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View Full Version : Very disappointed with RCI AI


ratfam
01-09-2009, 09:01 PM
I was very excited when I got the mailer indicating that DVC would be offering trades for AI properties, but having looked at the AI fees I can't believe that DVC thinks this is a good option. My husband and I went to Le Blanc in Cancun last year (it is an absolutely fabulous resort, beautiful, great food, wonderful staff) and priced it out for this year but never booked. The cash price we were quoted is not much higher than the AI price shown on the DVC site. We aren't in the "never use DVC points outside DVC resorts" camp, we did an II trade and have used for DCL and have always been happy, but it simply wouldn't make any sense to use points and pay the high AI fees given the cash booking prices. For comparison I checked out Cancun Palace through DVC versus online prices for our family and the outcome was the same, the DVC option made no sense. While we were at Le Blanc we went to the Palace Resorts timeshare presentation (to get the spa $$$) and were shocked at the AI prices their members are required to pay, so I guess this shouldn't be a surprise. Mainly I am disappointed because it seems like we have many fewer non-AI options and haven't gotten anything in return.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this issue? Are actual AI fees less when you book versus the web site?

kimberh
01-10-2009, 12:49 AM
I can't speak about the above Resort, but I have been a member of RCI since 1989. I booked a Mexican Resort for Spring Break 4 years ago. Booked the air, then I saw the AI fees. I almost fell over. We could have taken a cruise just for what the AI fees were. I called RCI thinking I would get some understanding on this matter, Yea...right. When I asked to speak to a Supervisior it didn't get any better. I ended up canceling the trip, booking Aruba, taking a $100.00PP loss on the Air and rebooking it.

RCI told me that It was my responsibility to keep up with the changing AI fees for the resort that I was looking to book. The fees change by the time of year being booked. Spring Break...highest fees. I don't really like eating all my meals at the same resort for a week. We don't drink so I'm sure not paying for that.

Dean
01-10-2009, 04:29 AM
I was very excited when I got the mailer indicating that DVC would be offering trades for AI properties, but having looked at the AI fees I can't believe that DVC thinks this is a good option. My husband and I went to Le Blanc in Cancun last year (it is an absolutely fabulous resort, beautiful, great food, wonderful staff) and priced it out for this year but never booked. The cash price we were quoted is not much higher than the AI price shown on the DVC site. We aren't in the "never use DVC points outside DVC resorts" camp, we did an II trade and have used for DCL and have always been happy, but it simply wouldn't make any sense to use points and pay the high AI fees given the cash booking prices. For comparison I checked out Cancun Palace through DVC versus online prices for our family and the outcome was the same, the DVC option made no sense. While we were at Le Blanc we went to the Palace Resorts timeshare presentation (to get the spa $$$) and were shocked at the AI prices their members are required to pay, so I guess this shouldn't be a surprise. Mainly I am disappointed because it seems like we have many fewer non-AI options and haven't gotten anything in return.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this issue? Are actual AI fees less when you book versus the web site?From what I've seen over the years, one can usually buy the same or similar AI option for the entire package for what the AI fee is through RCI or II. And members often pay MUCH less than do exchangers, sometimes almost half. But it does vary by resort so you must investigate each option independently. In some cases it can actually change after you get the exchange but before you travel. Sometimes you can lock in the price by prepaying but not always. And as I've pointed out several times lately, you are also giving up the other options available off site. This is not an issue for DR, Cozumel, Jamaica or similar places but is an issue for Cancun, Aruba, PV.

While I agree there are fewer desireable options in RCI than II, it's not that bad and there are still some nice options.