Are you looking for a WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard review? To simply put it, if you’re a frequent WestJet flyer, then the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard is a must for you. WestJet Rewards is one of the most popular airline loyalty programs in Canada and the WestJet Mastercard allows you to earn WestJet Dollars at an incredible pace.
I personally consider the card one of the best travel rewards credit cards in Canada since it comes with a decent sign up bonus, but it’s the other benefits including the free checked bags and the WestJet annual round-trip companion voucher that make this card a winner.
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
The benefits that come with the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard are the reason why it’s one of the best travel credit cards in Canada. With the welcome bonus, you typically get $250 welcome WestJet dollars after your first purchase. Additionally, the card often runs promotions where you can earn more WestJet dollars when you spend a certain amount in the first three months. This is an easy way to rack up a lot of WestJet dollars.
Speaking of airline benefits. You get the first checked bag free for the primary cardholder and any additional guests on the same itinerary (up to 8 bags total). Since checked baggage costs about $30 each way, there’s potential to save big here.
You also get free Boingo Wi-Fi which can be used on WestJet flights. Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey gives you access to many airport lounges, but you get no free passes.
As for the earn rate, you get 2% back in WestJet dollars on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages. All other net purchases give you 1.5% back. While this earn rate is not bad, but some of the best cash back credit cards in Canada offer higher earn rates.
Even if you fly WestJet just once with someone, it may be worth getting this card since the welcome bonus, companion voucher, and free checked bags are practically being given away.
Keep in mind that this is a World Elite Mastercard. That means you need a personal income of $80,000 or a household income of $150,000 to qualify for the card.
How the annual WestJet companion voucher works
The other major advantage of this card is the annual companion voucher you get with both WestJet RBC Mastercards. This voucher allows a secondary passenger to pay a base rate starting at CA $119 when travelling with the primary cardholder that’s paying a full fare. These savings can easily be worth a few hundred dollars. This is especially valuable for families with multiple children when both parents have the card.
How much you’ll pay for the companion voucher depends on where you’re flying to.
- $119 CAD base fare for round-trip travel in Canada and the continental U.S.
- $399 CAD base fare for round-trip travel for the rest of the WestJet network
As you can see, the value of the WestJet companion voucher can be quite good if you’re flying within Canada and the continental U.S. However, if you need to go to Hawaii, Mexico, Europe, Central America, or the Caribbean, your savings will likely be limited. Note that WestJet doesn’t fly to Asia.
Even though the companion voucher is a great benefit, it only applies to the base fare. You still need to pay the taxes and extra fees. What you’ll quickly notice is that base fares typically aren’t high. It’s the additional transportation charges (ATC) that are ridiculously high. WestJet claims these charges are common with all carriers, but I don’t find that to be the case. Plus, you can’t use the WestJet Dollars you’ve earned on ATC.
The annual world companion voucher is still great, but you’re not saving as much as you would think.
WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard insurance
The WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard comes with a pretty good insurance package. Not only do you get travel insurance, but you also get purchase security and extended warranty insurance
- Travel medical – $1,000,000 for 15 days / 3 days if you’re 65 or older
- Trip interruption – up to $5,000 per person / $25,000 total
- Auto rental car collision / loss damage – 48 consecutive days / $65,000
- Hotel/motel burglary – $2,500
- Travel accident – $500,000
You get travel emergency medical insurance no matter what, but you’re only covered for 15 days if you’re under the age of 65 or 3 days if you’re over 65. Obviously, if your trip doesn’t run longer than 15 days and you’re under the age of 65, you’re good, but it’s not ideal for everyone. Note that any travel insurance beyond travel medical requires you to charge the full amount of your trip expenses to your RBC WestJet World Elite Mastercard for it to be valid. For example, you need to charge the full cost of your flights and hotel to be covered for trip interruption.
What’s really lacking in terms of travel insurance is trip cancellation. Yes, the card comes with generous trip interruption insurance, but you get nothing for trip cancellation. I personally think trip cancellation is one of the most important things available as there are many reasons you may need to cancel your trip after booking it. There’s also no lost/delayed baggage which sucks since it’s incredibly handy if you ever need to make a claim.
- Purchase security – 90 days
- Extended warranty – Double, up to one additional year
The purchase security and extended warranty insurance coverage included are pretty common for higher tier cards, but not enough people take advantage of them. With purchase security, your purchases are protected from theft, loss, and damage for 90 days from the time of purchase. It doesn’t matter if you damaged your new iPhone or your new Playstation 5 was stolen. You’d be able to get your money back as long as it’s been within 90 days of the purchase and you paid for the full amount with your WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard.
With the extended warranty, your manufacturer’s warranty is doubled up to one additional year. Many people forget about this benefit, but it’s pretty obvious why it can benefit you here. I’ve personally claimed extended warranty on headphones, a baby monitor, and a vacuum. The key thing here is to ensure you save your receipt and the statement when you made the purchase. As long as you have that info, it’s easy to make a claim.
WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard pros and cons
There’s no doubt that the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard is a great card for anyone who likes to fly WestJet, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the negative aspects of the card. Before you apply for this card, consider the pros and cons.
- Good welcome bonus: You’ll typically get a welcome bonus of $250 WestJet dollars after your first purchase
- Companion voucher: Starting at $119, the annual companion voucher can save you quite a bit
- Free checked bags: This applies to up to 8 people on the same itinerary. Since one checked bag costs $30-$71 each way, there’s potential to save big
- Easy redemptions:WestJet dollars can be used for any WestJet flight or vacation package with no blackout dates or seat restrictions.
- Missing travel insurance: There’s no trip cancellation or delayed/lost baggage insurance
- Limited redemptions: Your WestJet dollars can only be used for WestJet flights and vacation packages.
How WestJet Rewards works
WestJet Rewards is straightforward since it’s essentially a cash back program. Your WestJet dollars can be redeemed for the base fare of any WestJet flight or vacation package. The only catch is that you must have a minimum of 15 WestJet dollars to make a redemption. There are also no blackout dates or seat restrictions like some other airline programs have.
What really makes this WestJet World Elite Mastercard review positive is the fact that you can stack your rewards based on what status tier you have with WestJet Rewards. Take a look at the table below to see what you earn for being a Teal, Silver, Gold or Platinum member.
As you can see, Platinum WestJet Rewards members actually earn 1% back in WestJet dollars when they charge their WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages to their WestJet World Elite Mastercard. Gold, Silver and Teal members aren’t doing too bad either since they would earn 8%, 5% and 3% respectively in WestJet dollars when they charge their flights to their WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard.
Obviously, reaching those status tiers can be difficult, but if you look at the details, it’s easier compared to other airlines. Your tier is tied directly to how much you spend on WestJet flights and WestJet Vacations packages. With some other airlines, you need to worry about how much you’ve spent, how flights you’ve taken, and how many miles you’ve flown. WestJet recently made improvements to WestJet Rewards so it’s easier to reach Silver and Gold Status. That’s a pretty big win for consumers.
Although I do think WestJet Rewards is a good loyalty program for casual travellers, it’s not for true loyalists or for those who like to fly business class.
How the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard compares
Whenever you’re in the market for a new credit card, you should compare different options to see what’s best for you. In the case of the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard, the closest comparable card is the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card. As the name implies, the Aeroplan card earns your Aeroplan points, which is the loyalty program for Air Canada. Air Canada has a bigger network, but if you mostly fly WestJet, then getting the co-branded card makes more sense.
That said, you need to look at what each card offers before making a quick decision. The annual fee of the Aeroplan card is a touch higher at $139 vs. $119 with WestJet, but TD typically waives the annual fee for the first year. When it comes to the earn rate, it really comes down to your spending. The WestJet card gives you 2% back in WestJet dollars on WestJet purchases. With the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card, you’ll earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent on gas groceries, and Air Canada purchases. 1 point for all other purchases. I personally value Aeroplan points at 1.5 cents each, so there’s a lot of value here.
Benefits-wise, The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card clearly comes out on top since it has better travel insurance and even has mobile device insurance and a NEXUS rebate. That said, the companion voucher that comes with the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard is an annual benefit whereas the Air Canada Buddy Pass is a one-time deal. The Buddy Pass also isn’t available every time. Some offers are points only.
Overall, what it likely comes down to for most people is how they like to travel. If you’re loyal to WestJet, then get the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard. If you prefer flexibility, then you’ll probably get more mileage out of the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card.
If you do plan on collecting WestJet Dollars, the Avion Visa Infinite Card from the Royal Bank of Canada could be a good complementary card since you can transfer your RBC Rewards points to WestJet Dollars.
My WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard review is positive. Even if you fly WestJet just once, this card is worth getting since you get a great sign up bonus, free checked bags and a companion voucher. Those benefits alone could be worth over $700 which is clearly more than the $119 annual fee you would pay.