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).
Welcome offer: Get up to 80,000 bonus points, valued at $400 in travel rewards.
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:
On HSBC’s website
HSBC World Elite Mastercard Welcome Offer
New cardholders get up to 80,000 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 following approval ($100 travel value)
- Earn 10,000 points each month you spend at least $1,000 for the first six months of account opening ($300 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 Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey. 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 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. There is also a $50 fee for each supplementary card.
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 ($0 annual fee)
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 Mastercard||Tangerine World Mastercard||Brim World Elite Mastercard||BMO World Elite Mastercard|
|Annual Fee||$149 (waived in first year)||$0||$199||$150|
|Maximum Earn rate||Up to 3%||Up to 2% cash back||Up to 2%||Up to 3%|
|Welcome bonus||Up to 80,000 bonus points ($400 value)||Extra 10% cash back (valued at $100); 1.95% balance transfer for 6 months||–||–|
|FX fees||None (0%)||2.5%||None (0%)||2.5%|
|Free Global Wi-Fi||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Travel Insurance||Comprehensive||Rental car and mobile device insurance||Comprehensive||Comprehensive|
|Complimentary airport lounge access||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|
|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.
Related: HSBC +Rewards Mastercard Review.
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.