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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

I’m a fan of travel disrupters (like Uber) and now Norwegian Air. The scrappy carrier is driving down fares with new cheap flights to locations throughout Europe to the US. It is shaking up the airline industry and has even prompted lawsuits from jealous competitors. Just this morning I saw a sidebar ad showcasing Ft. Lauderdale to London flights for $296 one-way on Norwegian – not so bad!

FTL to London for under $600 rt
FLL to London for under $600 roundtrip

It seems like United and Delta/KLM/Air France have decided to battle the Nords with some cheap flights on numerous routes to Scandinavia and beyond. TPG reader Brian gave us the heads up this afternoon about some really cheap flights to Oslo – as low as $408 total roundtrip on United from Newark.

Using the OnTheFly ITA App
Using the OnTheFly ITA App

Once I was able to get to a computer, I looked through the trusty full ITA Matrix site (a very simple to use web portal that I use on a near daily basis) and found the following options by searching using the ‘Advanced Search Options” and was able to see that there are several dates to highlighting these cheap rates.

$409 Round Trip? a Steal!
$409 Round Trip? a Steal!

Searching deeper, it looks like these low rates are available starting November 2014 and through March 2015.

Option to utilize low rate through March, 2015
Option to utilize low rate through March, 2015

As you can’t book directly through the ITA Matrix, I popped over to the United site and searched for a few dates and found the same availability, ranging from dates in November though March 2015 at the same rate.

Sample Itinerary
Sample Itinerary

Similar options heading to Oslo are available on the Delta site connecting through Paris, but the return flights that populate at first originate from Sandefjord Airport in Torp (TRF) which is located nearly two hours (!) from Oslo, so uncheck that option on the left hand side when looking at flights.

Options on Delta, same costs with stopovers.
Options on Delta, same costs with stopovers.

There are some other options that our friends at FlyerTalk gave up the heads up to for additional cities on cities in Scandinavia including Gotenburg, Arnberg and Helsinki that originate from LAX, and started around $561.

Options from a recent FlyerTalk post featuring $561+ flight options
Options from a recent FlyerTalk post featuring $561+ flight options

Maximizing Flight Bookings With Credit Cards and Portals
Earlier this year,
I wrote about maximizing point accrual on flights by using the right credit cards and booking via online travel agencies via portals. The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express and Business Gold Rewards Cards both offer 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines and then you can transfer those American Express Membership Rewards points to any of 17 airline partners. When you hit $30,000 in spend per calendar year, you also get a 15,000 point bonus on the Premier Rewards Gold.

Revenue Requirements
Delta and United have both instituted revenue requirements to retain elite status and they have waivers for those who spend $25,000 per calendar year on their cobranded cards like the United Explorer MileagePlus Card (2 miles for each $1 spent on United tickets purchased directly from the airline), the United MileagePlus Club Card (2 miles per $1 spent on United airline tickets and 1.5 award miles per dollar spent on everything else) and Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express / Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express / Delta Reserve cards (2x on Delta purchases plus MQM thresholds on the Platinum/Reserve cards). Note: United does not offer a spend waiver for 1k- only Silver/Gold/Platinum.

Make sure you ticket as United/Delta tickets if you want your spend to count towards elite spend qualification, though these cheap fares may not get you that far! See: Determining What Spending Counts Toward United’s Premier Qualifying Dollars to better understand the value of your miles and what makes a qualifying dollar count and the same for Delta.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at Terms apply.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

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