The Ultimate Guide to CheapOair – Will It Save You Money? [2020]

CheapOair graphic

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CheapOair is an online travel agency (OTA) where you can book flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and vacation packages.

Based on the name, you might assume that this site always offers the cheapest fares, but will CheapOair really save you money on your next trip?

In this post, we’ll walk you through the site to show you how to search for flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises, and vacation packages. Plus, we’ll do some price comparisons to see if CheapOair is the cheapest after all.

CheapOair Flights

A lot is happening on the CheapOair home page, but there’s no need to get overwhelmed. First, let’s take a look at how to search for a great deal on a flight.

How to Book a Flight on CheapOair [Step-By-Step]

  1. The first step is entering your destination, travel dates, and the number of people traveling, as well as the cabin class (which defaults to coach). If you want to specify an airline, search only for direct flights, or return from a different city, use the toggle switches or search fields below the main details. Once you’ve entered all your details, click Search Flights.

    CheapOair homepage
    Image Credit: CheapOair
  2. The first thing you’ll notice is that there’s a lot of information on your search results page. The top box is a summary of what’s available for each airline. Right above the search results list, you’ll see prices for the cheapest and shortest flights as well as flights on different days or from different airports. If you adjust your dates at the top left-hand side, you’ll see a low fare calendar (more on this below). If you want to filter your results manually, look on the bottom left-hand side.

    CheapOair flight low fare
    Image Credit: CheapOair
  3. To see more details about any flight, just click on Flight Details. If you can save money by choosing an alternate date or airport, you’ll see a green banner across the top of the results box. The price you see is your final price, including taxes and fees. Once you’re ready to book, click Select.

    CheapOair flight green banner
    Image Credit: CheapOair
  4. Next, you’ll be able to review your flight, select an upgrade, enter traveler details, and choose whether or not to purchase travel insurance and/or travel assist classic (scroll down for more on these). After you enter your payment details, click Confirm & Book to complete your transaction.

Low Fare Calendar

The CheapOair low fare calendar is a great tool to use if you have flexible travel plans. To find this tool, click on the date in your search. Note that this feature isn’t available for all flights.

CheapOair flight low fare
Image Credit: CheapOair

The low fare calendar will allow you to see the prices for your trip over 2 months in a calendar format. Click on any date in the calendar to bring up the flights available to book on that day.

Price Match Promise

CheapOair’s price match promise is similar to other OTAs. If you find a lower price for an identical itinerary on select English-language OTAs (for example Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, or Travelocity) within 24 hours of booking, CheapOair will refund you the difference or cancel your ticket for a full refund.

This price match promise only applies to fares available to the general public and excludes opaque bookings (those in which the final details aren’t available until after the booking is complete) and error fares.

You’ll be able to see if your flight is eligible for the price match promise on the trip summary page, right before you enter your payment information.

CheapOair flight price match
Image Credit: CheapOair

Booking Fees

CheapOair DOES charge booking fees of $0 to $35 for flights. You’ll be able to see the fee listed in the price details of your flight.

CheapOair flight agency fee
Image Credit: CheapOair

Travel Protection

CheapOair offers a trip insurance policy that covers the following:

  • Trip cancellation up to $100,000
  • Trip interruption up to $100,000
  • Accidental death and dismemberment up to $100,000
  • Travel delay up to $200
  • Baggage delay up to $200
CheapOair flight insurance
Image Credit: CheapOair

Whether or not you choose to purchase additional travel insurance is up to you. However, if you have the right credit card in your wallet, you might already be covered.

There are lots of major credit cards that offer travel accident insurance, trip cancellation insurance, and trip delay insurance. Here are some of our favorites:

Hot Tip: Having the right credit card in your wallet can provide you with travel insurance at no additional cost. 

Travel Assist Classic

CheapOair’s Travel Assist Classic package is available to purchase along with your flight. It comes with the following:

  • Emergency medical assistance
  • Personal concierge assistance
  • Visa and passport assistance
  • $50 travel savings coupon

The $50 travel coupon has a value of $10 per person for up to 5 people traveling on the same reservation booked through CheapOair. It must be used within 60 days and won’t be refunded if your booking is canceled.

Travel Assist Classic
Image Credit: CheapOair

The personal concierge service is a benefit you may already have. Many credit cards offer a concierge service as part of their benefits package, including:

Hot Tip: Many major credit cards offer a benefit similar to emergency medical assistance. See our recommendations for the best credit cards that offer travel accident insurance.

Book Now Pay Later

When you’re entering your payment information, you might notice an option to make monthly payments. This is a fancy way of selling you a loan.

CheapOair Book now pay later
Image Credit: CheapOair

CheapOair offers this to U.S. residents except for residents of Iowa and West Virginia. These loans are available in 3-, 6-, or 12-month increments and come with an APR that can be anywhere from 10% to 30%.

Price Comparisons

Let’s take a look at some price comparisons to see if CheapOair can save you money on your next flight.

Example #1: A round-trip flight on American Airlines from Columbus, Ohio (CMH) to Miami, Florida (MIA).

WebsiteCost of Ticket, Including All Taxes and Fees
American Airlines$187.59

CheapOair is the most expensive by far because of its $20 booking fee for this flight.

Example #2: For this example, let’s look at one of CheapOair’s advertised deals that claims will save you 40% — a round-trip flight from Dallas, Texas (DFW) to Denver, Colorado (DEN).

WebsiteCost of Ticket, Including All Taxes and Fees
American Airlines$96.60

Again CheapOair is actually the most expensive because of the booking fees it charges.

Example #3: CheapOair advertises lower rates to its members. So, let’s look at a recommended member deal (a round-trip from Columbus, Ohio (CMH) to Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina (RDU)) which claims to be at a 74% discount.

WebsiteCost of Ticket, Including All Taxes and Fees
Frontier Airlines$28.62

Unfortunately, CheapOair is the most expensive again — almost double the price of booking directly with an airline.

Bottom Line: CheapOair charges hefty booking fees which can often make it more expensive than other websites.

CheapOair Hotels

Despite the name, CheapOair can also be used to book hotels.

How to Book a Hotel on CheapOair [Step-By-Step]

  1. To begin your search for a hotel on CheapOair, click on Hotels in the main menu or main search box. Enter your destination, dates of travel, and the number of travelers and rooms. To search for a hotel by name or rating, click on the options below the main search boxes. Then click Search Hotels to continue.

    CheapOair hotel
    Image Credit: CheapOair
  2. You can filter your results with the options at the left of your screen — choose from things like price, rating, neighborhood, amenities, hotel brand, and more.

    CheapOair hotel filter results
    Image Credit: CheapOair
  3. Each search result will give you lots of information about the property including reviews, location, CheapOair Rewards (scroll down for more information), and price per night. Once you’ve chosen a hotel, click on I’ll reserve to continue.
  4. After selecting your room, you’ll be able to review your trip details and enter a promo code if you have one. Often you’ll see an available promo code listed with your trip price. Just click Apply to add it to your reservation.

    CheapOair hotel promo codes
    Image Credit: CheapOair
  5. If you scroll down a bit, you’ll see information about a Travel Protection Plan. This is an insurance plan that offers trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, and baggage delay protection. Scroll down for more information.

    CheapOair flight insurance
    Image Credit: CheapOair
  6. Finally, fill out your traveler and payment information. Then click Complete Booking to complete your transaction.

Hot Tip: The price you see in the hotel search results list is per night and does NOT include taxes and fees. CheapOair charges up to $42 per night per room in fees.

Travel Protection Plan

The Travel Protection Plan offered by CheapOair when booking a hotel reservation covers trip cancellation and interruption benefits up to $100,000, plus trip delay and baggage delay protection.

This extra insurance may be unnecessary if you pay for your reservation with a great travel rewards credit card.

One of the most popular credit cards for travelers is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. This card comes with trip cancellation, trip delay, and baggage delay insurance. plus car rental insurance and travel accident insurance.

Hot Tip: If you change or cancel a hotel reservation booked through CheapOair, you’re subject to a $25 fee per room per night. This is in addition to any cancellation fees charged by the hotel. Any service fee that you paid at the time of booking is non-refundable.

Price Comparisons

Let’s take a look to see if CheapOair hotels fare better than CheapOair flights in terms of saving you money.

Example #1: A week-long stay at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel London Heathrow Airport in a standard king room.

WebsitePrice for Hotel Room Including Taxes and Fees$1,336.00

As you can see, prices here are all over the map. While CheapOair would actually save a little compared with booking directly through the hotel, is the clear winner here.

Hot Tip: If you’re booking a chain hotel like a Marriott, Hyatt, or Hilton through CheapOair, you won’t earn any hotel loyalty points and your elite hotel status may not be recognized. If you’re loyal to 1 hotel chain and those things are important to you, it’s best to book directly with the hotel.

Example #2: A week-long stay at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion Barbados in a luxury oceanfront king room.

WebsitePrice for Hotel Room Including Taxes and Fees$3,971.80

In this example, CheapOair would save you about $50!

Bottom Line: CheapOair is more competitive on hotel prices than airline prices. You can save money booking through CheapOair sometimes, but it’s not always a slam dunk.

CheapOair Cars

Searching for a rental car on CheapOair is just as easy as searching for a hotel or flight.

How to Book a Rental Car on CheapOair [Step-By-Step]

  1. Click on Cars in the main search bar or the main search box to get started. Enter your pick up location plus pick up dates and times. If you would like to specify a rental company or type of car, more options are indicated below the search box. Then click Search Cars.

    CheapOair car rental
    Image Credit: CheapOair
  2. You can filter your results using the options on the left. If you only want to view a certain type of vehicle, click on one of the options at the top.

    Cheapoair car rental filter and sort
    Image Credit: CheapOair
  3. Each search result box will tell you the type of car, amenities, and rental company. There are 2 prices listed — per day and for the whole rental. These prices include all taxes and fees for the rental car but not the CheapOair booking fee. Click Select to continue.

    Cheapoair car rental search result
    Image Credit: CheapOair
  4. Next, confirm your rental details, choose whether or not to add insurance (scroll down for more on this), and enter your payment information. CheapOair may charge a booking fee of up to $40 for your rental car. This information will be clearly visible in the Rate Details section. Once you’ve added your payment information, click Book to complete your reservation.

    Cheapoair car rental booking fee
    Image Credit: CheapOair

Cheap Deals

You may notice some car rental search results that don’t display a car rental agency. Instead, you’ll see a “cheap deals” logo.

Cheapoair car rental cheap deals
Image Credit: CheapOair

This is CheapOair’s version of an opaque booking — one in which the rental agency (car, hotel, or airline) is unknown to you until the booking is complete.

CheapOair’s Cheap Deals on rental cars will come from one of its preferred partner agencies including:

These types of rentals can save you money, but not always. If you’re particular about where you rent from, skip these cheap deals. However, if you don’t care where you rent from, and the price is good, these bookings can be worth it.

Hot Tip: Check out our picks for the best car rental companies, from those offering the cheapest rates to those with the best loyalty programs for regular renters.

Rental Car Damage Protection Plan

Before you complete your rental car booking on CheapOair, you’ll have to choose whether or not to purchase car rental insurance.

This insurance is primary, meaning you don’t have to submit a claim with any other insurance you may have first. It has a $0 deductible and comes with loss and damage coverage up to $35,000.

Cheapoair car rental insurance
Image Credit: CheapOair

Before you decide to add this extra insurance, think about what credit card you’re using. Many major credit cards come with car rental insurance built into their benefits.

Here are just some of the options available:

Chase Credit Cards That Come With Car Rental Insurance:

American Express Credit Cards That Come With Car Rental Insurance:

Barclays Credit Cards That Come With Car Rental Insurance:

Hot Tip: Choosing whether or not to purchase additional car rental insurance can be confusing. To help sort it all out, we created a guide to the best credit cards for car rental insurance.

Price Comparisons

Now, let’s get to the important part — can renting a car through CheapOair save you money?

Example #1: A weeklong rental of a full-sized car (a Chevy Malibu or similar).

WebsiteCost of the Rental Car Including Taxes and Fees
Car Rental Agency’s website$239.92
Kayak$218.02 (opaque booking)

Unfortunately, CheapOair came out as the most expensive in this example, primarily because of the booking fees it charges.

Example #2: The cheapest available option for a weekend rental (regardless of car type).

WebsiteCost of the Rental Car Including Taxes and Fees$40.38
CheapOair$84.75 (opaque booking)

Again, in this example, CheapOair is the most expensive — more than double the price of the lowest option.

Bottom Line: CheapOair charges booking fees on rental cars, and therefore, is often more expensive than other websites.

CheapOair Vacations

When you need to book a flight and hotel, booking a vacation package through an online travel agency like CheapOair will usually save you some money.

How to Book a Vacation Package on CheapOair [Step-By-Step]

  1. Your vacation package can consist of any combination of hotel, flight, and/or rental car. Choose your package type in the main search box. Then you’ll need to enter some basic information: departure and destination cities, travel dates, number of people traveling, number of rooms, and flight class. You can also add specifics like the hotel name or rating. Then click Search Now.

    CheapOair packages
    Image Credit: CheapOair
  2. These search results will look a little different than the others. The filtering options will be on the right side of your screen this time. As always, you can sort your list by popularity, price, total savings, or ratings using the sort options right above the search results list.

    CheapOair package filter
    Image Credit: CheapOair
  3. Each search result will include the entire vacation package (a hotel and flight in this example). To see flight details or make changes use the buttons at the bottom of the search box. The price you see is per person and includes all parts of the trip, including taxes and fees. Click Select to continue.

    CheapOair packages flight details
    Image Credit: CheapOair
  4. Next, you’ll be able to upgrade your room choice. Click Add to Trip to continue.

    CheapOair add to trip
    Image Credit: CheapOair
  5. Review your flight details and click and Continue.

    CheapOair package continue
    Image Credit: CheapOair
  6. You can now view the details of your entire trip. If you have a promo code, enter it and click Apply. If everything is in order, click Book Now at the bottom to complete your reservation.

    CheapOair promo code
    Image Credit: CheapOair

Price Comparisons

Let’s find out if CheapOair can save you money on your next vacation.

Example #1: A package including a 7-night stay at the Riu Palace Aruba All Inclusive resort plus 2 round-trip tickets from Nashville, Tennessee (BNA) to Aruba (AUA).

  • Total cost of vacation package booked through CheapOair: $5,032.71
  • Total cost of hotel and airline booked separately through CheapOair: $5,547.93
  • Total cost of hotel and airline booked separately through the hotel and airline’s websites: $5,845.26

As you can see, booking this vacation package on CheapOair will save you over $800!

Hot Tip: When searching for a vacation package, pay attention to the flight portion of the package. We found that most of the options were terrible and included long, overnight layovers. When searching for the flight portion of your package, sort your results by Shorter / Direct Flight to see the best flights.

Example #2: A weeklong stay at El Mangroove, Autograph Collection Costa Rica plus 2 round-trip flights from San Jose, California (SJC) to Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR)

  • Total cost of vacation package booked through CheapOair: $3,459.63
  • Total cost of hotel and airline booked separately through CheapOair: $3,127.14
  • Total cost of hotel and airline booked separately through the hotel and airline’s websites: $3,163.57

The good news here is that booking your hotel and flight separately on CheapOair would save you money. The bad news is that the package deal is actually the most expensive option!

The hotel portion of this example was less expensive on the Marriott website, while the flight portion was the least expensive on the CheapOair website. This is a good reason why you should always price out a vacation package before you make a purchase.

CheapOair Cruises

When you go to book a cruise on CheapOair, the first thing you’ll notice is that you’ll be taken to Avoya Travel.

Image Credit: Avoya Travel

Avoya Travel is not a typical online travel agency. Through its site, you can search for a cruise vacation, but you’re required to call to make a booking.

You’ll be able to see some basic pricing information online but to get any final pricing you need to make a phone call or submit your name, email, and phone number to join and unlock member pricing.

Hot Tip: If you’ve booked your cruise, don’t forget to pack smart with our ultimate cruise packing list (it’s printable!). 

CheapOair Credit Cards

CheapOair has its own credit cards — but are they a good deal?

Here is a quick look at what the CheapOair credit cards offer:

  • No annual fee
  • $50 statement credit after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • 6 points per $1 spent on CheapOair purchases
  • 4 points per $1 spent on dining
  • 2 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
Cheapoair credit card
Image Credit: CheapOair

CheapOair rewards points are worth 0.5 cents each. While this card can earn lots of points, the bad news is that those points aren’t worth much and can only be redeemed for flights and hotels on CheapOair.

Hot Tip: There are actually 3 versions of this card — a private label card that can only be used at CheapOair, a Visa version, and a Visa Signature version. There is only 1 link to apply, so it’s unclear which card you’ll get.

If you’re looking for an easy way to earn some valuable points for your everyday purchases, you’re most likely better off with a card that earns transferable points.

Here are a few options that offer great sign-on bonuses plus great rewards categories:

If you’d prefer a credit card with no annual fee that also earns points, consider one of these cards:

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited® card: Earn 5% on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and earn 1.5% back on all other purchases, or you can choose to redeem your points in the Ultimate Rewards travel portal for 1 cent each
  • Citi® Double Cash Card: Earn 2% cash-back on every purchase — 1% when you make your purchase, another 1% when you pay your bill
  • The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card: Earns 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year) plus earn a 20% bonus when you make 20 or more purchases within a billing period

CheapOair Rewards

Like many other online travel agencies, CheapOair offers its own loyalty program.

How to Earn CheapOair Rewards Points

When you first join CheapOair Rewards, you’ll get 500 bonus points to start with. Then you can earn additional points by booking travel through CheapOair.

CheapOair rewards earn
Image Credit: CheapOair
  • Earn 1 to 3 CheapOair Rewards points per $1 spent on flights, hotels, and cars (based on your level of membership, see below)
  • Earn 2 CheapOair Rewards points per $1 spent on flights, hotels, and cars booked through the mobile app
  • Earn 6 CheapOair Rewards points per $1 spent when you use your CheapOair credit card to pay for flights, hotels, and cars
  • Earn 500 points for signing up for CheapOair Rewards
  • Earn 500 points for your first booking
  • Refer a friend who books through CheapOair and you’ll both earn 5,000 points

Levels of Membership

CheapOair rewards tiers
Image Credit: CheapOair
  • Bronze: Sign up to automatically become a Bronze Member; earn 1 point per $1 spent on flights, hotels, and cars
  • Silver: Make 1 booking or spend $1,000 to become a Silver Member; earn 1 point per $1 spent on flights, hotels, and cars
  • Gold: Make 2 bookings or spend $2,000 to become a Gold Member; earn 2 points per $1 spent on flights, hotels, and cars
  • Platinum: Make 3 bookings or spend $3,000 to become a Platinum Member; earn 3 points per $1 spent on flights, hotels, and cars

How to Redeem CheapOair Rewards Points

You can redeem your CheapOair Rewards points towards flights or hotels. 1 CheapOair rewards point = 0.5 cents.

For every 1,000 points, you can get a $5 gift card to use towards a flight. Or for every 200 points, you can get a $1 discount on a hotel.

Any available CheapOair Rewards you have will be visible in the Price Details section before you enter your payment method. Make sure you’re logged into your account to see your rewards.

CheapOair Rewards
Image Credit: CheapOair

Bottom Line: CheapOair offers its own loyalty program. You can earn points by booking flights, hotels, and rental cars, then redeem your points for discounts on flights or hotels. CheapOair Rewards points are worth 0.5 cents each.

CheapOair Promo Codes

One of the nice things about CheapOair is that it offers numerous promo codes right on its website. You’ll see these on the home page, on search pages, and even when you’re ready to check out.

Be sure to read the fine print so you aren’t disappointed. Often the discount code will be based on 2 travelers.

In the example below, this code offers $20 off booking fees, but it’s actually a maximum of $10 each for 2 people. So, you won’t be able to get a $20 discount if you’re just booking 1 ticket.

CheapOair Promo Codes
Image Credit: CheapOair

Where to Find CheapOair Promo Codes

In addition to the CheapOair website, there are other places to look for coupons and promo codes.

Here are a few websites to check before you make a booking with CheapOair:

Hot Tip: You’ll be able to enter any promo code you have in the Price Details section (usually to the right side of your screen) before you complete your reservation.

CheapOair Mobile App

CheapOair offers a free mobile app that can be downloaded through the App Store or Google Play.

CheapOair app
Image Credit: CheapOair

The app can be used to book flights, hotels, and rental cars. Plus you can track and manage your trips. In addition to credit cards, you can pay with Apple Pay and Android Pay when booking through the app.

You’ll earn 2 CheapOair rewards points per $1 on any reservation booked through the mobile app.

Final Thoughts

CheapOair is an online travel agency that offers flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises, and vacation packages.

Unfortunately, this site rarely lives up to its name. While there were some instances that CheapOair had lower prices, most of the time, its prices were among the highest. One of the reasons for this is that it charges booking fees.

While it does provide some benefits in the form of a loyalty program, its higher prices will generally negate any savings you may get.

Frequently asked questions

Can I get a refund from CheapOair?

Whether or not you’ll be able to get a refund from CheapOair depends on the specific terms of your reservation. Most flights are non-refundable, however, if you cancel the same day you booked, you won’t be charged for your flight.

Hotel reservations can vary from 100% non-refundable to free cancellation within 24 hours. After that, a hotel reservation is subject to a $25 per room fee when canceled at least 4 days prior to check-in.

Can I change my flight on CheapOair?

You can sometimes change a flight you booked on CheapOair by calling its customer service line at 866-636-9088 or 212-478-0335. However, you will be responsible for any difference in fare plus change fees that can be $100 or more per ticket. Some flights can’t be changed at all.

Where can I use my CheapOair credit card?

There are 3 versions of the CheapOair credit card — a private label card, a Visa card, and a Visa Signature card. Either of the Visa versions can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. The private-label version (there will be no Visa logo on the card) can only be used at CheapOair.

How much are CheapOair points worth?

CheapOair rewards points are worth 0.5 cents per point. Keep this in mind if you’re considering applying for its credit card. The rewards categories are decent, but the low points value makes the earning potential minimal.

Katie Seemann

About Katie Seemann

Katie is an Ohio native who caught the travel bug after spending a semester in college in Nottingham, England. In addition to exploring England, she visited Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands during that time and loved every minute of it (everything except the hostel in Scotland – that’s an experience she doesn’t intend on repeating!) In 2015, Katie discovered the world of points and miles, and since then she’s earned countless points and has an embarrassingly large number of credit cards in her wallet (which she needs a spreadsheet to keep track of!)

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  1. Obviously a very thorough discussion. I was hoping to read that they really do save you money and are reliable, but it looks like the booking fees kill off that idea. Thanks for the analysis.


    • Hi DaveS,
      Yes, it’s unfortunate that they charge fees. While they sometimes still can offer a competitive price, more often than not, the fees can make them more expensive than many other sites.


  2. You didn’t compare international flights. This is where Cheap O Air has the best deals.


Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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