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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: The Platinum Card® from American Express
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.
It’s been more than a month since we’ve seen an airfare deal to China on full-service carriers, but today we’ve got a great one. The Big 3 US legacy carriers — American, Delta and United — along with ANA are offering excellent prices on flights to both Beijing (PEK) and Shanghai (PVG) for as low as $442 round-trip. Even better, you’ll find departures not only from major cities like Boston (BOS) and Los Angeles (LAX), but also mid-size and smaller cities such as Orlando (MCO) and Hartford, Connecticut (BDL).
These prices are generally available from November through early June except for the December holiday period, and you don’t need any tricks to find them. Just search the dates you want with Google Flights, then book on Orbitz, Expedia or directly with the airline itself. These are international trips on mainstream carriers — and not in Basic Economy — so in most cases passengers will get their first checked bag free and a complimentary meal during the flight.
You probably can’t take advantage of China’s “visa-free transit” policy since these itineraries don’t include a visit to a third country, so make 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 and if you mention The Points Guy on your order form, you’ll get a $5 discount.
Airlines: American, Delta, United, ANA
Routes: BOS/BDL/MCO/ORD/LAS/PHX/SAN/LAX to PEK/PVG
Cost: $442+ round-trip in economy
Dates: November through early June
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:
Boston (BOS) to Shanghai, China (PVG) for $442 round-trip on Delta via Orbitz:
Hartford (BDL) to Shanghai (PVG) for $442 round-trip on AA via Orbitz:
San Diego (SAN) to Beijing, China (PEK) for $453 round-trip on AA via Orbitz:
Las Vegas (LAS) to Beijing (PEK) for $458 round-trip on AA via Orbitz:
Orlando (MCO) to Beijing (PEK) for $479 round-trip on United via Orbitz:
Phoenix (PHX) to Shanghai (PVG) for $483 round-trip on United via Orbitz:
Chicago (ORD) to Beijing (PEK) for $488 round-trip on United via Orbitz:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Beijing (PEK) for $501 round-trip on ANA 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 by hallojulie/Getty Images.
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- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards