HSBC World Elite Mastercard Review (2023)

Last updated on March 14, 2023

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TheHSBC World Elite Mastercardis still a relatively new card on the Canadian market. When HSBC launched this card in late 2018, it was clear that they didn't just want to market their credit cards to those who would bank with them, they wanted to get into the overall lucrative Canadian credit card market. It was about time they did, as Canadians, as slowly as they may have gotten used to it, are learning that they don't have to get credit cards from the bank they bank with, they can get any card that does they want, and HSBC wants some of that pie. The card was recently revised in February 2023 and is not only a great card for all Canadians, but also the best card on the market for people aged 65 and over.

(Video) HSBC World Elite Master Card Review | My Experience


TheHSBC World Elite Mastercardis a very strong competitor in the market with its base premium offer, benefits and insurance package. Similar to its direct competitors, this card offers maximum flexibility as it is a hybrid credit card. That means it has its own proprietary rewards program, but it also allows you to convert points from the HSBC rewards program into several airline frequent flyer programs. Here at Rewards Canada, hybrid cards (which also count as flexible points) are our preferred type of credit card.

Costs & registration functions

TheHSBC World Elite Mastercardcomes with an annual main card fee of $149. The annual fee is a bit higher than the average for most other World Elite Mastercards or the Visa Infinite card, but not by much as many others have increased their fees. However, don't let the annual fee sway you as the card offers many benefits to offset the higher annual fee difference. Additional cards are free.Currently through 31st May 2023 the welcome bonus on the card is up to 80,000 HSBC Rewards points and your first year free. Those 80,000 points are worth $400 for each trip.

The interest rate on the card is 20.99% on purchases. 22.99% on cash advances and balance transfers. These prices are competitive with most others on the market. The minimum annual income for the card is $80,000 for individuals or $150,000 for households or $400,000 in assets with a Canadian financial institution.

To deserve

The card accumulates HSBC Rewards points and earns these points as follows:

  • 6 pointsper Eligible Dollar Spent on All Eligible Travel Spend – This accrual rate will only be awarded for the first $50,000 spent annually in this category
  • 4 pointsper eligible dollar spent on all eligible gas, grocery and drugstore purchases
  • 2 pointsper dollar spent on all other expenses

Scoring chart

expense category Earned points per dollar spent Return on your own travel booking Rendite Cash Back ROI when switching to airline programs
Travel 6 3% 1,8 % 3.6% to 12% or higher
gas, groceries, drug store 4 2% 1,2 % 2.4% to 8% or higher
All other expenses 2 1% 0,6 % 1.2% to 4% or higher


Points earned on this card are each worth 0.5 cents when redeemed for travel with any Travel Provider

On the redemption page, the points earned with the HSBC World Elite Mastercardcan be redeemed for any trip booked with any supplier. Simply put, you book the trip where you want and charge your card. You can then go to HSBC Rewards or go online to redeem your points for that travel fee. This is the same feature found on some cards in Canada that have their own proprietary rewards program.

This means you can go to any travel provider, be it an airline, hotel, all inclusive, travel agent, car rental company, whatever, you book your trip with them. The beauty of this is that you have complete control and flexibility to book the trip you want, on the dates you want, and pay for part or all of the trip with points. Once the fee is displayed, redeem your points for that fee and you can ask what the point value is associated with those redemptions.You must redeem at least 25,000 points and then redeem in increments of 10,000 points.

The value you receive for the option to redeem any trip ranges from 1% to 3% of your spend. That means the 2 points per dollar you earn on the card is worth 1% towards travel, the 4 points per dollar is worth 2% and the 6 points per dollar is worth 3%.

Also, what's cool about cards like this is that you don't need points at the time of booking, as you have up to 60 days after being charged to redeem points. This means that you can actually be on the go and make further bookings on the go and later redeem points for them.

Related:Not all travel points and hybrid credit cards are created equalAndWhy proprietary credit card rewards programs are the best option for most Canadians

Points can also be awarded for many other non-

(Video) HSBC World Elite: The Best Mastercard in Canada (100,000+ Points!)

Travel items such as goods, experiences, gift cards, HSBC financial products and even for all purchases made with the card. HSBC calls this last option their cash back rebate. The cashback rebate option is 25,000 points for a $75 credit. That corresponds to a return of 0.6% to 1.8%.

Finally, another great benefit of this card's redemption page is the ability to convert it into HSBC rewards points for various frequent flyer programs. At the time of writing, you can convert HSBC Rewards points to British Airways Executive Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. The conversion rates are as follows:

  • 25,000 points to 10,000 Avios
  • 25,000 points to 9,000 KrisFlyer miles
  • 25,000 points towards 8,000 Asia Miles

HSBC World Elite Mastercard Review (2)

That means the card will earn 0.64 to 1.92 Asia Miles per dollar spent, 0.72 to 2.16 KrisFlyer miles per dollar spent, and 0.8 to 2.4 Avios per dollar spent. Those are some pretty good pay-offs for these programs. Depending on your spending, this card earns more than the RBC British Airways Visa card!

features and benefits

The most important feature ofHSBC World Elite MastercardMost people will get this card for the No Foreign Transaction Fee benefit. Most cards in Canada charge between 2% and 3% on purchases made in a foreign currency.This can result in significant savings if you make a lot of purchases in US dollars, euros or any other currency.

Related:No foreign transaction fee credit cards for Canadians

Another key benefit of this card is the $100 annual travel credit. This is a credit that can be used towards travel-related charges such as select seat fees, bag fees, lounge access passes and more. The credit is renewed each year on the anniversary of the card.

On the insurance side of benefits, the card offers the full range of coverage that can be expected from a premium travel card. It has standard travel accident and rental car insurance.In addition, it has trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance, and really good 31-day out-of-province emergency medical insurance for those under 65 and 21 days for those over 65.

Like most World Elite Mastercards in Canada, the card offers Mastercard airport experiences powered by LoungeKey. This means you get free membership to LoungeKey, a lounge access program pretty much the same as Priority Pass (both run by the same company). While the card covers your yearly membership, it doesn't cover actual lounge visit fees, which currently cost $32 per person.

Related:Rewards Canada's Business Class Lounge Access Guide

Another perk to note with this card is unlimited free WiFi through Boingo at over 1 million hotspots worldwide for up to four devices, including multiple airlines such as WestJet.

(Video) HSBC World Elite Mastercard Quick Guide For Canadians

What is good about this map

The best of theHSBC World Elite Mastercardis the advantage without foreign transaction fees. Whether you travel a lot outside of Canada, shop a lot online from the US, or import goods for your business, being able to save 2-3% on every transaction is a big deal.

Related: Get faster access to select award flights from Canada to the United States by using British Airways' Executive Club/Here's how to easily get a free flight between Toronto and Dublin, Ireland (before taxes/fees) or 4 flights for $240 + fees

The annual travel credit is also a good thing this card comes with, as it can bring some nice savings when traveling if you have to check bags, pay for seat assignments (or things like upgrades to Premium at WestJet).

The collection rate for travel, gas, groceries, and drugstore expenses is another good feature of the card. These prices are especially good if you're switching to one of the card's three airline partners, as they can offer outsized value when redeeming for Business or First Class.

The card also has an excellent insurance package, including trip cancellation and up to 31 days of out-of-province emergency medical care for those under the age of 65. However, the main coverage is the 21-day coverage for the over 65s - this is the longest duration of coverage for this age group.

What's not so good about this card

There's not too much bad about itHSBC World Elite Mastercard, probably our biggest gripe is the earn rate on the map. Don't get us wrong, it's not that bad when you factor in all the benefits and features of this card, like we said, it's a pretty strong competitor, but when you look at the base earn rate of just 2 points per dollar, this card compares favorably to some other cards. Most people who have this card earn 2 points per dollar, which is a 1% return, and there are cards that offer more than that for non-travel expenses.

The 60-day redemption limit for using points to pay for travel is on the low end. Competitors to this card offer 90 days, 9 months and even 12 months to redeem points for a travel fee.Finally, annual fees are higher than some comparable cards at $149 versus $120-$139 and $50 for add-on cards when similar competitors offer the first add-on card for free.

Who should get this card

  • Consumers who spend a lot of foreign currency. Whether it's through travel, online shopping or even importing goods for your business from Canada.
  • Consumers who travel extensively (up to $50,000 per year)
  • Consumers who wish to bank with HSBC and keep all financial products in one bank (especially if your accounts provide you with this card free of charge)
  • Consumers who want maximum flexibility with their points, i. H. make their own travel bookings and use the points for bookings or travellers/frequent flyers who are members of one of the airline programs with which HSBC works.
  • Consumers who want a strong insurance package combined with many of the above features
  • British Airways Executive Club members looking for a non-Amex card with strong Avios collection


Years ago we wrote an article about how credit cards don't charge fees for foreign transactions in Canada and why the trend seen in the US wasn't evident here. Well, that trend is starting to emerge here. Credit card issuers in Canada are finally ditching the portion of the revenue pie that represents the foreign transaction fee. Up until 2018, there were only a few small players in our market offering the No FX Fees perk, but we have been stating all along that once one big player starts offering No FX Fees, others will follow. HSBC is not considered a major player in our market, at least not yet, but that's because of how they used to market their cards. Now that they're after the Canadian public with this card, that's about to change.

With this card and Scotia with the No FX Fee Passport Visa Infinite Card, it shouldn't be long before we see other major card issuers in Canada also take the no FX fee path. In summary, this card is ideal for people who travel a lot and travel a lot outside the country. 6 points per dollar on travel spend and no foreign exchange fees should really appeal to the international traveler. Not only that, it's a card to keep in mind by someone who makes a lot of online purchases from outside of Canada, thanks to the FX-free fee and also for those looking for the greatest flexibility that a hybrid card offers. All in all, this card is a big contender in our market and that's why we rank it the 5th best travel rewards card in Canada and the 3rd best hybrid card.

Latest map data:

HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®

Top credit card with no foreign transaction fee for 2023

Earn up to 80,000 points* PLUS a full annual fee reduction for the primary cardholder in the first year*

Annual fee for primary cardholders: $149 (1st year annual fee discount*)
Annual fee for authorized users: $0 per card
Annual interest rate: 20.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances and transfers.
$80,000 personal or $150,000 household annual income

Special Offer: Earn up to 80,000 points* ($400 travel value) PLUS a full annual primary cardholder fee reduction for the first year* ($149 value) and receive an annual travel improvement credit of $100*. Must be applied for by May 31, 2023. Conditions apply.

• Welcome bonus of 20,000 points* ($100 travel value)
• Earn 10,000 points* every month when you spend at least $1,000 each month (up to $300 travel value) for the first 6 months after account opening.
• Annual fee reduction for the first year for the main cardholder* ($149)
• Receive $100 annual travel improvement credit*

• With the HSBC World Elite Mastercard, you earn 6 points for net $1 purchases that are travel purchases, 4 points for net $1 purchases that are gas, groceries and drugstores, and 2 points for net $1 purchases other than travel, gas, groceries and drugstore purchases.
• Save on all your foreign currency purchases (even online) with no additional foreign currency conversion fees.
• Enjoy maximum flexibility and redeem your points on your terms for:

• Travel
• Gift cards and valuable goods
• Financial rewards
• Awards for miles

*Terms and Conditions apply
®/TM Mastercard and World Elite are registered trademarks and the circle design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Used under license

This offer is only valid for residents of Canada excluding the province of Quebec (Quebec residents are eligible for a separate offer).

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Other maps to consider when looking at this map:

This review was first published on October 19, 2018 and is updated regularly.

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