When it comes to vacation-sharing service providers, RCI is one of the best. The company partnered with Barclays for a one-of-a-kind credit card that offers significant savings for your travel and other expenses. In this RCI Elite Rewards Mastercard Credit Card review, I will talk about its details, so you can decide if this is the right credit card for you.
Created for time-share travelers, the RCI Elite Rewards Mastercard earns one point for every dollar spent. Use the card for RCI-related expenses and get five times reward. Meanwhile, you will get two times rewards for travel expenses. Aside from the rewards, this card also offers a welcome bonus of 2,500 points, a vacation credit worth $250, and a 5% bonus for every reward redemption.
The table below summarizes the rates and fees for the RCI Elite Rewards:
|Annual Percentage Rate||Purchases – 15.74%, 19.99.%, or 24.99% based on your credit score|
Balance Transfers – 0% on the first 15 months, 15.74%, 19.99%, or 24.99% thereafter based on your credit score
Cash Advance – 25.4%
|Foreign Transaction Fee||3%|
|Balance Transfer Fee||$5 or 3%, whichever is higher|
|Balance Transfer Fee||$10 or 5%, whichever is higher|
|Penalty Fees||Max of $40 for late and returned payments|
Read on to learn more about the RCI Elite Rewards Mastercard, including its features, as well as some of its pros and cons.
About the RCI Elite Rewards Mastercard Credit Card
Established in 1974, RCI is one of the movers and shakers in the timeshare industry. It redefined the travel industry by allowing members to participate in vacation exchanges, building a global travel network. With more than 4,200 resorts and over 600,000 hotels, RCI offers diverse accommodation choices around the world.
Aside from its timeshare service, the company has other products and services, including the RCI Elite Rewards. This credit card helps maximize your RCI membership. You can use it not just on your RCI expenses but also on your other everyday purchases. As a result, members enjoy a wide array of rewards, including travel and gift cards.
Main Features of the RCI Elite Rewards Mastercard Credit Card
If you are looking for reasons to choose the RCI Elite Rewards credit card, below are some of the best features that can convince you:
1. 2,500 Bonus Rewards
Sign-up for membership, get approved, and make your first purchase. After this, you will receive 2,500 bonus points, equivalent to $25 RCI Member Rewards. It is quite small, but it is an excellent incentive for signing up.
2. 5x Rewards on RCI Purchases
The more you use your credit card for purchases, the more rewards you can accumulate over time. For every $1 you spend on RCI purchases, you will receive five times more rewards.
3. 2x Rewards in Travel Purchases
Meanwhile, if you use the credit card for paying eligible travel purchases, you can double the rewards earned.
4. 1x Reward on Other Purchases
The other purchases made using this credit card will also earn rewards. $1 is equal to one reward point.
5. 5x Rewards Cashback
Aside from earning rewards for eligible expenses, you will also gain a bonus from every redemption. You can get 5% back of the bonus points you redeem, which you can use on your next redemption.
6. $250 Vacation Credit
This is another benefit that travelers will love with this credit card. Spend $10,000 every calendar year on your net purchases, and you can get $250 credit on your next RCI vacation. You can use this on partner hotels and resorts around the world.
Rates and Fees of the RCI Elite Rewards Credit Card
Before applying for this credit card, you must know the corresponding fees:
1. Annual Fee
One of the most significant selling points of this credit card is the zero annual fees. This means that there’s no cost for maintaining the card, so you have no reason not to have one.
2. Annual Percentage Rate
The annual percentage rate depends on the nature of the transaction. Here is a quick look at the interests:
- Purchases: 15.74%, 19.99%, or 24.99% based on your credit score
- Balance Transfers: 0% in the first 15 months, 15.74%, 19.99%, and 4.99% thereafter based on your credit score
- Cash Advances: 25.54%
3. Foreign Transaction Fee
While RCI markets this card as a suitable option for travelers, it is unfortunate that they are charging a 3% fee for all foreign transactions. This is relatively high, especially if you are the type who spends a lot when traveling.
4. Balance Transfer Fee
To consolidate your debt and simplify repayments, you can transfer your balances from other credit cards to the RCI Elite. However, before doing so, note that you have to pay $5 or 3% of the total transaction, depending on which one is higher.
5. Cash Advance Fee
If you use this credit card for cash advances, you will pay $10 or 5% of the transaction, depending on which one is higher.
6. Penalty Fees
Late and returned payments will incur a penalty of up to $40. Avoid these unnecessary charges by making sure that you pay on time and funding your account before check issuance.
Again, what does the RCI Elite Rewards Mastercard? The RCI Elite Rewards Mastercard gives you one point for every dollar you spend. Also, if you use the card for ECI-related and travel expenses, you’ll get five and two times the rewards, respectively. Apart from this, you’ll get 2500 bonus points, a vacation credit worth $250, and a 5% bonus for every reward redemption.
Pros and Cons of the RCI Elite Rewards Mastercard
Undecided if you should pick this credit card or choose an alternative? Below, I will walk you through the good and the bad to make the right choice.
Pros of the RCI Elite Rewards
Why should you choose this RCI credit card? Below are some reasons:
1. No Annual Fee
One of the best things about this credit card is that you won’t pay an annual fee. This means that there’s no cost for maintaining ownership of the card and enjoying its perks.
2. Has an Introductory APR
While it offers an introductory APR, take note that it is only for balance transfers. You also need to meet certain conditions, such as doing the balance transfer in the first 15 months, and it must be posted within the first 45 days of your credit card membership.
3. Earn Unlimited Rewards
It is also a good thing that the credit card does not put a cap on the rewards that you can earn. There is unlimited potential to earn bonuses for all your eligible expenses.
4. Earn a Vacation Credit
One striking benefit of this credit card is the $250 vacation credit that you can earn for an annual purchase of $10,000. You can use it for booking a vacation stay in eligible properties.
5. Has Reward Multipliers
The standard reward rate is one point for every dollar spent. The good news is that RCI has various multipliers so that you can earn more rewards faster. Enjoy five times rewards on RCI expenses and two times rewards of qualifying travel expenses.
Cons of the RCI Elite Rewards
Despite the benefits, some things might make you hesitant in choosing this card:
1. Low Sign-Up Bonus
While it is good that the credit card is offering a sign-up bonus, it is small. It may not be enough to entice most people. You might want to consider other cards with more generous perks.
2. No Loyalty Tiers
It would be nice if the card offered a loyalty tier perk. This can effectively encourage members to spend more or stay with the company.
3. High Foreign Transaction Fee
Even if it is made for timeshare travelers, you might want to be wary about using it in your vacations, especially in foreign countries. The card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, which some people might find to be exorbitant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Have you got questions about the RCI Elite Rewards credit card? I’ll answer some of them before concluding this review:
How Do I Apply?
You can apply by visiting the RCI website. Click the Apply Now button in the upper right corner of the website. Provide general information, which includes the following:
- Permanent address
- Source of income
- Total annual gross income
- Contact information
How Do I Earn Rewards?
Use your card on any purchase, and you will earn a reward. There is a multiplier depending on the expense category, which is a great way to boost your rewards:
- 5x rewards on RCI purchases
- 2x rewards on eligible travel purchases
- 1x reward on other purchases
Some of the expenses that qualify for the five times reward include RCI membership renewal and guest certificates.
Is There a Cap on the Rewards I Can Earn?
No, there is no maximum reward that a user can earn. Make sure your account’s in good standing, then you can keep earning points and exchange them for different rewards.
How Do I Redeem Rewards?
You can redeem your rewards by visiting the website of Barclays. Alternatively, you can also call the bank’s customer support hotline and request redemption.
Do Rewards Expire?
Yes, your rewards will expire. You have four years to use them before they are gone forever. Once they expire, you cannot request a return or refund.
Conclusion – RCI Elite Rewards Credit Card
The RCI Elite Rewards is not your traditional travel or hotel credit card. It is tied to RCI, a company offering time-share services. With this credit card, new members will earn 2,500 bonus rewards. Plus, you will get a $250 vacation credit every year after meeting the minimum annual spend requirement.
One of the best things about the card is that it earns five times points on RCI purchases and two times points on travel expenses. All other purchases will earn one point for every dollar. It also does not have an annual fee. Nonetheless, it has a foreign transaction fee, which some people may find to be exorbitant.