I have done a complete review of the WestJet program, it is quite long so I will not post all of it here, as well you can see in the previous post a quick overview. However please post your comments, good,bad or neutral below. WestJet does read our blog and they are known as a very proactive company when it comes to comments from their Guests.
The complete review is on our main Rewards Canada site, you can read it here
Here is an excerpt:
The biggest feature with the WestJet Frequent Guest Program is no black out dates. As long as seats are available (ie for sale on the website) then you will be able to redeem for them. There are no black out dates and there is no limit to number of seats per flight or per route like legacy frequent flyer programs. Although most legacy programs have introduced access to all seats at all times it requires more miles, typically double the base requirement or more whereas with WestJet the value of your rewards remains the same regardless of the ticket value.
Jet-Away bonus rewards are an interesting way to reward members without giving away tons of dollars and relatively unique to the Frequent Flyer Program industry but again they are taking a page from the credit card industry where numerous cards offer complimentary companion tickets. With these rewards however WestJet is keeping revenue in mind as you have to buy a ticket to go along with the companion ticket.
The WestJet Frequent Guest Program allows for transfers between members for a flat $20 fee, compared to most frequent flyer programs that have a base fee plus a certain amount of cents per miles transferred.
Overall what is good about programs like the WestJet program is that you don't have to have a lot of points to redeem and get some sort of reward versus the set point programs like most frequent flyer programs where you need a minimum amount of points to redeem for a flight.
The $1500 annual spend level will keep the ultra-leisure traveller away unless they get the RBC MasterCard. The spending is also per person, so if you think, by booking your family of four a trip and spending $1600 in base fares reaches the first level, think again, each person will only have $400 towards the first level.
The main downfall of the credit card type or WestJet type of program is that value is lost when you have to redeem for expensive/non-seat sale flights as you have to redeem more points versus the set point programs which require the same amount of points for a flight regardless of what it is selling for (of course this is the best case scenario not taking into account black out dates, availability etc)
As well the credit card is right in the middle of the pack as the 1.5% return on the World MasterCard version falls below cards like the Capital One Miles Plus and Diners Club MasterCards, but is equal to cards like the TD Travel Visas.
The 12 month annual spend levels will make it tough for the less frequent flyer to accrue WestJet Dollars. While Aeroplan has a 12 month inactivity rule, all you have to do is earn 1 or redeem 1 mile to keep your account and balance active and growing. With WestJet if you don't hit that $1500 in the 12 month period, say you spend $1350, you won't get anything.
The 5 Year expiry on your earned dollars is about average for the industry but only for programs that have life span regulations on earned miles/dollars. Many Asian frequent flyer programs have a 3 year life span and in Canada Aeroplan has a 7 year life span while others have no life span as long as you have activity in your account.
No online capabilites for redemption yet, that will come soon but in the meantime it means calling WestJet to take care of bookings when you want to redeem WestJet dollars.
Once again, you can read the complete review here