RCI Platinum® Membership…May just be the biggest “no brainer” in Vacation Exchange today!

Greg H. - RCI Travel and Destination NewsBoth RCI® Weeks and RCI Points® subscribing members now have the ability to upgrade their standard RCI membership to RCI Platinum membership.  Of course, I’m sure the first thing that probably comes to mind is “How much does it cost?” and “Is it worth it for me?” At only $55 USD per year, you shouldn’t have to think twice about an RCI Platinum membership. Here’s why:  the membership offers a wide array of great exchange and lifestyle benefits that can more than help offset the cost of the upgrade and simultaneously add value to your RCI membership.

For example, as an RCI Platinum member, let’s say you book two Extra VacationsSM getaways or combine deposits twice; you would earn $50 USD in Platinum Rebates that are automatically credited to your RCI account.  That would almost cover your entire RCI Platinum membership cost right there.  Plus, with discounts of up to 50% off dining, golf, ski, and more, you’re bound to find great savings around where you live or travel.  The savings you make here could surpass the cost of your upgrade.

However, in my opinion, it’s the non-monetary benefits that mean the most, but often go unnoticed. Take Unit Upgrades, for example. This means you can choose to be automatically upgraded from a 1 bedroom unit to a 2 bedroom unit if, within two weeks of check-in for your exchange vacation, a larger unit is available at that resort.  Booking a larger unit on your own typically requires more Deposit Trading Power or Points, but with RCI Platinum membership, an upgrade to a larger unit is complimentary.  It’s kind of like being upgraded to first class on an airplane. There’s also Priority Access which allows RCI Platinum members to be among the first to access specially-acquired Exchange vacations in cities like Chicago, San Diego and Miami.  Staying a week in one of these cities could easily cost thousands of dollars, but with RCI Platinum membership, it’s just the cost of a standard exchange.

To discover more about the RCI Platinum membership or to upgrade, call your RCI Vacation Guide today. Have you upgraded to RCI Platinum membership already? If so, please comment below and let us know what you like the most.

Comments for RCI Platinum<sup>®</sup> Membership…May just be the biggest “no brainer” in Vacation Exchange today!

Name: Paula
Time: Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We hope other people will learn from our mistake. While spending 5 days at Sedona Pines Resort in Sedona, AZ, my husband and I decided to attend a sales talk so we could get a 2 for 1 trip to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. We had no intention of buying more points. We met with Tom Fleming, a new salesman for the property. When we mentioned that we have difficulty booking trips with our points, he said we should obtain a Platinum membership. We had never heard of Platinum before. Since we were reluctant to buy any more points, he enlisted the help of Melanie Danz, the General Sales Manager for Sedona Pines Resort. Melanie said they were one of only a few resorts that could sell the Platinum membership. She told us as Platinum members, we would have 3 years to use our points without having to pay fees to extend our unused points from year to year. She actually said this 3 times. Melanie said that to become a Platinum member, she recommended that we purchase the smallest package possible, 21,000 points received every other year, costing $5,800. Platinum as they described it sounded great to us, so we made the purchase.

Soon after returning from our Sedona trip, I spoke with an RCI Guide regarding an unrelated matter and mentioned how happy we were to now have 3 years to use our RCI points with no fees as a Platinum member. The RCI Guide said unless the resort is covering the fees, the policy is still the same even as a Platinum member. I immediately called Melanie Danz and left a message on her voice mail but never heard back from her. The next week, while on the RCI website, I noticed an icon for Platinum membership and clicked on it. Imagine my shock to read that we could have converted our existing points to Platinum just by paying a $55 yearly fee. This was never mentioned during our sales talk in Sedona. Again I called Melanie Danz and left a message on her voice mail. After more frustrating phone calls to the resort and their sister resort, Highlands Resort at Verde Ridge, we were finally contacted by Barbara Schneloff, Director of Special Services at Sedona Pines. After exchanging many emails with her outlining how we felt they took advantage of us, in the end Barbara stated that there was no "evidence of misrepresentation" and refused to return our money. Tom Fleming and Melanie Danz told us what they thought we wanted to hear in order to sell us more points, even though it was untrue.

So, beware when attending a sales talk that they will tell you anything in order to sell RCI points.

I did speak with an RCI supervisor who told me RCI is not responsible for what sales people tell us while trying to sell us RCI Points! RCI should take responsibility. After all, it is their product being sold.

Name: RCI
Time: Monday, August 1, 2011

Hi Paula, we are sorry to hear of your frustration and are concerned because some of what you have described is inconsistent with our RCI Platinum program. We’ve already started looking into this matter and appreciate that you have brought this to our attention.

Name: Dehlia
Time: Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Has anyone ever been upgraded to a larger unit since going platinum member? I have been a member for 2 years and have never gotten a ugrade.

Name: RCI
Time: Monday, November 7, 2011

Hi Dehila, thanks for connecting with us! RCI Platinum members around the world have enjoyed over 650 unit upgrades since the launch of the product in 2010. Of course, this benefit is not guaranteed, but it is provided on a first come, first serve basis (based upon the initial confirmation date of the Exchange) and you'll receive an email from RCI if one becomes available no sooner than 14 days prior to the check-in date of the reservation.

Don't forget - there are other great benefits associated with your RCI Platinum membership, including discounts year-round on golf, skiing, dining and many other everyday activities. These savings alone could be worth the cost of upgrading to RCI Platinum membership! For more details, check out the information available on RCI.com.

Name: David H.
Time: Sunday, November 27, 2011

Platinum membership must be another RCI money grab. When points first started they had partners that you could actually exchange your points for. Soon afterwards they put limits on how many points you could exchange to partners. Now you can increase your limit ... if you purchase a platinum membership. I don't think it will ever end, RCI will continue the money grab.

Name: RCI
Time: Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hi David H, thanks for your comment. What it takes to complete a Points Partner transaction (air, car, etc.) is very different from what happens with non-Points Partner transaction (e.g., home resort reservations & other resort exchange options). Since these 2 programs have significant operational and cost differences, they are structured differently. Keep in mind that as an RCI Points subscribing member, you have multiple travel planning options available to you. We encourage you to consider your different options and choose the one that provides the most benefits based on your situation.

We are committed to offering a wide variety of Points Partner products and will continue to work with our vendors to obtain the best deals for our members. We invite you to email us at talktous@rci.com with any specific questions you have or If you wish to discuss your concerns further.

Name: Alison Frizzell
Time: Sunday, February 19, 2012

I agree with David H that RCI seems to be just coming up with more and more ways to take money from its members. When we joined it was on the understanding that, apart from the quality/size of the apartment you own determining the standard you could swap into, everyone was on a level playing field in terms of getting the place they wanted. Now that has been taken away from anyone who thinks it's a cheek to ask for people to pay into the Platinum membership. Frankly, I think this is disgusting because it is not the basis on which we all bought into the scheme. Another questionable scheme is the extra credits you can get which are presented as being such a great idea. Well they would be if you didn't have to pay another exchange fee to use them!! We have been given several of these from holidays for which we had already paid the exchange fees but it will cost us more exchange fees to use them. Again, a way to make money out of us. I have to say that I am very disappointed with RCI for going down these routes and wonder whether anyone other than David and me feels the same.

Name: RCI
Time: Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hi Alison. We are sorry to hear you are disappointed in the RCI Weeks Enhancements. These were intended to give our members more choice and flexibility in exchanging.
It is important to note that the way trading power is determined has not changed. Deposit Trading Power assigned to a week is based on:
1. Supply, demand, utilization, and classification
2. Size and type of unit
3. How far in advance the week is deposited prior to its start date
4. Comment card scores for your resort
5. Seasonal designation of week deposited

Prior to our enhancements, if you booked a vacation that required less trading power than your deposit, you didn’t get anything back. Now, members have the opportunity to get more than one vacation out of a deposit when they receive Deposit Credits back. For those members who have a Deposit Credit, it’s important to know that even a Deposit Credit with a trading power as low as 5 has nearly 100,000 vacation options at any given time. Of course, that Deposit Credit can be combined with another Deposit or Deposit Credit to increase Deposit Trading Power and/or gain additional time to use the combined deposit, but it’s not always necessary in order to book another exchange.

It sounds like there may be some confusion regarding RCI Platinum membership. The RCI Platinum program includes last-minute unit upgrades, access to specially-acquired inventory, rebates for qualifying transactions, reduced trading power cruise options, and lifestyle benefits. The specially-acquired inventory is typically hotel inventory and not member-deposited vacations from the RCI exchange program. So, while there is additional inventory available to RCI Platinum members as a benefit, it does not reduce the exchange options available to non-Platinum members.

If you would like us to take a closer look at your account and provide some suggestions for exchanging, please email us at talktous@rci.com.

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