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A Review of WestJet’s Frequent Guest Loyalty Reward Program

WestJet is among the leading low-cost Canadian Airlines that operate within Canada and between Canada, US, Mexico and several destinations in the Caribbean. The airline has a loyalty reward program called Frequent Guest that accumulates points called WestJet dollars. Customers flying WestJet airlines frequently can get to accumulate WestJet dollars which they can later redeem for free flights. The airline operates 737 planes only meaning that they only have one fare (coach). It sounds a lot like a hotel program, but it isn’t. Let’s have a closer look at how it works.

Earning Points

If you are a loyal customer of WestJet, you have three ways to earn WestJet dollars. The first is by purchasing flight tickets for WestJet Airways flights. You will earn 2.5% WestJet dollars for any dollars spent on eligible flights (points applied on base fare meaning taxes, surcharges and fees are excluded). However, the points do not start working till you have spent at least $1,500 within a year. At this level, WestJet gives you $50 WestJet dollars ($1500 x 2.5% = $37.50 + $12.50 bonus) and you receive 1% WestJet dollars of amount spent with your Frequent Guest ID attached.
Another way to earn WestJet dollars is by taking WestJet Vacations. The earning structure of the vacations package is the same as that of flight – spend $1,500 to start earning WestJet dollars for WestJet vacations bookings.
Finally, you can sign up for WestJet RBC MasterCard credit card to earn even more WestJet dollars in two ways: the first is by applying for WestJet RBC World MasterCard and get 100 WestJet dollars signup bonus and earn 1.5% WestJet dollars on any daily purchases and 2% on any WestJet and WestJet Vacations bookings for $79 annually. The second awards you 25 WestJet dollars sign up bonus and offers 1.0% WestJet dollars on daily purchases and 1.5% on WestJet flight and vacation purchases for $39 per year.

Redeeming Points

You can redeem your WestJet dollars in the Frequent Guest account for WestJet flights and WestJet Vacation packages. Since the WestJet dollars have constant cash equivalent, it is much easier to use and can be used to book any new flight.
The airline offers varying discounts to members but essentially, the more the points you have the higher the discount. Note, however, that you cannot use WestJet dollars to settle taxes or fees on the ticket. If you would like to redeem the Frequent Guest points for a vacation package, you can top up the deficit with up to $500 per booking.
For a $20 fee, you can transfer WestJet dollars from one member to another, a feature that most frequent flyer programs still don’t have. The airline also offers complimentary companion tickets for points redemption but this is not clear on the program’s webpage.

Elite membership

There is no special elite Frequent Guest membership but WestJet offers a number of privileges to very loyal members.
Canadian Jet-Away: When you spend $4,500 on WestJet in a year, they will award you with a companion flight to any destination the airline flies to within Canada. 2 airport lounge passes and 4 advance seat selection vouchers.
International Jet-Away: When you spend $6,000, you will get an international Jet-Away award that comes with a complimentary companion ticket to any destination WestJet flies to, 4 advance seat selection vouchers and 2 airport lounge passes.

Pros

• No blackout dates – as long as there are seats, you can redeem for them.
• It is a unique frequent flyer system that allows transferring WestJet dollars between members.
• You don’t need to have a lot of points to redeem.
• Points expire after 5 years.

Cons

• The $1,500 annual expenditure level locks out most members.
• Limited earning and redemption partners
• WestJet dollars are not worth much.

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