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Here’s how I chose my World Elite Mastercard credit card

To the point

Brigitte explains how she chose her World Elite Mastercard credit card to meet her needs.

My consumer profile

It’s been three years since I joined the great milesopedia Facebook community.

Since 2018, I’ve explored several credit card offers marketed by banking institutions and discovered my consumer profile. I had never been interested in what is called financial literacy. Happy to pay by cash or debit, loyal to my one credit card that I almost never used, I was the ultimate acquired customer.

Those days are over.

I now know how to shop for products based on my needs and especially how to compare credit card offers on the market.

And while I remain a moderate customer, happy with four or five credit cards in my wallet, I have developed a knack for picking the right ones. Some I’ll keep for the long term, while others will have to work to get to keep me as a customer. There are so many choices!

But I always pay my bills monthly and I have never paid interest.

My credit card needs

Here is the exercise that allowed me to choose the right World Elite Mastercard based on my needs:

  • I wanted a Mastercard because it is accepted everywhere (including Costco)
  • I met the criteria to apply for a World Elite at the time, which is no longer the case since my retirement (so it will be a card that I keep on the long-term).
  • I was looking for a card that offered excellent coverage for both purchases and travel.
  • I wanted benefits to enhance my travel experience: for years, I thought airport lounges were strictly for business customers.
  • And if on top of that, it’s a card with no foreign transaction fee (usually 2.5%), it would become exciting (since I regularly go to the US as a snowbird)
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After filtering through the offers with milesopedia’s credit card comparator, I made a chart of what I considered to be the best World Elite Mastercard credit cards FOR ME. An uncomplicated chart!

And among them, I slipped in an intruder for comparison. Becauseit’s one of the best, and I would keep it anyway in addition to the Mastercard: it’s an American Express credit card, the American Express Cobalt™ Card. I wanted to compare it to others.

It’s a shame that some merchants still believe that American Express cards have higher interchange fees than Mastercard and Visa, especially World Elite and Visa Infinite, and that’s why they refuse it in their stores. But times are changing. American Express credit cards are increasingly accepted (e.g. the gradual evolution of IGA).

My comparison chart

Here is my comparison chart, in several parts for the sake of readability on your screens.

Note that these are the welcome offers and benefits offered at the time of writing this article. Check the card page on milesopedia.com by clicking on the link in each table for the current offer.

Fees and welcome bonus

american express cobalt card NBC World Elite Mastercard HSBC World Elite Bmo Rewards World Elite Mastercard Rgb Fre For Online
Card American Express Cobalt® Card NBC World Elite Mastercard HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® BMO® World Elite®* Mastercard®*
Annual fee 155,88 $ $150 $149 $150
Fees removed Free of charge for certain professionals $50 off for HSBC Premier customers Free with select BMO chequing accounts
Welcome Bonus*. Up to 50,000 points 15,000 points and first-year free Up to 130,000 points Up to 30,000 points and first-year free
Purchases required* ($) $500 per month for 12 months
$3,000 in 3 months for the additional bonus
$3,000 for the first 3 months $0 (QC)
$5,000 in 6 months (excluding QC)
$3,000 in 3 months
american express cobalt card B10 Carte Odyssee World Elite Mc N F Desjardins Cash Back World Elite Mastercard Canadian Tire Triangle World Elite Mastercard
Card American Express Cobalt® Card Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard Desjardins Cash Back World Elite Mastercard World Elite Triangle® Mastercard
Annual fee 155,88 $ $110 $100 $0
Fees removed Free of charge for certain professionals Free of charge for certain professionals
Welcome Bonus*. Up to 50,000 points
Purchases required* ($) $500 per month for 12 months
$3,000 in 3 months for the additional bonus

Rewards

american express cobalt card NBC World Elite Mastercard HSBC World Elite Bmo Rewards World Elite Mastercard Rgb Fre For Online
Card American Express Cobalt® Card NBC World Elite Mastercard HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® BMO® World Elite®* Mastercard®*
Program Membership Rewards Points NBC Rewards HSBC Rewards BMO Rewards
Type Travel Travel Travel Travel
All purchases 1 point
= 1%
1.5 to 2 points
= 1.5 to 2%
3 points
= 1.5%
2 points
= 1.4%
Categories 5 points
= 5%
(groceries, restaurants, convenience stores, home delivery)
3 points
= 3%
(streaming service subscriptions)
2 points
= 2%
(transportation, travel)
6 points
= 3%
(travel)
3 points
= 2%
(restaurants, travel)
american express cobalt card B10 Carte Odyssee World Elite Mc N F Desjardins Cash Back World Elite Mastercard Canadian Tire Triangle World Elite Mastercard
Card American Express Cobalt® Card Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard Desjardins Cash Back World Elite Mastercard World Elite Triangle® Mastercard
Program Membership Rewards Points Bonusdollars Rebate Triangle
Type Travel Travel Rebate Rebate
All purchases 1 point
= 1%
1,5 % 1 % 0.8% CT Money
Categories 5 points
= 5%
(groceries, restaurants, convenience stores, home delivery)
3 points
= 3%
(streaming service subscriptions)
2 points
= 2%
(transportation, travel)
3%
(groceries)

2 %
(restaurant, entertainment, public transportation)
4%
(groceries)

3 %
(restaurant, entertainment, public transportation)
4% CT Money
(Canadian Tire)

3 % Silver CT
(groceries up to $12,000)

Insurance

The insurances are here as an indication. Please refer to the booklet provided by each company.

Each type of insurance varies in terms of monetary coverage or age of the policyholder. For example, some will offer $5,000 for trip cancellation while others will cover up to $500. Few cards will offer medical insurance beyond age 65. It’s something to think about because I’m getting close to that age range.

american express cobalt card NBC World Elite Mastercard HSBC World Elite Bmo Rewards World Elite Mastercard Rgb Fre For Online
Card American Express Cobalt® Card NBC World Elite Mastercard HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® BMO® World Elite®* Mastercard®*
Extended warranty 1 additional year 2 additional years 1 additional year 1 additional year
Purchase Insurance 90 days 180 days 90 days 90 days
Medical Insurance 15 days
(Up to 65)
60 days
(Up to 54)
31 days
(Up to 64)
15 days
(Up to 75)
31 days
(Up to 65)
21 days
(Up to 65)
Other insurance

Departure flight delay insurance
Delay, theft, loss of luggage
Travel Accident
Rental cars
Mobile devices
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Trip Interruption Insurance
Departure flight delay insurance
Delay, theft, loss of luggage
Travel Accident
Rental cars
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Trip Interruption Insurance

Delay, theft, loss of luggage
Travel Accident
Rental cars
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Trip Interruption Insurance
Departure flight delay insurance
Delay, theft, loss of luggage
Travel Accident
Rental cars
american express cobalt card B10 Carte Odyssee World Elite Mc N F Desjardins Cash Back World Elite Mastercard Canadian Tire Triangle World Elite Mastercard
Card American Express Cobalt® Card Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard Desjardins Cash Back World Elite Mastercard World Elite Triangle® Mastercard
Extended warranty 1 additional year 1 additional year 1 additional year 1 additional year
Purchase Insurance 90 days 90 days 90 days 90 days
Medical Insurance 15 days
(Up to 65)
60 days
(Up to 54)
31 days
(Up to 65)
15 days
(Up to 75)
3 days
(Up to 75)
Other insurance

Departure flight delay insurance
Delay, theft, loss of luggage
Travel Accident
Rental cars
Mobile devices
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Trip Interruption Insurance

Delay, theft, loss of luggage

Rental cars
Mobile devices
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Trip Interruption Insurance

Delay, theft, loss of luggage

Rental cars
Mobile devices






My credit cards analysis

Here is my analysis after completing my chart.

The World Elite MastercardMD TriangleMD:

All World Elite cards offer excellent insurance, except the one offered by Canadian Tire. Although it is free, it works in a closed circuit and does not allow for travel purchases. The cash back in its currency provides great discounts or even free items at Canadian Tire, their garage and affiliated businesses whose profiles are primarily geared towards the purchase of sports equipment. Its gas stations let you earn CT points but you cannot redeem points there.

So if they give 3% back on groceries, that return must then be spent where Canadian Tire money is accepted. This doesn’t bring anyone to Europe or Asia, but it might appeal to someone who has renovations to do, camping or sports equipment to buy, for example. I’m thinking of the paddle board craze. It could be a good deal.

The fact that we can pay our taxes and our Hydro account is a plus with this credit card. But then again, I personally don’t find any use for Canadian Tire dollars. I could have my tires changed at the garage but I already have a local garage that I want to encourage.

Anyway, it’s an option for others than me. It won’t be my World Elite Mastercard because it doesn’t meet my criteria. Although free: no good insurance, no travel benefits, no interesting rewards.

The two other cards in the World Elite category that cost the least to apply for are those from Desjardins:

In addition, their fees may be waived in the first year as well as in subsequent years for certain occupations and depending on the level of expenses. The same is true for the NBC, BMO and HSBC World Elite Mastercard credit cards.

In addition, BONUSDOLLARS are much more versatile than Canadian Tire money, and with the 4% cash back on groceries for the Desjardins World Elite Mastercard and 3 % in BONUSDOLLARS for the Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard, we’re in business.

I particularly like the clause in their purchase insurance that doubles the duration of the merchant’s protection (maximum 1 year) and covers mobile devices, which not all credit cards offer.

BONUSDOLLARS can be applied to travel, financial products, gift cards and merchandise. The Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard grants 8 passes to the Desjardins airport lounge in Montreal. But there is no access granted on the Desjardins World Elite Mastercard.

Suppose it wasn’t for the American Express Cobalt™ Card, which performs better at the grocery store. In that case, the Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard might interest me because of its eight complimentary visits to the Desjardins airport lounge.

The next three big guns are the Mastercard World Elite cards from BMO, NBC and HSBC:

They also have targeted offers for professionals – or those with a certain amount of wealth – who could have the annual fee waived.

What I particularly like about the BMO and NBC cards is that they allow you to pay for only part of the trip, for example the taxes on an flight reward, and still benefit from the insurance. For us points hunters, it’s very practical. This is not the case with the HSBC card or the other cards mentioned above.

It must be said that Aeroplan-affiliated credit cards, such as the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card or the American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card, will also allow us to have this benefit for airfare purchased on Air Canada and its Star Alliance affiliates.

The cash back % when you apply purchases to these three cards is not the best when compared to Desjardins credit cards but they do have a sign-up bonus and travel benefits that interest me.

The National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard® stands out from the crowd with its unlimited access to the NBC airport lounge in Montreal with a guest, and if we want to talk about an enhanced travel experience, its annual credit of up to $250 on certain travel expenses is tempting. And I appreciate the 15-day medical insurance coverage up to age 75.

Note that the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®, on the other hand, offers a $100 annual travel credit.

And unlike the BMO card, NBC and HSBC points can be used for any travel purchase made with the card. Practical for an apartment rental on Airbnb for example!

To me, these are great options since I travel at least once a year!

The National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard is also the only card that triples merchant purchase protection. But the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® has not said its last word and will ensure that it is the one I will choose in the end.

Among my selection, it is the only credit card that does not charge a conversion fee for foreign currency purchases. As I will eventually be called upon to do several hop-scotches in the United States and I don’t have an American credit card, it’s the perfect choice. And with its $100 annual travel credit, the cost of keeping it is ultimately only $49 per year.

What I will pay with it in Canada? Dentist, insurance, local coffee shop and stationery store, telephone, appliances etc.

Finally, I must say that the National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard® is very tempting for those who could benefit from its medical insurance up to age 75. Currently, there is an excellent offer at the time of writing this article, so it’s a good idea to think about it. So many choices!

The last word on my American Express Cobalt™ Card

Finally, a word about my American Express Cobalt™ Card

It is the main reason I don’t look for a high discount rate for other cards at grocery stores, convenience stores, and food delivery.

With this Card, I earn 5 points per dollar (that’s 5% for travel rewards) and I’ve targeted the places where I use it: Metro, Giant Tiger, Cook It and Couche-Tard. And occasionally an IGA grocery store located further away. My pharmacy also accepts it. And when needed, I buy gift cards at Metro, like SAQ gift cards, to stretch my 5 points per dollar earnings.

Also, since it’s an American Express card, they have cardholder-only promotional offers. For example:

  • a $250 Fairmont card for $200
  • 1,500 bonus points when you use contactless with your cell phone
  • $20 credit for every $100 in purchases at Esso

With all the promotional offers throughout the year, this quickly pays for the $12.99 monthly fee!

You can do the same exercise based on your needs. Make your own travel cards or cash back comparison charts. Shall we discuss it afterwards in the Facebook group?

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