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This might be the cheapest trip to Asia you’ll ever take. Fares to China are absurdly low right now, and the exchange rate is extremely favorable for Americans. The Chinese yuan recently hit its lowest point in 11 years, dropping to a little more than 7 yuan to 1 U.S. dollar — meaning you’ll get more bang for your buck once you’re there, too.
Here are the cheap flights that caught our eye.
Los Angeles to Beijing for $305 round-trip
No tricks here; no ridiculously long layover or discount airline. This $305 round-trip fare is on American Airlines, and it’s a nonstop 13-hour flight. Checked bags will cost you extra, but this fare is at least $100 to $175 lower than comparable flights. There’s availability in October and November, as well as some $319 fares in December.
Philadelphia to Shanghai for $378 round-trip
Both American and Delta are offering super low fares on this route. Getting from the East Coast to China is going to be a long flight regardless (expect to spend at least 17 hours traveling), but these routes minimize the stops — and for less than it costs to fly some places in the U.S. Just think of all the famous Shanghai xiao long bao, or soup dumplings, you could be eating with the savings.
Denver to Beijing for $350 round-trip
You can fly from Denver to Beijing for $350 round-trip on United or American. There is widespread availability, so you could plan a trip for a variety of dates between September 2019 and March 2020. Flights for this route are often in the $460 to $570 range, according to Google Flights.
Columbus to Shanghai for $386 round-trip
We don’t usually find a lot of deals out of the Columbus, Ohio, airport, but here’s one to consider. Save yourself more than $320 by booking one of these deals throughout October and November 2019 or March 2020. Flights start at $386 round-trip from Columbus to Shanghai on United or American — but be aware you may end up with a long layover on the lowest-price tickets.
The bottom line
This flight deal has widespread availability, both in terms of travel dates and departure airports in the U.S. — just be aware that the winter months in China (especially Beijing) can get very cold, similar to the northeastern U.S., and you'll also need to secure a tourist visa before you go.
You can maximize your travel rewards earning potential by flying some U.S.-based airlines you may already be working on status with. If seeing the Great Wall of China or the flashing skyscrapers of Shanghai is on your must-do list, don’t miss these fares.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Find the best travel credit card for you Snag these hotel loyalty perks, even if you’re disloyal Earn more points and miles with these 6 strategies