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Iceland's border opens June 15, but Americans aren't welcome

June 08, 2020
3 min read
Iceland's border opens June 15, but Americans aren't welcome
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Update 6/10/20: Icelandair has added four round-trip flights between Boston and Iceland during the second half of June — on June 17, 20, 24 and 27 — however, tourists from countries outside of Europe's Schengen zone, including the United States, will not be permitted entry in June. Connecting passengers can book these four Boston flights, assuming they're eligible to enter their destination of choice in Europe. As of now, Iceland is planning to welcome a broader group of visitors beginning July 1, but that plan remains subject to change.


This time next week, I thought I'd be exploring an unthinkably quiet Iceland.

The island nation, which has grown incredibly popular with summer tourists over the years, is still closed to visitors until June 15. And on that date, anyone entering the country will either need to undergo a COVID-19 test at the airport, or self-quarantine for 14 days. But I was happy — eager, even — to submit to the test.

Sadly, as it turns out, my trip is off the table. While some visitors will indeed be welcome to visit Iceland, Americans don't fall into that fortunate group.

On Monday, just one week before my planned arrival date, Icelandair released its updated flight schedule. My flight from Boston is still available to book, but it won't operate as expected, likely leading to even more confusion among Iceland-bound hopefuls in the U.S. Instead, for the second half of June, the carrier will only operate service between Keflavík Airport (KEF) and the European cities below, including London Heathrow (LHR), Amsterdam (AMS) and Munich (MUC), among others:

Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.

According to an Icelandair spokesperson, the border will remain closed to any tourists from outside Europe's Schengen Area, including visitors from the United States. As of now, the country plans to accept a broader group of visitors beginning July 1, but my previous advice still stands: Don't book flights or nonrefundable hotel stays until you know you'll be able to take the trip.

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Ultimately, I'm disappointed I won't get to experience Iceland with relatively few tourists, but considering that the United States has by far the greatest number of COVID-19 cases of any country in the world, I can't say I'm terribly surprised we're not yet welcome.

For now, I'm staying at home. While some countries will accept Americans, including destinations in the Caribbean, Iceland — which hasn't reported any new coronavirus cases — seemed like an especially safe bet.

Featured image by Getty Images

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  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023