Traveling the world has never been easier, especially when you pair RCI travel with your vacation ownership. For the latest information on vacation exchange networks and participating brands, you’ll want to read on.
About RCI Travel
RCI was founded in 1974 by Jon and Christel DeHaan. The DeHaan’s pioneered a system that would allow for vacation owners to exchange their time at their home resort for the time at other resort locations. Resort Condominiums International, also known as RCI, is a vacation exchange network. Vacation exchange networks like RCI can help timeshare owners get the most out of their ownership. The opportunities with RCI travel are endless!
- 35,000 Exchange Options
- 3.8 Million Members
- 108 Countries
If you’re new to RCI travel, it’s important to note the two types of membership. With this company, you’ll find RCI Weeks and RCI Points memberships. How is it decided which membership you have? Well, if you own a points-based timeshare, you’ll have the Points membership. So, if you have a weeks-based timeshare you’ll have a Weeks membership. The major difference between Weeks and Points is that Points users can stay for as little as one night at a resort.
Traditionally, exchange networks worked by trading one week for another week at a resort of the same caliber. Today, RCI gives owners more options for exchanging. You can customize the length of your stays at a variety of different types of resorts. Members now have the option to exchange their week in smaller increments. So, you could potentially spend half a week at one resort and the other half at another resort at a different time of year.
Learn More About Timeshare Exchange: Points-Based vs. Weeks-Based
RCI Points are a second option for RCI members. Members who have converted and/or deposited their timeshare week for points have added flexibility in their vacation ownership. RCI points offer members the option to choose their vacation’s location, unit size, arrival date, and length of stay (including just one night stays). Each resort/week combination is worth a different amount of points in the exchange network.
One great thing about exchange networks like RCI is that members’ unused points can roll over one year. Additionally, members have the choice of borrowing their own points from the next year to book vacations in the current year. Points roll over one year, but if not used in the second year, they do not roll over to the third year.
Learn Our Best Vacation Exchange Secrets Here
Fees and Dues
In order to be a member of RCI, you must own a timeshare and pay yearly fees for membership. We wrote an entire blog about RCI fees, so you can read up on them. In addition to exchanging your timeshare, you can also gain other travel benefits with RCI. Some members use their points for flights, rental cars and other travel necessities.
RCI Resorts and Timeshares
Even though RCI is a large company in the timeshare industry, it doesn’t actually own any timeshares. The way it works: brands affiliate themselves with RCI, and allow their resorts to be on the RCI vacation network. Below are a few RCI affiliated brands:
- Hilton Grand Vacations Club
- Disney Vacation Club
- Wyndham Vacation Ownership
- Welk Resorts
- Bluegreen Resort Vacations
- Holiday Inn Club Vacations
It’s also worth mentioning that not every resort in a brand is eligible for exchange. To find out if your resort is available on RCI’s network, call your resort or developer or call RCI directly.
RCI Timeshares You Need to Exchange for ASAP!
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a resort is as good as it looks online, so RCI has a way of instilling confidence in guests before booking. RCI gives their most excellent resorts the title of Gold Crown. This means that they have deemed that resort to be exceptional in many ways. For instance, you can expect excellence in housekeeping, amenities and customer service at Gold Crown resorts. You might think that this indicates that these resorts are more expensive, but that isn’t always the case. Be sure to keep an eye out for sales or discounts so you don’t miss the chance to book a Gold Crown resort at a reduced price. These are a few of our favorite RCI resorts, and yes, they are all Gold Crown resorts!
Arroyo Roble Resort is a gorgeous timeshare resort in Arizona. The resort is located on nine acres, right in the heart of Arizona’s Red Rock Country. This secluded resort is a quiet getaway with scenic views, amazing amenities, and adventure around every corner. The resort features indoor and outdoor pools, so you can take a swim year-round. Sedona, Arizona has so much to offer for those that love the outdoors. You can fish in Oak Creek, hike Snoopy Rock, or take a hot air balloon ride over the Grand Canyon. There’s also plenty of unique shopping at Tlaquepaque Art Village and delicious food options all over Sedona. Relax after a long day with some delicious Mexican cuisine and a refreshing margarita at Elote Cafe.
Disney’s Bay Lake Tower
Disney’s Bay Lake Tower is a modern luxury DVC resort located within walking distance to Magic Kingdom. Guests can access the extensive amenities offered within the Contemporary by using the convenient Sky Way bridge connecting the two buildings. At the Contemporary, you’ll find a variety of food and shopping options. For example, The Wave is a crowd favorite and features fresh seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. You can also meet your favorite characters while you enjoy delicious meals at Chef Mickey’s. Bay Lake Tower is nestled in between Magic Kingdom and the sparkling Bay Lake, so you can relax with serene views during the day and enjoy the fireworks in the evening.
Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort
Carlsbad Inn is a beachfront resort just steps away from vibrant downtown Carlsbad, California. This resort aspires to make guests feel at home by hosting various activities, including a welcome breakfast and casino night. Enjoy boating or fishing via the local marina or spend the day relaxing at the beach. The resort’s amenities include full kitchens, fireplaces, fitness centers, saunas, dining, and a hot tub with ocean views. If you want to see more of California, take a day trip to one of the many attractions that are just a short drive away from the resort, including Disneyland and the San Diego Zoo. Carlsbad has restaurants, wineries, breweries, and shopping within walking distance of the resort, so you don’t need to go far to have a great time.
As a member of RCI, there are several perks available to you. If you are a member, you have the opportunity to gift an RCI exchange vacation using the RCI Guest Certificate. There is a fee for doing so, but you could give a loved one a great gift with a timeshare vacation.
RCI Last Call
Another benefit of RCI is their RCI Last Call getaways. Last Call getaways are week-long vacations you can take by booking them with cash. These vacations won’t affect your points balance, so essentially you’re just getting an extra, exclusive vacation (that you buy of course).
RCI Extra Vacation Getaways
In addition to Last Call, you can also participate in RCI Extra Vacation Getaways. Similar to Last Call, you use cash to book these trips and there is no limit on how many Extra Vacation Getaways you take. What’s more, you can use a Guest Certificate to send a loved one on an Extra Vacation Getaway, in addition to your regularly scheduled timeshare vacation.