Deals of the week: Transcon flights from $74, discounted Alaska gift certificates and more

Nov 14, 2020

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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.

As travel begins to pick back up, so do the deals. Each week we’ll highlight some of the best sales, cheap fares and more that we’ve spotted.

In This Post

Discounts at Florida, Puerto Rico hotels

The hotel deals just keep flowing. If you’re looking for some sun and sand, the Hyatt Centric Las Olas Fort Lauderdale recently launched a Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale. You can get 20% off best available rates and a bottle of Laurent Perrier Champagne and an optional en-suite Peloton session. For instance, I’m seeing a 20% off rate for late January dates, but you’ll save even more as a World of Hyatt member.

Screengrab from Hyatt

Note that the offer is available for booking through Dec. 6, 2020, for stays through April 4, 2021, and the deals are only applicable to cash stays.

Booking the Caribe Hilton’s ‘Dream Away’ sale can up to 15% off the best available rate as well as early check-in and check-out. The deal is valid through Oct. 31, 2021, though note blackout days.
Screengrab from Hilton
I’m seeing December dates for as low as $160 a night, though if you want to pay with points it still starts at 40,000 Hilton Honors points a night. Remember that you’ll get the fifth night free on award stays booked solely using points if you’re a Hilton Honors elite.

10 percent ofF Alaska Airlines Gift certificates

We’re a big fan of gift cards here at TPG. If you’re looking to save on your next purchase, Costco is selling Alaska Airlines gift cards at a 10 percent discount, as first reported by The Gate. You’ll only pay $450 for a $500 gift card but you must be a Costco Wholesale member.

Screengrab from Costco

You’ll receive an email within 24 business hours with your gift certificate. There’s a limit of 10 per member and the certificate is only valid at alaskaair.com for Alaska Airlines flights.

Make sure you maximize your gift card purchases by using the right credit card. There are plenty of cards that offer bonus rewards at places like gas stations, grocery stores, supermarkets and office supply stores that sell gift cards to just about anywhere.

Best Credit Cards for Gift Cards

The information for the Bank of America Cash cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Cheap Transcontinental flights

We’re seeing some great nonstop round-trip deals between the East and West coasts (and Chicago) on American Airlines and United Airlines. Note that many of these tickets are in Main Cabin, which means you’ll be able to bring a bag and select a seat.

Related: The 9 best credit cards for flying United

However, some of the tickets are in United’s basic economy, which places restrictions on seat assignment, boarding, carry-on baggage, upgrades, changes, refunds, elite earning and elite benefits. However, there are ways to defeat basic economy by holding a United co-branded credit card.

Airlines: American Airlines, United Airlines
Routes: Select transcontinental routes, and ORD – LAX/SAN
Cost: $74+ round-trip in economy
Travel Dates: Jan. 2021 – Feb. 2021
Pay WithThe Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline; starting Jan. 1, 2021, earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare), Citi Premier® Card (3x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on travel), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare booked directly with the airline or amextravel.com) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

The information for the Citi Prestige card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Sample itineraries

Here’s what you could book. This isn’t an exhaustive list, so you may be able to find deals between other cities as well.

Chicago (ORD) to Los Angeles (LAX) for $74 round-trip nonstop in American Main Cabin:

Screengrab from American Airlines

Baltimore (BWI) to Los Angeles (LAX) for $102 round-trip nonstop in United Basic Economy:

Screengrab from United

San Diego (SAN) to Chicago (ORD) for $110 round-trip nonstop in United Main Cabin:

Screengrab from United Airlines

Philadelphia (PHL) to Los Angeles (LAX) for $112 round-trip nonstop in American Main Cabin:

Screengrab from American

Cheap business class flights to South America

Last week, we saw cheap business class fares to Ecuador, which is again open for Americans, for under $700. Those tickets have dropped to under $650 and now include Lima (LIM) and Bogota (BOG).

The deals are on Aeromexico, with some flights on its Boeing 787-9 lie-flat Clase Premier seat, and others on the 737-8 product.

Related: Where can Americans travel internationally?

All passengers arriving in Ecuador are required to have the results of a PCR COVID test within the last ten days prior to arrival. Those without negative COVID-19 test results will need to get a test upon arrival at their own expense and quarantine until their test results come back negative or for two weeks. International flights to Colombia resumed on September 21 and you’ll need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of arrival.

Related: When will international travel return? A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery

You’ll face more restrictions if you’re planning to visit Peru. All passengers planning to travel to Peru must, 72 hours in advance of flights, sign a sworn declaration agreeing to comply with the mandatory 14-day quarantine and attesting that they are symptom-free of COVID-19 upon entry. Passengers must also present a negative molecular COVID-19 test to enter.

Airlines: Aeromexico
Routes: JFK/ORD – UIO/LIM/BOG
Cost: $574+ round-trip in Aeromexico business class
Travel Dates: Select dates through Sept. 2021
Pay WithThe Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline; starting Jan. 1, 2021, earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare), Citi Premier® Card (3x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on travel), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare booked directly with the airline or amextravel.com) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

Sample itineraries

Here’s what you could book. This isn’t an exhaustive list, so you may be able to find deals between other cities as well.

New York (JFK) to Quito (QUI) for $574 round-trip on Aeromexico business:

New York (JFK) to Lima (LIM) for $585 round-trip on Aeromexico business:

Chicago (ORD) to Bogota (BOG) for $633 round-trip on Aeromexico business:

Screengrab from Aeromexico

How to book

There are no tricks to find these fares. Just head to Google Flights, plug in your desired departure city and your destination. Then, use the calendar function to find dates and prices that work for you and then click through to book with the airline directly or an OTA such as Expedia or Priceline.

Featured photo by ejs9/Getty Images

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