RCI® Elite Rewards® MasterCard®
RCI is a vacation exchange network that affords timeshare owners the opportunity to exchange, rent and otherwise optimize their timeshare vacations. Barclaycard issues the RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard that is designed specifically for timeshare owners.
You do not have to be a timeshare owner to be a cardholder, however, so if you rent a vacation property via RCI or stay with friends or family at an RCI resort, you could possibly reap benefits by having this card. Those who use the RCI MasterCard earn rewards that can be redeemed for RCI Resort Dollars, Member Rewards Credits and dozens of other options.
The no annual fee RCI Rewards card comes with a 2,500 points sign-up bonus, providing a head start for timeshare aficionados to fund future vacations. The RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard is not a viable travel rewards credit card overall, however, as it just doesn’t have the earning potential, the sign-up bonus or the redemption offerings to have mass appeal. It even charges a 3 percent foreign transaction fee. With that said, if you’re spending money with RCI, you may still find value in having the card.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the RCI® Elite Rewards® MasterCard® offers and the value of the Barclays RCI® Elite Rewards® Rewards you earn.
Get started on your journey earning RCI Elite Rewards with a 2,500 points sign-up bonus after your first purchase on the card. Continue to earn Rewards points with your RCI purchases that earn two points per dollar spent. You’ll earn one point for every dollar spent on other purchases. Accelerate earnings by shopping on the Perks Rewards website where you can earn up to 10 points per dollar.
Those who are carrying balances on any high-interest credit cards may take advantage of the 0% APR for balance transfers and use up to 15 statement periods to pay down that debt. RCI property lovers will enjoy a variety of redemption options, including flights, hotels, dining, gift cards, merchandise, RCI Resort Dollars and RCI Member Rewards credits.
What You Get
- 2,500 Rewards points after your first purchase
- 0% APR for 15 months on balance transfers
- 2 points per dollar spent with RCI
- No annual fee
Rewards earned on the RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard are transferred to your RCI Elite Rewards account after the close of each statement period. As long as your RCI Elite Rewards account is open, the rewards will be available. If there are Rewards that have been earned but not been transferred into your RCI Elite Rewards account and your card is closed either by you or Barclaycard, those Rewards will be forfeited.
What is the value of the RCI® Elite Rewards® Rewards?
The general value of each RCI Elite Rewards point is one cent. Whether you redeem for RCI Resort Dollars, flights, hotels or rental cars, you’ll be redeeming at a rate of one cent per Rewards point. The good news is that you’ll never be short on redemption options. In addition to travel, you can redeem for sporting events, movie tickets, gift cards, merchandise or even magazines.
What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?
Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles or points. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile or point you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket by the number of miles or points the award flight costs. That amount is multiplied by the number of miles or points earned per dollar spent on everyday purchases to account for cards that earn more than one mile per dollar spent.
How we calculate CPM:
The Best Ways to Redeem RCI Elite Rewards Rewards
While RCI Elite Rewards points can be consistently redeemed at the value of one cent each, you can receive better value by redeeming for RCI Member Rewards Credits. These credits can be used for membership fees, exchange fees, vacation packages and more.
Even your sign-up bonus goes further when you redeem it for RCI Member Rewards Credits. The 2,500 points, normally worth $25 for other redemptions, would be worth $31.25 in RCI Member Rewards Credits.
Other ways you can redeem Rewards
There are dozens of gift card partners cardholders can select from for redeeming points. Cardholders receive up to 13% off gift card purchases.
Your Rewards can be redeemed for car rental certificates.
Redeem rewards at a variety of hotels on the Elite Rewards website.
With the RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard you’ll be earning one Rewards point for every dollar spent on the card for everyday purchases and two points per dollar for RCI purchases. There are certainly better rewards-earning credit cards that earn more.
- RCI Rewards online shopping portal
- Car Rental
- RCI purchases
- All Other Purchases
You will receive two Rewards per dollar spent on RCI purchases and fees, and with partner rental car companies and hotels. The RCI Elite Rewards shopping portal allows you to earn up to 10 Rewards per dollar spent when using your RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard.
The RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard comes with free personal concierge assistance. Receive recommendations and reservation assistance for dining, travel, hotels, entertainment and even sporting events.
Purchase select gift cards for up to a 13% discount
Receive 24 hour emergency replacement if your card is lost or stolen and have access to cash advances.
Foreign Transaction Fee
Keep in mind that this card incurs a 3% foreign transaction fee on all purchases outside the United States.
Earn Elite Status Fast
Since the RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard is an entirely separate program from the RCI Points elite program, it does not offer a path to any elite status.
Fees: the cost of Having the Card
There is no annual fee for the RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard, so you do not have to spend a specific amount each year to offset any cost to carry the card.
- Annual Fee
- Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Fee
- Up to $37 Variable±
The RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard is a no-fee card. You do not have to earn a certain amount of rewards in order to cover the cost since it’s free. It’s still good to know roughly how much you’ll be earning, though. We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard
Jumpstart your earnings with 2,500 RCI Rewards points after your first purchase and continue to earn Rewards quickly on RCI purchases. There’s never an annual fee and the 0% APR balance transfer period can help you pay off those high-interest credit card balances. When it’s time to redeem your Rewards, you’ll have plenty of options.
- Sign-Up Bonus: After your first purchase, you’ll receive 2,500 RCI Elite Rewards points worth at least $25 when redeemed.
- Good Earning Potential with RCI: With two Rewards points for every dollar spent with RCI and 10 points per dollar on the RCI shopping portal, your Rewards will accumulate quickly.
- No Annual Fee: Keep the card as long as you desire as you’ll never have to worry about paying an annual fee.
- 0% APR for Balance Transfers: Transfer those high-interest credit card balances within the first 45 days after your card is issued for 0% APR for 15 statement periods.
- Multiple Redemption Options: The redemption options are many, including flights, hotels, rental cars, activities, fees, dining, resort credits and more.
Should You Get the RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard?
If you’re a timeshare owner and member of RCI, rent vacation space through RCI or even stay as a guest at an RCI property, you could find value in having the RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard. While the earning potential is not stellar, you do earn two Rewards per dollar spent on everything RCI branded and on all partner brands, which include specific hotel and car rental companies.
You then have multiple options for redeeming your Rewards, including Member Rewards Credits, which result in a value of 1.25 cents for each Rewards point. The card has no annual fee and does come with 2,500 points as a sign-up bonus. This could equate to as much as $31.25 in value when redeemed for Member Rewards Credits or $25 for other redemptions.
If you’re looking for a travel rewards credit card, this is probably not the best card for you. There are cards with better sign-up bonuses, earning potential and redemption options. You’ll find value only if you’re staying at RCI properties and spending money with RCI and its affiliates.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
- Once Rewards earned on your RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard are deposited into your RCI Member Rewards account, they are ready to redeem. The good news is that you’ll have dozens of redemption options.Use Rewards for RCI Resort Dollars that are good for onsite activities and other expenses during your RCI vacation stay. You can also use Rewards for flights, hotels, car rentals, experiences, tickets, gift cards and merchandise.The best value is to redeem for RCI Member Rewards credits and receive up to 1.25 cents per Rewards point versus one cent for other redemption options. These Rewards credits can be used for exchange fees, membership fees, vacation guest certificates and more.
- While timeshare owners are the primary audience for this card, those who rent or stay as a guest at RCI timeshare properties can also benefit. Since Rewards can be earned and redeemed for RCI products and services, the card could hold some value for those utilizing RCI, not just owners.
- After your first purchase, you’ll receive 2,500 Rewards points to jumpstart the earning process. You’ll earn two Rewards per dollar spent at RCI properties. Other purchases that earn two Rewards per dollar include room charges at RCI properties and purchases from hotel partners, including Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge and Wingate.You’ll also earn two Rewards per dollar at car rental locations, including Avis and Budget, and at any other partner listed on the Bonus Rewards Partner list sent to you with your card. Additionally, you can earn up to 10 Rewards per dollar spent with retail partners on the Perks Rewards Mall website. All other purchases receive one Rewards point per dollar.
When it comes to earning rewards, Barclays is known for issuing a wide variety of co-branded credit cards. While all of these cards earn rewards for every dollar spent, you’ll want to maximize your earning potential by selecting one that aligns with your spending priorities.
Other Barclays Rewards cards
|Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®|
|Sign-up bonus||40,000 miles||2,500 Rewards|
|Annual Fee||$0 first year, then $89||$0|
|APR On Purchases||16.99% to 23.99% Variable±||15.99% to 22.99% Variable±|
|Second Year Value||$505||$240|
If we compare sign-up bonuses alone, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard comes out on top. The 40,000-mile sign-up bonus can be used as a statement credit towards up to $421 in travel purchases. Also, 5 percent of the miles redeemed get returned to your account. Although you’ll pay an annual fee of $89, the sign-up bonus more than offsets that fee for several years and you’ll be earning two miles for every dollar spent on the card in the meantime.
If you’re a timeshare owner and a member of RCI, it makes sense to have the RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard. Many of the expenses inherent with RCI membership and vacationing at RCI properties can earn two Rewards per dollar spent, and if you redeem those points for RCI Member Rewards Credits, you’ll receive 1.25 cents per Rewards point. With no annual fee, you do not have to spend at a certain threshold to offset that expense. That’s a plus. Those who do not utilize RCI properties or own timeshares affiliated with RCI should consider the other Barclaycard options.
Compare RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard to Other Cards
All of the cards below earn rewards that can be redeemed for travel from any airline or hotel. However, sign-up bonuses, earning potential, redemption rates and even annual fees differentiate the cards considerably.
When we compare sign-up bonuses, the Citi ThankYou Premier card stands out with its 30,000 points offering. It also comes with the highest annual fee of $95, which is waived the first year. Since the 30,000 points can be worth 25 percent more when redeemed for travel, 0 points translates to $375 in value. That can offset the annual fee for several years. The card offers additional value with earnings of three points per dollar spent on travel, including gas.
The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card has a sign-up bonus of 20,000 points and an annual fee of $49, which is waived for the first year. You’ll earn two points per dollar on gas, groceries and airfare. When it comes time to redeem your points, you’ll find that 20,000 points can actually secure you an airline ticket worth up to $400. This is another good card for the traveler to consider.
The BankAmericard Travel Rewards card is simple to use. You earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent and redeem each point for one cent. It has no annual fee and it sports a 20,000-point sign-up bonus that can be redeemed for a $200 statement credit against travel purchases. The card may be worth considering if you have a banking relationship with Bank of America as you can receive additional earnings.
The RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard is a niche card created specifically for the timeshare owner, so it’s best to just accept it for what it is and not try to pretend it’s a stellar travel rewards card. In fact, it’s the only card we’re comparing here that has a foreign transaction fee. If you’re a timeshare owner or frequent RCI properties, there’s some value in having the card, especially since it has no annual fee. However, it just doesn’t compare to other real travel rewards credit cards.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this MasterCard.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- 0% introductory APR for the first fifteen billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening
- Ongoing APR:
- 15.99% to 22.99% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 23 days
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- Warranties that are less than 3 years will be extended by 1 year.
- Purchase Protection:
- Find a lower price on an item you purchased with your card within 60 days and receive the difference of up to $250 per claim.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 26.24% Variable±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
Security and Protections
Monitor your RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard account with the Barclaycard mobile app. Set up personal alerts, track your purchases and access your FICO score all while on the go. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing your transactions are secure using chip technology.
- Account alerts:
- Create customized alerts to be notified when unusual transactions occur on your account or just to remind you that your payment is due.Create customized alerts to be notified when unusual transactions occur on your account or just to remind you that your payment is due.
- EMV Chip Technology
- An added layer of security and acceptance when using your card at chip-enabled terminals worldwide.
- Access Your FICO Score:
- You have free access to your FICO score and can track it over time.
The Barclaycard Mobile App helps you manage your RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard account on the go and facilities convenient digital payments.
- Barclaycard Mobile App:
- Conveniently keep track of transactions, balances and payments on the go.
- Digital Payments:
- Download the Barclaycard Mobile App and enjoy the ease of making digital payments from your IOS or Android smartphone.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
The RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard offers only basic MasterCard benefits which include concierge services and emergency assistance.
Master Card Travel Benefits
- MasterCard Global Service:
- Get 24/7 assistance for lost or stolen cards, including emergency card replacement and cash advances.
- Concierge Service:
- The RCI Elite Rewards MasterCard comes with free personal concierge assistance. Receive recommendations and reservation assistance for dining, travel, hotels, entertainment and even sporting events.