Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Belize and Key West from $197 round-trip on major airlines
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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 Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through the Amex Travel portal to get 5x MR points (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year). 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.
Skip the cruise and get right to the beach: Flights to popular Caribbean destinations begin at $197 round-trip, and many are available year-round. American Airlines operates most of these low-cost flights, although Spirit, Delta and COPA also make the list.
According to Google Flights, prices are $266 cheaper than usual, with usual rates hovering between $360-$710 round-trip. The best fares originate out of Florida airports (Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa), while the $197 round-trip nonstop flight is operated by Delta out of Atlanta.
For some season-specific routes, the cheapest dates fall from February through April, making for the perfect spring break getaway.
While these prices are very budget-friendly if you live in Florida or near Atlanta, you can also get in on the sale fares if you have a cheap way of positioning yourself there.
The only drawback is that many of these fares begin in basic economy. Basic economy means different things to different airlines, but you may not have free use of the overhead bins for a carry-on bag and you probably won’t be able to select your seat, get an upgrade or earn PQM/PQS/PQDs. However, it’s possible to defeat many of basic economy’s negative aspects by having elite status or a cobranded credit card.
To find a deal, head to Google Flights and enter your origin and destination cities. Scroll through the calendar function to find dates and prices that work for you. Finally, click through to book directly with the airline or an OTA like Orbitz or Expedia.
Airline: American, COPA, Delta
Routes: ATL/FLL/MIA/MCO/AUS and more to BZE/MBJ/GCM/EYW
Cost: from $197 round-trip in basic economy
Dates: February — December 2020
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare), Citi Premier® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on airfare), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)
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.
Here are some examples of specific flights that are available:
Atlanta (ATL) to Key West (EYW) for $197 round-trip on Delta basic economy:
Miami (MIA) to Grand Cayman Islands (GCM) for $223 round-trip on American basic economy:
Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Aruba (AUA) for $262 round-trip on Delta and COPA (separate tickets):
Orlando (MCO) to Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ) for $296 round-trip on American basic economy:
Tampa (TPA) to Belize City (BZE) for $299 round-trip on Delta basic economy:
Austin (AUS) to Belize City (BZE) for $325 round-trip on American basic economy:
Maximize your purchase
Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Premier® Card, Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this guide for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
Featured image by Getty Images.
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