Skip to content

TPG Readers’ Best Tips for the Perfect Ski Trip With Points and Miles

Nov. 11, 2018
7 min read
chairlift on a ski resort
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

We recently asked our TPG Lounge members to share their favorite tips and tricks for using points and miles to plan the perfect ski trip. Here's what they had to say. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).

Saving Money on Flights

Several TPG Lounge members wrote in saying Southwest was the airline to fly if you're lugging ski and snowboard gear across the country to your dream ski destination, while another suggested using certain airline credit cards to get around baggage fees.

"Southwest Airlines. I've never been charged for massively overpacked snowboard bags. [You can] change flights easily. [It flies to] Denver (DEN), Salt Lake City (SLC) and Spokane (GEG), all fantastic hubs for skiing and snowboarding." — Paul L.

"It's not the most popular card, but the JetBlue Plus is a good option — having no baggage fees means it pays for itself pretty quickly. You could also hoard miles by buying your whole party's plane tickets since they'll also get free baggage. Living in New York City, I like JetBlue for its red-eye flights to all the major ski destinations' hubs like Denver, Salt Lake City, San Francisco (SFO) and Seattle (SEA)." — Teddy K.

"[You'll get a] free checked bag with your credit card, a sure value when flying with skis and boots, as most airlines consider the two as one checked bag. After skiing approximately 30 areas, I'd choose Salt Lake City over Denver because of the drive time from the airport to the resort area. My VRBO rental last year coded as travel, [which was] nice." — Lisa H.S.

"Book multiple trips using Southwest miles and cancel with no penalty. Also use the UTA Ski Bus in Salt Lake City to get around so there's no need to rent a car." — Ben H.

Southwest seems to be a favorite airline among our TPG Lounge readers. (Photo by rypson / Getty Images)
Southwest seems to be the favorite among our TPG Lounge readers. (Photo by rypson / Getty Images)

Staying at Epic Hotels With Points

They say getting there is half the fun — the other half is staying in an incredible hotel or ski resort for free (or almost free) thanks to a well thought out points and miles strategy.

"Marriott's Summit Watch in Park City, Utah." — Elliot W.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

"Trying it out for the first time this year: The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch and Southwest flights." — Mike B.

"[Stay at the] Waldorf Astoria in Park City and ski at Canyons!" — Jamil A.

"Use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book a round-trip Alaska Airlines flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH) and SPG points for a stay before high season at The Westin Monache Resort, Mammoth. We loved the resort and look forward to staying there again. I believe it cost us 12,000 SPG points per night during the first week of December 2017. It's in an incredible location within walking distance to the village shops, restaurants and gondola that takes you directly to Canyon lodge. It's dog friendly, with a great restaurant and an even better happy hour. They offer free shuttle service to and from the airport and free snowboard or ski check in the lobby. The jacuzzi is decently sized and perfect after a long day on the slopes. You’ll notice, however, some mixed reviews about the front desk personnel which we didn’t experience. Hope that helps!" — Michael T.

"The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is a great value at 60,000 points. Book before December 31 to get that rate." — Jason L.

The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch was a popular choice for our TPG Lounge members to stay in. (Photo courtesy of the hotel)
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch was a popular choice for our TPG Lounge members. (Photo courtesy of the hotel)

More Tips to Help You Save

Some of our TPG Lounge readers chimed in with more general advice and ideas for saving money on ski trips, like getting the Epic Pass, considering ski trips to other countries and using certain credit cards to book lift tickets.

"The few times I was forced to buy my lift ticket at the window, I used my Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card and it coded as travel." — Ben H.

"Use them to chase the powder. Points per mile and cents per point really don't matter when you can drop everything to chase a storm." — Robert N.

"Step one: have an Epic Pass. Step two: book flights to Denver and rent a car with Chase Ultimate Rewards. Step three: stay in Breckenridge, where there are many hotel options, then ski wherever the best conditions are each morning — there are five resorts within a 30-minute drive." — Jack F.

"Don’t go during the holidays. Get more bang for your buck. The Salt Lake City area has a lot to offer." — Ronnie W.

"If you are willing to travel overseas, Japan is a great spot, as is Innsbruck in Austria. Lift tickets are a fraction of the cost of [those at] US resorts." — Rebecca W.

With the right points-and-miles plan, you too can save on an epic ski vacation. (Photo by MCCAIG/Getty Images)
With the right points-and-miles plan, you too can save on an epic ski vacation. (Photo by MCCAIG/Getty Images)

Readers Helping Readers

We love it when our TPG Lounge members get so involved in a topic they end up chiming in with tips based on their own experiences. That's what happened when reader Kirsten F. asked the rest of the group whether or not it would be worth it for her to redeem points for a stay at The St. Regis Deer Valley.

"Has anyone ever stayed at The St. Regis Deer Valley? I've never skied in Utah and the skier's only part fascinates me. Is it worth using 60,000 points [to stay there] when cash rates are over $1,000? The hotel reviews are pretty average from what I have read in terms of not being worth the cost or points, but are these just whiny people? Do you have any other nice points-hotel recommendations for Deer Valley or Park City?" — Kirsten F.

"I love The St. Regis Deer Valley! Going back there in December." — Michelle E.

"Deer Valley is absolutely delightful [in terms of] skiing, with big long runs, polite lefties and lots of terrain for all levels. The St. Regis is beautifully located as a ski-in-ski-out resort with lovely views." — Marcia Z.

"Deer Valley and Park City are fantastic for a ski vacation — there's so much to do and you can ski both Park City and The Canyons on one ticket. Deer Valley also has a ton of non-groomed runs hidden away. I actually had two of my best powder days ever there. And with a car, you can get to five other righteous ski areas within 45 minutes to an hour. To top it all off, flying into Salt Lake City is a breeze and you can drive quickly or van easily to Park City or Deer Valley. I would not hesitate to go there again." — Paul L.

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023