Timeshare ownership may not be for everyone but renting timeshares can be a fantastic way to travel in much larger accommodations than hotels, with full kitchens and for exponentially less than the cost of nightly hotel rentals.
In this post, I wanted to give detailed instructions on how to join RCI in order to get access to Extra Vacations. Extra Vacations are available through RCI where you can rent weekly timeshares for cash instead of using your timeshare week or timeshare points. You can rent weeks in high quality timeshares for as little as $199 per week.
DISCLAIMER: Getting access to RCI through this method may be viewed as some as unethical since you need to fill in ownership details which are not accurate. This method does not get you free access as you still are required to pay for a membership but still, some may consider this unethical. I do not advocate one way or the other as it is up to each reader to determine whether they feel comfortable with getting access to RCI using this method.
Step 1: Go to the RCI homepage.
Step 2: Go to the register as shown in the upper right hand corner.
Step 3: Go to the Join Now button as shown below. Make sure that you are joining RCI Weeks and NOT RCI Points.
Step 4: Fill out the information required in the various fields as shown below.
Step 5: Got to RCI's Resort Directory. Take a look at their entire inventory and choose a resort. This is the potential unethical part. You need to choose a resort and provide the Resort Name; Resort ID, Unit Number, Unit Size, Max/Min. Occupancy and Interval Date / Week Number.
RCI previously indicated that they do not confirm timeshare ownership in order to register but they do indicate that timeshare ownership is required.
When choosing a resort, do not choose any Wyndham or Hilton resort or other large resorts. Pick a small independent timeshare, preferably internationally.
The actual resort that you choose will not be relevant for any search functions but this will be the technical resort that you "own". You may need to remember the information that you put down in case you need to call RCI for any customer service. I would highly recommend keeping this information available for future use!
Step 6: Choose the length of your RCI membership. RCI membership costs $99 per year with discounts for longer periods.
If you are new to timeshares, I would choose the 1 year option. Once you have access, you can browse the inventory and see the costs and availability and determine if this can be a good way to travel based on your travel style.
TIP: Once you join RCI and purchase an Extra Vacation, it is likely that you may get a call from RCI to extend your membership. The offers are generally better than what is offered on this page.
After booking my Extra Vacation, I was offered a 5 year package for $249 which is about a $150 discount on what is offered here. (I took it as I get tremendous value out of these Extra Vacations).
Step 7: Enter in your credit card details and submit the payment.
Step 8: Wait for the confirmation e-mail from RCI.
Once you submit payment, you should get registration details on your RCI membership number and how to register for access to the site.
You should receive a similar e-mail to the one below:
Welcome to RCI and to a world of vacation opportunities! Your RCI ID number is ___________________, and the subscription fee of $99.00 for a one -year membership was charged to the credit card provided. Please allow approximately 6-8 weeks to receive your membership materials by mail, which includes a Welcome letter, your RCI ID card, and a handbook with Quick Start Guide.
Since you have access to the Internet, you may wish to try our interactive website, which allows members to renew, deposit vacation time, and search/hold/confirm exchanges on line, as well as to enter exchange requests. Members may also check the status of their exchange requests online, as well as confirm or release units on hold. A particularly popular feature with our members is the ability to confirm Last Call and Extra Vacations.
We encourage you to get started online by accessing a special New Member portion of our website. This site provides information about RCI member benefits and how to manage your account and tutorials for navigating and transacting online. In addition, when you activate your account by registering and completing your new member profile, you will receive an exclusive offer just for new members. To Get Started, please go to rci.com/GetStarted or use this link:
If you wish to call our New Member Welcome line instead, please dial 800/724-1166 to speak with an RCI Vacation Guide.
RCI Guides are available:
• Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., local time
• Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time
The Call Center is closed on most major U.S. holidays.
Call Center hours are based on local times for RCI subscribing members in the Continental United States, Western Canada and Central Canada. For members in Hawaii and Alaska, Call Center hours are based on Pacific Time. For members in the Caribbean and Atlantic Canada, Call Center hours are based on Eastern time.
Once you receive a RCI member number, you should be able to register for an online account and search the Extra Vacations.
KEY POINT: By registering with RCI in this manner, RCI wants you to deposit your week and exchange it with their system. By registering in this fashion, the only types of weeks that you can search and use are Extra Vacations where you pay cash. You cannot search Exchange Vacations without a deposit.
Additional Disclaimer: There have been various reports that RCI is closing or limiting this loophole. The ability to register and use Extra Vacations may end at anytime. Previous reports from readers have indicated that if registration fails, you will be refunded in full so there should not be a tremendous amount of risk.
Alternatively, instead of going through this process above, if you know of someone who owns a RCI affiliated timeshare, you can potentially request access to their account and book Extra Vacations for yourself. Guest certificates are needed but there are not limits to the amount of Extra Vacations that you can book for yourself or your friends.
Please post your experiences below in order to help out readers. I have had multiple reports of success as well as failure. Please comment below to help out the readers!