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

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Related: Why you should care about Aeroplan even if you never visit Canada
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 70,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in your first three months of account opening. 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
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.
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