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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 you’re hoping to visit Europe before the year is out, but don’t want to go to Italy, you’re in luck: visit Switzerland, Spain, Paris or Belgium for cheap, starting at under $300. Flights are on full-service carriers but some fares book into basic economy, so you won’t get a free checked bag on your journey. However, you can use an airline’s co-brand credit card to defeat many of basic economy’s negative aspects.
You can fly from New York (JFK), Austin (AUS), Boston (BOS), Las Vegas (LAS), Orlando (MCO) and San Francisco (SFO) to Madrid (MAD), Brussels (BRU), Paris (CDG), Barcelona (BCN) and Zurich (ZRH) starting from $291 round-trip.
Want to make sure you don’t waste PTO, but not sure what to do in these cities? Check out Get Your Guide‘s best suggestions for Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Brussels and Zurich to maximize your time while on vacation.
To search, head to Google Flights and enter your origin and destination cities. Scroll through the calendar function to find dates and prices that work for you. Finally, click through to book directly with the airline or through an OTA like Priceline or Expedia.
Airlines: KLM, Iberia, Delta, American, British Airways, Icelandair
Routes: JFK/AUS/BOS/LAS/MCO/SFO to MAD/BRU/CDG/BCN/ZRH
Cost: $291+ round-trip in economy
Travel Dates: October 2018 – April 2019
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Premier Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige (3x on airfare plus excellent trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on travel)
Booking Link: Priceline, Orbitz, Expedia or directly with the airline
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Boston (BOS) to Brussels (BRU) for $303 round-trip on Delta in January in basic economy:
San Francisco (SFO) to Barcelona (BCN) for $358 round-trip on British Airways/American in December in regular economy:Austin (AUS) to Zurich (ZRH) for $375 round-trip on American Airlines in February 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, 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.
Featured image by Getty Images.
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Aside from the 75,000 points welcome bonus, Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.
- Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
- Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
- 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
- Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
- Get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork. With this membership, you can access 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities. To get this exclusive offer, enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019.
- Terms Apply
- See Rates & Fees