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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
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 Reserve, or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (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, 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

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2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card



CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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