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Is RCI worth it?

Rochester
posts: 14
reviews: 16
Is RCI worth it?

20 years ago we had a condo at a Utah ski area that was in RCI. We'd put a week into RCI and get a week somewhere else. We went to Mexico, Hawaii, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach, Stowe, VT and the Berkshires.

I'm thinking of buying a quarterly timeshare (we'd own 13 weeks) and putting it into RCI.

So if I got a place through RCI, I'd still have to get airfare.

It seems that these days I can get a week at an all inclusive resort for the same price as just the airfare alone.

So is RCI the deal it used to be?

192 replies to this topic
Thompson, Canada
posts: 1
reviews: 2
51. Re: Is RCI worth it?

What did you do with your timeshares? We own

And now that I've figured out a few things we really enjoy it....especially sharing with our friends and family. However, it seems everything I read says it is virtually impossible to sell them if you want to. What is your opinion and advice about this? Thanks! C

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
posts: 5,637
reviews: 125
52. Re: Is RCI worth it?

C - I think your posting says it all -- buying/owning a timeshare is much more about buying/pre-paying (at least in part) vacation experiences for the future, hopefully at a destination you'll enjoy visiting, or at least at one which offers sufficient trading power to let you exchange to places you'll enjoy. The unhappiest timeshare owners I've encountered are the ones who bought their timeshares as "an investment" -- hoping their value would grow over time and they could make a financial killing selling it later on... The gist of this Forum Topic originally was whether or not membership in the RCI Exchange Program (a separate issue from timeshare ownnership, because you definitely can own a timeshare without joining RCI if you choose to do so) was a good investment. Most of the timeshare ownners I've encountered who have owned their units, and been RCI members for any length of time, seem to agree that RCI is not the responsible corporate entity it used to be, and RCI membership is not the value it once was -- primarily due to changes within RCI after it was acquired by the Wyndham Hotel/Resort chain that have made good exchanges harder to come by, and sales pitches more aggressive.

Since the US economic meltdown in 2008, selling an individually-owned timeshare has become increasingly challenging -- primarily due to the shortage of disposable income in the US, and the law of supply-and-demand -- and in the timeshare resale market right now, supply definitely exceeds demand by a huge margin.

Many of us still like the added space and amenities a timeshare resort experience offers in comparison to a hotel room or pay-per-night resort rental. And we still enjoy visiting our home resorts as a vacation destination, with exchanges thrown in when we can make them work for us. If you're still enjoying your unit -- "especially sharing with friends and family", I'd say take advantage of those opportunities and appreciate them for the special something that they are. Friends and family together are rare commodities these days -- almost as rare as a seller finding a good deal when trying to sell their timeshare in the current market.

Phoenix, Arizona
posts: 1
53. Re: Is RCI worth it?

We have owned our weeks program with Cancun Palace Resorts since 2004 and we are happy to have it! We purchased 50 weeks for $8000. and with that received 4 "free" weeks. For the "free" weeks we just pay for airfare and depending on where we go food has usually been included. Our timeshare is for 5 star resorts as well, so most of the Palace resorts in the Dominion Republic and elsewhere have beautifully appointed rooms with Jacuzzi's and ocean front rooms. When you look at resorts online...they are usually around $3000 for a week and sometimes that can include airfare, but for that price it usually is not nonstop flights, so most of the time you're wasting a day just traveling. Our week in Feb "14" is at prime time for traveling for vacationers and the entire cost of the trip is airfare (high at this time of year to resorts) for both at $1200. Before we owned this resort, we were paying close to $4000. with airfare at primetime in January and February. Last year in April we went to Miami, Florida and stayed in a resort for $235. for the entire week! The resort was a suite...separate bedroom with King bed, full kitchen with granite and nice living room. The trip cost us $935.!! We went to the Dominican Republic at our 5 star on one of our "free" weeks and that trip with ocean front Jacuzzi room...just $1400. for the entire 7 days!!

In closing, we have traveled quite a bit and before our timeshare, we were paying much more to travel and most of the time, the rooms were just hotel rooms not resorts....now we travel "first class"

Hope this helps!

Vijayawada, Andhra...
posts: 2
54. Re: Is RCI worth it?

how to become a member of RCI

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
posts: 5,637
reviews: 125
55. Re: Is RCI worth it?

Ramya --

Things may have changed since we first joined RCI many years ago, but essentially RCI is an "exchange company", established to allow people who own timeshare condominiums at resorts affiliated with RCI to use their ownership equity to visit resorts other than the ones where they own their timeshare units. Timeshare unit owners pay an annual membership fee to RCI for the right to exchange their timeshare time at their "home resort" (where they own their unit) for time at other units in other states and countries. But your ability to exchange through RCI is based on a pre-determined "value" of the unit you own. So, to the best of my knowledge, becoming a "member" of RCI first requires ownership of a timeshare unit at a resort which is affiliated with RCI. At least that's how it worked in the United States when we bought our timeshare unit and became RCI members many years ago. I'm not sure if their program operate differently outside the U.S. or not....

Martinsville...
posts: 1
reviews: 1
56. Re: Is RCI worth it?

Run, run as fast as you can away from RCI. I have been a member since 2002. I owned two weeks--one in the weeks exchange and one in points, I sold the weeks. I wish I could sell the points. I've had nothing

but trouble trading my point time in Orlando for anything decent. The current rule is you can save one year's points free, after that you have to pay them a fee to save the points any longer. I end up trying to sell the points or using them at a great discount to pay toward car rentals or airline tickets. They only allow you to use up to 25,000 points per year to exchange for travel services. My Gold Crown is worth way more than 25,000 points. If you don't exchange a year in advance--forget it, They have a new plan called Platinum. Its a rip too. You pay a fee for additional exchanges--so far I've gotten nothing,

Norfolk, Virginia
posts: 1
reviews: 1
57. Re: Is RCI worth it?

No. In my opinion based on our experience for about 10 years, RCI is difficult to work with and has so many restrictions and coordination problems that it is not worth it. We typically only use our home week and when we try to deviate using RCI for another resort or airfare it is not cost effective. There is a lack of coordination between their online services and phone services. And there are endless fees. Knowing what we know now about RCI we would not have signed up. When we no longer want to go to out home week destination we will certainly cancel our membership with RCI.

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
posts: 5,637
reviews: 125
58. Re: Is RCI worth it?

Clawedie -- I'd suggest you have a chat with your home resort... at some resorts, if all you want to do is go to your "home resort" for the week you own, you don't need an RCI (or Inverval International or any other exchange company) to use your unit in the time you own..... If that's the case at your resort, you could drop your RCI Membership the next time it comes up for renewal.

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for North Conway
posts: 10,994
reviews: 40
59. Re: Is RCI worth it?

I did not pay for my timeshare but over past years have gone to my home resort over July 4 (not my week), skiing Xmas week twice in new Hampshire, a week in sedona, and used an extra week in Weston fl but only stayed 4 days at cost of hotel room for 1 night. Can RCI be difficult-yes, will you trade you winter week at the beach for Xmas at Vail-no.

It's value depends on you and what you have to trade whether weeks or points.

Banstead
posts: 1
60. Re: Is RCI worth it?

Hi all,

I couldn't agree more with all the dissatisfied comments I've been reading. We've owned a timeshare in Nerja, Spain, (El Capistrano Oasis) for nearly 30 years. We joined RCI on the red/white/blue weeks system. We had no trouble exchanging even though we started on the middle colour week (not sure if it was blue or white) but it covered Easter which was fine as we then had young children (we have since upgraded to a July week). We had one hiccup when the exchanged resort in Ibiza did not offer the advertised amenities, but after several letters of complaint to RCI they gave us a red time week as compensation.

Everything was fine with RCI for a few years and we had some excellent exchanges, but, like other commentators on this site things deteriorated rapidly in the 90's. The only offers we were getting were virtually all in Tenerife where we had been previously. Nothing was being offered at our preferred resorts. We therefore left RCI and either used our timeshare ourselves or it was used by relatives and friends.

About 8-10 years ago an RCI rep visited us at our timeshare with the view to us upgrading to the points system. He explained in great depth that the change would be beneficial to us. I continually asked if it would cost extra to change over but he did not want to say and continued with his presentation. Eventually after me hounding him for an answer he told me that it would cost about £1600 to change over! Needless to say the conversation ended there and he was rapidly shown the door.

We have since (last two years) been with 'Dial-An-Exchange' and had a very pleasant week in excellent accommodation in Malta. That said, the exchange availability is much more limited than what we were used to in the early days with RCI.

Hope this input is of help to other timeshare owners out there.

Happy hols! Gnasher.

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