HSBC is one of the largest banks on the planet with an extensive global footprint: who hasn’t already seen the HSBC brand when getting off the plane?
In Canada, HSBC offers an impressive credit card: the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®. It’s a card I’ve had for several years, so it’s particularly natural for me to present it to you!
Current welcome offer
The HSBC World Elite Mastercard is an excellent no-conversion-fee credit card for foreign currency purchases, especially for your travel purchases.
For a limited time, you can get:
- Up to 110,000 points (a $550 value in travel rewards) if you live in Quebec and with no minimum purchase!
- Up to 80,000 points (a $400 value in travel rewards) and first-year annual fee waiver if you live outside Quebec
With the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®, you can earn:
- 6 points per dollar for travel purchases (flights, hotels, Airbnb, all-inclusive, etc.)
- 3 points per dollar for all other purchases including Costco
This means a return of 1.5% to 3% depending on your purchases!
You can easily redeem your points on any travel purchase made with the HSBC World Elite Mastercard (flights, hotels, Airbnb, all-inclusive, etc). But you can also transfer your points to three airline loyalty programs: British Airways Executive Club, Asia Miles and Singapore Airlines Krisflyer.
In addition, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard comes with:
- $100 Annual Travel Credit (for airport lounges, for example)
- Unlimited access to Boingo WiFi hotspots around the world
- 10% discount for hotel bookings on Expedia or Agoda
- Premium insurance for your travels and purchases
Finally, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard does not charge any conversion fees for foreign exchange transactions: you save 2.5% for each transaction.
Summary of the card's benefits
Here are the benefits of this credit card:
- 6 points per 1 dollar on all eligible travel purchases
- 3 points per 1 dollar on all other eligible purchases
- You can use your points on any travel expense charged to your Card
- $100 Annual Travel enhancement credit
- Three airline partners to transfer your points
- No foreign currency conversion fees
- Mastercard Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey
- Unlimited Wi-Fi access through Boingo
- 10% discount with Expedia and Agoda
- 31-day Worldwide Emergency Travel Medical insurance
- Baggage Delay or Loss insurance
- Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption/Delay insurance
- Car rental insurance
- Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty Insurance
- Accepted everywhere, including Costco
A straightforward loyalty program
With the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®, you earn:
- 6 points per 1 dollar on all eligible travel purchases (= 3% in travel rewards)
- 3 points per 1 dollar on all other eligible purchases (= 1.5% in travel rewards)
The HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® is one of the best credit cards for travel purchases and everyday purchases. Few cards offer 3% on travel and 1.5% on everyday purchases.
I use it for all my travel purchases, as well as in most everyday purchases like Costco. And of course abroad!
Redeeming HSBC Rewards points for travel rewards will be one of the best possible uses of your points earned by the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®.
110,000 HSBC Rewards points have a value of $550 in travel rewards.
To redeem your HSBC Rewards points, charge any travel purchase on your HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® (and earn 6 points per dollar).
Then you can go to the HSBC Rewards portal to apply your points on your travel purchases and get a statement credit. This is what we do in our family to rent apartments on Airbnb or reduce our flights’ cost to visit our family in France!
For example, here is the purchase of an Air Transat flight between Montreal and Nice on my HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®:
Or for Airbnb or Hotels.com purchases like in New Zealand during our round the world family trip:
To redeem HSBC Rewards points, it works with a chart starting at 25,000 points ($125):
Therefore, you will need to have a minimum of 25,000 points to get a statement credit. With 110,000 points, you will have $550 available in statement credit!
And when it comes to “travel,” you don’t have to leave Canada to take advantage of it!
This could be for example:
- An apartment or cottage rental on Airbnb
- Airline or train tickets to travel in the country
- A car rental
- And much more!
Here are some examples of recent purchases that have been categorized as travel on my Card:
For converting points into miles
In Canada, few institutions offer the ability to convert travel points into airline loyalty programs.
HSBC Rewards is a partner with three airline loyalty programs:
- Asia Miles – Cathay Pacific
- Krisflyer – Singapore Airlines
- Executive Club – British Airways
Here is the HSBC Reward Points to miles conversion ratio:
|HSBC Rewards Points||Miles||Ratio|
|Asia Miles||25 000||8 000||0.32|
|Krisflyer||25 000||9 000||0.36|
|Executive Club||25 000||10 000||0.4|
If you want to convert 130,000 points into miles, here’s what you could get:
|Asia Miles||41,600 miles|
|Executive Club||52,000 miles|
And that’s not taking into account conversion promotions between HSBC Rewards and airline loyalty programs (up to 35% bonus)!
So if you wait for a 35% promotion to convert your 130,000 points earned as a Welcome Bonus, you could get 70,200 Avios miles!
Never seen before! For example, you could get a luxury experience like me in a British Airways First Class flight:
And you could also use the British Airways Executive Club program to book flights with American Airlines.
From Montreal, you could go to Miami with not that many points.
Here is an example of a direct flight between Montreal and Miami for 11,000 Avios miles and $64:
For gift cards and products
Like all the loyalty programs, you can use your HSBC Rewards points for gift cards.
Many retailers are available such as Costco, Esso, Amazon, Best Buy, Disney, Transat, Via Rail, IGA. Here are some examples and costs in points:
|Gift-card||HSBC Rewards Points||Value|
|Best Buy||80 900||$250|
|Disney||41 300||US$ 100|
For financial rewards
Finally, the last option to use HSBC Rewards points is for financial products offered by HSBC.
Here are the different possible redemptions:
|HSBC Rewards Points||Value|
|HSBC Mastercard Account Credit||25 000||$75|
|HSBC Mortgage Account Credit||25 000||$100|
|HSBC Savings Account Credit||25 000||$75|
A card accepted all over around the world, including in your convenience store!
A Mastercard credit card
The HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® is a Mastercard credit card: you won’t have any acceptance problems anywhere globally, including at small shops in your neighbourhood!
It will also be accepted for your purchases made at Costco, and you will earn 3 points per dollar (a value of 1.5% in travel rewards).
No foreign currency conversion fees
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® best perk: no foreign currency conversion fee.
This is not only convenient for people like me who are often abroad (I use the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® for all everyday purchases and thus avoid the 2.5% conversion fee charged by other credit cards).
But it’s handy for purchases made in foreign currency on the Internet, in the United States, for example!
If you spend $5,000 a year on foreign currency, you’ll save about $125 in conversion fees with the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®!
A card with great benefits
The HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® comes with multiple benefits, including one that virtually reduces the annual fee from $149 to $49 when using the $100 Annual Travel enhancement credit every year!
$100 Annual Travel enhancement credit
A great perk of the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® is the $100 Annual Travel enhancement credit. This annual travel credit is available as soon as you apply for the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® and renewed on the account anniversary date.
If you think about it: your HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® annual fee is, therefore, virtually reduced from $149 to $49. Unbelievable for a World Elite Card! So you can keep it year after year.
To use this credit, just:
- Book a flight
- Buy extras for seats, luggage
- buy airport lounge passes
- Make a booking on Expedia
After that, you will have 60 days to use your Annual Travel enhancement credit on it. You can apply it on several small transactions like this:
Unlimited Wi-Fi access through Boingo
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® holders have free and unlimited access to Wi-Fi through Boingo (more than one million access points worldwide).
Then, you will have a Boingo account you can use worldwide. Boingo usually charges US$14.99 per month for this!
Swiss, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines are among the few airlines that offer Boingo on board their aircraft. I have already been able to use it on board and in many airports and public places. Here again, saving money by just holding this card.
10% discount with Expedia and Agoda
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® holders receive a 10% discount for their prepaid hotel bookings with Expedia or Agoda.
Paid access to VIP airport lounges with DragonPass
Finally, HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® credit cardholders get complimentary membership to the DragonPass airport lounges program.
However, there will be a charge of US$32 per person for each visit. You can, of course, use your annual $100 Travel enhancement credit to cover it.
A card with solid insurance
With a “World Elite Mastercard” level, the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® provides a wide range of insurance, especially for travel.
Worldwide Emergency Travel Medical insurance
Regarding the Emergency Travel Medical insurance, the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® provides coverage of up to $1,000,000 per insured person:
- the primary cardholder
- dependent children
Coverage extends to 31 days per trip for people under age 65.
Beware though: travel in Cuba is not covered by this insurance.
Baggage Delay or Loss insurance
Regarding Baggage Delay or Loss insurance, you are covered to a maximum of $750 per insured person (maximum of $500 per item) with the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®.
- Loss or damage
- fire or transport hazards
You are also covered for up to $200 per trip for the purchase of necessities if your checked baggage is delayed by the carrier for 12 hours or more en route to your destination.
Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption/Delay insurance
Regarding trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption/Delay insurance, HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® allows a coverage up to $2,000 per insured person ($5,000 per trip) provided that 75% of your eligible expenses of your trip have been entered on the map.
This includes all non-refundable expenses (prepaid trips) in the event of cancellation, as well as costs incurred for the change of ticket or the cost of a ticket to return home early.
Car rental insurance
Regarding car rental insurance, the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® covers up to 31 consecutive days. You have to charge at least 75% of the cost of the rental vehicle to your card.
This includes collisions or damage up to the full value of the damaged or stolen rental vehicle, as well as towing or loss of use charges. Car Rental insurance also includes Personal Effects and Car Rental Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance coverage.
This saves about twenty dollars per day of rental, which is far from negligible!
Be careful, like all the other credit cards providing car rental insurance, liability insurance is not included.
Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty Insurance
Finally, regarding Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty Insurance, when you use your HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® to purchase eligible items, Purchase Protection provides coverage in the event of loss, damage or theft for 90 days from the purchase date.
Extended Warranty coverage automatically doubles the original manufacturer’s warranty for up to one additional year when you use your HSBC World Elite Mastercard to purchase most items.
The HSBC World Elite Mastercard is a card I like for several reasons:
- No foreign transaction fees
- Points redemptions flexibility (either used in travel credit or transferred to airline partners)
- The fact that it is a Mastercard, it is accepted everywhere (including at Costco)
- Its ability to earn points for travel purchases(6 points per dollaror 3% )
- Its earning rate for all other purchases(3 points per dollar or 1.5% )
Also, there is a 10% discount for select hotel purchases with Expedia and Agoda and unlimited access to Wi-Fi through Boingo.
It’s a card I keep because its annual $100 Travel enhancement credit largely offsets the annual fee.
During our family trip around the world, we used it a lot to save on our foreign currency transaction fees and to redeem points for Airbnb rentals!
This publication is sponsored by HSBC Bank Canada. However, the opinions and views expressed on this blog are only mines. HSBC is not responsible for maintaining or controlling the accuracy of the information published on this website.