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Deal alert: Half-priced round-trip flights to the Maldives

Sept. 27, 2021
6 min read
Deal alert: Half-priced round-trip flights to the Maldives
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It's not every day or really any day that we see half-priced deals to the Maldives, a collection of islands in the Indian Ocean known for their overwater bungalows and overall picture-perfect paradise.

Scott's Cheap Flights dropped this crazy deal to its Premium and Elite members, showcasing flights to the Maldives, including one as low as $730 from New York City to the capital of Male.

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The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands. (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)

This deal departs slightly from our traditional deals format, but we will still provide all the information you need to know to save money. But note, this deal is set to expire, so time is of the essence. Off you go!

Airline: Varies, but the cheapest fares found are with Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways.
Routes: JFK/ORD/IAD/DFW and others to MLE.
Cost: As low $722 round-trip for select routes.
Dates: Depends on the route, but generally through March 2022.
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 or Chase Sapphire Reserve for 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.

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.

First things first: Given the aforementioned location of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, all flights departing from the U.S. are going to have at least one stop as there are no direct flights from the U.S. As such, you could book a two-in-one, meaning you connect somewhere in Europe or the Middle East, which would give you some time to spend in your connection point if you so choose. TPG reporter Chris Dong recently traveled from New York City (JFK) to Istanbul (IST), where he stayed for a few nights, before continuing on to Velana International Airport (MLE).

Scott's Cheap Flights notes that "all routes have availability on Qatar Airways for a slightly higher price, if you fancy flying the world's best airline." Either way, you should expect a long layover in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, or Doha, Qatar, in one or both directions.

Sample economy fares in this deal to Male include departures from the below cities:

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  • NYC (JFK), starting at $696 (normally $1,300 — 46% off).
  • Chicago (ORD), starting at $633 — the lowest we've ever seen this route (normally $1,300 — 51% off).
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD), starting at $685 (normally $1,300 — 47% off).

There are also reduced business-class deals to Male from:

  • Chicago (ORD), as low as $2,459 (normally $5,000 — 45% off)
  • Washington DC (IAD), as low as $2,828 (normally $4,500 — 37% off)
  • NYC (JFK), as low as $2,984 (normally $4,500 — 34% off)
  • Dallas (DFW), as low as $3,277 (normally $4,500 — 27% off)

Check out this $730 round-trip flight from New York City to Male with a two-hour layover in Doha via Qatar Airways.

Read more: It’s all in the details: What it’s like to stay at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

(Screenshot courtesy of Qatar Airways)
(Screenshot courtesy of Qatar Airways)

Both flights include a short layover in Doha, so while there wouldn't be enough time to necessarily leave the airport and explore, you would get an incredible deal that would make for a much shorter journey to your final destination.

We normally advise using Google Flights to search for deals, and while that is still a good place to start for these flights, note that you may see a cheaper deal around $700 for this flight through a third-party booking site. Be sure to review the terms and conditions of any sites before booking. The above example flights are if you book through Qatar Airlines directly.

If coming from the Midwest, you might consider flying from Chicago's O'Hare (ORD) for as low as $722, which is among the lowest fares for this route that normally costs around $1,300.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)
(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

Although Qatar Airways is highly regarded as one of the best airlines thanks to its impeccable service, and TPG has reviewed it favorably, TPG has also said the food in the airline's economy class is nothing to write home about, despite economy passengers receiving a menu.

Read more: TPG roundup: 5 worst economy meals in the sky

Another option for this deal is to fly on Etihad Airways, including the below flight for just under $750 in January 2022 from Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Washington, D.C. Both flights include overnight layovers.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)
(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

Etihad is a popular choice for both Citi and American Express cardholders as you can transfer your Citi ThankYou Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards to Etihad Guest at a 1:1 ratio.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

Regardless of the airline you choose, be sure to act fast because this deal will soon be disappearing. Otherwise, you'll miss out on this view!

(Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)

Read more: Cleared for Takeoff: A honeymoon trip to the Maldives on points and miles

Featured image by (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)
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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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
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 Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • 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.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023