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Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. We recommend that 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.
Several airlines are currently offering flights from both coasts to various destinations in the Caribbean including Martinique, St. Thomas and Guadeloupe from $201 round-trip. These low fares are available for departures from August 2018 through May 2019, but you’ll find the most availability in winter months — ideal for those who like to escape gray and gloom for sunshine. Do note that while the discounted fares offered by the three US legacy carriers were for regular economy (opposed to basic economy) in the examples we found, that is not always the case. Also, Norwegian is a low-cost carrier and will always charge you for things that are sometimes complimentary, such as seat selection, meals and checked bags. TPG Associate Editor Brendan Dorsey flew to Martinique on Norwegian’s 737 last year and enjoyed the experience.
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. If you want to make sure that your ticket includes a carry-on bag, you can use Google Flights’ newest feature, which allows you to filter out no-carry-on fares.
Airline: American Airlines, Delta, Norwegian Airlines, United
Route: BOS/BWI/EWR/JFK/LAX/MIA to FDF/PTP/STT
Cost: $201+ round-trip in economy
Dates: August 2018 – May 2019
Booking Link: Orbitz, Expedia or directly with the airline
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on travel)
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Miami (MIA) to St. Thomas (STT) for $201 round-trip in August on American:
New York (JFK) to Fort-de-France (FDF) for $209 round-trip in December on Norwegian:
New York (JFK) to Guadeloupe (PTP) for $209 round-trip in January 2019 on Norwegian:
Baltimore (BWI) to St. Thomas (STT) for $248 round-trip in October on Delta:
Los Angeles (LAX) to St. Thomas (STT) for $260 round-trip in September on American:
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, 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.
Featured image by Matteo Colombo / Getty Images.
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With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards