Created as a flexible use timeshare exchange program, RCI launched the RCI Points program in 2000 as a way for timeshare owners to extend the use of their vacation ownership product.
As the largest exchange company in the world with about 4,500 resorts in their network, RCI saw the need to expand their service beyond the traditional week-for-week exchange model. Through the development of the RCI Points program, RCI-affiliated resorts were offered the opportunity to convert their weeks-based owners into RCI Points, while also giving new owners the chance to purchase timeshare at the resort and receive RCI Points back as their ownership product.
RCI is now servicing over 1.6 million members through its RCI Points program, with just over 1,200 properties participating as an RCI Points-affiliated member resort.
Advantages of RCI Points
RCI Points operates as an exchange program but with advantages that the traditional week-for-week program does not provide. The points act as a type of vacation currency, with certain levels of points needed to vacation at corresponding resorts.
The amount of points allocated to an owner depends on several factors relating to the original timeshare purchase such as the location of the resort they own at, the size of the unit, and the time of the year in which they own. Once an allotment of points has been allocated to an owner, they are renewed each year by RCI without the need to “bank” them – with the points being held in an account with RCI that the owner can access at any time.
RCI Points owners can use their points in a number of ways:
- Request vacations at any of the 4,500 resorts within the RCI network
- Access to the standard RCI Weeks resorts in addition to RCI Points resorts
- Ability to save up points over multiple years or borrow from future years
- Book shorter-length breaks, even if it’s only for one night
- Participate in the RCI Points Partner program for discounted travel products such as flights, hotel stays and rental cars
- Use points toward the purchase of a cruise
Members with questions about the RCI Points program can either refer to the information provided in their Resort Directory or visit RCI.com.
Who Can Join?
For an owner who has purchased RCI Points directly from their home resort, the process is fairly simple. While they technically own a timeshare at that resort, the use of that timeshare is administered through the use of the points assigned to the owner by the resort and processed through an RCI Points membership.
To be eligible for an RCI Points membership, an owner must first meet the following criteria:
- Hold ownership at an RCI Points-affiliated resort
- Have the resort assign or convert their ownership into RCI Points
- Sign up for an RCI Points membership with RCI
If an owner has satisfied each of the three areas above, then they have the option of using their points as designed through the RCI Points program.
Converting to RCI Points
If an owner has a week of timeshare at a resort which is designated as an RCI Points-affiliated resort, the resort can convert the ownership from a weeks product to points, which is completed for a fee determined by the resort. Once the points have been purchased and assigned to the owner, they can enroll into an RCI Points membership with RCI and begin using their points in a number of ways - based on the criteria of the program.
In relation to the timeshare resale market, please understand that, in many instances, RCI Points cannot be directly sold or transferred to another owner since the sale of RCI Points on the secondary market is subject to the approval of the home resort. Because it was the timeshare week that was originally sold and was deeded, either as a resort real estate week or perhaps as part of a Trust product, it is the timeshare week that is the product normally transferred, not the points.
If a prospective buyer agrees to purchase a timeshare connected with RCI Points from an owner on the resale market, the buyer should first confirm whether that resort is an RCI Points-affiliated resort. In some instances, the resort will revert the ownership back to a weeks product, whereby the resort can attempt to upgrade the week back to a points product for a fee. Other resorts have been known to approve the sale of points from an existing owner to a resale buyer, without the ownership reverting back to a weeks product, but that is done at the discretion of the resort.
This program has built-in flexibility and excellent vacation value but, as with many points-based products in the timeshare industry, there always seem to be questions when it comes to using the product. If you are considering the purchase of a timeshare product associated with RCI Points advertised here on BuyaTimeshare.com, you’ll get a great deal compared with purchasing directly from the resort. But make sure you have all of your questions answered from the owner and, if needed, contact the resort directly about the use of the product and the transfer of the points on the resale market. You can also contact RCI through RCI.com for more information.