According to a few news reports (CBC, Huffington Post), RBC and WestJet have teamed up to offer a new loyalty program called Ampli. They say they have teamed up, but they are already teamed up as RBC is the only credit card company to offer a co-branded WestJet Rewards card.
Anyway, seems like WestJet is looking to revamp its frequent flyer program to compete more directly with Aeroplan, as they are being phased out of Air Canada.
I look forward to getting more details. Here are a few things that I am hoping to see:
- More than just 1 credit card company offering a rewards card. Currently Aeroplan has teamed up with 3 credit card companies (American Express, CIBC and TD). So if WestJet wants to make some noise, they need another partner.
- More airline codeshare partners. For Ampli to offer more value, and if WestJet does not join a major airline alliance, they need to look at the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program. The more partners they have (to earn and redeem miles with), the more valuable the program becomes.
- Extensive elite status program. It is no secret that part of people’s reason for being loyalty to certain program is that benefits received with elite status. If WestJet wants to compete at a higher level, they will definitely need to increase the value of their elite statuses.
- I think it goes without saying (but including it just in case) that they need to have a competitive reward redemption program. Right now, the program is very straightforward. You earn WestJet dollars to credit against the price of airfare. It works like cash back, so it is easy to understand and simple to use. What makes Aeroplan more complicated is the taxes and fuel surcharges that varies from airline to airline.
Either way, I am excited by this new announcement and look forward to hearing more details!