uses for AC, but not often. I also like the Plus 2 options at II resorts, but find it frustrating that they deny this at many of the higher end resorts. (Although I did snag a Plus 2 at Marriott Grande Vista in Orlando once. Not sure somebody didn't make a mistake. :) )

For me, RCI has other specific areas that I do not see or find any availability for like certain areas of coastal New England. I have also had some good luck with RCI Getaways and Last Call vacations.

Thanks to all for your insights.

BigTom
 

ski_sierra

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I have never found an Extra Vacation that I thought was a good value. I have had a couple of uses for AC, but not often.
Seems to be a recurring theme. I find II getaway to be good and since you can set up alerts for mobile app, you don't have to do online searches.
 

mdurette

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What is the typical price for extra vacations where using TPUs doesn't make sense? In my limited searches, the extra vacation options I have seen are $600 and above so it makes sense to spend the 10-20 TPUs.
Good questions, I looked up my history with RCI few years have paid these amounts for extra vacations.: $371, $358, $246, $644, $644, $312 and $278 (all New England area)
They are mostly purchased during a big RCI sale or Last Minute. The two for $644, were for week 52. TPUs if I recall were around 26. For the extra cost of about $420, it was worth it for me to keep that amount of TPUs in my account.
 

Panina

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I use both. There was a time I was trying to not use RCI. Circumstances made me stay a member.

II- My preference. If I deposit early I get fabulous trades. I like that my high demand weeks get me the same. I feel rci diminishes the value of my high demand weeks. I also like I can request first so if I don’t get the match I want I still have my week. II also overall has better resorts.

RCI-Like that they discount weeks for traveling a few weeks prior. I have gotten a disney week for 12 tpus. I also like if I have to deposit in the 60 day window there is an option to get full point value.
 

geist1223

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I have never used II. I ocassionally use RCI then as a fill in. I have used RCI for Fife, Scotland; Dublin, Ireland; Pahia, New Zealand; and, to get my Son to Bolivia. That is about it for 17.5 years of timesharing.
 

tshd

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I agree with using II for "name brand" trades. I like the flexibility of e-plus, agree that RCI would be better with this feature, but I do think they have some other workarounds. While I like the II website better, I agree with a previous poster that I wish II would allow holds and cancellations via their website like RCI does. I hate having to call II to do these things that could easily been done online, feels controlling to me on II's part. I don't use getaways much, but have had some good exchanges with ACs.

RCI has resorts in more eclectic locations. I like the reduced TPU for close in reservations as I can combine two weeks and get several vacations. I like the transparency of RCI. While I understand that they have the ability to change TPUs. I can at least see the changes, unlike II where the manipulation is a "mystery formula". On certain weeks that I own, I feel that II doesn't give the trade value that I feel they deserve and therefore it requires a lot of work on my part to get comparable trades. I have not found much use for extra vacations or bonus weeks.
 

CPNY

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I just got into RCI. I went back and forth for locations and dates for this coming month. I went with my AC for three consecutive weeks in MVC in Orlando. I have an extra Incase I want to extend. I’ll use RCI for DVC or HGVC units when I can. It’s nice to have both.
 

SteelerGal

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I use both but slowly moving away from RCI. My RCI TS TPU rate was too low to get me into SoCal beach area.
We also have a friend who we can exchange w/ into RCI locations so not only is it easier but also cheaper.
 

Laurie

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Yes, both. And I only own 2 TS weeks now, unlike the old days of 4+. Each company weights my 2 ownerships differently, even though they're both at the same resort. In addition to different destination and resort choices, I like II for ePlus, and RCI for the ability to sometimes trade for 2 weeks using 1, depending upon the TPU's.
 
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