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RCI Points Program - How to Use, best value?

Discussion in 'Exchanging Timeshares' started by bizaro86, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    I have a small number (~16k) RCI points left. I don't have any full week vacations left during their lifetime, and have concluded that a weekend stay makes no sense given the combination of the exchange fee and resort housekeeping fee that every resort I've investigated charges on less than full week stays.

    Therefore, I'm hoping to get some value out of them by using for car rental or attractions. I understand the value isn't as good as an exchange, but since they're otherwise likely to expire I'm fine with that.

    However, I can't figure out how to do that on the RCI website. The Air, Car, Cruise and More tab appears to go to a cash booking site for everything except cruises. Have they cancelled it or do I just need to call? Appreciate any hints!
     
    AwayWeGo likes this.
  2. AwayWeGo

    AwayWeGo TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    [triennial - points]
    Our favorite use for that many expiring RCI Points is for snagging a week-long timeshare reservation off their 10,000 or fewer list -- kind of like Last Call, except it's for minimal points + exchange fee instead of straight cash.

    At one time, those reservations took 9,000 or fewer points when reserved within 45 days of check-in -- Instant Exchange, they called it then.

    We were holding out for something like that for January 2019 until we had a chance today to reserve a 2BR unit at a Kissimmee FL timeshare where we have not yet stayed. We went for that rather than taking a chance on getting 2BR via Last Call, etc.

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

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I second Alan's use suggestion. Non-timeshare use of RCI Points is a lousy use of the MF $. But I just booked a week (7 nights) near Yellowstone for 8,000 points. We'll coach or snowmobile into the park. It's a great time to see it. The animals are down low- near the thermal features and those are not turned off in winter.

    Jim
     
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  4. tschwa2

    tschwa2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    So are you saying you get 16k per year (probably from a triennial)? If you have a regular RCI account you can only use 1/3 of your annual points toward plus partners. 5.5k points are worth less than the fee to use points partners. If you have a platinum RCI account you can use 1/2 of your annual points. With a triennial they might let you use 1/3 of the total use points every 3 years so that would be 16k points for points partners every 3 years. This would get you about $115 toward the car rental or hotel etc but there is something like a $59 fee to use points partners so you would get less than $50 value from your 16k points every 3 years. Don't forget that your 3 years of RCI points account cost you nearly another $300 in fees.
     
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  5. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    I have 69,500 points, and have just over 16,000 left after using most of them to make a booking. Since 16,000 is less than a third of 69,500 I should be able to use them all I think. Since they're going to expire anyway and I'm planning to pull this unit from RCI points at the end of the three year committment and just use it at the home resort, if all I get is a net $50 from them that's a win. Obviously not optimal, but I don't have time to take another vacation between now and when they expire.

    Does anyone have any tips on how to actually use these? IE car vs hotel vs airfare? Maybe I just need to call and start asking questions...
     
  6. AwayWeGo

    AwayWeGo TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    [triennial - points]
    When we were facing impending expiration of some stale RCI Points, instead of letting them go we used them to buy some Disney tickets. It was a terrible deal, by contrast with just paying money for the tickets. But it was better than letting the points turn into a pumpkin without getting any use at all.

    As to how the ticket transaction worked, I'm a little fuzzy on details because of the passage of time. As I recall, we had to call RCI Points & do the whole thing over the phone.

    -- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
     
  7. tschwa2

    tschwa2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I usually use mine in points partners ever couple of years and have to shop to find good use. I usually use about 70,000 on a multi week car rental. Even though the rates aren't bad through RCI, I can usually coupon code shop and find it elsewhere for $100+ less. Same with hotels using a senior rate which you can't use through RCI, I can often find a hotel for $10 or more less per night.

    That being said the way to search through RCI is to go to the air, car, cruise and more tab. Next go to the picture box- RCI travel (not from the word list on the left). Then click on go now on the next page. Then to the Shop Now points partner tab not the savings dollars tab (you may not have the savings dollars if you don't have platinum). When you land you should see at the top the number of points you have and the number you have available to use for points partners. I think 12,000 is the minimum you can use for a transaction. You should be able to click on the word list at the top for the type of travel you want and the final price should give you the option to use points to bring the price down.
     
    bizaro86 likes this.
  8. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    Thanks! That's super-helpful. It shows my points balance at the top of the page, but when I book a car it doesn't offer the opportunity to pay with points. Hotel bookings it does, at a rate of $0.007 per point, with a $25 transaction fee added. I will call when I have some time and see if I can use it for a car or attraction passes, which would be my preference.
     
  9. Jan M.

    Jan M. TUG Member

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    If you pay to be platinum it will extend your points for an additional year at no charge. Or you can just pay to extend those points. I use our platinum benefits and find it to be worth the money. Some platinum benefits I use the most are being able to hold reservations, free upgrades on resorts and unit size, free ongoing searches, advance notice and booking on sale weeks.
     
  10. tschwa2

    tschwa2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Which search did you do first hotel or car? I think you may need to back out and start from scratch to search the other. I had to put in dates and then select the car with the price and on the next page on the right it gives the option to apply points balance.
     
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  11. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    Hmmm. I did the car first, and tried again from scratch and it still doesn't work. Weird, especially since the hotel part is working.
     

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