NOTE: Much of the information included in this post is valid, but as of January, 2011, some major changes occurred within the Wyndham system concerning usage of points. To get the most current information, please click on this post.
In an earlier post, we discussed the Wyndham system and concentrated on using Wyndham points to book into Wyndham resorts. In this post, we would like to discuss using your Wyndham points or weeks and trading through RCI.
If you own a fixed week, and have never converted it to points, then you are limited to trading your week for another week that RCI has available. You need to be a member of RCI, (dues are $89 per year) and the exchange will cost you $189, if you do it over the phone. (It is $164 if done online). Of course, the advantage is that you get to go somewhere else, possibly at another time of the year.
You can book your vacation up to 2 years ahead of time, and many resorts will be available to you–not just Wyndham. If there is no availability , then RCI will initiate a search and call you when something is available. If, for some reason, you cannot use your Wyndham week this year, you can deposit it with RCI and have 2 years in which to use it.
If you own Wyndham points, you have several options. You can request that Wyndham make different-sized deposits into RCI. (See chart below) . You can ask for generic or invisible deposits, in which case you need to call an RCI counselor to book a vacation. Or, you can ask Wyndham for a visible deposit, which would allow you to search online for your exchange. Just like the weeks deposit, you must belong to RCI and pay an exchange fee when you book a vacation. When you make a deposit into RCI, it is good for 2 years. This is especially helpful if you have some Wyndham points that are about to expire.
Exchange Points Chart:
Season Studio 1BR 2BR 3BR
Red 70,000 105,0000 154,000 254,000
White 42,000 77,000 126,000 189,000
Blue 28,000 63,000 77,000 154,000
A major advantage to depositing points in this way is that you are able to book more vacations for less points. Frequently, resorts to include Wyndham, will make a large deposit of unreserved inventory into RCI. They call this spacebanking. Usually Wyndham does this around 8 or 9 months out, but other resorts sometimes do it even earlier. When these spacebankings occur, you can often use a blue Wyndham studio (28k points) to reserve an entire week in prime or red time in a 2-bedroom unit.
For example: in 2008, we booked a 2-bedroom unit at Kona Hawaaian Village in January for 28k. Normally, this would have taken 231k points to reserve. This was a savings of 203k points that we could use for additional vacations. Also, this works if you have flexibility as to when and where you are willing to vacation. Obviously, you will not secure a July week in Myrtle Beach in this way!
The down side is you must pay the $189.00 exchange fee but you are getting a lot more vacations for your points. We have been able to take 18 to 20 timeshare vacations a year and we only own 13 timeshares.Here is a list of some other exchanges we have made and the number of Wyndham points we have used:
Wyndham Grand Desert, Las Vegas 2BR 28k
Wyndham Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach 3BR 28k
Summit at Massanutten, VA 2BR 28k
Smugglers’ Notch, VT 1BR 28k
Orange Lake Country Club, Orlando 2BR 28k
Coral Reef, Hilton Head Island 3BR 28k
Hilton Grand Vacation Club, Sea World 2BR 70k
Hilton GVC on the strip, Las Vegas 2BR 70k
This gives you an idea of how to use your Wyndham points thru RCI. If you have questions leave a comment and we will do our best to answer it. We plan one more post on the Wyndham system in the near future. It will tie up some lose ends talking about Plus Partners, VIP, housekeeping credits, timing of when to book vacations and other issues. Keep checking back for more helpful info on how to use your Wyndham points and enjoy your timeshare vacations!