Shortly after confirming a status extension for all WestJet Rewards members through December 2021, WestJet has now announced their latest promotion on their co-branded credit card.
The Qualifying Spend Boost offer, one of the first of its kind here in Canada, allows you to level-up your WestJet status by earning qualifying spend through your regular spending on the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard between now and December 9, 2020.
Spend Your Way to Higher WestJet Status
For a limited time, 10% of every eligible purchase you make with your WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard will count as qualifying spend towards upgrading the primary cardholder to the next status tier within WestJet Rewards.
Primary cardholders will need to register for this offer on the WestJet website. Supplementary cardholders do not need to register; their spending will automatically count under their primary cardholder’s account, helping the primary cardholder rack up the qualifying spend.
As a reminder, the current qualification criteria for WestJet Platinum, Gold, or Silver status are as follows:
The status benefits can be found on the WestJet website. Silver members get free first and second checked bags, priority check-in, and airport lounge vouchers, Gold members get unlimited lounge access, and Platinum members get the highest priority for upgrades. All status members receive a boost to the WestJet Dollars earning rate when flying with WestJet, with Platinum members topping out at an 8% earn rate.
The offer period will be divided into three separate tracking periods, each consisting of approximately 30 days, reflecting the monthly statement cycle on the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard:
- Period 1: September 10 – October 9, 2020
- Period 2: October 10 – November 9, 2020
- Period 3: November 10 – December 9, 2020
Qualifying spend will be based on the total amount of purchases made on your card in the period that you register in, meaning that:
- If you register in Period 1, all your purchases for the entire Period 1 and following Periods 2 and 3 will count.
- If you register in Period 2, then only purchases made in Periods 2 and 3 will count.
- If you register in Period 3, then only purchases made in Period 3 will count.
It’s important to note that the maximum qualifying spend that any WestJet RBC World Elite cardholder can earn under this offer corresponds to the amount of qualifying spend required to earn one tier higher than their current membership tier as of September 10, 2020.
Therefore, if you are a standard Teal member with $0 in qualifying spend as of today’s date, then you have the opportunity of earning up to $3,000 in qualifying spend via this offer. So if you spent $30,000 on purchases, whether that’s department store goods or items at the grocery store to feed your large family, then 10% of your purchases would equate to $3,000 in qualifying spend, and that would earn your WestJet Silver status until the end of 2021.
Similarly, current Silver members who’ve earned their $3,000 in qualifying spend can then earn up to $2,000 in qualifying spend to level-up to Gold, while current Gold members who’ve earned their $5,000 in qualifying spend can then earn up to $3,000 in qualifying spend to level-up to Platinum.
(And if, say, you’re a Silver member from previous years who hasn’t earned any qualifying spend this year, then you’ll be able to earn a total of $5,000 in qualifying spend to level-up to Gold.)
Keep in mind that even if you don’t end up fully maximizing the promotion, any qualifying spend you earn will still count towards your progress for the current expanded 2020–21 status year.
Let’s say you spent $10,000 on a major purchase during this promotion as a current Silver member with $3,000 in qualifying spend; that would earn you $1,000 in qualifying spend, meaning that you only have to rack up a further $1,000 in qualifying spend within all of the remainder of 2020 and 2021 to reach Gold status.
You could even combine the Qualifying Spend Boost offer with the Double Qualifying Spend offer on WestJet flights that was announced last week. In this scenario, if you also happened to fly on a WestJet flight with a $500 base fare between now and December 15, then that flight would earn you $1,000 of qualifying spend as well, combining with the qualifying spend you earned from the credit card promotion to bump you up to Gold status.
This promotion means that it’s also a great time to apply for the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard if you don’t have it already. In addition to the historically high public signup bonus of 350 WestJet Dollars and the other much-acclaimed benefits like a free first checked bag, an annual companion voucher, and free onboard wifi, the WestJet RBC World Elite will now also give you the ability to earn WestJet status based on your spending as well.
(While RBC’s approval criteria were certainly tighter than usual this year due to the challenging climate, it’s my understanding that the criteria have been relaxed slightly in August, so you should have a better chance at approval than earlier this spring or summer.)
You can watch my YouTube video on this card to learn more about its features:
As I mention in the video, I view the WestJet RBC World Elite as one of the simplest and most accessible ways for Canadian travellers to unlock excellent value from a single credit card, especially at a time when domestic travel is a greater priority than international travel.
If you were to apply now, then you’d have plenty of time to register for the card during Period 1 (prior to October 9), meaning that 10% of all your purchases as soon as your get the card would count as qualifying spend towards WestJet status.
(And remember, earning WestJet status also opens the door to status match opportunities down the line to other frequent flyer programs as well.)
Don’t Forget: Double Earning Until September 30
To sweeten the deal even further, don’t forget that the WestJet card’s summer offer of doubled earning rate on groceries and dining has been extended to September 30 as well.
Under this promotion, you had the ability to choose how the extra 1.5% return that you earn under the doubled earning rate would be delivered: cash back, WestJet Dollars, or a charity donation.
Clearly, cash back is the most versatile option, so essentially you get to earn a total 3% return on groceries and dining, with 1.5% earned in the form of WestJet Dollars and 1.5% in the form of cash back.
This promotion stacks with the new Qualifying Spend Boost offer, meaning that your purchases on the WestJet card during the month of September will attract a 3% return while simultaneously getting you closer to a higher status level. If you’re interested in boosting your WestJet status, you might well find that your household has many hungry mouths to feed this month!
WestJet’s Competitive Response to Air Canada
With WestJet’s recent moves, we’re slowly beginning to see a competitive response from WestJet to Air Canada’s new Aeroplan, the details of which were announced last month.
The new Aeroplan credit cards by TD, CIBC, and American Express offer the ability to earn 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles (SQM) and 1 Status Qualifying Segment (SQS) via either $5,000 or $10,000 of eligible credit card spending. However, they do not offer any shortcut in terms of the Status Qualifying Dollar (SQD) requirement, meaning that you’ll still have to spend money with Air Canada to attain the Aeroplan Elite Status levels.
If you weren’t going to spend a fair bit of cash on Air Canada flights in the first place, then even massive volumes of spending on your co-branded credit card won’t get you anywhere beyond the entry-level Aeroplan 25K status.
In contrast, WestJet is now offering the ability to spend your way directly to a higher status tier – even including its top-tier Platinum status – which is a much more generous proposition.
It makes perfect sense that, as Canada’s second-biggest airline playing a challenger role in the market, WestJet would need to outmanoeuvre its rival in select well-considered ways to remain competitive.
Air Canada obviously wants to protect its elite status program and tie it directly to revenue, preventing from any bigshot on the street being able to stroll into its upper echelons. On the other hand, WestJet views a spend-to-earn-status offer as a way to entice loyalty-agnostic travellers (who might not otherwise find it realistic to qualify for status with either airline) into trying out its status program and perhaps renewing their status in following years.
It’s great to see that WestJet is responding strategically to Air Canada’s moves in the market rather than taking them lying down, and this higher level of competition can only be good for Canadian travellers in the long run. As I mentioned last week, though, much work remains to be done here, and all eyes are now on what WestJet offers on the redemption side in terms of the successor to their Member Exclusive fares program coming towards the end of this year.
I’ve long said that Canadian credit card issuers could do a much better job of finding creative ways to incentivize ongoing spend, so it’s awesome to see the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard putting out an offer like this that allows WestJet members to earn status based on their spending activity alone.
Furthermore, WestJet have indicated to me that they plan to learn from this campaign in hopes of adding a permanent benefit on the WestJet card, which will provide a compelling reason for WestJet Rewards members to choose this card as the top card in their wallets.
If you haven’t gotten the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard at the moment, and would like to apply to earn the signup bonus of 350 WestJet Dollars while also spending your way towards WestJet status, consider applying via our affiliate link to support the website.