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Old July 3, 2009, 03:56 PM   #1
Steve
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Thumbs up Great First Impression of RCI Points

A couple of months ago, I asked if I should join RCI points with the purchase of a timeshare in Montana. I was buying mostly to use the resort so I wasn't sure if I wanted to pay even the $224 required to join RCI points. You all talked me into the points, and I'm glad that you did.

I just got my new points account set up, and I am impressed. It's MUCH better than RCI weeks! What a difference. There is so much more available, and it is so easy to search both the points and weeks sides. It's also great that I can get two or more weeks in exchange for my one Montana week if I choose to exchange into resorts requiring fewer points...which most do as my week gives me 99,000 points every year. I have been quite skeptical of points ever since RCI rolled out the program, but trying it has really changed my attitude. Thanks to everyone for all of your encouragement. This is going to be a fun new addition to my timeshare experiences!

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Old July 3, 2009, 05:06 PM   #2
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Yes, Steve, Points are great, and I am thinking of just dumping a bunch of weeks that don't qualify for PFD and just do PFD with whatever resorts I can find that have low fees.

Sounds like you found a resort with high point value. Is it reasonable for maintenance fees?
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Old July 3, 2009, 05:29 PM   #3
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Yes, it is a different world from "regular" trading

Those who rail against RCI Points (and often for II as a realistic option to anything RCI) have clearly never actually USED RCI Points. If they had they would realize how great it is to know going in wha you own (in points value) and what it takes to get what you want in points. Then you just (sometimes) wait - usually you just go to the selection and pick your use date/unit size/resort -for the desired time to show up and you reserve it just like a hotel reservation. Neat, clean and easy - compare that to the "place and hope" (and usual disappointment) that is RCI Weeks or II. Plus it covers so many unrelated resorts - many that are II and not in RCI Weeks but are in RCI Points.

Glad you enjoy it too. Maybe we shouldn't correct the misconceptions as everyone will want this far superior system and take all the time! Oh well, we'll risk it and let people know how great the RCI Points system really is.
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Old July 3, 2009, 06:28 PM   #4
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Those who rail against RCI Points (and often for II as a realistic option to anything RCI) have clearly never actually USED RCI Points. If they had they would realize how great it is to know going in wha you own (in points value) and what it takes to get what you want in points. Then you just (sometimes) wait - usually you just go to the selection and pick your use date/unit size/resort -for the desired time to show up and you reserve it just like a hotel reservation. Neat, clean and easy - compare that to the "place and hope" (and usual disappointment) that is RCI Weeks or II. Plus it covers so many unrelated resorts - many that are II and not in RCI Weeks but are in RCI Points.

Glad you enjoy it too. Maybe we shouldn't correct the misconceptions as everyone will want this far superior system and take all the time! Oh well, we'll risk it and let people know how great the RCI Points system really is.
Yes, but Points also has its issues. I've owned points before I owned weeks and I like points, to an extent. It does matter how many points you own. While there are some resorts that don't cost a lot of points to book, there are just as many resorts that do require a lot to book (e.g. Hawaii, Carribbean). I would say that there is generally decent availability at the 10 month mark, which is typically the earliest you can book. However, booking less than a week is much less desirable becauase of the additional cleaning costs and partial exchange fees you need to pay.

It sounds like you did luck out (or did a good job of researching) in getting an ownership with high point value
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Old July 3, 2009, 10:03 PM   #5
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Talking Congratulations on your choice!

I had been a weeks owner since 1984 and had been quite satisfied. I got into RCI Points 2 years ago and haven't deposited a week into Weeks since and sold off or gave away my Weeks resorts that I utilized only for exchanging. It really works for me in many ways. I like the fact that trade power is taken out of the equation, the ability to get last minute vacations for only a few thousand points and the opportunity to get into places that I couldn't in the past. My only problem now is that I have used up all my points until 2011. I've been renting extra points for last minute vacations through RCI lately. But even at $.02 per point, these vacations are a great deal!!!! Yes, it's a whole new world in timesharing!
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Old July 4, 2009, 12:15 AM   #6
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Thanks for the congratulations! It's fun having a new system to play with. I just stumbled into RCI Points. I wanted to find a resale prime summer week in one of the newer phases of Meadow Lake Resort in Montana...as that is both an area and a resort that I love.

When I found a week that fit, it just happened to be in RCI Points. I originally told them that I didn't want the points...but then I reconsidered with the generous help of those of you on this forum. The maintenance fees are a little over $800 for the week. I guess that's not too bad since the week gets so many points...but I wasn't considering price per point or any of that when I signed the paperwork. I was just trying to buy a week in Montana that I would be happy to go to more years than not. And I stumbled into a great new way to exchange!

Thanks again to all of you,

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Old July 4, 2009, 12:21 AM   #7
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That's definitely an awesome area of Montana

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I was just trying to buy a week in Montana that I would be happy to go to more years than not. And I stumbled into a great new way to exchange!

Thanks again to all of you,

Steve
We didn't stay at that resort, but that particular area of Montana produced one of our best and most memorable vacations. Definitely a place we look forward to visiting again!
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Old July 4, 2009, 09:56 AM   #8
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Congratulations.

I know that you have one of the highest point resorts (at least for the summer weeks). That is where Points really shines. You not only have the advantages of transparency (how much is my resort really worth, what will it take to get ..., etc. -- I was so glad to get out of the murky world of Weeks), but you can afford to trade down (get two weeks for one - take a pink season week and have extra points to spend, take a one bedroom when that is all that you need, etc., etc. etc.) and not give up the value of what you own. In my mind, those resorts that really would pull a lot of points are doing their members a huge dissevice if they don't switch over to points.

In any case, I am glad you are enjoying your purchase and thanks for spreading the good news.
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Old July 6, 2009, 09:39 PM   #9
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Anyone know of an RCI test drive of points?

There have been a lot of good comments about RCI points in this thread. I'm pretty tired of the RCI weeks "Disappointment Waltz". I would like to see what is available in points at any given time. Will RCI let me peek in just to see? Has anyone heard of that?
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Old July 10, 2009, 11:09 AM   #10
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There have been a lot of good comments about RCI points in this thread. I'm pretty tired of the RCI weeks "Disappointment Waltz". I would like to see what is available in points at any given time. Will RCI let me peek in just to see? Has anyone heard of that?
If you put in a request on the Sightings board I'm sure follow TUGGERs will gladly do some searches.
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Old July 12, 2009, 01:40 PM   #11
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glad to see this post

I am glad to see this post. My paperwork for a new rci points account has been submitted and now I'm waiting for the account to be established. It should be up and running in a week or two. I have been wondering about my purchase based on the constant negative vibes about RCI. I'll have 89,000 points and a maintenance fee of under $800 so I figured the risk is low. As soon as the account is established I will look for 2 br, 2010 week 2 condo in Colorado. I have flexibility between Steamboat Springs, Vail, Breckenridge. Is this reasonable? Or do I need to plan a year in advance? Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
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Old July 12, 2009, 03:53 PM   #12
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Are you looking for a ski week or a summer week? [Ooops. just saw that you were asking about week 2. Comments in brackets added.]

Just to give you some idea, I tried this coming January 23 and there were several two bedroom units still available in Steamboat Springs (via Points). There are a bunch of things available next summer in Weeks. I can't check the Points side for next summer because you can only look ten months out. (The earliest you can look at the moment in May 11.)

[Added: Slightly less options, but there are some 2 bedroom units available for Steamboat Springs and others for Silver Creek with check in date of Jan. 9.]

Typically good weeks stay available much closer to check in when you use Points. That having been said, you also learn that just because something is listed as a Points resort, that does not mean that you will see something show up even if you look ten months out. Just poking around, you learn which resorts are likely to show up when you are seriously interested.

By and large, I just find working within Points so much less stressful than Weeks. I just don't want to worry about having to try to maximize what I can get with my unit. My experience has been I put so many points in, I get that many points worth of value out regardless of whether I spread them over several trades or save them up for a more costly trade. I can plan my vacations later and there are plenty of good choices available for me. Crossover trades? Can't remember the last time I made one.

There is no way that I can guarantee that your experiences will be the same. (Maybe you have your heart set on something that you will find almost impossible to get - Ireland for example.) But the above represents my experience. Good luck.
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Last edited by "Roger"; July 12, 2009 at 04:05 PM. Reason: Only saw reference to week 2 after posting
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Old August 30, 2009, 09:19 PM   #13
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one question i have about RCI points resorts deal with the apparent issue of RCI using prime weeks in the rental program.. If using the points are points argument, and you have to have a resort to use the weeks how is it better.

Also on points, do the point have a underlying week attached and how does that affect your points good or bad. I kinda understand a white week unit will have less point than a red week, but does the location also matter..

If i get a red week at a low usage resort will i get the same trades or potential trade as with a high demand resort.. ??

I am kinda bouncing between RCI points and Wyndham points.. man this is complex...

thanks
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Old August 30, 2009, 10:13 PM   #14
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Points ARE points

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one question i have about RCI points resorts deal with the apparent issue of RCI using prime weeks in the rental program.. If using the points are points argument, and you have to have a resort to use the weeks how is it better.
If the time you want isn't deposited or has been rented then there is no place to reserve. So far we've seen much better availability in RCI Points than we ever saw in weeks so we're happy. But if they took a week or weeks we would have wanted we didn't know it as there were good times/places to choose from. So again we're happy.

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Also on points, do the point have a underlying week attached and how does that affect your points good or bad. I kinda understand a white week unit will have less point than a red week, but does the location also matter..
Yes, there is a week attached. And you know what its worth when you sign on. Once you hold a point it is worth the same no matter where it orignally came from - only the total you have to use varies.

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If i get a red week at a low usage resort will i get the same trades or potential trade as with a high demand resort.. ??
Yes - a point is a point is a point. If you have enough for what you want you get it.

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Originally Posted by carl2591 View Post
I am kinda bouncing between RCI points and Wyndham points.. man this is complex...

thanks
With Wyndham Points there are more known and readily available resorts they control and don't cost an exchange fee. With RCI Points there is a fee as they don't have internal resorts BUT there are many more resorts/locations overall. Still no guarantee that the one you want will be deposited but thats the case for ANY trade system. If I could only have one points system it would be Wyndham. Second RCI. Third DRI. There are others but those are my choices in order of preference.
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Old August 31, 2009, 09:04 PM   #15
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Yes - a point is a point is a point. If you have enough for what you want you get it.
You get it, that is, if you have enough points for what you want and what you want turns out to be available at the time you're trying to reserve it -- not always a sure thing.

Even so, points are points -- they are all the same regardless of whether they come from 1 big top-rated high-demand timeshare week, or from several modest off-season timeshare weeks.

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Old August 31, 2009, 09:14 PM   #16
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...deal with the apparent issue of RCI using prime weeks in the rental program...
The Weeks program is much more suseptable to skimming. If an exchange company (any exchange company) can get people to trade down by limiting availability, then they can skim off the high end resorts and rent them for a profit. The more they encourage people to trade down, the larger the profits.

In a Points program, if you trade down, you still have points left over to spend. So the exchange company will have to come up with some sort of product to make up the difference.
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Old September 27, 2009, 08:47 AM   #17
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I've only used RCI Weeks (trading Worldmark points to get them) -- can anyone provide an example of what they've found?

IE, their Montana resort gets X points, and from that they see a Hawaii resort (like Paniolo Greens) that requires Y points, and they also see a Florida resort (in Orlando) that requires Z points?

I'm just curious for relative scale as an example -- I love the points system of both WM and Wyndham and can see how it makes sense in RCI -- thanks very much!
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Old September 27, 2009, 09:09 AM   #18
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I've only used RCI Weeks (trading Worldmark points to get them) -- can anyone provide an example of what they've found?

IE, their Montana resort gets X points, and from that they see a Hawaii resort (like Paniolo Greens) that requires Y points, and they also see a Florida resort (in Orlando) that requires Z points?

I'm just curious for relative scale as an example -- I love the points system of both WM and Wyndham and can see how it makes sense in RCI -- thanks very much!
Oh my gosh, that looks like algebra! I loved algebra in college. Anyway, here are some numbers for you:

Paniolo Greens costs 63K points when you book a generic "week" when searching weeks. But if you want Shell Paniolo Greens, the most it would cost is 79K points for high season. This is searching in points, not weeks. I am looking online right now. Shell Mauna Loa Village is 84.5K for a 2 bedroom, high seasons, but March the same thing is only 72K pts.

Orlando has seasons too, but for some examples:
low season for Orange Lake North Village 2 bedroom, 50K points (early January).

Villas at Wilderness lodge 1 bedroom is 56,500 for mid-season (these go for as low as 42,500 points in low season, and as high as 71K in high season). A 2 bedroom DVC is 92,500 in mid-season (late January-early February, for example) and 118,500 in high season (like summer).
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Old September 27, 2009, 09:12 PM   #19
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Also you can go online into the RCI Directory.

Under the RCI Points resorts, it lists the number of Points required for the different seasons and different size units.

Also, don't forget about the last minute Weeks exchanges with RCI Points, if you have flexibility with your travel. Last minute exchanges in Weeks only require 6500-9000 points!
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Old September 28, 2009, 01:47 PM   #20
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Question Still a newbie

Ok I have owned for a year now, so I still consider myself a newbie. If you buy a weeks resort, how do you know it can be used as a PFD? Also, since I own RCI points, is it to my advantage to merge a weeks account with my rci points account? I know there is a breakdown of Wyndham MF on another forum, but is there one for RCI points MF?

Thanks, Liza.
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Old September 28, 2009, 02:06 PM   #21
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How to tell

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Ok I have owned for a year now, so I still consider myself a newbie. If you buy a weeks resort, how do you know it can be used as a PFD? Also, since I own RCI points, is it to my advantage to merge a weeks account with my rci points account? I know there is a breakdown of Wyndham MF on another forum, but is there one for RCI points MF?

Thanks, Liza.
If a resort is, or ever was, an RCI affiliated resort (and maybe some that never were - that's not as clear) and it ISN'T affiliated with RCI Points (you'll most likely know that as you will have been approached to pay WAY too much to join) then it can be used for PFD.

Some resorts can really benefit from this such as those Westgates that were RCI at some point. While they can still trade in weeks (once in they can nver be removed) it is so much better to have them in the much more user friendly RCI Points system. Except for the $26 deposit fee it costs nothing and is a great way to get additional RCI Points in your account.

If even one owner has been allowed to sign on with RCI Points from the resort then the ability to use PFD goes away and you have to pay the price to convert to points in order to get that access. If they are reasonable about it and charge only $199-$500 its a deal (assuming a fair amount of points of course). If it's more than that most times it isn't worth the conversion fee IMO.
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Old September 30, 2009, 11:09 PM   #22
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Some resorts can really benefit from this such as those Westgates that were RCI at some point. While they can still trade in weeks (once in they can nver be removed) it is so much better to have them in the much more user friendly RCI Points system.
Does the ability to keep a WestGate week in the RCI exchange system carry over to a new (resale) owner if the WestGate resale happened after WestGate switched to I-I ?

Just wondering -- I'm not about to buy anybody's WestGate timeshare week.

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Old October 1, 2009, 09:47 AM   #23
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Control at Westgate pales next to DVC

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Does the ability to keep a WestGate week in the RCI exchange system carry over to a new (resale) owner if the WestGate resale happened after WestGate switched to I-I ?

Just wondering -- I'm not about to buy anybody's WestGate timeshare week.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.

Come on Alan - you are just drooling to grab a cheap Westgate and we all know it! To answer your inquiry the ability to exchange with RCI not only carry's over to a resale buyer but there is no requirement that the week(s) in question have ever actually been used in RCI. In other words even if a unit that wasn't even built yet when the King ousted RCI from the evil empire but it is part of Westgate Villas - which originally couldn't talk up RCI strongly enough - then it can be enrolled as an RCI exchange. Once a resort belongs to RCI (or II) they are forever in no matter what the management does about "official" or preferred affiliation. It is the same at the Marriotts that were in RCI as well as any others that were in one then officially switched to the other. All owners can continue to make the choce for themselves and they are considered to be dual affiliated.

The exception is Disney as you as the buyer have no control- the unit is only RTU and DVC maintains total control (although they want you to think differently). When they say we're switching they hold the keys and can force all buyers to deal only with the company they choose. But that is a rare case and wouldn't apply to most timeshares.
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Old October 1, 2009, 08:45 PM   #24
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The exception is Disney as you as the buyer have no control- the unit is only RTU and DVC maintains total control (although they want you to think differently). When they say we're switching they hold the keys and can force all buyers to deal only with the company they choose. But that is a rare case and wouldn't apply to most timeshares.
And this really sucks because I already have enough RCI stuff and wanted to stay in II with my DVC but unfortunately like you said, they hold the keys to the kingdom.
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