Comparison shopping RCI and Interval International

As owners of multiple timeshares, we are members of both RCI and Interval International (the two largest timeshare exchange companies).  The downside of this is that we end up paying two membership fees for our double memberships.  The upside is that we get to view both systems.  This is where things can get interesting...

Comparing RCI vs. II Comparing RCI and Interval International

Poking around for vacation deals

If you're a timeshare owner, you've undoubtedly seen the option on these sites to purchase an "extra vacation" for cash. These companies handle exchanging your timeshare to stay at a different resort, but they also offer these opportunities to buy a vacation and just put it on your credit card (not exchanging your unit at all).

We've gotten some amazing vacation deals on these over the years, so I'm always interested to see what's available. As it happens, Brian was just reserving a week for us in Sedona, Arizona, so I decided to see what's available there in August. (August really isn't my favorite time for Sedona - I prefer spring and fall - but I was just curious...) :-)

What I found on Interval International

First I looked at Interval International, and searched for Getaways (the name on II for these "cash" vacations). Searching for Sedona, Arizona in August, one of the resorts that showed up was Villas of Sedona. They had 5 different check-in dates available, with a price of $1029/week (which is $147/night. Not a bad price for a 2-bedroom unit in Sedona, but not exactly bargain basement either.

Interval International, Vilas of Sedona II has Villas of Sedona - 5 dates available (click for larger image)

What I found on RCI

Next I looked at RCI, and searched for the same parameters (Sedona in August), in their Extra Vacations section (their name for the same type of "cash" vacation). Villas of Sedona shows up on the RCI listing too, since this timeshare resort has dual affiliations. However, where it got interesting was in the details of what showed up...

RCI - Villas of Sedona Villas of Sedona shows up on RCI search too Villas of Sedona results on RCI On RCI, Villas of Sedona shows less availability but lower prices

On RCI, there was only one check-in date available instead of 5, but you could get a 2-bedroom unit at this resort for just $621/week. That means $89/night for a 2-bedroom condo in Sedona. Now that's a smoking deal.

Wow! What a difference!

II - 5 check-in dates available, $1029/week for a 2BR
RCI - 1 check-in date available, $621/week for a 2BR

Interval had 5 times the availability, but RCI was 40% cheaper.

Now I haven't done extensive research on this, so I can't say how widespread this is. It's just a simple observation based on a little curious poking around, but I thought it was interesting enough that I wanted to share it.

If you were trying to get in during early August before the kids start school, you might only find what you wanted on II, not on RCI. On the other hand, if you've got schedule flexibility, then RCI has a much better price.

If you have dual exchange affiliations like we do, it's definitely worth doing some comparison shopping!

And one more thought...

If this was what we wanted to book, then we could save ourselves a bundle of money by checking things out on both systems. The price difference for one week's vacation would have paid for the extra membership fee several times over.

Comments? Questions?

Have you ever noticed differences like these (or totally different) between results on RCI vs. II? If so, please let us know in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you!

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There are so many great deals available once you get into the world of timeshares. Find out how to do this (the smart way) in our book Winning the Timeshare Game - Buying the Bargains. You can get into the game a fraction of the normal price, and we show you how.
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Hi! I'm Deanna, founder of Winning the Timeshare Game, and author of the books. After years of running an international tour company, I'm now into the fascinating world of timeshares. I'd love to see everyone have as much fun with their timeshares as we do, and I enjoy sharing all the cool tips I discover! You can find me on Google+

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19 Comments

  1. Brandy

    I am needing to sell my TS which I bought through II. Do you have any ideas on where I could start??

    • Deanna Keahey

      Hi Brandy - A couple of possibilities for you would be to post it for sale on redweek.com or on eBay. You can search eBay for other sales of the same timeshare to get an idea of what they're selling for there. Best of luck with it!

  2. Kathleen M., RCI Customer Care

    Hi Deanna, we really enjoy reading your posts online. We would love to learn more about you and your travels through timesharing. Please email us at talktous@rci.com so we can connect!

    Thanks,
    Kathleen M. RCI Customer Care

  3. Troy

    Hi
    My observation looks this way, I own interval time share, my in-laws own RCI.
    They seem to pay higher maintenance fees with RCI. Could that be why RCI seemed cheaper on the above post?

    • Hi Troy -
      Thanks for your comment! The original post was focused on extra vacation prices which are separate from maintenance fees, but you have an interesting observation. I'm really not sure what the average maintenance fees for Interval vs. RCI timeshares would be. I know that both systems are associated with a wide range of resorts, so some RCI locations will have much higher MF's than others, and same with Interval.
      Deanna Keahey recently posted...Offbeat Timeshare - A Narrowboat in the UK

  4. RCI is the world largest timeshare exchange company. Founded in 1974, it has more than three million members around the world and around 4000 affiliated resorts.

    Common complaints:

    -The Company doesn’t cooperate in accordance to the terms agreed on their website
    -Many extra fees are charged
    -The management is disorganized
    -The information they give to customers is not precise

  5. Hi Agu -
    Thanks for your comment. I can relate to the part about fees. RCI does have fees for pretty much anything you want to do, and it's important to consider those with your total cost calculations. As for the other complaints you list, I don't know what you mean. What terms on the website? What imprecise information? Can you please elaborate? Thanks!
    Deanna Keahey recently posted...RCI Platinum Membership - Is It Worth It?

  6. L

    Hi Deanna
    My wife and I recently purchased a Timeshare with II. We were invited on going to a RCI timeshare and were hesitant at first because we already had one. Not knowing the difference(or if there was one) between the two companies we decided to go. After going we were told that you could bank your RCI points(if you don't use them all after the two year point period) to be used in the future and with II you have to use ALL your points in your two year point period. First question is, Is that true? Second question is, is there anyway possible to change from II to RCI without completely selling your timeshare? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance

    • Hi L -
      Thanks for your comment! Is your current II timeshare using II points, or a different points system like Marriott or Diamond Resorts? It can be quite confusing since every company has different rules! As for RCI Points, you can save them for a 2nd year and extend them for a 3rd, so you have 3 years total to use them. You can only change from II to RCI (or vice versa) if your timeshare is dual affiliated. Each timeshare can be affiliated with II, RCI, or both. You can't switch it unless the timeshare already has that affiliation in place.
      Deanna Keahey recently posted...RCI Platinum Membership - Is It Worth It?

      • L

        Hi Deanna
        Thank you so much for your response. That helps a lot. Our timeshare is only affiliated with II and it uses the II point system. What is the main difference between II points and the Marriot/diamond resorts point systems?

        • I'd have to say the biggest difference is where you can stay. For instance, you can use Marriott points to stay at Marriott resorts. If you want to stay somewhere else, you could exchange it (via II) for a resort outside Marriott, but the main reason to own Marriott points would be to stay at a Marriott. II points can be used at any II resort. This is a huge selection, though you may find it tough to get what you want. For instance, Marriott owners get advanced preference at all the Marriott resorts, so other II owners have less availability. Beyond that, every company has their own rules about how and when you can make reservations, rules for using your points, and (of course) fees.
          Deanna Keahey recently posted...RCI Sale - $219 for a Beach or Ski Week

  7. Hi Deanna, I am owner of Sheraton VIstana Resort in Orlando, but I do not belong to its network. Also I am a member of RCI, but in the past 5 years RCI exchange options has been diminish and very hard to get same quality of our timeshare. This year Sheraton has the exchange option with II. My question which has better quality resorts, RCI or II? and What is the difference between been part of Sheraton network and RCI/II?

  8. Hi Kenya - Thanks for your message! Both RCI and II have some high-quality resorts in their network. If you're interested in the big chains, II has the Starwood, Marriott and Hyatt properties, while RCI has Hilton and Disney. Exchanging is a bit different. In II you exchange your unit for one other that's deemed "comparable" by II. In RCI, you get a certain amount of trading power units (TPUs) for your deposit. You can exchange for something the same or lower as your deposit, or save your TPUs from a couple of years to get something bigger/better. The Sheraton network is much smaller than either II or RCI.
    Deanna Keahey recently posted...Timeshare Owners' Update - Watch the Math

  9. Reginald

    Hi Deanna,

    I am a Wyndham timeshare owner and my exchange is for II deposits, but Wyndham is switching everyone over to RCI deposits. I have a 10 day window to request to stay with II deposits, my question is, should I switch?

    • Hi Reginald -
      Thanks for your comment! Unfortunately, there's no simple answer for that one. The two companies have different inventory for exchanges and different ways of handling exchanges. Are you happy with the trades you've been getting with II, or getaways you've purchased through them? If so, then I'd recommend staying with II, since you might not get into the same places through RCI. If you're not too thrilled with what you've gotten in II, then you could make the switch to RCI. - Deanna.

  10. Adriana Mascari

    Hi Deanna,

    We came across your website when looking for the difference between II and RCI. We currently own a timeshare affiliated to II but they are saying that they will no longer participate with II and that we will have to switch to RCI. We will be meeting with the timeshare person to "discover" the new program with RCI. What do you suggest we ask? Could this be a good thing? Could we choose to keep II since we are very familiar with how it works? Some of the posts online make us a little worried about RCI. Your advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Adriana - There are some good things about both RCI and II, but I can understand your concern with having your program changed from what you're used to. When you have a timeshare week in RCI, the most important thing is how much trading power that week will get you - this will be a certain number. It varies by resort, unit, week of the year, etc. I would suggest asking if they can show you how much trading power your specific week will get in RCI, and then what you can get for that trading power in places that you like to travel. I mean show you specifics, not just talk in vague generalities like "you can go anywhere in the world". See if they will show you the numbers. Good luck with it, and I'd love to hear how it goes!
      Deanna Keahey recently posted...Timeshare owners concerned about resale issues

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