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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.
Looks like we have an airfare war on our hands for flights to Hong Kong. And, when airlines compete, passengers can win cheap fares. American Airlines is attacking United hubs with fares in the mid $550s, United is countering with fares from AA hubs in in the $630s. Even Delta’s “focus city” of Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina (RDU) is in the game with $552 round-trip flights to Hong Kong.
If you want to check out the hype for yourself, you don’t need any tricks to get these airfares. Just find the dates you want by searching with Google Flights, then book on Orbitz, Expedia or directly with the airline itself. Also, since these are international trips on full-service carriers, passengers will get their first checked bag free and a complimentary meal during the flight.
Airline: Hong Kong Airlines, Cathay Pacific, American, United
Routes: LAX/ORD/DEN/IAH/SFO/IAD/EWR/RDU/CMH (at least) to HKG
Cost: $524+ round-trip in economy class on full-service carriers
Dates: mostly February-May and August-December, with scattered summer availability from some cities
Booking Link: Orbitz, Expedia or directly with the airline
Pay With: The Platinum Card from American Express (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, 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:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Hong Kong (HKG) for $524 round-trip nonstop on Hong Kong Airlines:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Hong Kong (HKG) for $524 round-trip nonstop on Cathay Pacific:
Chicago (ORD) to Hong Kong (HKG) for $547 round-trip on American Airlines:
Denver (DEN) to Hong Kong (HKG) for $552 round-trip on American Airlines:
Houston (IAH) to Hong Kong (HKG) for $552 round-trip on American Airlines:
San Francisco (SFO) to Hong Kong (HKG) for $552 round-trip on American Airlines:
Washington DC Dulles (IAD) to Hong Kong (HKG) for $552 round-trip on American Airlines:
Newark (EWR) to Hong Kong (HKG) for $552 round-trip on American Airlines:
Raleigh/Durham (RDU) to Hong Kong (HKG) for $552 round-trip on United:
Columbus, Ohio (CMH) to Hong Kong (HKG) for $552 round-trip on United:
Maximize The Deal
Hong Kong is pretty far away from the US mainland, meaning these flights are really cheap on a cents-per-mile basis. If you’re hoping to earn American Airlines elite status in 2018, you should consider purchasing these flights as AA Special Fares. That way, you’ll get 10% of the flight miles as Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) and award miles based on 50% of miles flown — rather than based on how much you spent on the tickets.
For example, for flights from Newark (EWR) to Hong Kong (HKG) through Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), you’ll be flying 18,990 miles. Booked the standard way, a current Executive Platinum would earn 18,990 Elite Qualifying Miles, 434 Elite Qualifying Dollars and 4,774 award miles. Booked as a Special Fare, the same flights earn 18,990 Elite Qualifying Miles [same], 1,899 Elite Qualifying Dollars [+1,465] and 20,889 award miles [+16,115]. That’s a huge difference!
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, 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.
H/T: The Flight Deal
Featured image by Yongyuan Dai/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.
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- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- 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.
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- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees