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) which is a rare perk in Canada.
It has a $149 annual fee which is comparable to what you pay for similar premium cards.
This HSBC World Elite Mastercard review covers its features, benefits, downsides and how it compares to alternatives.
HSBC World Elite Mastercard – Features At a Glance
- Get a welcome bonus of 20,000* Points ($100 travel value). Conditions Apply
- Earn 6 points per $1 on eligible travel purchases
- Earn 3 points per $1 on all other eligible purchases
- No foreign transaction fees (only the exchange rate will apply)
- Complimentary membership to Mastercard Airport Experience by LoungeKey
- Comprehensive travel insurance
- $149 annual fee
- 19.9% purchase rate and 22.9% on cash advances and balance transfer
HSBC World Elite Travel Rewards
HSBC World Elite Mastercard comes preloaded with rewards. New cardholders receive a welcome bonus of 20,000 points which is worth $100 in travel rewards.
The regular reward rate for this card is 6 points per $1 spent on eligible travel purchases (a 3% earn rate), and 3 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases (a 1.5% 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 waives 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 Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey. This membership is a gateway to hundreds of VIP airport lounges worldwide. Note that regular entry charges apply.
Cardholders get access to unlimited Wi-Fi through Boingo at over 1 million hotspots around the world 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 booking through 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 or most items for up to one extra year.
Downsides of this Card
The HSBC World Elite Mastercard does very well in general. A few downsides to note are:
- You need at least an $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. There is also a $50 fee for each supplementary card.
HSBC Rewards Program
The HSBC Rewards Program makes it easy for you 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 a variety of gift cards from popular retailers such as Costco, Best Buy, Amazon, Fas Gas, Golf Town, Husdson’s Bay and London Drugs.
HSBC World Elite Mastercard vs. Alternatives
If you are looking for a premium credit card with travel rewards, some other alternatives are:
- Tangerine World Mastercard ($0 annual fee)
- BMO World Elite Mastercard, and
- Brim World Elite Mastercard
The features and benefits offered by these cards differ and are covered in the comparison below:
|HSBC World Elite Mastercard||Tangerine World Mastercard||Brim World Elite Mastercard||BMO World Elite Mastercard|
|Maximum Earn rate||Up to 3%||Up to 2% cash back||Up to 2%||Up to 2.14%|
|Welcome bonus||Up to 20,000* points ($100 travel value). Conditions apply.||N/A||Up to $500 in first-time bonus points||Up to 40,000 points ($285 in travel value)|
|FX fees||None (0%)||2.5%||None (0%)||2.5%|
|Free Global Wi-Fi||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Complimentary||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes + 4 annual visits|
|Lounge Key membership||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Mobile device insurance||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Car rental insurance||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|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|
|Cash Advances||22.9%||19.95% (1.95% balance transfer for first 6 months)||21.50%||22.99%|
|Learn More||Apply||Learn More||Learn More||Learn 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.
The current welcome bonus is worth up to $100* in travel rewards and is easy to qualify for.
HSBC World Elite Mastercard Review
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.