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Quick Points: How to save 17.5K Aeroplan points by ending a trip to India in Southeast Asia

Dec. 16, 2022
6 min read
The Singapore skyline and Marina Bay
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Globetrotting is a fun hobby, especially when traveling the world in first or business class.

As you'd expect, traveling to the opposite side of the world in a premium cabin usually costs a lot of points. But what if I told you that you could save points by adding a destination to your trip — and flying business class on a five- or six-hour flight to that destination?

In the case of Air Canada Aeroplan, that's possible if you're flying to India but end your journey in Southeast Asia. Let's take a closer look at this award chart oddity that can save you almost 17,500 points on your next trip to Asia.

Save Aeroplan points by adding a stopover

End your trip to India in Singapore or another city in Southeast Asia to save points. SUHAIMI ABDULLAH/GETTY IMAGES

Aeroplan has a popular stopover feature that allows members to add a stop on award redemptions for an extra 5,000 points. But if you're traveling to India, adding a stopover decreases the cost of an award ticket.

This is because India is within Aeroplan's Atlantic region, which includes Africa, Europe, the entire Indian subcontinent and the Middle East. Since many connecting routes from the U.S. to India are 8,000-plus miles, Aeroplan requires 110,000 points for a business-class trip to Delhi or Mumbai operated by its partners.

AIR CANADA

While some nonstop flights on Air India may fall into the lower mileage tier, flights on premier carriers like Etihad Airways will almost always price into this highest band.

AIRCANADA.COM

Meanwhile, Singapore — and the majority of Asia — falls under the Pacific zone. If you want to add a stopover in Mumbai for 5,000 points and continue to Southeast Asia, the entire itinerary would be priced in the Pacific zone rates, which are lower on some of the longest tickets.

AIR CANADA

Since this itinerary would be 10,528 miles, it would fall in the 7,501-11,000-mile distance band, and the cost would be 87,500 points plus the 5,000 stopover points for a total of 92,500 Aeroplan points. Not bad if you want to fly from the East Coast to India before spending a week exploring and continuing to Singapore.

AIRCANADA.COM

By first visiting Mumbai and adding a 5 1/2-hour business-class flight to Singapore, the price drops from 110,000 points to 92,500 points. This is a 17,500-point savings over ending your journey in India. Plus, you can fly that last segment in Singapore Airlines' excellent business-class product.

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Related: Why you should care about Aeroplan even if you never visit Canada

How to earn Aeroplan points

You can transfer many types of credit card points to Aeroplan. WYATT SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

Thankfully, Aeroplan points are some of the easiest to earn. You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One and Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Aeroplan at a 1:1 transfer ratio. Further, Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to Aeroplan at a 3:1 transfer ratio, with 5,000 bonus Aeroplan points added to each transfer of 60,000 Marriott points.

Here's a look at some of our favorite Amex cards you can use to earn Membership Rewards points:

You can also earn Aeroplan points directly with the Aeroplan Credit Card. This card offers 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening, plus 40,000 points after you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months your account is open. Plus, it includes a variety of perks, like Aeroplan 25K elite status for the remainder of the calendar year in which you open the card and the entirety of the following year. You can extend your status by spending $15,000 on the card in one calendar year.

Related: How (and why) you should earn transferable points

Bottom line

It’s not often that adding an extra flight saves you airline miles, not to mention saving miles while traveling in business class. But, thanks to Aeroplan’s zone-based award chart, ending a trip in Asia can sometimes decrease total redemption costs when compared to longer Atlantic itineraries.

Visiting two cities, enjoying over 22 hours in business class, and saving some miles — now that's a win-win!

Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh.

Featured image by FRASER HALL/GETTY IMAGES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees