HSBC World Elite Mastercard Review

HSBC World Elite Mastercard (Canada)

Reviewed by Credit Carrots (2018)

HSBC Mastercard Review

TL;DR: The HSBC World Elite Mastercard offers a middle-of-the-road rewards point earn rate. Where it really differentiates itself is the rare 31 day travel insurance, 10% off Expedia hotel bookings, and no foreign exchange fees (a rarity in Canadian credit cards).

HSBC World Elite Mastercard

The HSBC World Elite Mastercard

Annual Fee

The HSBC World Elite Mastercard has an annual fee of $149.

Top Five Travel Benefits

  • $100 Annual Credit
  • 10% Off Expedia and Agoda
  • Free Boingo Wi-fi
  • 31 Day Travel Insurance
  • No FX Fees

Introduction

What the HSBC World Elite Mastercard is all about

When it comes to rewards credit cards, HSBC is not usually the first bank that pops into your mind – and for good reason. For years HSBC has focused on being the bank of choice for multi-national businesses, and neglected retail banking customers such as us.

The search for revenue growth at HSBC has resulted in the company taking a serious look at the retail banking business, and greatly improving its credit card and mortgage offerings.

With this credit card, HSBC has offered a worthy contender in the credit card battle that offers benefits not found on any other Canadian credit card.

Read on to learn more about the robust benefits and perks that come with the HSBC World Elite Mastercard.

How to Earn Rewards Points

HSBC Rewards Points Earn Rates

Before we get into the detail of the different ways you can earn HSBC points, we want to first clarify how much each point is worth.

Based on our research, we value an HSBC Rewards point at 0.50 cents. That means if you spend a dollar to earn a rewards point, then you are essentially getting 0.5% of value back.

Here are the different ways you can earn points:

3 rewards point per dollar spent on everyday purchases (eg. you’re getting 1.5% of your spend back in Marriott Rewards points value).

6 rewards points per dollar spent at on eligible travel purchases (eg. you’re getting 3.0% of your spend back in HSBC Rewards points value).

How to Redeem Rewards Points

Redeeming HSBC Rewards Points

HSBC Rewards is one of the newest programs around, and it is fairly focused on travel redemptions. However, it also allows you to redeem your points for a credit into your HSBC savings account or mortgage – which is more flexibility than most banks allow!

The most popular redemption options are below:

Travel. You can redeem your HSBC Rewards points for most travel costs such as flights, hotels, and rental cars that have been charged to your HSBC credit card. This redemption option will provide a point value of 0.50 cents (eg. 25,000 points will get you $125).

Cashback. HSBC Rewards lets you redeem for cash in three different ways.

First, you can redeem points for a rebate on your credit card statement. This redemption provides a point value of only 0.30 cents (eg. 25,000 points wil get you $75).

Second, you can redeem points for cash into your HSBC savings account. This redemption also provides a point value of only 0.30 cents (eg. 25,000 points wil get you $75).

Third, you can redeem points for a rebate on your HSBC mortgage account. This redemption will provide a point value of 0.40 cents (eg. 25000 points wil get you $100).

Merchandise. The only time this redemption option makes sense would be when they have a BIG sale on the items they’re offering. Otherwise, it’s better to just buy the item on your credit card through a normal channel, and then use the cashback redemption option. The HSBC store does have sales every week though so you can find some deals that will allow you to recover more than 0.30 cents per point.

Additional Benefits and Features

Travel Benefits and Other Perks

The HSBC World Elite Mastercard has a strong suite of benefits that any frequent traveler will love.

Our favorite benefits include:

  • $100 travel enhancement credit. This travel enhancement credit can be used towards airplane seat upgrades, baggage fees, and airport lounge access. To redeem this, all you have to do is login to HSBC Rewards and apply the credit towards an applicable charge.
  • No foreign transaction fees. When you charge foreign currencies to your credit card, you will only pay the exchange rate! Most other Canadian credit cards will charge more than 2% on top of the exchange rate when you make a foreign currency purchase.
  • 10% Expedia and Agoda discount. This is one of the best features of the card, but you have to read the fine print! The 10% discount only applies to hotel bookings. To access this discount, all you have to do is visit these sites using the following links: Expedia (www.expedia.ca/hsbccanada) and Agoda (www.agoda.com/hsbccanada)
  • Free Boingo Wi-fi. Boingo allows you to access over one million wi-fi hotspots worldwide. Your HSBC Mastercard will give you free access to Boingo on four devices. Even though a lot of airports now have free wi-fi, there are still many around the world where Boingo is the only option.
  • 31 Days of travel insurance. Most other credit card travel insurance policies are only valid for 14-21 days. Having a card with 31 days of travel insurance should give you more than you would need unless you’re retired or are at a company with an amazing vacation policy!

For a full list of all HSBC World Elite Mastercard benefits click here.