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Friday, September 4, 2020

WestJet extends top-tier status for Platinum, Gold and Silver members, extends qualifying period + they'll move to calendar year qualifying rather than basing it on join date

 Today WestJet provided a much needed update for their elite status members by granting extensions for existing elite members and adjusting some of the qualifying rules for the near future. This is the first news we've had from WestJet regarding elite status since they first provided select extensions to those who were set to lose their status early on during the pandemic.

Status Extension

WestJet will be extending top-tier status for all current Platinum, Gold and Silver members through to December 31, 2021. This is welcome news as many of these members haven't been able to travel or are travelling much less than before. In some ways I wish this happened during the start of the pandemic as my entire family lost our Gold status back in May - which with pre-pandemic plans we were hoping to re-qualify just in time. Unfortunately that wasn't the case and it wasn't only us, there are numerous others who didn't have their status extended during those first few months as their spend wasn't close to re-qualifying yet.

WestJet told us they want to ensure their members have certainty about their status and that the change will take place by September 30 with members keeping their current status and tier benefits until December 31, 2021 or until a higher tier is reached. 

Qualifying Period Extension

On top of those existing tier extension WestJet Rewards is extending the qualifying period for all members including Teal members to December 31, 2021. This means all spend in your current qualifying period will be added to any additional spend you have from now until the end of next year to qualify for or retain status.  This update will take place by September 30 for Platinum, Gold and Silver members along with WestJet RBC credit card holders and any members whose qualifying period ends on September 30. For all other members this update will take place no later than October 31, 2020.

I'm guessing for a lot of you whose qualifying periods ended up until today this doesn't change things very much. That's the case for our family as our qualifying period resets in May so much like the majority of Canadians our spend since that time (or even March and April) is $0. 

Qualifying spend requirements for each tier will stay the same and are as follows:

Tier

Qualifying spend

Silver

$3,000

Gold

$5,000

Platinum

$8,000

 

Future Qualifying Period Changes

WestJet also announced they will be changing the elite status qualifying period once this current qualifying extension comes to a close. As of January 1, 2022 a new qualifying year will begin for all members as the rewards program moves to the calendar based model. This means all members will have from January 1 to December 31 of each year to qualify or re-qualify for status. 

Double Qualifying Spend Promotion

To celebrate this news WestJet has also launched a new promotion today that provides all members double elite qualifying spend on eligible WestJet flights booked between today and September 30 for travel until December 15, 2020. To qualify for double qualifying spend members must register for the offer first.  You can register for the promotion here.

Final thoughts

Overall this is positive news from WestJet as they make the move from selective status extensions to offering it to their entire membership base. My only qualm with the news is that there isn't any retroactive portion to it. There are lots of WestJet loyalists who lost their status and had their qualifying spend reset during the past six months only to see this news come out now. Many other loyalty programs offered extensions for their entire membership base when the pandemic hit and it would have been nice for WestJet to do so as well as they'll have some members peeved at seeing this being offered now instead of four or five months ago.

Learn more about these changes from WestJet here.

I would love to hear from our readers how you feel about this news. Were you one of those members who lost their status and had their qualifying spend reset over the past 6 months? Or are you one of the lucky ones who will have their status extended and have some qualifying spend that hasn't reset yet? Let me know in the comment section below.

One more note - be sure to keep an eye out for another WestJet Rewards promotion coming next week!

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