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Exchanging floating weeks and RCI Trading Power

spthomas

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I was a bit confused about all this trading power and weeks trading seasons and all that. So I called RCI.. BAD MOVE. They kept telling me two things: (1) It depends on your trading power. me: so how do I know my trading power? them: just bank the week and we'll tell you. So AFTER it's a done deal we can know. And when I ask about anything else, it was always "you need to ask your resort". So they don't appear to know. Maybe someone here can explain it or point me to the place to check it out?

1. I have a FLOATING week. I have a red week, but since it floats I can use it anytime. So to exchange, they give me a week. What if the week they give me is off-season, say a white week? When I try to exchange that to RCI, will it be worth less than if they gave me a red week? Or does it matter?

2. RCI has these "trading power" ratings. And if I exchange a week less than 9 months before that week's date, I lose trading power. So it makes sense for me to get a week from the resort that is LATER than 9 months out. So now, for example, beginning mid-October would be 9 months out. Except at our resort, those weeks in October-Dec are LOW season, so are they worth less to exchange?

Steve
 

missyrcrews

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If you are going to exchange, you are looking for the highest value week you can get. What's your resort? One of us could probably use the TPU calculator to give you an idea of a week to ask for. Once you call your resort and reserve that week, then the week gets deposited. Some resorts do that for you, some require that you deposit. And then you set to exchange. Yes, low season weeks are "worth less" than the high season weeks...even if they are further out on the calendar. You want to reserve your week a year ahead if you can. (So right now, you'd be looking at NEXT summer with your resort.) Yes, that may mean paying your maintenance fees a year in advance. It's worth it.

I only have fixed weeks myself, but have been working with floating weeks for years for my parents. As long as you work a year ahead, you should be fine. Timesharing requires a ton of preplanning, but the results are worth it!
 

moonstone

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Our week is also a floating week and the very few times (prior to RCI introducing TPU's) we have exchanged it I booked a highly desirable week at our resort (asked them in advance which was their high demand time) and then deposited that week after I received my confirmation. We got the exchanges we asked for. I know another owner who just told the resorts reservation dept. that he wanted to deposit his week and they gave him a week in hurricane season!


~Diane
 

HudsHut

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Yes, the season matters. For maximum TPU, you will want to reserve both a summer season, and deposit more than 9 months out. For next year, if summer is the season which has the best trade power, pay your MF early, between July & Sept 2020, and request a summer week in 2021 at that time.

If you list the resort and unit size, RCI members can tell you which week give which TPU at this time.
 

tschwa2

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Floating weeks where the resort controls deposits can be difficult to navigate. They don't always let you choose specific weeks to deposit. Sometimes they bulk deposit in advanced so you aren't worried in terms of trading power if it is less than 9 months when they assign a week although you will get less than 2 years if they deposited months before. Your best bet would be to pay your MF's early and then ask what the best week they could deposit for you or the best tpu's they could assign based on what may have already been deposited. In general the early bird gets the worm and waiting to pay MF's and request a week in early January for the current year is not the way to optimize a deposit as you are competing with many more owners doing the same.
 

spthomas

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Floating weeks where the resort controls deposits can be difficult to navigate. They don't always let you choose specific weeks to deposit. Sometimes they bulk deposit in advanced so you aren't worried in terms of trading power if it is less than 9 months when they assign a week although you will get less than 2 years if they deposited months before. Your best bet would be to pay your MF's early and then ask what the best week they could deposit for you or the best tpu's they could assign based on what may have already been deposited. In general the early bird gets the worm and waiting to pay MF's and request a week in early January for the current year is not the way to optimize a deposit as you are competing with many more owners doing the same.

I've found the good and bad news about dealing with other exchange companies in all this. We banked weeks from two years ago with RTX, the exchange company owned by Festiva resorts. The bad news was their availability and selection are quite limited compared to RCI. But the good news is that they did find just what we wanted, finally, and they were quite a bit cheaper. And there was none of this "trading power" nonsense. So we're trying to go back to RCI to get access to the large inventory. But it too has it's challenges.
 

wackymother

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Floating weeks where the resort controls deposits can be difficult to navigate. They don't always let you choose specific weeks to deposit. Sometimes they bulk deposit in advanced so you aren't worried in terms of trading power if it is less than 9 months when they assign a week although you will get less than 2 years if they deposited months before. Your best bet would be to pay your MF's early and then ask what the best week they could deposit for you or the best tpu's they could assign based on what may have already been deposited. In general the early bird gets the worm and waiting to pay MF's and request a week in early January for the current year is not the way to optimize a deposit as you are competing with many more owners doing the same.

For this reason, when you book your week at your home resort, you should tell them that you will be using the week yourself. Even if you have never used your week yourself, book it as if you had every intention of being there on July 4 with your swimsuit and sunblock. Then, later, you can deposit that week because you changed your mind.
 

sandkastle4966

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I concur with the advice of "book a great week", and sit on it until 9-10 months out, and then RCI deposit it. Whats the worse that can happen? The resort says no? then you get the average and the answer.......

I would call your home resort and ask them how they handle RCI deposits.
Do YOU book a week, and then request RCI to deposit?
or does your resort do a bulk deposit and give you an 'average' week thru RCI
or does the resort "select a week" on your behalf?

If you give your resort name....someone may help you out with the answer here...


I had one of my resorts tell me that you can't book "prime time" and deposit into RCI. It is for "owners use". I wrote up that I AM the owner and that I want to use it to go to somewhere else and that it is no different than renting it out......President quickly agreed that the "front desk" was wrong.....

FYI - Trading power "nonsense" is only non-sense if you have a low value week, if you have a high value week, and get 2 weeks book off of your one .....it is awesome. Or if you have a low value unit and you really want to go somewhere nice, you combine weeks to make it happen. You couldn't do that before "trading power".
 

spthomas

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Hmmm. how do you get two weeks value for one? All I know about trading power specifically is that, if you wait later to bank it, you get a percentage of it's value (I'm at 90% of my value if I book a week in the summer, for example). So I guess the question is, how do they determine what your value is, not counting the percentage decrease for banking late?
 

theo

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I had one of my resorts tell me that you can't book "prime time" and deposit into RCI. It is for "owners use". I wrote up that I AM the owner and that I want to use it to go to somewhere else and that it is no different than renting it out......President quickly agreed that the "front desk" was wrong.....

I am continually amazed by the amount of ill informed / incorrect "information" dispensed by resort staff whose actual job it is to answer the phone (i.e., not render advice, input and / or opinions on "deedbacks", exchange company matters, resort budget, etc).

There is no shame in admitting "Sorry, but I have no knowledge about (or any authority to address) that particular matter", but some front desk staff apparently just can't bring themselves to say "I don't know". :shrug:
 
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tschwa2

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For this reason, when you book your week at your home resort, you should tell them that you will be using the week yourself. Even if you have never used your week yourself, book it as if you had every intention of being there on July 4 with your swimsuit and sunblock. Then, later, you can deposit that week because you changed your mind.
That doesn't work everywhere. I own at two different SC ones that when RCI (or interval) goes to confirm the deposit they resort will refuse to confirm a summer week. One is very specific that you can reserve 1-22 or 36-52 for deposit but they will not let you deposit a 23-35. Another one will let you reserve a summer week but they will not confirm any summer reservations until January 15. If you want to deposit with an exchange company before that date you will have to reserve something other than summer (20-36) which they will gladly do if you prepay MF's up to 2 years before.

There are other resorts that bulk deposit and they will not confirm anything you deposit directly. They will only assign a pre bulk deposited week for exchange.
 

wackymother

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That doesn't work everywhere. I own at two different SC ones that when RCI (or interval) goes to confirm the deposit they resort will refuse to confirm a summer week. One is very specific that you can reserve 1-22 or 36-52 for deposit but they will not let you deposit a 23-35. Another one will let you reserve a summer week but they will not confirm any summer reservations until January 15. If you want to deposit with an exchange company before that date you will have to reserve something other than summer (20-36) which they will gladly do if you prepay MF's up to 2 years before.

There are other resorts that bulk deposit and they will not confirm anything you deposit directly. They will only assign a pre bulk deposited week for exchange.

You're right, it doesn't work everywhere. But where it does work... :D
 

spthomas

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I have to say I am pleased with Festiva in this regard. I called, told them which weeks get me the maximum trading power (there were only two weeks far enough out but early enough to be high season) and they worked with me and confirmed that week for me.
 

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Interesting stuff. Trying to pick up a trader unit within RCI to get some DVC weeks. Would love to learn the differences between RCI and my current exchange of II
 

spthomas

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Ok, after all this hassle to get weeks banked with RCI, it's done. And the news wasn't good.
1. I found that you can go online on RCI to the Exchange page and if you list your resort and unit type and a week (just pick one), it will tell you the "trading power" you have if you exchange now. Trading Power is made up of a lot of things (and they don't tell you exactly how it's done. But they factor in things like where your property is, and what week you have, and what the current demand for weeks at your resort is (I guess based on their records from the last few years), and what supply is usually like at your resort. That gives you a value for Trading Power. So, for example, my Red (actually Gold in Festiva's system) in Hot Springs, AR at the Escapes at Los Lagos resort has 20 Trading Power points.

This Trading Power is only at it's maximum value if you deposit it well in advance. 271 days (9 months) is the minimum in advance of your week that you get full trading Power. Less than that, and the Trading power can decline. And it goes down in steps. I know in my case, if I had week 25 (July), since it's January and only 6 months away, my Trading Power declined by 1 point already, so I'm at 19. And after Feb 2 it will decline, for that week in July, to 18. And so on.

Now back to how you can know. Go to RCI.com, click on "my account", and your dashboard comes up. Click on "weeks available to deposit", and you'll get a page where you can enter resort, unit type or number, and week number, and year. Then click on calculate, and it will calculate your trading power as of now. So I did this for quite a few diferent weeks, and found out that any week before week 25 was too early and cost me more trading power points, and any week after week 27 was too late in the season (off season) and so it cost me trading power. So I found the two weeks that would get me the max, called my resort and asked to book one of those two weeks. I got one, so I got the max trading power I can. Also, you can pay them more $$$$ and they will "restore" your trading power to the max. It's about $65/point I think.

So, that's how it works. Where it didn't work for me was that I was trying to get this week in RCI, with their vast inventory, for a week for my daughter to go to Hawaii. But units in Hawaii in spring and summer are about 34 Trading Power points, and so I'd have to bank TWO weeks to get a unit there. And it's just cheaper to buy a package deal with airfare and a hotel room for them. So all that and it still didn't work.
 

sandkastle4966

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Hmmm. how do you get two weeks value for one? All I know about trading power specifically is that, if you wait later to bank it, you get a percentage of it's value (I'm at 90% of my value if I book a week in the summer, for example). So I guess the question is, how do they determine what your value is, not counting the percentage decrease for banking late?

I got TPU of 55 for my deposit. I traded for 2 January ski weeks ( 3 bed Steamboat) back-to-back for 25 each. I had 5 TPUs left over. I always deposit in advance of the 9 month date.

TPU value - secret algorithm...but
Supply and demand. Aruba February - those who "own it" - RARELY deposit it. Who wants to go - lots of people. Thus HIGH TPU to deposit. Mud weeks in the mountains? LOTS of deposits going into RCI...few people want to go......low TPU.
 

spthomas

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I see. Makes sense. My weeks are fairly stable in value I think, but not an equal trade for Hawaii in high season. But several years back I got an even trade of my July week in Hot Springs (high season, high demand there) for Hawaii on October (less demand in off season).

Was anyone else under the impression that, for exchange purposes, Red Week = Red Week anywhere, and Green Week = Green Week anywhere, etc? That's how I thought it worked. Of course that was 30 years ago, maybe it did work that way back then. But now, each resort has it's own value, determined by a secret algorithm that factors in a LOT more than season.
 

HudsHut

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That was how the sales people "sold" it. You own a "RED" week, even if it was early spring or late fall, not 4th of July. And the Timeshare developers were complicit in that they often called certain weeks "RED" when they were at best shoulder season, because RED season was sold for a higher price.
 

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I got TPU of 55 for my deposit. I traded for 2 January ski weeks ( 3 bed Steamboat) back-to-back for 25 each. I had 5 TPUs left over. I always deposit in advance of the 9 month date.

TPU value - secret algorithm...but
Supply and demand. Aruba February - those who "own it" - RARELY deposit it. Who wants to go - lots of people. Thus HIGH TPU to deposit. Mud weeks in the mountains? LOTS of deposits going into RCI...few people want to go......low TPU.
So is owning a fixed/float week in a high demand resort and week more beneficial than a points based Ownership? I’m not familiar with RCI resorts.
 

tschwa2

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So is owning a fixed/float week in a high demand resort and week more beneficial than a points based Ownership? I’m not familiar with RCI resorts.
Not necessarily. I own both. Sometimes it is cheaper to book with weeks trading power in RCI and sometimes it is cheaper to book using points. I always compare before booking.
 

spthomas

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That was how the sales people "sold" it. You own a "RED" week, even if it was early spring or late fall, not 4th of July. And the Timeshare developers were complicit in that they often called certain weeks "RED" when they were at best shoulder season, because RED season was sold for a higher price.
But even if it's a real legit Red week, say 4th of July, my Red week in Arkansas is still not equal to 4th of July Red week in Hawaii. And I think we were sold that they were equal across resorts of the same season.
 

tschwa2

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But even if it's a real legit Red week, say 4th of July, my Red week in Arkansas is still not equal to 4th of July Red week in Hawaii. And I think we were sold that they were equal across resorts of the same season.
Sales certainly implies things like that. They also imply that your resort in Arkansas is very high demand. How long have you owned? Before they changed to the tpu system 10 years ago, you would only see resorts that were considered equal or lower in terms of trading power. So you never knew what you didn't have enough trading power for. It made it even easier to for sales to exaggerate the trading power of any given resort.
 

sandkastle4966

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Was anyone else under the impression that, for exchange purposes, Red Week = Red Week anywhere, and Green Week = Green Week anywhere, etc? That's how I thought it worked. Of course that was 30 years ago, maybe it did work that way back then. But now, each resort has it's own value, determined by a secret algorithm that factors in a LOT more than season.

As already commented by others, what they "sold" but not exactly how it worked. Red in a "low demand" resort had little "pull power" for a Red in a high demand resort. Aruba in February (easily $15k resale today for a 1 bedroom), most are using it, or renting it out and not depositing it in RCI. Thus little inventory in RCI. Another "high value" deposit - 2 bedroom, Vail village, March - would have more "pull power" to get the little inventory of Aruba. Before they converted to TPU, this board called those "Tiger Traders" (and there were trade tests to determine what was and wasn't "valuable" to own to get those really hard to get weeks). (I have "Tiger traders" and I did get DVC/AK multiple times, and those 2 bedroom Vail places. My "duds" did not - and I converted those to Wyndham points - different system, different values)

RCI timeshare currency is now TPU (trade power units). This opened up ALL the inventory to those who want it - at a supply and demand price model. Aruba in high season? Lots of TPUs needed, Ski weeks in Mud season, lots of them out there, low TPUs needed.

Hope this helps
 

spthomas

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Amazing how I could own a timeshare and be with RCI for 25 years and not know all this! We traded a lot and always came up with something. This all makes a lot of sense, a lot more sense than "your Red week will trade for any other Red week". Not granular enough, to "one size fits all". Thanks all for the explanation.
 
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