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

Sep 27, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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:

  • 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 photo of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands by Chris Dong/The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.