17/06/2024

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How I redeemed Capital One miles for a slope-side vacation rental

6 min read
How I redeemed Capital One miles for a slope-side vacation rental

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For my family, winter time means the mountains. While we love our warm-weather getaways to places such as Aruba and Cancun, you can typically find us on the slopes every single weekend throughout ski season.

But unlike the the West Coast, there aren’t many opportunities to use your hotel points to stay slope-side on the East Coast mountains. And as most ski-families know, there’s nothing better than ski-on and ski-off accommodations.

That’s where my Capital One miles have come in handy for the past two years. With Capital One points earned with cards like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, there are two ways to redeem miles for a ski vacation.

The first option is to charge your travel purchase to your eligible Capital One card and cover the charge by redeeming your miles at a rate of 1 cent apiece. While this is an incredibly easy way to redeem your points, with a slope-side vacation rental costing around $500 per night, that would require 50,000 Capital One miles per night — a hefty amount to pay per night.

Alternatively, you can leverage Capital One’s 18 transfer partners, allowing you to transfer your points to redeem at a potentially even higher value. While there’s no vacation rental site as a direct transfer partner, with this roundabout method that we’ll explain below, you can redeem your miles for an awesome vacation home without spending a ton of miles.

A photo of the view of snow-covered Austrian alps from a balcony

Within the 18 airline and hotel partners, one is the often underrated Wyndham Rewards. Although Wyndham offers many vacation properties within their portfolio (think timeshares), it also offers vacation rentals.

Wyndham Rewards recently partnered with Vacasa. Vacasa properties are similar to staying in an Airbnb or VRBO property, but the vacation rental is rented and managed directly by Vacasa. This often means a more consistent experience and fewer mishaps.

With this partnership, you can redeem Wyndham Rewards points for Vacasa properties. And as you might expect, this also means you can redeem Capital One miles for Vacasa stays by way of transferring them to Wyndham.

Wyndham charges a flat per bedroom rate for Vacasa stays. You’ll pay 15,000 points per bedroom per night. This is solely based on the number of bedrooms listed, not the actual square footage or even the actual number of beds available.

For example, let’s say there’s a one-bedroom condo with a large loft (which provides an extra sleeping option), you’ll still only need to redeem 15,000 points per night. And since Capital One miles transfer to Wyndham Rewards at a 1:1 ratio, a one-bedroom rental only costs 15,000 Capital One miles.

This Vacasa vacation rental is just a two minute walk to the ski trail.

Vacasa manages more 44,000+ homes within 35 U.S. states (plus Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Belize). This means there’s ample opportunity to find a rental home in many vacation destinations.

For the past two years, my family has spent our February winter break at Okemo Mountain Resort — a Vail Resort Mountain in Southern Vermont. We are a big fan of this resort and love that there’s so many slope-side condos throughout the mountain. And fortunately, many are managed by Vacasa.

Last year, we were able to rent a 1 bedroom condo through Vacasa just a stones throw away from one of the trails. With a queen bed in the bedroom and a bunkbed in a separate alcove space (plus a pull out sofa in the family room), my family of four had plenty of space to relax and enjoy.

On top of that, we had a full kitchen which made meal time a breeze. And let’s not forget about the washer and dryer which is a huge help after an incredibly snowy — and wet — day.

For our four night stay, this condo would have cost $1,495 in total (although really $1,983 once you add in all of the taxes and fees). This was much more than what we wanted to spend, so we transferred 60,000 Capital One miles to Wyndham Rewards to book our stay.

A photo of various ski and snowboarding equipment in a ski resort

There’s no additional taxes or fees when booking Vacasa properties with Wyndham Rewards points. This ultimately meant that our aforementioned 60,000 points got us a slope-side condo that would have otherwise cost us a $2,000, valuing our points at a whopping 3.3 cents apiece.

However, there are a few caveats you should be aware of when booking Vacasa properties with Wyndham Rewards. The first is that even though a home rental is available for a paid stay on the Vacasa website, it may not be available to book with points.

This is because there are blackout dates and price maximums — and unfortunately, that criteria isn’t publicly listed. Instead, you’ll have to call Wyndham directly to check for availability with points.

Based on our research, we found that as long as a rental is less than $400 to $500 per night per bedroom (once you add in all of the taxes and fees) it should be bookable with Wyndham points. That said, there are unconfirmed rumors that this has dropped to $350 per night.

That said, we’ve also found that some homes — despite the price — are also not available for an entire season or just on certain dates (such as the weekends) when using points. Therefore, make sure to call Wyndham to check availability before transferring Capital One miles to Wyndham Rewards.

Additionally, based on our experience, calling Wyndham to book can also be a lengthy process — so, buyer beware. Right now, there’s no way to book Vacasa vacation homes with Wyndham points online.

A photo of a snow-covered mountain from an airplane window

With many different credit card options, earning Capital One miles is a breeze — especially due to their generous welcome offers.

Currently, with both the Capital One Venture and the Capital One Venture X you can earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.

From the welcome offer alone, you’ll be able to redeem your earned miles for a 5-night stay in a 1-bedroom vacation rental. Or, you’ll even have enough points to splurge for a 2-bedroom rental for a two-night stay.

If you’re able to redeem in a similar fashion as my slope-side rental, this values the miles earned from the welcome offer at around $2,500 — a jaw-dropping savings to stay in a vacation home.

Then, with everyday spend, you’ll continue to earn even more miles towards your next vacation rental. On both cards, for non-bonus category purchases, you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar spent. This is an excellent earning rate on your everyday purchases.

If you own a business, you might consider applying for the Capital One Venture X Business. This card has many of the same features as the standard Venture X, but is currently offering new card holders a whopping 150,000 bonus miles after you spend $30,000 in the first three months from account opening.

Learn more about the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
Learn more about the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
Learn more about the Capital One Venture X Business.

A photo of a Wyndham Garden Hotel sign near San Jose International Airport (SJC)

But transferring miles from Capital One isn’t the only way to earn Wyndham Rewards points with a credit card. Citi ThankYou recently added the hotel loyalty program as a transfer partner, with points transferring at a 1:1 ratio if you have a Citi Premier® Card.

You can also earn Wyndham Rewards points with Wyndham’s cobranded credit cards. There are three Wyndham credit cards to choose from — two personal cards and a business card — that each have their own benefits, annual fees, welcome offers and points earning structures.

Of course, you can always earn points by staying at Wyndham and Caesars hotels and by leveraging the brand’s other travel partners like Avis.

If you prefer a vacation home over a small hotel room during your travels, booking Vacasa properties with Wyndham Rewards points is a great option. And since it’s easy to earn Capital One miles — which transfer to Wyndham — you can quickly rack up enough points to book a slope-side vacation rental for your next ski trip.

Looking for a travel credit card? Find out which cards CNN Underscored chose as our best travel credit cards currently available.

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