With Air Canada announcing their intention to pull out of the Aeroplan program in 2020, many travellers are starting to look at other rewards programs. What people are quickly realizing is that Canada’s second largest airline, WestJet has one of the best rewards programs of ANY airline.

In my WestJet Rewards review, I’ll break down everything you need to know about the program. The one key thing to understand is that the WestJet Rewards program is essentially a cash-back program. Members get rewarded in WestJet dollars which can be then spent on various WestJet services with no blackout dates, no seat restrictions, and no advance bookings required. Redemptions start at just $15 WestJet dollars.

What’s even more impressive is that back in February, WestJet made significant changes to the program that improved things for members of all tiers. Here’s my WetJet Rewards Review.

westjet rewards review

How to earn WestJet dollars

When travellers spend money on WestJet flights, WestJet vacation packages, or cars and hotels booked on westjet.com, they’ll earn .5% – 5% cash-back in WestJet dollars depending on their tier. This may sound complicated, but it’s pretty straightforward since everything is tied to tiers.

Tiers are structured around how much you spend in a 12-month qualifying period. The more you spend, the higher your tier status becomes. The higher your status is, the better your rewards are.

  • Teal status earns you 1% in WestJet dollars up to $2,999 in spend
  • Silver status earns you 3% in WestJet dollars from $3,000 – $4,999 in spend
  • Gold status earns you 5% in WestJet dollars from $5,000 – $7,999 in spend
  • Platinum status earns you 8% in WestJet dollars and kicks in one you spend $8,000

One of the major improvements to the WestJet Rewards program is that you now maintain your status for the following year. You do need to maintain the qualifying flight spend in each successive year, but you no longer reset to teal like before.

Recently, Platinum status was added and the spend threshold to reach Gold was reduced which is great for people who spend a lot on WestJet flights. See the below chart for a full breakdown of the different status tiers.

WestJet Rewards Tier new

Additional benefits with WestJet Rewards

With the expansion of WestJet Rewards reciprocal frequent flyer agreements, you can now book flights with Delta on select routes through WestJet’s Member Exclusive Fares. This new benefit allows members to claim their WestJet dollars on select Delta flights to over 50 destinations. The only “catch” is that you must have enough WestJet dollars to cover the entire flight (before taxes), so you can’t claim say just $200 for a flight that costs $600 and pay the difference. It was also recently announced that Air France and KLM have joine WestJet’s Frequent Flyer Program.

Don’t worry if you’re short on WestJet dollars, you can purchase as few as 25 and up to a maximum of 3,000. The cost to purchase WestJet dollars starts at $29 for 25 but prices decrease if you need more. Members can expect to see more airline partner redemption options this fall.

Naturally, Silver and Gold tier members get the first right to any seat upgrades, but they also each get some extra benefits that are quite valuable.

Additional Silver tier benefits

  • Two checked bags free
  • 4 airport lounge vouchers
  • 4 advance seat selection vouchers
  • Priority check-in and bag drop
  • Zone 2 boarding
  • Canada-wide companion voucher (when $4,000 spend is reached)

Additional Gold tier benefits

  • Two checked bags free
  • 10 airport lounge vouchers
  • 6 advance seat selection vouchers
  • Priority check-in and bag drop at select airports
  • Priority security screening at select airports
  • Early access to purchase upgrades to premium seating
  • Zone 1 boarding
  • Higher priority for complimentary upgrades to premium seats with the purchase of EconoFlex fares
  • No fee for same-day flight changes at check-in

Additional Platinum tier benefits

  • Three free checked bags
  • Unlimited advanced seat selection
  • 10 airport lounge vouchers
  • Zone 1 boarding
  • Priority check-in and bag drop at select airports
  • Priority security screening at select airports
  • A dedicated support number
  • Highest priority for complimentary upgrades to premium seats with the purchase of EconoFlex fares
  • No fee for same-day flight changes at check-in

Honestly, that’s a comprehensive list of benefits. With their focus on customer service and rewards, I wouldn’t be surprised if they announce more benefits in the future.

Earn more with the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard

You can increase your earn rate by applying for the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard. Cardholders earn up to 1.5% on everyday purchases and up to 2% on WestJet flight and vacation purchases. That means you could earn up to 7% in cash-back in WestJet dollars as a Gold tier member.

The additional benefits are features of the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard are as follows

  • $250 WestJet dollars welcome bonus
  • Get an annual round-trip companion voucher for anywhere WestJet flies
  • First checked bag free for the primary cardholder and up to 7 additional guests
  • Comprehensive travel insurance package
  • Save 3¢/L on fuel and always earn 20% more Petro-Points when you link your WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard 
  • Membership access to over 800 airport lounges worldwide with Mastercard Airport Experiences by LoungeKey (fees apply for lounge access)
  • $119 as of Nov. 1, 2017

With these benefits, it’s not hard to see why the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard appeals to people who frequently fly with WestJet. The annual companion voucher alone is worth it as you normally wouldn’t get one until you reach Gold tier status. The $99 annual fee may turn some people off, but considering you’ll pay $25 for your first standard checked bag, it only takes a single trip with two people to wash that fee. Read my WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard review now and find out why it’s one of the best travel rewards credit cards in Canada.

Apply now for the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard Card


Final word

It should be obvious that my WestJet Rewards review is positive. While most airlines use a points system that can be difficult to make an actual booking, WestJet Rewards has a simple cash-back system. If you’re a frequent or even infrequent flyer with WestJet, you should sign up for the program since you only need a minimum of $15 WestJet dollars to make a redemption.