Both timeshare points programs and vacation clubs are sold as deeded and right to use agreements, but it is important to know the differences between the two systems to make an informed decision when buying timeshare and when reselling timeshare
The points system is relatively new within the timeshare community and has gained popularity because of the amount of flexibility they offer the timeshare owner. Each timeshare company has a unique way of assigning and utilizing points, but in this article we will look at RCI and their points system. Points are described by RCI as a measurement directly related to timeshare ownership that is used to establish value for seasons, unit sizes, and resort locations. Therefore, more points will grant you higher trading power, which translates into better weeks, in better units, at the best resorts. Points are awarded on an annual basis and the number of points given each year depends on the season, size of the unit, and resort location. Annual points information will be included in your contract and the points will be set for each year. RCI points may be redeemed for stays at your home resort during your scheduled week or non-scheduled week, multi-week stays at you home resort or other available resorts, or short week, weekend, or abbreviated stays at various resorts.
RCI allows you to save points from one year to the next (a third year is not permitted), rent points for $.02 per point to complete a reservation, and use RCI points for airlines, cruise lines, hotels, and car rentals through their RCI points partners program for an additional cost. RCI points can be used for reservations at RCI resorts worldwide, in their external exchange program with non-RCI affiliated resorts, and for points partners purchases. There is a yearly fee for participation in RCI’s points program of about $100 in addition to maintenance fees, RCI subscription or membership fees, and other costs depending on where you secure a week and during which season.
Vacation clubs tend to be more consumer friendly because they are often more affordable due to the choices between resorts. These clubs cater to a wide variety of income levels and economic backgrounds, which is probably why they are the most well-recognized type of timeshare opportunity. Vacation clubs are another way for timeshare organizations to offer flexibility with timeshare ownership. Again, vacation club does not mean the same thing for every timeshare company so I will be discussing vacation clubs with regards to RCI.
Vacation clubs give deeded and right to use RCI timeshare owners the opportunity to use their vacation time at any RCI resort based on availability. Vacation club owners have a home week and home resort in the same way that points members do, but vacation club members are only able to use their vacation time during their contracted week. Vacation clubs do not offer the same type of flexibility as points memberships do and many vacation club participants have difficulty making arrangements to stay at a resort other than their home resort. These vacation club programs are typically less expensive than points programs, which is probably why they remain a top seller for timeshare corporations.