RCI Trading Power Declining?

The following post was submitted by a reader and poses the following questions –

Is RCI’s Trading Power Declining?

Is there a push to convert all RCI members over to Wyndham Points?

We own 2 timeshares – both in Kauai Bali Hai and Ali Kai. We have always traded these, and have always gotten into great resorts i.e. Disney Beach Club and Boardwalk Villas (this year for Christmas). However, I notice lately that rci does not seem to have the same amount of inventory that they have had in past years. Upon questioning one of their CSR agents I was told it’s because owners are renting their units.

I also notice that the amount of Gold Crown resorts seem to be shrinking. We usually can always get what we want as we book about 10 months out, but we are really having a problem this year. Some say that this has to do with the fact that Wyndham now owns rci and is restricting inventory. I would hate to think that this is the case, but I do know that Wyndham has there own point plan that they try to get you to buy into. The Wyndham points timeshare is supposed to give you better access to inventory, however, it’s extremely expensive to do this. Anyone know anything about this???

I encourage anyone with any information or experience with this to post a comment.

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  1. I have a Gold Crown resort but trade it most of the time. I was happy with RCI for 10 years until the change the system of points. When I banked my week over 18 months in advance, I received so little points I couldn’t even get my own resort back if I wanted too. I called RCI and complained and they said it was because they were making it fair for everyone. Fair? What’s fair when I only get half the points to get my own resort back. I left RCI so this means there is one less Gold Crown Resort in the system. I would bet many people with Gold Grown resorts are leaving RCI as well.

    When I complained to my resort (Sheraton), they told me They do not recommend RCI anymore.

  2. Renting the unit or using the unit should not make any difference. A week is a week. What could be different is that if you own but do not use it then the place is empty which would make more appear available I suppose. But if someone did not bank it, it wouldn’t show in the inventory anyway. The more likely thing is that probably Wyndham is moving more to Points. That would make them not show in the Weeks list, except now RCI has added a display to show Trading Power, Weeks and Points in the inventory. Probably to encourage people to move to points. Which I can’t foresee ever doing. Plenty of places still out there for me. Our “friends” at Grandview say they will eventually be all points (to keep out the riff raff? ). So other resorts may do that, too.

    1. Inventory available for exchange is declining because
      a) the timeshare companies, especially Grand Mayan/Mayan Palace/Vida Resorts/Wyndham, sell more inventory than exists. No kidding. In Mexico they sell 140% of inventory. Then
      b) they rent it out anyway and do not exchange it for people who already paid. I have NEVER been able to book Mayan Palace winter red time purchased, yet every day every week is for rent on RCI.com, for less than the maintenance fee.
      c) this then undercuts your secondary market rentals. How can they afford it? Because they are renting inventory that they do not own! Liars, cheaters, FRAUD. When Wyndham took over RCI, it became impossible to trade without massive involvement on the phone with them. Because they are holding back inventory, renting it for a profit, giving it as perks to special customers, using it for sweet heart deals with criminal organizations like Mayan Palace and Grand Mayan.
      Do not expect RCI trading to ever work again until all the Wyndham executives go to jail and the bankruptcy court resells RCI to someone honest. Only buy specific weeks at specific resorts that you personally would like to use.

      1. Hi. Regarding the winter red at the resort. We went through the 4 hour sales pitch and did not buy. They had shown us a calendar with different colours blocking the weeks. Apparently, the red area is the high season, and you will NEVER be able to book a week or two at your favored resort. Some people start booking a year ahead but wonder why it’s always full! We were at the pitch in October and saw a couple in the swimming pool… they confirmed that they couldn’t get their choice of exchange week and settled taking their vacation in October! On top of that they had to split their vacation into 2 different weeks! What a waste of money! Timeshare was started by hotels, etc. who needed rooms rented in the off seasons. The timeshare we almost bought for 2 weeks time had 2 units in a row townhouses arrangement. Week 1 we could stay in a unit with jacuzzi, fireplace, kitchen, etc., but week 2 we had to move into another unit which was no bigger than a hotel room! Needless to say we didn’t buy into it. We have friends who bought 2 weeks at a Florida condo which they love. At they privately exchange weeks in other countries with people on travel log websites. They agree to pay whatever the maintenance is for the 2 weeks. One thing I really liked about timeshares were the resorts which I would otherwise not be able to afford.

      2. Futility of trading my 5 star timeshare for something even close in quality has become a hellish experience of endless, wasted hours searching online. Rentals bring in more income than a trade and that’s where lodgings previously available, are going. Wyndham’s responsibility to time share owners feels like betrayal. Anyone know of legal actions or other options to improve RCI quality?

  3. I agree, owners are renting their time much much more during the downturn. People are just trying to hold onto their timeshares when they lose jobs etc., and with all the resale scams out there the only safe way to recoup money is through rental. For those that don’t have the time to rent out through craigslist, Wyndham has an in-house program for Wyndham owners called “extra holidays”. They rent the time out for you for a fee usually 20-30% of the total rental fee. They use various outlets internally and use companies like hotels.com etc. You can get a lot more if you rent yourself, but if you rent via Wyndham and drop your time at the beginning of the year, you usually are guaranteed to have it rented out. Gold Crown resorts are based on how those owners that stay there rate the resort. Wyndham really has nothing to with it. More than likely cost cutting measures due to economy causing lower ratings. Wyndham cannot restrict inventory that’s against the timeshare act.

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