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.
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|
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.
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 TDMD AeroplanMD (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 EliteMD Mastercard® (Mrs.)||1 year||Transfer to Avios|
|Marriott BonvoyMD American ExpressMD* 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!
With our credit cards, we will enjoy additional benefits such as :
- Access to airport lounges with the CIBC AventuraMD Visa Infinite* Card
- An annual travel credit of $100 and no conversion fees on foreign currency transactions with the HSBC World EliteMD Mastercard®.
- Free checked baggage with the TDMD AeroplanMD Visa Infinite* Card on flights operated by Air Canada.
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
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.
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:
|Type of expense||Savings|
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 CobaltMD 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.
Read on for more testimonials from members of the Milesopedia community: