RCI was founded in 1974 by John and Christel DeHaan. RCI is the largest timeshare exchange company in the world. There are over 4,700 resorts worldwide in over 100 countries that have RCI affiliation. A common misconception is that RCI owns these resorts – that is not the case. In fact, until recently, RCI did not sell any timeshare or points: they were just an exchange broking company that provided the platform for an individual timeshare-owning member to exchange their timeshare weeks or points for a different resort elsewhere. RCI do not offer any resale service for timeshare weeks or points.
For a resort to be affiliated to RCI, the resort must meet certain standards of quality with regard to its apartments, facilities and communal areas. RCI grade their affiliated resorts into 3 main rating categories: Gold Crown, Silver Crown and Standard.
RCI charge an annual membership fee to the timeshare owner. In addition, RCI charge the member an exchange fee, which, for UK members, carries a slightly higher fee when exchanging to a resort outside Europe. For Points members, RCI charge a booking fee when the member makes a holiday reservation using their RCI points. For RCI points members, RCI also levy an annual charge per pure point owned by the member.
For RCI Weeks members, their ability to exchange their timeshare week(s) is based on the trading power of the timeshare week(s) that they own. If they own a highly demanded week at a highly demanded resort, then they are deemed to be exchanging a timeshare week with high trading power. Also the earlier they deposit their week into the RCI spacebank, the better its trading power value. Members can deposit their timeshare weeks into the RCI banking system up to 2 years in advance. Each deposit is given a trading power value of between 1 & 60, which helps the owner to choose a comparable holiday unit to exchange into.
RCI also sells extra weeks to members that don´t want to deposit their timeshare ownership at that particular time. These vary in cost depending on the resort, apartment size and holiday destination country.
RCI´s main competitors are Interval International (with 2,600 resorts in 75 countries) and Dial An Exchange.