Aeroplan extending status through 2022

Aeroplan is one of the first programs to announce a status extension through the end of 2022.  As far as I know, it’s the only program based on calendar years (rather than rolling 12 month periods) that’s done it so far.

Temporary pause to expiration of Aeroplan points

Aeroplan has paused points expiry until January 30, 2022 (from the current date of June 30, 2021).  However, come January 31, if you haven’t had any activity within 18 months and aren’t otherwise exempt (from a credit card, elite status, or because you’re a minor), your points will expire.  So make sure you earn or redeem points before then, or sign up for a credit card such as the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card, which currently offers 20,000 Aeroplan points and a Buddy Pass as a signup bonus. 

Automatic extension of 2021 Aeroplan Elite Status

This is the news many people were hoping for.  Your status is safe through December 2022.  If you achieve first-time status or a higher tier in 2021, you’ll naturally have that through December 2022.

Since all tiers receive 20 eUpgrade credits, and because you’ll once again be able to choose your Select Benefits, Aeroplan will not be extending the expiry date of any eUpgrade credits.  However, credit cards such as the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card allow you to roll over up to 50.

If you chose a Lower Requalification Level as a Select Benefit, Aeroplan will be sharing information in the coming weeks about a one-time special offer to let you change it to something else.  The Lower Requalification Level means you can achieve status with 5000 SQM or 5 SQS fewer than the published criteria.  As such, even if your current status is safe, it might still be useful in achieving a higher status, if you typically have enough SQD but are short on SQM.

All Priority Rewards earned in 2020 will have their expiry dates extended to October 2022.  As a Super Elite with 4 of these, valid for 50% off business class redemptions anywhere in the world, I was wondering how I’d use these before expiry, so I’m glad to know I don’t have to worry about it this year.

Elite Status Qualification Jumpstart for 2022

This is the most interesting announcement in my opinion.  Last year, anyone who qualified for status was able to gift that status to someone, since their own was extended.  I qualified for Aeroplan Elite 75K status, and I still haven’t found anyone to give it to, because everyone I know who flies a lot already has status.  As such, I felt like I wasn’t earning much from my flying last year.

This time, they’re letting you roll over your SQM/SQS/SQD earned in 2021 as a jumpstart for status in 2022.  However, you need to qualify for status this year.  The examples provided by Aeroplan are:

  • Based on your 2021 flight activities, if you earn 26,000 SQM, 15 SQS, and 3,500 SQD, you’ll have met the qualification requirement for Aeroplan 25K, and therefore all 26,000 SQM, 15 SQS, and 3,500 SQD will be added to your qualification balance in 2022.
  • Similarly, based on your 2021 flight activities, if you earn 79,000 SQM, 35 SQS, and 12,500 SQD, you’ll have met the qualification requirement for Aeroplan 75K, and therefore all 79,000 SQM, 35 SQS, and 12,500 SQD will be added to your qualification balance in 2022.
  • However, based on your 2021 flight activities, if you earn 12,000 SQM, 4 SQS, and 2,800 SQD, you will not have met the qualification requirement for any Aeroplan Elite Status, and therefore your 2021 SQM, SQS, and SQD will not be honoured in 2022.

The text they provided was as follows (emphasis mine):

Many of our members have needed to travel during the pandemic, often for essential reasons. If you achieve any Aeroplan Elite Status based on the published qualification criteria through your 2021 flight activity with Air Canada, the Star Alliance member airlines, and other eligible airline partners, we’ll honour your 2021 Status Qualifying Miles (SQM), Segments (SQS), and Dollars (SQD) in 2022, jumpstarting your status qualification for 2022 and beyond.

For certainty, over the course of 2021, members would need to earn at least 25,000 SQM or 25 SQS, and at least 3,000 SQD (1,500 SQD for non-Canadian residents), in order to be eligible for this jumpstart in 2022. (Additionally, this special grant will be incremental to Rollover Status Qualifying Miles for which Elite Status Members may be eligible when holding select Aeroplan credit cards.)

I’ve already qualified for 25K status, so it seems like all my SQM/SQS/SQD will roll over.  But it seems like this will combine with SQM from my TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Credit Card’s rollover benefit.  If I finish the year with 95k SQM and enough SQD for 75K status, it seems like the jumpstart will give me 95k SQM, and the credit card will give me another 20k (the 20k earned beyond what’s needed for 75k status), meaning I would start 2022 with 115k SQM.

Update:

This was confirmed with Air Canada by Graham at Flyermiles:

Just got this part confirmed by AC – here’s the exact example I was given:

For certainty, if a 2021 50K member who also holds a premium Aeroplan credit card earned the following in 2021:

  • 60,000 SQM, 10 SQS, 6,500 SQD

They would see the following in their balance for 2022:

  • 60,000 SQM, 10 SQS, 6,500 SQD (as they earned an Aeroplan Elite Status for 2022)

plus

  • 10,000 SQM (as they earned Aeroplan 50K status, and therefore the 10,000 SQM above 50,000 SQM would be eligible for the Rollover SQM benefit)

…for a total starting balance of:

70,000 SQM, 10 SQS, 6,500 SQD

That means my analysis was correct, and the rollover SQM is additive.  If you hold one of the top credit cards and end this year with a lot of SQM, you’ll start next year with even more, pushing you closer to higher statues, threshold gifts, and threshold eUpgrades.

Summary

Overall, I’m very happy.  Points won’t expire until January 31 2022.  Everyone’s status is extended through 2022.  And if you earn status in 2021, you get a jumpstart of SQM/SQS/SQD in 2022.  Unlike last year, they’re giving you a direct benefit if you fly this year, rather than giving the benefit to a friend. Full details of these announcements can be found at https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/aeroplan/news/covid-19.html.

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