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Deal alert: Fly to Costa Rica for as low as $184 nonstop

Dec. 04, 2021
6 min read
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While the holidays are the time of year when most people plan their vacations, savvy travelers and those people lucky enough to have flexible schedules know that taking off in January is a great way to kick off the new year. And you'll be hard-pressed to find a more perfect place to kick off 2022 than in Costa Rica.

There are some deeply-discounted deals to be had right now on flights to the Central American country, which happens to be one of the most incredible places for vacationers. A big reason for its popularity is the abundance of activities that await you. From beautiful beaches and fishing to lush rainforests that let you indulge your inner adventurer. Costa Rica truly has something for any kind of traveler, so take advantage of this sale.

We came across ticket prices on American, Avianca, and Delta that were as much as 60% off normal prices. These are for Economy class fares, but it's such a good deal, it's hard to pass up.

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We got the heads up about this great deal from our friends Scott's Cheap Flights, who first sent it out to their premium subscribers.

Non-members can find sale prices by using Google Flights to search for desired routes and dates.

Deal basics

Airlines: American, Avianca, Copa, Delta, JetBlue
Routes: CLT/FLL/IAH/JFK/LAX/MIA/MCO/BWI/SFO and other cities to San Jose (SJO) and Liberia (LIR)
Cost: From $184 round-trip
Dates: Limited availability January-February 2022, with some tickets in Fall 2022

Pay with: The Platinum Card® from American Express for 5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year); the Citi Prestige® Card for 5x on airfare; the Citi Premier® Card (3x on air travel); Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on air travel); the American Express® Gold Card for 3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for 2x on travel — which you could redeem for as little as 13,000 points.

The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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Corcovado National Park is located on the Osa Peninsula, Southwestern Costa Rica. (Photo: Arctic-Images for Getty Images)

We found nonstop flights from New York City (JFK) to San Jose (SJO) priced as low as $171 late January-early February. This one is for an Economy ticket from Avianca, which is a Star Alliance member.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

Avianca also had some sharply-reduced fares out of Miami (MIA) to San Jose. To get the best prices, you may have to get creative. We found a $187 nonstop February itinerary with a departure flight on Avianca, and the return flight on American.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

The prices on flights leaving from Miami were changing often, sometimes while I was doing the search! That gives you an idea of how quickly the best offers are being snapped up.

We found a round-trip from Houston (IAH) to San Jose for just $212. Normally this route would cost around $550.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

American had $300 fares from Milwaukee (MKE) to San Jose for an end-of-January trip. The catch is that it has two stops each way. But still, that price is 60% cheaper than usual.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

If that kind of itinerary doesn't work for you and you can wait a while longer to go to Costa Rica, American has some fares out of Milwaukee for just $281 for travel in September.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

You can take off from Baltimore (BWI) to San Jose in January for $269 on American, almost half off what that fare usually costs.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

One of the best bargains we came across was an American Economy ticket from Charlotte (CLT) to Liberia (LIR), a city about 134 miles from the capital, San Jose. Known as "La Ciudad Blanca" (the white city) for the gravel used for the city's roads, Liberia is a great place to visit if you're into outdoor sports activities, due to it being a gateway for the Guanacaste region and its national parks.

The fare we came across in January was less than $300 for a ticket that usually costs nearly $900! If you need to check a bag, it will cost you $60. Well worth it with a ticket this discounted.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

Maximize your purchase

Don’t forget to use a card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases, like The Platinum Card® from American Express for 5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year); the Citi Prestige® Card for 5x on airfare; the Citi Premier® Card (3x on air travel); Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on air travel); the American Express® Gold Card for 3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for 2x on travel — which you could redeem for as little as 13,000 points.

Bottom Line

As we said above, Costa Rica has something for all travelers. Get yourself a ticket, pack your bags and go experience it for yourself.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023