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Good news for consumers who’ve been hoping for cheaper airfares (aka pretty much all of us): According to a recent study by, prices are at their lowest point this year — 9% cheaper than last month, and down 18% from a year ago. This confirms what we already knew: Prices have been dropping all year, as Eric Rosen reported several months ago. Even better, prices are projected to drop an additional 17% over the next three months, and even more in January.

Prices generally tend to be low from Labor Day to mid-December (with the exception of a few days around Thanksgiving), but they’re currently even lower, as consistently low oil prices are finally forcing the airlines to make fare cuts. Carriers are also using the fuel savings to make internal investments and reward outside investors, which is why the fare drops aren’t as dramatic as the decrease in the price of oil, but at least the savings will reach consumers’ pockets for once!

Image courtesy of Hopper.
Lower oil prices and lower airfares? Not exactly a coincidence. Image courtesy of Hopper.

If you want to track prices, use the Hopper app or online services such as Yapta, both of which allow you to select dates to track flights and receive alerts when prices drop. The difference is that Hopper will pull prices from a variety of airlines (and seems to have quicker alerts, based on my experience) whereas Yapta allows you to select specific flights to track. For more options, see TPG’s post on the 10 Best Websites to Find Cheap Airfares.

Moral of the story: If you’re looking to take a trip, capitalize on low prices and make a purchase this quarter, preferably for an off-peak period, such as now until mid-December — excluding Thanksgiving, January and February of next year.

Have you found lower airfares than usual recently? Share your own experience in the comments!

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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.

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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®
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Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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