HSBC World Elite: Outstanding New Offer Worth $600+! Ricky September 9, 2020

HSBC World Elite: Outstanding New Offer Worth $600+!

The HSBC World Elite Mastercard has just announced a tremendous new offer, including one of the highest nominal welcome bonuses I’ve ever seen in Canada, which will last until December 28, 2020 (terms apply).

As before, the HSBC World Elite’s welcome bonus is divided into two separate offers: one for non-Quebec residents and one for Quebec residents, both of which carry a net value of at least $600, and represent the best deal available on the HSBC World Elite over the past few years. Let’s take a closer look at the details for both offers.

The Non-Quebec Offer

The offer for non-Quebec residents is as follows. The annual fee of $149 will be rebated for the first year, and you will earn as a signup bonus:

  • 20,000 HSBC Rewards points upon first purchase
  • 80,000 HSBC Rewards points upon spending $5,000 in the first 180 days
  • Total of 100,000 HSBC Rewards points

At a minimum, HSBC Rewards points are worth 0.5 cents per point (cpp) each when redeemed against eligible travel purchases (i.e., purchases made from merchants that are classified in the Mastercard network as airlines, car rental agencies, hotels, cruise lines, passenger railways, tour operators, timeshares and travel agencies) made using your HSBC credit card at a ratio of 200 HSBC Rewards points = $1.

Therefore, the signup bonus of 100,000 HSBC Rewards points would already be worth at least $500 when redeemed for an eligible travel purchase.

But that isn’t the end of the story. In terms of the returns on daily spending, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard allows you to earn:

  • 6 HSBC Rewards points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases
  • 3 HSBC Rewards points per dollar spent on all other purchases

So if we were to add the points that you earn from meeting the $5,000 spending threshold to the above calculations, then we can conclude that you’d earn at least 15,000 HSBC Rewards points from that spending (and possibly more if you were making eligible travel purchases at the 6x earning rate).

In total, you’d end up with at least 115,000 HSBC Rewards points after completing the minimum spending, which would be worth at least $575. Throw in the first-year fee waiver, and that is a spectacular intro offer on a single credit card.

Finally, don’t forget about the $100 Travel Enhancement Credit that comes with this card, which is easy to redeem against incidental purchases along your travels (like baggage fees and seat selection fees), and there are also many reports that the Travel Enhancement Credit can be redeemed against stuff like British Airways Avios award taxes and bookings made on Expedia as well.

Combined with the $575 minimum valuation of the welcome offer, and the total minimum value that can be derived from the HSBC World Elite for non-Quebec residents rises to a staggering $675!

The Quebec Offer

Now let’s talk about the Quebec offer. Unlike the non-Quebec offer, the first-year annual fee of $149 is not rebated, and you’ll have to pay the annual fee on the first statement. Meanwhile, the signup bonus is granted as follows:

  • 20,000 HSBC Rewards points upon first purchase
  • 110,000 HSBC Rewards points upon keeping your account open and in good standing for 180 days
  • Total of 130,000 HSBC Rewards points

That’s right, Quebec residents can earn the full bonus without any minimum spending requirement of any kind is required. By simply buying a pack of gum and keeping the card open for six months, you’ll receive a stunning total of 130,000 HSBC Rewards points, which I must say is the single highest signup offer I’ve ever seen on any credit card in Canada in terms of the pure numeric value.

130,000 HSBC Rewards points are worth $650 when redeemed directly against eligible travel purchases. When considering the value of the offer, we must then subtract the $149 annual fee (which is not waived or rebated in Quebec) to arrive at a valuation of $501. Then, adding the $100 Travel Enhancement Credit into the mix, and we arrive at a total valuation of the HSBC World Elite’s Quebec offer of $601.

Comparing the two offers, we essentially see that Quebecers have to pay the first-year annual fee in exchange for receiving the full signup bonus without a $5,000 minimum spending requirement. Conversely, non-Quebec residents must spend towards their signup bonus, but they also have the possibility of receiving the full bonus without waiting for six months, and also enjoy a fee waiver in return.

Either way, no matter where in Canada you live, you should definitely consider applying for the HSBC World Elite Mastercard before the end of the year if you don’t already hold it (and if you do, consider getting your spouse or family members to apply for this outstanding offer as well).

Whether you choose to redeem the points for at least $600 in travel value, or convert them to airline frequent flyer partners (as we’ll discuss below), the hefty signup bonus will go a long way towards helping you saving money and unlocking value when it’s time to travel again.

Understanding the HSBC Rewards Program

HSBC Rewards is what we call a fixed-value points program, which means that in general, each point has a fixed value when used towards a certain type of redemption (rather than being subject to an award chart like Aeroplan or Avios).

As mentioned above, the “baseline” redemption option that you should keep in mind is that 200 HSBC Rewards points = $1 in travel credit. Using the total signup bonus of 100,000 or 130,000 HSBC Rewards points, then, you can obtain $500 or $650 of value by charging your eligible travel purchases to the card and redeeming points to offset the cost.

You can also redeem your points for gift cards and merchandise; however, similar to most points programs out there, the value in doing so is generally quite poor.

Now, most banks in Canada have their own similar fixed-value rewards programs, and I tend to think of them as being separated in to “good guys” and “bad guys”.

The “good guys”, like Scotia Rewards, allow you to redeem your points for any eligible travel purchase – airlines, hotels, car rentals, trains, ferries, cruises, vacations, etc. – that you charge to the card. You simply have 60 days from the day the charge posts on your statement to redeem the points. That gives you so much flexibility by allowing you to choose exactly when and how you want to spend your points.

Meanwhile, the “bad guys”, like BMO Rewards and CIBC Aventura, force you to book travel through their own dedicated travel agencies if you want to redeem your points. Often times these travel agencies charge marked-up prices compared to what you’d find on your own, which further devalues your hard-earned points. You also can’t use your points for things like train tickets, budget airlines, or Airbnbs as a result, since the travel agencies don’t have the capacity to book stuff outside of their own proprietary back-end.

Thankfully, HSBC Rewards is one of the “good guys”. You can charge any eligible travel purchase to the card and redeem your points for it within 60 days. That also means that non-Quebec residents can start booking travel that they intend to offset with points even before they receive the full welcome bonus of 100,000 HSBC Rewards points – in fact, those purchases will even count towards their $5,000 minimum spending!

The other potentially lucrative way to use HSBC Rewards points is by converting them to one of three airline frequent flyer programs at the following ratios:

  • 25,000 HSBC Rewards points can be converted into 8,000 Asia Miles
  • 25,000 HSBC Rewards points can be converted into 9,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles
  • 25,000 HSBC Rewards points can be converted into 10,000 British Airways Avios

On top of a minimum conversion of 25,000 points, you can then convert HSBC Rewards points in chunks of 10,000 points at the respective 25:8, 25:9, and 25:10 ratios.

If we consider the best-case signup bonus of 130,000 HSBC Rewards points in Quebec, then that’d equate to 41,600 Asia Miles, 46,800 Singapore KrisFlyer miles, or 52,000 British Airways Avios, with 5,000 HSBC Rewards points left over. From there, the possibilities for redeeming your points are endless. 

Indeed, let’s say you were deciding between redeeming 130,000 HSBC Rewards points for $650 in travel purchases or for 52,000 Avios.

If you went for the latter option, you could redeem the Avios for up to thirteen short-haul one-way flights, two round-trip flights from the West Coast to Hawaii, or a one-way business class flight between Toronto and Dublin. All of those would easily exceed the alternative of $650 in terms of the value that you get!

One last thing to consider is that HSBC Rewards represent one of the few ways to earn Singapore KrisFlyer miles here in Canada – indeed, based on the earning rates and conversion ratio listed previously, you effectively have an earn rate of 2.16 KrisFlyer miles per dollar spent on travel purchases and 1.08 Singapore KrisFlyer miles per dollar spent on general purchases.

If you want to save up enough KrisFlyer miles to try out Singapore Airlines’s incredible business class, First Class, or Suites Class, then the HSBC World Elite is one of your best options in Canada to get there.

Other Perks & Benefits

Until now, we haven’t even discussed one of the most valuable benefits of the HSBC World Elite Mastercard: the card has no foreign transaction fees, meaning that all purchases denominated in foreign currencies are converted at the Mastercard rate, which is virtually identical to the true mid-market rate.

In addition, the card comes with complimentary Mastercard LoungeKey membership, although you do have to pay a US$27 fee per lounge visit, so it’s not as good of a lounge access benefit as other premium cards out there. You also have unlimited wifi at Boingo hotspots around the world and onboard Boingo-enabled airlines.

Lastly, the 31-day emergency medical insurance is worth pointing out. Most premium travel credit cards only offer coverage for 15 days, so this is a great insurance option to have if you’re the type of traveller who takes more extended trips.

You can refer to my YouTube video on the HSBC World Elite Mastercard to learn more about the card’s benefits, although do take note that the offer I mention in the video is outdated and has been replaced by this current offer:

Apply Now

Until December 28, 2020, the HSBC World Elite is offering a magnificent welcome bonus that’s worth at least $600 in value, which makes it one of the most generous welcome offers we’ve ever seen from any credit card in Canada.

On top of 20,000 HSBC Rewards points upon your first purchase, Canadians who reside outside of Quebec will receive a further 80,000 points upon spending $5,000 in the first 180 days, while Quebec residents will receive a further 110,000 points upon keeping their account open and in good standing for 180 days.

Moreover, the card’s other perks and features are outstanding as well, with the 0% foreign transaction fees, the 31-day emergency medical insurance, and the simplicity of the HSBC Rewards program being my picks of the bunch.

The card requires a minimum personal annual income of $80,000, household income of $150,000, or assets of $400,000 at any Canadian financial institution to be eligible.

If you’re interested in applying for the HSBC World Elite Mastercard, please do consider applying via our affiliate link, which helps support Prince of Travel:



Alternatively, you may also look around on the various cash back websites out there to see if any offers might pique your interest. 

Top Offers

HSBC World Elite MasterCard

100,000 HSBC Rewards points
20,000 HSBC Rewards points upon approval +
80,000 HSBC Rewards points upon spending $5,000 in the first 180 days

  • 6x points on travel purchases; 3x points on other purchases
  • Points transfer to British Airways Avios, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and Singapore KrisFlyer
  • $100 Travel Enhancement Credit

Offer for non-Quebec residents only. Quebec residents are eligible for a different offer.

Signup bonus
100,000 HSBC Rewards points
Annual fee
$0 for the first year, then $149
  1. Avatar
    Ana Luiza Rangel

    I have have the grandfathered HSBC Premier World MC for 10 years (no fees because I have a Premier account with them). I resisted getting this one b/c of the fees – this post made me take the plunge. I guess because I am already a client, I got automatically approved for $8k limit. Some nasty banks (aka TD) love to decline my applications, so I am usually hesitant to apply wondering it could hurt my credit (CIBC declined the business one for me, even though my friend works there and did it for me and I have the Aventura fancy card, oh well). Thanks Rick for the info and the blog! I noticed though, that the points to miles ratio for this card is different than my World Premier. Not sure I will be able to pool them “within” the HSBC rewards portal, let’s wait and see

  2. Avatar

    Sorry, was a little twitchy on the enter button. I received the card. So far I’m a little under-whelmed with two things and hoped that some with more experience could comment… How efficiently are the points awarded? Do they show up fairly quickly like with Amex Platinum, or do you have to wait an entire month for an update? Also, has anybody been able to successfully link their card (HSBC Mastercard World Elite – personal) to Quickbooks? Or at least be able to download a CSV file to import into accounting programs? There seems to be ample complaints all over the internet about this being a problem. For me it’s a huge problem if I’m going to use this card long term. Ugh…

  3. Avatar

    HSBC Rewards and Downloading Transactions

  4. Avatar
    Black sultan

    Been told my card will be sent by mail and I don’t need to go to branch . How long does it actually take by mail ?
    Does one need to go to branch only if you are not an hsbc customer ?

  5. Avatar
    Black sultan

    I have been approved for the card . Does anyone if you can apply and get approved for more than 1 hsbc card in a short period ?

  6. Avatar

    $100 TRAVEL ENHANCEMENT CREDIT can be use with other travel booking items, even it’s not enhancement related item. Yesterday I tried, when I click that $100 credit in my hsbc account, it was show up two other travel booking that I recently purchased, and I was able to apply to it and show up that $100 credit next day in my online statement.

    1. Ricky

      Sounds like what many other cardholders have reported as well. It’s a very flexible credit that can even be cashed out at face value if you wish.

    2. Avatar

      No more phone calling need for apply this bonus credits.

  7. Avatar

    Looks like an awesome card – I just have 1 issue. My annual household income isn’t 80,000+ at the moment, is there any way I can get around that?

    1. Ricky

      Do you have any investment income, dividends, capital gains, side business revenues, etc. you could count in the income? It doesn’t have to be just salary income.

  8. Avatar
    Black sultan

    Is it difficult being approved for a credit card in Canada ? I am an hsbc premier Canada customer through another. Country . I am not resident in Canada . Would I need to provide proof of residence apart from a Canadian address or proof of permanent residence like a visas ?
    I have received hsbc cards from uk and us through the premier program even though I’m not resident there .
    Grateful for any feedback .

    1. Ricky

      You’d need to be a Canadian resident with a Canadian credit file to get approved. I know that HSBC does offer a “global transfer” type of program but am not familiar with the details, so maybe someone else could chime in.

  9. Avatar

    Thanks Ricky! Your content is always timely and high quality!

    1. Avatar
      Black sultan

      Hi ricky , how can you cash out the travel credit as mentioned by you above ?

  10. Avatar

    I have the HSBC premier account for a decade without knowing it (family has some assets under HSBC’s management overseas).
    Given that both premier WE and the WE have the same sign up bonuses, is there any difference between them? I read through the footnotes and could not find anything.

    1. Avatar

      The premier WE gives a $50 rebate a year when you pay AF, so net zero between that and the travel credit. Not sure if you get that with the current FYF offer.

  11. Avatar
    Paul Russell

    Hey Ricky–

    I got the last offer in May (I live in Ontario) — and just a warning, I put through the $5,000 minimum spend for the extra 50,000 bonus points in the first month, but they have not credited them yet. In reading the terms and conditions, it looks like they may not land until the 6 months is up.Even if you meet the minimum spend earlier. The HSBC call centre person was useless, and didn’t seem to know anything. All to say, with this offer, they may be crediting all welcome bonuses (Quebec and the rest of Canada) at the 6 month mark regardless

    1. Ricky

      Thanks Paul, that’s good to know.

  12. Avatar

    GCR has 50$ rebate as well!!

  13. Avatar

    I would suggest apply through the Prince of Travel Link. Reason behind is we would not knew about this offer if it was not for Ricky. Also this will help him bring and educate more about free traveling.

    1. Ricky

      Thanks Sathees, I do appreciate your support if find value in the site.

    2. Avatar

      Well, you would not, but others that follow other websites or Redflagdeals\credit cards or Reddit\churningcanada would

      1. Avatar

        I applied through your link,Ricky and will need to verify at the branch. Thanks for the heads up. No big deal going to the branch, only 15 minutes away. Strange though, as I have a mortgage with them that I just renewed, so I figured they would know who I am.

        HSBC by the way had great early renewal mortgage rate; renewed a 5 yr variable at prime less 1.01% or 1.44%.

        So HSBC is looking to pick up business in mortgages and credit cards from the big 5 banks

        1. Avatar

          Same experience here. I have a mortgage with HSBC and an advance account with them. Still had to go in branch for ‘ID Verification’. Definitely a weird application process.

          How much was their 5 year fixed? I had my variable rate at prime – 1.11% last July. They definitely have one of the best mortgage rates out there. Thinking of locking in a 5 year fixed rate at some point

          1. Avatar

            Not sure about the fixed rate mortgage % have been variable for the last 15 years and will stay that way with HSBC. Rates not going up for a while.

            Back on subject, it’s the first credit card applied for in 40+ years that ever asked for an identity check. Guess they have been scammed by identity thieves?

  14. Avatar

    Hey Ricky,

    Any way to use this card with a P2. ie) can they transfer HSBC points to P1’s Asia Miles or Avios account to “pool” them?

    1. Ricky

      The easiest way would be to transfer to each person’s Avios account and then pool the Avios using the Household Accounts feature.

  15. Avatar

    Is it possible to transfer those Reward Points to a family member? I have tried to find out if the points are transferable to a family member (i.e. my sister) on the Reward Program website but did not find any clue.

    1. Ricky

      As far as I’m aware, I don’t think you can combine HSBC Rewards points between different individuals. However, as mentioned above, you can transfer them all to Avios and pool the Avios together. Alternatively, use your HSBC card to book travel for a family member and then you can still redeem the HSBC Rewards points against the travel purchases.

  16. Avatar

    Can anyone else confirm that you need to go to a branch to confirm your ID after being approved? Also, can this card be added to a mobile wallet (i.e. Apple Pay)?

    1. Avatar

      Yes, personally I had to do an ID verification in branch. Took me 1.5 hours in branch. But I’ve seen other DPs getting IA, or easy ID verification process or some getting the you’ll get your decision within 2-3 weeks. very YMMV with RBC

      1. Avatar

        Thanks for the feedback. But are you referring to HSBC or RBC?

        1. Avatar

          I was referring to HSBC.

          Sorry for the typo above.

  17. Avatar

    HSBC requires you you to go to a branch to confirm your ID once you are approved. I was approved last May but didn’t realize that the HSBC branch in my small(er) home town had closed.

    When I called they refused to waive this requirement. The alternative would have been to travel 12 hours out of province. Not going to happen at the height of the pandemic.

    So no HSBC card for me.

    1. Ricky

      It’s my understanding that HSBC has improved their online application in the time since then, to meaningfully reduce the number of applicants who need to go into the branch. Nowadays there’s the ability to take a selfie video as part of the identity verification process. I’ll try to get more clarity on this, but I think it’s worth another go for you given the $600+ bonus.

      1. Avatar

        If you could find out that would be great. Was mildly annoyed that TransUnion credit score went down almost immediately when I applied but recovered in about 2 months.

    2. Avatar

      I heard the HSBC branch in Saskatoon is closed and only an ATM is available. Can you confirm if this is the small(er) town you’re referring to? The HSBC website is unclear (at least to me).

      1. Avatar

        I live in Thunder Bay. I used to drive past the HSBC branch here all the time and never realized it had been closed, it is now a credit union.. I would have had to drive to Winnipeg.

  18. Avatar

    I think a lot of us got this at the 60K rate earlier this year. Oh well, hopefully this is a good sign of some great bonuses to come in 4Q!

    1. Avatar

      When you go to the HSBC website , it says this card is exclusively for HSBC premier clients . Is that true or can anyone apply regardless if I don’t bank with them ? Also , are additional authorized user cards $0?

  19. Avatar

    Just got this and confirming, based on how I read your article, I can apply the full 100k points for $500 towards an AirBnB reservation since they are one of the “good guys” (love how you compare!) thanks

  20. Avatar
    Andrew Selwyn

    slightly annoyed i signed up in early august for the last promo but oh well. GCR having $50 promo now too is great

  21. Avatar

    If you apply through greatcanadian rebates you get $50 cash back when you apply. Best deal!

    1. Ricky

      Is it the best? If you apply through the Prince of Travel link, you contribute towards getting far more than $50 in value in the long run (although my opinion may be biased). 😉

      In all seriousness. The cash back offer makes an already outstanding deal even better, no doubt. I’ll leave it to readers to decide for themselves which link to use – the important thing is get the $600+ offer for yourself and as many members of your entourage as possible!

      1. Avatar

        How much do you earn if I apply through your affiliate link Ricky? More or less than $50 … can buy you a coffee with the difference 😀

        1. Ricky

          A fair bit more. That’s how the cash back websites work too, splitting a portion of the affiliate income with applicants.

          Maybe one day we’ll be able to promote our own cash back offers, but until then, I’m grateful to everyone who chooses to support the site but also would never begrudge folks for taking up other offers as well.


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