West Jet launches "frequent guest" program and new credit card...at last
After much discussion and a couple delays, WestJet today announced its two new programs to reward folks who fly with them on a regular basis.
"The WestJet Credit Card Program offered in partnership with RBC and MasterCard, and the WestJet Frequent Guest Program will offer guests the opportunity to earn and accumulate WestJet dollars," the company said in a press release. "Every WestJet dollar can be used as cash toward the purchase of any flight on any date to any destination — including seat sales. WestJet dollars can also be used towards WestJet Vacations packages (up to 500 WestJet dollars per person). There are no points, redemption grids, advance booking, blackouts or seat restrictions - just dollars off flights and vacation packages."
“These programs are designed to be simple, open and transparent,” said Lauri Feser, WestJet Vice-President of Marketing. “Canadians want to be able to understand the way their rewards are calculated, and they don’t want to worry about whether they have enough points to do what they want. For the frequent business traveller, our research indicates there is strong appeal for the rewards offered by this type of program. Most of all, they want to be able to use their rewards without blackout periods and other restrictions.”
In a story in today's Calgary Herald, a spokesman for a web site that keeps track of reward programs suggested the program has fewer perks than rival programs such as Aeroplan.
"You're losing out on business class upgrades, you don't have business class lounge access," said Patrick Sojka, head of
RewardsCanada.ca,a Calgary-based website."Those people who get that with Aeroplan won't be making the move."
Sojka may be right, but it likely won't matter to the legions of WestJet fans out there who simply want a reward for frequent flights. The program might not be perfect but it still sounds like an improvement over no frequent flyer program at all.
WestJet said it also has joined with RBC and MasterCard to launch their new travel reward credit card program. RBC’s first MasterCard product offering in Canada includes two new cards: the WestJet RBC World MasterCard and the WestJet RBC MasterCard. With each, cardholders earn WestJet dollars on everyday purchases.
The WestJet RBC World MasterCard provides 1.5 per cent in WestJet dollars, plus a welcome bonus of 100 WestJet dollars. The card has an annual fee of $79, carries premium travel insurances and includes automatic membership to MasterCard World Experiences and Offers, which provides access to hotel discounts and upgrades, preferential golf and spa rates and other exclusive benefits.
With the WestJet RBC MasterCard, cardholders earn one per cent back in WestJet dollars on everyday credit card purchases, plus a welcome bonus of 25 WestJet dollars the first time the card is used. The card has an annual fee of $39.
Both cards provide a 0.5 per cent bonus in WestJet dollars for WestJet flights and WestJet Vacations packages purchased on the card.
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