And yet another newbie! RCI question

Discussion in 'DVC Member Services' started by maiapapaya, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. maiapapaya

    maiapapaya Totally DIS-tracted!

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    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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  3. Deb & Bill

    Deb & Bill DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention

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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.
     
  4. k3chantal

    k3chantal DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  5. maiapapaya

    maiapapaya Totally DIS-tracted!

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    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.
     
  6. Deb & Bill

    Deb & Bill DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention

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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.
     
  7. maiapapaya

    maiapapaya Totally DIS-tracted!

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    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.
     
  8. k3chantal

    k3chantal DIS Veteran

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    I believe your plan to be completely reasonable. This is what we do and it works out wonderfully.

    Have fun!
     
  9. JimMIA

    JimMIA A little Miami humor...

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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.
     
  10. maiapapaya

    maiapapaya Totally DIS-tracted!

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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.
     
  11. disneynutz

    disneynutz DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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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.

    :earsboy: Bill
     
  12. maiapapaya

    maiapapaya Totally DIS-tracted!

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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)
     
  13. Deb & Bill

    Deb & Bill DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention

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    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.
     
  14. Dean

    Dean DIS Veteran<br><a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis

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    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.
     
  15. CarolMN

    CarolMN DVC Co-Moderator Moderator

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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.
     
  16. Dean

    Dean DIS Veteran<br><a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis

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    You are correct, it was a typo.
     
  17. JimMIA

    JimMIA A little Miami humor...

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    I think there are two separate questions here.

    The first is OP's indication that the option to exchange via RCI is a plus to consider in their purchasing decision. Although she says they understand the limitations, etc, I would still argue that this perk is not a valid consideration in making a decision to purchase DVC...or any other timeshare. It is a limited benefit which could go away with one stroke of the Mouse's pen -- AND...there are much less expensive ways to get much better exchange opportunities.

    That said, Carol's point is the value of an occasional exchange for the existing DVC owner. For someone who already owns DVC points, can't use them despite banking etc, and wants to use them for an RCI exchange -- I think the question of comparable value really doesn't matter much.

    In ANY timeshare system, when you exchange out you are generally getting less value than if you had used your timeshare within that company's internal system. Although the quality of the lodging you get does matter, I think the most important thing is whether you are satisfied, or not satisfied, with the accommodations you get in the exchange. If you are satisfied, who cares about the relative "value?"

    I'll give you an example.

    Oct 13-20, we exchanged into a small timeshare in Cape Cod through Wyndham/RCI. Why? Because we were taking a family trip to see some aging relatives in the Boston area and wanted to be based on Cape Cod because that's where everyone was going to be. We got a one-bedroom for my family and a studio for a cousin and her husband. The lodgings were WAY below Wyndham standards, but they were spotless, the amenities were reasonable, the staff was very gracious, and we were satisfied with the value to us that we received for the points that we had not been able to use anyway.

    We had a spectacular trip, spent many, many hours of quality time with family we love, ate way too much lobsta and chowda, and left talking about doing it again next year. To me, that's a good exchange.
     
  18. maiapapaya

    maiapapaya Totally DIS-tracted!

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    At the risk of repeating myself, we aren't swayed into purchasing DVC or not because of RCI exchanges, but if we can't/don't want to use our points it's good to know if we have options and what they are (other DVC locations, RCI, what ever ...)

    I don't quite understand why you say it's a good use of points for someone who is an "existing" DVC owner, when it's a perceived value if for some reason ppl can't have or don't want a Disney trip one year for what ever reason, but not someone who is "purchasing".

    My original question was simply about whether availability is an issue.
     
  19. Dean

    Dean DIS Veteran<br><a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis

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    It's not a good value for anyone who exchanges DVC but it can be a reasonable value in some situations. The difference between already owning with extra points and buying to exchange, and it's a big one, is anyone purchasing has the opportunity to judge how many points they need and buy accordingly. Buying 50 points or so less going in makes a HUGE difference long term in the costs of owning DVC. Realize that the few things in RCI that would truly be a good value are dramatically unlikely to be available.
     
  20. MulanMom

    MulanMom DIS Veteran

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    Yes, with RCI, availability can and will be an issue.

    We never purchased DVC to use for exchanging. When we originally purchased in '93, DVC was supposed to be much like Marriott and build timeshare properties throughout the world. We knew the mantra of DVC points' best value is to use for a DVC stay/resort. We were always in the position of borrowing points, so we never thought we'd ever get to the point of having to do something with points before they expire. We ran into that situation a few years ago. A member services rep suggested depositing into RCI system and we had up to 2 years to book a vacation in that service. I knew a little something about timeshares, having joined TUG and rented timeshare weeks directly from owners of other properties. And from a SIL who bought into a caribbean property about the same time we did DVC. Anyway, I was very scared to use it. I didn't know there could be a floating request. Long story short, we are in a situation where we have to use the RCI week or lose it.

    Just booked a stay at an RCI exchange for the week following Thanksgiving. The RCI point cost is 160, and I've got to tell you, the exchange in no way is even. WDW DVC is a desirable location and property. That used to mean something. But it's been my experience that 160 pts DVC is equated with 160 pts. RCI. Really? What about being on WDW property? What about the value of having buses take you anywhere? What about the value of Extra magic hours? That doesn't add into the value anywhere. All I can say is at least I'm getting something rather than losing my points altogether. I won't let that happen again.

    The Disney Collection isn't the best value use of points, but being able to use my points that have built up again for a week's stay at the Poly during Christmas is a heckuva lot better than the RCI exchange!!! And that's in reference to the RCI gold and silver crown properties!!!
     
  21. maiapapaya

    maiapapaya Totally DIS-tracted!

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    Our intent would be to determine what we would like from our home resort for a yearly trip to WDW (ie. season, type of villa, our normal length of stay) and buy points accordingly. We would not be buying points with the intent to trade or looking at what we would need for a trade. If a situation came up where we would use that option we would look to book according to what our DVC points would afford us.
     

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