How to stay in Aspen, CO in January in a one bedroom suite for free.
Spend a little time, $75, and little energy to generate a luxurious travel opportunity: accommodations in Aspen, CO, in January, booked 60 days prior to stay, for 3 nights, in a King suite – 1 bedroom apartment that sleeps 4, at the base of Buttermilk mountain. This particular property is the only ski-in, ski-out hotel at the base of Buttermilk Ski Resort.
Retail Value: $1,150 | We paid: $0 | We saved: $1,150
*Note: That half-pipe that you can see in the background of this last photo is the 2016 Winter X-games half-pipe.
How did I do this? I used this 5 step process
Step 1: I set up a rewards account with Wyndham, online (3 minutes).
Step 2: I applied for and was approved for the Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card ($75 annual fee). Make sure to do this through the Wyndham Rewards website in order to get the best offer (2 minutes). Note that the $75 annual fee is justifiably offset by the 6,000 annual points deposited into your account.
Step 3: Within the first 90 days of being approved for the card, I spent $2,000 on the card and immediately paid it off. Within approx. 30 days of this I had 45,000 rewards points in my account. Use a spreadsheet to stay organized with your credit cards and points (time varies).
Step 4: Research – with the goal of maximizing the value of my points (I got 2.6 cents/point) I set out to find a fun and adventurous mini “staycation.” In my research, I noticed that Wyndham was running a special where Wyndham Vacation Homes could be booked using a flat rate of 15,000 rewards points per night (twenty minutes).
Step 5: I made the phone call, coordinated my available dates with the availability of the hotel, and finalized the deal (ten minutes).
If you are going to search for available Wyndham hotels, make sure you are aware of all of their brands within their hotel group:
Note for example that first Brand on the top left: Dolce hotels and resorts. These are high-end boutique hotels mostly located on the outskirts of major metropolitan areas.
Dolce happens to have a property in Aspen, CO called Aspen Meadows.
We spent a 4th night in Aspen at this Dolce resort. This cost a flat rate of 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points. My wife and I were each approved for the Wyndham Visa card so we had a total of 90,000 rewards points. We used a total of 60,000 rewards points for this 4 night trip to Aspen in January, 2017.
RETAIL COST FOR THIS SAME NIGHT:
Point value: 3.85 cents/pt
Retail Value: $578 | We paid: $0 | We saved: $578
Totals for 4-night stay in Aspen, CO:
Total point value: 2.88 cents/pt
Total Retail Value: $1,728 | We paid: $0 | We saved: $1,728
What about the lift tickets you ask? We used American Express Membership Rewards Points to get 2x 3-day lift tickets = $750 value for FREE. I don’t highlight this too much here because it’s not the best use of your American Express Membership Rewards Points. However, if you are cash poor and points rich, this is a good option for skiing for free in Aspen, CO. We skied all four mountains that come with this lift ticket pass: Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass. If you made me pick a favorite – I say Snowmass. If you want to know why, leave a comment below.
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