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Testimonial: Visiting Southeast Asia in business class with points

To the point Find out how Philippe managed to save $29,017 on his business-class trip for two toSoutheast Asia with credit card reward points and loyalty programs.

Through a series of testimonials from our readers, Milesopedia presents what you can achieve with credit cards and loyalty programs.

Here is the project for a trip to Istanbul, Singapore,Vietnam and Dubai with business-class flights by Philippe and his wife Claudine. See their strategies and the savings they’ve made with reward points.


Philippe's Testimonial - Who are you?

I’m 45 and have been a Milesopedia reader since November 2020. At that time, I was already interested in the world of travel points, and I thought that my Capital One World Elite Voyage card, which gave me 2% on every purchase, was advantageous.

It was during the pandemic that I started reading more about reward programs. Discovering Milesopedia and all its free, high-quality content completely changed my way of thinking.

We like to take long weekend trips for a few days to watch sports games, and then take the opportunity to discover different American cities. What’s more, we regularly go to all-inclusives. Our trip to Asia will be our first of its kind over such a long period.


Philippe's Testimonial - Your travel project with points : Asia in business class

I’ll be traveling with my wife for a month in May 2024. We’ll use the trip to celebrate our 25th anniversary as a couple.

From the start of the accumulation of points, the objective was to take a trip of about a month for two people, but the destination was not determined. Above all, we wanted to plan a trip that would bn paid for in money and in business class, among other things.

The aim was also to take advantage of Aeroplanstopovers to see different countries in a relatively short time.

Our planned itinerary is as follows:

For an additional 5,000 Aeroplan points per person, we were able to add a 3-day stopover in Istanbul. This Aeroplan tip will allow us to visit one more destination on our trip to Asia.


Our strategy for booking plane tickets was relatively straightforward. We have combined two different types of points for our flights: Aeroplan and Avios.

We also wanted to fly business class for our longer segments. Here is a summary of our reservations for two people:

Flight Carrier and cabin Number and type of points used Money saved
Montreal-Lyon Air Canada inbusiness class 185,000 Aeroplan $18,382
Lyon-Istanbul Turkish Airlines in business class
Istanbul-Singapore Singapore Airlines in business class
Singapore-Ho Chi Minh City Singapore Airlines in Economy class 16,000 Aeroplan $183
Hanoi-Dubai Emirates Economy class 57,000 Aeroplan $1,352
Dubai-Doha-Montreal Qatar Airways Business class (Qsuite) 150,000 Avios $7,068

Transportation savings

A total of 258,000 Aeroplan points and 150,000 Avios points saved us a very impressive $26,985 on flights for two for our trip to Southeast Asia.

On Milesopedia, we often say that the best value for points is found in business class bookings.

Our flights prove it: with 185,000 Aeroplan points, we bought tickets worth $18,382. This equates to a remarkable 9.9¢ per point, almost 5x the average Milesopedia valuation!

For return flights, we also arrive at an excellent value of 4.7¢ per Avios mile.


So far, we’ve only booked the Westin Singapore for 69,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, a value of $2,032.

Based on the costs of Airbnb and hotels in Vietnam, we believe we’ll be paying in cash, as the exchange value won’t be at its full potential. However, we are considering Marriott Bonvoy points for our nights in Istanbul and Dubai.

Testimonial - Credit cards used

Accumulating points is a team effort for us. We each took out different credit cards to finance the trip:

Credit card Accumulation period Number of points used Points redemption method
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card (Mr.) 2 years 258,000 Aeroplan points Flight booking
CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* CardMD (Mrs.) 1 year
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card (Mr.) 6 months The equivalent of 150,000 Avios points Transfer to Avios
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® (Mrs.) 1 year Transfer to Avios
Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card (Mr. and Mrs.) 2 years and a half 69,000 Marriott Bonvoy points Hotel booking

The cards listed above are only those used for this trip. We currently have several other cards for other projects!

The benefits

With our credit cards, we will enjoy additional benefits such as :

For business-class flights, we will be entitled to free access to airport lounges, without having to use our credit card passes.

Tips for collecting more points

To boost our Aeroplan points balance, we used a few strategies. In past Aeroplan welcome bonuses, we exchanged the companion pass for 30,000 Aeroplan points. When we shop online, we use the Aeroplan eStore to earn extra points. Finally, we use family sharing to combine all our points together.

Above all, the best tips I can mention are :

  • Read, read and re-read Milesopedia articles and guides.
  • Look at publications on the Milesopedia Facebook group. I rarely ask questions, but I do read just about every post and comment.
  • Participating in Milesopedia events is a must. This allows us to exchange ideas with people of all levels, from ninjas to beginners, and to develop a network of contacts.

To stay up-to-date with upcoming events organized by Milesopedia, subscribe to our newsletter and join the 22,000 members of our Facebook group!


All told, we saved $29,017 on our business-class trip to Southeast Asia. This is just the beginning of our savings, as most of our hotels are not yet booked. For the moment, here is a breakdown of the amounts saved by category:

Grand total $29,017
Type of expense Savings
Transportation $26,985
Accommodation $2,032

Our points wallet is diversified and we used 3 different loyalty programs for this trip:

The final word

Although it wasn’t used for this trip, everyone should have an American Express Cobalt® Card. The accumulation rate is incredible, and it’s not true that American Express is only accepted in a few places. It is accepted in many restaurants and in a growing number of grocery stores such as IGA and Adonis.

When you buy gift cards for certain stores (SAQ, Decathlon, Canadian Tire), the points accumulate very quickly. In addition, we often have access to pre-sale tickets for shows at the Centre Vidéotron.

Finally, the Amex offers occasionally available on the card cover the annual fee. For example, with the United Airlines promotion (get a $250 credit with a $500 purchase) we flew to New York. The $250 account credit more than paid for the $155.88 annual fee!


Our adventure into the world of points is far from over. For our next major trip, we’re consideringSouth Africa as our destination. It’s a great place to maximize our Marriott Bonvoy points.

Thanks Milesopedia!

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