If you’re an Aeroplan Elite Status member, you’ve been able to choose your 2023 Select Benefits since the beginning of the year. However, many members wait until the second half of the year to make their selections, as doing so can result a prolonged eUpgrade validity period.
Now that July 1 has rolled around, there’s no reason to wait any longer to choose your Select Benefits.
Choose Your 2023 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. Part of your Core Benefits include 20 eUpgrade credits, which have been available in your account since the beginning of the year.
You also have the option to choose from two separate bundles of Select Benefits, based on which enhancements to the travel experience might matter to you the most.
As an Aeroplan Elite Status member, you’re can choose your Select Benefits for 2023 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, it’s almost always best to choose 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 to score Air Canada business class at a bargain.
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, while someone who wants to share their benefits with their loved ones might like the Status Passes or the status gifts, etc.
Let’s take a look at some of the considerations to make at each status level, bearing in mind that your choices should be made on your individual travel goals and needs.
- As a 25K member, choose 5 eUpgrades and the 25% bonus if you tend to earn status through paid flights instead of Everyday Status Qualification. Otherwise, choose the 5 eUpgrades and the two Maple Leaf Lounge passes.
- As a 35K member, you’ll usually benefit more from 15 eUpgrades rather than 35% bonus Aeroplan points.
- As a 50K member, choose 20 eUpgrades and the 50% bonus if you tend to earn status organically by flying with Air Canada. Otherwise, choose 20 eUpgrades and two Status Passes.
- As a 75K member, choose 35 eUpgrades and the 75% bonus if you tend to earn status organically by flying with Air Canada. Consider the 35K status gift if you know someone who could benefit from the status, perhaps to increase the number of eUpgrades available for your household. Otherwise, the three Status Passes or 12-month Wi-Fi plan could work for you, depending on how much you value the other benefits.
- As a top-tier Super Elite member, choose the 50 eUpgrade credits and the 100% bonus to pad your Aeroplan balance, which you can use in conjunction with the powerful Priority Rewards. Consider gifting Aeroplan 50K status, which comes with Star Alliance Gold status, if the extra eUpgrades could be beneficial to someone in your household or a lucky friend. Otherwise, opt for the Wi-Fi plan over the four Status Passes, since you get two anyway just for being a Super Elite.
The Lower Requalification for Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite members doesn’t make sense, since you can easily earn 5,000 SQM and 5 SQS through spending on an Aeroplan co-branded credit card. In almost every circumstance, you stand to benefit more from the other options.
Why Should You Wait Until July to Choose Your Select Benefits?
There’s a very attractive reason to wait until the second half of the year to pick your Select Benefits, and it relates to to the expiration dates of eUpgrades earned at various points throughout the year.
For example, everyone already received the base-level 20 eUpgrade credits as part of the Core Benefits if they earned or retained status for 2023.
You’ll see that these credits were deposited with an expiry date of January 16, 2024.
However, recall that the validity period of eUpgrades is 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 wait until July 1, 2023 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, 2025, rather than January 16, 2024!
And remember: travel must take place within eUpgrade credits’ validity period for those eUpgrades to be applied. So, for the second half of 2023, if you’d like to use the Latitude Attitude to confirm upgrades into business class for your 2024 travels, then you’d need those valid-through-2024 eUpgrades in order to do it.
Effectively, by delaying your Select Benefit decision until July 2023, you get a valuable head start on snagging the coveted “R” space and confirming your instant upgrades across Air Canada’s 2024 business class flights. You’d be able to access the 2024 upgrade availability six months before everyone else!
Of course, if you have a compelling need for eUpgrade credits for trips in the first half of the year (or trips in the second half of the year for which you want to confirm upgrades before that), then you might still decide to choose your Select Benefits at the beginning of the year and earn those eUpgrades as soon as possible.
However, if you’d prefer to beat others to the upgrade space when it comes time to plan 2024 trips, then waiting until July to pick your Select Benefits each year might be your best bet.
If you’re worried about losing out on the bonus Aeroplan points for flights in the first half of 2023, don’t fret. The bonus will be applied retroactively to all flights, so you’ll still get rewarded for any paid flights if you choose bonus Aeroplan points as the other Select Benefit.
Keep in mind that if you have a premium Aeroplan co-branded credit card, you’re eligible to roll over up to 50 eUpgrades for one more year. If you have any remaining eUpgrades from 2023 that expire at the end of the benefit year, those should reappear in your account a few weeks after they initially expire, as long as you had a premium credit card by December 15, 2023.
Aeroplan Elite Status members can now choose their Select Benefit bundles and benefit from an extended eUpgrade validity period.
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.
Now that July 1 has rolled around, you can choose eUpgrades as a Select Benefit and get first dibs on all of the eUpgrade availability for 2024.