It is such a shame that so many folks get lied to at the sales presentations (which RCI had NOTHING to do with). Of course the sales people say, "Oh, you can go anywhere, any time!
Just call RCI!" What else are they going to say to get you to drop thousands of dollars? RCI cannot put all 4 million members in Myrtle Beach in the summer, Paris in the spring, Orlando at Xmas, or Aruba in February. EVERYBODY wants to go to the same place at the same time. Do the numbers.
If you own on the beach in the summer (June 23ish to Aug. 17th ish), then you are going to be able to trade to the beach in summer. If you own in Missouri in Sept. you are NOT going to get summer beach.
You get something comparable to what you own! Yellowstone in July? Write your own ticket. Owning in Tennessee is not going to get you into NY city.
Owning in San Fran. will get you into London. BUT REMEMBER! It doesn't make any difference if you own Rome on Easter week, if you wait too long to book, it is going to be gone.
You can look for space up to 2 years in advance. So if you are calling in February, 2012 to book for July, 2012, RCI has been putting people into July 2012 since July 2010! By the time 5-8 months prior to that rolls around, that space has been taken for quite some time. You MUST, MUST, MUST get on a search list!!!
They put 30,000, yes, 30,000 members a month on vacations from those who are on that wait list. Yes, you have to pay the exhange fee up front, but if they don't find it, you get that fee back. They are starting a service for you and they can't have people who are not serious about the waiting list clogging up the inventory. RCI works beautifully for those members who understand the way to book early and have realistic expectations.
If you want summer beach, you need to buy a timeshare that is Summer Beach or the equivalent. The west coast of Florida is much more highly demanded than the east coast. Gold/Silver Crown has nothing to do with Trading Power. You can own a studio with no other amenity than a pool, but if it's on Panama City beach during spring break, you are going to have tremendous trading power from that little thing.
A 1 bedroom in Orlando at Xmas that is not a Gold Crown is going to have more trading power than a 2 bedroom GC in Orlando does in October. SUPPLY and DEMAND!!! A simple 1 bedroom in Vail during Jan-March has tremendous demand. Speaking of which...there are 2 types of RCI members who are a little different that the rest.
Skiers ski and summer beach people bought it with the specific intent of taking their family to the shore year after year. Those owners tend to keep their weeks and not deposit them with RCI. So if they don't give their week to RCI, RCI doesn't have it to give to you! Supply is sooo limited in those areas, as well as the Southwest coast of FL.
If I owned a unit on Sanibel, NO WAY would I give it to RCI. Would you? I'd be going year after year. And if I didn't, I'd rent the thing out for a TON of money as opposed to giving it to RCI.
You need to own at some place that YOU would want to go back to year after year. That way you know you will be getting something that you like when you do go to trade it. Don't shoot the messenger. Do your homework!!!!
Don't succumb to the high-pressure sales pitch. RCI didn't sell you the timeshare. They are just trying to do their best to get you on a vacation that will give you a lifetime of memories. So what if it's not on the beach?
Your grandchild will still take his first step, your husband will still tell you he loves you in the moonlight, and your elderly Mom will still tell a dirty joke, no matter WHERE you go on vacation. It's the love and light and laughter that makes a vacation special.
Enjoy it. It's a beautiful world out there!