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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. Additionally, keep in mind that discounted partner fares may not earn miles with US-based carriers.
There are some amazing fares to South Africa right now — as low as $390 round-trip from Washington, DC (IAD) to Johannesburg (JNB) and $518 from New York (JFK) to the same destination on South African Airways. You can also fly to other cities in South Africa with this deal for slightly more, such as Cape Town (CPT) and Durbin (DUR). Availability seems to be scattered throughout August and September, extending all the way until December.
However, this does appear to be an OTA-specific fare on Expedia, specifically the New Zealand version of the site. Therefore, there is the possibility that this fare will be canceled shortly after booking, but it’s still worth a shot to book, as people have reported that the fare is ticketing. Because there’s a chance it could be canceled, we recommend waiting a few days before making any nonrefundable plans or booking onward flights.
To search, use the New Zealand version of Momondo, which will find the best fares and direct you to the New Zealand version of Expedia to book. Fares will be priced in New Zealand Dollars (NZD), so make sure you book with a card that has no foreign transaction fees, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Airline: South African Airways
Routes: IAD and JFK to South Africa
Cost: $390+ round-trip in economy
Dates: August, September until December, 2016
Booking Link: Expedia
Pay With: American Express Premier Rewards Gold, Citi Prestige or Chase Sapphire Preferred
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Washington, DC (IAD) to Johannesburg (JNB) from $390 (NZ $544) round-trip in September:
New York (JFK) to Johannesburg (JNB) from $519 (NZ $722) round-trip in August:
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!
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.
- 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