Ever wonder how timeshare owners are able to travel the world? One of the best benefits of timeshare is the ability to use vacation exchange networks. What is vacation exchange? People who own timeshares can trade their weeks or points on popular platforms, like RCI or Interval International. Some vacation ownership brands even have their own timeshare exchange options.
Vacation Exchange Meaning
It’s as simple as it sounds. As a timeshare owner, you have the privilege of becoming a member on exclusive vacation exchange platforms like RCI or Interval International. Each vacation ownership brand is usually affiliated with one of the two, so double-check with your developer before signing up.
How Does It Work?
Once you become a member of your vacation exchange network, you can deposit your ownership week or points for vacations almost anywhere in the world. Keep in mind that the “value” of your ownership doesn’t equal the same “value” as another on your vacation exchange platform. For example, a Disney Vacation Club resort in Orlando might have a higher “cost” on RCI than a Bluegreen Vacations resort in Tennessee. If you own 200 Diamond Resorts points, they don’t necessarily trade for 200 Club Wyndham points on RCI. In addition to this, you also have to pay membership fees with RCI and II to gain exchange access.
Popular Vacation Exchange Companies
Top brands are affiliated with either RCI or II, but both offer thousands of resorts and destinations. Both of these networks also offer more than just timeshare vacations. Use your membership for cruises, adventurous excursions, travel discounts and rentals.
Some timeshare developers also created their own in-network exchange opportunities. Grand Pacific Resorts offers owners GPX (Grand Pacific Exchange) at little extra cost for an easier, more streamlined trading process. Other great examples include Club Wyndham or Shell Vacations Club. These internal vacation exchange networks provide owners with more than 50 resorts to explore, all within their memberships.
As the first-ever vacation exchange network, RCI paved the way for similar models of timeshare exchange worldwide. With over 35,000 exchange options, 3.8 million members and resorts in 108 countries, it’s easy to see why. RCI is available for owners of both points and weeks based timeshares. There are associated fees with joining, but you gain access to cruises, flights, last call stays and more. Head over to Guide To RCI Travel, Exchange and Resorts for a full in-depth look at the programs offered. Below are the timeshares brands associated with RCI vacation exchange:
- Hilton Grand Vacations Club
- Disney Vacation Club
- Wyndham Vacation Ownership
- Welk Resorts
- Bluegreen Resort Vacations
- Holiday Inn Club Vacations
Marriott Vacations Worldwide purchased Interval International (II), which has quickly followed suit in the growing timeshare industry. With Interval International vacation exchange, you also join a community of travel lovers. As part of the varying memberships this brand offers, you can book flights. In addition, rental cars and extended-stay vacations outside of your timeshare ownership. Similar to RCI, both timeshare points and weeks owners have options to travel throughout the world at amazing timeshare resorts. Additionally, the brands associated with Interval International are:
- Marriott Vacation Club
- Vistana Signature Experiences (Starwood Brands)
- Welk Resorts
- Diamond Resorts International
- Hyatt Residence Club
Can I Switch From Interval International to RCI?
Not necessarily. If you own a timeshare with one brand, you can’t just “switch” ownership at another. Further, your developer brand is affiliated with either one or the other (normally). If you own with Marriott, switching your timeshare exchange membership to RCI will be of no benefit to you.
Learn where timeshare can take you with exchange. We’ll send you exciting destinations to cure your wanderlust.