WestJet Rewards Review

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.

By |2018-12-17T15:47:19+00:00July 20th, 2018|Credit cards, Travel, Travel news|

66 Comments

  1. Harry July 20, 2017 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Hi Barry,

    Do you know if you are able to cancel a West Jet Card and then re apply to earn the bonuses for a second time? If so, is there a time period for doing so?

    Thanks for the great posts!

    • Barry Choi July 20, 2017 at 8:03 am - Reply

      Hi Harry,

      As far as I know, the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard does not have a once per lifetime signup bonus so you should be able to reapply for this later if you want. Generally speaking, most cards require 6 months to pass before you can reapply.

  2. […] that Air Canada is pulling out of Aeroplan prompted this review of WestJet’s customer loyalty […]

  3. Krista August 16, 2017 at 8:33 am - Reply

    The WJ rewards program is pretty good value, especially if they’re your preferred carrier. I looked in the RBC card, which has good benefits and pretty terrific travel insurance coverage with one gaping hole: baggage delay and loss. If your free checked bag goes missing while you’re traveling, you are (bleep) out of luck.

    • Barry Choi August 16, 2017 at 9:09 am - Reply

      Krista,

      Hmmm seems odd that the free checked bag which is a benefit of being a cardholder is not covered by your baggage delay and loss insurance. I need to look into this.

  4. Maxp August 16, 2017 at 9:10 am - Reply

    I have been WJ gold for years. It’s not as great as you make it. They never upgrade you because their system does not have the capabilities for most routes. They barely have any lounges. – check the list. I’m sitting writing this a day after flying WJ where they could not even accommodate me sitting together with my spouse when we booked the same ticket together. Gold “agents” were not even able to fix this problem for a gold client. The good – cash vs points. Companion tickets. Free 1st luggage.

    • Barry Choi August 16, 2017 at 9:15 am - Reply

      Maxp,

      Interesting to hear your personal experience on the matter. I wonder if this is a consistent problem? The lack of lounges is definitely an issue, their partners are limited. It would be great if they were able to partner with all Priority Pass lounges in the future.

  5. Kristen August 16, 2017 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    This is not entirely related to Westjet’s loyalty program. Bit I thought it was worth sharing a slightly different way to earn points.

    In partnership with the federal Public Health Agency of Canada, multiple provincial governments, and other sponsors (e.g., charities), a new and FREE rewards App rewards you financially to improve your health. Talk about the ultimate nudge!

    So in conjunction with other loyalty programs and card, the app helps you:
    –> keep track your daily steps taken,
    –> gives you monetary incentives to walk,
    –> sends you health tips and trivia along with points transferable to dollars via your Petro Canada card, Scene card, or Aeroplan card.

  6. William August 16, 2017 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    How do the rewards program and credit card work together? You make them sound like separate entities.

    • Mary Whyte August 16, 2017 at 4:34 pm - Reply

      Yes, can you earn Silver/Gold status with your credit card spending? (On regular items, not just travel – when we signed up, I was led to believe this was so)

      • Barry Choi August 16, 2017 at 4:46 pm - Reply

        Mary,

        Your credit card spending does NOT apply to silver/gold status unless you’re making purchases on WestJet flights, WestJet vacation packages, or cars and hotels booked on westjet.com.

    • Barry Choi August 16, 2017 at 4:45 pm - Reply

      Hi William,

      The credit card gets tied to your WestJet Rewards account. They’re technically separate, but they work together.

  7. Rudy Sedlak August 17, 2017 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Annual fee is going to $119 starting Nov 2017, FYI …

  8. Chad August 18, 2017 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    The only problem is… you have to fly WestJet. Yuck.

  9. Ninvic August 19, 2017 at 9:38 am - Reply

    One drawback to RBC Westjet card, is that for checked luggage fee to be waived, primary card holder has to travel. So if your spouse is not the primary card holder and they travel alone (without primary card holder), they have to pay the fee, even if you have two cards. ($149 per year I think for 2 cards).
    So one downside to the “free checked luggage”.

  10. Cindy October 14, 2017 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Does anyone know if I need to book my flight with Westjet directly for free baggage or can I use sites such as Expedia.ca? I frequently book WJ one way and need to use another airline for the return so this works for me.

    • Barry Choi October 14, 2017 at 10:06 am - Reply

      CIndy,

      If you use the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard to book your WestJet flights or have Silver status, then your first checked bag is free regardless of where you booked your ticket.

  11. Jo lee December 23, 2017 at 5:44 am - Reply

    Can we earn points booking with west jet thru a travel agent also?
    Thanks

    • Barry Choi December 23, 2017 at 7:26 am - Reply

      Hi Jo,

      Yes you still earn WestJet dollars when booking through a travel agent as long as it’s a fare that can be booked by the public.

  12. gjgjhj January 22, 2018 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    thanks !

  13. Suzanne February 6, 2018 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Pretty late to this conversation but here’s a question. If I have a companion voucher, and do not use it, will I get another voucher after that one expires? Specifically, I am interested in what is considered an “annual voucher”.

    • Barry Choi February 6, 2018 at 8:05 pm - Reply

      HI Suzanne,

      Usually the companion vouchers are good for one year, so yes, if you don’t use yours, you would get a new one. Annual usually refers to annual date of when you signed up for your credit card.

      • Suzanne February 6, 2018 at 8:07 pm - Reply

        Thanks for the quick response!

  14. Martin P February 8, 2018 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Be aware and very careful with your WestJet rewards system! I just found out that my account was canceled in 2014 due to the anti-spam legislation yet I have taken WestJet flights every year before and after this date and given them my account number. I have no email proof that it was canceled and have lost at least 20 return flights worth of travel. Please go into your account and cross-check. My account was flagged as ‘for information only’…clever, they kept my info but un-linked my account number. Is that even legal?

  15. Dc February 24, 2018 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    If I book for family of four do I get all west jet rewards or do we all need a reward card?

    • Barry Choi February 24, 2018 at 4:02 pm - Reply

      DC,

      From the WestJet website

      “No. WestJet Rewards is an individual traveller program. Eligible spend will only be applied to the account belonging to the person whose name and WestJet Rewards ID matches those appearing on the booking. This also applies for bookings made for children. To earn WestJet dollars, each individual traveller must join WestJet Rewards and have their own WestJet Rewards ID.”

  16. alan March 17, 2018 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    After trying to contact Westjet on 3 separate occasions on this question- without the courtesy of a reply – I will ask you Barry.

    In regard to the companion fare, if I book an outbound flight and wish to leave the return leg open – as I am unsure of the time away-can this fare be applied ?

    • Barry Choi March 17, 2018 at 2:14 pm - Reply

      Alan,

      Based on the terms and conditions, I would say no (see below). YOu’re not technically booking a roundtrip ticket which is why I don’t think the voucher would apply.

      Valid for one (1) round-trip for the primary cardholder and a companion of their choice travelling on the same itinerary; these vouchers are non-transferable. Maximum one companion voucher may be used per booking.

      Primary cardholder may use the companion voucher only once on their choice of either A) round-trip travel in Canada and the continental U.S. for a $99 base fare B) round-trip travel to/from Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and Hawaii for a $299 base fare or C) round-trip travel to/from Europe for a $399 base fare. If one-way travel is booked, the full base fare will be charged, the voucher will be deemed fully used and the return portion of travel is forfeited.

  17. lawrence West March 25, 2018 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    How do I GET MY WESTJET dollars summary? I GO TO THE wwwwestjet.com/creditcard and it doesn’t seem to want to show me the balance.

  18. Diane April 22, 2018 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    My husband is the primary cardholder, and I have a card on the same account. It appears to me that my spending is credited as miles to my husband’s account, as the primary cardholder. I do get the companion voucher for one flight a year, but how do I earn westjet miles on my account to spend toward other flights?

    • Barry Choi April 22, 2018 at 2:51 pm - Reply

      Hi Diane,

      You’d have to get your own card to earn WestJet dollars for your own account.

  19. Steve May 14, 2018 at 9:46 am - Reply

    Hi Barry,

    I travel for work quite a bit and I use the Westjet rewards program over Air Canada as it’s much easier to redeem dollars and 5% Earn rate for Gold status is pretty good plus the perks are good for me like same day flight changes for free, seat vouches, 2 free bags, priority boarding etc.- I also get randomly upgraded to Plus seating fairly often which is a nice surprise.

    I am coming up on my qualifying year at the end of June and I’m only short $153 of the $6K qualifying spend to maintain Gold Status but I’m not planning any travel before July. Do you know if I can book a flight and pay for it and not take it or do I have to get on the flight to have the flight count as “qualifying spend”?

    Or is there any other way to get the qualifying spend like renting a car using my Westjet number?

    Thanks,

  20. Jodie May 27, 2018 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry,
    If I am a westjet mastercard credit card holder AND have silver status, am I allowed 2 free checked bags?

    • Barry Choi May 27, 2018 at 8:04 pm - Reply

      Hi Jodie,

      I suspect the answer is no since both the silver status and WestJet Mastercard state that only the first checked bag is free.

  21. momo June 18, 2018 at 5:09 am - Reply

    Thanks for this! I’ve been reading around trying to get details on the rewards of this card and your website is the most comprehensive.

    One last piece that I can’t seem to get a straight answer on: is the qualifying spend on WJ flights, car rentals, etc only or is it for any money I put on the card?

    For example I want to travel to Hawaii next Apr and ideally use the companion voucher for my son’s ticket. So both of us flying together at the same time. If I sign up for the card now, in June, and spend $6000 in groceries, gas, bills, whatever else I normally put on a CC, will I be eligible for the companion voucher as soon as I hit $6k? Or does it have to be $6k in WJ flights/car rentals?

    Thanks!

  22. momo June 18, 2018 at 8:26 am - Reply

    Thanks for the ultra prompt response Barry! And that companion voucher is good for anywhere WJ flies and not just within Canada?

    • Barry Choi June 18, 2018 at 8:28 am - Reply

      Momo,

      yes anywhere but I believe it goes up to $199 for the U.S. and $299 for international. Still a VERY good value. You get this companion voucher every year so it’s worth hanging on to the WestJet card just for that reason.

  23. J July 5, 2018 at 10:50 am - Reply

    If my spouse and I both sign up for the card (different applications) would be both receive the $250 WJ dollars and companion voucher? If so, it may be a good option for our family (planning a holiday to the US next year with two adults, two children).

  24. Gus July 20, 2018 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Hi. Is the companion ticket issued based on calendar year or anniversary of your card signup after the initial one? Also, if the annual companion ticket goes unused during the first year do you have two to use there to use and so on as years go by or do they expire?

    • Barry Choi July 20, 2018 at 12:33 pm - Reply

      Hi Gus,

      It goes by your anniversary date and does not carry forward. So you basically have one year to use them.

  25. Pierre July 20, 2018 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    Hi. can i use my Westjest dollars (i am the primary card holder) and book and pay a flight for my spouse using these dollars.

    • Barry Choi July 20, 2018 at 2:55 pm - Reply

      Hi Pierre,

      Yes you can use your WestJet dollars to buy your wife a ticket. You just need to put the ticket under her name.

  26. LD August 14, 2018 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    I don’t think it’s that great a program. The problem is they don’t count the majority of their ticket purchases towards their points – only those in a certain fare class. So, it’s not at all easy to get to gold status if you travel a lot. And who books full fare on a discount airline, corporate or personal? I’ve not been impressed, I personally did 8 trips back and forth to eastern canada and the eastern US (from Calgary) in the last calendar year and it wasn’t enough to reach silver status. I’ll stick with Delta for Can/US travel, their point program is better.

    • Barry Choi August 15, 2018 at 3:51 pm - Reply

      Hi LD,

      The way the WestJet Rewards Program works is that it is a dollar qualification for tier. You reach Silver at $3,000 spend and Gold at $6,000.

      Note that only the base fare counts (not taxes). The only fare that doesn’t count towards tier qualification is Econo (lowest) which is similar to AC’s Basic fare and is only available on very select routes.

      Air Canada requires the same ($3,000) qualifying spend for 25K PLUS 25,000 Qualifying Miles or 25 Qualifying Segments. In other words, it’s much easier to earn status on WestJet compared to Air Canada.

  27. Hue August 20, 2018 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    As a frequent traveler with WJ Gold, I have no issues on the free benefits accumulated as you go, basically you get what your tier level states, such as free first 2 checked luggage, Zone 1 boarding, priority check-in, free lounge hours, WJ dollars, even first class seat with choice of drinks/food at no extra charge. Yes you will need to pay the annual fee depends on the WJ credit card you have.
    Compared with AC, the only downfall for WJ is so far WJ doesn’t have a whole lot international routes to choose and redeem your WJ dallors, but I believe they are working on it and expect it happen not just for the business point of view but benefit the diverse members from different origins,

  28. Hue August 20, 2018 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    One most important thing with WJ Gold I forgot mentioned in my previous post, you can change to any flight whenever you need as long as they are in the same date, let’s see when you are late for checking they will resign you to another late flight at your choice whenever available, it happened to me twice and it’s my own fault but simply no hassle they will get you there.
    Am I saying correct, Barry?

    • Barry Choi August 20, 2018 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Hue,

      Yes, everything you stated about WJ Rewards is accurate which is why it’s one of the best airline rewards programs out there. WestJet has indeed ordered larger planes so they’ll be able to fly to more destinations in the future.

  29. Archie August 28, 2018 at 9:28 am - Reply

    Hi Barry,

    I am a bit confused by what I can do with WestJet Dollars. Can they only be used towards member exclusive deals? Or can they be used to partially pay regular travel as well? I would like to use the $250 (and some WSD I have earned over the years) to cover my base fare and use the companion voucher to cover my partner’s base fare so I can only pay cash for the taxes and fees. Would this be possible?

    • Barry Choi August 28, 2018 at 9:33 am - Reply

      Hi Archie,

      Your WestJet Dollars can be used to pay partial fares (not taxes). So yes, you should be able to use your WJD to cover your base fare + companion fare and then pay in cash what’s due.

  30. Valerie October 9, 2018 at 12:48 am - Reply

    Hi Barry, I’m wondering if you can answer a question re “first bag free” for RBC WestJet Mastercard and up to 8 travelling companions. I have 5 other people that will be traveling with me on an upcoming trip. I spoke with 3 different people at WestJet and got 3 different answers – first said I needed all people on the same reservation to get the free bag, second person said I couldn’t get the free bag for anyone because I used the companion voucher, third person (when I finally booked) said I just have to show my WestJet Mastercard when I’m at the airport and it didn’t matter when they made their reservation as long as they were traveling with me on the same flights. Are you able to confirm? I’m confused.
    Thank you.

    • Barry Choi October 9, 2018 at 7:51 am - Reply

      Hi Valerie,

      The RBC WestJet World Elite Mastercard terms and conditions states the following.

      “Valid for primary cardholders of the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard and up to eight (8) additional guests travelling on the same reservation; not valid for companions when travelling on a group booking (10+ guests on the same reservation). Eligible member’s 9-digit WestJet Rewards ID must be on the reservation at the time of check-in. Valid on itineraries marketed and wholly operated by WestJet; not valid when travelling with WestJet’s code-share or interline partners. ”

      In plain English, this means if you booked the tickets of the 5 other people all on the same itinerary, then they would also all get their first checked bag free. The companion voucher is also included assuming it’s booked by you and on the same itinerary.

      If you booked all the 5 tickets separately, only you would get your baggage free (and your companion voucher if it’s on the same itinerary)

  31. Cindy November 14, 2018 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry,

    Can you advise if you get the free checked bag if you travel on a Delta flight that is operated by WestJet?

    Thanks very much.

    • Barry Choi November 14, 2018 at 3:00 pm - Reply

      Hi Cindy,

      No, only flights that are fully operated by WestJet qualify for the free baggage.

      • Cindy November 14, 2018 at 3:01 pm - Reply

        Thanks very much.

  32. Meena December 6, 2018 at 7:23 am - Reply

    Hi,

    I was wondering if it’s possible (as the primary cardholder) to book a ticket under someone else’s name and use the voucher on the same itinerary, even though the primary carholder is not travelling? For example booking the tickets for my wife and daughter on my credit card and I pay for it on my statement?

    • Barry Choi December 6, 2018 at 7:26 am - Reply

      Hi Meena,

      The terms and conditions say it’s only for the primary cardholder.

      Valid for one (1) round-trip for the primary cardholder and a companion of their choice travelling on the same itinerary; these vouchers are non-transferable. Maximum one companion voucher may be used per booking.

      Primary cardholder may use the companion voucher only once on their choice of either A) round-trip travel in Canada and the continental U.S. for a $99 CAD base fare B) round-trip travel to/from Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and Hawaii for a $299 CAD base fare or C) round-trip travel to/from the rest of the WestJet network for a $399 CAD base fare. If one-way travel is booked, the full base fare will be charged, the voucher

  33. Lise Trudel December 10, 2018 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry, What will happened to my accumulated WJ dollars if I cancelled my credit card Elite MasterCard RBC? My condition changed and I am not travelling enough anymore. Will I be still eligible to a companion voucher for the last year of being a credit card holder?

    • Barry Choi December 10, 2018 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      Lise,

      The WestJet website states the following:

      “Most WestJet dollars no longer expire, but some still will. You can keep tabs on expiry dates, as applicable, by visiting the Expiring WestJet dollars page in your WestJet Rewards account”

      In regards to the companion voucher, typically you lose the voucher when you cancel the card. That being said, if you book a flight and then cancel your card, you would not lose that redemption even if your flight takes place after your credit card cancellation.

  34. Judy January 6, 2019 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Barry, can I book a flight for my daughter using my Westjet Rewards card so she gets 1 check on luggage free I have done this in past years but this time they say the cardholder name must be the same as the passenger.

    • Barry Choi January 6, 2019 at 2:05 pm - Reply

      Hi Judy,

      The free checked luggage only applies to the primary cardholder and up to 7 additional guests who are booked on the same itinerary. In other words, your daughter would not get her luggage checked for free unless she’s travelling with you under a single reservation.

  35. Judy January 6, 2019 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Thanks Barry for your quick response

    Judy

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