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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.

Over the holiday weekend, American and United both introduced unpublished sale fares to cities in Asia, including Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo. Airfares range from $630 to $692, depending on your destination, and all of these flights earn a significant number of miles on AA, which, unlike United, awards redeemable miles based on distance flown. For example, on a $630 nonstop flight from Dallas to Tokyo, general members will earn 12,820 AAdvantage miles (more for elites). Based on TPG’s monthly points and miles valuations for May, AA miles are valued at 1.7 cents each, so the miles you’ll earn on this flight are worth $218. Subtracting that amount from the cost of the flight brings you to $412 for a round-trip flight to Asia, not factoring in credit card earnings (more on that below). That’s a fantastic deal.

Here’s a sampling of what you can still book:

Dallas (DFW)-Tokyo (NRT) for $630 on AA (earns 12,820 EQMs):

Dallas (DFW)-Tokyo (NRT) for $630 on AA.
Dallas (DFW)-Tokyo (NRT) for $630 on AA.

Chicago (ORD)-Beijing (PEK) for $660 on United (earns 13,160 EQMs):

Chicago (ORD)-Beijing (PEK) for $660 on United.
Chicago (ORD)-Beijing (PEK) for $660 on United.

Philadelphia (PHL)-Shanghai (PVG) for $667 on American (earns 15,452 EQMs):

Philadelphia (PHL)-Shanghai (PVG) for $667 on American.
Philadelphia (PHL)-Shanghai (PVG) for $667 on American.

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.

As a reminder, you’ll need a tourist visa if you want to enter China — for help with visas we recommend our friends at Allied Passport & VisaIf you fly to Hong Kong, Macau or another destination at the beginning or end of your trip, you may be able to take advantage of China’s 72-hour visa waiver program. For example, you can book one of these fares, stop in Beijing or Shanghai for 72 hours, continue on to Hong Kong on a separate ticket, then fly back through PVG to catch your AA or United flight home.

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

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card



CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • 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, 60,000 points are worth $750 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
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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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