The HSBC World Elite Mastercard is one of the best credit cards for earning travel rewards in Canada.
Cardholders get up to 3% back in travel rewards on eligible purchases and enjoy comprehensive travel insurance. This card also waives foreign transaction fees which is a rare perk in Canada.
It has a $149 annual fee which is comparable to what you pay for similar premium cards, and this fee is currently being waived in the first year.
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
- Up to 100,000 bonus points when you apply by December 28, 2020
- Earn 6 points per $1 on travel purchases
- Earn 3 points per $1 on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- Complimentary membership to Mastercard Airport Experience by LoungeKey
- Comprehensive travel insurance
- $149 annual fee
- 19.99% 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 get up to 100,000 points as a welcome bonus as follows:
- 20,000 points when you sign up ($100 travel value)
- An additional 80,000 points when you spend $5,000 in the first 180 days ($400 travel value)
This welcome offer is available to applications received on or before December 28, 2020. 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 c an 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 a $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. While this fee is waived in the first year, it is payable in subsequent years. 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%
Up to 100,000 points ($500 travel balance)
Up to $500 in first-time bonus points
Up to 40,000 points ($285 in travel value)
Free Global Wi-Fi
Yes + 4 annual visits
Lounge Key membership
Mobile device insurance
Car rental insurance
$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
19.95% (1.95% balance transfer for first 6 months)
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 $500 in travel and is easy to qualify for. When you add in the first year fee waiver of $149; this card is definitely worth checking out.
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.