How to use the RCI Deposit Calculator, and why

How to use the RCI Deposit Calculator, and why

If you deposit your timeshare with RCI, of course you want to get the best possible exchanges with it. Unfortunately, many timeshare owners end up getting less trading power for their timeshares than they could, and don't realize what they're missing out on. The good news is that RCI provides timeshare owners with a tool called the Deposit Calculator, that can help you get the most for your deposit.

Here's why this tool is important, and everything you need to know about how to use it.

The RCI deposit calculator helps you maximize your timeshare's trading power Maximize your timeshare's value with the deposit calculator

Who is this calculator for?

  • RCI Weeks members. If you don't have a timeshare week that's enrolled in RCI, then this isn't generally applicable to you. BUT... there may be a time you may want to borrow a friend's RCI account to do a little research.
  • Floating week owners. If you own a floating week where you can select the week you want to deposit, then this tool is ideal for you. It is perfect for giving you the information you need to maximize the value of your deposit.



  • Lock-off owners. Even if you have no choice about the specific week you deposit (for example, you own a fixed week, or own at a resort that does not allow you to select your own week for deposit), you may get value out of this tool if you own a lock-off. You can weigh the benefits of depositing one side, the other side, or the combined lock-off.

Why bother with the deposit calculator?

There are two primary methods of depositing your timeshare week into RCI.

  1. Let them handle it. You just call your timeshare, and ask them to deposit your week into RCI. They take care of it, and you just see a deposit appear in your RCI account when it's done.
     
    If you want "easy", this is the way to go. But if you want "maximum value", this method does not work in your favor. Think about it. Why would the resort select the highest value week to deposit for you? It's actually in their best interest to do the opposite - pick a low demand week for your deposit, so they still have the higher demand weeks available for other owners.
  2. Handle it yourself. This way, you do the work. You select the week you want, reserve it, and then deposit it into RCI.
     
    You do have to put more effort into doing it this way, but you have a lot more control over what you get. That can translate into more trading power for you, which means more and/or better exchanges. I'd say that's worth a bit of extra effort! 🙂

But how do you know what to do? If you want to maximize your trading power, you need to know what you'll get for your deposit in different scenarios, so you can pick the best one. That's where the deposit calculator comes in. This tool tells you exactly how you can get the greatest value from your deposit.

How much difference can it make?

Here's a real life example from one of our timeshares. The resort has 52-week red season, which means we can use our floating week any time during the year.

Here's how the numbers play out for different deposits...

  • Week 4 (January) = 14 TPUs (trading power units)
  • Week 27 (July) = 20 TPUs
  • Week 47 (Thanksgiving) = 24 TPUs (*best week of the year)

Some things are fairly obvious. In many locations, you could guess that a July week would be worth more than a January week.

However, I would never have guessed that Thanksgiving would be the best week of the year to deposit. The only way that I found that out was by using the deposit calculator and running the numbers to see what worked best.

By depositing week 47 instead of week 4 (which the resort might have selected for us), we get 24 TPUs instead of 14. That's 71% more trading power!

How to use the deposit calculator

1. Access the calculator. Log into RCI Weeks, and go to Manaage My Deposits. There, you'll see a section with Deposit Tools and Resources. One of those tools is the deposit calculator.

How to use the RCI deposit calculator, part 1 How to use the RCI calculator, part 1

2. Find your resort. You can enter the resord ID code if you know it, or search for a resort by name.

3. Choose an option. Click on one of the tabs to specify whether you want to enter a specific unit number (e.g. #208A1), or enter a type of unit (e.g. 2-bedroom).

4. Enter unit parameters. Depending on which option you selected, enter the necessary parameters for the unit you're interested in.

NOTE: If your resort has more than one check-in day, you'll see options under the Unit Number/Name drop-down. For instance, you might see 2BR-SA and 2BR-SU if the resort has weeks starting on either Saturday or Sunday.

How to use the RCI deposit calculator, part 2 How to use the RCI calculator, part 2

5. Choose your week. Select the week that you want to calculate. You can either pick a date on the calendar, or enter a year and week number. The calendar will change to highlight only the selected check-in days of the week (e.g. Saturday check-ins).

6. Click to Calculate.

7. Scroll down for results. Your browser may be different, but on my screen, when I click Calculate, it looks like nothing happens. I have to scroll down to see that it is showing some results.

8. Max vs. Current trading power. If you deposit your timeshare with RCI less than 9 months before the check-in date, then your trading power goes down. The closer you get to the check-in date, the less trading power you get. Max trading power is what that week would get you if you deposit 9+ months in advance. Current trading power is what you would get if you deposit that selected week today.

9. Try different dates. Experiment with choosing different dates throughout your available season, and see how the trading power varies. By trying all the available dates, you can pinpoint the one that will give you the best trading power.

Comments? Questions?

Do you have any questions about how, when, or why to use the RCI deposit calculator? Any experiences where using it made a real difference, or suggestions for other people? Please leave comments, questions and tips in the Comments section below.Timeshare Owner's Guide to Winning the Timeshare Game

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Many RCI timeshare owners don't realize how much trading power they're losing out on by not following these simple steps before they deposit their timeshare. It's like leaving money on the table! Find out more about maximizing your trading power, and other tips on making the most of your timeshare, in the Timeshare Owner's Guide to Winning the Timeshare Game.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi! I'm Deanna, founder of Winning the Timeshare Game, and author of the books. After running an international tour company, I'm now into the fascinating world of timeshares. I enjoy sharing all the tips I discover, and I'd love to see everyone have as much fun with their timeshares as we do!

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20 Comments

  1. David Ulis

    I wonder if you have any thoughts about the Starwoods plan to spin off their time share business - from the perspective of the vacation owners.
    Thanks
    Dave

    • Hi Dave -
      Thanks for your comment! That is a very interesting question, and something I've been wondering about, too. I don't have any inside knowledge about this, but I would guess that as a separate public company, the timeshare biz will have increased pressure for sustained growth and profitability. On the growth side, this could benefit timeshare owners by expanding their options (and there are already some plans announced to add inventory like the Sheraton Kauai). On the profitability side, this could potentially lead to increased fees, which would be a downside for owners. It will be interesting to see how it develops!
      Thanks, - Deanna.
      Deanna Keahey recently posted...RCI vs. Interval - Filtering and transparency

      • Marybeth Outwater

        Omg I hope you can help me! !!! I own a 3 bedroom 2 bath in Hilton Head. I own at Waterside by SPINNAKER and I have a set week which is week 16. I have never even stayed at my unit yet because for the last 10 years RCI has always asked me to bank my week and have truly sent my rather large family of 7 to absolutely gorgeous resorts that fit over 10 people. They put us ALWAYS IN OUTRAGEOUS SUITES! Needless to say we were always thrilled and could of never afforded these places without me making smart trades. I was also fortunate to have week 16 which I locked in forever because of the time most schools are closed for spring break, but even more enticing is the golf tournaments that week.
        So here is my problem i want to rent my place on my own but I have never done this before and want to make sure that I don't get taken advantage of since so many people are calling me. Even Spinnaker says they want to rent it for me but of course they want a fee that i feel is to high.I am now a single mom with serious health issues and need to get as much as possible that of course is fair for all. I apologize about my health issues and story and truly do not mean to sound like a sad sack, or that I am looking for sympathy. Thank you for all your time, I truly look forward to hearing from you so we can discuss this situation and hopefully come up with a wonderful solution.
        PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE call me at your earliest convenience. I can be reached at {removed for privacy}.
        My Best Regards,
        Marybeth Outwater

        • Hi Marybeth -
          Thanks for your note! I'm glad to hear about the great trades you got with your timeshare over the years, and sorry that you've run into health issues now.

          You'll generally be able to get the best return by renting your unit yourself, and it sounds like with such a prime week, you should be able to do well. This way you have more control, and don't have to give a cut of the $$ to anybody else, but it does take some effort on your part.

          Some people rent timeshares on eBay, but unless you're already savvy with eBay, it's probably easier to start out on Redweek.com. You can look for your resort, and see what prices other people are renting their timeshares for. Then you can post your own listing for rental, using other people's listings as a guide. It's a lot cheaper than paying the resort to rent it for you.
          Best of luck with it! - Deanna.
          Deanna Keahey recently posted...Should I upgrade my week to RCI points?

  2. Smart information on deposit through RCI, Deanna.

    When dealing with Startwood properties how, exactly, does this work? Let's say I reserve a week around Thanksgiving (I own a 1-52 float) at Desert Oasis early in the year. Is there going to be a surcharge (like there would be if I wanted to "gift" that week to you and your family) if I turn around two weeks later and bank that reserved week with RCI?

    • Hi Bob & Joanne -
      Sorry to tell you, but Starwood has a special system that doesn't fit the normal scenario. They use a "blended average" to determine what value you get for depositing your week, rather than using a specific week you reserve. E.g. if you own a Gold week, then you get the average of what Gold weeks are worth. In your case, you own a full year float, so you'll get an average of the whole year.
      Personally, I much prefer being able to book my own week, so that I can have more control over the trading power I get, but Starwood doesn't give you that flexibility with RCI. You could still reserve a specific week and deposit it with an independent exchange company, but with RCI (or II), they use the blended approach.

      Best of luck with it! - Deanna.
      Deanna Keahey recently posted...Should I cancel my timeshare purchase?

  3. Ashley W

    Thanks for this really helpful article! My mom has offered that we use her timeshare studio at Orange Lake in Orlando. My husband and I plan to do an RCI exchange. Ideally we'd like to stay at one of the Disney vacation club properties in October or November of this year.

    Her fixed week is week 16 (April). Is the deposit trading power dependent on the time you deposit vs your fixed week or the time you deposit vs the week you plan to travel?

    Her maintanence fees are due now, and before we pay to sign up for RCI we want to know if it's worth it. If the trading power is based on the 2 1/2 months between when we could deposit and when her week is we fear that it would be too low to get a Disney studio, which I think usually go for at least 25. Could we deposit after her week 16, or do you have to deposit before your fixed week?

    • Hi Ashley -
      Thanks for your comment! The deposit trading power is based on how long you deposit before the check-in date of that week. Since your mom's week is in April and it's February now, we don't have long before that check-in date. That means you'll get only a fraction of the full trading power, and it is unlikely that you'll be able to pull a Disney resort with that.

      You need to either stay in that week yourself, or do something with it quickly. The longer you wait to deposit it, the less you will get for it. If you wait until after the check-in date, then the week is gone, and you can't do anything with it at all.
      Good luck with it! - Deanna.
      Deanna Keahey recently posted...How much is my timeshare worth?

  4. tom railey

    we own points at Wyndham Bonnet Creek and Disney Vacation Club we have an RCI membership with both of them but don't understand how it works. Is there any site or? to get this information?

    • Hi Tom -
      Thanks for your message! I have some articles about using specific RCI features on this site, but unfortunately nothing like a "getting started guide". One suggestion is to go to the RCI website, and click on their Help section. They have a bunch of FAQ topics there that could help you get started.
      Good luck with it! - Deanna.
      Deanna Keahey recently posted...How much is my timeshare worth?

  5. Kate Lang

    This article was very informative. However we bought RCI points several years ago which we were told would get better echanges. However that is not true as every time we try to get a timeshare in an area or at a time we want there never seems to be any although you can find them on Getaways (which you have to pay for not trade into). Do you have any tips for me to work this system better? Thanks very much.

    • Hi Kate -
      Sorry to hear that the points aren't working out well for you so far. Salespeople tend to exaggerate the benefits when they want you to buy into points. Are you looking for something available online, or setting up an on-going search that runs in the background? Your best odds are going to be using both of these together. Set up your on-going search (which searches RCI weeks inventory), and also do online searches yourself frequently (so you can see the RCI points inventory too).
      Good luck with it! - Deanna.
      Deanna Keahey recently posted...II vs. RCI - Timeshare App Showdown

  6. bob

    Deposit calculator for Points??

    • Hi Bob -
      Sorry, but the deposit calculator is only for weeks. When you have points, the number of points you get is pre-determined. When you're depositing a floating week, your trading power is not predetermined -- it depends on exactly what you deposit. The good side of the points approach is that you always know what you'll get, but the downside is that you lose the ability to manipulate it and try to get more.
      Thanks for your comment! - Deanna.
      Deanna Keahey recently posted...Should I upgrade my week to RCI points?

  7. Hi Deanna - great article!! Do TPU's come into play with points? What is the highest TPU?

    • Hi LaJean -
      Thanks for your comment! TPUs are only for people with timeshare weeks, not points. It's basically a different way of measuring what your can get with your timeshare. If you have points, then you're allocated xx,xxx points to use for whatever you want. If you have a week, then you're allocated yy TPU instead of points, and you use that to make your exchanges.

      Thanks again for the question. I'll have to add a note to this article to make it more clear!

      As for the highest TPU for a single week, I read somewhere that the max is 60, though I think the highest I've seen is somewhere in the 50s.
      Best wishes, - Deanna.
      Deanna Keahey recently posted...How much is my timeshare worth?

  8. Chris

    Hi Deanna,

    I have a question...I recently acquired a tenth ownership timeshare with Island Links in HH, and paid a 2 year membership with RCI. I am about to pay my yearly dues for 2017, and am looking at banking some time with RCI. My understanding is that I own 1 "platinum" week, but in the past couple years, I've been able to choose between "3 A weeks," "2 A, 2 B, 1C," etc.

    Any advice is welcome as I'm wanting to see more of the US and leverage the RCI directory to help with this.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Chris -
      Thanks for writing! It sounds like you have quite a bit of flexibility with what you book & boank with RCI. What I'd do is use the deposit calculator to run the numbers and see how many TPUs you can get with different scenarios... How much would depositing 1 platinum give you, how much for 3 A weeks, how much for 2A 2B 1C? It would take some time to do the analysis, but you're likely to find that certain scenarios will give you a lot more trading power for your deposits than going a different way.
      Good luck with it! - Deanna.
      Deanna Keahey recently posted...RCI Changes their Combine Deposits feature

  9. Dilip

    Hi Deanna,

    I have a 2-bed timeshare in West Village of Orange Lake which I've had for several years but only been there once - when I bought week 30 but haven't used since. In fact the only exchange in all these years was a week in Tenerife. I am based in the UK and wonder what my options are. The annual maintenance fees are getting higher and higher and it looks as if I wouldn't even get my money back by putting it up for sale. Would you advise me to sell or are there other options?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Dilip -
      You're probably right about not getting your money back on the sale. Most timeshare owners won't be able to sell for the same amount they paid, unless they bought a bargain to start with.

      I'd say the key question is why haven't you used it? Is it because you don't have the time or desire to take a timeshare vacation? If you really don't want any timeshare vacations, in Orange Lake, Tenerife or anywhere, then selling it is porbably the best.

      However, if you think you would like to take some vacations, then I'd suggest learning more about exchanging it, and put that timeshare to use for getting exchange vacations in places you want to go. That way you're not paying maintenance fees for nothing, and could really get some benefit out of it!
      Good luck, whichever way you decide to go! - Deanna.
      Deanna Keahey recently posted...RCI Platinum - 2016 Evolution and what's next?

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