Deal Alert: Round-trip to the Maldives for as low as $818 through early 2022

May 2, 2021

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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 (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year). 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.

Dreaming of a Maldives vacation? Now might be the time to book.

Etihad Airways is offering round-trip flights from many major U.S. cities to the Maldives for under $850 round-trip in economy class. These tickets route through Etihad’s hub in Abu Dhabi (AUH), and cheap fares are available through March 2022, giving you a huge booking window to choose from. Better yet, the Maldives is open to American tourists so long as you bring a negative COVID test.

The deal was first spotted by Scott’s Cheap Flights this morning and — at the time of writing — is still available for booking. We see cheap flights available from all of Etihad’s U.S. gateways. Let’s take a closer look.

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The deal

Airlines: Etihad Airways
Routes: IAD/JFK/LAX/ORD to Male (MLE)
Cost: $818+ roundtrip
Dates: June 2021 through March 2022
Pay with: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or via American Express Travel; on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on travel) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel) for travel protections on the award flight.

Sample itineraries

Etihad 787
(Photo by Zou Zheng/Xinhua via Getty)

You’ll find the cheapest flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Male — round-trip flights start at just $818 on some dates. You may find that some itineraries are moderately more expensive on specific dates on all routes.LAX to MLE Etihad Airways itinerary

(Screenshot courtesy of Etihad Airways)

Those flying from New York-JFK can find flights starting at $831 round-trip.

JFK to MLE Etihad Airways itinerary
(Screenshot courtesy of Etihad Airways)

Flights from Washington-Dulles (IAD) are a bit more expensive at $904 round-trip, but still a good deal compared to booking with other airlines.

IAD to MLE Etihad Airways itinerary
(Screenshot courtesy of Etihad Airways)

Finally, flights from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) start at $925 round-trip.

ORD to MLE Etihad Airways itinerary
(Screenshot courtesy of Etihad Airways)

Again, you can book these deals through the beginning of next year. For example, you can book LAX to MLE for just $818 next February.

LAX to MLE Etihad Airways itinerary Feb 2022
(Screenshot courtesy of Etihad Airways)

Google Flights shows cheaper itineraries when you book with Online Travel Agencies (OTA) like GoToGate and Bravofly. However, you may want to book direct or with a more reputable OTA in case you need to make flight changes. Discount OTAs often add extra fees if you need to change or cancel your flight, even if the operating airline doesn’t charge them.

Etihad Airways Bravofly itinerary
(Screenshot courtesy of Bravofly)

Related: How to have a splurge-worthy Maldives honeymoon on a budget

Maximize your purchase

Don’t forget to pay for your flight with a credit card that earns bonus points on airfare. It makes the most sense to use cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare), Citi Premier® Card (3x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on airfare), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare booked directly with the airline or Amex Travel) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel).

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.

Related: The best credit cards for booking flights

Bottom line

This is a great deal for round-trip economy flights from the U.S. to the Maldives — especially since you can book in early 2022. You’ll find deals on a broad spectrum of dates, including holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

While the country has largely remained open to Americans through the pandemic, remember that booking international travel during the coronavirus pandemic is still a gamble. You may need to change your travel plans if the country decides to close borders at the last minute. Thankfully, Etihad should allow you to change free of charge.

Feature photo by Sven Hansche /

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