Hmm, let’s see what’s going on in the world of travel…
Get WestJet Silver Status
WestJet is the second largest airline in Canada but, unless you live there, you may never have heard of it. Too bad for you. Think “Canadian version of JetBlue,” but even nicer (because, you know, Canadian), which is appropriate, because the two airlines shared a founder. They also recently improved their elite program dramatically, which is an added bonus. Silver status actually mean something!*
WestJet is offering an opportunity to earn instant Silver status by booking a vacation to Mexico, the Caribbean or Hawaii. There are some conditions to the deal, so I encourage you to read about it, but if you’re going to travel, you might as well get something back for it. Book by October 31 for travel between November 1 and April 30.
60,000 Points From Southwest
The co-founder of WestJet and founder of JetBlue also used to work at a small airline called Southwest. The airline’s not so small anymore, but they still run a darned good operation.
Wanna fly for free? Well, you can. Or at least your companion can. Earn 110,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points (the name for their program) and you’ll get the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass for a year (as well as the rest of the current year). Yup, for at least 12 months, you can bring a friend along for free, with their ticket confirmable at the time of booking. You only pay taxes and fees. But best of all, points earned from the credit card count. 60,000 is the highest sign-up bonus that I’ve seen and well worth it. We may be a bit late into the year to start for 2017 but, if you have already earned points this year, the card may be enough to push you over the top.
Starbucks: Nobody Goes There Anymore. It’s Too Crowded.
Starbucks rolled out its mobile ordering system to much fanfare. No lines, no waiting. Order your drink in advance and and it will be ready for you when you arrive!
Um, not so much. As usual, the solution only made the problem worse, as anyone who has ever seen their local highway expand from three lanes to four knows. Now, I get to wait ten minutes no matter how I order. Here’s a discussion of the new “solution.”
*Beginner’s Hint: Elite status is often an “all or nothing” type program. In other words, while a program may have more than one tier, you have to be at the top tier to get any decent benefits. This happens most frequently with programs that have only two tiers above the base level that you earn just for joining. For example, Starwood Hotels has Gold and Platinum, but the Gold benefits are virtually nil.
WestJet is different. You get some valuable bonuses at the Silver level, including a tripling of the WestJet Rewards dollars that you earn, as well as lounge vouchers and advance seat vouchers. In other words, it’s worth it. WestJet also gets bonus points for naming its base level “teal.” How cool is that?
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