Effective February 6th 2017, WestJet Rewards is making several impactful changes to the earning structure of its tiered loyalty program.
Overall WestJet will make it easier for Rewards members to maintain status, and will make the program more rewarding for frequent flyers. Infrequent flyers will see a little drop in value. Here’s a summary of the changes to the program:
1. Earning WestJet Dollars Will Be Tied To Status: WestJet has made it easier for members to understand how many WestJet Dollars they’ll earn on their flights. Instead of tying your rewards rate to how much you’ve spent on WestJet flights in your qualifying year, your earn rate will be determined by your status at time of flight.
If you’re a Gold member at time of flight, you’ll earn 5% back on all WestJet flights. Simple.
2. Maintaining Status Will Be Easier: In the past, until you achieved your higher status, you would earn the lower tiered earn rate for each qualifying bucket, as you climbed the spend latter. Now you will maintain your status for the current year and the entire next qualifying year – and your ability to keep your Silver or Gold status is based on your qualifying flight spend in each successive year.
So let’s say you achieve Silver status in year 1. You will have Silver status and its benefits for all of the remainder of year 1 and all of year 2. If you maintain Silver status spend levels in year 2, you’ll have Silver status for all of year 3, etc. No more resetting at 1% at the beginning of each year, and then working your way from 1% to 3% to 5% during the year.
3. Spend Thresholds Have Changed To Qualify For Tiers: WestJet has made it easier for more people to earn status sooner. Specifically, flyers need to spend $1,000 less to earn Silver status.
|Status||Old Spend Threshold||New Spend Threshold|
4. Earn Rates Have Improved For Some, Declined For Others: While Silver and Gold members will not have to ladder their way up to their full earn rate any longer, there’s no disputing that Silver members took an earnings hit.
|Status||Old Earn Rate||New Earn Rate|
|Teal||1% < $1,499 – 3% $1,500-$3,999||1%<$2,999|
Teal members definitely got the short end of the stick here. In addition to losing out on 2% on spend between $1,500 and $2,999, they will also no longer get the 35 WestJet Dollar Bonus at $1,500 of spend.
That said, Silver status members will earn more WestJet Rewards. Despite the drop in rewards from 5% to 3%, Silver members end-up earning more WestJet Dollars because they earn 3% from dollar one. In the previous program, they would earn 1% on the first $1,499 of spend.
For example, in the past if you would have spent $4,500 on WestJet flights, you would have earned a total of 115 WestJet Dollars, an average earn rate of 2.5%. Spend the same $4,500 in the new program and you’ll earn 135 WestJet Dollars, an average earn rate of 3%!
In the end WestJet has made their program more rewarding for frequent flyers and a little less so for the infrequent flyer. Of course another way to help you earn additional WestJet Dollars is to get the WestJet World Elite MasterCard. You’ll earn an additional 2% on WestJet spend, bringing Teal members to 3% earnings on WestJet spend, Silver to 5% and Gold to 7%!
Of course the other advantage of using the WestJet World Elite MasterCard, is that you’ll automatically get an annual companion voucher each and every year (otherwise requiring $6,000 of WestJet spend), free first checked bag for you and up to 8 travelling companions and of course you’ll earn 1.5% on all your non-WestJet credit card spend!