How to use Points and Miles for a Ski Trip

Ski trips are one of the more expensive types of travel. Because of this, we wanted to create a guide on how to use points and miles for a ski trip. Understanding how to use points and miles for a ski trip can save literally thousands of dollars.

The bulk of this guide will cover the resorts and locations that are a part of the Epic Pass, Ikon Pass, Mountain Collective as well as several other independent resorts. For each resort, we will explore lodging options with points and miles and the best airports for each location.

For points and miles options, we list Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Marriott properties that are in close proximity to the resort. Those four brands are transfer partners with major credit card companies. We will do our best to reference other small chain hotels like Best Western, Choice, Club Carlson, and Wyndham.

When major brands aren’t an option, which is common at small ski resorts, using the Chase Travel Portal is a great option to find non-chain properties and lodging options. If you are traveling with a group, AirBnB and VBRO are good options.

However, aside from learning how to use points and miles for a ski trip, the guide will also go into the best credit cards to have when traveling on ski trips and the different airline ski deals.

Best Credit Cards to Spend on Ski Trips

When at the resort, what are the best credit cards to use? Unfortunately, ski trips aren’t cheap. Even if you use points and miles for a ski trip, it’s still expensive once you get to the resort. It’s important to maximize your spending.

As you may have learned in our Beginner’s Guide, it’s all about how credit card purchases are coded. There are two major categories of spending that will take place on ski trips: travel and entertainment.

Best Credit Cards for Travel

Getting to the resort and lodging will most likely code as travel (there’s one exception). There are many credit cards that award bonus points for travel spend.

Credit CardAnnual FeeBonus
Chase Sapphire Reserve$4503x on travel
Chase Sapphire Preferred$952x on travel
American Express Platinum Card$5505x on flights directly with airline
American Express Green Card$1503x on travel
American Express Gold Card$2503x on flights directly with airline

Best Credit Cards for Entertainment

Lift tickets will most likely code as entertainment (The Points Guy reported that Copper Mountain and Tremblant code as travel). Because lift tickets aren’t cheap if you’re planning to spend a significant amount of money on lift tickets and ski rentals, it might be wise to get a credit card that rewards for entertainment purchases.

Credit CardAnnual FeeBonus
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card$4954% cash back on entertainment
Citi Premier Card $952x on entertainment
Chase Freedom Unlimited$01.5x on everything

Ski Resort Passes & Lift Tickets

The ski industry has undergone a major transformation recently with the bulk of the ski resorts in the United States being bought by one of two companies. Vail Resorts operates resorts that are part of the Epic Pass, while Alterra Mountain Company operates the resorts that are part of the Ikon Pass. Each of these has a wide variety of different resorts around the United States. Additionally, both have international locations as well.

With that said, there are two other season passes available.

The Mountain Collective is a conglomerate of 18 resorts including some Ikon Resorts. For just $509, Mountain Collective pass holders get 2 visits each to each property.

The Indy Pass features access to 44 smaller independent resorts. For $199, pass holders also get two days at each resort.

Of the more than 50 ski resorts listed below, many of the resorts are part of the different passes listed above. However, we have also listed some independently owned properties. If you have a version of one of these passes, it’s useful to know where the resorts are relative to one another. We’ve included region maps below that include resorts and nearby airports.

Liftopia

Don’t want to buy an expensive pass? Liftopia is a GREAT way to save serious money on single-day and multi-day ski passes. While not available at every resort, Liftopia arranges and contracts with different ski resorts and provides a limited quantity of cheaper tickets.

Check out to see if your favorite ski resort sells tickets via Liftopia.

Amex Offers

Another way to save money on ski trips is through American Express Offers. Often, American Express will rewards either points or cashback for different things. In the past, there have been Amex Offers for spending $500 or more with different hotel chains.

Currently, there’s an Amex Offer to receive $40 back after spending $200 with Alaska Airlines.

American Express also has a deal with Aspen Snowmass in the form of an Amex Offer. After targeted cardholders spend $300, they receive $75 back. That’s a great way to save on lift tickets!


Ski Resort Locations

East

Killington Ski Resort (Killington, Vermont)

Photo from Killington Ski Resort.

Using Points and Miles at Killington Ski Resort

Killington Ski Resort is the largest ski resort on the east coast and the highest vertical drop in New England.

Places to stay near Killington Ski Resort using points and miles

There are a number of independent hotels around Killington Ski Resort as well as a pair of Best Western and Choice Hotels properties.

Getting to Killington Ski Resort by plane

There are four airports within driving distance of Killington Ski Resort.

The closest is Burlington International Airport which is under two hours from the mountain. It is served by American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, and United.

Albany International Airport is two hours and 15 minutes away. It is serviced by most domestic carriers.

Hartford’s Bradley International Airport and Boston’s Logan International Airport are the biggest but also the furthest away ar nearly three hours each.

Loon Mountain (Lincoln, N.H.)

Photo by Loon Mountain.

Using Points and Miles at Loon Mountain

Loon Mountain is located in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest in central New Hampshire. It is located two and a half hours north of Boston and just 80 minutes from Concord.

Places to stay near Loon Mountain using points and miles

There are a number of independent hotels around Loon Mountain as well as a Best Western and Days Inn.

Getting to Loon Mountain by plane

Loon Mountain is most accessible from Boston Logan International Airport which is served by all major airlines.

Mount Sunapee (Newbury, N.H.)

Using Points and Miles at Mount Sunapee

Mount Sunapee, located just more than two hours north of Boston, is a small mountain in rural New Hampshire.

Places to stay in Mount Sunapee using points and miles

There are no major chain hotels near Mount Sunapee. The best bet to use points and miles is to stay in nearby Concord, just 37 miles away.

There’s also a Comfort Inn and Best Western close by that can be booked through the Chase Travel Portal.

Getting to Mount Sunapee by plane

Mount Sunapee is most accessible from Boston Logan International Airport which is served by all major airports. The ski destination is just two hours from Boston. Concord, New Hampshire just a little over an hour away.

Okemo (Ludlow, Vermont)

Photo by Okemo/Vail Mountain Resorts.

Using Points and Miles at Okemo

Located in the Green Mountains, Okemo is one of the more popular ski resorts in the Northeast. Okemo Mountain Resort is located a little more than two hours from Hartford, Connecticut.

Places to stay in Okemo using points and miles

There are no major chain hotels near Okemo Mountain Resort. However, the Chase Travel Portal has several good options and ranges.

There are several options less than a mile from Okemo Mountain Resort. Okemo Mountain Lodging is the closest to the mountain. However, it runs for more than 30,000 points per night.

Getting to Okemo by plane

There isn’t a super close airport to Okemo. The closest major airports are Hartford, which is a little more than two hours away, and Boston, which is three hours away.

Smaller airports in Burlington, Vermont and Albany, New York are just two hours away.

Stowe (Stowe, Vermont)

Using Points and Miles at Stowe

Stowe Mountain Resort, one of the most popular ski destinations on the east coast, consists of nine lifts across two mountains that straddle Route 108 in northeast Vermont.

Places to stay in Stowe using points and miles
  • There are also a number of independent hotels that are available via the Chase Travel Portal. Additionally, the nearest city center is Burlington, Vermont, where there are many hotels.
Getting to Stowe by plane

Burlington International Airport is the closest major airport to Stowe that is served by American Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue and United Airlines. Burlington is under one hour to the mountain.

Blade, a private flight service, runs non-stop flights between Westchester and Stowe every weekend during the winter. However, if you’re planning to bring your own ski equipment, you must get it approved by Blade staff due to limited space.

Stratton Mountain Resort (Stratton Mountain, Vermont)

Photo by Stratton Mountain Resort.

Using Points and Miles at Stratton Mountain Resort

Stratton Mountain Resort is one of the biggest mountains on the east coast. Stratton, located in the Green Mountain National Forest, has 11 lifts and 199 trails.

Places to stay near Stratton Mountain Resort using points and miles
Getting to Stratton Mountain Resort by plane

Albany International Airport is the closest airport at just 90 minutes from Stratton. Albany is served by most domestic carriers.

The next option is Hartford’s Bradley International Airport. At just two hours away, the airport will be the cheaper option and is serviced by many domestic and international flights.

Sugarbush Resort (Warren, Vermont)

Photo by Sugarbush Resort.

Using Points and Miles at Sugarbush Resort

Sugarbush Resort is located in northern Vermont just an hour outside of Burlington. The mountain has two base areas with 12 different lifts servicing the two mountains.

Places to stay near Sugarbush Resort using points and miles

There are a number of hotels in Burlington, Vermont, as well

Getting to Sugarbush Resort by plane

Burlington International Airport is the closest major airport to Sugarbush Resort that is served by American Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue and United Airlines. Burlington is roughly one hour to the mountain.

Tremblant (Mont-Tremblant, QC, Canada)

Photo by Laurie-Anne Robert/Unsplash.

Using Points and Miles at Tremblant

Tremblant, located less than two hours northwest of Montreal, is one of Canada’s most premier ski resorts.

Places to stay near Tremblant using points and miles
Getting to Tremblant by plane

Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is the closest major airport to Tremblant. It is served by all major airlines. There are direct flights directly into Mont-Tremblant International Airport, as well, on Air Canada and Porter Air.

Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort (Lake Placid, New York)

Using Points and Miles at Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort

Located right up the road from Lake Placid, New York, Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort has nearly 300 ski-able acres. The resort summit tops out at 4,650 feet and includes for that 60% of beginner and intermediate runs.

Places to stay near Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort using points and miles
Getting to Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort by plane

Lake Placid is located in the middle of Albany, Burlington and Montreal. While Montreal is without a doubt the biggest airport, having to deal with a border crossing could be a headache.

Albany International Airport is a little over 2 hours from Lake Placid and is served by most domestic carriers. Burlington International Airport is the closest airport at less than two hours away. It is served by American Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue and United Airlines.

Midwest

Afton Alps (Washington County, Minnesota.)

Using Points and Miles at Afton Alps

Photo by Afton Alps.

Afton Alps is a small ski hill located just 45 minutes outside downtown Minneapolis. Due to it’s proximity to a major city center, there are many hotel options within a reasonable drive.

Places to stay for Afton Alps using points and miles

There are also many options to book through the Travel with Chase Portal. The closest hotel is the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, part of the Club Carlson program, in nearby Cottage Grove. While not part of the major four hotel chains, it’s available through the Chase Travel Portal for ~7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Because many of the cash rates for these hotels are so little, it might be the best deal to pay for the rooms or use the Chase Travel Portal. For example, when redeeming through Marriott for the Courtyard by Marriott is at the cheapest 15,000 points per night, it’s just 7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards through the portal.

Getting to Afton Alps by plane

The closest airport is Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport which is serviced by all major airlines.

Boyne Highlands Resort (Harbor Springs, Michigan)

Photo from Boyne.

Using Points and Miles at Boyne Highlands Resort

Boyne Highlands Resort, located in northern Michigan roughly 30 minutes north of Boyne Mountain Resort. The resort is more than four hours from Detroit.

Places to stay near Boyne Highlands Resort using points and miles
Getting to Boyne Highlands Resort by plane

Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City is the closest airport. A smaller airport, there are limited flights on Allegiant, American, Delta, and United. Detroit Metro Airport, nearly four hours to the south, is the closest nearby airport and served by all major airlines.

Boyne Mountain Resort (Boyne Falls, Michigan)

Using Points and Miles at Boyne Mountain Resort

Boyne Mountain Resort, located in northern Michigan just 30 minutes south of Boyne Highlands. A local ski resort, the resort is nearly four hours from downtown Detroit.

Places to stay near Boyne Mountain Resort using points and miles
Getting to Boyne Mountain Resort by plane

Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City is the closest airport. A smaller airport, there are limited flights on Allegiant, American, Delta, and United. Detroit Metro Airport, nearly four hours to the south, is the closest nearby airport and served by all major airlines.

Mt. Brighton (Brighton, Michigan)

Using Points and Miles at Mt. Brighton

Mt. Brighton ski area is 45 minutes outside of Detroit in southeast Michigan. However, the man-made mountain boasts a peak of 230 vertical feet with just 5 chairlifts and 7 surface lifts.

Places to stay in Mt. Brighton using points and miles
Getting to Mt. Brighton by plane

The best option getting to Mt. Brighton via air is to use Detroit Metro Airport which is served by all major airlines.

Wilmont Mountain (Wilmot, Wisconsin)

Photo from WIlmot Mountain.

Using Points and Miles at Wilmot Mountain

Wilmot Mountain is a small ski hill located outside Chicago and Milwaukee near the Illinois and Wisconsin border. The small property has seven ski lifts with 2-3 runs off each and a peak at 1,000 feet. While the access is easy with multiple major airports nearby, there are bigger ski resorts worth traveling to by plane.

Places to stay at Wilmot Mountain using points and miles

There is a Best Western just 15 minutes from Wilmot Mountain, however, there are other properties semi-close as well. Obviously, there are a handful of properties in the greater Chicago and Milwaukee areas.

Getting to Wilmot Mountain by plane

There are three major airports within a close driving distance of Wilmot Mountain. Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway, as well as Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport, are served by all major domestic carriers.

Rockies

Alta Ski Area (Alta, Utah)

Photo from Alta Ski Area.

Using Points and Miles at Alta

Alta Ski Area, one of the oldest ski mountains in the country, is located just outside Salt Lake City and adjacent to Snowbird. If you snowboard, Alta isn’t for you, as it only allows skiers on its mountain. It is connected to Snowbird and a joint-mountain pass can be purchased.

Places to stay in Alta using points and miles

There are no major chain hotels near Alta Ski Area. However, the Chase Travel Portal has an option called Alta Peruvian Lodge. There are several chain hotels – Hyatt, Hilton, IHG – near Cottonwood Heights, Utah, roughly 50 minutes away.

Getting to Alta by plane

The closest airport to Alta is Salt Lake City International Airport which is less than an hour away. The airport is served by all major domestic carriers and is a west coast hub for Delta Airlines.

Aspen Snowmass (Aspen, Colorado)

Using Points and Miles at Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Snowmass is one resort that is made up of four different mountains and two distinctive villages – one in Aspen and the other in Snowmass.

Places to stay at Aspen Snowmass using points and miles
Getting to Aspen Snowmass by plane

Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) is just minutes from the slopes and boasts non-stop flights from 8 locations around the country on American, Delta and United Airlines.

Denver International Airport is the closest major airport near Aspen Snowmass. DIA is served by all major domestic carriers with hundreds of non-stop destinations around the World.

Graphic from Aspen Snowmass.

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (Dillon, Colorado)

Photo from Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.

Using Points and Miles at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area is located in the Rocky Mountains near Keystone. It’s typically open until early June and is one of the closest resorts to Denver.

Places to stay at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area using points and miles
  • There are no major chain hotels near Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. The closest area hotels are at Keystone which is just ten minutes down the road.
Getting to Arapahoe Basin Ski Area by plane

The closest major airport is Denver International Airport (DIA), which is served by all major airlines, which is a little more than two hours away.

Beaver Creek (Beaver Creek, Colorado)

Using Points and Miles at Beaver Creek

Photo from Beaver Creek.

Beaver Creek is one of the biggest and more prestigious ski resorts in the United States. It’s a high-end resort plush with luxury hotels and expensive vacation rentals.

Places to stay for Beaver Creek using points and miles

Hyatt Residence Clubs exist at Beaver Creek but have really little availability during peak times. For non-luxury options, there’s Comfort Inn located in Avon. It’s blacked out by Choice after early December, but it’s available through the Chase Travel Portal. If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can get 1.5 cents of value per point.

Getting to Beaver Creek by plane

The closest airport is Eagle County Airport (XX minutes). EGE is served by United Airlines and American Airlines. Eagle County has non-stop flights from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York/JFK, Phoenix, Toronto, and Washington D.C.

The closest major airport is Denver International Airport () which is served by all major airlines.

Big Sky Resort (Big Sky, Montana)

Using Points and Miles at Big Sky Resort

Located in Montana, Big Sky Resort has more than 5,000 acres of skiable area and a vertical drop of more than 4,000 feet. There are many runs with varying lengths, however, Big Sky is best known or it’s six-mile-long run.

  • Trail Map
  • Season Pass Brand: Ikon Pass, Mountain Collective
Places to stay for Big Sky Resort using points and miles
Getting to Big Sky Resort by plane

The closest airport to Big Sky is Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport. There are non-stop flights from 17 cities. The following airlines fly into Bozeman: Alaska Air, Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, and United.

Picture from Big Sky Resort.

Breckenridge (Breckenridge, Colorado)

Using Points and Miles at Breckenridge

Breckenridge is a well know ski community in the heart of the Rockies. While not as high-end as Vail or Beaver Creek, it’s still one of the more popular skiing destinations in Colorado. Breckenridge is located 80 miles west of Denver. There are several points options for hotels and many independent options available through the Chase Travel Portal.

Places to stay in Breckenridge using points and miles
Getting to Breckenridge by plane

The best option to get to Breckenridge is going to be through Denver International Airport which is just 104 miles east.

The other option is Eagle County Airport which is 63 miles away. EGE is served by United Airlines and American Airlines. Eagle County has non-stop flights from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York/JFK, Phoenix, Toronto, and Washington D.C.

Brighton Resort (Brighton, Utah)

Using Points and Miles at Brighton Resort

Brighton Resort is located less than an hour from Salt Lake City and adjacent to Solitude Mountain Resort.

Places to stay at Brighton Resort using points and miles

There are no major chain hotels near Brighton Resort. There are several chain hotels – Hyatt, Hilton, IHG – near Cottonwood Heights, Utah, roughly 40 minutes away.

Getting to Brighton Resort by plane

The closest airport to Brighton Resort is Salt Lake City International Airport which is less than an hour away. The airport is served by all major domestic carriers and is a west coast hub for Delta Airlines.

Copper Mountain (Frisco, Colorado)

Photo from Copper Mountain.

Using Points and Miles at Copper Mountain

Located 75 miles west of Denver, Copper Mountain features 23 lifts with a top elevation of 12,313 feet.

Places to stay at Copper Mountain using points and miles

There are no major chain hotels adjacent to Copper Mountain. There are non-chain properties as well as a Hampton Inn & Suites in Silverthorne (33,000 – 50,000 points).

Getting to Copper Mountain by plane

The best option to get to Copper Mountain is going to be through Denver International Airport which is just 100 miles east.

The other option is Eagle County Airport which is 56 miles away. EGE is served by United Airlines and American Airlines. Eagle County has non-stop flights from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York/JFK, Phoenix, Toronto, and Washington D.C.

Crested Butte (Crested Butte, Colorado)

Using Points and Miles at Crested Butte

Crested Butte is a small ski-town in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Not as high-end as other resorts like Aspen or Vail, Crested Butte offers 121 different ski runs on its mountain with a good combination of beginner, intermediate and advanced runs. Unlike many ski towns, the main area of Crested Butte is located a bit away from the slopes.

Places to stay in Crested Butte using points and miles

There are no major chain hotels near Crested Butte. However, the Chase Travel Portal has several good options and ranges.

For example, the Elevation Hotel and Spa is available for just more than 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards per night.

Using the Chase Travel Portal is a good way to maximize and use points and miles for a ski trip.
Using the Chase Travel Portal is a good way to maximize and use points and miles for a ski trip.
Getting to Crested Butte by plane

The closest airport is Gunnison/Crested Butte Airport (GUC), which is located just 30 minutes from Crested Butte. It’s being serviced by both United Airlines and American Airlines in 2019 – with non-stop flights coming from Dallas/Ft. Worth (American), Denver (United), and Houston (United).

The closest major airport is Denver International Airport (DIA) which is served by all major airlines, however, it’s nearly five hours away.

Deer Valley (Park City, Utah)

Using Points and Miles at Deer Valley Resort

Photo from Deer Valley Resort.

Deer Valley Resort is located next to the popular Park City Resort. It’s located about 3 miles down the road. Deer Valley limits the number of skiers each day. Access is held for those who have reserved tickets until 10 a.m. on the day reserved.

Places to stay at Deer Valley Resort using points and miles

The following hotels are located in Park City and closer to nearby Park City Resort:

Getting to Deer Valley Resort by plane

Salt Lake City International Airport is the closest airport to Deer Valley Resort. With more than 70 non-stop destinations, the airport is just 35 minutes away from the slopes.

Eldora Mountain Resort (Nederland, Colorado)

Photo from Eldora Mountain Resort.

Using Points and Miles at Eldora Mountain Resort

Eldora Mountain Resort is one of the closest resorts to Denver. It’s so close, that if you fly into Denver International Airport, you can access the resort using public transportation on RTD.

Places to stay at Eldora Mountain Resort using points and miles

There are no major chain hotels near Eldora Mountain Resort. The best option will be to stay in Boulder which is located about an hour away.

Getting to Eldora Mountain Resort by plane

The best option to get to Eldora Mountain Resort is going to be through Denver International Airport which is just 63 miles east.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (Jackson Hole, Wyoming)

Photo from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Using Points and Miles at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, known for its challenging terrain, has more than 4,00 feet of vertical drops and gets 450+ inches of snow annually. For guests staying in Jackson, the resort is accessible via the public bus system, so no rental car needed!

  • Trail Map
  • Season Pass Brand: Ikon Pass, Mountain Collective
Places to stay at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort using points and miles

There are no chain properties in the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort village. The following options are located about 20 minutes away.

Getting to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort by plane

Just 36 minutes from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Jackson Hole Airport is the best way to reach it by air. There are flights from 13 destinations across the World on American, Delta and United.

Jackson Hole also has a deal giving a $300 airfare credit if a package is booked through the resort. Details here.

Keystone (Keystone, Colorado)

Using Points and Miles at Keystone

Photo by Eric Miller, Unsplash.

Keystone is a popular mountain close to Denver consisting of three mountains – Dercum Mountain, North Peak, the Outback. Connected by 20 lifts, the town of Keystone also boasts a five-acre skating lake.

Places to stay at Keystone using points and miles

While Hyatt Place is the only points and miles property in Keystone, there are a plethora of options through the Chase Travel Portal.

Getting to Keystone by plane

The closest major airport is Denver International Airport (DIA), which is served by all major airlines, which is a little more than two hours away.

Park City (Park City, Utah)

Using Points and Miles at Park City

Park City is home to two ski resorts, but the Park City Mountain is the biggest. The mountain is nestled against the city center, but still has 40 lifts and more than 300 different runs.

Places to stay in Park City using points and miles

The following hotels are located near Deer Valley Resort (located adjacent to Park City Resort):

Getting to Park City by plane

Salt Lake City International Airport is the closest airport to Park City. With more than 70 non-stop destinations, the airport is just 35 minutes away from the slopes.

Snowbird (Alta, Utah)

Using Points and Miles at Snowbird

Snowbird is right down the road from Alta and boasts one of the snowiest mountains in the United States. There are just 13 lifts, however, there are more than 160 runs. This resort also features a 600-foot tunnel connecting the two sides of the mountain.

Places to stay at Snowbird using points and miles

There are no major chain hotels near Snowbird. However, the Chase Travel Portal has an option called Lodge at Snowbird. There are several chain hotels – Hyatt, Hilton, IHG – near Cottonwood Heights, Utah, roughly 50 minutes away.

Getting to Snowbird by plane

The closest airport to Snowbird is Salt Lake City International Airport which is less than an hour away. The airport is served by all major domestic carriers and is a west coast hub for Delta Airlines.

Solitude Mountain Resort (Solitude, Utah)

Using Points and Miles at Solitude Mountain Resort

Solitude Mountain Resort is located less than an hour from Salt Lake City and adjacent to Brighton.

Places to stay at Solitude Mountain Resort using points and miles

There are no major chain hotels near Solitude Mountain Resort. There are several chain hotels – Hyatt, Hilton, IHG – near Cottonwood Heights, Utah, roughly 40 minutes away.

Getting to Solitude Mountain Resort by plane

The closest airport to Solitude Mountain Resort is Salt Lake City International Airport which is less than an hour away. The airport is served by all major domestic carriers and is a west coast hub for Delta Airlines.

Sun Valley Resort (Sun Valley, Idaho)

Using Points and Miles at Sun Valley Resort

Sun Valley Resort is located near Ketchum, Idaho just under three hours from the capital city of Boise. It’s easily accessible from a number of major airports on the west coast and rocky mountain region. Sun Valley is best known as the first destination ski resort in the country with the world’s first chairlifts.

Places to stay at Sun Valley Resort using points and miles

There are no major chain hotels near Sun Valley Resort. There are several Best Western properties, as well as a number of independent properties that are bookable using the CHase Tavel Portal.

Getting to Sun Valley Resort by plane

The closest airport and easiest way to get to Sun Valley Resort is Friedman Memorial Airport. There are non-stop flights from six cities. The Boise Airport is also an option – located just 2.5 hours from Sun Valley. The Boise airport is much larger with flights from nearly 30 cities.

Steamboat (Steamboat Springs, Colorado)

Using Points and Miles at Steamboat

Steamboat/Photographer’s Name

Known and trademarked as Ski Town USA, Steamboat is located in northern Colorado. The resort has 165 total runs off of 23 different lifts with the majority of runs being at the intermediate or expert level.

Places to stay in Steamboat using points and miles
Getting to Steamboat by plane

The Steamboat/Hayden Airport (HDN) has non-stop flights from 14 major airports on domestic carriers – Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, and United Airlines.

Flying into Denver International Airport is also an option, but it’ll take more than three hours without winter weather.

Taos Ski Valley (Taos County, New Mexico)

Photo from Taos Ski Valley.

Using Points and Miles at Taos Ski Valley

Taos Ski Valley has more than 100 trails ranging from expert runs to beginner hills.

  • Trail Map
  • Season Pass Brand: Ikon Pass, Mountain Collective
Places to stay in Taos Ski Valley using points and miles
Getting to Taos Ski Valley by plane

There are two options to fly to get to Taos Ski Valley. Albuquerque International Airport, serving seven major airlines and non-stop flights to 24 cities, is nearly 3 hours away.

An hour closer, the Sante Fe Airport is serviced by XX and XX with flights from Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, and Phoenix.

Telluride Ski Resort (Telluride, Colorado)

Photo by Telluride Ski Resort.

Using Points and Miles at Telluride Ski Resort

Telluride Ski Resort is a picturesque, quaint ski town in southwest Colorado. More than 50 percent of the runs at Telluride are beginner or intermediate runs. Because it’s such a small town, there are no chain hotel options in the immediate vicinity of Telluride Ski Resort.

Places to stay in Telluride Ski Resort using points and miles

Even though there are limited points and miles options at American hotel brands, the Chase Travel Portal is a great place to use your Ultimate Rewards for different brands or independent hotels. Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will get 1.5 cents per point, while Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders will get 1.25 cents per point.

There are a number of hotels in Telluride and Mountain Village redeemable through the Chase Travel Portal.
Getting to Telluride Ski Resort by plane

There are three options to get to Telluride:

  • Montrose-Telluride Regional Airport (MTJ) – 75 minutes
  • Telluride Regional Airport (TEX) – 15 minutes
  • Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT) – 2 1/2 hours

The most popular airport is the Montrose Telluride Regional Airport. It is served by Allegiant, American, Delta, and United. The only airline servicing Telluride Regional Airport is Denver Air (United Partner). Grand Junction is the biggest airport and is served by many domestic airlines.

Vail (Vail, Colorado)

Using Points and Miles at Vail

Group skiing groomed terrain in Vail, Colorado. Photo by Vail.com

Vail is one of the most popular ski resorts in North America located just 100 miles west of Denver. Adjacent to Beaver Creek and Copper Mountain and Breckenridge, Vail has more than 5,000 miles of ski trails and a peak of 11,570 feet. There are many points and mile options for lodging.

Places to stay in Vail using points and miles
Getting to Vail by plane

The closest option is Eagle County Airport which is 63 miles away. EGE is served by United Airlines and American Airlines. Eagle County has non-stop flights from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York/JFK, Phoenix, Toronto, and Washington D.C.

The closest major airport is Denver International Airport (DIA), which is served by all major airlines, is just two hours away.

Winter Park Resort (Winter Park, Colorado)

Photo from Winter Park Resort.

Using Points and Miles at Winter Park Resort

One of the closest resort to Denver, Winter Park Resort has more than 3,000 acres of skiable area and features more than 160 ski runs.

Places to stay in Winter Park using points and miles
Getting to Winter Park by plane

The closest and best option is using Denver International Airport (DIA), served by all major airlines, which is less than two hours away.

West

Crystal Mountain (Pierce County, Washington)

Using Points and Miles at Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain is the largest ski area in the state of Washington with more than 2,500 acres of skiable terrain. There are 10 lifts and 57 different runs. The resort is adjacent to Mt. Rainier.

Places to stay at Crystal Mountain

There are no major chain hotels near Crystal Mountain. It’s probably worth staying in Seattle and taking advantage of the city while you are in the area. Crystal Mountain is roughly two hours away from the city.

Getting to Crystal Mountain by plane

The closest major airport to Crystal Mountain is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport which is served by all major airlines.

Heavenly (Lake Tahoe, California)

Using Points and Miles at Heavenly

There are six ski resorts in Lake Tahoe – three on the north side of the lake and three on the south side of the lake. Heavenly, one of the largest ones, is located on the southern side of the lake in South Lake Tahoe. It spans two states: Nevada and California. There are a ton of lodging options around Lake Tahoe, but we will focus on those that are close to Heavenly.

Places to stay at Lake Tahoe/Heavenly using points and miles
Getting to Lake Tahoe/Heavenly by plane

The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is the closest airport and is served by nine different areas with non-stop flights coming in from cities as far as Atlanta and New York as well as closer cities across California.

There are many points and miles options when flying into Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Photo from renoairport.com

The nearest major international airport to Lake Tahoe is Sacramento International Airport which is 115 miles from South Lake Tahoe.

Kirkwood (Kirkwood, California)

Using Points and Miles at Kirkwood

Located 40 miles south of Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood is a popular California ski mountain. However, there are not many lodging options close by, so it might be best to couple this resort with other Tahoe mountains.

Places to stay in Kirkwood using points and miles

There are no major chain hotels near Kirkwood.

Getting to Kirkwood by plane

The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is the closest airport and is served by nine different areas with non-stop flights coming in from cities as far as Atlanta and New York as well as closer cities across California.

The nearest major international airport to Lake Tahoe is Sacramento International Airport which is 115 miles from South Lake Tahoe.

Mammoth Mountain (Mammoth Lakes, California)

Using Points and Miles at Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Mountain has a summit of 11,053 feet and the highest lift-served skiable areas in California.

Places to stay in Mammoth Mountain using points and miles
Getting to Mammoth Mountain by plane

Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH) is located about 10 minutes from the town of Mammoth Lakes. United Airlines has direct flights from Los Angeles, Denver, and San Francisco.

Mt. Bachelor (Bend, Oregon)

Using Points and Miles at Mt. Bachelor

Mt. Bachelor is located just west of Bend, Oregon, on the northern side of Mount Bachelor, a stratovolcano rising atop a volcanic shield in the Cascade Range. The resort features 101 runs off of 11 different lifts.

Places to stay in Mt. Bachelor using points and miles
Getting to Mt. Bachelor by plane

Redmond Airport (RDM) is the closest airport to Mt. Bachelor as it’s only 20 miles north of Bend. Alaska Airlines offers nonstop flights from Seattle and Portland, United Airlines flies nonstop from Denver, San Francisco, and Portland, Delta Air Lines provides nonstop service from Salt Lake City and American Airlines offers nonstop service from Los Angeles.

Northstar (Lake Tahoe, California)

Using Points and Miles at Northstar

Northstar is located on the north side of Lake Tahoe and is one of the more popular ski resorts around Lake Tahoe. Only one of the chain hotels is mountainside, but two are within a short drive.

Places to stay in Northstar using points and miles

Even though there are limited points and miles options at American hotel brands, the Chase Travel Portal is a great place to use your Ultimate Rewards for different, non-American chains. Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will get 1.5 cents per point, while Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders will get 1.25 cents per point.

*used a Friday in January as a search date // ** requires a minimum stay

Getting to Northstar by plane

The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is the closest airport and is served by nine different areas with non-stop flights coming in from cities as far as Atlanta and New York as well as closer cities across California.

There are many points and miles options when flying into Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Photo from renoairport.com

The nearest major international airport to Lake Tahoe is Sacramento International Airport which is 115 miles from South Lake Tahoe.

SkiBig3 (Banff, Alberta, Canada)

Photo by Reuben Krabbe.

Using Points and Miles at SkiBig3

SkiBig3 is made up of three separate mountains: Lake Louise Ski Resort, Banff Sunshine, and Mt. Norquay. All three are located west of Calgary, Alberta with Lake Louise being the furthest away at about two hours.

Places to stay near SkiBig3 using points and miles

There are also a good number of Best Western and Choice properties around the SkiBig3 resorts.

Getting to SkiBig3 by plane

The best airport to reach SkiBig3 is going to be Calgary International Airport which is served by Alaska, American, Delta, and United. The Canadian airport is a destination for many other popular airlines like Air Canada, WestJet, and British Airways.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (Olympic Valley, California)

Using Points and Miles at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Home to the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is one of the most popular ski resorts in the country. The resort boasts two mountains with breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe.

Places to stay in Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows using points and miles

Even though there are limited points and miles options at American hotel brands, the Chase Travel Portal is a great place to use your Ultimate Rewards for different, non-American chains. Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will get 1.5 cents per point, while Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders will get 1.25 cents per point.

Getting to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows by plane

The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is the closest airport and is served by nine different areas with non-stop flights coming in from cities as far as Atlanta and New York as well as closer cities across California.

There are many points and miles options when flying into Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Photo from renoairport.com

The nearest major international airport to Lake Tahoe is Sacramento International Airport which is 115 miles from South Lake Tahoe.

Stevens Pass (Skykomish, Washington)

Using Points and Miles at Stevens Pass

Stevens Pass is located just under two hours from Seattle in the cascade mountains. The mountain, which boasts nine lifts, is popular mainly with visitors commuting from the nearby metro area, however, there are vacation rentals in the area.

Places to stay in Stevens Pass using points and miles

There are no major chain hotels near Stevens Pass. The closest chain hotels are a Best Western in Monroe (1 hour away) and a Hampton Inn & Suites in Woodinville (1 hour and 15 minutes away). At that point, it’s probably worth staying in Seattle and taking advantage of the city.

Getting to Stevens Pass by plane

The closest major airport to Stevens Pass is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport which is served by all major airlines. Paine Field, an airport located north of the city in Everett, is also an option. It is served by Alaska Airlines and United Airlines from destinations on the west coast as well as Denver.

Summit at Snoqualmie (Snoqualmie, Washington)

Using Points and Miles at Summit at Snoqualmie

Summit at Snoqualmie is the closest ski resort to Seattle at just an hour away. There are four different areas – Alpental, Summit East, Summit Central, and Summit West.

Places to stay near Summit at Snoqualmie using points and miles
Getting to Summit at Snoqualmie by plane

The closest major airport to Summitt at Snoqualmie is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport which is served by all major airlines. Paine Field, an airport located north of the city in Everett, is also an option. It is served by Alaska Airlines and United Airlines from destinations on the west coast as well as Denver.

Whistler Blackcomb (Whistler, B.C., Canada)

Using Points and Miles at Whistler Blackcomb

Using points and miles for a ski trip to Whistler Blackcomb can save you serious money. Photo by Yin Yin, Unsplash.

The site of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Whistler Blackcomb is one of the premier Epic Pass locations boasting two enormous mountains and a large, festive village to go along with it. There are 37 lifts and a gondola that connects the peaks of the two mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb.

Places to stay in Whistler Blackcomb using points and miles

Even though there are limited points and miles options at American hotel brands, the Chase Travel Portal is a great place to use your Ultimate Rewards for different, non-American chains. Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will get 1.5 cents per point, while Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders will get 1.25 cents per point.

  • Four Seasons Resort Whistler ($504.20 or 33,613 points)
  • Crystal Lodge and Suites** ($302.86 or 20,190 points)
  • Mountain Side Hotel Whistler by Executive** ($404.49 or 26,966 points)
  • Executive – The Inn at Whistler Village** (279.36 or 18,624 points)

*used a Friday in January as a search date // ** requires a minimum stay

Getting to Whistler Blackcomb by plane

The best, most affordable option getting to Whistler is using Vancouver International Airport which is two hours away. Because you don’t need a car once you get to Whistler, there are many options for airport transfers – including helicopters!

Vancouver is served by all major American airlines with the exception of Southwest Airlines.

Ski Deals for 2019-2020

Airline Ski Deals

Airlines have promotions and arrangements with specific ski resorts to encourage people to take their airlines on a ski trip. By showing your boarding pass, some ski resorts will allow travelers to ski for free the afternoon they arrive or the morning they leave. That means you can use points and miles for a ski trip and also ski for free!

Alaska Airlines has the most deals for any airline, however, there are two other ski resorts that offer lift ticket deals with other airlines.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (any airline)

Guests arriving via commercial airline can ski or ride for free on their arrival day. Guests must present same-day boarding pass with matching photo ID at the mountain.

Steamboat Springs (any airline into HDN)

Receive free night skiing on the day of arrival when flying into Steamboat/Hayden (HDN). Guests must show a boarding pass at the ticket window. If guests arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday, they can ski free on Thursday night.

Ski with Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines has promotions with the following resorts for different ski deals. Some of these resorts do have blackout dates. In general, they require presenting a boarding pass to receive a free same-day lift ticket, day or departure lift ticket, discounted lift ticket or even free rental gear.

Traveling with Ski Equipment

Even if you use points and miles for a ski trip, it’s important to minimize other costs. While owning your own ski equipment will save you money at the mountain, flying with it can be expensive.

There are several things to consider when flying with skis:

  • Number of bags for skis + boots
  • Weight of ski equipment
  • Length of ski equipment

While airlines vary, most airlines will count ski equipment as one bag (skis + boot bag), however, they differ on weight and length requirements. As with checked bags in general, typically holding the co-branded airline credit card comes with free checked bags.

Alaska Air

One piece of ski/snowboard equipment is defined as 1 pair of skis with poles or one snowboard plus one boot/helmet bag.

Ski/snowboard equipment may exceed 62″ (linear), without incurring an oversize fee.

American Airlines

One pair of skis/snowboard and one equipment bag count as a single checked baggage item. You can travel with one pair of skis with poles or snowboard, one pair of boots and 1 helmet or life preserver. 

Standard checked baggage fees apply to ski/ snowboard equipment bags which are within 126 linear inches and up to 50 lbs. Overweight baggage fees apply to equipment bags between 51 and 70 lbs. If the equipment bag exceeds 50 lbs and 62 linear inches, it will be charged as a separate checked bag and standard overweight and oversize fees apply. 

Delta Airlines

One ski/pole bag or one snowboard bag and one boot bag are accepted per person as one checked bag.

The combined weight of the ski/snowboard bag and the boot bag may not exceed 50 lbs. or excess weight charges will apply. Linear dimensions may exceed 80 in without excess size charges.

Frontier Airlines

Skis, ski poles and ski boots may be counted as a single item. If the boots are checked in a separate bag, it cannot exceed 25 lbs or it will be considered as a second bag. Boots may also be carried onto the flight provided that it does not exceed the allowable carry-on dimensions.

Overweight charges apply if the item is 50 lbs or more. Oversized charges do not apply.

JetBlue Airlines

One pair of skis/snowboard and one pair of boots is considered one baggage item. However, the ski boots, if packed separately from skiing equipment, must be in a ski boot bag for this to apply.

There is no additional charge for ski and snowboard equipment which are exempt from standard size requirements 62 in. However, the baggage must still follow weight guidelines otherwise fees may apply.

Southwest Airlines

One pair of skis or one snowboard, one set of poles and one pair of ski/snowboard boots may count as one item. Southwest Airlines allows up to two bags to hold the above equipment which may be packed and tagged separately.

Snow ski equipment is not subject to excess size charges. However, excess weight charges may apply.

United Airlines

United accepts one item of ski or snowboard equipment per customer as checked baggage. An item of ski equipment consists of:

  • Up to two snowboards in one bag and one snow boot bag;
  • Up to two pairs of snow skis and associated equipment in one bag and one ski boot bag.

A boot bag without an accompanied ski bag is considered one bag and normal baggage fees apply. Ski equipment in addition to the baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage charge for a single piece, whether or not it is presented as a single piece. United varies its charges depending on the origin and destination of the flight.

If the combined weight of the ski bag and boot bag is over 50 lbs, overweight charges apply.

Final Thoughts: Use Points and Miles for a Ski Trip

Understanding how to best use points and miles for a ski trip can save you thousands of dollars. Because skiing is already an expensive hobby, saving money any way that’s possible is welcomed.

Whether it’s using points for a free night in a hotel, or getting to ski for free with a same-day boarding pass, there are tricks out there that can save the traveler money.

We will continue to update this, but if you want a specific ski resort we are missing, let us know! We would be happy to add it.


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