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Portfolio question: HGVC and RCI Points Accounts

misternick

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I presently own 14K HGVC points. I'm thinking of expanding my portfolio to include an RCI Points Account. My thinking is that I get a reasonable RCI season / location for the minimum amount of cost / mf. Also, acquire the minimum amount of points to just establish an RCI Points Account.

I realize that I already have a means to trade with RCI through HGVC, but I also believe that this method does not provide me access to all the available RCI resorts (is that true?).

So my question to you experts at there that have been doing this for a while: Is there an advantage to owning both HGVC Weeks AND RCI Points properties? And if this is a good strategy (Weeks and Points accounts), can someone make a recommendation for a good value property for getting into RCI Points? Would I need to purchase a property or would just joining RCI provide the same outcome?

I also been reading about RCI Points Leasing as a possible option in lieu of purchasing but I need to find more information on this first (if there is any other than what I've read in recent December 2008 posts on this site).

Also - in a recent t/s sales pitch I was told that owning a (RCI Points) property with them would provide me with priority bookings with RCI. I was also told that with my RCI Points Account I could transfer my HGVC points to my personal RCI account gaining access and I could go through a 3rd party and 'sell' my points to cover my m/f. Any of this true?

Last - I noticed that HGVC Sea World is assigned an RCI Points value in the RCI catalog but the HGVC Flamingo does not have an RCI Points value. Does anyone know why or what that means? Just curious to know if maybe Hilton is looking at going from Weeks to Points.....

Thanks
 

UWSurfer

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I presently own 14K HGVC points. I'm thinking of expanding my portfolio to include an RCI Points Account. My thinking is that I get a reasonable RCI season / location for the minimum amount of cost / mf. Also, acquire the minimum amount of points to just establish an RCI Points Account.

I realize that I already have a means to trade with RCI through HGVC, but I also believe that this method does not provide me access to all the available RCI resorts (is that true?).

So my question to you experts at there that have been doing this for a while: Is there an advantage to owning both HGVC Weeks AND RCI Points properties? And if this is a good strategy (Weeks and Points accounts), can someone make a recommendation for a good value property for getting into RCI Points? Would I need to purchase a property or would just joining RCI provide the same outcome?

I also been reading about RCI Points Leasing as a possible option in lieu of purchasing but I need to find more information on this first (if there is any other than what I've read in recent December 2008 posts on this site).

Also - in a recent t/s sales pitch I was told that owning a (RCI Points) property with them would provide me with priority bookings with RCI. I was also told that with my RCI Points Account I could transfer my HGVC points to my personal RCI account gaining access and I could go through a 3rd party and 'sell' my points to cover my m/f. Any of this true?

Last - I noticed that HGVC Sea World is assigned an RCI Points value in the RCI catalog but the HGVC Flamingo does not have an RCI Points value. Does anyone know why or what that means? Just curious to know if maybe Hilton is looking at going from Weeks to Points.....

That's a lot of questions! First off, as (I think) you know, "you" don't have an RCI account with HGVC, but rather HGVC does...one large points account effectively which you have access to available RCI properties through HGVC as a club member. Yes, they don't book anything lesser than Gold Crown as a rule and there has been discussion as to whether HGVC can be pursuded to book you in something other than RCI gold crown. Every conversation I've had with them indicates they won't. So, yes you are not getting non-gold crown options (generally) through HGVC utlizing RCI. HGVC says they are attempting to keep parity to make sure exchanges are on par with HGVC value (quality) and frankly it makes sense given what it costs to get into HGVC and it's MF's, they don't want you to buy HGVC and then use it to exhange in to Motel Six.

I'm in a similar situation with 8400 HGVC points based in Vegas, and a relatively new RCI points account which came with a Summer Bay LV Desert Club unit week which the previous owner converted into RCI points. I'm still in the midst of closing this but I do have access to the RCI points account and have made a couple of bookings.

RCI points are similar to HGVC points generally as to how their system operates. Your underlying week/resort are valued a set amount of points by RCI and you get them every year, good for two years. You can rescue them and you can borrow from the year ahead if you like. You then can book inventory from RCI points or RCI weeks program using your points subject to leadtime restrictions depending on whether you are attempting to book weeks or points. You can also rent weeks for cash which tends to not be the bargin HGVC has with it's cash program from what I've seen. You can spend the majority of your points at full face value to book a week at another resort, or (like HGVC) you can book a few days at a time with a points per night stay option. The cool thing so far I've recently learned, is RCI discounts remaining weeks inventory 45 days out from check-in and will let them go for 9,000 points for the week, which is typically less than a 2-3 day points rental at a select resort. What this means is you could take several weeks at different places if you are flexible with your plans and can wait until 45 days out to make plans. It's up to you.

Like HGVC there is a booking fee which runs quite a bit more with RCI and many resorts you book through RCI tack on other fee's (cleaning, taxes, utilities...) depending on the resort. This is as I've been able to piece it together over the past couple of months. You also have to figure out the cost of your RCI week/points conversion or acquisition (aka purchase price), MF's, RCI membership and booking fee's as well as other charges to get your total cost of ownership.

So like HGVC its all how you work your points as to whether your RCI points offer you value and flexibility you want or need. I'm seeing quite a few places at 45 days out (weeks) and some at 10 months out (points) that I'd be happy to go to. The strength you have with HGVC is it's high quality, has decent pull with in RCI, and you can usually get which HGVC you want with a little planning. I think with both systems it all comes down to how well and creative you can be with using your points. Right now we're using our HGVC points to go take our bigger trips at specific vacation times to nice HGVC locations (HHV, Waikoloa, I-Drive....) and using our RCI points to book some other properties and places which we have more flexibility in staying at. Presently I have a 3 night get away planned down the road and four nights booked in Vegas for an annual trade show I attend (ironically it's at HGVC using RCI points.) We've got other plans in the works. It's a nice mix.

I don't know anything about leasing RCI points or priority booking. From what I know about HGVC I don't see how you could import your HGVC week(s) into your personal RCI account...I don't belive you can. IF there is something to what you've been told I'm sure Seth can chime in and confirm or deny that arrangement with HGVC points.

As to Sea World vs Flamingo having points values, that's simple. NOT all RCI resorts are in points. Flamingo is not in RCI points. Most of the newer HGVC developed properties are including the other two LV HGVC's, I-Drive and Sea World are in RCI points.
 

Sandy VDH

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Ok so I have the TS addiction. I manage the portfolio for my entire family.

I have both RCI Weeks and RCI Points, I still have an II membership (but don't how much longer I will keep it), I also have Wyndham Points, and I have Hilton Points in there as well. I am also enrolled in DAE and in SFX, for independent exchange companies. Boy I have a lot of things to keep juggling, but if I am good at it, I can get what I want, when I want, for the cheapest Point or Week currency (which translates to $$).

Think of each system as currency. Hilton currency is pretty fixed as nearly all the resort have the same point structure with a few new exceptions (Kingsland and Grand Waikikian). So basically 4.8K is the currency for a week in a standard 1 BR in Platinum Season. In Wyndham the same 1 BR should vary from 105K to 166K for the lower 48, and from 154K to 300K in Hawaii (excluding weeks 51 and 52). So think US$ to Mexican Peso.

I use all the systems to compare inventory. If I can get the same type of inventory in multiple systems, I figure out which system has it for the cheapest MF, then use that system to obtain the exchange I want.

Hilton works for harder to get RCI inventory, and for Hilton Hawaii. Open season for cash is also a nice member perk. In Hilton however there are no free upgrades. You pay in points exactly what you get.

Wyndham works for planning in advance to get those hard to get units (Myrtle Beach Summer) and for last minute inventory (I use my VIP discounts for 50% off points and free upgrades, if available, at the 60 day mark). Wyndham also works for cheap deposits into RCI. These deposits do provide free upgrades, provided the trade is available, and are really great for internal trades back into Wyndham via RCI. (I scored a 2 BR red week at Wyndham Kona Hawaiian Village thought RCI using a 28K blue studio deposit plus RCI exchange fee, but that unit would have cost 231K if I would have booked it directly in Wyndham.)

Wyndham is a great system, provides a free RCI weeks account with membership that you can add any other non-Wyndham weeks into. HOWEVER, Wyndham Admin is a pain, at best and management appears to be no very owner friendly. There sales force is a nightmare to be avoided at all costs. BUT there product is FANTASTIC. So I see it as a little pain that I minimize for a great reward.

Point system in general are great because you want 3 day in a studio or 1 BR for a quick getaway one trip, the next you want a 3 BR for a week for your family. You pick and choose the size and style of unit, and length of stay. It is not fixed like a fixed full week exchange. RCI Points are a bit of a hybrid animal. They have access to Point deposits 10 months in advance and at Weeks deposits 2 years in advance. As the early poster indicated, you can obtain a good upgrade and cheap amount of points if you book and travel with 45 days. That is the only way to get a free upgrade in the RCI Points system. Because other on the Points side you pay for what you get, like HGVC system.

I keep DAE and SFX for a cheap alternative, with usually at most 1 week a year deposited.

So in general be flexible, rules change, economy changes, resorts change, so just roll with it. Don't buy anything just for trading, buy what you would like to use, that way should things not work out the way you, others, and /or companies plan for, you still have something you can use.
 

HatTrick

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HGVC and RCI

It's true that HGVC focuses on the 400 or so properties in their directory of select RCI resorts, and most are designated Gold Crown. However, there are Silver Crown and Hospitality designated resorts in the directory as well. And you are not limited to choosing only these select resorts.

However, if HGVC has received complaints from its members about a particular RCI resort, that resort may be "quarantined" until it cleans up its act. In this case, the property cannot be part of an ongoing availability search, and HGVC counselors will be reluctant to allow you to book a stay there.

If you are persistent, though, and there is immediate availability at the property for the dates you want, you can get a reservation. But it will come with the caveat that you will get no special consideration from HGVC should your stay prove to be less than desirable.

Roger
 
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