Have you ever noticed the option to select the WestJet companion voucher on their website? It’s right there on the main page above where you choose your destinations for flights. Some people may have ignored that checkbox since they don’t have a WestJet companion voucher, but I’m sure they still wondered what is the WestJet companion voucher?
To use the companion voucher, guests need to purchase one ticket on a flight operated by WestJet. The second guest would then pay $119 CAD, $199 CAD or $399 CAD plus the taxes, fees, and charges depending on where they’re flying. This is clearly a great way to save money, but how do you get the voucher and what are the conditions?
How to get a WestJet companion voucher
There’s really no secret to getting a WestJet companion voucher, you get one annually as a WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard holder. That’s right, every year you get a free companion voucher which is easily worth more than the $119 annual fee that comes with the card.
The first World Elite companion voucher usually appears in your account a few weeks after you make your first purchase. After that, it’ll appear a few weeks after your card renewal date.
Here’s a quick look at the current welcome bonus and earn rate that comes with the card.
WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard
- $119 annual fee
- $250 WestJet Dollars sign up bonus after your first purchase
- $200 Additional WestJet Dollars when you charge $5,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn 2% back in WestJet dollars on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages
- Earn 1.5% back on all other purchases
- Annual companion voucher and free checked bags
Besides the compassion voucher, you also get your first checked bag free for up to 8 people on the same itinerary. Remember, it costs $30 each way to check a bag within North America now so a family of 4 could save $240 on every flight. The included free Boingo Wi-Fi may not seem like a big deal, but remember, most airplanes offer paid WiFi via Boingo Wi-Fi. In other words, you can browse the internet for free whenever you fly with this card. Read my WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard review now for the full details.
The only other way to get a WestJet companion voucher is with the WestJet RBC Mastercard. Since this is a lower tier card, the voucher works a bit differently You only get access to an annual round-trip companion voucher within Canada, and it costs $199 plus taxes, fees, and charges. Although it’s not as generous as the companion voucher that comes with the World Elite Card, it’s still pretty good considering the credit card has an annual fee of just $39. Let’s take a quick look at the current welcome bonus and earn rate.
WestJet RBC Mastercard
- $39 annual fee
- $50 WestJet Dollars sign up bonus after your first purchase
- $50 Additional WestJet dollars when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn 1.5% back in WestJet dollars on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages
- Earn 1% back on all other purchases
- Annual companion voucher
You’ll notice that this card doesn’t come with free checked bags. That should be expected since this is a lower tier card compared to the World Elite version. That said, the WestJet RBC Mastercard doesn’t have a high personal or household income requirement to qualify for the card, so it’s still a good option for people who want a companion voucher but don’t have a high salary.
WestJet companion voucher cost
The WestJet companion voucher is given to you free every year if you hold the WestJet RBC Mastercard or the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard but there are a few fees you need to pay on top of the fare for the first ticket purchased.
- $119 for round-trip travel in Canada and the continental U.S.
- $199 for round-trip travel within Canada (WestJet RBC Mastercard version)
- $399 for round-trip travel to/from the rest of the WestJet network
- Taxes, fees and charges
WestJet companion voucher conditions
Now that you understand the fees, there are a few other conditions and restrictions that come with the WestJet companion voucher that you should be aware of:
- No blackout dates
- New bookings only
- Valid for one round-trip flight for the primary cardholder and a companion of their choice travelling on the same itinerary
- Reservations must be made before the date shown on your voucher but travel can happen after that date
- It’s only valid on new reservations
- Valid on all published Basic, Econo, EconoFlex, Premium, and PremiumFlex fares wholly marketed and operated by WestJet, including seat sales
- Not eligible for Business Class or Member Exclusive fares
- The same fare type must be booked for primary cardholder and companion
- You can’t use the companion voucher when making a reservation through a travel agent or third-party online booking site
- You can’t transfer the voucher
- Unused vouchers will automatically be cancelled when your WestJet RBC World EliteMastercard account is closed
To be clear, the companion voucher can only be used when the primary cardholder is travelling. Even if there’s an authorized user on the account, that person can’t use the voucher with another passenger.
You also can’t use your companion voucher on one-way trips or multi-city destinations (where you fly into one city and out of another).
At the time of booking, you can select to use your voucher before you start searching real-time pricing for flight availability. Once you find the flights you like, the voucher will automatically be applied so there’s nothing else to do during the booking flow.
Occasionally, WestJet will allow you to exchange your voucher for a one-time use lounge access pass. There is no cash exchange value with the voucher.
How much you’ll save with a WestJet companion voucher
The amount of money you’ll save depends on the cost of your ticket. The most important thing to remember is that you still need to pay for any taxes, fees and surcharges so the value comes from redeeming a ticket with a high full base fare or Air Transportation Charges (ATC) as WestJet likes to call it. Let’s take a look at this flight to Florida below as an example.
As you can see, the ATC charges are $727.97 and the taxes are $162.55 which gives you a total ticket cost of $890.52. The primary cardholder would pay that, but the second passenger would only pay $119 + $162.55 for a total of $281.55. That works out to a savings of $608.97. Mind you, this is summer pricing on a popular route which is why there’s a potential for such big savings.
Since the voucher only discounts the ATC, you need to always check to see if it’s valuable to use your WestJet companion ticket. If you’re flying to Europe, quite often the ATC is not much more than the $399 you need to pay to use your companion voucher so it may make more sense to hold onto your voucher for WestJet flights in the future.
The nice thing about the WestJet companion voucher is that it’ll tell you online if it’s cheaper to simply just book a regular price ticket as opposed to using your voucher. This has only happened to me a handful of times when I’m booking international flights where the companion voucher cost starts at $399. That said, on those same flights, if I booked premium instead of economy, I would have saved $1,000+. In other words, the WestJet companion voucher is a great deal when you’re looking for seats in premium.
What is the expiry date of the voucher?
The WestJet companion voucher expiry date is one year from the time you receive the voucher. That said, end dates are up to one year past the expiry date. That means you can book flights, including one-way travel up to one year after the formal expiry date of your voucher.
WestJet companion voucher pros and cons
Let’s be real for a second, the WestJet companion voucher is obviously good since it’s a free benefit. That said, if you don’t have a WestJet credit card yet, you probably want to know if there are any drawbacks. Here are the pros and cons of the WestJet companion voucher.
- Annual benefit: As long as you have a WestJet credit card, you’ll get a companion voucher every year, including the year you sign up.
- Easy to obtain: You get a companion voucher regardless of which WestJet Mastercard you hold. That said, the companion voucher that comes with the Westjet RBC Mastercard has a higher fee
- No blackout dates: You can use your companion voucher on any seat during any date.
- Can be expensive: The cost of your companion voucher when used outside of Canada and the continental U.S. can be pricey at $399.
- Fewer flight options: This benefit is restricted to WestJet flights, so you have fewer choices compared to Air Canada.
How the WestJet companion voucher compares to others
For the longest time, the WestJet companion voucher had no real competition. but that all changed when Air Canada introduced the Buddy Pass with some of their select Aeroplan credit cards. The most obvious difference is that the Buddy Pass can only be used on Air Canada flights, whereas the WestJet companion voucher is used on WestJet flights. Air Canada gets the advantage here since they fly to different destinations.
Where WestJet really wins is the fact that their companion voucher is an annual benefit. You get one every year including the year you sign up. With the Buddy Pass, you only get it once since it’s part of the welcome bonus. That said, you could apply for a new qualifying Aeroplan credit card every 12 months to get another Buddy Pass, but most people won’t do that.
As for costs, they’re similar and different. The Buddy Pass has a $0 base fare, you just pay the taxes and third-party fees. With WestJet, your companion voucher starts at $119. The advantage here may seem to lean towards Air Canada, but there are a few things to consider. The Buddy Pass is only good for flights within North America which happen to include Hawaii and the Caribbean. With the WestJet companion voucher, you can use it for flights to Europe. It’s worth noting that WestJet has recently been testing a new companion voucher for new sign ups which essentially mimics the cost and location of the Buddy Pass. I would not be surprised if a permanent change happens in the future.
It’s really a coin toss here when debating which companion voucher is better. If you fly WestJet on a regular basis and don’t want to apply for a new credit card every year, then getting a WestJet credit card is better. If you’re looking for something high value such as a flight to the Caribbean or Hawaii, then the Buddy Pass will appeal to you.
Save even more with the WestJet credit card
What many people forget is that the RBC WestJet World Elite Mastercard also gives you free checked baggage. For flights within North America, that’s a savings of $30 each way. Let’s say you have a family of four and you plan on taking a flight to Orlando. Based on my itinerary above, you would save $261.55 if you had a companion voucher. However, if each parent got the WestJet credit card, then you’d have two vouchers which end up saving you $523.10.
Of course, we also need to factor in checked baggage. Let’s assume you’re checking 4 bags, that’s another $240 you’re saving by having the WestJet credit card which brings your total saved up to $763.10. Oh wait, we also need to include the $250 welcome bonus that comes with the card, that’s another $500 you’d be saving. All-in, you would save $1,263.10 which is a lot more than the $238 you’d be paying in annual fees for the credit card. In the end, you’d come out ahead by $1,025.10.
It’s easy to see why the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard is on my list of the best travel credit cards in Canada. The benefits you get are simply incredible which makes it a must-have card for anyone who flies WestJet on a regular basis.
The WestJet companion voucher is something that can be used to your advantage since it’s deposited into your account after your first statement as long as you’ve made one purchase. Since you know what the cost of the voucher is, you can easily search for flights and see how much the voucher will save you. If it works to your benefit, you might well apply since you also get a welcome bonus and free checked bags. WestJet Rewards is one of the best travel loyalty programs and if you fly WestJet on a regular basis or even once a year, applying for their credit card is worth it.