Deal alert: Widespread cheap flights to Costa Rica from $226 round-trip

Sep 25, 2019

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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.

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Flights to the Costa Rican capital of San José are available starting from $226 round-trip.

When it comes to activities in the Central American country, there’s no shortage of things to do — especially for families.

Rafting on Costa Rica's Rio Pacuare. Photo: Elen Turner
Rafting on Costa Rica’s Rio Pacuare. (Photo by Elen Turner/The Points Guy)

Note that all of these fares are in basic economy, which means you’ll have to pay extra for checked baggage. However, all of the airlines besides United allow for a free carry-on. Check out our guide to surviving United basic economy.

Related: The best times to visit Costa Rica

To search, 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 through an OTA like Priceline or Expedia.

Airlines: Copa, JetBlue, United, American
Cost: $226+ round-trip in economy
Travel Dates: 
October 2019 – May 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 (3x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on travel), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare booked directly with the airline or or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

Here’s an example of what you can book:

Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to San Jose (SJO) for $226 round-trip on JetBlue:

Miami (MIA) to San Jose (SJO) for $226 round-trip on American:

Boston (BOS) to San Jose (SJO) for $298 round-trip when booked separately on Copa via Vayama and on Copa:

Austin (AUS) to San Jose (SJO) for $308 round-trip on United:

Atlanta (ATL) to San Jose (SJO) for $319 round-trip on JetBlue:

Charleston (CHS) to San Jose (SJO) for $319 round-trip on JetBlue:

New York (JFK) to San Jose (SJO) for $322 round-trip on JetBlue:

Buffalo (BUF) to San Jose (SJO) for $329 round-trip on JetBlue:

Raleigh (RDU) to San Jose (SJO) for $330 round-trip on JetBlue:

Chicago (ORD) to San Jose (SJO) for $226 round-trip on Copa:

Las Vegas (LAS) to San Jose (SJO) for $338 round-trip on United:

Washington D.C. (DCA) to San Jose (SJO) for $347 round-trip on JetBlue:

Cleveland (CLE) to San Jose (SJO) for $349 round-trip on JetBlue:

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), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire ReserveAmerican Express® Gold Card Citi Premier® Card (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out our guide to the best cards for airfare purchases to learn more.

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Featured photo by Matteo Colombo/Getty Images

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