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Aeroplan Elite Status: Should You Choose Your 2022 Select Benefits Now?

Now that we’re in 2022, it’s time for a bit of housekeeping in each of your loyalty program accounts to prepare for another year of earning and burning.

If you’re an Aeroplan Elite Status member, you’ll be able to choose your 2022 Select Benefits in your member portal upon logging into your Aeroplan account.

However, there are a few unique considerations around whether you should select your benefits now, or if it makes more sense to wait. 

You Can Now Choose Your 2022 Select Benefits

Aeroplan Elite Status benefits are divided into Core Benefits and Select Benefits.

All members receive the Core Benefits associated with their status levels automatically as of the turn of the year, and also have the option to choose from two separate bundles of Select Benefits, based on which enhancements to the travel experience might matter to them the most.

As an Aeroplan Elite Status member, you’re now eligible to choose your Select Benefits for 2022 via the “Choose benefits” option under the “Benefits” tab of your dashboard.

The Select Benefits bundles available to each Aeroplan Elite Status level are summarized as below:

(Bundle 1 of benefits is the more meaningful set for most travellers. Bundle 2 offers either eUpgrades or Status Qualifying Miles in exchange for purchasing flights using Air Canada Flight Passes, so it won’t be relevant if you don’t typically travel using a Flight Pass.)

Which Select Benefits Should You Choose?

Among the Select Benefit choices, I’d certainly recommend choosing the allotment of extra eUpgrade credits as one of your benefits (or your only benefit as an Aeroplan 35K member). 

It’s very valuable to collect more eUpgrades, since the “Latitude Attitude” strategy allows you to redeem Aeroplan points for an Economy Latitude ticket and upgrade instantly into business class. With direct bookings in business class often pricing out at dynamically high levels, the Latitude Attitude can be an invaluable strategy. 

eUpgrades are very valuable for booking Air Canada business class while avoiding dynamically high prices.

Meanwhile, picking the second Select Benefit for Aeroplan 25K, 50K, 75K, and Super Elite members will depend on your own preferences as a traveller.

Someone who frequently takes paid flights might value the bonus Aeroplan points on Air Canada flights, someone who wants to share their benefits with their loved ones might like the Status Passes or the status gifts, etc. 

For what it’s worth, I’ll also share with you how I’d choose my Select Benefits if I were any of the Aeroplan Elite Status levels, keeping in mind that these are based on my own travel style:

  • As an Aeroplan 25K member, I’d choose the 5 eUpgrade credits and 2 Maple Leaf Lounge One-Time Guest Passes.
  • As an Aeroplan 35K member, I’d choose the 10 eUpgrade credits.
  • As an Aeroplan 50K member, I’d choose the 20 eUpgrade credits and the 2 Status Passes.
  • As an Aeroplan 75K member, I’d choose the 35 eUpgrade credits, as well as either the 3 Status Passes or the Aeroplan 35K status for a friend – depending on whether I wanted to share 50K benefits with three separate passengers, or share relatively weaker 35K benefits with a single individual for all their travel.
  • As an Aeroplan Super Elite member, I’d choose the 50 eUpgrade credits, as well as either the 4 Status Passes or the Aeroplan 50K status for a friend – depending on whether I wanted to share 50K benefits with four separate passengers or with a single individual for all their travel.

Should You Choose Your Select Benefits Now, Or Wait?

Here’s another interesting angle to the Select Benefits: should you pick them now, or is there perhaps an advantage to waiting until later on?

There’s potentially a very attractive reason to wait until the second half of 2022 to pick your Select Benefits, and it relates to a change to Air Canada eUpgrades that was quietly made at some point in 2021.

In the past, eUpgrades that were earned at any point in a given year would have a validity period within that year itself. 

For example, everyone should’ve already received their base-level 20 eUpgrade credits as part of their Core Benefits if they earned or retained status for 2022.

You’ll see that these credits were deposited with an expiry date of January 16, 2023 (keeping in mind that eUpgrades’ general expiry date have moved from December 31 to January 16 of the following year).

However, this policy has changed going forward. The validity period of eUpgrades is now determined as follows:

  • Any eUpgrades earned between January and June of a given year have a validity period within that year itself.
  • Any eUpgrades earned between July and December of a given year have a validity period through the following year.

What does this mean in practice? Well, if you were to wait until July 1, 2022 to choose the allotment of eUpgrades as your Select Benefit, then those eUpgrades would arrive into your account with an expiry date of January 16, 2024, rather than January 16, 2023!

And remember: travel must take place within eUpgrade credits’ validity period for those eUpgrades to be applied.

So, come the second half of 2022, if you’d like to use the Latitude Attitude to confirm upgrades into business class for your 2023 travels, then you’d need those valid-through-2023 eUpgrades in order to do it. 

Effectively, by delaying your Select Benefit decision until July 2022, you can get a valuable head start on snagging the coveted “R” space and confirming your instant upgrades across Air Canada’s 2023 business class flights. You’d be able to access the 2023 upgrade availability six months before everyone else! 

You could get a head start on snagging lie-flat seats in 2023 by choosing Select Benefits in mid-2022.

Of course, if you have an immediate need for eUpgrade credits for trips in the first half of 2022 (or trips in the second half of 2022 for which you want to confirm upgrades before that), then you might still decide to choose your Select Benefits now and earn those eUpgrades as soon as possible.

But if you’re all set for your 2022 travels, and would prefer to beat others to the upgrade space when it comes time to plan 2023 trips, then waiting until July 2022 to pick your Select Benefits might be your best bet. 

What About the January 2022 Status Bump?

For this year, there’s one more unique wrinkle to the question of when to choose your Select Benefits, thanks to the “Spend Your Way to Elite Status” promotion on the Aeroplan premium credit cards that we saw in the second half of 2021.

Aeroplan members who took part in this promotion will see a one-tier status bump by January 31, 2022. Some members appear to have already received their status bump, while others appear to be still waiting.

If you’re still waiting for your status bump, but you have the opportunity to pick Select Benefits now under your existing status level, then it makes sense to go ahead and choose some benefits now!

After all, when you get bumped up to a higher tier of status, you’ll get the opportunity to choose your Select Benefits again for your new status level.

At that time, you can then think about whether you’d like to choose your new status level’s Select Benefits immediately, or wait until July 2022 to earn eUpgrades that have a longer validity period. 

Conclusion

Aeroplan Elite Status members now have the ability to choose their Select Benefit bundles for the upcoming year.

Once these bundles are chosen, they cannot be changed, so it’s important to take some time to think through your choices – and also think through when your want to make your choices, given the nuances regarding eUpgrade validity periods outlined above. 

Personally, I’ll likely be waiting until July 2022 to pick my Select Benefits, so as to earn eUpgrade credits that are valid for instantly confirmed upgrades from Latitude Economy into business class through all of 2023.

28 Comments
  1. Dmitri

    Do you have any idea if Air Canada has paused the ability to use eUpgrades and the “latitude attitude” until they sort out all of the Aeroplan status updates? When I search on ExpertFlyer for “R” fares I get the following message : “ I and X award classes are currently unavailable via the Award & Upgrade tool at the request of Air Canada due to the new Aeroplan program. However, they may be available via the Flight Availability search.”

    1. Ricky YVR

      It’s not paused. ExpertFlyer can’t see I or X space, but they can see R space.

  2. Frank the tank

    Ricky
    In your opinion will they offer another status bump in 2022 if travel again is impacted by covid.

    Keep up the good work you do really informative👍🏻

  3. Amyranth

    Waiting for Status Boost myself – but if I book a flight at 25k status (current) while I wait for my 35k status to be issued, will any e-upgrades I use for that flight apply to the new window of 8 days when the boost is issued, or stay at 4?

  4. Ron

    According to Air Canada website, the cutoff date for eUpgrades posting to expire mid January 2024 is September 1 2022 (not July 1).

    1. Ricky YVR

      Thanks for pointing this out. We’ve followed up with Air Canada and confirmed that the cutoff is July 1, and the information will soon be corrected on the website.

  5. Dmitry

    I’ve got 75K on December 30.
    Wanted to gift 35K status to my friend that flies a lot. But now seems like I should wait until July 1st to choose, as I have too many eupgrades already. A bit annoying. I guess 35k status for half year for a friend is better than nothing…
    By the way, had 40 eupgrades that should be roll over to this year (have a premium CC), but they vanished. Hopefully will get them later this month. Got 20 eupgrades for 2021 and 20 for 2022 though, both expiring January 16, 2023.
    I hope I’ll keep these “extra” 20 eupgrades for 2021 too.

  6. Andre

    Hi, Ricky! Since I wasn’t going to keep my Reserve card for another year, I had to cancel it a few days ago to avoid paying an annual fee (couldn’t keep it open for any longer). Do you think I will still receive a status upgrade, given that the spending requirement of 10K was made?

  7. RMTL

    Hi,
    Not that I will complain, but a weird thing happened :
    – I had no status in 2021 and I’m now 25K as of 4th JAN
    – I received two times 20 e-upgrades, one on 31st DEC and one on 4th JAN.
    I have the Amex Aeroplan Reserve and I spent the 10K for the 25K. I was just short if I member for the spend your way (100K points).
    Did that happen to anyone else ?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Since you were lucky enough to earn the bump in 2021, that means you technically qualified for status and got your 20 core eUpgrades for 2021, and then another set in 2021.

      1. RMTL

        Oh nice ! That is a technicality I was not aware of 😉
        Thanks for the answer

        1. Chris W YCD

          this happened to me as well – I hit the 100k threshold in late October, got my 20 eupgrades plus the bonus select, and then got another 20 and was able to select again for my 2022 status year, plus I am leaving the 10K for the 35K benefits alone as smartly suggested in this article. Its a pile of eupgrades and I’m glad I have the black CC to roll them over

  8. Scott

    Unfortunately I selected my benefits prior to reading this article. I’d would have delayed my selection of elite benefits. As I understand once the benefits are selected, it cannot be undone. Do you think reach out to the elite line would be of any use?

  9. Dave

    Thanks for more great insights Ricky! The option to “wait to select” looks to be an exciting way to enhance the flexibility value of some e-upgrades.

    Waiting until after July 1 will mean that the second (albeit less valuable) select benefit for 25K, 50K, 75K, 100K won’t be available to use until then as well. For the bonus points on AC flights option – would bonus points be awarded retroactively on any paid flights taken in first half of the year?

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Yes, the bonus points option applies to all paid flights taken that year retroactively 🙂

  10. chris

    I believe the Status Pass option provided to the recipient is the same regardless of your tier. I am SE and when I give out a pass, I have been told that the benefits were the same as if I did so as 75K (ie. no SE line access, concierge, etc…). May want to reconsider this as SE’s receive 2 of these as a core benefit and often these can go unused. I would suggest the 100% bonus miles, especially if you plan on doing lots of flying in 2022.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Thanks for the correction here, that’s now been rephrased.

    2. Adam Carr

      I agree, he doesn’t seem to understand how Status Passes work. They just give the recipient lounge access, priority baggage/boarding/check-in, regardless of the status of the donor.

  11. Chris W YCD

    I’m not seeing my SQM rollover in my dashboard (I am a CIBC AP VIP holder) and also I’m showing 20 eupgrades from last year’s 25K qualification expiring at the end of this month, even though they should rollover. ai also haven’t seen my status bump to 35K yet, is this all just AP issues that I should be patient and let resolve, or should I be getting after them?

    1. Ricky YVR

      For the status bump, patience until January 31. Everything’s a little wonky right now and I don’t think “getting after them” would lead anywhere that waiting wouldn’t.

      1. Chris W YCD

        I meant “getting after them” in the kindest sense – Vancouver Island style 😀 The only reason I even considered it is I that have historically had trouble with the linkage between my CIBC AP VIP and my Aeroplan account, an agent at CIBC accidentally linked my card to the wrong AP account, it took many hours, phone calls and emails to get that sorted out. As per your instructions, patience has indeed paid off as my 35K status bump appeared this morning in my dashboard.

  12. Michael

    When you bump up a status level (say 25K to 35K during the year), do you get an additional 10 eupgrade credits for a total of 35?
    20 core
    5 @ 25K
    10 @ 35K

    1. Ricky YVR

      You would think you’d only earn the incremental amount, wouldn’t you? Based on my experiences with mid-year status bumps, I feel like you’d get the additional 10.

  13. Marc

    Another benefit of waiting for the holders of black cc, is that you will deplete your rolled over e-upgrades before your new batch. As you cannot roll over for two years in a row the same e upgrade, you want the rolled over e upgrades to be used first, but it seems that the new ones are depleted first, probably because the system seems to work by issuance date.

  14. Andrew

    Given I primarily travel with my wife, the status pass pass doesn’t have too much value (to me). Can you expand on how one would determine whether the lower requalification or 50% bonus would be better?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Think about how many paid flights with Air Canada and the select partners you’re likely to take this year, and how many Aeroplan points you’d earn from those paid flights as a result. Then apply the 50% bonus to those Aeroplan points.

      Then weigh this against how likely you are to benefit from the lower requalification threshold. Personally, this year in particular I’d choose the bonus points, since I think it’s fairly likely Air Canada will continue to make it easier to requalify for status for all members anyway.

  15. Sam

    Is it normal that I still have not gotten my core 20 eupgrades? I was able to select the other benefits though. I retained 25k status originally earned in 2020.

    1. Ricky YVR

      There’s been some strange stuff happening with the eUpgrades and benefits in recent days, including many reports of missing eUpgrades. I’d expect this to be resolved in the near future.

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