A Mastercard credit card designed for travellers
I have been an HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® credit card holder for over four years. As a frequent traveller, I have had the occasion to test this card many times, and I must admit that I struggle to find any negative aspect to it.
Flexible points: Flight, Train, Cruise, Hotel, Rental and more
Let’s start with its rewards points program. With the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®, you get:
- 6 points for every dollar in travel purchases (a 3% value of travel rewards)
- 4 points for every dollar spent at grocery stores, gas stations and drugstores (worth 2% in travel rewards)
- 2 points for every dollar in other purchases (worth 1% in travel rewards)
The HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® is one of the best credit cards for travel purchases, but also everyday purchases. Few cards offer 3% on travel and 2% on everyday purchases such as groceries, gas stations and pharmacies.
You can redeem these points for many rewards, including financial rewards, gift cards and merchandise, points-to-miles conversion, and statement credits for travel purchases.
The method I recommend is the latter (10,000 points = $50), and it’s the one I use regularly:
- Purchases from an airline (flight ticket, luggage, seats, etc.)
- Purchase of train tickets
- Apartment or chalet rentals on Airbnb, Booking.com, etc.
- Hotel bookings
- Theme park tickets
- And more!
The point redemption starts at 25,000 points = $125. Then in increments of 10,000 points.
An example of using HSBC Rewards points for purchases with SNCF and Easyjet:
To give you a better idea, let me show you some examples or what was considered travel purchases over the years by my HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®:
- Airbnb, Booking, Expedia, Agoda
- Air Canada, WestJet, Air Transat, Porter, Air France, Easyjet, Etihad, Emirates
- VIA Rail, Amtrak (USA), SNCF (France), Deutsche Bahn (Germany), SBB (Switzerland)
- Disneyland Paris (France)
- Kruger Park (South Africa), Parks Australia (Australia)
For example, here is a house I rented in South Africa on Airbnb using HSBC points:
One of the only Mastercard credit cards without foreign currency conversion fees
This is probably the most significant advantage for a traveller: you will not pay any foreign currency conversion fees with the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®.
That’s a 2.5% savings on every purchase over most credit cards. And of course, you’ll earn reward points on these purchases (between 2 and 6 points per dollar).
A tip for travellers: choose the local currency on the payment terminal and not Canadian dollars! This is because if you choose to pay in Canadian dollars, the merchant will charge a high conversion rate while you do not pay a conversion fee with your HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®.
$100 annual travel enhancement credit
As a HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® credit card holder, you receive a $100 annual travel enhancement credit.
You get this credit as soon as you apply for the card and every year on the account’s anniversary date. You can use this credit on any flight, baggage fee or airport lounge pass purchase.
In a way, you can think of this credit as virtually reducing the cost of the annual card fee (from $149 to $49).
10% discount on select hotel bookings with Expedia or Agoda
Finally, if you regularly use the Expedia or Agoda websites to book hotels, you should know that you can get a 10% discount.
To do this, log on to the page provided on Expedia or Agoda and book a prepaid hotel with your HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®.
And of course, you’ll get 6 points per dollar for that travel booking!
A World Elite Mastercard
Beyond the travel benefits offered by the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®, there are the benefits because it is a Mastercard and World Elite card.
With this card, you benefit from premium insurance for your travels and in everyday life:
- Worldwide Emergency Travel Medical insurance
- Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption/Delay insurance
- Flight delay insurance
- Baggage Delay or Loss insurance
- Car rental insurance
- Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty Insurance
- Mobile Device Insurance
- Price Protection
Accepted worldwide (including at Costco)
Since it’s a Mastercard, you’re pretty much guaranteed that this card will be accepted anywhere in the world, including at Costco. It’s one of the Mastercard credit cards that offers the best return on your Costco purchases.
And it is, of course, the Mastercard that I use when shopping at the warehouse.
World Elite Benefits
Finally, as a HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® credit card holder, you enjoy all the benefits granted by Mastercard World Elite, such as:
- 12 annual 90-minute accesses with unlimited data from Boingo
- Mastercard Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey: access to airport lounges
Over the years, unlimited Wi-Fi access has been handy for my flights with Westjet, Etihad, Lufthansa, Swiss, or Singapore Airlines, saving me between $20 to $30 per flight to connect to the Internet for work.
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.)
- 4 points per dollar for grocery, gas or drugstore purchases
- 2 points per dollar for all other purchases (including Costco)
This means a 1 to 3% return, 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)
- 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.