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Want to see the latest flight deals as soon as they’re published? Follow The Points Guy on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to text message alerts from our deals feed, @tpg_alerts.

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 American Express Platinum Card, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through 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.

South Africa is one of TPG’s favorite destinations. From incredible culture to delicious food and safaris to wineries, South Africa has so much to offer. If you’ve never been before, here’s what you need to know before your first trip there and some amazing things do consider doing – including sand-boarding:

In addition to seeing an amazing destination, a major perk of this deal is that incredible AAdvantage earning potential. As long as you book the flights with a British Airways flight number, you can earn 20% of flight miles as Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) and 1.5x of flight miles at Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM). And because South Africa is so far away, you’ll earn American Airlines Gold status from just one round-trip, regardless of your origin.

The trouble with this is that British Airways is charging more for its own flights than American Airlines is charging for these flights. So, you’re going to have to weigh the extra mileage earnings with the extra cost.

Assuming a direct routing, here’s the potential earnings from these flights:

Origin Flight Miles EQM*
EQD
(BA flight
numbers)
LAX 22,152 33,228 4,430
SFO 21,975 32,963 4,395
SEA 20,840 31,260 4,168
DFW 20,741 31,112 4,148
MIA 20,090 30,135 4,018
ORD 19,146 28,719 3,829
IAD 18,594 27,891 3,719
PHL 18,330 27,495 3,666
JFK 18,143 27,215 3,629
BOS 17,770 26,655 3,554

* EQM earnings are valid if booked as American Airlines codeshare or British Airways flight numbers

To book, head to Google Flights and plug in your desired departure city. After finding dates that work best for you, book with the airline directly or with an OTA such as Expedia or Priceline.

Airline: British Airways
Routes: ORD/JFK/IAD/BOS/LAX/SFO/MIA/PHL/DFW/SEA to JNB
Cost: $1,581+ round-trip in premium economy
Dates: late-October 2018 to March 2019
Booking Link: OrbitzExpedia or directly with the airline
Pay With: The Platinum Card from American Express (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, Citi Prestige (3x on airfare plus excellent trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on travel)

Chicago (ORD) to Johannesburg (JNB) in British Airways premium economy for $1,581 round-trip:

New York’s Kennedy (JFK) to Johannesburg (JNB) in British Airways premium economy for $1,598 round-trip:

Washington DC Dulles (IAD) to Johannesburg (JNB) in British Airways premium economy for $1,598 round-trip:

Boston (BOS) to Johannesburg (JNB) in British Airways premium economy for $1,603 round-trip:

Los Angeles (LAX) to Johannesburg (JNB) in British Airways premium economy for $1,635 round-trip:

San Francisco (SFO) to Johannesburg (JNB) in British Airways premium economy for $1,645 round-trip:

Maximize Your Purchase

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as the American Express Platinum Card (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Premier Rewards Gold or 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.

H/T: The Flight Deal

Featured image by vencavolrab via Getty Images.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can 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®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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