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Rundown of WestJet Rewards (updated July 3, 2017)

With all the negativity surrounding Aeroplan, Canada’s current largest frequent flyer program, it may be time to take a closer look at Canada’s second largest frequent flyer program, WestJet Rewards. Let’s do a quick rundown of the highlights of the program.

Expiry Policy

Expiry policies are always a hot topic, as it is often a deal breaker for someone deciding whether to bother becoming a member.

Effective June 6, 2017, WestJet dollars earned as a Base Reward will no longer expire. However, Bonus Rewards will expire as specified in the terms and conditions of the specific promotion, contest or compensation initiative. If the expiry is not specified, it is defaulted to 1 year from the date of issuance.

  • Base Rewards – WestJet dollars earned directly through eligible purchase transactions of WestJet Eligible Fares, select Partner Eligible Fares, WestJet Vacations packages, or WestJet designated Partner bookings, as well as WestJet Dollars earned with the co-branded RBC Credit Cards, converting RBC Rewards points or purchasing WestJet dollars from an approved reseller such as points.com.
  • Bonus Rewards – Are benefits, rewards or incentives that are offered by WestJet on an additional, promotional or bonus basis.

WestJet Partners

Airlines

You can also earn WestJet Dollars when flying with their airline partners:

  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Qantas Airways

RBC Rewards

Normally, you need to transfer a minimum of 1,000 RBC Reward points to receive 10 WestJet Dollars. Watch for 15% – 25% transfer bonus offers before converting your points.

Credit Cards 

WestJet and RBC have teamed up to offer two competitive co-branded credit cards:

RBC WestJet World Elite MasterCard

  • $99 annual fee
  • $49 annual fee for a supplementary cardholders
  • Earn $250 WestJet Dollars on your first purchase
  • Earn 2% in WestJet Dollars on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacation packages
  • Earn 1.5% in WestJet Dollars on all other purchases
  • Receive 1 annual round-trip companion voucher with choice of: $99 for Canada and the Continental United States, $299 for Hawaii, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean or $399 for Europe (not including taxes, fees and charges)
  • Earn 1 free checked bag on all WestJet flights

RBC WestJet MasterCard

  • $39 annual fee
  • $19 annual fee for a supplementary cardholders
  • Earn $50 WestJet Dollars on your first purchase
  • Earn 1.5% in WestJet Dollars on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacation packages
  • Earn 1% in WestJet Dollars on all other purchases

RBC Travel Insurance

Earn 1% back in WestJet dollars for every $1 spent on RBC Travel Insurance. However, you will not earn rewards for companions when travelling on a group booking of 10 or more guests on the same reservation.

Elite Status

WestJet revamped its elite status program in 2014, which made it much more attractive. Here is a quick recap on some of the key highlights of each tier:

Teal

This is the basic level that everyone starts with.

  • Earn 1% cash back of WestJet Dollars spent WestJet flights
  • Earn 0.5% cash back of WestJet Dollars spent on WestJet Vacation Packages

Silver

Qualify for the first level of elite status after spending $3,000 on WestJet flights within 12 months.

  • Earn 3% cash back of WestJet Dollars spent WestJet flights
  • Earn 1% cash back of WestJet Dollars spent on WestJet Vacation Packages
  • Receive 4 airport lounge vouchers
  • Receive 4 advance seat selection vouchers
  • Receive 1st free first checked bag (for up to 8 additional guests travelling on the same reservation)
  • Receive 1 companion voucher (valid for one round-trip WestJet flight within Canada) (afters spending $4,000 on qualifying flights)

Gold

This is the highest elite status tier, which is achieved after spending $6,000 on WestJet flights within 12 months.

  • Earn 5% cash back of WestJet Dollars spent WestJet flights
  • Earn 1% cash back of WestJet Dollars spent on WestJet Vacation Packages
  • Receive 10 airport lounge vouchers
  • Receive 4 advance seat selection vouchers
  • Receive 1st and 2nd  free first checked bag (for up to 8 additional guests travelling on the same reservation)
  • Receive 1 companion voucher (valid for anywhere WestJet flies to) (afters spending $6,000 on qualifying flights)
  • Receive 1 additional companion flight on any WestJet flight after spending $10,000 (thereafter, earn 1 additional companion pass for every increment of $5,000 of spending)
  • Receive Advance boarding (Zone 1)
  • No fee for same-day flight changes at check-in
  • Receive priority security screening (at select airports)

Final Thoughts

Personally, I think that WestJet has a lot of potential, especially with the purchase of Boeing 787 Dreamliners. I plan to watch WestJet very closely in the coming years.

I used to wish that WestJet would become a member of either Oneworld or SkyTeam, to give a little bit of competition to Air Canada with Star Alliance. But now I like to think of WestJet as the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan of Canada. Just like Mileage Plan, who is not part of any airline alliance, they have a strong stand alone loyalty program. My current hope is that they expand their airline partners, which would make WestJet Dollars even more valuable.

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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