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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 Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through the 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.
With both Primera Air going belly-up and low-cost carriers scaling back operations to the US this week, it seems that legacy carriers smell blood and are going in for the kill. Star Alliance airlines Lufthansa and United are offering jaw-dropping deals from US cities to Europe — including Amsterdam, Paris and Rome. There are even more options than we list below — including about a dozen cities to London for less than $400 round-trip — but we’re listing all of the options that we could find under $300 round-trip.
Here’s the catch: the best deals aren’t showing up on Google Flights. You’ll have to search and find them on Kayak and click through to Lufthansa’s website to book directly at these rates. Lufthansa operates its Airbus A380 on some of these routes, making this a great opportunity to fly the jumbo jet. Hot tip: see if there’s economy on the upper deck on the version you’re flying. I’ve found it’s an excellent experience thanks to the small cabin and better seating arrangement.
Airlines: Lufthansa, United
Routes: EWR/SFO/JFK/LAX/MIA/DEN to AMS/FCO/CDG
Cost: $228+ round-trip in economy
Travel Dates: October – May 2019
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Premier Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Prestige (3x on airfare plus excellent trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on travel)
Booking Link: Kayak, Priceline, Orbitz, Expedia or directly with the airline
Here are a few examples of what you can book for less than $300 round-trip:
Newark (EWR) to Amsterdam (AMS) for $228 round-trip nonstop on United:
Newark (EWR) to Rome (FCO) for $250 round-trip nonstop on United:
Newark (EWR) to Paris (CDG) for $255 round-trip on United/Lufthansa:
San Francisco (SFO) to Paris (CDG) for $267 round-trip nonstop on United:
New York’s Kennedy (JFK) to Amsterdam (AMS) for $272 round-trip on Lufthansa:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Paris (CDG) for $278 round-trip on United/Lufthansa:
Miami (MIA) to Rome (FCO) for $277 round-trip on Lufthansa:
Miami (MIA) to Paris (CDG) for $282 round-trip on Lufthansa/United:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Rome (FCO) for $287 round-trip on Lufthansa:
San Francisco (SFO) to Rome (FCO) for $287 round-trip on Lufthansa:
Denver (DEN) to Paris (CDG) for $288 round-trip on Lufthansa:
Maximize Your Purchase
Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Premier, 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 Getty Images
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), up to a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees