I tweeted this deal first from @MileValueAlerts. Follow @MileValueAlerts on Twitter and follow these directions to get a text message every time I tweet from that account. I tweet from @MileValueAlerts only a few times a month because it is designed to be used only for the best and most limited-time deals–like mistake fares–so that you aren’t bombarded by text messages.

Qantas, Virgin Australia, and United are offering cheap roundtrip flights between San Francisco/Los Angeles and Australia/New Zealand. Roundtrips to New Zealand are a bit cheaper than those to Australia (lowest price to Australia = $656). Most flights are non-stop. Travel dates are available in May and August through November of this year.

Contents

  1. When are the cheap fares?
  2. Mileage Earning
  3. Baggage Allowance
  4. Best Credit Card to Buy the Ticket

$619 Roundtrip from Los Angeles/San Francisco to New Zealand,  $656 Roundtrip From Los Angeles/San Francisco to Australia

The easiest way to see the cheap fares is on Google Flights. Available travel dates for the low prices are in May and August through November.

I brought up the following graph of roundtrip prices between Los Angeles and Auckland on Google Flights by clicking the Flexible dates tab.

To drop the price to $619, you’ll have to book through Momondo.

Beware that booking through these types of third party sites invites potentially worse customer service in case of needing a change or cancellation, however I do see less chance of there being issues with these flights as most are non-stop. I had a friend who recently booked a cheap ticket through Monomondo and they screwed him over when his first leg was delayed, providing no help re-booking him on a new connection. Just don’t expect much in the way of customer service.

If you want the $619 price, I’d search first on Google Flights and look for a roundtrip priced at $702. The same flight should be about $619 on Monomondo.

The west coast to Sydney flights are around $650 on Monomondo…

…and around $725 on Google flights.

Mileage Earning

Here’s how the process of crediting to a partner works.

If you book a United flight, read Where to Credit Butt in Seat Miles: Flying United Airlines to learn more about which Star Alliance airline is the most advantageous to credit your miles to.

If you book a Qantas flight (for the sake of example, let’s say the Qantas flight above), let’s assume you credit your miles to American Airlines. The ticket is classified as Fare Class O (I found that information on ITA Matrix).

Assuming you have no status, you’ll earn 5 American Airlines miles per dollar spent. For this ticket that means you’ll earn 3,095 redeemable miles ($619 x 5).

You’ll also earn 1 Elite Qualifying Segment, $507 Elite Qualifying Dollars (ticket price less government imposed taxes and fees, which I also found on ITA Matrix), and 13,008 Elite Qualifying Miles as that is the distance flying Los Angeles > Auckland > Los Angeles.

I’ll let you figure out the mileage earning if you choose a Virgin Australia flight. I assume you would credit your miles to Delta.

Baggage Allowance

If you book a United flight, the fare class is G, not basic economy, so you’ll get two checked bags up to 50 lbs each for free, as well as free carry-on, and a free personal item.

If you book a Qantas flight, you get a free personal item, free carry on, and one free checked bag up to 50 pounds each included in the ticket price.

If you book a Virgin Australia flight, you get a free personal item, free carry on, and one free checked bag up to 50 pounds each included in the ticket price.

Best Way to Buy the Ticket

You should buy this ticket with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. The card comes with 50,000 Arrival miles after spending $3,000 on the card in the first three months. Arrival miles can be redeemed for 1 cent each toward any travel expense. Here is How to Redeem Arrival Miles.

With the Arrival Plus, you don’t even have to wait to meet the minimum spending requirement before you spend the miles. Open an Arrival Plus, put whatever revenue tickets on the card you want now to help you meet the minimum spending requirement, and then redeem Arrival miles within 120 days to offset the charges.

Don’t have the Arrival Plus card? Put it on whatever card you have travel statement credits for, like the Sapphire Reserve or Citi Prestige. Don’t have any travel statements credits to earn? Check out the Best Credit Card to Buy Airfare.

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards

Hat Tip View from the Wing

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.