Buy WestJet Dollars with a 35% Discount

WestJet has released its latest promotion for purchasing WestJet Dollars (WSD), during which members can buy WestJet Dollars at a 35% discount. The sale is in effect as of November 30, 2023, and runs through to December 7, 2023, at 11:59pm Eastern Time.

In some cases, buying points during a sale can make sense; however, due to the way the WestJet Rewards program and pricing for purchased WestJet Dollars are structured, it doesn’t really ever make sense to buy WestJet Dollars, even during a sale like this.

Buy WestJet Dollars with a 35% Discount

Outside of sales, you can normally buy WestJet Dollars at a rate of 1 WestJet Dollar = $2 (CAD), excluding taxes.

During this promotion, you’ll receive the maximum 35% discount as long as you purchase at least 25 WestJet Dollars, which results in purchasing WestJet Dollars at a rate of $1.30/WestJet Dollar (CAD).

We value WestJet Dollars at $1.02/WestJet Dollar (CAD). Even if you purchase WestJet Dollars at a 35% discount, it’s still coming in well above our target valuation.

If you buy WestJet Dollars with a Canadian billing address, you’ll also have to pay GST/HST on the amount of the purchase, too. This further erodes any value of this sale, and drives up the cost even higher.

Therefore, if for any reason you want to buy WestJet Dollars, it’s best to do so with a US billing address, since Canadian taxes won’t be levied on the transaction.

You can purchase up to 3,000 WSD in a calendar year, which is also the maximum possible amount you can purchase during this sale. 

However, before you proceed with making a purchase, it’s important to consider if it’s a good idea in the first place.

Is Buying WestJet Dollars a Good Deal?

Before you consider taking advantage of this promotion, it’s important to take stock of the WestJet Rewards loyalty program, and the value you can get from purchasing WestJet Dollars.

WestJet Dollars can be used to offset the cost of a WestJet flight at a rate of 1 WestJet Dollar = $1 (CAD). Note that you need to redeem a minimum of 15 WestJet Dollars per guest and per direction of travel.

WestJet Dollars can only be used against the cost of a base fare, which means that you’ll be on the hook to cover the taxes and fees, as well as what WestJet terms as “Other Air Transportation Charges“, which can be quite costly.

With an at-par dollar valuation, it’s very difficult to extract outsized value from WestJet Dollars. This is in contrast to many other loyalty programs, with which you can get significantly greater value by booking flights with loyalty points instead of cash.

Another feature of the WestJet Rewards program is Member Exclusive Fares, which offer a small discount from the regular cash rates.

In the email that WestJet sent out about the promotion, it suggests that buying WestJet Dollars at a discount can be a good way to top up your account for a Member Exclusive Fare.

It’s important to note that you need to be able to cover 100% of the Member Exclusive Fare’s base fare with WestJet Dollars to be eligible for whatever discount is being offered.

This means that if you don’t have enough WestJet Dollars in your account, you aren’t eligible for the Member Exclusive Fare. Your options would be to top up your account by purchasing WestJet Dollars, or redeeming WestJet Dollars against other fares, and paying the difference in cash.

To illustrate this, suppose you’d like to fly from Toronto to Calgary with WestJet, and you have 200 WSD in your account. After entering your preferred date, you see the following breakdown of fares.

In this example, we’ll ignore the EconoFlex and Basic fares for now, and focus on the Econo and Member Exclusive fares, since they’re comparable in terms of inclusions and exclusions.

The total cost of the Member Exclusive Fare ($320.48 CAD) is a roughly 9% discount from the Econo fare ($347.68 CAD). That’s a pretty typical discount offered with Member Exclusive Fares.

With WestJet Rewards, you must purchase a minimum of 25 WestJet Dollars, and with the way that this promotion is structured, you’d have to pay a minimum of $65 (CAD) plus taxes to top up your account with 50 WestJet Dollars, which includes the 35% discount.

Since you’re also on the hook for $86.48 (CAD) in taxes and fees with the Member Exclusive Fare, you’d wind up paying at least $151.48 (CAD) to bring your balance over the threshold for the Member Exclusive Fare, which includes the taxes and fees that you’d have to pay on the booking.

In this case, you’re actually paying more by purchasing WestJet Dollars to top up your account, instead of just applying the 200 WestJet Dollars against the Econo fare and paying the difference with your credit card. If you were to do that instead, you’d pay a total of $147.68 (CAD) out of pocket, and you’d earn WestJet Rewards to boot.

Plus, if you were to compare the Member Exclusive Fare against the Econo Basic fare, you’d actually wind up paying much more by topping up your account, than you would by just paying the difference with your credit card.

Furthermore, since the transaction is processed through Points.com, you won’t earn any category multipliers on the points purchase with your credit card, which you’d earn when incurring any charges directly from WestJet.

For another example, let’s suppose you’re flying a family of six from Calgary to Cancun to soak up some sun during the cold winter months, and have 2,500 WestJet Dollars in your account already. After a search, you get the following breakdown of fares.

Here, the Member Exclusive Fare once again offers a roughly 9% discount from the Econo fare.

The total cost for six with the Member Exclusive Fare is $5,961.30 (CAD), while the total cost for the Econo fare is $6,477.30 (CAD).

If you have 2,500 WSD sitting in your account, you’d be able to cover the base fare for three passengers. You’d then need to purchase another 2,500 WSD to be able to cover the entire base fare for the remaining three Member Exclusive Fares.

Purchasing 2,500 WSD during this promotion costs $3,412.50 (CAD), with 5% GST levied against the transaction.

Since you’d be on the hook for $156.55 (CAD) in taxes and fees per person with the Member Exclusive Fare, you’d wind up paying a total of $4,351.80 (CAD) out-of-pocket: $3,412.50 (CAD) for the WestJet Dollars, and $939.30 (CAD) for the taxes and fees.

If you were to otherwise apply your 2,500 WSD to the total cost of the Econo fare and cover the remainder with cash, you’d have to pay an extra $3,977.30 (CAD) out-of-pocket after applying your WestJet Dollars.

This winds up being $347.50 (CAD) less than buying WestJet Dollars to top up your account, so you’re actually saving money by avoiding this promotion altogether. Plus, you’ll earn WestJet Dollars with an Econo fare, which you wouldn’t earn with a Member Exclusive Fare.

It goes to show that buying WestJet Dollars, even with a discount, typically won’t result in any significant savings, and you’re better off covering the difference with your credit card instead.

Conclusion

WestJet’s latest Buy WestJet Dollars promotion is available until December 7, 2023, and you can get a 35% discount when purchasing at least 25 WestJet Dollars.

With the current way that the WestJet Rewards program and the pricing of purchased WestJet Dollars are structured, there aren’t really any cases in which it makes sense to buy WestJet Dollars, even with a 35% discount.

Whenever promotions such as these come along, it’s important to consider if you stand to benefit from taking advantage of the sale. If you’re thinking about topping up your account, be sure to compare the cost with just paying the differenc with your credit card, as you’re likely going to save money that way.

5 Comments
  1. Brooks

    Westjet Dollars are by far the worst frequent flyer reward that I can think of. Takes forever to earn them and they’ll only ever cover ~40% of the total flight cost. Hard to be loyal when thats your reward.

  2. Johnny

    Westjet dollar is waste of money

  3. Sb737

    It is not a good deal. Buy Westjet gift card with 10% offer is more cheaper than this.

  4. Greg

    I agree with your statement that , “it doesn’t really ever make sense to buy WestJet Dollars, even during a sale like this.”

    However one thing that always confuses me is why people compare “Member Exclusive” vs “Economy” not Basic. Member Exclusive is more like Basic as far as earn, seat selection fee and baggage. Economy is a better fare as it earns tier points, qualifies towards milestone awards and earns Westjet dollars.

    In fact the only benefit that a Member Exclusive fare has over a basic is it will allow you to pay to change your flight. But to me, I think its more relevant to compare the Member Exclusive to the Basic fare not the Econo.

  5. Corgan

    Makes no sense

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