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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.
We’ve got a fare war on our hands! If you’ve been thinking about visiting Shanghai, both Delta and American are fighting to take you there. You can find cheap Delta flights from American hubs at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Miami (MIA), Philadelphia (PHL), Phoenix (PHX) and Charlotte (CLT). Cheap AA flights are out of Delta hubs like Atlanta (ATL), Minneapolis (MSP) and Salt Lake City (SLC). American, Delta and United are all offering sub-$500 flights out of San Diego (SAN)
These prices are generally available from November 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, passengers will get their first checked bag free and a complimentary meal during the flight.
Be sure you get the right visa before traveling or you won’t even be able to get on the plane. The Points Guy 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
Routes: DFW, MIA, PHL, PHX, CLT to PVG (Delta) ATL, MSP, SLC to PVG (American), SAN to PVG (American, Delta, United)
Cost: $431+ round-trip in economy
Dates: November through April, with blackouts around the holidays
Booking Link: Orbitz or Expedia
Pay With: The Platinum Card from American Express (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on travel)
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Charlotte (CLT) to Shanghai (PVG) for $431 round-trip on Delta:
Phoenix (PHX) to Shanghai (PVG) for $433 round-trip on Delta:
Philadelphia (PHL) to Shanghai (PVG) for $433 round-trip on Delta:
Miami (MIA) to Shanghai (PVG) for $433 round-trip on Delta:
Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Shanghai (PVG) for $433 round-trip on Delta:
Minneapolis (MSP) to Shanghai (PVG) for $433 round-trip on American:
Atlanta (ATL) to Shanghai (PVG) for $433 round-trip on American:
Salt Lake City (SLC) to Shanghai (PVG) for $433 round-trip on American:
San Diego (SAN) to Shanghai (PVG) for $483 round-trip on American/Delta/United:
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, American Express Premier Rewards Gold 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.
Featured image courtesy of Fei Yang/Getty Images.
With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- 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®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
- 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 travel 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