Who doesn’t love skiing? Sure, it presents a certain level of danger, but with the adrenaline-pumping, mood-boosting energy that it provides, it’s easy to understand why so many people have fallen in love with this sport. So don’t let the pricey ski tickets scare you, we’ve gathered all the info you need to ski with points!
The formula is simple really: Capital One ® Venture ® Rewards Credit Card + Undercover Tourist = free ski trip this winter!
Disclaimer: Undercover Tourist is one of the few affiliate partners we have because they are such a good deal to free travelers who want to save on Disney and/or skiing. If you click through to Undercover Tourist and purchase something on their site, Travel Freely may earn a commission.
Skiing can be really expensive, especially if you’re looking at this sport from a beginner’s point of view. In fact, some might even say that skiing is a sport for the rich. From equipment to clothing, and ticket prices, accommodation and food, the cost easily adds up and you can find yourself in one of your most expensive trips. Fortunately, there is a way to minimize your costs without sacrificing your interest or love of the sport!
But first, here’s a complete rundown of the expenses you might shell out on your ski adventure:
- Equipment – You can either buy or rent out the equipment you need. But if this is your first time skiing, my advice is to rent out equipment. You can spend around $18-$25 a day or around $100 a week for skis, boots, and poles.
- Clothing – You’ll need about three layers of ski clothing – the base layer to keep you dry at all times, the mid-layer to keep you warm, and the outer layer to keep you protected.
- Accessories – Ski accessories provide an added layer of safety when you ride down the slopes – these include everything from your helmet to back and butt protection, sunglasses, gloves, wrist bands, and more. You can also rent out these accessories on your first try. For gloves though, if you decide to buy a pair for your own use, make sure to look for gloves made from waterproof and breathable material.
- Food – Food on the slopes can be really simple. Consider bringing a backpack that you can fill with treats for a picnic – sandwiches, a thermos with hot coffee or cocoa, and some energy bars. You can enjoy the views on the hill without having to spend a lot of money on food.
- Accommodation and Ski Tickets – Prices for accommodations and Ski passes vary and mostly depends on the ski resort you choose to go to. But you’ll have to note that prices can go up to $400-$500 per night, depending on the resort.
- Flights/Transportation – Finally, add in your transportation expenses whether you’re driving to a local ski destination or even flying to one abroad.
Where Capital One Miles Make a Difference
With all these expenses, you can easily spend up to $1000 on your next ski adventure. Moreover, most ski resorts code lift tickets as “recreation” or “entertainment” expenses as opposed to “travel” expenses when you use a credit card. This could be a setback if you’re using a credit card that will allow you to redeem points only for travel expenses.
But since this is Travel Freely, we’ve gathered tips on how you can use points for your ski trip, and potentially earn up to $1,000+ in freeskiing. Here’s what you need: 1) Capital One Venture Card, and, 2) book your lift tickets through Undercover Tourist.
Earlier, we talked about how ski passes and lessons are often tagged as “entertainment/recreation” expenses rather than “travel” expenses on your credit card. To find a way around this, we recommend booking your ski vacation via Undercover Tourist.
Undercover Tourist is a great way to find big deals on family trips and other excursions. They offer discounted prices for tickets and even for accommodations. If you book all in one trip through their platform, you can definitely find better prices.
The good thing about Undercover Tourist is that they have a dedicated system for offering huge deals for ski resort vacations that cover your expenses from hotel rooms to ski lift tickets and even car rentals. Also, check out offers where kids can ski for free to help bring down your overall cost.
Undercover Tourist also offers great ski passes for this winter season to get the most value for your next ski adventure:
- Epic Pass – This is an unlimited Ski pass that you can use at a number of resorts. You can ski whenever you want and as much as you want without worrying about blackout dates and restrictions. This pass is valid for the whole ski season of 2019-2020 and you can use it repeatedly either at local ski resorts or even for a 5-day consecutive ski vacation at the Hakuba Valley ski resort area and Rusutu in Japan.
- Epic 4-Day Pass – The Epic 4-day pass is an unrestricted pass valid only for a period of 4 days. This pass also grants you access to all resorts even during blackout dates and you can break up the 4-day period in different resorts (for instance, 2 days on resort A and 2 days on resort B).
- Epic 7-Day Pass – Same perks as the 4-day pass, but valid for a period of 7 days.
(Note that these Epic Passes do not cover costs for Ski Lessons and Equipment rentals.)
Buy lift tickets, rentals, or packages. Single-day lift tickets to a specific resort may require a hotel bundle.
Capital One Venture Card
We’ve tagged Capital One Venture as one of the best beginner cards. The earning structure is at 2x miles/point for every dollar spent on all purchases while the redemption rate is at 1:1, where each mile or point is equal to 1 cent. Compared to other rewards cards, these earning and redemption structures are very straightforward.
With the current offer (as of Nov 15, 2019), f you spend $3,000 on your first 3 months after signing up for a Venture card, you get a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles. So at a redemption rate of 1:1, that 50,000 miles easily converts to $500 that can go a long way to funding your ski vacation. For other expenses that you can cover with points, use the Purchase Eraser Feature that comes with your Venture Card.
Capital One offers more flexibility with its Capital One Venture Card through the Purchase Eraser feature. With this feature, you can easily use your points to pay for any travel purchase you make on your card in the last 90 days. So, if your ski vacation tickets are coded as travel, you can easily use your Venture miles to pay for these tickets. And with you booking your vacation through Undercover Tourist, you can easily erase that expense on your Venture card. Note: Undercover Tourist purchases will code as “travel” when using a Visa or Mastercard (Capital One Venture is a Visa).
Combining your Capital One Venture Card and Undercover Tourist, here’s a sample breakdown to get you started…
Step 1: Open a Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.
Bonus Tip: Double your points! Get your spouse to apply for their own Venture Rewards card too! Easily, you can get over $1000 for free.
Step 2: Purchase a ski vacation deal from UndercoverTourist.com.
Don’t purchase your tickets directly from ski resorts. Instead, purchase your ski tickets/packages via Undercover Tourist (consider a ski vacation package that offers accommodations and tickets in one to get more discounts or an Epic Pass to get unrestricted access for this ski season.).
Step 3: Erase your Undercover Tourist expense.
Finally, log in to your Capital One Venture Rewards account and simply track down the purchase you made on Undercover Tourist. Make sure you do this within 90 days of your purchase date.
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