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Aeroplan Sweet Spots from Europe

To the point Understand Aeroplan sweet spots from Europe for budget-friendly travel to Africa, the Middle East, the sub-Indian continent, and Central Asia. Maximize points, and save money!

In this article, we delve into the art of strategic points planning, revealing clever strategies for discovering incredible destinations in Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian Subcontinent without breaking the bank with some Aeroplan sweet spots from Europe with a few examples.

Staying within the Atlantic zone

The Aeroplan reward chart is based on the distance flown but also on the zones you go through and whether there are Air Canada’s dynamic segments in the itinerary or not.

Therefore, if you want to travel to Africa or India with Aeroplan points, you will likely be subject to a dynamic fare since you must fly to Brussels or Frankfurt with Air Canada before catching your connecting flights. While that can sometimes work in your favour as dynamic pricing goes both ways, often, there’s a higher chance it will up the price.

The other common trick to get the best rate on Aeroplan is to aim to fly on partner airlines’ flights exclusively. But availability may be scarce and hard to come by, especially if you wish to fly in business class.

Aeroplan Travel Zones

However, if you are familiar with Google Flights explore tools and are flexible on dates, finding an inexpensive entryway in Europe is not hard. Indeed, you can position yourself anywhere on the old continent with a cheap flight like this one to Brussels or Paris.

YUL BRU positioning
YUL CDG positioning

Then, you can use Aeroplan points for your ongoing flights on fixed pricing since all segments will be with partner airlines.

Aeroplan Atlantic Zone

Take advantage of this to spend some time in your gateway as well.

Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Istanbul are the major hubs for Star Alliance members; you can also employ low-cost carriers, buses, or train if the subsequent flights are not from your gateway.

Flights to Africa

Flights to Africa can be very expensive, but we’ve found some interesting ways to reach the continent while saving both money and your precious points with these Aeroplan sweet spots from Europe.

Indeed, unless your destination is Morocco or Egypt, where direct routes are available from Montreal, you will most likely have to transit in Europe or the Middle East before being able to embark on your African safari.


Madagascar entices travellers with its unrivalled biodiversity, which includes endemic lemurs, breathtaking landscapes such as baobab alleys and tsingy formations, and pristine beaches. The rich cultural heritage of the island adds another layer of intrigue. Madagascar offers a truly unique and unforgettable adventure, with extraordinary wildlife and awe-inspiring panoramas.

When we went to Madagascar, the shortest and cheapest itinerary was from Montreal-Paris-Antananarivo with Air France for about $2,700 per person in economy class. I scoured Google Flights, and that cost still seems to be about what you should expect to pay nowadays. Expensive, isn’t it?

YUL to Madagascar cash

If we look at Aeroplan’s pricing from Montreal to Madagascar, we can find fares at 133,200 points + $299 in taxes.

YUL to Madagascar Aeroplan

Usually, our next step would be to calculate the value of your points with the most affordable cash fare you can find as such:

($2,869—$299) ÷ 133,200 points x 100 = 1.93 ¢

That is pretty good for an economy class award flight considering Milesopedia estimates the value of Aeroplan points at 2 ¢ each.

However, we shouldn’t stop there; by positioning ourselves in Brussels (or whichever is the cheapest gateway you can find for your desired dates), this Aeroplan sweet spots from Europe strategy can save you a lot of points.

Indeed, here is the recap, in value, of the strategy:

Flight Points component Cash component
Montreal to Brussels $768
Brussels to Madagascar 71,000 Aeroplan Points $234
Europe to Madagascar Aeroplan

This way, you will need 71,000 Aeroplan Points and approximately $1,000 for the return trip to Madagascar.

This means you will be paying about $700 more in cash, but you are saving 62,200 points; that number of points is worth much more than $700 when you value them at 2 ¢ a piece.

There are also many tactics to cover the cost of your positioning flight; you can use cash back rewards or travel points such as CIBC Aventura points. With the generous welcome bonus of the CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite* Card and the current redemption rate, you can get $500 worth of statement credit for your positioning flight!


Mauritius, a stunning island nation in the Indian Ocean, is celebrated for its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cultural tapestry. Key attractions include the pristine beaches such as Trou aux Biches and the serene Blue Bay Marine Park, which are paradises for sun-seekers and snorkelers alike. The lush Black River Gorges National Park invites nature enthusiasts with its rich biodiversity and scenic hiking trails.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Le Morne Brabant Mountain, stands as a symbol of the island’s history of resistance against slavery. I particularly enjoyed the underwater waterfall illusion off the coast, a mesmerizing visual treat created by the movement of sand and silt deposits on the ocean floor.

We can repeat the same exercise, starting with the Aeroplan fare from Europe to Mauritius for your Island stay.

Air Mauritius is an Aeroplan Partner and serves Rome (FCO), Geneva (GVA), Paris (CDG), London (LGW).

Here are the Aeroplan fares for a round-trip flight to Mauritius from Europe on Air Mauritius:

  • 71,000 Aeroplan points + $187 in economy class
  • 120,000 Aeroplan points + $187 in business class
gva mru aeroplan business
mru cdg aeroplan business

Now, let’s check the cash price  you can find on Google Flights for the same flights:

  • 1,334 euros in economy class (or $1,955)
  • 4,340 euros in business class (or $6,392)
gva mru cdg google flights business

Let’s compare the two values:

  • Economy class: ($1,955 – $187) ÷ 71,000 points x 100 = 2.49 ¢
  • Business class: ($6,392 – $187) ÷ 120,000 points x 100 = 5.17 ¢

That’s an outstanding value for a 12-hour flight.

If you are a Canadian or an American, it’s easy to earn points with credit cards. If you come from another part of the world, it could make sense to buy Aeroplan Points to book these flights. 

For example, buying 120,000 Aeroplan Points with an 80% bonus (recurring promotion) would cost $2,328 or 1,587 euros. That’s almost the same cost as a flight in economy class—except you’ll fly business!

promotion achat points aeroplan


Tanzania, a captivating East African country, has a plethora of highlights that draw visitors from all over the world. The Serengeti National Park, where the Great Migration takes place, is undoubtedly the crown jewel, with millions of wildebeest and zebras crossing vast plains. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest point, beckons adventurers to scale its majestic peak.

The Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a stunning natural amphitheatre teeming with wildlife. I really liked my Jeep safari excursions in Tanzania among all the ones I had the chance to do.

We can repeat the same exercise, starting with the cash price you can find on Google Flights and the Aeroplan fare from Montreal to Tanzania for your African safari.

YUL to Tanzania Cash
YUL to Tanzania Aeroplan

($2,290 – $206) ÷ 139,000 points x 100 = 1.50 ¢

Since the valuation is lower than usual, I would consider paying cash and saving my points for future use when they can be worth more.

By utilizing our Aeroplan sweet spots from Europe strategy, I would have to pay 71,000 Aeroplan points + $941 for the return trip.

Europe to Tanzania Aeroplan

As I mentioned, I was prepared to pay $2,290 for a cash fare to Tanzania. If I position myself in Europe and use Aeroplan, I will only need to depart from $941 of my hard-earned cash. It’s another way to look at it.

Points, on the other hand, are super easy to obtain. Indeed, one credit card subscription with the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card is enough to get the points required for this situation.

South Africa

South Africa, a fascinating southern African destination, offers a variety of extraordinary experiences for everyone, whether you travel solo or as a family.

South Africa is a land of diversity and adventure, from thrilling wildlife safaris in renowned national parks like Kruger to the breathtaking beauty of Table Mountain in Cape Town and the stunning coastal drives along the Garden Route. The country’s rich cultural heritage, vibrant cities, and scenic Winelands add to its allure.

South Africa is also very far away from North America and Europe! From the former, the journey can easily tally up to close to 20 hours in the air, while it can take you about 13 hours of flight time from the Old Continent, all that in addition to layover time.

With that much travel time, you can also use this Aeroplan sweet spots from Europe strategy to fly in business class most of the way. Sure, you can find standard points fares from North America to South Africa to fly in a lay flat all the way, but it will cost a lot of points, i.e. around 200,000 per person return.

YUL to South Africa Aeroplan J

While going all-in with points from North America can make sense for premium cabins, you need to juggle with availability on partner airlines and avoid disadvantageous dynamic pricing on Air Canada. If you plan early, you won’t have much trouble with this, as it’s the key to uncovering the best prices on Aeroplan.

However, chances are that you will not find acceptable routings or prices, and you may be stuck on a mixed cabin fare. This means that a portion of your itinerary will be in economy class.

If that’s the case, it’s worth comparing with a positioning flight in Europe if you are to fly a portion at the back of the plane anyways, and travel comfortably for most of your journey with a glass of sparkling wine in your hand for 120,000 points return.

Europe to South Africa Aeroplan J

Furthermore, even if you did manage to find the whole journey in business class at a reasonable price from North America, it will still be more cost worthy than from Europe.

A cheap positioning flight paid in cash paired with an onward business class flight with Aeroplan points can be a compromise if you want to save some points for other uses.

Flights to the Middle East, South Asia and Central Asia

You can also apply this strategy if your final destination is in the Middle East, South Asia or Central Asia, as these areas are included in the Atlantic travel zone.

Cash airfare to this region varies a lot, as I’ve seen deals to go to Dubai or Uzbekistan pop up occasionally. However, if you are not flexible at all and your travel dates happen to be towards the higher end, using the Old Continent as a base, and the Aeroplan sweet spots from Europe can help you save significantly.


The Maldives, an Indian Ocean tropical paradise, enchants with its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life. It is the ultimate destination for a slice of paradise, with luxurious overwater villas and unforgettable snorkelling and diving experiences.

Travelling on a budget in the Maldives is also very feasible; we did so as a family and found the experience to be just as wonderful as our time in the five-star resorts, albeit in a different way.

We covered all information on how to reach the Maldives with Aeroplan points in this article. To sum it up, it cost about 133,000 points + $214 from Montreal.

YUL to Maldives Aeroplan

The economy class cash fares to Malé vary between $2,400 and $2,800 for the same dates, depending on your route.

The price you use for your calculations can either be the cheapest one you would want to pay or the price of the same one as the award flights. This kind of reasoning is explained in detail in this article. Here, I’ll take the same flights on Emirates to compare.

YUL to Maldives cash

($2,781 – $214) ÷ 133,000 points x 100 = 1.9 ¢

This is a fair use of your Aeroplan points.

With our Aeroplan flights from Europe strategy, we come up with this:

Flight Points component Cash component
Montreal to Brussels $768
Brussels to Malé 71,000 Aeroplan Points $205

As our Madagascar result with 71,000 points + $973, you can save 62,000 points (worth $1,240) in exchange for a difference in the cash component of the positioning flight at $768.

Europe to Maldives Aeroplan

Central Asia

A couple of weeks ago, I was looking at an amazing itinerary with Gadventures throughout the five Stans of the Silk Road. I was drawn to Central Asia, specifically Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, because of their culture, bustling bazaars and intricate Islamic art.

The Silk Road, a past trade route, winds through breathtaking scenery and ancient sites, from the majestic mountains of Kyrgyzstan to the awe-inspiring architecture of Uzbekistan’s historical cities like Samarkand and Bukhara.

samarkand 196924 1280

As you can see, with Google Flights Explore Tool, the flights range from $1,400 to over $10,000!

Google Flights Central Asia Explore from YUL
YUL to Central Asia Cash
YUL to Central Asia Aeroplan

After entering my given dates and multi-city airports to match my tour with, the average flight was about $2,800 for my trip or 110,000 Aeroplan points.

($2,776 – $287) ÷ 110,000 points x 100 = 2.26 ¢

2.26 ¢ is an excellent valuation for Aeroplan points when flying in economy class, and many premium credit cards can offer you the number of points you need for this kind of flight, like the American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card, which requires no minimum income.

Indeed, there are hefty fees for premium cards, but if you would consider paying 599$ to earn those points compared to paying over $2,500 in airfare, it all makes much more sense!

As for Aeroplan sweet spots from Europe, Central Asia is an ideal destination.

Europe to Central Asia Aeroplan
Flight Points component Cash component
Montreal to Brussels $768

Brussels to Bishkek +

Ashgabat to Brussel

50,000 Aeroplan Points $181

Our calculations show that you can save 60,000 Aeroplan points by positioning yourself in Europe with a cheap $600-$800 flight while saving at least $1,200 worth of points you can use for another trip.

Remember that American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card I mentioned earlier and its generous bonus? That’s enough points for two flights from Europe to Central Asia!

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, a fascinating island nation, has many attractions. Sri Lanka is a treasure trove of natural and cultural wonders, from ancient UNESCO World Heritage sites like Sigiriya Rock Fortress to stunning tea plantations in the central highlands and pristine beaches along the coastline.

nine arch 5871882 1280

I also find prices to Sri Lanka and other countries in the area, such as India or Nepal, to be expensive. So having a fixed fare at 71,000 points is excellent since you can plan your credit card subscriptions without the fear of facing Air Canada’s dynamic pricing; these flights are Aeroplan sweet spots from Europe.

Europe to Sri Lanka Aeroplan

Bottom Line

In every case, you must do your calculations because it will always depend on both:

  • The cost of the positioning flight
  • The cost to travel from your home to your destination on the same ticket (both in cash and points)

Only then, can you know if you have a nice deal in front of you or not; while cash fares to Europe during peak summertime can be expensive, a period like February can be an ideal time to execute this strategy. It’s cold in Paris in February, thus explaining the easiness of finding cheap flights, but the weather is really nice in the Maldives or in Namibia!

Since there are a lot of Aeroplan destinations from Europe that require between 50,000 and 71,000 points for a roundtrip, please take a closer look at the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card and its welcome bonus!

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I'm Aline, an experienced traveller, a foodie at heart, an Avgeek, a photography enthusiast and an expert on credit card programs. I use Reward Points to travel on a budget and to save money on everyday life; writing about these topics allows me to share my passion and help you. ~ 7 continents and 75 countries ~

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