As we, the consumers, increasingly look to find new ways of accessing products based on sharing rather than buying, say by sharing a holiday home or a car, it's hardly surprising that the use of points programmes has become a popular and simple way to 'trade' and 'buy' the use of a product or service for just as long as we want to use it. Now the basis of the way to 'buy' from many big brands, points are nothing new to RCI members who have been able to use RCI Points to get great holidays since the concept was pioneered back in the year 2000.
RCI has a growing community of holidaymakers who have chosen to use RCI Points as a way to holiday. RCI invented the points 'trading' system 18 years ago and today points-based systems are used by many leading holiday brands, some of which, such as Love Home Swap, use points programmes which have been designed for them by RCI.
RCI Points offers a really flexible way to holiday. RCI Points membership is very simple, transparent and easy to use. Initially used in its early years as a means of accessing timeshare exchange holiday homes by our members, RCI has worked continually in the ensuing years to enhance its offering and today, members can exchange their points for a whole range of fabulous holiday products and services, as well as having many more ways to increase their points' use flexibility.
What are points?
When you buy a timeshare week - or several - and you decide to become an RCI Points member, your owned week or weeks will be assigned a points value. That value will be calculated using a range of criteria, such as the property size of the ownership you purchased, the seasonality of the week or weeks owned, the demand and availability at the resort where you own, and the RCI member quality rating of the resort.
That points value will then be logged in your RCI Points Account which you can keep your eye on and manage online using your secure membership login to your account on RCI.com. You will have that given number of points to use on an RCI holiday or other booking. So you can, 24/7, check out how many points you have to use at that time, how many points you could have to use if you take advantage of the many different ways you can borrow, save, extend or rent points, as well as going right ahead to book your RCI Exchange Holiday or other RCI product directly online. For those who might want a little guidance, our Live Chat help is at your service with just one 'click' on screen, while our RCI Guides are just a phone call away.
It won't be long before you're looking for a special holiday... It may be something more upscale to celebrate a milestone anniversary, or perhaps you need to book several apartments to take family and friends away with you to celebrate an occasion. Not enough points left on your RCI Points Account to take you there?
No worries! As an RCI member you have so many options open to you in the ways you can use your points account to get your dream getaway. You can:
1. Rent more points to increase the amount you have to use at that time.
2. RCI let's its members save points from one year to put together with your points in the next year - and if that's not enough, you can even borrow points from your allocation in the coming year. So your points from three years can be put in one points pot to really boost the many RCI Exchange Holiday options available to you.
3. If you don't use all your points, their life can be extended and go into your account for use in the following year, so you never have to waste a point.
4. You can also book an RCI Exchange Holiday with a lower points value than that of your ownership week points allocation which means that instead of taking one holiday, you can book two holidays or more, especially as you will be offered monthly points deals or late booking points discounts as an RCI member allowing you to travel even further with your RCI Points!
5. If you can travel within 45 days of making your booking, you can save up to 50% on Exchange Holiday points' values to take you even further...
6. Points can also be purchased from a points vendor so you can build on your account, bit by bit, to enable you to increase the holiday planning options available to you.
Because we know how precious your holidays are to you and your family, RCI has introduced Points Protection which will ensure that if, for any unfortunate and unforeseen reason, you have to cancel your RCI Points Exchange Holiday, the points will be put straight back onto your RCI account. So if the worst does happen and you have to cancel your RCI holiday, you at least will know that when your circumstances get better, you will still have your points to use and a great holiday will be waiting for you - just the 'pick me up' you deserve.
How Can I Use My RCI Points?
So, now you know how to maximise the value of your RCI Points so you can squeeze every last little bit of holiday fun out of them, you might be wondering what RCI has to offer, that you can swap your points for in our holiday-one-stop-shop...
It's no secret that RCI has more holiday accommodations in its holiday exchange accommodation portfolio than any other holiday exchange services provider. The majority of our members join RCI to access the widest variety of holiday experiences and destinations, while being able to stay in spacious quality holiday accommodation with all the home comforts and much more. There are 4,300 resorts affiliated to RCI shared-holiday ownership exchange, situated across six continents and 110 countries.
On top of that, through its Points Partner programme, RCI can give its points members access to thousands of properties with renowned and trusted holiday brands such as James Villa holidays and cottages.com
RCI Points membership opens doors to that portfolio of holiday properties to you, but that's not the only benefit of your membership.
Perks of RCI Points Partners
There is a growing community of RCI Points Partners which have greatly increased the variety of experience our members can access using their points.
Our Points Partners are companies that understand what RCI is about and how we are working to deliver great holiday experiences, and so have agreed to work with RCI by offering their product to RCI members through our points exchange system. This means our members can also use their points in exchange for an extended range of products and experiences to further enhance the leisure lifestyle they can enjoy with RCI membership.
Hotels - Use your points to enjoy a wider range of accommodation around the world than ever by accessing hotels, including world-renowned brands such as Hyatt, Marriott and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.
Car Hire - Choose from a selection of car hire companies, such as Avis, Hertz and Europcar, to ease into your holiday by having a car waiting at the airport to get you to your resort, as well as at your disposal during your stay so you can explore your holiday destination in your own time, at your own pace.
Airport Car Parking - Before you even board your flight, why not use your points to ease the stress of setting out on your holiday by exchanging some of them to secure your airport parking? Airport parking is available at Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, Birmingham, East Midlands, Manchester, Edinburgh and more.
Attraction Tickets - Attraction World is one of the world's leading theme park and attraction specialists, offering a wide range of theme parks, sightseeing tours, theatre shows, experience days, as well as many other activities the world over. RCI is proud to be working with Attraction World as a Points Partner bringing all these experiences to RCI members as a points exchange.
As a holiday accommodation bonus, RCI members can also use their points to get fabulous getaways in the high-spec quality properties offered by James Villa Holidays and cottages.com. These superb holiday properties add yet another wonderful dimension and diversity to the holiday lifestyle choice for our points members.
James Villa Holidays - Because we have partnered with the UK's leading villa specialist we can offer members the freedom of their own villa, many with private pools in stunning locations in sunny destination such as Greece, Cyprus, France, Croatia and many more.
cottages.com - This company has been providing wonderful self-catering holiday cottages in the UK, France, Ireland and Italy for more than 30 years. Whether you are looking for a rustic romantic retreat in a tiny French gîte, or a family-sized, fun-filled villa in Tuscany, there are properties in this offering to suit every holiday desire and preference.
Cruise Holidays - From land to the open ocean, your points can take you out on the world's seas with some of the most-loved cruise operators. You can visit just about every amazing port of call across the globe if you use your RCI Points to sail away on a fantastic cruise holiday. Among the cruise operators who have partnered with RCI to bring you this opportunity are Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Lines and more.
Please note that some of the RCI Points Partner holiday options highlighted in this blog are available in the UK only. Our Points Partners differ from country to country, and they are not available to all RCI membership types. To learn more, click on the button below to view our Points Help page.