Deal Alert: US Cities to China From $423 Round-Trip
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
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 traveling to Asia is one of your goals for the new year, you'll want to consider this airfare deal to China. Right now we're seeing itineraries from the Big 3 US legacy carriers — American, Delta and United — along with Air Canada to both Beijing (PEK) and Shanghai (PVG) for as low as $423 round-trip. Departures are available from cities all around the US, including Boston (BOS) and Orlando (MCO) in the east, Chicago (ORD) in the midwest and San Francisco (SFO) and Las Vegas (LAS) in the west.
We're seeing these prices from January through early May, and then again in the fall months of September, October and November. You don't need any tricks to find them — just search the dates you want with Google Flights and 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.
Since these itineraries don't include a visit to a third country, you won't be able to take advantage of China's "visa-free transit" policy. 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: Delta, American Airlines, Air Canada, United
Routes: SJC/PDX/LAS/MCO/SAN/SEA/SMF/BOS/SFO/ORD to PEK/PVG
Cost: $423+ round-trip in economy
Dates: January to early May and September to November
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:
San Jose (SJC) to Shanghai, China (PVG) for $423 round-trip on Delta via Orbitz:
San Jose (SJC) to Beijing, China (PEK) for $437 round-trip on American Airlines via Orbitz:
Portland (PDX) to Beijing (PEK) for $438 round-trip on Air Canada via Orbitz:
Las Vegas (LAS) to Beijing (PEK) for $438 round-trip on Air Canada via Orbitz:
Orlando (MCO) to Beijing (PEK) for $453 round-trip on Delta via Orbitz:
San Diego (SAN) to Beijing (PEK) for $453 round-trip on AA via Orbitz:
Seattle (SEA) to Shanghai (PVG) for $467 round-trip on Air Canada via Orbitz:
Sacramento (SMF) to Beijing (PEK) for $483 round-trip on Delta via Orbitz:
Boston (BOS) to Beijing (PEK) for $484 round-trip on Air Canada via Orbitz:
San Francisco (SFO) to Beijing (PEK) for $488 round-trip on United via Orbitz:
Chicago (ORD) to Beijing (PEK) for $488 round-trip on United 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.