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RCI Points and VRI managed resorts--new (to me) information

Jennie

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I own some fixed deeded weeks at a resort that VRI now manages. IMHO they have done a fantastic job renovating the resort, which had been badly neglected when Sunterra owned it in the past.

I have been acquiring additional weeks at this resort through Ebay auctions. The "underlying" weeks were converted to RCI Points by the previous owners. They will transfer to my RCI Points account unless I request to withdraw them for the Points program and own them as fixed-deeded weeks. Since I plan to use the "underlying" weeks each year (unless there is a drastic unforseen change in our circumstances), I was tempted to make this request and just own them as fixed-deeded weeks.

I would leave our one older Points week in our RCI account because the "underlying" week is not one we would want to use. We have been very happy using it for other vacations.

Pros:
I would own our weeks without having to remember to "confirm" them through RCI during a designated time period each year.

CONS:
I would lose the ability to use them for the great 7500 last minute weeks that appear in the Standard Points section of the RCI Points web site. Or to reserve 2-6 nights at various resorts.

If I want to go to a different destination, I would have to deposit our weeks into the "Weeks" space-bank which generally has less availability and must be for 7 nights.

The main sticking point is that if I don't accept the new weeks as Points, I thought it would cost a small fortune to convert them back to RCI Points if I wanted to do so in the future.

PROBLEM SOLVED

In speaking with a VRI management team representative today, I learned that :

If one owns a fixed week at a VRI managed Points resort

AND has an RCI Points account (even if the points came from a non-VRI week),

One can convert their VRI week to RCI Points for a fee of $500. per week.

I asked if this is likely to change or be withdrawn in the future, and the rep quickly said, "Oh no, I doubt it. It's been a big win-win for our owners and for RCI".

So if someone owns at a VRI managed resort, and has been tempted to buy an el-cheapo Ebay week to test the waters of an RCI Points account, this could be an alternative way to accomplish it.

Or if someone is thinking about purchasing a week at a VRI resort (via Ebay or resale of course!), this could be another plus to consider.

For a list of VRI managed resorts, go to: http://www.vriresorts.com/Destinations.html

P.S. The rep is not a salesman. He holds a management position at VRI's corporate offices. He is trying to help unsnag a title issue on a week that a relative bought through Ebay.
 

Debbyd57

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Did he tell you what the fee is if you don't own RCI points? We own at the Landmark Holiday Beach resort which is VRI and have been wondering what the cost is to convert our week? Debby
 

CharlesS

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Keep it in Points

Pros: I would own our weeks without having to remember to "confirm" them through RCI during a designated time period each year.

CONS: The main sticking point is that if I don't accept the new weeks as Points, I thought it would cost a small fortune to convert them back to RCI Points if I wanted to do so in the future.

PROBLEM SOLVED One can convert their VRI week to RCI Points for a fee of $500. per week.
Another CON: Let's say you want to sell it in 5 years due to some unforeseen circumstance. If the new owner wanted to be in RCI Points, they would be willing to pay more for your week.

Charles
 

glandiu

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Did he tell you what the fee is if you don't own RCI points? We own at the Landmark Holiday Beach resort which is VRI and have been wondering what the cost is to convert our week? Debby

Actually spoke with VRI yesterday about this very thing and they said it costs $2,900 per week to convert to points. Ouch!
 

JudyS

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The $2900 fee to convert the first week to RCI Points, and the $500 fee to convert additional weeks, has been VRI's fee for RCI Points conversions for at least four years now. However, I didn't know that the $500 fee, rather than $2900, applied even if your existing RCI Points account was for a non-VRI resort -- that one is new to me. And frankly, I'm not 100% sure it's true. I would confirm specifically with VRI's RCI Points Department, rather than someone from another area of VRI management, before accepting this information. Jennie, can you post back here after you speak to VRI's RCI Points Department, and give me the name of the person you spoke to in that department?

You might want to keep one of your new VRI-managed weeks in RCI Points in case the information give to you was wrong.

A couple of other things people should know about RCI Points at VRI-managed resorts:
1) From what VRI has told me, you can cancel the Points conversion at any time; no need to sell the week or wait until your three-year RCI Points contract is up.
2) Owning a VRI points week give a "Home Group Booking Window" to all VRI-managed resorts. If you can plan 11 months in advance, this can be quite useful, since there are VRI-managed resorts in a lot of desirable locations. (I would say the VRI Priority in Weeks is more value than the VRI Home Group Booking Window in Points, though.)
 

Jennie

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The $2900 fee to convert the first week to RCI Points, and the $500 fee to convert additional weeks, has been VRI's fee for RCI Points conversions for at least four years now. However, I didn't know that the $500 fee, rather than $2900, applied even if your existing RCI Points account was for a non-VRI resort -- that one is new to me. And frankly, I'm not 100% sure it's true. I would confirm specifically with VRI's RCI Points Department, rather than someone from another area of VRI management, before accepting this information. Jennie, can you post back here after you speak to VRI's RCI Points Department, and give me the name of the person you spoke to in that department?

You might want to keep one of your new VRI-managed weeks in RCI Points in case the information give to you was wrong.

I will definitely ask the question again, just in case I misunderstood. But I took notes as we spoke and I questioned him when he said it because I, too, was very surprised. The man helping me is supposed to be VRI's RCI Points expert and he has been in communication on my behalf with an RCI Points supervisor that he says is very competent and experienced. He intelligently discussed info in my account, and the account of the prior owner of this week/Points I won on Ebay. My situation was bumped up to him because the closing company has handled things incompetently--so what else is new?

This is my 8th Ebay timeshare purchase in 2 years and every single one of them has had some bumps along the way. I've become quite adept at monitoring things closely and running interference when it looks as if things are not on track. Considering the ridiculously low price ($1.00 + about $500. closing/transfer fees) paid for a 2 bedroom prime Week 6 lock-off unit, at a resort I know and love, I'm willing to put up with a bit of aggravation.

I'll post back the $500. conversion answer here and will provide the man's name and phone number if he is "okay" about it. Otherwise I'll send it to you by PM.

The first timeshares we bought back in 1995 were 2 weeks at Berkshire-by-the-Sea in Delray Beach, Florida. I found them through an ad placed by the owner in a Pennysaver newspaper, while I was vacationing at my aunt's condominium in Boca Raton. As part of the deal, the owner signed over his remaining 4 years of paid up RCI membership, along with 4 space-banked weeks, two expiring in 3 months, but then 2 more would become eligible for deposit at the same time. My husband and/or a girlfriend and I "hit the pavement running" so as not to lose the expiring weeks. The first exchange was into FF Kingsgate in Williamsburg (just opened), followed by the Hollywood Beach Resort in Florida to attend a wedding, St. Maarten's Atrium Resort, Sedona Springs in Arizona, and Club Internacional de Cancun. All of this took place within an 8 month period. All were two bedroom units even though our Berkshire weeks were only one bedrooms.

Having vacationed before mainly in Motel 6 style accommodations for budget reasons, "we thought we died and went to heaven" when we discovered the wonderful world of timesharing.

Our two Berkshire weeks have been excellent traders through the years. But since VRI became the Management Company (after Hurricane Wilma), the trading power seems even greater.

Thanks for the wonderful info you provided about additional benefits of VRI ownership. It will be great if their new exchange program "catches on." There's always something new to learn about timesharing and TUG is the best place to find it.

(P.S. The RCI Points weeks I have been acquiring are in February at the Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort. We bought a July week in 2007 to get into RCI Points and will leave that in Points since the "underlying" week is not at the time of year we like to be there. It has yielded some fantastic exchanges, especially the 7500 last minute deals.)
 

Jennie

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Another CON: Let's say you want to sell it in 5 years due to some unforeseen circumstance. If the new owner wanted to be in RCI Points, they would be willing to pay more for your week.

Charles

This is a very prime February week at a newly renovated resort in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. It's a 2 bedroom lock-off unit which rents easily for $500. to $700. above the maintenance fees.

We bought fixed weeks 7 and 8 here four years ago for $3500. each (plus $700. closing costs) and considered it a bargain.

The current week/Points cost us only $1.00 (plus $500. closing and transfer fees) on Ebay. February weeks and/or Points at this resort have been selling on Ebay for over $1,500.. I know, I've been outbid-sniped several times. So I'm not concerned about reselling it if our circumstances change. More likely we would just give it to a relative since they are always "bugging us" about finding a February week for their "snowbird escape."

If a potential buyer would prefer it as RCI Points, we could pay the $500. fee to convert it back.

But thank you very much for taking the time to point out this issue. It could be a very valid concern for a week that is less prime, and more costly to buy.
 

mawp

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PROBLEM SOLVED

In speaking with a VRI management team representative today, I learned that :

If one owns a fixed week at a VRI managed Points resort

AND has an RCI Points account (even if the points came from a non-VRI week),

One can convert their VRI week to RCI Points for a fee of $500. per week.


Did this ever get confirmed with VRI?
 

Jennie

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Yes, unfortunately I seemed to have misunderstood. The $500. conversion fee quoted was because I already owned a VRI week that was converted to RCI Points, albeit by the former owner. But it's good to know that if one owns a VRI fixed week, and then picks up an already-converted week through a cheap Ebay auction, once the Ebay week is registered in your name, converting other VRI weeks will only cost $500..

Um. at least I think that's how it goes.
 
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