Q. How do I book RCI?
A. RCI is Wyndham’s external exchange program. It gives you the ability to book thousands of resorts all over the world. There are also all-inclusive options, but you have to pay the all-inclusive fee on most of those, which can be costly. Usually, the booking fee is $239 plus points for the full week, but there are some exceptions. RCI nightly stays allow you to book individual nights at a lower fee (Plus Partner members only). Those are only valid at participating resorts are listed in the directory, under the Plus Partners section. RCI also offers “Last calls” and “Extra Vacations Getaways.” These range in price, but they do not use any points. They are cash only. “Last calls” are cheaper because they are last-minute inventory.
When you log into the My Club Wyndham website, go to “My Ownership” and click on “Exchanges.” Click on the Search and Confirm RCI Reservations link, which is the first one on the list.
You will be asked to agree to the terms and conditions a couple of times. Once you agree to those, it will take you to the RCI landing page. From there, you can search a few ways. The “Search by Map” is usually the most straightforward method in the beginning.
Let’s pretend we want to search for Orlando resorts for March of 2020. You would click on the North American section of the map. When it zooms in, click either the link on the left-hand side that says “Florida – Orlando Area” or the Orlando link on the map.
Next, click the month you want to check-in. For this practice run, we are going to choose the month of March 2020. Tip: if you do not see the month listed, that means there is no availability for that month. You will have to set up an ongoing search to notify you when there is availability during the dates you want to travel. Click on the “Add ongoing search request” link above the map.
Above the map, there are two tabs. The one on the left is “List view.” The one on the right is “Map view. The first screenshot below is “Map View.” The second screenshot is “List view.” I prefer the list view because it shows the names of the resorts. You can further narrow down the search by using the links on the left-hand side. Feel free to play around with them to get a feel for what they do. You will not accidentally book anything.
In List view, you can sort the resorts by name, resort ID, check-in date, etc.
When you find a resort that interests you, click on the “Available units” button to see what is available to book.
On the next screen, you will see a calendar where you can choose a check-in day. RCI handles the calendars differently than Wyndham. The dates you see are available check-in days. If it’s greyed out, that means it’s either A. not available as check-in date or B. the resort does not allow check-ins on that date. The same goes for the check-out calendar. Once you choose a check-in date, the next calendar will pop up and give you a list of available check-out dates. Do not worry if there is a greyed-out date in-between. Remember, that’s only showing you available days to check-in, not what days have availability. Click the date you want to check out. Once it has the check-in and check-out date, it will tell you what is available. Most RCI resorts, you have to book a full week, so if it doesn’t allow you to choose a check-out date three days after your check-in, that’s because it requires an entire week. That doesn’t mean you have to stay the full week. The only thing that is required is that you check in on the day you choose. You can leave any time after that, but you will forfeit all points for the remaining days.
Click “Select Unit” when you find what you want to book. If you cannot find a room during the time you want to go, click the “Add ongoing search request” link to set up an ongoing search, which will notify you when something becomes available during the time you want to go. Tip: Before you click “Select Unit,” you may want to look at the “Fees tab” to see if there are any fees tied to this resort, such as security deposits, parking, housekeeping, all-inclusive prices, taxes, etc. If you have any questions about these fees, call the resort before booking.
Be sure you read the next screen carefully, as it provides important details you need to be aware of, including additional fees or age restrictions. After you have read, click “I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the terms and conditions stated in the Urgent Information” checkbox and then the “confirm” button.
The next screens will ask you about traveler information, and if you want to ask a guest certificate ($89). You will need a guest certificate if someone else is checking in. You can also add it later if you don’t want to add it now. It will also ask if you want Vacation Protection. It defaults to “Add Vacation Protection”, so if you do not want it, be sure to checkmark the box next to “Do not add Vacation Protection”. Otherwise, you’ll get an additional $64 charge.
That’s it! You’re all booked. Have fun!