RCI is the largest exchange company and many of the better known timeshare companies such as Wyndham, Bluegreen Resorts, HGVC, and Disney Vacation Club have this as their affiliated exchange membership. Many smaller independent timeshares are also affiliated through RCI.
In fact, if you are member of a mini-system such as Wyndham, you even have your own Wyndham RCI portal on the Wyndham Vacation Resorts website and your RCI annual fee is rolled into your regular Club Wyndham fees so you don’t have to pay a separate fee to Wyndham. This can actually save you money if you own some other timeshares as you can add them to your Wyndham-affiliated RCI account (or you can keep running a separate account in case you want to take advantage of features that aren’t available to Wyndham owners, such as RCI Platinum.)
The other major timeshare exchange brand is Interval International. While they are not as large as RCI, they have a reputation for having high quality of resorts as part of their portfolio. You will find Four Seasons, Hyatt, Marriott, Diamond Resorts International and most Westgate timeshares are affiliated with Interval International.
Dual-Affiliated Timeshare Brands
There are also a fair number of dual-affiliated brands and resorts. For example, Worldmark resorts are usually dual-affiliated. And most Westin and Shearaton resorts are affiliated with Interval International, but you will find that some of them are dual-affiliated as well. Just make sure that if you are looking for a dual-affiliated resort to buy that you check on the status of that affiliation before you purchase. Relationships can certainly change!
If you have been a timeshare resort owner for awhile you are probably already aware that your timeshare is affiliated with one of the major timeshare exchange brands. Most resorts are affiliated with either RCI or Interval, but some resorts are also dual-affiliated which certainly makes it convenient to find suitable exchanges for your timeshare week or points. What you may not know is that you can choose to use an independent timeshare exchange company if that is your preference. Here are the different independent timeshare exchange companies you might consider for your next exchange.
Dial an Exchange
Dial an Exchange is a popular alternative to both RCI and Interval International with offices located in the US, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Europe and Asia. One nice feature about DAE is that they offer a free membership so you can easily sign up to explore their interface and see what they have to offer before you make any commitments. In addition, they also have a Gold membership level which provides a priority booking window for Gold members and it also gives gold members priority for on-going search. Gold costs $89 per year.
DAE provides a “Search First” feature which means you also don’t have to commit your week to exchange until you have found a vacation week that you would like. Like RCI, however, you will likely get the most desirable exchanges by depositing your own week first and then setting up an on-going search for the exact vacation you want. Once you deposit your week, it is good for three years, that’s one more year than what RCI offers.
Exchange Fees: In the US, domestic exchanges are $125 each and international exchanges are $150.
SFX Preferred Resorts
Previously known as the San Francisco Exchange, SFX offers three different membership levels. There free membership is the Gold level and while it should give you an idea of what SFX has to offer, it is a very limited program.
For example, gold members have only a nine month vacation search window and are unable to “Request First”. Diamond and Platinum members can both “Request First” before depositing a week and Diamon has a 24 month search window, while Platinum offers an 18 month search window . Deposits for diamond members are good for 36 months. For Gold and Platinum members, they are good for 24 months.
It should be noted as well, that at the Diamond and Platinum levels, SFX membership is actually more expensive than RCI.
Exchange Fees: Exchange fees also depend on your membership level. Gold members pay $189 for exchanges, Platinum members pay $159 and Diamond members pay $149.
Trading Places International
Trading Places International, unlike some of the other independent exchange companies, does not require you to be a member in order to do exchanges. You can search their inventory online or you can call them up, let them know what you have to exchange and what you would like in return and you only pay for the exchange if they are able to confirm it for you.
Deposits with Trading Places are good for two years from the arrival date of the week you deposited and you can request specific exchanges up to a year in advance.
Exchange Fees: Domestic Exchanges are $149 and International exchanges are $159.
Like Trading Places, Platinum Interchange has no membership or annual fees. You simply pay to Exchange when you find a great trade. Request First is available as an option or you can also search their inventory. If you decide to Deposit first, your exchange week is good for up to two years from the start date of the banked week.
Exchange Fees: $129 for domestic exchanges and $149 for international.
Hawaii Timeshare Exchange
HTSE naturally specializes in Hawaiian timeshare exchanges, but since many of their deposits are from mainland and international timeshares, they are well worth looking into for other locations as well. They have the lowest exchange fees I’ve seen. Membership fees are $49 a year and bonus weeks are available if you are depositing a Hawaii week for a future year. You will need to be a member to view inventory.
Exchange Fees: $99 for Hawaii and the Mainland, $109 for International.