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Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. We recommend that you use Google Flights to find dates to fly, then book through an online travel agency, such as Orbitz, which allows you to cancel flights without penalty by 11pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. Remember: Fares may disappear quickly, so book right away and take advantage of Orbitz’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to travel.

If you opted not to pull the trigger on yesterday’s $321 fare to Costa Rica, you’re in luck. Fares from at least one major US city have dropped below $200 round-trip. You can fly nonstop from Newark to Liberia, Costa Rica for just $193 in January and February of 2016, but there’s a catch: You may need to begin your travel at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Amtrak Station (ZFV) — which is great if you live in Philly, but could through a wrench in the works if you’re planning to depart from NYC, instead.

You might not be familiar with ZFV — it’s the airport code for Philly’s Amtrak hub, and if you use this as your origin, United will pair Amtrak segments with nonstop flights from Newark (included in the fare). To begin travel, you need to take Amtrak from Philly to Newark Airport and transfer to your flight, but you can generally call United to drop the Amtrak segments whenever there’s an Amtrak schedule change — and with these flights not available until early next year, there will almost certainly be an Amtrak schedule change before you depart — at which point you can simply drop that segment and begin travel at EWR.

As a reminder, Liberia (LIR) is the gateway to Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, located just 30 minutes from hotels in Papagayo, including Westin and JW Marriott resorts. Or you can fly to San Jose for $250 round-trip.

Airline(s): United
Route(s): ZFV to LIR
Booking Link: Orbitz

Here are a few examples of what you can book:

Philadelphia (Amtrak station) to Liberia, Costa Rica for $193 in January on United (earns 4,372 PQMs):

Philadelphia (Amtrak station) to Liberia, Costa Rica in January on United for $193.

Philadelphia (Amtrak station) to Liberia, Costa Rica for $193 in February on United (earns 4,372 PQMs):

Philadelphia (Amtrak station) to Liberia, Costa Rica for $193 in February on United.
Philadelphia (Amtrak station) to Liberia, Costa Rica for $193 in February on United.

Philadelphia (Amtrak station) to San Jose, Costa Rica for $250 in January on United (earns 4,402 PQMs):

Philadelphia (Amtrak station) to San Jose, Costa Rica for $250 in January on United.
Philadelphia (Amtrak station) to San Jose, Costa Rica for $250 in January on United.

Maximize Your Purchase

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as the American Express Premier Rewards Gold or Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

If you’re able to score one of these tickets, please share the good news in the comments below!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

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