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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.
The airlines are playing limbo with fares to Hawaii — the only question now is how low can they go? Fares from California to Hawaii have dropped under $300 round-trip, and you can fly from the East Coast all the way to the 50th state — nearly 5,000 miles away — for under $400 round-trip.
There’s no tricks needed to find these airfares — just find the dates you want by searching with Google Flights, then book on Orbitz, Expedia or directly with the airline itself. Note that while many of these fares are not in basic cconomy, a few of them are, so be careful when booking to avoid a stripped-down basic economy fare, or know which tools you’ll need to defeat the restrictions.
Airline: American, Delta
Routes: SAN/SJC/MCO/BOS/EWR to LIH/OGG/KOA
Cost: $294+ round-trip in economy
Dates: April-May, September-January
Booking Link: Orbitz, Expedia or directly with the airline
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 plus excellent trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on travel)
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
San Diego (SAN) to Lihue, Kauai (LIH) for $294 round-trip on AA via Expedia:
San Jose (SJC) to Lihue, Kauai (LIH) for $294 round-trip on AA via Expedia:
Orlando (MCO) to Lihue, Kauai (LIH) for $369 round-trip in Delta Basic Economy:
Orlando (MCO) to Lihue, Kauai (LIH) for $369 round-trip on AA via Expedia:
Boston (BOS) to Maui (OGG) for $373 round-trip on AA via Expedia:
Newark (EWR) to Maui (OGG) in May for $458 round-trip on AA via Expedia:
Maximize Your Purchase
Don’t forget 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 Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
Featured photo by Getty Images.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees