RCI does use a trading power rating scale for its resorts. RCI takes into account a number of factors when determining trading power including:
- Number of requests for a particular location.
- Ease of access to the resort location.
- Resort’s popularity amongst RCI owners and non-owners.
- Amount of competition in the area.
- Type of unit.
These four RCI criteria play a major role in determining what kind of trading power you will have if you decide to exchange your week. First we will look at ‘number of requests’ and its effect on timeshare trading power. You will have an easier time obtaining the resort of your choice if the timeshare week you are exchanging is highly sought after. Location makes a big difference – Hawaii is RCI’s number one trading location, if you are exchanging your deeded week in Hawaii you will be able to travel to virtually any other resort you desire because there is a high demand for Hawaii timeshare.
‘Ease of access’ in determining trading power refers to the physical location of the resort and transportation required to travel to the resort. Also included in ‘ease of access’ is the accessibility of amenities including attractions, dining, and entertainment. A resort over 50 miles from the nearest airport will have lower trading power than a resort that has a shuttle to take vacationers 3 miles to the nearest airport. Similarly, a resort in Las Vegas located in the middle of the strip will have a higher trading power than one located 5 miles south of the strip.
Popularity is key in determining trading power and although it is similar to the ‘number of requests’ it is slightly different because a ‘resort’s popularity amongst RCI owners and non-owners’ is taken into account (when applicable). In the case of popularity and trading power, it seems that RCI international resorts do better as a whole than RCI domestic resorts. Both internationally and domestically the more people that have heard of a resort, the higher the trading power; a resort in Ketchum, Idaho will have substantially less trading power than a resort in San Francisco, California.
The ‘amount of competition in an area’ will assign greater trading power to RCI resorts that are more exclusive. More exclusive resorts located in popular areas will have higher trading power, whereas resorts surrounded by numerous others, whether in a popular area or not, will have less trading power. It is better to go with one of the few resorts in Madrid, Spain than one of the many resorts in Orlando, Florida.
‘Type of unit’ breaks down as follows: two bedroom units trade better than one bedroom units. If you are still considering buying timeshare, opt for the two bedroom unit if you decide to buy, even if you do not need two bedrooms. You can always trade into a fancier one bedroom with a two bedroom unit.
As you can see, timeshare does not simply trade for other timeshare. When RCI takes in your timeshare week you are assigned a rating based on the five criteria above. The rating system works as follows: when a request is put in to reserve a location, whomever has the highest starting rating will have their preference in reserving that spot. The RCI rating system is important because the highest numbers will get the week.