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Former RCI Employee Willing to CANDIDLY Help

bizaro86

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Spacebank as far in advance as possible. I don't know if future years can be prepaid, but if possible I would. Submit search online, and early. THEN call and tell them about what sort of vacation experience you're looking for, how many are traveling, etc. They may be able to add other options of similar vacation experiences you hadn't thought of to your search.

Good example: "it's two of us, a couple, and we love golf, mountain biking, and chillaxing on the beach"
Bad example: "we want right on the beach in Myrtle Beach and we have a two bedroom, five star GC (in inland Texas in August) so we're entitled to a two bedroom right on the waterfront in July".

Be realistic. Many people expect the same size or bigger than what was put in, same or more number of stars, AND IN A MORE DESIRABLE PLACE. That would drive me crazy. Be as flexible as possible, and keep an open mind. And be ready for new experiences and FUN!
The problem with taking an even trade is that RCI charges so much that makes an even trade a poor value.
 

Cynic

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Yes, I have seen others with this theory as well. I seriously doubt this is true. The resorts that I know we could not see are Gold crown resorts that I know are very nice. There is no way they would be filtered out for 'higher standards'. Also, if this were true, I would like to see where that is written in any documentation......?
Not all GC are created equal. Not at all. Some are VEP down and out of range for others. Others will be trading value issues. The measures you guys see are ... like maybe half the picture at best.
 

Cynic

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Not all GC are created equal. Not at all. Some are VEP down and out of range for others. Others will be trading value issues. The measures you guys see are ... like maybe half the picture at best.
I personally recommend direct exchanges, owner to owner.
 

tschwa2

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Not all GC are created equal. Not at all. Some are VEP down and out of range for others. Others will be trading value issues. The measures you guys see are ... like maybe half the picture at best.
You would be surprised what people see and know on TUG. We have been doing members only trading tests for 10+ years. Members here regularly have OGS's set up just to see what happens at dozens of resorts during different seasons. +
 

Cynic

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You would be surprised what people see and know on TUG. We have been doing members only trading tests for 10+ years. Members here regularly have OGS's set up just to see what happens at dozens of resorts during different seasons. +
:) I've noticed a bit of that. Only had the pleasure of dealing with a few TUGers on the phone (the gentleman who introduced me to these boards years ago actually owned his own resort). You're ahead of the curve. I think those who get the most from these boards have far more insight and knowledge than average timeshare owners. I'd recommend membership here above RCI membership, candidly.

My statement about "measures you guys see" should have been worded better, more like "what RCI discloses to members".
 

Cynic

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I would say it more that he is using internal RCI jargon that only has meaning within RCI and to us on the outside makes no sense.
If there's something I can clarify I'd be glad to. Some of you likely know more than me. Others are relatively new.
 

Cynic

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So basically what I have gotten from this thread is the following:
1) TPUs are variable based on hidden contracts with various timeshare outfits have with RCI. Example would be vacation villages.
2) Wyndham has its own currency when exchanges with RCI (being the same company) giving Wyndham owners an advantage.
3) RCI can override TPU value as it sees fit when appying to an area with a glut of availability that can essentially making 38 TPUs worth 68 TPUs. Invisible to the trader of course. I would assume this is so trade power isn't always expected.
4) Weeks are more beneficial to owners than points. They can't be cost manipulated and are something solid to trade or rent.
5) There are no absolutes with RCI since they can change the rules any time they want.
6) Quality of timeshare does not always equal trading power. A dump in an area where there is very limited competition could have much greater trading power.... or not depending on RCI manipulation.
7) Greed dictates their fee structure.
8) The phrase "sexual favors" offends some. ")


Anything else?

To be honest, this is why I don't use RCI. No clear rules, and has always seemed sketchy to me. I bought resale a fixed week 26 on Cape Cod, about 1:30 minutes from my house so I could drive there and use it even in lean years, or just hang a sign at work to rent it out.
Re: #4: Not all weeks. Not even most. The week you own is an example of the sort of week I would personally buy, since I'd enjoy a change of pace from FL in the summer. I can also 1:1 trade it for something nice (to me) no probs. Think I actually saw that one on eBay for like 1kish or less for a 1 br... I'm thinking the mf would be less than what it rents for, but you'd know more than me on that. ANy insights?

Re: #5 That's also true for points and clubs. Fixed to something you'd actually like to vacation or could rent out seems like the easiest call.

Re: #6 I don't like the word "quality". It's subjective. I don't vacation to sit in a condo or hotel room for a week. Strata freaks usually own something that's not as desirable to most people as they think...a palace in the VA mountains is still... in the VA mountains. Then they want to go to Europe, finally get their trade, and guess what: It's a spartan place in the Swiss Alps, right next to world-class ski lifts, and they waste time being upset that it's not half as big or luxurious as their silly VA mountains McMansion that's a dime a dozon. General rule of thumb is, the most desirable places will have been developed long ago, and the resorts may be older, small units, etc. Huge units tend to be in locations where land is cheap. When you're on the waterfront or by the skilift or on the strip, space is money. Developers are even greedier than RCI.

Re: #8 They also didn't understand why they couldn't book an UPGRADE two years in advance, that they weren't actually ENTITLED to an upgrade ever, that a post beginning with SOMEONE ELSE'S NAME was not directed at them, or that their question would be answered in order and others had asked first. Notice something? So yeah. They can have fun getting help from someone who is being PAID to deal with them;))
 

jl2010

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Re: #4: Not all weeks. Not even most. The week you own is an example of the sort of week I would personally buy, since I'd enjoy a change of pace from FL in the summer. I can also 1:1 trade it for something nice (to me) no probs. Think I actually saw that one on eBay for like 1kish or less for a 1 br... I'm thinking the mf would be less than what it rents for, but you'd know more than me on that. ANy insights?
The week I own rents for $279 a night + tax. Total is $311 a night if you can get time there during summer. My maint is $559. So yeah.
 

Jan M.

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Think I actually saw that one on eBay for like 1kish or less for a 1 br... I'm thinking the mf would be less than what it rents for, but you'd know more than me on that. ANy insights?
The maintenance fees depend on where you own so that is hard to say without knowing what resort you were looking at and what season the week is in. We've stayed at a lot of resorts through RCI and always enjoy talking to the people who own at the resort we are at. We've found that maintenance fees for a week in some cases were as low as around $550-$575, in many cases were as high as $1200-$1400 for a week and varying amounts in between.

About 2 or 3 years ago we were staying at a HGVC resort in a red week. It was in the higher range of maintenance fees and one of the couples we met owned 10 weeks! We calculated that they had spent no less than $10k, if not a lot more at times, for each week they owned and were paying in excess of $13k a year in maintenance fees. We felt immensely better about what we've spent and what are maintenance fees are! It also made us glad we have RCI points and have been able to use them to get multiple weeks instead of just one week. They way we book and travel, discounted point weeks in the last 2-5 weeks before check in, wouldn't work for most people but it sure works for us!
 

Jselden

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I have seen a place online where you can get an Annual RCI Membership for $99. Does this give me full access to everything RCI offers? Does this give me access to 5 Diamond resorts?
 

HtownRose

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I am a weeks member via my Wyndham ownership. I have only bought Extra Vacations since the 28,000 point exchanges were discontinued - never attempted to figure out TPUs & don't plan to. If I give away my Wyndham contract, would I still be able to keep my RCI membership - just pay the fee directly to RCI? It seems I heard once that was possible, but it was before RCI was bought by Wyndham. Thank you!
 

rjrsmr

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This has been an interesting discussion... We've been every year floating weeks owners at a Sedona property since 1995 and RCI members since 1993. I remember the days of "red, white and blue" weeks. We used to get awesome exchanges back in the day i.e. trading the studio portion for a 2BR in Kauai. Then things changed to TPU's. After that, couldn't get anything in Hawaii unless I combined deposits over a couple years. I don't know how the other posters here get TPU's in the 50s, 60s, and beyond. The best we've ever gotten was 19 and 21 for studio and 1BR respectively. Have asked at owners meetings about it and response was "Sedona is getting overbuilt."
HUH??? When I hear overbuilt I think of Vegas--overbuilt, Orlando--overbuilt, even Mexico--overbuilt. These places have literally thousands and thousands of units. Sedona doesn't have anywhere near that volume, so to me based on the OP's logic of supply and demand, with less availability, we should have huge trading power, you know like back in the day when I had to pick up the phone to talk to someone about an exchange, and when I asked "WOW, how can I get a 2BR, IN HAWAII, with a studio when they told me at purchase a studio trades for a studio, and you could trade down but not up, and they're response was "It's because you own in such a high demand area."
Another thing I've noticed with RCI is when searching for a specific week to match my trading power, it's nowhere to be found on the exchange platform but for a mere $1200-$1500 they'll be happy to "rent" the SAME week to me!!!!
No, I don't spacebank years in advance, if I'm going to drop 2-3K on prepaid MFs in hopes of a better exchange that I "might" get, then I'd rather just go to direct owners website like VRBO. As it is, with higher membership fees, exchange fees, combine deposit fees, platinum fees (to get the "better" exchanges, wink, wink, which I refuse to pay, BTW) on top of MFs, RCI can no longer compete with private rentals. I agree with other posters, that it makes more sense to just buy a bargain basement week where you like to go, and go with that. Our membership with RCI runs out in a few months, and I'm done with them. Even just using them for rentals or last call doesn't make sense when you factor in the membership fee is the cost of a nights rent someplace.
 

Eric B

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It's got to be all relative to both supply and demand. I took a quick look at RCI availability in Sedona; right now there are 1,544 check in nights available. In Hawaii there are only 411 check in nights available. I'm not sure how the volume of tourists visiting compares between the two, but it might be that Sedona has more supply available to meet its demand as compared to Hawaii. In Las Vegas, RCI is showing 6,792 availabilities now. Those numbers are on the points side; on the weeks side there are 1,042 in Sedona, 138 in Hawaii, and 1,717 in Las Vegas. So there is also some market segmentation with more supply in Hawaii available to RCI points owners rather than weeks owners; it looks like ~68% of the availability in Sedona is in weeks while it's ~34% in Hawaii and ~25% in Las Vegas. This is just my single data point snapshot of the situation; it will probably vary when developers make bulk deposits of weeks based units and reflects the fact that you can see availability in weeks through a points account. It might also be biased based on availabilities for the weeks I own per OP's discussions on the subject earlier. I do tend to agree with OP that RCI is driven by self-interest, making it more beneficial for people to use points accounts because they have more control of the product than when people own simple weeks units that necessitate having them voluntarily deposit them with RCI. They're also in the business of selling better access products for more fees, which I can understand. I think you've got the right perspective on comparing the costs and benefits; I've found some places I like to go through RCI that work out cheaper for me now, so I keep using them while keeping an eye out for other more efficient ways to vacation.
 

magmue

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"I took a quick look at RCI availability in Sedona; right now there are 1,544 check in nights available. In Hawaii there are only 411 check in nights available. I'm not sure how the volume of tourists visiting compares between the two, but it might be that Sedona has more supply available to meet its demand as compared to Hawaii. In Las Vegas, RCI is showing 6,792 availabilities now. Those numbers are on the points side; on the weeks side there are 1,042 in Sedona"

As a new Hilton owner, a huge frustration for me is seeing so many fewer options than apparently exist in RCI. My RCI portal via the HGVC website shows me a grand total of 7 resorts in Sedona with 23 check-in options between now and next November. After a lot of reading here on TUG, I guess that's because of the VEP thing? Feels like Big Brother to me
 

basl99

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If there's something I can clarify I'd be glad to. Some of you likely know more than me. Others are relatively new.
i have a Sheraton week at the Bonaventure orlanda
it is 3rd week Jan
if i pay my dues now for 2019 can i post the week with RCI? and if i do what can of tpu would i expect?
 

basl99

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oops that sheraton ventura
 

DeniseM

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I believe you mean Sheraton Vistana. Since you have a fixed week, I'm going to guess it is Sheraton Vistana Resort. (As opposed to Sheraton Vistana Villages.)

You can deposit your 2019 week now, if you pay your maintenance fee. You can dermine the TPU by using the deposit calculator on the RCI website.

One thing to consider - this may be a better deposit for Interval, because with Interval you get the Vistana to Vistana priority. In other words, you have priority to trade into other Vistana resorts. The best practice is to put in an ongoing search on Interval, because ongoing searches are filled before anything goes online. The inventory you see online is the left-overs.
 
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basl99

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tht's really good advice
 

basl99

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which are best resorts to trade on rci?
 

DeniseM

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RCI is a points based system, so the best traders has a lot of points, and a low maintenance fee. Sheraton Vistana Resort is average as far as points.
 

basl99

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can you give examples of hi points low maintenance?
 

DeniseM

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BryanL - What resorts do you hope to exchange into with RCI?
 

basl99

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worldmark - have about 10,000 pts
 

HudsHut

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Bryan:
Did you already deposit the points into RCI, or are they sitting in your WM account?
WorldMark can exchange into anything in RCI. 10,000 WM credits will get you a 2 br unit. You should set up a search for the resorts that interest you.
Manhattan Club in New York City,
Hiltons in Hilton Head, Orlando, Las Vegas, Oahu and Big Island, Southern California Coastal
Disney's Saratoga Springs in Walt Disney World
I'm sure others will chime in with the resorts they enjoy in other parts of the country

*Exchange fee $239, housekeeping fee, Maintenance Fee on 10,000 credits. Make sure that the resort into which you want to trade is worth the sum of all these fees.
 
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