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HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® Review 2024

Updated:

Fact Checked

Update: HSBC no longer accepts new credit card applications as it prepares to merge with RBC. Here are some alternative rewards credit cards you can consider.

The HSBC World Elite Mastercard is one of the best travel rewards credit cards in Canada.

Cardholders get up to 3% back in travel rewards on eligible purchases and enjoy comprehensive travel insurance. This card also has no foreign transaction fees (only the exchange rate applies), a rare perk in Canada.

It has a $149 annual fee that is comparable to what you pay for similar premium cards. This fee is waived in the first year.

This HSBC World Elite Mastercard review covers its features, benefits, downsides, and how it compares to alternative cards.

HSBC World Elite Mastercard Overview

HSBC World Elite Mastercard

Excellent credit card for travel rewards

Annual fee: $149 (waived in the first year).

Rewards: Earn up to 3% in travel rewards on eligible purchases.

Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: $80,000

Recommended credit score:
760
900

Very Good

hsbcworld_elite_card art

On HSBC’s website

  • Earn 6 points (3%) per $1 spent on eligible travel purchases.
  • Earn 4 points (2%) per dollar spent on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases.
  • Earn 2 points (1%) per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Never pay foreign transaction fees.
  • Redeem your points for travel, gift cards, financial rewards, or rewards for miles.
  • Get access to a complimentary Travel Pass that offers you access to more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide.
  • No foreign transaction fees (only the exchange rate will apply).
  • Get an annual $100 travel enhancement credit.
  • Receive a 10% discount on eligible hotel bookings through Expedia and Agoda.
  • Access various travel insurance benefits, including emergency medical ($1M), baggage, car rental, and trip delay insurance.
  • A minimum personal income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000 is required to apply.

Premium travel credit card

Comprehensive travel benefits, including insurance

Attractive reward redemption options

3% travel reward categories are limited

Minimum personal income may be restrictive

The HSBC World Elite Mastercard offers a comprehensive selection of travel benefits while maintaining a manageable annual fee. It’s a great option for frequent travellers who would make enough purchases in the travel sector to maximize their rewards.

HSBC World Elite Mastercard Welcome Offer

New cardholders get up to 50,000 bonus points, and the annual fee is waived for the primary cardholder in the first year.

The welcome points add up as follows:

  • 20,000 points when you make your first purchase ($100 travel value)
  • Earn 30,000 points when you spend $1,000 within 60 days of account opening ($150 travel value)

HSBC World Elite Travel Rewards

The regular reward rate for the HSBC World Elite Mastercard is 6 points per $1 spent on eligible travel purchases (a 3% earn rate), 4 points per $1 on eligible gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases (a 2% earn rate), and 2 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases (a 1% earn rate).

You can easily redeem your points for travel gift cards, miles, merchandise, and more.

HSBC World Elite Mastercard Travel Benefits

To start, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard is one of a few cards that waive the 2.5% foreign transaction fee.

When you pay for purchases abroad, the foreign currency conversion charges are waived, and only the exchange rate applies. This is a saving of 2-3% compared to traditional credit card fees.

You receive a complimentary membership to Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass. This membership is a gateway to hundreds of VIP airport lounges worldwide. Note that regular entry charges apply.

Cardholders can access unlimited Wi-Fi through Boingo at over 1 million hotspots worldwide on up to four devices. This makes it easy to connect to the internet to airports, hotels, and travel destinations where this Boingo service is available.

This card comes with a $100 travel enhancement credit every year. You can put this credit towards upgrading your airline seat, paying your baggage fees, or paying for visits to an airport lounge.

Lastly, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard offers a 10% discount on select hotel bookings through the HSBC Expedia and Agoda websites.

HSBC World Elite Mastercard Insurance Coverage

This card offers comprehensive travel insurance that is handy for frequent travellers.

Worldwide Emergency Travel Medical Insurance: Cardholders and dependents are covered up to a maximum of $1 million per person for up to 31 days per trip. This coverage applies if you and your spouse are under 65 years of age.

Baggage Delay or Loss Insurance: This protects against loss or damage theft, burglary, and fire or transportation hazards during your trip. The coverage is up to a maximum of $750 per insured person.

Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption/Delay Insurance: When eligible, you can be reimbursed up to $2,000 per insured person for trip cancellations or delays. At least 75% of your eligible trip expenses must be charged to your card for this coverage to apply.

Car Rental Insurance: Charge at least 75% of rental car costs to your card and enjoy car rental insurance for up to 31 consecutive days.

Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty: Eligible purchases are protected against loss, damage, or theft for up to 90 days. This card also doubles the manufacturer’s warranty for most items for up to one extra year.

Related: Best Rewards Credit Cards in Canada.

Downsides of the HSBC World Elite Mastercard

The HSBC World Elite Mastercard does very well in general. A few downsides to note are:

  • You need at least $80,000 personal income to apply or $150,000 when using household income. A minimum of $400,000 in investment assets with a Canadian financial institution also qualifies. The high income requirement is a hallmark of World Elite Mastercards.
  • This card has a $149 annual fee.

HSBC Rewards Program

The HSBC Rewards Program makes it easy to redeem your points for travel, merchandise, gift cards, or as a statement credit towards your mortgage, credit card, or savings account.

Travel: Redeem points to pay for a vacation package, airline ticket, car rental, hotel, cruise, and more. You can book your travel anywhere.

Products and Merchandise: Points can be redeemed for kitchen appliances, electronics, tablets, smartphones, computer accessories, and other products.

Gift Cards: Easily redeem your points for various gift cards from popular retailers such as Costco, Best Buy, Amazon, Fas Gas, Golf Town, Hudson’s Bay, and London Drugs.

HSBC World Elite Mastercard vs. Alternatives

If you are looking for other premium credit cards with travel rewards, some other alternatives are:

Tangerine World Mastercard

Rewards: Earn up to 2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 spending categories and 0.50% on all other purchases; VIP perks.

Welcome offer: Get an extra 10% cash back on up to $1,000 in spending in the first 2 months ($100 value).

Interest rates: 19.95% for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

Scotiabank Gold American Express

Rewards: Earn 5x Scene+ points/$1 on restaurants, food delivery, and grocery (up to 6x at some stores); 3x points/$1 in gas & travel; 1x points/$1 everything else.

Welcome offer: Get up to 40,000 points ($400 value).

Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases; 22.99% on cash advances.

Annual fee: $120

The features and benefits offered by these cards differ and are covered in the comparison below:

HSBC World Elite MastercardTangerine World MastercardBrim World Elite MastercardBMO World Elite Mastercard
Annual Fee$149 (waived in first year)$0$199$150
Maximum Earn rateUp to 3%Up to 2% cash backUp to 2%Up to 3%
Welcome bonusUp to 50,000 bonus points ($250 value)Extra 10% cash back (valued at $100); 1.95% balance transfer for 6 months
FX feesNone (0%)2.5%None (0%)2.5%
Free Global Wi-FiYesYesYesYes
Travel InsuranceComprehensiveRental car and mobile device insuranceComprehensiveComprehensive
Complimentary airport lounge accessYesYesYesYes + 4 annual visits
Mobile device insuranceYesYesYesNo
Car rental insuranceYesYesYesYes
Eligibility Income$80,000 individual; $150,000 household; or $400,000 in investment assets$60,000 individual; $100,000 household$80,000 individual; $150,000 household$80,000 individual; $150,000 household
Purchase Interest20.99%19.95%19.99%19.99%
Cash Advances22.99%19.95% 21.50%22.99%
Learn MoreLearn More

Is The HSBC World Elite Mastercard Worth It?

If you are a frequent traveller, this card can save you a lot of money in foreign currency conversion fees.

Its travel reward rate is exceptional at 3%, and points earned can easily be redeemed for travel, gift cards, or merchandise. You can also use your points to pay down your credit card or mortgage balance.

Related: HSBC +Rewards Mastercard Review.

HSBC World Elite Mastercard Review
Overall
4.4

Summary

The HSBC World Elite Mastercard is one of the best travel rewards credit cards in Canada. This review covers its features, benefits, rewards, downsides, and alternatives.

 

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Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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