Resort Condominium International is the world's largest network of exchange vacations. The company sells real estate to people who wish to have a permanent vacation destination. Owners can trade destinations with other RCI members. RCI was founded in 1974 and pioneered the exchange vacation concept.
Resort Condominium International has more than 3 million members worldwide and has more than 5,000 affiliated resorts. These are condominium communities where there are full-time residents as well as vacationers who rent accommodations. This exchange program is commonly called a timeshare program. For instance, you can buy a condominium and rent the property on a weekly basis and claim the time you would like to stay at the condominium, if at all.
How It Works
Timeshare developers sell real estate in either one-week blocks or as packages of points that can be used to reserve resort accommodations. Members share occupancy rights of a development and pay yearly maintenance fees. RCI contacts the developer to enter into an agreement and the resort becomes part of RCI properties. The cost of a timeshare depends on location, the size of the unit and the time of year. As of August 2009. the average timeshare was selling for $14,800.
The RCI points program is a points-based vacation exchange. Members have the flexibility to customize their vacations. As a RCI Points member, you automatically have access to the RCI Weeks-affiliated resorts, which are located around the world. In addition, there is a RCI Points Partner program in which members can exchange points toward other travel products, such as airline tickets, cruises and hotel accommodations.
Types of Ownership
The timeshare industry offers various options to meet travelers' needs for vacation flexibility and variety. The most common types of ownership are biennial, club, deeded agreements, fixed week, floating week, fractional ownership, points and right-to-use agreements. The most common types of ownership are the fixed week and floating week. Members can buy a week in which they always are scheduled for vacation or the floating week in which members can pick different weeks of the year and take what's available.
If members have decided not to return to their home resort and would like other options, members can reserve a week at another member property. The quicker a member can reserve a week, the greater the options. However, a minimum of 14 days notice is required. Members can then search available destinations within the RCI family of properties. All that is left is confirmation of the reserved week at the destination. It's that simple.
- Photo Credit Photo courtesy of RCI
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