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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.
Flights to Southeast Asia and Hong Kong are on sale with many Asia-based airlines. You can fly from West Coast cities like Los Angeles (LAX) to Bangkok (BKK) or Manila (MNL) in the low $400s or from the East Coast starting in the $500s. Cheap trips to Hong Kong (HKG) and Saigon (SGN) can be had, too. Many departure cities are available, so plug in your preferred origin and destination and see what fares appear. Most tickets should come with a free checked bag, meal and seat selection.
Do note that some of the cheapest fares have long layovers on one of the return legs of the journey.
If you do end up going to Bangkok, make sure you avoid these typical mistakes many tourists make in the city. Those who choose Hong Kong can redeem their points for one of the many hotels on the island.
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, Orbitz or Expedia.
Airline: Air China, American, Asiana, China Southern, China Eastern, Hainan, Hong Kong Airlines
Routes: LAX/SEA/SFO/JFK/EWR/BOS/LAS/SAN/IAD/ORD and likely more to BKK/HKG/MNL/SGN
Cost: $403+ round-trip in basic economy
Travel Dates: February – May, September – November
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare), Citi Prestige (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Premier Card (3x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Bangkok (BKK) for $403 round-trip on China Southern via Priceline:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Manila (MNL) for $417 round-trip on China Southern via Priceline:
San Francisco (SFO) to Bangkok (BKK) for $432 round-trip on China Southern via Priceline:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Hong Kong (HKG) for $438 round-trip nonstop on American:
New York (EWR) to Bangkok (BKK) for $532 round-trip on Air China via Expedia:
Seattle (SEA) to Hong Kong (HKG) for $537 round-trip on Asiana via Orbitz:
Washington DC (IAD) to Saigon (SGN) for $539 round-trip on Air China via Expedia:
Chicago (ORD) to Hong Kong (HKG) for $624 round-trip on Hainan:
Boston (BOS) to Hong Kong (HKG) for $653 round-trip on United:
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), American Express® Gold Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Premier, Citi Prestige (5x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
H/T: The Flight Deal
Featured photo by SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images.
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With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards