We know RCI members who deposit their timeshare weeks into the RCI exchange programme, as soon as they can, get the best holiday exchange options, and so to encourage more of them to get organised, get depositing and get the most from their timeshare using RCI membership, we're running a Holiday Gadget Giveaway Prize Draw. To learn more about the benefits of depositing your weeks early, and to be in with a chance of winning a great Christmas prize to take on your next holiday, read on...

Buying a timeshare week - or several - is a significant investment in your long-term holiday lifestyle. Like all investments, you want to be sure that you're getting every last bit of value from your spend. With a timeshare purchase, the first step to doing that is to join a holiday exchange membership, such as RCI, which will give you a world of holiday options to choose from, so you don't need to visit the same holiday home and place, year in, year out.

RCI weeks members - who own a week or more of timeshare in a resort - will know each week of timeshare is given a value, or trading power as it is known. A week's trading power is assigned in consideration of a set of criteria, including the seasonality of the week and the demand from others to use it at that time, the size of the accommodation, the facilities to be found on resort, as well as the ratings awarded to it by other RCI members who have holidayed in the same resort.

Below is a video which explains how the RCI Weeks Holiday Exchange programme works.

The working week...

Click to watch this RCI Weeks Explained video to better understand the importance of depositing your timeshare week into the RCI exchange programme as early as you can to gain the highest trading power from your owned week(s).

As you have seen in the video, RCI members are putting their weeks into the exchange programme - and taking others out - all the time. Accommodation availability is dynamic and ever changing, which makes two things very important.

First, the sooner a member puts the week(s) they don't want to use that year into the programme, giving them to RCI - thereby making their week's deposit(s) - the greater the choice of accommodation then made available for other members looking to exchange their unwanted week(s) for a holiday in a different destination. Early deposits oil the wheels of the programme and make it work much better for everybody in the membership by giving all those searching for an exchange week lots more choice during their search on RCI.com.

Secondly, the earlier weeks deposits are put into the exchange programme, the higher their trading value will be for the member making that deposit. The longer an unwanted week is left undeposited, the closer to its start date it gets. This means that it's less likely to be used by another member before it expires. If you do deposit your week late, it will have a lower trading power, as it's less likely to be used before it expires.

Timeshare is a great option for families, as the accommodation is often two- or three-bedroom apartments affording guests lots of space and privacy, as well as many facilities on resort to be enjoyed, such as restaurants, bars, children's clubs and live entertainment.

Once you have secured the highest value trading power from your owned week and have it on your RCI account - which you can access and manage directly on RCI.com - you can start to plan your holidays with RCI. You might want to use it all on one special, high-value resort stay. On the other hand, many members like to 'trade down', meaning they will split all that trading power up into smaller portions to book several RCI Exchange Holidays using weeks out of the programme of less trading power value than their owned one. In this way, they make their one week timeshare holiday purchase into two or three weeks of holiday - possibly more if they take advantage of RCI's regular trading power sales and discounts. Some of these member offers will give you a holiday for as little as 4TP, so if you have 25TP on your RCI account, you can see how far you can go with RCI.

There is no need to waste even 1TP... If you have any trading power left after making your exchange bookings, this is called a credit, and you can combine that leftover TP or credit with other credits or trading power to access an additional week's escape.

There is so much flexibility built into the RCI Weeks programme. It is even possible to save weeks and trading power from previous Use Years, and borrow from future Use Years, combining them all for one special getaway. It might be an anniversary holiday that needs that touch of luxury in an upmarket resort to spoil yourselves; it may be that you want to make a multiple exchange reservation of several apartments to take a group of family and friends away with you to join in the celebrations of your milestone occasion.

You might have bought a timeshare by the sea, but using it with RCI membership, that beachy week can be exchanged for a holiday adventure just about anywhere in the world - with a little careful planning.

Meet our winners - this could be you...

As a Christmas treat for our members, we are giving them the chance to WIN three great holiday gadgets as part of our Holiday Gadget Giveaway. You need to be quick, as you need to deposit your week with RCI between 18 and 20 December - there are three days only to enter! The prizes are an Apple watch, an Apple iPad Air, and a set of Apple AirPods. We are giving you the opportunity to win all these great gadgets, worth over £1,000. Once you have made your week's deposits during the three-day period, your name will be entered into a prize draw, and those fabulous Apple accessories could be yours to take away on your next holiday. To enter visit RCI.com/deposit

At this time, the prize draw is open to RCI Weeks members who are living in the UK and Europe only; excluding members residing in Russia and the UAE, who will be able to enter a prize draw for their regions. For full terms and conditions, please visit rcitc3.com

If you are an RCI member, hurry and deposit your RCI Week with RCI between 18 and 20 December, and you could be enjoying one of these fabulous Apple prizes as an extra Christmas gift from RCI. The gifts are an Apple watch, an Apple iPad Air, and a set of Apple AirPods - all useful gadgets to have - on holiday or at home.

RCI member, Juhana Rytioja from Finland, says

"We have been RCI members since 1990 and use the exchange programme a lot, as we exchange frequently. We own three weeks at Sahara Sunset By Diamond Resorts (1987) in Málaga, Spain, where I am on the Owners' Committee, so I'm used to depositing our weeks as soon as I can to travel as far as we can with them. I was really pleased to be a prize winner in the last RCI prize draw for making those early deposits too!

"We like RCI membership very much, as it has given us the chance to see so many different places around the world. In particular, we have exchanged our Spanish weeks for weeks in long-haul destinations, as we travel a lot to the States; our favourite places being Las Vegas, Miami and other places in Florida. Because we travel so much now, I have just started to use the RCI Auto-Deposit so that my fixed weeks are deposited a good 12 months in advance of their start date every year, which means I get maximum trading power - ready to get off on our exchanges - without having to think about it."

Although Juhana and his family love their owned timeshare in Spain, they have become frequent travellers using their RCI membership, exchanging their Spanish weeks for time away in glitzy Las Vegas and fabulous Florida.

RCI member, Elizabeth Mason from the UK, says

"If you have the ability to take vacations whenever you want, then you should search regularly on RCI.com - use the online Resort Directory - because if you're not bothered where you go, you do have an amazing choice. If your travel times are limited, or you want a special holiday in a specific destination where you know demand to be high and availability limited, then you need to set planning goals. If you are looking for what I term a 'goal holiday', then the sooner you deposit your weeks, the more you maximise the trading power you will have to work with.

"We used RCI exchange to holiday in New York this year, it was a holiday we planned a year and a half ahead. Places such as Orlando come up regularly. However, remember, availability changes every day, hence the need to look what is available on a regular basis. If you see something that makes you think 'Wow, that is a place I'd really like to go' - then you can't afford to procrastinate; go for it, book it there and then. Don't forget that, with an RCI reservation booking, you are given a 24-hour grace period during which you can check your work calendar, flights, and other arrangements to be made. RCI will hold that reservation for you, but you are not committed to taking it until your 24 hours is up.

"If it's a goal holiday - go for it well in advance; if you don't care where or when you go, keep looking in the RCI Resort Directory - you will be pleasantly surprised."

Elizabeth is an expert when it comes to using the RCI exchange programme. She takes two approaches, but each starts with an early deposit of her weeks into the programme to make sure she has the maximum trading power to play and plan with. Monika enjoyed an RCI Exchange Holiday in New York, but she started planning it 18 months ahead.

RCI member, Monika Korn from Germany, says...

"I have never won anything before, so I was delighted to win an Apple watch in RCI's previous weeks' deposit prize draw. I don't actually use gadgets, or even wear a watch, so I gave the prize to my son who loves it!

"We love to travel using our RCI membership and have always made sure our week was put into the RCI exchange programme as soon as we decide to use it to holiday somewhere else. Living in Germany, we are well placed to take advantage of drive-to destinations on the continent, here in Europe. Travelling with RCI, we have visited Denmark, Belgium and many other such countries.

"We find depositing our week and booking with RCI to be very easy. We booked our exchange reservation for next year this November. To get the accommodation we want in the places we choose to go, we always deposit early, fix the weeks we want to take our holiday and plan well ahead of the time we want to go."

Monika and her family like their drive-to destination and, living in Germany, they are spoilt for choice, although Denmark is a favourite holiday escape for the Korns. Despite their holiday choices being close to home, Monika still plans ahead and deposits her week as soon as she can to get the accommodation they set their hearts on.

If you are an RCI member, take a look at the RCI online Resort Directory to see just how far you could be travelling with your membership. Timeshare was designed to let you travel the world, safe in the knowledge that your resorts and accommodation will be of a standard you deserve and have come to expect. Remember to look out for your RCI Account Statement in your emails - or check out your trading power on your account online at RCI.com - 'My Account'. And if you're not an RCI member, take a look at what you're missing out on...

RESORT DIRECTORY

If you're not already a member of RCI, you should be! Get the real value from your timeshare ownership by becoming a member of the world's largest holiday exchange services company. Click on the button below to join RCI.

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