I had the HSBC World Elite Mastercard about 3 years ago (cancelled before the first year annual fee of course) and I decided to sign up again. Here’s my updated HSBC World Elite Mastercard review. Of course, there was a welcome offer that was too good to resist, and I wanted a card that had no foreign transaction fees for an upcoming international trip.
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HSBC WOrld Elite Welcome Bonus
The HSBC World Elite Welcome Bonus is 20,000 Points upon your first purchase. This is equivalent to about a $100 value. Then, if you spend $1000 within the next 60 days (or about 2 months), you will get another 30,000 Points, which is a $150 value. In total, you could be eligible for $250 value for spending $1000 in two months, which is pretty easy to do in terms of a welcome bonus offer.
If you have had the HSBC World Elite Mastercard within the last 12 months or are switching from another HSBC credit card to this one, you won’t be eligible for the welcome bonus.
You will be awarded the points 60 days after account opening (once you complete the welcome bonus task of spending $1000 in net purchases) and it will be put on your account within two statement periods.
For example if you opened your account in Sept 2023 and you blitzed through your $1000 minimum spend in 60 days, you should get your points awarded in January 2024.
In addition, the part I always like best is that it’s first year free. This card normally costs $149 a year, but with the September promotion, you can get the first year free.
People that live in Quebec get a different offer, they get 60,000 points instead of the 30,000 the rest of Canada get.
Earning And Redeeming HSBC Points
How many points per dollar spent do you earn for the HSBC World Elite?
- 6 Points per $1 spent on travel purchases (a 3% return)
- 4 Points per $1 spent on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases (a 2% return)
- 2 Points per $1 spent on everything else (a 1% 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:
- 50,000 HSBC Rewards points 16,000 Asia Miles
- 50,000 HSBC Rewards points can be converted into 18,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles
- 50,000 HSBC Rewards points can be converted into 20,000 British Airways Avios
You could get almost one roundtrip flight from the west coast to Hawaii with 50,000 points though you would have to have 65,000 HSBC Rewards points to convert to 26,000 British Airways Avios.
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- this is one of the main reason I signed up (and it’s not just for the welcome bonus).
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. This will save me from exchanging money when I get to my destination and I can just simply charge expenses to my credit card without having to carry too much cash on me.
The other amazing perk is the $100 CAD annual travel enhancement credit. This is applied when you first sign up for the card and you will get another $100 available on your credit card annivesary.
The travel enhancement credit includes:
- Airline seat upgrades
- Airline baggage fees
- Airport lounge passes
The travel credit must be redeemed within 60 days from the date that the travel purchase is posted on your credit card account.
There is also Worldwide Emergency Travel Medical Insurance with this card for the primary cardholder and spouse, 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.
Mobile Device Protection up to $1000 from loss, theft, mechanical failure or accidental damage. You have to pay for your mobile phone with this card or have all the cell phone bill payments charged onto this card.
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.
10% discount on select hotel bookings with Expedia and Agoda (only if you book directly through HSBC Expedia and HSBC Agoda portal).
Airport Lounge Access with complimentary membership to Mastercard Airport Experiences Provided by Dragon Pass (850 Airport Lounges around the world), though you still have to pay $32 USD per person for each visit (though you can claim it 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).
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 a handy card to have while traveling because of the no foreign transaction fees. To get the welcome bonus it’s only $1000 within 60 days which is around $500 a month and you’ll get $250 worth in HSBC Rewards points.
Although the welcome bonus has been more generous in the past, this is still a good deal considering the fact that it is first year fee.
After spending $1000 (let’s assume just regular day to day spending not travel related), you’ll get 50,000 HSBC Rewards points as the bonus in addition to the 2,000 HSBC Rewards points for regular spending. That’s 52,000 HSBC Rewards points.
This would add up to:
- $150 Great Canadian Rebates Sign Up Cash Back
- $250 worth in HSBC Reward Points for travel
- $100 in Travel Enhancement Credit (a great way to offset the baggage fees if you are charged one)
$450, not bad at all for a $1000 spend and there’s no foreign currency transaction fee.
A great travel credit card to have in your wallet.
Did you sign up for the HSBC World Elite Mastercard?
What is your HSBC World Elite Mastearcard review?
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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.