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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. 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.
If you’re looking to explore the wonders of China but just can’t handle the long flight in economy, there’s now a middle ground. Both American Airlines and Delta have true premium economy cabins on most (AA) and some (DL) of its long-haul fleet. And now you can experience it for yourself for cheap with these great deals.
Unless you book a flight to a third country, you can’t take advantage of China’s “visa-free transit” policy. So, make sure you get the right visa before traveling or you won’t even be able to get on the plane. TPG recommends using a third-party service like Allied Passport & Visa, and if you mention The Points Guy on your order form, you’ll get a $5 discount.
Looking for a pick-me-up to beat jet lag? Maybe stop by the world’s largest Starbucks in Shanghai. If you want to check out one of China’s most well-known attractions, The Forbidden City, check out Get Your Guide for tickets and more activity recommendations while you’re in Beijing.
Airlines: Delta, American
Routes: LAX/MCO/RDU/ORD/DFW to PVG/PEK
Cost: $796+ round-trip in premium economy
Travel Dates: October to early December 2018 and January — May 2019
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Premier Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Prestige (3x on airfare plus excellent trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on travel)
Booking Link: Expedia or directly with the airline
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Shanghai (PVG) for $796 round-trip nonstop on Delta A350 Premium Select:
Orlando (MCO) to Beijing (PEK) for $862 round-trip 1-stop on Delta A350 Premium Select:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Beijing (PEK) for $884 round-trip nonstop in American Airlines 787-9 Premium Economy:
Raleigh/Durham (RDU) to Beijing (PEK) for $1,003 round-trip 1-stop in American Airlines 787-9 Premium Economy:
Orlando (MCO) to Beijing (PEK) for $1,003 round-trip 1-stop in American Airlines 787-9 Premium Economy:
Chicago (ORD) to Beijing (PEK) for $1,003 round-trip 1-stop in American Airlines 787-9 Premium Economy:
Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Beijing (PEK) for $1,033 round-trip 1-stop in American Airlines 787-9 Premium Economy:
Raleigh/Durham (RDU) to Beijing (PEK) for $1,082 round-trip 1-stop on Delta A350 Premium Select:
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, 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.
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.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 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.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees