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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.

 

Winter is coming, and while the Northeast may not be in danger of a White Walker invasion (yet), the accompanying seasonal depression is real. Fortunately, Alaska Airlines has an extremely affordable escape for northern dwellers, with access to Vitamin D in Los Angeles (LAX) and San Diego (SAN) available starting from $196 round-trip. If you happen to have access to an Alaska companion fare, your friend or family member’s cost will be further reduced. You’ll earn 4,850 Alaska miles on the Newark to San Diego route, which are worth about $87 according to TPG’s points and miles valuations.

Alaska is actually offering a significant fare sale from almost all of its airports, so it’s worth poking through the site to see what’s available in your city. Other great fares  include Austin and San Diego from $89 one-way, Orlando to San Diego from $99 one-way and Chicago to San Francisco from $119 one-way.

Airline: Alaska
Routes: JFK/EWR/BOS/BWI/MCO to LAX/SAN
Cost: $196+ round-trip in full fare economy
Dates: October 2018 – April 2019
Purchase By: October 11, 2018
Booking Link: Use Google Flights to find the dates you want, then book directly with Alaska
Pay Taxes/Fees With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare), American Express® Gold CardCiti Premier CardChase Sapphire ReserveCiti 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:

Newark (EWR) to San Diego (SAN) for $196 round-trip in January:Boston (BOS) to Seattle (SEA) for $216 round-trip in February:Orlando (MCO) to San Diego (SAN) for $226 round-trip in February:

Boston (BOS) to Los Angeles (LAX) for $236 round-trip in April:

Maximize Your Purchase

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases to pay the taxes and fees, such as the Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Citi Premier CardChase Sapphire ReserveAmerican Express® Gold Card, 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 @gersonrepreza via Unsplash.com.

American Express® Gold Card

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.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • 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
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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