Upcoming Changes to Air Canada eUpgrades Validity Periods


Air Canada Aeroplan has announced that the program will be simplifying the validity of eUpgrade credits.

eUpgrades earned from July 1, 2024 onwards will be valid for 12 months from the date they were earned.

Plus, as of the same date, the eUpgrade rollover benefit on the Aeroplan premium credit cards will be replaced by a longer 24-month eUpgrade validity period for premium cardholders.

Let’s break down what these developments mean moving forward.

Aeroplan Streamlines eUpgrade Expiration

Aeroplan is streamlining the validity of its eUpgrades to 12 months from the date they were earned.

The new policy applies to eUpgrades earned from July 1, 2024, and does not apply retroactively. This means it doesn’t apply to eUpgrades earned until June 30, 2024, which will retain their current expiration dates.

This is a departure from the current eUpgrade expiration policy as follows:

  • eUpgrades earned between January 1 and June 30 of any year are valid through to January 16 of the following year. 
  • eUpgrades earned between July 1 and December 31 are valid through to January 16 of the year after the next benefit year. 

Furthermore, as of July 1, 2024, if you hold a premium Aeroplan co-branded credit card, you’ll enjoy an additional 12-month validity for your eUpgrades, without the current 50-credit maximum in place. This means your eUpgrades can be held for 24 months in total from the day you earn them.

Recall that the current “rollover benefit” on premium Aeroplan credit cards added one year validity to your eUpgrades, but it worked in conjunction with the existing expiration policy above.

For example, if you rolled over 50 eUpgrades from the 2023 benefit year to 2024, those eUpgrades will disappear as of January 16, 2025 if you don’t use them.

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With the new policy, you’ll still get an additional one-year validity period, but the expiration will be based on the date you’ve earned your eUpgrades, regardless of when you’ve earned them. Additionally, there won’t be a limit on the number of eUpgrades you can roll over.

This policy applies to eUpgrades earned starting July 1, 2024. For unused eUpgrades earned by premium cardholders until June 30, 2024, Aeroplan will be implementing a one-time rollover of up to 50 credits in 2025. The one-time rollover will be completed by March 31, 2025, and the rolled-over credits will be valid until January 15, 2026.

In summary, for the 2024 calendar year, the following expiry policy will apply to Air Canada eUpgrades:

  • eUpgrades earned between January 1 and June 30, 2024 will be valid through to January 15, 2025. For premium cardholders, up to 50 of these eUpgrades will be rolled-over in 2025 and will be valid through to January 16, 2026.
  • eUpgrades earned between July 1 and December 31, 2024 will be valid for a 12-month period from when they were earned. For premium cardholders, they will be valid for a 24-month period from when they were earned.

Aeroplan Credit Cards with eUpgrade Rollover

Is This New Policy a Positive or Negative Change?

Aeroplan touts this new development as part of a “series of improvements to the member experience”, stating that the change “reflects simplicity and fairness”.

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However, let’s break down what this new policy truly means for Aeroplan Elite Status members moving forward.

First, let’s note that under the current policy, eUpgrades are valid:

  • For one year or less for credits earned between January and June, since they expire on January 16 the following year
  • For more than one year for credits earned between July and December, since they expire on January 16 the year after the next benefit year

With the new policy, all eUpgrades will expire 12 months after earning them, regardless of when they were earned.

Compared to the current policy, the new policy means that eUpgrades earned in the first half of the year would generally have a longer validity period. On the other hand, eUpgrades earned in the second half of the year would have a shorter validity. 

Until now, it’s been an effective strategy for Aeroplan elite members to wait until July 1 of each calendar year before choosing eUpgrades as part of their Select Benefits, as it’d allow them to earn eUpgrade credits that were valid for an 18-month period through to the end of the following benefit year.

This change effectively nullifies this strategy going forward, as any eUpgrade credits earned as part of Select Benefits will be valid for 12 months no matter when in the year they are chosen. If you have a view of using eUpgrades on a booking in, say, October 2025, then you may need to wait until October 2024 instead of July 2024 to choose eUpgrades as a Select Benefit.

The good news is that the eUpgrades rollover benefit on Aeroplan premium credit cards is being improved in a way that counteracts this potentially negative change. Premium cardholders will benefit from a blanket 24-month validity period on eUpgrade credits, without the current 50-credit cap.

Thus, as a premium cardholder with a view of using eUpgrades on a booking in October 2025, you could go ahead and choose your Select Benefits even in January 2024 and still apply your eUpgrades to your desired trip.

Premium credit card holders are effectively given an additional edge over other members when it comes to redeeming eUpgrades, adding to the overall value proposition for Aeroplan elite members to also hold a high-end credit card. 

Conclusion

Aeroplan is changing the validity period of eUpgrade credits as of July 1, 2024. Any eUpgrades earned as of this date will have a validity period of 12 months, regardless of when they were earned. 

This new policy is simpler than the current validity policy, but this also means that eUpgrades earned in the latter half of each calendar year will have a shorter validity than under the current policy.

Holders of premium Aeroplan credit cards will continue to enjoy an additional 12 months validity to their eUpgrades, increasing the validity to 24 months in total and without the current 50-credit cap.

Overall, this change streamlines the validity period of eUpgrades, making the program simpler and easier to understand, and also adding to the value proposition of holding an Aeroplan premium credit card for Air Canada’s top frequent flyers.





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