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Deal alert: California dreaming for less than $200

Dec. 01, 2021
5 min read
Deal alert: California dreaming for less than $200
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There is no bad time to visit Los Angeles. Between the typically amazing weather and a cornucopia of things to do, the City of Angels is an evergreen travel destination. I go often for work and for leisure, and never have trouble finding something new to enjoy.

Of course, L.A. isn't cheap (what big American city is?) so when you can save some money on your airfare, you have to jump at the opportunity. There are discounted fares available from dozens of cities across the U.S. that could get you to Los Angeles this winter for as little as $56. Even better, most of these sale fares are nonstop.

The majority of available flights at the lower rates are for Basic Economy on Alaska Air and Delta, but American and United tickets are Main Cabin fares, which offer more flexibility.

This fare sale is for travel between December 2021 and October 2022. As is normally the case with deals like this, availability varies widely depending on your departure city and when you want to travel.

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Thanks to the great team at Thrifty Traveler Premium for alerting us about this deal, which they first sent out to their subscribers.

Non-members can still score a discounted ticket by using Google Flights to search for desired routes and dates. As always, a little flexibility in your travel plans goes a long way toward saving some cash.

Deal basics

Airlines: Alaska Air, American, Delta, United
Routes: ABQ/AUS/BOI/BOS/DAL/FLL/IAH/IND/JFK/MCO/MIA/MSP/ORD/PHL/SFO/SJC and others to LAX.
Cost: From $56 round-trip
Dates: December -- October 2022; availability varies

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.

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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.

Hollywood sign as seen from rooftop WET Deck at W Hollywood Hotel & Resort, Los Angeles. (Photo: Barry Winiker for Getty Images)

Let's start with a rock-bottom fare we found from San Jose (SJC) to LA on Alaska Air in February for just $57 round-trip. That is a deeply discounted price for that route, and it's a Main Cabin seat with a carry-on and seat assignment. The cheapest seats and widest availability I saw for this route was for travel in February 2022.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

There are quite a few reduced-price fares from San Francisco (SFO) to Los Angeles on Delta, too. For example, there are $77 roundtrip tickets available throughout January 2022.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

For just two dollars more, you can book a Basic Economy ticket from SFO -- LAX in March. This is Delta's stripped-down tier, which means no seat selection and no free changes, but you do get a carry-on. And considering this is almost 50% off what this ticket would usually cost, you would probably be okay with it.

If you live on the East Coast, you can also take part in this deal.

New Yorkers looking for a break from typically freezing January temperatures can book a Delta ticket out of JFK that will cost just $137 roundtrip, a savings of more than 50% from normal prices.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

Miami to Los Angeles is another heavily discounted fare we came across. American has nonstop tickets for just $135 roundtrip in January, and it's a Main Cabin seat which comes with seat selection, free changes and a carry-on.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

We'll wrap it up with one more steal of a deal. If you live in Indianapolis, it will cost you just $137 for a nonstop round-trip ticket to Los Angeles in late January. In fact, this route at this price point via Delta was available when we checked for much of January. This ticket usually sells for around $300!

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

Bottom Line

With California having fully reopened for tourism during the summer, this could be the perfect time to book that trip to L.A. you've been dreaming about.

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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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 for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

Fair/Good
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 revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

    Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • 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.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees