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RCI Points Explained - Guide





Timeshare Weekly has written a RCI Point’s guides. Find out why there are over one million RCI Point’s members worldwide?


Review the Points examples below and see how diverse your holidays can be.

The RCI Points system is simple to understand and use, once the basic concepts are broken down and understood. 

Who will benefit from the RCI Points guides?

This guide will offer the opportunity to see for yourself, how the RCI Points system works. 

I would strongly suggest that before you continue reading this article access the article: A Points Overview first. By reviewing this link you will obtain a better understanding of a Points system and this will compliment the article “RCI Points Explained Guide 1” Lets keep this simple so review this link first before proceeding.

Brief History of RCI Points

RCI Points is the largest holiday points club on the planet. The RCI Points was launched in 2000 and there are now over a million RCI Point’s members worldwide who have access to around 4,000 resorts in over 100 countries. 

All RCI Resorts individual weeks are valued in a common currency (points). Members can choose from various accommodation types, sizes and quality ratings, as well as the duration of their stay.

The key word to describe the RCI Points system is flexibility! 

Manhatten Club

The Manhattan Club, New York celebrate Christmas or Thanks Giving in New York with 80,000-94,000 RCI points. This would give you a week’ to celebrate for 4 people.

There are no restrictions on the size or type of accommodation you can access. Your holiday stay can vary and even accommodate weekend and mid-week breaks. You can also use your points towards travel and other holiday related services.

RCI Point’s members receive a directory detailing all the RCI Points resorts together with their Points values and quality rating. RCI has assigned a points value for every size unit and every time frame for every one of there affiliated 4,000 resorts worldwide.

RCI members can plan in advance knowing exactly how much their holidays will cost in Points by accessing an easy to understand grid format either online or within their RCI Points brochure. 

Enjoy your timeshare holidaySo, just like a traditional holiday brochure, you always know how much your holidays are going to cost and the standard of accommodation. Only this time, the amounts are in Points rather than currency 


Norman & Hazel Upchurch South Devon UK

Hi Graham - some of the points you raise in the article "Why timeshare: is the right choice" are what we experienced when we first bought into timeshare. We were given very little information on how to get the best out of our timeshare and were left to just get on with it! 

Thankfully, it wasn't long before we were advised to speak to you, and have since been able to have some very enjoyable and good value holidays. Through the RCI points system my husband and I have had a couple of 3-week trips to America (if paying for the flight you may as well stay for as long as points/time allows!).

We had 2 great weeks with points in a super resort in St Martin, Nether Antilles, costing approximately £1,400 (includes flights), compared with £3,200 for a unit at the same resort with Kuoni! We've had several 1-week holidays in UK; these breaks of course can be taken for just the cost of the reservation fee. We're off to Gran Canaria for two weeks at the end of September staying in a 4 star resort, the flights costing around £400 for the two of us. What is really good about timeshare is that your accommodation is an apartment, and not just one room, so there's always a comfy sofa to sit on, where you can put your feet up and enjoy a cup of tea and a snack when you feel like it, just like you would at home. As you mention Graham, as long as you are prepared to put some effort in when searching for a holiday, you can make timeshare work for you.


How to use the RCI Points guide? 

This has been put in a logical sequence to create a better understanding of the RCI Points system ensure you have reviewed the article: A Points Overview.

Once you have read 'A Points Overview' if there’s an area you want to jump in first to explore when viewing the contents table then that’s not a problem. However to get a better understanding you need to review the whole guide.

It should be noted that there is no substitute for a professional salesperson who can take you through the concept far more easily face to face. However if you put in a little time and go over the areas you will have a good understanding of the RCI Points system. This is coupled with the fact that you have the opportunity to ask questions and go back over the table of contents.

Table of contents. 

Review the table of contents within the links so you can go directly to the area of interest to you.

Within the guide you will have the opportunity to ask direct questions. 

  1. Overview of booking procedure
  2. Summery of benefits
  3. How you can reduce your overal maintenance costs with Points
  4. Theres got to be a cost to convert (ceed) my week to points, what is this likely to be?
  5. Extra holidays without points!
  6. Terms you need to know

Trade Winds Cruise Club-St. Martin, take a weeks long cruise and truly experience the Caribbean in a very unique way. The crew are in charge of the catamaran and all cooking. Visit different islands and end every day with a dinner and a cocktail in a quite bay from 69,500-116,00 RCI Points.

RCI Point members have better access to timeshare weeks within RCI than the traditional RCI Weeks systemas explained below.

In the RCI Weeks system the assumption was the owner was using the week(s) unless they advised otherwise. So we have to wait for the RCI weeks member to deposit their weeks. In this system you are up against human nature as some members will be more organised than others and know exactly what they want while others can't make up there minds and end up depositing their weeks at the last moment!

In the Points system the assumption is that the RCI Points member is exchanging the week(s) unless they request use of it. So all RCI Points members weeks are automatically deposited in the pool. 

In the RCI Points system, when you join, you transfer the exchange rights to your week(s) to the system (called "ceding" the week). By ceding your week into the RCI Points system your week is automatically deposited into the RCI Points pool of resorts. Your week is then available to all RCI members to exchange into. That’s unless YOU, the owner, request that you get the use of your week ("home week") you have a special window of time reserved for you to do this. After this window has passed, the week will be open for the whole community to exchange into.

The Concept of RCI Points allowed more availability for members immeadiately rather than waiting for an RCI Weeks member to deposit their week.

Types Of Points Ownership

There are three types of points ownership: Fixed, Floating and Pure Points.

Fixed If you own the same week and apartment number every year this is known as ‘fixed’ ownership.

The Points values vary according to size of unit and time of year within each key rating. You will find that as an owner of fixed time your week, red, white, blue may vary from other red, white or blue weeks because of varing demands. 

Floating If you own a week at a particular resort which does not fall into the same week number every year, this is known as ‘floating’ ownership.

As an owner of floating time you will find weeks in each colour band have the same value according to the size of unit because an average has been taken.

Pure Points If you own points that are not associated to a specific week of timeshare, this is known as ‘Pure Points ownership’. this is essentially also a form of floating time.

How you book your Points for a holiday Exchange depends on the type of points ownership you have. This will be explained more in your booking reservations.

Windjammer Landing Beach Resort St Lucia overlooks the blue waters of the Caribbean. Some of the apartments have their own pool. Take two weeks school holiday time in the Summer in a sleep four for 120,000 RCI Points.

RCI Points offers you choice.

Another benefit as an RCI Points member is that you have the advantage over RCI Weeks members is that you can access both RCI Point’s resorts and RCI Week Resorts that’s just over 4,000 resorts. RCI Weeks members can only access RCI Weeks resorts.

RCI members enjoy various types of holiday accommodation that you  can request for example: Resorts, Castles, Winnebago’s, boats, hotels, villas, cruises, cottages and Stately Homes to name a few. 

As an example of how diverse your holidays can be with RCI Points. Read this inspiring testimonial from an RCI Points member with an exchange fee of just £87 at the time of their exchange: A week aboard the catamaran 'Passion' cruising the Grenadines Island chain


Read further examples of RCI Points members who have travelled the world using RCI Points.

For example, you could use all your Points to 'pay' for a peak season week in a large apartment at a top quality resort rated as a Key 4-5, alternatively, you could choose three off- season weeks in a lower category property as defined by the keys 1-2. You can enjoy holidays that can include mid-week and weekend breaks, from your current Timeshare ownership. 

Understand the RCI key ratings assigned to each resort: RCI Points weeks are graded with a wider and more precise criteria than the RCI Weeks system ( the traditional exchange system). Resorts are given a key rating in the first instance, a resort with varying units can have more than one key rating.

Resorts are g​raded by Key ratings this approximately equates to the original RCI classification as shown below:

Key Traditional RCI classification of resorts
1 Standard
2 Hospitality
3 Silver Crown
4/5/5L Gold Crown


With 65,000 Points you could...

65,000 RCI Points could get you in a two-bed luxury 2 bed apartment spending time by the pool sipping cocktails in Madeira in August. Or if you were able to take holidays within 45 days you could take benefit from Instant breaks at 9,000 RCI Points that’s regardless of the rating Gold Crown or size of the apartment. You could take seven weeks during the course of the year for 63,000 RCI Points and still have change! 


How can I work out how many points we require?

Lets go through this simple exercise together so we can get an idea how to calculate how many points we need. This will only take a little of your time to work this out. This requires just a little organising, so to stay focused get out a pen and paper. Write down the following answers to the three questions below. 

  • How many holiday weeks can you take or would want to take? Write this down.
  • What times of the year you are like to travel.
  • A general idea of where you are likely to holiday over the next 12 months. For example you might wish to holiday in the canneries for two weeks, perhaps a UK holiday and two weeks in Florida. Perhaps you might be in a position that you can take 4-6 weeks of holiday at a time. 

Create a general list of holidays that you are likely to take on an annual basis. We know that this may change in the future so we are only talking about where you are now. 

The RCI Points you require below will be governed by the following factors. 

  • How many weeks/nights per year you and your family desire to travel
  • The size of the apartment to suit your needs.
  • The time of the year will largely influence a greater percentage of the number of Points you require.
  • The countries you wish to holiday in.
  • The key rating of the resort you wish to access.
  • Can you take last minute holidays from 2 days too 6 weeks? If so you could in Europe, RCI Points last minute bookings are on a percentage discount basis depending on how close you book to the start date.  If you book within 45 days of start date, you get a reduction in number of points, starting at 10% and maximum deduction is 14 days before will give you a 50% discount.

RCI Points on the beach

Points Partners

RCI Point’s members have a further option and you can spend your points on Points Partners as well. Using the Points Partner Program, a points member can exchange points for a variety of travel and leisure services including car rental, cruises, hotel stays, country cottages, hotels, and theme park and golf activities and much more

Points Partners FAQ

How do I make reservations with the RCI Points Partner Program? When you have selected your RCI Points Partner option that you wish to access with your Points, call your RCI Points Holiday Guide.

Are there any restrictions on how many Points I can use to pay Points Partner services? Yes, check the limits on how many points you can use towards any particular Points Partner. Once you have exceeded a ceiling of points allowed then payment will usually take the form of a part payment in Points and part cash.

How far in advance can I book with an RCI Points Partner? RCI Points Partners can be reserved, as far in advance as the rules associated with that partner will allow. Call your RCI Points Holiday Guide for details.

The message is clear, once you have an idea what you would you like to do with Points Partners, list your questions and contact RCI. 

Review the Points Partners Program to see if this could add value to your holiday experiences.

RCI Points Testimonial

From Frank & Lin - South Wales - April 2012

We have been timeshare owners for 15 years now. We started with an Easter week in Wales and an August week at Passage House and used these satisfactorily in the RCI Weeks system. In the mid-2000s, we looked at RCI Points and initially did not consider that the flexibility was worth the up-front conversion cost. However, Graham advised us in 2007 to convert to Points, as it would suit the way we holidayed. We had two weeks at Passage House that gave us 164,000 points, and we have since been able to take on average almost 4 weeks points holidays each year. Aspects to note have been

  • Our holidays have been taken mostly outside peak season.
  • Points value for each week have ranged from 88,000 for a Gold Crown 3 bedroom unit sleeping 8 in Scotland. Then May to just 9,250 RCI Points for   a Silver Crown week in Spain in March booked at one week’s notice (with points discounted as it was an Instant booking).
  • The maintenance cost of each week taken on points thus works out at just under £200 per week. The rental value of some of these weeks has been over £1,000!
  • Every holiday has been enjoyable; any problem has been more than offset by positive features

Graham also advised us to keep our Wales week in the RCI Weeks system without any increase in membership fee), and this has proved good advice as we have been generally able to access accommodation with double the points value. We have thus had a Weeks week each year in addition to the above Points weeks.

We have certainly been grateful for Graham’s help and guidance.

Guide to making an RCI Point’s reservation

1) Know when your RCI Points are allocated? Your Points are allocated to you every year on your membership anniversary. (This is determined individually by date when your membership is processed, not by "calendar year”.)

2) Booking Reservations: It is important to insure you take advantage of the categories of booking reservations available to you: Review booking reservations.

3) Plan where and when you want to holiday. Don’t limit your opportunities! Refer to happy experiences (link to be supplied)

4) Review the different types of accommodation online or through your resorts directory and personalise your holiday. 

5) Select the standard of resort. The resorts are divided into 'Keys' 1,3 and 5 (similar concept to star ratings) you decide the standard and the facilities that’s important to you on your holiday. Review resort key system (link to be supplied)

6) How long would like to stay? RCI Points members have the flexibility to vary their holidays and can request traditional 7day holidays as well as 10day holidays, Midweek breaks and weekend breaks.

7) Check the Points values of the holiday or holidays that you've selected so you know what the cost is going to be in points.

Note If you have a short fall of points for the holiday(s) you require you can always borrow more points from next year’s allocation. 

8) How to book your holiday. You can either book your holidays online 24/7 (note there is a discount if you book direct online) or telephone and use RCI user-friendly telephone service in the RCI Reservations department to book your holiday and pay using your allocated Points. 

KEY TIP: Plan ahead and book early.

Learn how to improve your exchange opportunities and holiday experiences.

How you can reduce your overal maintenance costs with Points

All timeshares involve ownership and therefore maintenance costs for upkeep. The good news about RCI Points though, is that unlike the older timeshare product where you only get one week for that annual maintenance fee, with RCI Points it is very easy to get more than one week or even 3-4 weeks of vacation, still for only that one annual maintenance fee if you are considering a lower season. 

Since you can get so much time out of your RCI Points for just one maintenance fee, your expense is far lower, only a small fraction of what it would cost you to rent a comparable accommodation.


With 164,000 Points you could...

164,000 RCI Points would give you a two bedroom apartment sleep six in a Gold Crown resort RCI weeks Resort in Hawaii for two weeks at any time of the year. What about two weeks in August in a UK resort in Cornwall. 


  • It is up to you whether you use your Points on one big holiday or several smaller holidays. 
  • You can SAVE unused Points for the following year and you can BORROW Points a whole year in advance to add to this year’s allocation to create your dream holiday. 
  • There are NO RESTRICTIONS on the type of resorts, accommodation or time of year that you can access with your Points.  
  • You can take as many holidays each year as your Points will allow 
  • Choose from RCI Points Resorts and RCI Weeks accommodation. 
  • The duration of your stay on your holidays can vary. (This option is only available at a selection of RCI points resorts)
  • Mid-week and weekend breaks. 
  • Discounted Points Late Breaks. 
  • Return to your home week.
  • Home Resort Priority. Holiday at your home resort at different times of the year, in different unit types. Holiday within your home group of resorts.
  • Use Points to pay for travel and leisure services 
  • Can take friends and family. 

At this point I would suggest you read my article on  A Points Overview. if you have not already done so.

How can I guarantee a specific week at a resort?

Ask any travel agent to give you that guarentee for a specific resort and week, let alone a room with a view and ask for a guarantee.

What we have to understand about RCI Points is that unless you use your points in your home resort, you are relying on being able to confirm an exchange into the resorts you request.  RCI owns no resorts, it is  an exchange company.  But for certain locations where someone wants absolute 100% assurance of staying in a particular resort at a particular time, that person can only achieve that 100% guarantee by owning in that resort during the week(s) desired. For the years that you wish to access your home week you simply book ahead 12-13 months and your home week is secured for you.

Timeshare tips for taking extra holidays

A great way to make the most out of your timeshare is to access the many offers that Timeshare Companies offer with last minute holiday deals. The downside to this is that most of these can only be booked about 6 weeks in advance.

The benefits are that this can be a fraction of the normal regular cost and you don’t have to deposit a week or pay with points. You can take as many as you want. Family and friends can access these late bookings via your timeshare membership.

Work through this link below to ensure you maximize your holiday options.

Alongside your main Exchange Company that’s usually RCI and II. Join other free joining exchange companies what have you to lose? 

Tips for taking bonus weeks

One way to get the most out of your timeshare is to take advantage of the many special offers your time share exchange company makes available to owners. A great way to get the most for your money is to utilize your exchange group’s available last-minute trip deals. The downside to these deals is that travel can not usually be booked more than a month or two in advance, but the upside is that you will stay in gold star resorts, in amazing locations, for a fraction of the regular cost. Interested in making your timeshare work for you? See the checklist below for more information on booking RCI Escapes.

Tips for Booking RCI Escapes and II Getaways:

Be alert for RCI specials. They make sure that these are not easy to find. The can be found in a card attached to a cover on an Endless Vacation periodical, or sent via email to owners registered with their website. Make sure you are registered with their website, and check their site frequently for “web only” deals.

Learn which weeks available for travel are high demand or low demand and plan getaways accordingly. While holiday weeks usually have high demand, weeks following holidays are frequently in low demand. 

Terms you need to know


If you already own timeshare at a RCI affiliated resort, the week(s) you own can be converted into a RCI Points if you choose to ‘cede’ your week(s). You will continue to retain ownership at your home resort and continue to pay annual maintenance fees to your resort.

Home Resort Priority Period

This is the reservation period window within the RCI points program where you may reserve a unit at your home resort as early as 12 months and as late as 11 months in advance of the start date.

Home Week Priority Period

This is the reservation window within RCI Points where you may reserve the specific week and unit that you own at your home resort without competition. You may make this reservation as early as 13 months and as late as 12 months prior to check in day. This priority period is for owners of fixed time.

Standard Reservation Period

The 10 month recurring 12-month period which you must use your RCI Points. Points that remain unused at the end of the Use Year are automatically saved unless they have previously been saved.

Key ratings

These are the ratings assigned showing the quality range from I key to 5L (for Luxury)

Late Breaks

If you can travel at the last minute, the late break offers can ave you as much as 50% off the listed RCI Points value.

Limited Use Points

The points refunded to your RCI Points account if you cancel an RCI Points

reservation within 90 days of the start date. These points may not be auto saved, saved, transferred or used to make Points Partners Reservations.

Mid Week and Week End breaks.

Available at selected resorts, 4day mid week breaks and 3 day weekend breaks.

Points Partners

Other holiday and leisure options that you may book with your RCI Points

Pure points

Pure points can be purchased from an approved vendor, without the need to cede your own week of timeshare. Sometimes additional Pure points may be provided as part of the package when you cede your week to points . The management fees for Pure Points are paid on a per point basis directly to blah. 

RCI Points Resorts

RCI resorts where RCI Points are available through the facility of ‘ceding’ timeshare weeks and/or through the purchase of Pure Points.

Saving Points

Moving points from the current Use Year to the next Use Year. Points that have been saved from one Use Year will not be saved for a third year unless specifically requested. This will generate a fee.

Authors Comments 

RCI Points Explained Guide as originally stated is simple to understand and use, once the basic concepts are broken down and understood. A combination of you working through the exercises and reviewing all the links will enable you to make full use of a very flexible system if worked effectively will provide you with some great holidays.