Bonuses & Fees
The HSBC World Elite Mastercard’s current offer varies based on your province of residence.
If you’re based outside of Quebec, you’ll earn 20,000 HSBC Rewards points upon spending $2,000 in the first six months (although you’ll still have to wait the full six months before receiving these points).
The annual fee of $25 is also rebated for the first year.
Meanwhile, Quebec residents can sign up for 25,000 HSBC Rewards points upon keeping your account open and in good standing for six months.
However, there is no first-year annual fee rebate on the Quebec offer.
The HSBC World Elite Mastercard offers 2 HSBC Rewards points per dollar spent on eligible dining and entertainment purchases and 1 HSBC Rewards point per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
Given the fact that every 200 HSBC Rewards points can be redeemed towards $1 in travel purchases (more on that later), this means that you’re effectively getting a 1% return on travel purchases and 0.5% return on all other purchases.
Using HSBC Rewards Points
HSBC Rewards points aren’t given much attention here in Canada, but they’re a very versatile points currency once you understand the rather convoluted way that everything’s set up.
There are no simple 1:1 ratios here. Instead, one of the best uses of HSBC Rewards points is cashing out for travel credits at a ratio of 200 HSBC Rewards points = $1.
You can also redeem HSBC Rewards points for statement credits at an inferior ratio, so I’d recommend avoiding this option and always redeeming against travel purchases instead.
The major strength of HSBC Rewards compared to the other Canadian banks’ in-house travel rewards program is that you don’t need to go via any sort of dedicated travel portal to redeem your points.
Indeed, you can book any travel with any provider – flights, trains, hotels, Airbnbs, car rentals, cruises, vacations, etc. – and offset it using HSBC Rewards points within 60 days of the purchase posting to your account.
Compared to many other banks, which force you to go through their own travel agency (sometimes while paying marked-up prices) in order to use your points, HSBC Rewards is a much more flexible currency to use.
Lastly, the other way to use HSBC Rewards points is to transfer them to one of their frequent flyer program partners in chunks of 25,000 HSBC Rewards points:
The HSBC +Rewards is an introductory credit card, and comes with basic insurance benefits:
- Price Protection if a lower price is found elsewhere within 60 days, up to $500
- Extended Warranty
- Purchase Assurance with 90-day coverage in the event of loss, damage, or theft