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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.
American Airlines has launched an aggressive attack fare on United hubs of Newark (EWR), Houston (IAH), Denver (DEN) and San Francisco (SFO) offering round-trip flights for less than $300 in Basic Economy, with the option to buy up to Main Cabin for $90 more round-trip. Most of these city pairs have one-stop options, but it might take a little digging to find these instead of the more-numerous two-stop options.
For this particular deal, the cheapest options are showing up on American Airlines’ website after clicking through Google Flights. The fares aren’t appearing on AA.com through a direct search, and I haven’t been able to find the fares through an OTA such as Expedia or Priceline.
If you can’t make a trip happen in the next couple of months, you can score a deal on a 2019 Hawaii getaway through AA Vacation’s ongoing $130-off sale. You can get a flight+hotel for two adults and a five-night stay in Kona for just $986 total ($493 per person). Even better, that’s in Main Cabin — instead of Basic Economy — and the flights code as Special Fares.
Routes: EWR/DEN/IAH/SFO to HNL/LIH/KOA
Cost: $284+ round-trip in basic economy
Travel Dates: October to early December 2018
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: Expedia, Priceline or directly with the airline
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Newark (EWR) to Honolulu (HNL) for $284 round-trip on American Airlines Basic Economy:
Denver (DEN) to Honolulu (HNL) for $284 round-trip on American Airlines Basic Economy:
Houston Intercontinental (IAH) to Lihue (LIH) for $284 round-trip on American Airlines Basic Economy:
Denver (DEN) to Lihue (LIH) for $284 round-trip on American Airlines Basic Economy:
Denver (DEN) to Kona (KOA) for $284 round-trip on American Airlines Basic Economy:
San Francisco (SFO) to Lihue (LIH) for $284 round-trip on American Airlines Basic Economy:
Newark (EWR) to Lihue (LIH) for $291 round-trip on American Airlines Basic Economy:
Newark (EWR) to Kona (KOA) for $292 round-trip on American Airlines Basic Economy:
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.
With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees