I got a little antsy on the credit card front and decided to apply for another credit card! The sign up bonus on this was so good that I couldn’t resist. What’s the HSBC World Elite sign up bonus? Well, read this HSBC World Elite Mastercard review to find out 😉
It’s a little risky right now because you’ll have to use up your HSBC points before the end of the free annual fee period (e.g. within one year- so if you sign up in October 2020 you will have to use it up by October 2021 or you will pay $149 in annual fee for another year) but I figure that there’s enough travel to do locally to make this worth it. Fingers crossed though that within a year, things will look better because I am getting tired of COVID (like many others I am sure). With the sign up bonus, we could at least get a free weekend trip from this.
HSBC WOrld Elite Sign Up Bonus
The HSBC World Elite Welcome Bonus is 20,000 Points upon your first purchase. This is about a $100 value. Then, if you spend $5000 within the next 180 days (or about 6 months), you will get another 80,000 Points, which is a $400 value. In total, you could be eligible for $500 value for spending $5000 over half a year’s time, that’s a 10% return.
You will be awarded the points 180 days after account opening and it will be put on your account within two statement periods. For example if you opened your account in Sept 2020 and you blitzed through your $5000 minimum spend, you should get your points awarded in May 2021.
In addition, the part I always like best is that it’s first year free. This card normally costs $149 a year, but if you sign up before December 28, 2020 you get the first year free and you are eligible to get the above sign up bonus (a $500 value).
People that live in Quebec don’t get this offer, but they get 130,000 points instead which is a $650 travel value!!
Earning And Redeeming HSBC Points
How many points per dollar spent do you earn?
- 6 Points per $1 spent on travel purchases (a 3% return)
- 3 Points per $1 spent on anything else (a 1.5% return)
You can redeem your points for travel (this is the best option for bang for your buck) or gift cards, products and experiences, and financial rewards are available as well (like a mortgage credit or Mastercard account credit). The catalogue of HSBC Rewards is available here.
200 HSBC Rewards points is equal to $1 in travel credit. You can charge any travel related expense and redeem it with HSBC Rewards points within 60 days.
If you want to get even more value out of your HSBC World Elite Points, you can convert them to: AsiaMiles (Cathay Pacific), Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Miles, and British Airways Avios miles.
For the sign up bonus alone:
- 100,000 HSBC Rewards points 32,000 Asia Miles
- 100,000 HSBC Rewards points can be converted into 36,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles
- 100,000 HSBC Rewards points can be converted into 40,000 British Airways Avios
You could get two roundtrip flights from the west coast to Hawaii with 115,000 points though you would have to have a total of 120,000 HSBC Rewards points (spending a bit more) to convert to 52,000 British Airways Avios. This would be the assumption that COVID is over and the borders open up and you can travel to Bellingham or Seattle to board your flight to Hawaii.
According to Milesopedia, there are sometimes bonus conversion periods for Avios where you could get at 35% bonus of Avios miles for transferring!
The Perks of HSBC World Elite
There are some other great things about the HSBC World Elite that makes it a great travel card (again, a bit of a moot point right now with all the travel restrictions and recommendations not to travel).
For example, there is no foreign transaction fee even if you buy foreign exchange items online (e.g. shopping in US dollars). Normally the foreign transaction fee is charged and it is about a 2.5% charge built into what you think is the exchange.
The other amazing perk is the $100 annual travel enhancement credit. This is applied when you first sign up for the card and you will get another $100 available each year after. The travel enhancement credit includes: Airline seat upgrades, airline baggage fees and airport lounge passes. That’s an amazing deal because many airlines charge for baggage nowadays. The only downside is during COVID there’s probably not much airplane travel going on.
There is also Worldwide Emergency Travel Medical Insurance with this card for the primary cardholder and anyone traveling with you, up to $1,000,000 each and coverage is for 31 days (if you are under 65) which is pretty good. Interestingly this is not available if you are traveling in Cuba.
Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty Coverage is also available, though this is pretty standard with more premium cards. So if there’s loss, damage, or theft on what you purchased within 90 days, you can claim Purchase Protection. Also, for any warranties you have, HSBC will extend it for another year, though you have to purchase on the card to get these benefits.
Trip Cancellation and Trip Delay. You have to charge 75% of your trip on your card and it is covered for unfortunate events such as death, injury or illness of yourself, or your immediate family. It is up to $2000 per person or $5000 in total for the trip. This is pretty standard.
Baggage Delay or Loss. Again, pretty standard for a travel rewards credit card. You are covered up to $750 per insured person (with a cap of $500 per item) for damage, theft, burglary and fire or transportation hazards to your luggage. There’s also a $200 insurance for necessities caused by baggage delay if your luggage isn’t there after 12 hours.
Car Rental Insurance is also available but you have to charge 75% of your car rental on the card. It protects against Car Rental Collision/Loss Damage and there in coverage for up to 31 days of the car rental.
Unlimited Wi-Fi through Boingo through 1 million hot spots worldwide. I would imagine this would be nice at places like the airport when you are waiting for your flight and they don’t have airport wifi (Wow, thinking about that just brought about some feelings of nostalgia waiting to board flights at airports…. I WANT TO TRAVEL AGAIN hahaha).
Airport Lounge Access with complimentary membership to Mastercard Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey (850 Airport Lounges around the world), though you still have to pay $32 USD per person for each visit (though it is covered under the $100 travel enhancement credit).
HSBC WOrld Elite MC Eligibility
In order to be eligible for the card, you must have $80,000 personal income or $150,000 household income. Alternately, you can apply if you have a minimum of $400,000 in investable assets under management (liquid assets in Canada, no Canadian real estate doesn’t count).
Related: Transunion vs Equifax, Why the Difference Between Scores?
HSBC World Elite Annual Fee
Normally the annual fee is $149 a year, but with this promotion, it is free for the first year.
Genymoney.ca’s Verdict of the HSBC WOrld Elite
This is going to be an easy travel hacking churning card. It only asks you to spend $5000 within 180 days which is around $833 a month and you’ll get $500 worth in HSBC Rewards points. I will either use this as a temporary replacement for my Rogers World Elite Mastercard for personal use or I will use it as a joint credit card account so we can rack up the HSBC Rewards points faster.
Personally, after locking in $5000 in spending, I would stop using the card and switch back to our card of choice, like a TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite.
Related: Transunion vs Equifax- Why the Difference Between Scores?
After spending $5000 (let’s assume just regular day to day spending not travel related), you’ll get 100,000 HSBC Rewards points as the bonus in addition to the 15,000 HSBC Rewards points for regular spending. That’s 115,000 HSBC Rewards points, or $575 of FREE TRAVEL.
Or more. Fingers crossed that COVID is over in a year and we’ll be able to travel to Hawaii again (without having to stay 14 days locked in a hotel room). I might get my husband to apply for this card too and then we can get tickets to Hawaii for free for our whole family! Within the year, we convert the HSBC Points to Avios points then it will make the points last longer since Avios points expire after 3 years.
Great Canadian Rebates often has a $70-100 cash back as well if you sign up through their site.
Did you sign up for the HSBC World Elite Mastercard?
What is your HSBC World Elite Mastearcard review?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.
4 thoughts on “HSBC World Elite Mastercard Review”
I just got back in the game with a new Amex Biz Platinum. Good bonus. Do you have specific travel in mind already, or are you going to collect the points and figure that out later?
@Family Money Saver- Ooh Amex Biz Platinum, fancy! I haven’t signed up for an Amex in a while. We travel to Hawaii often so we could use the points towards that as default, otherwise, we have a trip to Maldives hopefully before 2022 when the Travelzoo voucher ends! 🙂
Both sound awesome. I’m trying to make some Hawaiian friends who need house sitting services. 🙂
@FMS- Hah, great idea!