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WestJet RBC World Elite: New Limited-Time $0 Companion Voucher Ricky February 24, 2021

WestJet RBC World Elite: New Limited-Time $0 Companion Voucher

The WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard has long differentiated itself with an annual WestJet companion voucher as a key benefit, allowing cardholders to book a second passenger for as little as a $119 base fare when they pay full price for the first passenger.

As a promotional benefit until May 31, 2021, new WestJet RBC World Elite cardholders will receive a special companion voucher that comes with a $0 base fare for the second passenger for travel to the majority of WestJet’s destinations.

Limited-Time $0 Companion Voucher

As a reminder, the standard companion voucher on the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard works as follows:

  • Pay a $119 base fare, plus taxes and fees, for the second passenger when you pay full price for the first passenger on a round-trip flight in economy or premium class, within Canada and the US
  • Pay a $399 base fare, plus taxes and fees, for the second passenger when you pay full price for the first passenger on a round-trip flight in economy or premium class, throughout the rest of WestJet’s network, including Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe

(Premium class refers to WestJet’s premium economy product. Unfortunately, the companion voucher is not valid on WestJet’s 787 business class product.)

If you apply for or product-switch to the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard by May 31, 2021, you’ll receive a special $0 companion voucher for the first year of holding the card, in lieu of the standard companion voucher. You’ll continue to get the standard companion voucher from the second year onwards.

The $0 companion voucher is valid for economy class flights only throughout the WestJet network, with the exception of transatlantic flights to Europe. If you’d like to use the companion voucher for premium class flights or on transatlantic flights, you still have the option of doing so under the terms of the standard $119 companion voucher.

Essentially, the limited-time companion voucher looks as follows:

  • Pay a $0 base fare, plus taxes and fees, for the second passenger when you pay full price for the first passenger on a round-trip flight in economy class, within Canada, the US, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
  • Pay a $119 base fare, plus taxes and fees, for the second passenger when you pay full price for the first pasenger on a round-trip flight in premium class within Canada and the US
  • Pay a $399 base fare, plus taxes and fees, for the second passenger when you pay full price for the first passenger on a round-trip flight in premium class to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, or in economy or premium class to Europe

Compared to the standard companion voucher, the special $0 companion voucher allows you to save a further $119 on the second passenger’s flights within Canada and the US, or save a further $399 on the second passenger’s flights to Mexico, Central America, or the Caribbean.

Indeed, I’d say that the latter use-case represents the main appeal of this offer. With the standard companion voucher, it was often a poor deal to pay the relatively high $399 base fare for the second passenger, since the savings were usually pretty minimal unless you were flying during peak travel season (and therefore paying a higher fare for the first passenger in the first place).

Saving that $399 and paying only a $0 base fare for the second passenger would be a much more attractive proposition if you have plans to travel to the Sun destinations over the next couple of years.

Like the regular companion vouchers, the $0 companion voucher will also have a one-year validity period after you’ve earned it. You just need to make a booking before the companion voucher expires, and you can book travel for up to one year later, so that’s effectively a two-year travel period with the $0 companion voucher.

And remember, if you don’t find value even in the $0 companion voucher (perhaps you’re a solo traveller and rarely travel with a fellow passenger on the same booking), then you can now trade in your companion voucher for a set of four WestJet lounge access vouchers.

Signup Bonus of 450 WestJet Dollars Will End March 31

In addition to the limited-time $0 companion voucher, you’ll also receive a historically-high welcome bonus of 450 WestJet Dollars if you sign up for the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard before March 31, 2021.

The first chunk of 250 WestJet Dollars are granted upon approval, with an extra 200 WestJet Dollars granted upon spending $5,000 in the first three months.

WestJet has confirmed that the bonus will not be extended past March 31, and there will be a new but less rewarding offer as of April 1. So even though the $0 companion voucher lasts until May 31, it’d be in your best interest to apply before March 31 in order to capture maximum value from signing up.

Note that while the $0 companion voucher will be offered to cardholders who switch from a different RBC product to the WestJet card, it is explicitly stated that the additional 200 WestJet Dollars as part of the signup bonus “do not apply to product changes from another RBC credit card” – so you’d only receive the 250 WestJet Dollars on a product switch.

A Competitive Response to the Air Canada Buddy Pass

It doesn’t come as a surprise to me to see WestJet putting out a $0 companion voucher as a promotional benefit, as it’s very much a competitive response to the Air Canada Buddy Pass that has been in the market for the past few months.

For many years, WestJet has prided itself upon the annual companion voucher as a key benefit of their co-branded credit card, and Air Canada aimed squarely to undercut this advantage in offering the Buddy Pass as part of the welcome incentive on its new Aeroplan co-branded credit cards.

Indeed, the Air Canada Buddy Pass was marketed along the lines of “the only true buy-one-get-one voucher in Canada”, thanks to its $0 base fare for the second passenger compared to WestJet’s $119+ base fare.

Now, in launching a $0 companion voucher of their own, WestJet has taken the fight back to Air Canada. Not only does the $0 base fare match what Air Canada is offering, but it’s actually redeemable on a wider range of destinations, encompassing Central America and the Caribbean in addition to Canada, the US, and Mexico.

Travellers who are headed to WestJet’s destinations in Costa Rica or the Caribbean islands, who might otherwise have considered the Aeroplan credit cards and the Air Canada Buddy Pass, will now have a greater incentive to pick the WestJet card instead.

The $0 companion voucher is currently being offered on new signups before May 31, 2021, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were extended beyond that date if Air Canada continues to offer the Buddy Pass as part of its own signup incentives later in the year.

It’s always good to witness competition in the market playing out to the benefit of consumers, although it’s a shame that WestJet hasn’t shown the same competitive instincts on the redemption side of its loyalty program.

A reminder that WestJet is planning to add global partner redemptions on Delta, Air France/KLM, and Qantas sometime in 2021 – so we’ll have to wait and see if the airline is in the mood to compete in that regard. 

Conclusion

Until May 31, 2021, applying for or switching to the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard will earn you a limited-time companion voucher that comes with a $0 base fare for the second passenger for travelling in economy class within Canada, the US, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Compared to the Air Canada Buddy Pass, WestJet’s $0 companion voucher offers a wider range of destinations, such as Costa Rica and the Caribbean islands for you to book a second passenger at no cost. We’ll also do a deeper comparison between the two offerings in a future post. 

Meanwhile, the historically high welcome bonus of 450 WestJet Dollars will be ending on March 31, so you should apply by that date in order to capture full value from this card (although product-switching will only grant you the base-level bonus 250 WestJet Dollars). 

Top Offers

WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard

350 WestJet Dollars
upon first purchase

  • 2% back in WSD per dollar spent on WestJet flights and vacations
  • Free checked bags and wifi on WestJet flights
  • Annual WestJet companion voucher starting at $119

Offer ends June 30, 2021.

Signup bonus
450 WestJet Dollars
Annual fee
$119
16 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Jim

    “First time cardholder” would seem to exclude churners. If you’ve held the card before you are not a first time cardholder. Is that your understanding, Ricky?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      By a strict interpretation of the terms and conditions, yes. I guess we’ll find out soon enough from people’s data points.

  2. Avatar
    herb

    Also got this offer today if I renew my Westjet WE. “When your WestJet RBC® World Elite Mastercardⱡ renews this year you can look forward to your next companion voucher saving you even more money on a trip within Canada or to the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. For one year only, when booking an Economy fare for yourself, you will be able to use your companion voucher and pay $0 (plus taxes, fees and charges) for your companion.^”

    My renewal is due next month and I was going to try and get them to drop the AF. Might be harder to talk them into it now. 🙁

  3. Avatar
    Josh

    In the article you mention Central America being part of the ‘$0 zones’ but in the image from the Westjet site I only see Canada, US, Mexico and the Caribbean. Is that a mistake?

    “If you became a first-time cardholder between February 24 – May 31, 2021 your first companion voucher will be $0 CAD (plus taxes, fees and other ATC charges) for travel on an Economy fare within Canada, to the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean”

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      I’ve confirmed that Central America is included in WestJet’s definition of “Caribbean”, so yes the Costa Rica destinations would be eligible.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      The terms and conditions say: Visit westjet.com/companion-voucher for complete details.

      If you follow that link, you’ll see on those terms and conditions: If you became a first-time cardholder between February 24 – May 31, 2021 your first companion voucher will be $0 CAD (plus taxes, fees and other ATC charges) for travel on an Economy fare within Canada, to the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean^.

      1. Avatar
        Shawn

        I see that… Thanks Ricky! 🙂

  4. Avatar
    Adele

    It looks like the Great White North may get something similar to Southwest Companion Pass… in about 10 years time :).

    Being “stuck” in the US for the foreseeable future, I made a push to apply for 2 Southwest credit cards (with the super high welcome bonuses that were available until a few weeks ago). Looking forward to some 2-for-1 domestic travel all the way to the end of 2022. They don’t fly into Canada, but do have some fun sun destinations.

    I feel like the majority of promos offered by AC and WJ are just one time teases, while SW is really trying to place themselves as your go-to airline.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      I think that boils down to the competition. Southwest needs to compete against the US network carriers, so it makes sense to offer customers an ongoing incentive to build long-term loyalty. Whereas AC and WS are happy to win over customers from each other, but after that there’s less emphasis on retention since we don’t have too many choices anyway.

  5. Avatar
    Dylan

    If I currently hold the regular WestJet credit card, and am planning on using my companion voucher within this next month, will I still be granted the 0$ companion voucher upon switching my card to the world elite?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      I followed up on this and confirmed that yes, you will get the $0 companion voucher in this.

  6. Avatar
    Kevin

    Just wish this was FYF as well. Any idea if the WJD bonus for a product switch will increase after Mar 31?

  7. Avatar
    Bugoy

    Can you use your WJD to pay for the cost of flight and use the companion voucher at the same time?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Yes you can, if you use WestJet Dollars to pay for a regular fare. However, you can’t combine a WestJet Member Exclusive fare with the companion voucher.

  8. Avatar
    Phil

    Not eligible for transatlantic, nor eligible for business, and they rape you on ridiculous made up fees, no thanks Westjet still sucks

Ricky

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