With Air Canada withdrawing from Aeroplan in June 2020 and launching their own mystery program is it time to consider enrolling in WestJet Rewards?
WestJet is Canada’s second largest airline offering service in Canada, US, Europe, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. In addition, they are planning to add to Asia (China, Japan) in the next few years. It’s a low-cost carrier and operates airplanes with all Economy Class seating. Passengers can opt for certain fares (known as Plus) that offer preferred seating. While not a part of any airline alliance (yet) it does have a growing number of code shares on partner airlines.
Industry watchers are predicting that they are setting themselves up to become a global network with both high-end and low end products (e.g., Swoop)
In 2017 TripAdvisor ranked WestJet as best Airline in Canada.
The program is a straightforward cash-back program. One WestJet dollar is equivalent to one Canadian dollar when you redeem for WestJet flights or vacation packages.
- For example if you have 200 WestJet dollars you can use that as CDN $200 towards any WestJet ticket. If your ticket costs CDN $500 and you use the your 200 WestJet dollars the final ticket price would be CDN$300 (+fees and taxes).
- You only need a minimum of 15 WestJet dollars to make a redemption.
- You can also redeem for any WestJet flight on their code share partner airlines (e.g., Delta, Air France, KLM).
- You cannot use WestJet Rewards dollars towards the taxes and fees on WestJet flights.
THE WESTJET REWARDS PROGRAM HAS THREE LEVELS
Teal: 12 month spend on eligible flights up to $2999
- Earn: WestJet flights – 1%; WestJet Vacation packages – 0.5%; WestJet RBC Mastercard: 1.5% on everyday purchases and up to 2% on WestJet Purchases; 1% on cars, hotels and travel insurance; Partner flights.
Silver: 12 month spend on eligible flights $3000-$5999
- Earn: WestJet flights – 3%; WestJet Vacation packages – 1%; WestJet RBC Mastercard: 1.5% on everyday purchases and up to 2% on WestJet Purchases; 1% on cars, hotels and travel insurance; Partner flights.
- Flight Benefits: first checked bag free, 4 airport lounge vouchers*, 4 advance seat selection vouchers.
Gold: 12 month spend on eligible flights $6000+
- Earn: WestJet flights – 5%; WestJet Vacation packages – 1%; WestJet RBC Mastercard: 1.5% on everyday purchases and up to 2% on WestJet Purchases; 1% on cars, hotels and travel insurance; Partner flights.
- Flight Benefits: first and second bags checked bag free, 10 airport lounge vouchers, 4 advance seat selection vouchers*, Advance boarding (Zone 1), No fee for same-day flight changes at check-in, Priority security screening (at select airports), Priority support number, Front of the line guest care (at select airports, Early access to Plus (limited-time benefit).
*They do not have their own lounges bit have partnered with various lounges in some of their destinations that can be used – for a fee. WestJet Airport Lounges include: Canada (Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Vancouver); Europe: (London [LGW – north terminal]), and Caribbean (Kingston, Montego Bay).
WESTJET AFFILIATED CREDIT CARDS
There are two Canadian credit cards that you can use to increase your WestJet dollars. In both cases if you use WestJet Rewards then they are both worth the sign up fee for example if you got both cards which would cost $158 you would get a $300 value.
Annual Fee: $119
Minimum Spend: First purchase
Welcome Bonus: 250 WestJet Dollars (1 WestJet dollar = CDN$1 value)
Earn: 1.5% on everyday purchases; 2% on WestJet flights and vacation purchases; ; instant fuel savings at Petro Canada (link your WestJet RBC Mastercard and instantly save 3 cents/L on fuel and earn 20% more Petro-Points at Petro-Canada locations
- First checked bag free for the primary cardholder and up to 8 additional guests on the same reservation.
- Annual round trip companion voucher: $99 Travel to Canada and the Continental US for $99 (plus taxes, fees and charges); $299 Travel to Hawaii, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean for $299 (plus taxes, fees and charges); $399 Travel to anywhere WestJet flies in Europe for $399 (plus taxes, fees and charges)
- No blackouts or seat restrictions
- Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by Loungekey
- Mastercard Concierge Services
- Insurance: Out of Province/Country Emergency Medical (Coverage is provided for the first fifteen (15) consecutive days of your trip if you are under 65 years of age or for the first three consecutive days of your trip if you are 65 years of age or older), Travel Accident, Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage, Trip Interruption, Emergency Purchases and Flight Delay, Hotel/Motel Burglary, Purchase Security and Extended Warranty
- Personal Income: $80,000
Review: This is a good card for Canadians who travel on WestJet at least once per year with a companion or a few times per year individually. Of note this is the only Canadian card that has a companion voucher usable in Canada and a checked bag benefit.
Annual Fee: $39
Minimum Spend: First Purchase
Welcome Bonus: 50 WestJet Dollars (1 WestJet dollar = CDN$1 value)
Earn: 1% on everyday purchases; 1.5% on WestJet flights and vacation purchases; instant fuel savings at Petro Canada (link your WestJet RBC Mastercard and instantly save 3 cents/L on fuel and earn 20% more Petro-Points at Petro-Canada locations.
Travel Perks: No blackouts or seat restrictions
Personal Income: $15,000
RBC TO WESTJET POINT CONVERSION
You can convert RBC Rewards to WestJet dollars; occasionally RBC will offer a conversion bonus to do so. These bonuses seem to happen twice a year and range from 15%-30%.
- 100 RBC Rewards points = 1 WestJet dollar.
- If you are going to collect WestJet dollars you may want to consider getting RBC cards with significant sign up bonuses – and keep your eye open for optimal conversion bonus opportunities.