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Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. We recommend you use Google Flights to find dates to fly, then book through an online travel agency, such as Orbitz or Expedia, which allows you to cancel flights without penalty by 11pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. However, if you’re using the American Express Platinum Card, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through Amex Travel portal to get 5x MR points. Remember: Fares may disappear quickly, so book right away and take advantage of Orbitz or Expedia’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to get the time away from work or family.
If you’ve been thinking about visiting mainland China, today you’ve got your choice of airlines and departure cities to pick from for booking a trip. Right now we’re seeing multiple carriers — including US legacy airlines American, Delta and United plus Air Canada and ANA — offering flights to both Beijing (PEK) and Shanghai (PVG). You can find flights from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN) Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix (PHX), Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO) starting at just $473 round-trip.
These prices are generally available from October through April except for the December holiday period, and you won’t need any tricks to find them. Just use Google Flights to pick the dates you want, then book on Orbitz, Expedia or directly with the airline itself. Since these are international trips on mainstream carriers, in most cases passengers will get their first checked bag free and a complimentary meal during the flight.
If you can’t take advantage of China’s “visa-free transit” policy on an itinerary without a visit to a third country, be sure you get the right visa before traveling or you won’t even be able to get on the plane. TPG recommends using a third-party service like Allied Passport & Visa; mention The Points Guy on your order form and receive a $5 discount.
Airlines: American, Delta, United, Air Canada, ANA
Routes: LAS/JFK/BOS/ORD/SAN/LAX/SFO/DEN/PHX to PEK/PVG
Cost: $473+ round-trip in economy
Dates: October through April
Booking Link: Orbitz or Expedia
Pay With: The Platinum Card from American Express (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on travel)
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Las Vegas (LAS) to Beijing (PEK) for $473 round-trip on Delta via Orbitz:
New York City’s JFK to Beijing (PEK) for $486 round-trip on ANA via Orbitz:
Boston (BOS) to Beijing (PEK) for $486 round-trip on Air Canada via Orbitz:
Chicago (ORD) to Beijing (PEK) for $513 round-trip on Air Canada via Orbitz:
San Diego (SAN) to Beijing (PEK) for $511 round-trip on American via Orbitz:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Shanghai, China (PVG) for $536 round-trip on ANA via Orbitz:
San Francisco (SFO) to Shanghai (PVG) for $536 round-trip on ANA via Orbitz:
Denver (DEN) to Beijing (PEK) for $549 round-trip on United via Orbitz:
Phoenix (PHX) to Beijing (PEK) for $553 round-trip on American via Orbitz:
Maximize Your Purchase
Be sure to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as the American Express Platinum Card (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred (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.
H/T: The Flight Deal
Featured image courtesy of Fei Yang/Getty Images.
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