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Old 11-09-2012, 11:42 AM   #1
maiapapaya
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And yet another newbie! RCI question

DH & I are in the very tentative stages of looking into DVC. One of the things DH likes is the ability to use the points for RCI exchanges. However I have read a couple of posts where ppl have commented on the lack of availability for RCI resorts. Does anyone with experience have any insight on this?

I have also read & realize that renting your points & paying OOP for other resorts is more fianancially adventageous, but I think DH just thinks if it were a non-Disney year for us it would just be easier to try to book somewhere else with our points. I would just like to know if this would be a hassle wrt availability?
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:20 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by maiapapaya View Post
DH & I are in the very tentative stages of looking into DVC. One of the things DH likes is the ability to use the points for RCI exchanges. However I have read a couple of posts where ppl have commented on the lack of availability for RCI resorts. Does anyone with experience have any insight on this?

I have also read & realize that renting your points & paying OOP for other resorts is more fianancially adventageous, but I think DH just thinks if it were a non-Disney year for us it would just be easier to try to book somewhere else with our points. I would just like to know if this would be a hassle wrt availability?
RCI takes a lot of lead time. You can't just sit down and think that you'd like to book a ski vacation for January in September. Unless you do it over a year out. Most of the RCI resorts that are available, just don't compare with the DVC resorts. You could buy any timeshare and use that to trade to RCI and save a lot of money.

DVC really works best for DVC stays and that is about it.

I see you have stayed at the Polynesian in Club Level the last two trips. DVC is not like Club Level. You can book one of the five two bedroom lockoff villas at AKV Concierge level (sixth floor of Jambo House), but you have to own there pretty much to get them. They go pretty quickly at 11 months out.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by maiapapaya View Post
DH & I are in the very tentative stages of looking into DVC. One of the things DH likes is the ability to use the points for RCI exchanges. However I have read a couple of posts where ppl have commented on the lack of availability for RCI resorts. Does anyone with experience have any insight on this?

I have also read & realize that renting your points & paying OOP for other resorts is more fianancially adventageous, but I think DH just thinks if it were a non-Disney year for us it would just be easier to try to book somewhere else with our points. I would just like to know if this would be a hassle wrt availability?
We have had very good luck with what you are describing. We exchanged our points with RCI to go to Kauai, Hawaii for a seven night stay ocean view condo. It easily fit our family of five and was a great resort. It only cost us 160 points so we felt that it was a good value too.

The important fact when making this decision to use your points this way is to be flexible. When I called I had a list with Hawaii being on the top. I did not have a certain island in mind and I didn't expect to get it. I told the CM if I couldn't have Hawaii that anywhere on the West Coast could work. She came up with TWO resorts on Kauai I could choose from. Then, I took a risk and told her that I would call her back once I had a closer look at the two resorts. I knew I was taking a huge risk and that by the time I called back they might be gone, but again luck was on my side and after my husband and I explored the resorts on the internet we called back and they both were still available so we chose the one we preferred online.

You will get posts that say that this isn't a good financial move to use your points this way. I think as long as you go in knowing you are not getting 'Disney' and you do your homework with the particular resorts you have in mind, it can work out well. Financially speaking, our trip to Kauai was a 'good' deal. Those condos rent for cash for a week $2000.00 and if I use the ten dollar a point base to figure out how much it cost me with my points that would mean I 'spent' 1600.00 worth of my points.

Anyway, we would definitely exchange with RCI again. Patience, flexibility and the ability to take a risk are important though.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:49 PM   #4
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RCI takes a lot of lead time. You can't just sit down and think that you'd like to book a ski vacation for January in September. Unless you do it over a year out. Most of the RCI resorts that are available, just don't compare with the DVC resorts. You could buy any timeshare and use that to trade to RCI and save a lot of money.

DVC really works best for DVC stays and that is about it.

I see you have stayed at the Polynesian in Club Level the last two trips. DVC is not like Club Level. You can book one of the five two bedroom lockoff villas at AKV Concierge level (sixth floor of Jambo House), but you have to own there pretty much to get them. They go pretty quickly at 11 months out.
Oh, if we buy into DVC we have no dilusions that it's like CL nor do we have any desire to stay concierge at a DVC property. We like that CL affords us the extra space of the lounge and an opportunity not to be eating every meal in a "restaurant". DVC would provide us that as well (we're thinking 1 bdrm villa), just not in the same way as CL.

We plan our vacations well in advance (eg. we're already working on plans for next October) so the lead time for RCI isn't an issue for us as long as they aren't impossible to get, and it wouldn't be an all the time thing.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by maiapapaya View Post
....We plan our vacations well in advance (eg. we're already working on plans for next October) so the lead time for RCI isn't an issue for us as long as they aren't impossible to get, and it wouldn't be an all the time thing.
It will be an "all the time" thing. Even DVC is hard to get at less than ten months out sometimes.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:24 PM   #6
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It will be an "all the time" thing. Even DVC is hard to get at less than ten months out sometimes.
Oh, I meant trying to get an RCI booking as the not "all the time" thing, I understand that the availability issue with RCI will always be something that exists. Our plan would be to mostly book at our home DVC, occassionally another offsite DVC property like Hilton Head, and maybe once in five years or something RCI.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by maiapapaya View Post
Oh, I meant trying to get an RCI booking as the not "all the time" thing, I understand that the availability issue with RCI will always be something that exists. Our plan would be to mostly book at our home DVC, occassionally another offsite DVC property like Hilton Head, and maybe once in five years or something RCI.
I believe your plan to be completely reasonable. This is what we do and it works out wonderfully.

Have fun!
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:41 PM   #8
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There are a couple of fundamental things you should understand about purchasing DVC (or any other timeshare) -- and one of the most important is NOT to consider any "perk" of ownership in your purchasing decision.

In other words, your DH may like the idea of using DVC points via RCI, but it's really irrelevant. The reason it's irrelevant is that it is a perk which can be taken away (no matter whether you purchase direct or resale) at any time, and with little or no notice. At one point, DVC exchanged through RCI, then II for a number of years, and more recently through RCI again. There is no guarantee that you will be able to exchange through RCI (or any other exchange program) in the future. It's a perk and perks can -- and do -- go away.

Another thing to understand is that DVC's version of RCI is very much RCI-Lite. RCI has a little over 4,000 resorts; with DVC, you have access to only about 600 of those. In addition, you will not have a full individual RCI membership -- which means you will not have access to many other features of RCI, like deeply discounted cash rentals. Some of those benefits of RCI are as good as the exchange opportunities.

IMHO, DVC is a great timeshare for staying onsite at WDW. If you are going to WDW and you want to stay onsite, DVC is great. Elsewhere...not so much. In the locations where DVC has other resorts, there are better, less expensive alternatives. For exchanging through RCI (or other systems) there are better, less expensive alternatives.

Buy DVC for DVC. If you can't make it work that way, it probably won't work out to be the best vacation lodging choice for your family.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:31 PM   #9
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Thank you for your thoughts. We would not be purchasing DVC for the perks.
I understand that DVC does not offer the full range of RCI properties. I also understand that perks may change at any time.

My question was simply about availability should we choose to exercise this option. It is not about my family "not being able to make it work." It's about knowing what our options are if we choose not to visit WDW every year for the next 50.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:36 PM   #10
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Currently according to RCI there are 410 resorts with availability. Looking 2 years out some months only have 11 resorts with availability, the average is around 210.

In addition there is a $95 booking fee for any trade outside of DVC.

I wouldn't buy based on exchanging, you might be disappointed.

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Old 11-09-2012, 09:51 PM   #11
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Currently according to RCI there are 410 resorts with availability. Looking 2 years out some months only have 11 resorts with availability, the average is around 210.

In addition there is a $95 booking fee for any trade outside of DVC.

I wouldn't buy based on exchanging, you might be disappointed. Bill
Thanks Bill. As I said, we aren't buying based on perks (I just replied to another post I think you made earlier in another thread!) or with big thoughts of exchanging. My question was based on the "what if" one year we decide not to stay at a DVC property, is RCI actually a viable option or does lack of availability take it off the table. In considering DVC we want to know what we are realistically getting. Our intent would mainly be to stay at our home resort, with no expectations other than that, but we would still like to know what (currently) purchasing entails (what are the perks they mention, but not spell out, is trading realistic or just part of the sales pitch etc)
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:30 PM   #12
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Thanks Bill. As I said, we aren't buying based on perks (I just replied to another post I think you made earlier in another thread!) or with big thoughts of exchanging. My question was based on the "what if" one year we decide not to stay at a DVC property, is RCI actually a viable option or does lack of availability take it off the table. In considering DVC we want to know what we are realistically getting. Our intent would mainly be to stay at our home resort, with no expectations other than that, but we would still like to know what (currently) purchasing entails (what are the perks they mention, but not spell out, is trading realistic or just part of the sales pitch etc)
If you choose not to go to Disney one year, you can always bank your points into the next year. Then you can get a bigger villa or stay longer.
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:11 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by maiapapaya View Post
DH & I are in the very tentative stages of looking into DVC. One of the things DH likes is the ability to use the points for RCI exchanges. However I have read a couple of posts where ppl have commented on the lack of availability for RCI resorts. Does anyone with experience have any insight on this?

I have also read & realize that renting your points & paying OOP for other resorts is more fianancially adventageous, but I think DH just thinks if it were a non-Disney year for us it would just be easier to try to book somewhere else with our points. I would just like to know if this would be a hassle wrt availability?
Generally people who own the good stuff don't exchange it so in part it would depend on what you'd be looking for as well as how well you plan. Anything at under 12 months for RCI weeks resorts or after the 10 month window for RCI points resorts is going to significantly reduce your chances of success. An ongoing search is also a must for the best options.

However, you're looking to buy in so you have the opportunity to know up front where you are and buy accordingly. I would not buy planning to exchange, PERIOD. There are NO situations where it is reasonable to buy in for any type of exchanging including RCI. If you're looking at once every 5 years or so just buy less points (maybe 50 or so) and pay cash in some way for the non Disney trips, you'll be FAR better off with more choices and it will be significantly cheaper in the long run. At one every 5 years, cash is best but for more often, a complementary non DVC timeshare might be a good option.

My experience is that people usually end up wanting to try non DVC options more often than they think. If you have the points anyway, a try for a top RCI resort is reasonable, but it's never reasonable to buy with the purpose just like it's never reasonable to buy with the idea of using the cash type exchanges like DCL.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:37 AM   #14
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.....(snip).......My experience is that people usually end up wanting to try non DVC options more often than they think. If you have the points anyway, a try for a top RCI resort is unreasonable, but it's never reasonable to buy with the purpose just like it's never reasonable to buy with the idea of using the cash type exchanges like DCL.
Was this a typo? I'm thinking you meant that it is reasonable to try for a top RCI resort if you have the points, anyway.

For those of us who have been members for some time and know little or nothing about trading, I think an occasional trade is a good use of the points we won't use for a DVC trip in a given year. I for one am willing to "give up the best value" for the convenience of having DVC do some of the screening as well as having MS take care of the reservation paperwork.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:46 AM   #15
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Was this a typo? I'm thinking you meant that it is reasonable to try for a top RCI resort if you have the points, anyway.

For those of us who have been members for some time and know little or nothing about trading, I think an occasional trade is a good use of the points we won't use for a DVC trip in a given year. I for one am willing to "give up the best value" for the convenience of having DVC do some of the screening as well as having MS take care of the reservation paperwork.
You are correct, it was a typo.
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