WestJet Dollars Credit Card - Westjet Royal Bank RBC World Mastercard REVIEW

WestJet Dollars Credit Card

Banks love to issue special "rewards" credit cards with points or miles as their rewards. Even MBNA's Smart Cash "cash back" Mastercard gives out MBNA Reward Dollars or something.
Most of the time, these points/miles aren't worth it, it's better to go with a "Cash Back" card, that gives you cold hard cash that can't be devalued or expire, which is the biggest issue with these points cards. It used to be that 100 Air Miles would get you a $20 gift certificate for somewhere, now it's over 150. So, only use these rewards cards if you're able to fully utilize them. Shoppers Drug Mart recently devalued their Optimum Points, and/or makes it harder to use them.

The other concern is that even if the points don't devalue, cash back can be directly put into a bank account or against a mortgage/loan payment, so you actually get a return on your money very quickly, which isn't the case for points: They're sitting in the card issuer's account until you use them.

Oh, and cash can be spent anywhere, not at only one place.

But sometimes rewards credit cards can be better deals, but you have to be more careful.

Let's examine the WestJet Dollars Credit Card from the Royal Bank, and then compare it to the MBNA Smart Cash, which is probably the best cash back card on the Canadian market (if you can still get it!), and the Citi Enrich rewards Mastercard.

RBC has TWO Westjet cards: The "World" and the non-World version. Here's a comparison of the important elements:

RBC WestJet Mastercard Credit Card

RBC World WestJet Dollars Card

Annual Fee (this isn't starting off well...)

$79 + $39/additional card

$39 + $19/additional card

“Welcome Bonus”

100 WestJet Dollars

25 WestJet Dollars

Westjet Dollars on Regular Purchases



WestJet Dollars on WestJet Purchases



Car Rental Insurance



Travel Medical Insurance



Of course, look up the actual terms and conditions of these offerings! They are also subject to change. Don't take my word for any of these, read the actual offer yourself.

WestJet Dollars RBC Credit Card Downsides
  • $39-$79 Annual Fee :(
  • Don't receive the benefits of your earnings until you actually travel
  • What if Air Canada, or another airline has a better deal, or WestJet becomes the bad airline?
  • WestJet could go bankrupt. Airlines aren't exactly the most stable industry, a bad disaster could wipe one out.
  • Interest rates are high, but this shouldn't matter except for cash advances in foreign countries
  • WestJet Dollars expire 5 years after they're earned.
  • Can't be used on group bookings, nor online (have to call in)
  • WestJet Dollars can only be used for published WestJet fares or up to $500 of a WestJet Vacations Package (which may not be competitive with other vacation package providers)
  • If you cancel the card, do you lose your Dollars?

WestJet Dollars RBC Credit Card Benefits

  • More of a psychological thing, but “Dollars” are less likely to be devalued than “Miles” in my opinion
  • No blackout dates or seasonal restrictions
  • Reward rate is pretty good
  • Comes with car rental insurance (be sure to read the actual details!)
  • No minimum spend of WestJet dollars, so if you've only earned $12, you can use it up right away on your next flight
  • Can transfer WestJet Dollars for just $20 to another account holder

RBC WestJet Dollars Conclusion

If you're a "low spender", don't bother, you won't spend enough to make up for the annual fee. You'd be better off trying to get the MBNA Smart Cash, or the Citi Enrich Mastercard cash back cards.
If you're a very heavy spender, the RBC World Westjet card could be a good deal, if you spend enough to account for the annual fee, take advantage of the insurances that it offers and fly WestJet often enough to not let the WestJet Dollars expire, nor gain them more quickly than you "spend" them. As always, do your research, look at as many cards as you can, and even consider carrying more than one (like using the no annual fee Smart Cash for the 3% on Gas+Groceries, and the RBC World Westjet card for everything else).

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