HUGE $400 Europe Fare Sale: Pay Cash or Less than 25K Points Roundtrip (I Got 4 Spring Break Tickets for 96K Total!)

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AA 787 parked at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport.

$400 Flights to Europe!

Earlier this year my family and I flew to Barcelona in Business Class on British Airways for Spring Break. For those 4 business class tickets I only paid 120,000 Avios plus a little over $200. It was the score of a lifetime and one I probably won’t recreate, but I don’t have to. I was just able to score another incredible deal for Spring Break 2017. This time to Helsinki!

Europe Fare Sale

Right now all three major airline alliances (SkyTeam, Star Alliance, oneworld) are battling it out with fares to Europe. These fares are good from most major U.S. cities and to most European cities for dates from now through next Fall. Not all airlines have cheap fares to/from everywhere, but between all of the sales there are so many combinations.

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I was just able to book my family of four tickets from Las Vegas to Helsinki for 96,600 ThankYou points total. For our journey we will fly from LAS-ORD-HEL with the Transatlantic flight being on Finnair. No, we aren’t in business class this time, but for 24,150 ThankYou points roundtrip who can complain? (The cash fare was $386 by the way.)

Booking with Bank Points

If you want to get cheap flights to Europe act fast. Here are some of the ways you can book them with points if you don’t want to pay cash:

  • Citi Prestige cardholders can book American Airlines flights for 1.6 cents per point.
  • Citi Prestige cardholders can book other flights for 1.33 cents per point.
  • Citi ThankYou Premier cardholders can book flights for 1.25 cents per point.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders can book flights for 1.25 cents per point.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can book flights for 1.5 cents per point.
  • Any flight under $400 can be booked with 20,000 FlexPoints
  • Get a 50% rebate on Membership Rewards points on your chosen airline with the Amex Business Platinum.

How to Search

You can search via the ITA Matrix or Google Flights and then book with one of the banks mentioned above or simply with the airline directly. You can even book with a travel agent. Keep in mind that most airlines will allow you to cancel your flight within 24 hours so that gives you some time. Verify the cancellation policy of a travel agent if you decide to use one.

Our Trip

Right now I am just doing some preliminary planning, but I think we might try to take the ferry over to Saint Petersburg Russia since a Visa isn’t required with that option. Tallinn, Estonia is on the table as well. It will be a good trip and was attractive to us since Finland will be a new country to us plus we only need to connect once which helps with the baby.

Conclusion

If you are interested in visiting Europe some time in the next year, then I suggest you get to searching and booking. Fares this low won’t last long and at this price they are almost a no-brainer. Did you book any of these fares? Feel free to share in the comments!


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17 COMMENTS

  1. Shawn just curious if the cold of Helsinki will limit your fun any? I was looking at that exact same option in March

  2. Anyone have the math, as $415.00 round trip seems almost better to pay cash than use points. I’m a neub, but with a Chase Sapphire Reserve

  3. Anyone have the math, as $415.00 round trip seems almost better to pay cash than use points. I’m a neub, but with a Chase Sapphire Reserve

    • It largely depends on how you value your points and how many you have. I have a lot of Citi ThankYou points so the ability to redeem them at 1.6 cents each is amazing for me. If you don’t have a lot of Ultimate Rewards and you feel you can get better than 1.5 cents each to redeem them then pay cash for this and redeem them elsewhere.

      • Have a lot of Chase Reward points and can Vashon at 1.5/mile. Thought there were tiers, where all national.flights cost x, international cost y and as such points would have more value when ticket prices were higher.

  4. Looking for flights and dates from Seattle to Europe $400 to redeem on Citi.

    Can’t locate any dates.

    AA nor Citi Thank You can find any availability to any city.

    In fact, Citi cannot locate and fares of $396 for the exact dates Shawn gave for LAS-HEL-LAS in January.

    Can anyone help as this PROMO is NOT known well at AA or Citi.

    I have 76,000 Prestige points to burn.

    • Just use Google flights to look at different city combinations and dates. Not all of the deals are on AA. Some are on Delta or United (or their partners.) I just checked and many dates are available from Seattle. For example Seattle to Helsinki 1/20-1/24 is $383 roundtrip.

  5. I’m not seeing any bargains in Business class from the West Coast, April or May. My husband & I just survived round trip 5.5 hour flights in Economy on Alaska Airlines to Costa Rica (the $99 companion fares with the BofA card are for Economy)…NOT eager to repeat that painful experience again anytime soon! But we are probably a bit older than most of your readers–we’ve decided ~3 hours is the maximum time we’ll fly in the back of the plane.

  6. Got this news on the same day as my favorite Swedish artist announced the dates for his summer tour! What an awesome deal! Looked at flights, saw some awesome deals, by the time I talked it over with my husband they were rapidly increasing or disappearing altogether, but I snagged an ORD-GOT in August for $469 moments before the prices went back up into the $800’s! Thank you, Shawn!! This was prefect timing!!

  7. This news came the same day as my favorite Swedish artist announced the dates for his summer tour! Google flights to the rescue, I managed to snag one of the few remaining ORD-GOT flights in August minutes for $469 before the fares went back up to $800-1000!! Shawn, you’re my hero!

  8. Snagged IAD-KRK last week of March, first week of April for $448.50 on KLM. Not bad at all. There were cheaper options but with some real shady online travel places so I decided to go directly with the airline. Not worth the hassle to save $20.

  9. Haven’t been able to find an answer: If I purchase an airline ticket with points, as outlined in this article, is that like buying with cash (and thus I accrue frequent flyer benefits) or is it like buying an award ticket (with no FF accrual)?

    Thanks.

    • It is like cash. The bank is paying cash for the ticket. Sometimes they do buy bulk or consolidator fares which have limited upgrade options, but you do earn frequent flier miles for them.

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