You’ve got your expensive boots and après-ski attire; the fur or leather-lined jacket is ready to go. It’s time for the world-famous Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. This year’s festivities take place January 19-29, and it’s time to plan out your mileage-earning and burning strategy for the big event.
If you’re headed to magical snow country, these seven tips could make a great festival guide.
Link your Uber and Starwood accounts
Earn one Starwood Preferred Guest point for every dollar spent with Uber. Apparently, Uber drivers flock to Park City from as far as many surrounding states to take advantage in the deluge of traffic. Finding drivers via travel app is all the rage, but you’re missing out if you have not connected your accounts. The best part is that if you’re staying at a Starwood property during your visit (St. Regis Deer Valley or Sheraton Salt Lake City), you can earn two points per dollar spent. Elite members up the ante to earn three points per dollar spent as a Gold or Platinum member and four points per dollar spent as a Platinum member with 75 nights (that last perk will be tough given the year just began, but is a valuable offer later in the year for frequent travelers).
Earn miles while you dine
If you have yet to join Rewards Network with your favorite loyalty program, now might be the right time. No doubt, food can get pricey, but the spending pain is relieved a bit when some miles soften the blow. Several dozen restaurants in the Park City and Salt Lake City area participate in the program awarding as many as ten miles per dollar spent on food at participating bars and restaurants. Search for your favorites online, but be sure to link your credit card with the program before dining to earn miles.
Dine with hotels for bonus loyalty points
If you don’t see a restaurant you like on the Rewards Network list, consider dining at Roots Grill at the DoubleTree by Hilton Park City, The Yarrow, where the chef has launched a creative new menu including the ever-popular tuna nachos with fresh guacamole. Earn as many as eight HHonors points per dollar spent, even if you’re not a guest, as long as you register your credit card with HHonors Dining. The hotel is one of the prime screening locations at the festival. The St. Regis Deer Valley will also reward Starwood points if you sip or sup at its bar and restaurant. You can provide your Starwood Preferred Guest number to the server or keep the receipt and send it to Starwood later for point credit. You don’t have to be staying there or paying with a specific credit card to get the points. Another great perk is visiting the free lounge at Autograph Collection’s Hotel Park City, in partnership with Franklin Leonard the founder of The Black List. Dubbed “The Retreat,” festival goers can enjoy cocktails, snacks, swag and other indie film-inspired offerings.
Use the right credit card
If you have cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Chase Sapphire Preferred, use these cards to pay for travel-related costs. For example, the train from Salt Lake City airport goes to downtown for much cheaper than a taxi or Uber, and public transportation counts as travel spend giving you triple points. Any dining spending counts as double points meaning these should be the cards used for everything from bar tabs to après-ski snacks.
Earn miles with Airbnb
Not interested in paying big money for an expensive hotel? Why not consider an Airbnb booked through Delta’s partnership that awards SkyMiles for every dollar you spend. If it’s your first time booking an Airbnb, you can save up to $25 off plus bonus miles for your first stay.
Extend your stay and save miles
If you’re willing to stick around until February 3, Delta has a sale on award tickets that can drop prices to as low as 5,000 miles each way. Availability is limited and does not begin until February 3 at the earliest, but for those looking to add some vacation time to the end of the festival, this could be a great deal. Don’t forget, SLC is one of Delta’s big hubs.
Treat yourself to a lounge visit
American Express Membership Rewards members are not out of luck when flying from SLC. If you don’t have a Sky Club membership, simply flash that shiny silver card for access. Those with the Gold and Platinum SkyMiles American Express card receive a discount when paying with that card.