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Act fast: Get round-trip flights to Costa Rica for under $400

Aug. 13, 2022
6 min read
Conchal beach. Guanacaste. Costa Rica.
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As sweltering summer temps soon give way to a cooler fall and changing leaves, consider making a trip to a country where it’s summer year-round: Costa Rica.

Round-trip flights are less than $400 from every region of the U.S. You can fly into the capital city of San José or Liberia to enjoy this popular tourist destination known for its lavish resorts and beautiful beaches.

Act fast, though. With flights discounted by about 50% compared to their normal $650 price tag, these flights will sell fast.

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National Theatre of Costa Rica in San Jose. (Photo by repistu/Getty Images)

Deal basics

Airlines: American, Copa, Delta, JetBlue, United.
Routes: Los Angeles, New York City, Washington D.C., Indianapolis, Houston, Baltimore, Denver and others to San José and Liberia.
How to book: Search Google Flights for the best dates, then book directly through the airline.
Travel dates: August 2022 to November 2022; January 2023 to June 2023; some include availability over Thanksgiving depending on the route.
Book by: ASAP.

Thanks to Scott’s Cheap Flights for sending us this deal. You can get discounts up to 90% off through the site’s Premium membership, which has a 14-day trial period and costs $49 a year. You can also upgrade to Scott’s Cheap Flight’s Elite tier membership for $199 per year so that you can receive Premium deals and premium economy, business-class and first-class deals.

Sample flights

This deal offers many options. Fly from almost any region in the U.S. to Costa Rica for under $400, including nonstop flights from Los Angeles International Aiport (LAX) and John F. Kennedy International Aiport (JFK) to Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO).

Other airports like Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) also have flights under $400 to Costa Rica but include a layover. We found that every flight available to Guanacaste Airport (LIR) includes a layover.

Here are a few standouts:

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  • Copa: Departs from Miami International Airport (MIA) to SJO, starting at $235 (includes a layover in Panama City).
  • American: Departs from DCA to SJO, starting at $322.
  • American: Departs from LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to LIR, starting at $323 (includes a layover in Miami).
  • JetBlue: Departs from JFK to SJO, starting at $326.
  • Delta: Departs from LAX to SJO, starting at $354.

We recommend finding availability based on desired travel dates through Google Flights and then booking your flight directly through the airline of your choice.

Booking through airlines is more reliable in case of a delay, cancellation or booking change. Also, prices on Google Flights can sometimes be lower compared to airlines since Google Flights provides third-party booking options.

Related: Welcome to the jungle: How I redeemed 100,000 Chase points to book a Costa Rica trip of a lifetime

For example, you could book a nonstop flight from JFK to SJO the first week of February on JetBlue for $326 round trip.

(Screenshot from google.com/flights)

The prices of this flight to SJO are low, but it doesn't include many perks. For example, this flight is for JetBlue's Blue Basic fare type, which does not allow you to bring a full-sized carry-on bag or select a seat. If you want those perks included in your fare, consider upgrading to Blue for $406 round trip.

(Screenshot from google.com/flights)

To continue booking this flight, you would head directly to JetBlue to do so, as shown below.

(Screenshot from jetblue.com)

Other flights in this deal on other carriers, including United and Delta, are for basic economy fare types, the baggage policies of which vary by airline. To check in luggage, United charges $35; Delta and American American Airlines charge $30. These fees apply to the first bag.

For example, you could book the below Delta flight from LAX to SJO in basic economy for just over $350 round trip in early May.

(Screenshot from delta.com)

Delta's basic economy fare type does not let you select a seat or make any changes to your flight. If you're a Delta SkyMiles member, the economy basic option does not let you earn credit toward SkyMiles Medallion Status.

(Screenshot from google.com/flights)

Maximize your purchase

Use a card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel), on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year; Citi Prestige® Card (5 points per dollar on airfare); Citi Premier® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve (3 points per dollar on airfare); American Express® Gold Card (3 points per dollar on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2 points per dollar on travel). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

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.

Bottom line

Even if the flights don’t come with many perks, this is still a great deal to travel to Costa Rica because round-trip tickets to Costa Rica can typically cost at least $650.

At the time of publication, there were limited tickets left for the routes we checked, so act fast to take advantage of this deal.

Featured image by Universal Images Group via Getty
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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Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

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10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
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    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

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  • Annual Fee

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  • 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.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees