3 Round-the-World Trips That Will Help You Get the Most Out of Your Aeroplan Points

Ever since Aeroplan revamped their rewards program last year, travelers have had a unique opportunity to travel around the world with a surprisingly low number of points.

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Ever since Aeroplan revamped its rewards program last year, travelers have had a unique opportunity to travel around the world with a surprisingly low number of points. And no — I’m not talking about Aeroplan’s “Round-the-World” awards program (it’s discontinued). I’m talking about something that will cost you fewer points and allow you to travel longer distances: stopovers.

What are stopovers?

Under Aeroplan’s new rewards program, a stopover can last up to 45 days in duration and will cost you an extra 5,000 points. Your stopover could be on route to your final destination, such as a flight to Moscow that stops in London. Or it can be slightly off, such as a stopover in Cape Town with a final destination in Istanbul.

With stopovers, you can make numerous round-the-world trips without using too many of your points. To get the most out of them, however, you have to know how to navigate Aeroplan’s reward chart.

As you’ll see on the chart, Aeroplan separates the world into four zones: North America, South America, Pacific, and Atlantic. In each zone, you’ll see a range of distances, with an estimated number of points required to fly economy, business, and first class. As long as you know the distance between your place of origin and your final destination, as well as your stopovers, you can get a rough estimate of how many points you’ll need to cover your adventure.

One important thing to note: flying to one zone over another could cost you fewer points. For instance, flying 9,000 miles from North America to the Atlantic would cost you around 70,000 points on a partner airline. Flying the same distance between North America to the Pacific would cost you only 60,000 points. As we’ll see below, this will come in handy when you’re figuring out your final destination, as, oftentimes, it’s more advantageous to have one city be the final destination with another as the stopover.

Three round-the-world trips worth your points

1. Toronto to Hong Kong via Moscow

Flying to Moscow from Toronto is around 4,636 miles. From Moscow to Hong Kong, it’s another 4,432 miles. That’s a total of 9,071 miles, which will put you in the 7,501-11,000 range on the Pacific chart. For a partner airline (economy), you’d cough up 60,000 points, plus 5,000 for the stopover for a total of 65,000 points. If you wanted to fly business, you’d pay 90,000 total — not bad for a flight with this much distance covered.

2. Toronto to Cape Town via London

Flying from Toronto to London is around 3,556 miles, and London to Cape Town is 6,017 miles, for a total of 9,573. Cape Town is in the Atlantic zone, so you’ll pay around 70,000 points plus the 5,000 stopover, or 75,000 (for an economy flight).

But consider this: if you wanted to visit a country in Asia, say, Japan, you might be able to use the same number of Aeroplan points with Cape Town as a stopover. Flying from Toronto to Cape Town is a whopping 8,136 miles. From Cape Town to Tokyo, it’s another 9,183 miles. You’ll travel a total of 17,319 miles, putting you in the +11,001 category on the Pacific chart. The estimate for an economy flight in this category is 75,000 points, plus the 5,000-point stopover, for a total of 80,000 points — only 5,000 more than the scenario above.

3. Toronto to Seoul via New Delhi

Flying from Toronto to New Delhi is 7,224 miles, with a flight from New Delhi to Seoul incurring another 2,910 miles. The total mileage is 10,134 miles, which will put you in the 7,501-11,000 range on the Pacific chart. To complete this adventure, you’ll need an estimated 65,000 points. Not bad, right?

Bottom line

If you have the miles, you should absolutely use stopovers to turn a one-stop vacation into a multiple-stop adventure. Of course, you don’t have to fly out of Toronto. In some cases, it might be more advantageous to fly out of a city on the west coast or to fly out of the United States. Experiment with cities to see which one is right for you.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Steven Porrello has no position in the companies mentioned. 

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