WestJet Rewards:How the WestJet Rewards Program Works
WestJet is Canada's second-largest air carrier, trailing only AirCanada in volume of passengers transported each year. WestJet began as a budget alternative to the major air carriers in 1996, providing service to just a few destinations in Western Canada (hence the name WestJet), but it quickly expanded its operations. WestJet now provides service to more than 100 destinations across North America, the Caribbean, and Europe.
With its expanded service came an expanded demand and thus an opportunity to reward frequent flyers. WestJet's expanded operations and corresponding increase in size allowed it to create the WestJet Rewards program, which has itself grown into perhaps one of the most valuable frequent flyer programs in Canada. So, keep reading to learn all about WestJet Rewards and how it can help you save money on flights, hotels, and other travel expenses.
WestJet Rewards Overview
The WestJet Rewards program is a frequent flyer program that rewards customers who repeatedly travel on WestJet flights with points toward future flights. In short, customers earn WestJet dollars for each real dollar they spend on eligible flights, hotels, and rental cars booked through WestJet. Customers can then spend those WestJet dollars just like their real dollars toward the price of both WestJet and companion airline flights, as well as hotels and rental cars booked directly through WestJet.
How do WestJet Rewards work?
WestJet Rewards, like other travel rewards program, ultimately reward loyal customers with reduced prices and other perks like companion vouchers and free checked bags.
The WestJet Rewards program is quite simple, transparent, and straightforward in that customers simply accumulate WestJet dollars on each qualifying purchase and can then apply those dollars toward the price of future travel. The WestJet Rewards program, accordingly, is quite similar to a cash back rewards program, except that instead of receiving actual cash back that can be used to make any purchase, customers can put the WestJet cash only toward purchases made through WestJet.
The trade off, of course, is that WestJet Rewards points (what we've been referring to as "WestJet dollars") are worth comparatively more per point than standard cash back rewards programs. We'll get into this concept a little deeper in the next section.
What Are WestJet Dollars Worth?
Whereas some cash back rewards programs that we've seen provide less than 1¢ of real world purchasing power for each reward point, the WestJet Rewards program gives customers the chance to earn up to 10¢ per point, depending on the customer's membership tier. In other words, WestJet Rewards members can earn up to 10 WestJet dollars per $100 spent on qualifying travel. Members then spend their WestJet dollars just like real money toward the price of a WestJet flight.
WestJet Rewards Tiers and Benefits
WestJet currently offers four tiers of membership: Teal, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each membership tier is based on an increasing minimum annual spend, meaning the more money a member spends on WestJet travel, the more they get rewarded by WestJet for their loyalty. It's therefore easy to see how WestJet rewards its most loyal customers with the best rewards.
- Teal Tier
Members who spend up to $2,999 per year on WestJet products and services are eligible for access to WestJet Rewards' Teal tier. Teal members receive WestJet dollars equal to .5% of the price of their WestJet flights, .5% of the price of WestJet vacation packages, and 1% of the price of rental cars, hotels, and travel insurance booked through WestJet. This means, in other words, that for every $100 a WestJet Rewards member spends on flight and vacation packages, they earn .5 WestJet dollars and for every $100 spent on rental cars, hotels, and travel insurance, they earn 1 WestJet dollar.
- Silver Tier
Once a member spends more than $2,999 with WestJet, they are promoted to the Silver Tier. Silver members earn 3% of the cost of their flight in WestJet dollars. Silver members also earn WestJet dollars equal to 1% of the cost of vacation packages, rental cars, hotels, and travel insurance. Thus, for every $100 a Silver member spends with WestJet on flights, he or she receives 3 WestJet dollars in return. And for every $100 spent on vacations, cars, hotels, and insurance, he or she will earn 1 WestJet dollar.
The Silver tier is also where members start to receive additional benefits beyond simply earning WestJet dollars. Silver members receive two free checked bags per year, 4 advanced seat selection vouchers, four airport lounge vouchers plus two guest vouchers, Zone 2 boarding privileges, and priority check-in. Silver members are also eligible for complimentary fare upgrades.
- Gold Tier
Gold membership is available to WestJet customers who spend $5,000 to $7,999 per year with WestJet. Gold members earn 5 WestJet dollars for every $100 spent on flights, 1.5 WestJet dollars for every $100 spent on vacation packages, and 1 WestJet dollar for every $100 spent on rental cars, hotels, and insurance.
Gold members also receive two free checked bags, six advanced seat selection vouchers, unlimited airport lounge access for both the member and immediate family, and Priority / Zone 1 boarding. Additional priority benefits includes priority check-in, baggage, security screening, and customer support.
Further, WestJet allows Gold-tier members free same-day flight changes at check-in, as well as the ability to purchase fare upgrades and higher priority for complimentary fare upgrades.
- Platinum tier
WestJet Rewards' highest tier is the Platinum tier. Members become eligible for Platinum-tier membership when they spend $8,000 or more with WestJet each year. The Platinum tier is where WestJet dollars really begin to add up.
Platinum members earn 8 WestJet dollars for every $100 they spend on WestJet flights. They also receive 2 WestJet dollars for every $100 spent on vacation packages and 1 WestJet dollar for every $100 spent on rental cars, hotels, and travel insurance.
Platinum membership includes all the priority benefits and airport lounge access of Gold-tier membership with the addition of 3 free checked bags per year, unlimited advanced seat selection, and highest priority complimentary fare upgrades.
- Additional information
It also bears noting that WestJet allows members to carry over their membership level for one year. This means that if you were a Gold-tier member in 2020, instead of your membership resetting to the Teal tier at the start of 2021, you would continue to enjoy all the benefits of your Gold tier membership even before you spent $5,000 in 2021. Of course, the carryover only lasts for one year, so if you don't spend enough in 2021 to maintain your Gold-tier status, your membership would revert to the Teal tier at the start of 2022, and you would have to re-spend your way back through each tier.
How To Earn WestJet Dollars
Earning WestJet dollars is very simple. All you have to do is book a flight, hotel, rental car, or vacation package directly through WestJet. WestJet will then calculate the WestJet dollars you've earn based on your membership tier and the type and amount of your purchase. WestJet dollars are then stored in your WestJet Rewards account until you apply them toward your next WestJet purchase.
How To Redeem WestJet Dollars
Redeeming WestJet dollars is nearly as simple as earning them. And because 1 WestJet dollar equals $1 CAD in purchasing power, redeeming them requires almost no math either! For example, if you've accumulated 500 WestJet dollars, you can redeem them for $500 off your next WestJet purchase.
- Redeem through WestJet
All you have to do to redeem your WestJet dollars is book a flight or other travel product directly through WestJet's online booking portal. After you select your flight, rental car, or hotel reservation, you'll proceed to check out. There you'll select the option to pay with WestJet dollars instead of your credit card. You can also redeem WestJet dollars over the phone by calling 1-888-WESTJET.
- Redeem through partner airlines
WestJet partners with several other airlines, allowing members to use their WestJet dollars to book flights through more than just WestJet. WestJet currently partners with AirFrance, Delta, KLM, and Quantas.
How to Earn More WestJet Rewards
In general, the only way to earn more WestJet dollars is to buy more WestJet products or to increase the tier of your membership to receive more WestJet dollars per $1 spent. But you may recall that RBC, the Royal Bank of Canada, offers a pair of credit cards that provide additional WestJet benefits. Using one of these cards to book travel with WestJet will allow you to not only earn WestJet dollars based on your membership tier and the amount of your purchase, but also to earn extra WestJet dollars as a perk of using the card itself.
- RBC World Elite Mastercard
The RBC World Elite Mastercard carries a relatively modest $119 annual fee and a fairly standard 19.99% interest rate. But for this annual fee, cardholders receive a host of additional benefits.
Cardholders first receive an extra roundtrip companion voucher that allows an additional traveler to book a seat on the same flight for $119 or $399 plus applicable taxes and fees depending on destination.
Cardholders also receive an additional free checked bag for themselves and up to 8 guests on the same flight. The World Elite Mastercard comes with a welcome bonus of 350 WestJet dollars, complimentary access to Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots, an additional 2% back in WestJet dollars on all WestJet travel purchases and an extra 1.5% in WestJet dollars on all other purchases. This means that World Elite cardholders could potentially earn up to 10 WestJet dollars for every $100 spent on WestJet travel!
- RBC WestJet Mastercard
The RBC WestJet Mastercard is designed for customers who wish to earn extra WestJet rewards but don't need all the added benefits of the World Elite card. This card carries a low $39 annual fee and a 19.99% interest rate.
The RBC WestJet Mastercard comes with an annual companion voucher that allows a guest to travel on the same reservation as the cardholder to and from either Canada or the continental United States. This card comes with a welcome bonus of 50 WestJet dollars. It allows members to earn an additional 1.5% on all WestJet travel purchases and an additional 1% on every other purchase.
It's easy to see why WestJet's rewards program has become one of the most popular rewards programs in Canada. It provides a simple, intuitive, and convenient way to earn benefits toward flights and other travel expenses by spending money that you'd spend anyway. Moreover, very frequent flyers who travel enough to achieve Gold or Platinum-tier membership will see their WestJet dollars accumulate exceedingly fast, especially if paired with the RBC World Elite Mastercard's additional benefits.
So, if you're a frequent traveler looking to make the money you're already spending on travel work a little harder for you, we'd encourage you to visit WestJet Rewards' website or give them a call to find out for yourself whether it's the right frequent flyer program for you.
What Happens If I Cancel an Award Flight?
If you use WestJet dollars to pay for a flight that is eligible for changes or cancelations, those WestJet dollars will be returned to your account. The flight, however, may still be subject to a change or cancellation fee.
How Many Westjet Dollars Does it Take to Fly?
WestJet requires rewards members to apply at least 15 WestJet dollars to any flight they wish to pay for with WestJet dollars. But from there, one WestJet dollar equals $1 CAD, meaning a flight costs the same in WestJet dollars or real currency.
Do WestJet Dollars Expire?
In general, no. However, WestJet dollars obtained through certain promotions may expire if not used before a set time.
How flexible are WestJet Rewards?
WestJet rewards are not quite as flexible as other rewards points in that they can be used only for new bookings and cannot apply toward taxes and fees. Still, WestJet allows members to use their WestJet dollars to book travel for another person, to book travel through companion airlines, or to transfer their WestJet dollars to another member, subject to a $50 or $59 transfer fee.
Are there blackout dates?
No. WestJet dollars are not subject to any blackout dates.
Can You Use WestJet Dollars to Cover Taxes & Fees?
No. WestJet dollars can only be applied toward the base fare.
Can WestJet Dollars Be Transferred to Another Program?
Yes. WestJet dollars can be used to book flights through WestJet's partner airlines: AirFrance, Delta, KLM, and Quantas.
How Do I Access my WestJet Dollars Login?
Simply visit WestJet's website and sign into your rewards account using the link in top right hand corner.
How Can I Contact Westjet ?
Customers can contact WestJet via telephone, social media, email, or through the digital travel assistant built in to their website.