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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.
If your summer vacations plans are still up in the air, — or you’re ready to book your sunny winter or spring break getaways — you might want to consider a trip to Mexico. And thanks to a new deal we’re seeing today, getting there could be a lot more affordable. American, Delta and United are currently offering discounted flights to a trio of Mexican beach destinations — Cancun (CUN), Cabo (SJD) and Puerto Vallarta (PVR) — from over a dozen major US cities, including several in the Northeast. These discounted fares start at under $200 round-trip and are valid for travel from August 2018 through May 2019.
To find these low fares, head to Google Flights and plug in your desired departure and destination cities. After finding the dates that work best for you, book directly with the airline or with an OTA such as Expedia or Priceline. If you want to make sure that your ticket includes a carry-on bag, you can use Google Flights’ newest feature, which allows you to filter out no-carry-on bag fares.
Note that some of these fares are in fact in basic economy, which means you may not get the usual carry-on allowance, be able to select your seat ahead of time, be eligible for an upgrade or earn elite qualifying credits as per usual. However, it’s possible to defeat many of basic economy’s negative aspects by having airline elite status or a co-branded airline credit card.
Airlines: American, Delta, United
Routes: ATL/BOS/BWI/CLT/DEN/DFW/DTW/EWR/IAH/LAX/MIA/ORD/PHL/PHX/SNA/SEA to CUN/SJD/PVR
Cost: $196+ round-trip in economy
Dates: August 2018 – May 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)
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Miami (MIA) to Cancun (CUN) in October for $196 round-trip on American in Basic Economy:
Dallas (DFW) to Cancun (CUN) in September for $206 round-trip on American in Basic Economy:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) in March 2019 for $216 round-trip on Delta in Basic Economy:
Newark (EWR) to San Jose del Cabo (SJD) in November for $227 round-trip on American:
Dallas (DFW) to San Jose del Cabo (SJD) in August for $227 round-trip on United:
Seattle (SEA) to Cancun (CUN) in April 2019 for $234 round-trip on United in 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 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 image by M Swiet Productions / 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), 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.
- Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- As a Platinum Card Member, you can 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®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees