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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 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.
Strong competition from budget carriers like LEVEL and Norwegian has driven full-service carriers to offer sub-$400 round-trip tickets to major Spanish cities Madrid (MAD) and Barcelona (BCN). These itineraries are mostly available in the fall and winter months, but you don’t need any tricks to find these deals. The easiest way to find these bargains is to search for dates via Google Flights, then book on Orbitz, Expedia or directly with the airline itself. Since these are international trips on full-service carriers you can expect complimentary checked bags, meals and seat selection.
Airline: Air Canada, American Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Iberia, Swiss, United
Routes: EWR/JFK/LAX to BCN/MAD
Cost: $363+ round-trip in economy
Dates: September 2018 to March 2019
Booking Link: Orbitz, Expedia 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)
Newark (EWR) to Barcelona (BCN) for $362 round-trip in November:
Newark (EWR) to Madrid (MAD) for $387 round-trip in November:
New York (JFK) to Madrid (MAD) for $394 round-trip in January:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Barcelona (BCN) for $419 round-trip in October via Expedia:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Madrid (MAD) for $527 round-trip in November:
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.
Featured photo of Park Guell in Barcelona by MasterLu / Getty Images.
This cash back card has a focus on dining and entertainment where you can earn unlimited 4% cash back in those spending categories. You can also earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
- No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
- No foreign transaction fees
- Access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that