WestJet unveiled a new perk this week that will leave its members (and their friends and family) smiling. The day after Calgary-based WestJet celebrated its 20th birthday, the airline also announced that WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard customers can now redeem their WestJet companion voucher for travel anywhere in the WestJet network, including Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Europe. In addition, the first checked bag at no charge benefit has also been extended to include the entire network.

WestJet Companion Voucher

Enhanced WestJet Companion Voucher

Already a hidden gem amongst the rewards community, the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard now offers unrestricted access to the WestJet network without requiring a minimum annual card spend or high annual fees.

The WestJet companion voucher is part of the welcome bonus and annual renewal award available to new and existing WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard holders. This offer allows the primary cardholder to take a companion on a round trip on the same itinerary for $99 in Canada and the U.S., $299 for sun destinations including Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean, or $399 for trips to the U.K. and Ireland. Flights are subject to taxes, fees and charges on any WestJet-marketed and operated flight anywhere in the WestJet network.

I spoke with Sol Zia, manager of rewards at WestJet, about these changes. He said the company undertook a large scale research study of WestJet rewards members and non-cardholders to understand the barriers and pain points from the rewards program.

“The number one complaint about the program was the restricted companion voucher,” said Zia in a phone interview.

Previous to this enhancement, cardholders received an annual round-trip companion flight for $99 (plus fees and taxes) on a WestJet marketed and operated flight in Canada and the continental U.S. (excluding Hawaii and Puerto Rico).

Zia also said that many people who haven’t considered the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard may be underestimating the benefit of the companion flight and free checked bag for up to eight people in your party.

“There are no blackout dates, even at Christmas, and so there are huge savings to be had at times which are convenient to cardholders and their companions.”

WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard benefits

New cardholders get a welcome bonus of $250 WestJet dollars as well as an annual round-trip companion flight voucher starting at $99 (plus fees and taxes) after your first purchase.

Here’s what you’ll get with the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard:

  • Earn 1.5% back in WestJet dollars on every purchase you make.
  • Earn 2% back in WestJet dollars when you purchase WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages.
  • Receive an annual round-trip companion voucher that allows you to go anywhere WestJet flies
  • Get your first checked bag free on all WestJet flights.
  • Redeem any amount of WestJet dollars, at any time. One WestJet dollar earned is worth one Canadian dollar when redeemed for travel with WestJet or WestJet Vacations.
  • Travel whenever you want with no blackout periods or seat restrictions, and no advance booking requirements.
  • Use your WestJet dollars just like cash towards all or part of your next WestJet flight or WestJet Vacations package.

The card comes with a $99 annual fee and, since it’s a World Elite MasterCard, you’ll need a minimum $70,000 annual income (or $120,000 household income) to qualify. Additional cards are $49 per year.

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