Do you eat, sleep, travel, repeat? The HSBC World Elite Mastercard might just be one of the most underrated travel credit cards for frequent fliers. Whether you’re all business or a restless nomad, this card gives you extra points on your eligible travel expenses. That’s why World Elite credit cards are so popular. Then, you can redeem points your way on the things that matter most. With 11 bonus card features, you can eat your globetrotting heart out with complimentary travel insurance, purchase protection, discounts, and much more. Don’t let the other guys pull focus, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard deserves a closer look. Oh, did I mention there are no foreign transaction fees? Yes, way!

Welcome bonus worth 80,000 points
HSBC World Elite Mastercard Credit Card
  • Initiation fee: $0
  • Annual fee: $149
  • Annual interest rate: 20.99% on purchases and 22.99% on advances
Promotion: Get up to $649 in total value* for the first year! Must apply by May 31, 2023. Conditions apply.
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HSBC World Elite Mastercard Welcome Offer

New customers who apply and get approved for the HSBC World Elite Mastercard before May 31, 2023, will get up to $649 worth of bonus offers.

To start, you can get up to 80,000 bonus points, the equivalent of a $400 travel value. On top of that, the $149 annual card fee is waived for the first year.

So how do you earn your 80,000 points? First, you can earn an extra 20,000 bonus points when you make a first purchase on your card after opening the account. Next, you can earn up to another 60,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on the card each month for the first 6 months of opening your account. 

Oh, one more thing, you’ll also get a $100 travel credit available to you right away when the card is issued, and every year after that as long as your account is in good standing!

Do you live in Quebec?

If you’re a resident of Quebec, I have great news. You get a better welcome offer! OK, so you don’t get the annual fee waived for the first year, but hear me out. You still get the same 20,000 bonus points when you make a first purchase on your HSBC World Elite Mastercard after opening your account. But, you can earn up to an additional 90,000 bonus points just for keeping your account open, active, and in good standing for at least the first 180 days (about 6 months) of opening your account.

You get free points for some entry-level adulting. You also get the same $100 travel credit available to you as soon as the card is issued, and every year going forward. Are we happy for you? Absolutely! A little jealous? No comment.

Who is eligible for the HSBC World Elite Mastercard

Well, it has the word “elite” in the title, so right away we know this card isn’t accessible to a lot of people. Even if you travel-hack like a Jedi, you need an annual personal income of at least $80,000 or a household annual income of $150,000. When the average Canadian salary is just shy of $55,000 per year, the minimum income requirements put the HSBC World Elite Mastercard out of reach for many. Alternatively, instead of annual income, HSBC will consider at least $400,000 worth of investments with a financial institution(s) in Canada. 

If you rock the cashbox, then you also need to be a Canadian resident and the age of majority in your province or territory. Ready to apply? Make sure you have government-issued photo ID ready, like a: 

  • Canadian passport 
  • Canadian driver’s license 
  • Provincial government issued photo ID

If you don’t rock the cashbox, or you’re feeling a little hot under the collar about your financial situation, take control of your money right now with the Hardbacon app. Then, visit our website to learn how to spend smart, save more, and grow your wealth. We’ve got the tools you need to build a brighter future, and maybe even help you qualify for the HSBC World Elite Mastercard down the road.
Tell me about the travel rewards!

Earning HSBC points

OK, now for the best part. With the HSBC World Elite Mastercard, you earn 6 points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases to a maximum spend amount of $50,000 per year. After you hit the maximum annual spend limit, the earn rate drops down to 2 points per $1 for eligible travel purchases. So what counts as “eligible travel purchases?” 

According to the fine print in the legal footnotes, eligible travel purchases only count with merchants classified as travel service providers by the Mastercard network. That means if a merchant is not classified as a travel service provider, even though they sell travel services, you won’t get your 6 points per $1. No worries, all is not lost. In that case, you’ll get:

  • 4 points per $1 spent at eligible gas, grocery, and drugstores.
  • 2 points per $1 on all other eligible purchases

Redeeming your HSBC points. Are they worth it?

As with most travel rewards cards, you get the most bang for your buck when you redeem points on travel. So the redemption value on travel works out to about 3% back on the amount of money spent on eligible travel purchases and 1.5% back on the amount of money spent on everything else. 

At first glance, 3% back in travel rewards doesn’t seem like much. But other premium travel cards with a higher redemption value typically limit you to specific types of travel expenses, travel service providers, or both. Trading in some redemption value for more flexibility is worth it, in my opinion. Your HSBC points can also be transferred to 3 frequent flyer programs:

  • British Airways Avios
  • Singapore KrisFlyer miles
  • Asia Miles 

Other ways to redeem your points include: 

  • Deposit to your HSBC savings account
  • Credit on your HSBC mortgage 
  • Credit on your card statement 
  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Groceries
  • Gas
  • Experiences
  • Entertainment
  • Charitable donations
  • And more!

Wait, rewind. Did you see that? You can redeem your points for a credit on your HSBC mortgage. I love it when a credit card lets you invest your rewards. But HSBC is the first I’ve come across to let you use points to build equity in your home. I just tripped over my own jaw.

What else does the HSBC World Elite Mastercard have to offer?

To really be considered a great travel rewards card, it has to offer more than just travel points. The HSBC World Elite Mastercard packs a punch for frequent fliers, offering 7 different insurance coverages built right into the card. Conditions and restrictions apply, always read the fine print. Here’s what you get, at a glance:

1. Worldwide Emergency Travel Medical insurance

2. Baggage Delay or Loss insurance

3. Trip Cancellation Insurance

4. Trip Interruption/Delay insurance

5. Car Rental insurance

6. Purchase Assurance

7. Extended Warranty Insurance

Annual travel credit

In addition to free insurance protection with the HSBC World Elite Mastercard, you also get a $100 travel credit every year on the anniversary of your account, as long as the account is active and in good standing. You can redeem the credit to upgrade your seat on select airlines, cover checked baggage fees, or snag some airport lounge passes.

Airport lounge access

Although, you probably won’t need to redeem the credit for lounge passes, at least not often, because you also get a complimentary Mastercard Travel Pass membership through DragonPass. With that, you get access to over 1,300 airport lounges around the world. Important to note, you’ll be charged US $32 per person per lounge visit; a small price to pay for exclusive dining experiences, retail discounts, and even spa treatments! So yah, maybe you will use that travel credit for lounges after all.

Hotel discounts

Use your HSBC World Elite Mastercard to get 10% off select hotel bookings through Expedia or Agoda. As long as you book through the HSBC Expedia and Agoda partner web-portals, you’ll save money on hotel accommodations. If you use your card to shop other hotel comparison sites, you can still bank your regular points.

Unlimited WiFi

Your HSBC World Elite Mastercard also gives you unlimited wifi access at over 1 million hotspots around the world with Boingo. You can connect up to 4 devices and enjoy free wifi at hotels, airports, and other popular attractions.

HSBC World Elite Mastercard rates and fees

The annual card fee is $149, waived the first year under the welcome offer, plus $50 per additional card for authorized users. The interest rate is 20.99% for regular card purchases, and 22.99% on balance transfers and cash advances. The annual fee makes sense for the premium rewards and extra features, and the rates are also pretty standard.

The fee you’ll never pay!

One fee you don’t have to worry about? Foreign transaction fees, commonly referred to as foreign currency conversion fees. That’s right! The HSBC World Elite Mastercard will not charge you any additional fees when you use the card abroad or online. Only the exchange rate applies, saving you 2.5% to 3% on gross additional fees the other guys charge on every foreign transaction. In fact, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard made our list of best credit cards without currency conversion fees.

Who is the HSBC World Elite Mastercard for?

High altitude earners will catch flights not feelings with this no-strings-attached flexible rewards card. Whether plane-hopping is your job, or jet-setting is your religion, you’ll want to seriously consider the HSBC World Elite Mastercard that lets you redeem points with any travel service provider. It’s a little pricey with that three-digit annual fee, but the flexible points and mile-high list of built-in benefits help to make up for it. 

Not to mention, the current welcome offer is worth about $549 in bonus offers, not including the $100 travel credit you get every year that starts right off the hop. That alone covers almost 4 years' worth of the annual card fee. And of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention any foreign transaction fees while talking about a killer travel card. Globetrotters and online shoppers will save even more money because this card doesn’t charge additional currency conversion fees. So who do you think this card is for? If you make bank and live out of a suitcase, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard could be a great card for you.

HSBC World Elite Mastercard Rating

Review Overview
Purchase interest rate
Cash advance interest rate
Balance transfer
Annual fee
Cash back
Welcome Offer
Purchase insurance
Extended warranty insurance
Travel insurance
Emergency medical travel insurance
Other Perks

Benefits & Perks

  • $100 annual travel credit
  • 20,000 bonus points on signup
  • 40,000 bonus points when you spend $6,000 in the first 6 months
  • 20,000 bonus points on your 1-year card anniversary
  • $149 annual card fee waived for the first year
  • 6x the points on eligible travel purchases
  • High annual spend maximum for accelerated points
  • 1.5x the points on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Flexible points redemption
  • Can use points to pay down mortgage
  • Mastercard Travel Pass for airport lounges
  • 10% discount on eligible hotel bookings
  • Free WiFi access with Boingo
  • Emergency travel medical insurance
  • Baggage delay or loss insurance
  • Trip cancellation/interruption/delay insurance
  • Car rental insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty
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