Disclaimer – these fares won’t last forever; they’ll likely expire by December 18th.
If you live near a major US city, you’ll be able to purchase round-trip flights to Shanghai for under $850 and round-trip flights to Beijing for under $800 in early 2016. It appears that the cheap flights are only available for trips with at least a two night stay in China (see below for examples). The fares are easy to find by using Google Flights and screen shots are provided below. These fares are so cheap that it’s definitely worth it to consider flying American over budget carries. A trip from JFK (through ORD) to PVG will earn you (with no elite status) 15,000 frequent flier and elite miles. In addition, you should purchase the airfare with a credit card similar to the Citi Prestige (3 ThankYou points per dollar) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred (2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar) cards to maximize the number of points that you will earn for your purchase.
Dates: end of February through mid-April 2016
Please let me know in the comments if you’re able to take advantage of this fare.