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
Summary of the card's benefits
Here are the benefits of this credit card:
- 6 points per dollar for travel purchases (flights, hotels, Airbnb, all-inclusive, etc.)
- 4 points per dollar for grocery, gas or drugstore purchases
- 2 points per dollar for all other purchases (including Costco)
- 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
- Free Wi-Fi access offered by Boingo
- 10% discount with Expedia and Agoda
- 31-day Worldwide Emergency Travel Medical insurance
- Baggage Delay or Loss insurance
- Flight delay insurance
- Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption/Delay insurance
- Car rental insurance
- Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty Insurance
- Mobile Device Insurance
- Price Protection
- Accepted everywhere, including Costco
A straightforward loyalty program
With the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®, you can get:
- 6 points per dollar for travel purchases (or 3%)
- 4 points per dollar for grocery, gas or drugstore purchases (i.e., 2%)
- 2 points per dollar on all other purchases, including Costco (i.e. 1%)
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 2% on everyday purchases such as groceries, gas stations or pharmacies.
I use it for all my travel purchases, as well as most everyday purchases. 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: you will have no problem with acceptance anywhere in the world, including your small neighbourhood merchants!
It will also be accepted for purchases made at Costco and will earn 2 points per dollar at Costco.
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
Holders of the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® receive 12 free 90-minute annual accesses to Wi-Fi provided by Boingo (over 1 million hotspots worldwide). There is no data limit during these accesses.
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
When it comes to travel medical emergency insurance, the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® provides coverage up to $2,000,000 per insured person:
- the primary cardholder
- dependent children
Coverage extends to 31 days per trip for people under age 65. And 21 days per trip for people over 65 years old.
Baggage Delay or Loss insurance
Regarding delayed or lost luggage insurance, the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® provides coverage up to $1,000 per insured person.
- Loss or damage
- fire or transport hazards
There is also coverage of up to $200 per trip to purchase necessary items if your luggage is delayed at your destination for more than 6 hours.
Flight delay insurance
Reimbursement of up to $250 per day to a maximum of $500 total (2 days) per trip for all insured persons travelling on the same trip for certain necessary and reasonable expenses if the confirmed scheduled flight is delayed by 6 hours or more
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.
Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
With hotel/motel theft insurance, the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® protects you against theft of most personal items from a hotel or motel room, up to $1,000 per occurrence.
Mobile Device Insurance
Regarding mobile device insurance, the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® provides coverage of up to $1,000 if your mobile device is lost or stolen or suffers accidental damage or mechanical failure.
Price Protection Service
When you purchase a new personal item with the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® and you find the same item offered at a lower price within 60 days of your purchase, the difference in price will be refunded to youup to a maximum of $500, subject to a maximum amount of $1,000 per Account per calendar year.
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 everyday purchases such as at gas stations, grocery stores or pharmacies(4 points per dollar or 2%)
In addition, there is a 10% discount for hotel reservations on Expedia and Agoda as well as free access to Wi-Fi via 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!