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 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.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...Villas of Sedona shows up on RCI search too 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
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.
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!