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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available.
Incredible flight deals to Miami are back for travel originating in Baltimore (BWI). Round-trip fares start at just $87. I recently took advantage of a similar deal on a direct flight from Baltimore to Miami, and found it to be a better experience on American Airlines versus Southwest, even though Baltimore is a Southwest hub. If you’re looking to get out of the Baltimore/DC area, and can be a little spontaneous I highly recommend this deal. American Airlines has good availability on many of their direct flights to South Florida. And with this unbelievably low round-trip fare of $87, now is the perfect time for a quick, affordable escape from the cold.
American Airlines includes all taxes and surcharges in their fare listings, but keep in mind there are additional costs for bags when you select a Choice fare. On my recent flight, I was able to upgrade to first class using just 15,000 AAdvantage miles that I had earned with my Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®. I still had to pay a $75 upgrade fee (using my miles) but considering first class would have cost hundreds more and there were seats available, I was glad to use my miles. What really made the upgrade even more worthwhile were the warm chocolate chip cookies and cocktails. I’ll take that over the pack of peanuts and soda I would have had with Southwest.
Airline: American Airlines
Route: BWI to MIA
Cost: $87 round-trip (includes all taxes and surcharges)
Dates: January 2016
Art Deco District in South Beach photographed by Karen Ayers
Top reasons to go to Miami
Miami remains one of the world’s trendiest and flashiest hot spots. It offers an unparalleled multicultural experience, international cuisine, and a wide range cultural events. The beach has been rated as one of the 10 best in the world. Miami’s eclectic residents have transformed the city into a world of epicurean wonders, ranging from Cuban and Argentine fare to fusion haute cuisine. A 24-hour liquor license means clubs stay open until 5 am. The Art Deco District in South Beach is not to be missed, and is one of my favorite places to stay.
W South Beach – One of the best places to stay in Miami
This stunning hotel is located on the sand, on the northern outskirts of South Beach. I stayed at the W South Beach on my most recent trip and was greeted by my proper name by every employee I spoke with. I was blown away that the staff paid such attention to detail for my overnight visit.
When checking in to the hotel my SPG status was rewarded with an upgrade to a suite that included an incredible view of the ocean. The pool was enormous and was enjoyed by everyone from families with small children to a young, hip crowd sharing cocktails. When I ventured to the beach, I learned there was no additional charge for the lounge chairs, which is a definite plus. The hotel boasts numerous restaurants, including Mr. Chow. The W tops my list as one of Miami’s best picks for couples and families.
You’ll also find impeccable service, huge rooms, and a prime beachside location at The Setai. While this South Beach hotel has several good restaurants, some of Miami’s top dining destinations are just a half a block away.
Where to Stay in Downtown Miami and Bal Harbor
There are many other 5-star hotels to stay at in Miami. If you are in downtown Miami there are the Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Hotel Beaux Arts, The JW Marriott Marquis, to name a few. Bal Harbour includes the St. Regis and the Ritz-Carlton. Travelers describe their experiences at these hotels as phenomenal, primarily due to hotel staff being attentive and the prime locations. Guest rooms are spacious and feature marble bathrooms, private balconies as well as high-tech flat-screen TVs. These hotels include amazing pools, state of the art spas and on-site restaurants. You are welcome to cash in your hotel’s points at these hotels.
What’s the best card to use for this trip?
- Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
- Enjoy Group 1 Boarding on American Airlines flights*
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases.
- Receive 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights
- Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back – up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year
One of the perks of the card is that you’ll earn back 10% of any AAdvantage miles you redeem – up to 10,000 miles each calendar year. There’s no cap on the miles you can earn, and the bonus miles can be redeemed for a domestic round-trip MileSAAver® award. But, watch out for foreign transaction fees. You may want to use another card when traveling abroad.
Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express
- Our highest Starpoints® offer ever. Get 35,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Offer ends 3/30/2016.
- Terms and limitations apply.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
- Receive free in-room, premium internet access. Booking requirements apply.
- Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
- Get free nights at over 1,200 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries with no blackout dates. Some hotels may have mandatory service and resort charges.
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Visit our credit card partner’s site in order to learn more and securely apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
I love the flexibility of Starpoints. While you can certainly redeem them for hotel stays, they’re also quite valuable when you transfer them to airline loyalty programs. Hotel award nights start at just 3,000 points per night for a Category 1 property. The option to mix cash and points makes staying at 6 star hotels a more viable option. (Read more in our article about staying the St. Regis hotel on points and cash.) What’s more, each calendar year your account is open, you’ll receive a credit for 2 stays and 5 nights towards your Starwood Preferred Guest elite status.
- Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Earn 3X ThankYou Points per $1 spent on Travel including Gas, 2X ThankYou Points on Dining Out and Entertainment, and 1X ThankYou Point on Other Purchases.
- ThankYou Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through thankyou.com, as compared to gift cards.
- No foreign transaction fees on purchases
- Points do not expire and earn unlimited ThankYou Points
- Annual Fee: $95
You’ll earn triple points on travel, including airfare, hotels, cruises, car rental agencies, travel agencies and more. And all of your dining purchases at the area’s great restaurants will earn you double points. A trip like this can earn you a great deal of points fast if you use this card.
- Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days – that’s enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
- Earn 2X miles on all purchases
- Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
- Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
- No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
- 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. There is a fee for balance transfers.
You’ll get 5% miles back every time you redeem, so each trip you book takes you to the next. For example, a 60,000-mile redemption toward your trip will give you 3,000 miles toward your next trip. You’ll earn 2X points on every single purchase, so there no keeping track of what purchases to make with the card. You can book on any airline and any hotel, so finding the best travel deal and purchasing it is easy with this card. Plus, your miles don’t expire as long as your account is open.
Chase Sapphire Preferred®
- Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- Named a ‘Best Credit Card’ for Travel Rewards by MONEY Magazine
- $0 foreign transaction fees, plus chip-enabled for enhanced security and wider acceptance when used at a chip card reader
- 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value– that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
- Travel and shop with confidence with premium Travel and Purchase Protection Benefits, including Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Purchase Protection and more
- Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
You’ll earn double points on your airfare and hotel purchases, plus all of your restaurant visits on your vacations. Your 50,000 bonus points are valued at $625 towards airfare or hotels when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® – giving you even more savings on travel. Plus, you can transfer points to participating frequent travel programs at full value.
Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates.