The Essential Guide to

HSBC Rewards

Last updated: August 24, 2022
Best ways to redeem:
Transfer 25:10 to British Airways Avios
Transfer 25:9 to Singapore Krisflyer Miles
Transfer 25:8 to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Statement credits for travel purchases

As a smaller bank and rewards program, HSBC doesn’t get the love it deserves.

As one of the only transferable points currencies in Canada, HSBC Rewards is a great way to complement and accelerate your points earning strategy outside of the more common points programs out there.

Earning Points via Signup Bonuses

HSBC Rewards points can only be earned through the bank’s own line of credit cards. There are three noteworthy tiers of cards available: a base-level card, a World Elite card, and a Premier World Elite card.

The HSBC World Elite Mastercard is the card of most interest, as it tends to offer higher welcome bonuses. In the past year or two, the bonus on this card has gone as high as 100,000+ points.

The current welcome offer for Canadian residents outside of Quebec awards 80,000 points, with a first-year annual fee waiver, through a mix of criteria:

  • 20,000 HSBC Rewards points upon account opening
  • 40,000 HSBC Rewards points upon spending $6,000 in the first six months
  • 20,000 HSBC Rewards points upon renewal for a second year

The HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard is nearly identical to its non-Premier counterpart, and offers the same welcome bonus and perks. This version comes with a partial annual fee rebate every year, and is only available to those who hold an active HSBC Premier chequing account. 

Finally, the HSBC +Rewards Mastercard is a bare-bones card which offers the lowest signup offers. Its target audience includes lower spenders and those who don’t meet the income requirements of the higher World Elite offerings.

Currently, there is a welcome offer of 35,000 HSBC Rewards points and no annual fee for the first year. The offer is structured as 30,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first six months, and another 5,000 points for initiating the application online. 

For Quebec-based applicants, HSBC has modified offers which are typically on par or better than the non-Quebec offer. Generally, Quebecers are given more points instead of an annual fee waiver.

The present offer on the HSBC World Elite Mastercard in Quebec is 110,000 HSBC Rewards points, distributed as follows:

  • 20,000 HSBC Rewards points upon first purchase
  • 70,000 HSBC Rewards points after keeping the account open for six months
  • 20,000 HSBC Rewards points upon renewal for a second year

Earning Points via Spending

As with any other travel rewards credit card, you can earn HSBC Rewards points through daily spending on your credit card.

  • HSBC World Elite Mastercard:
    • 6 HSBC Rewards points per dollar spent on travel
    • 3 HSBC Rewards points per dollar spent on everything else
  • HSBC +Rewards Mastercard:
    • 2 points per dollar spent on dining or entertainment
    • 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else

There aren’t currently any other ways to earn HSBC Rewards points, such as through shopping portals or otherwise.

It should be noted that there are other credit cards out there with better earning rates, such as the American Express Cobalt Card for food, drink, and groceries, or the American Express Platinum Card for travel.

However, since not all merchants accept American Express, having an HSBC Mastercard can be a great option when you can’t otherwise maximize your spend. Notably, as Costco only accepts Mastercards, an HSBC Mastercard is likely your best bet for a travel rewards card there.

Redeeming HSBC Rewards Points

There are a couple of ways to redeem HSBC Rewards Points.

The major strength of HSBC Rewards compared to the in-house rewards programs from most other Canadian banks is that you don’t need to go via a dedicated travel portal to redeem your points.

Therefore, the simplest way to redeem HSBC Rewards points is to book travel on your card and redeem them at a fixed value against any travel purchase at a rate of 0.5 cents per point (cpp). 

Indeed, you can book any travel with any provider – flights, trains, hotels, Airbnbs, car rentals, cruises, vacations, etc. – and offset the cost using HSBC Rewards points within 60 days of the purchase posting to your account.

To do so, just go into your HSBC Rewards account and look for “Travel Rewards” under the “Travel” tab.

A list of eligible transactions will appear on the following page. Simply select the purchase for which you’d like to redeem your HSBC Rewards points, choose the desired redemption level, and then click “Submit.”

In addition, you can potentially unlock better value than 0.5cpp by transferring points to one of three frequent flyer partners – British Airways Avios, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles – and using those points wisely for high-value flight redemptions.

Each one of those partners has a different transfer ratio:

  • 25,000 HSBC Rewards points = 10,000 British Airways Avios
  • 25,000 HSBC Rewards points = 9,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles
  • 25,000 HSBC Rewards points = 8,000 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Depending on how effectively you can leverage the sweet spots of each airline program, you’ll extract different values from your points. If you’re unsure of where to start with these programs, take a look at booking Qatar Airways Qsuites with Avios, Singapore Airlines Suites Class with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, or accessing sweet spots with Cathay Pacific Asia Miles.

To transfer points, simply head to your HSBC Rewards account and look for “Rewards for Miles” under the “Travel” tab.

From there, select the airline program to which you’d like to transfer points, and fill in the form at the bottom of the page. You’ll need to provide your first name, last name, email address, and partner program membership number.

Once the transfer request is made, the points should arrive in your airline account in 5–10 business days.

Both the baseline travel redemption and the frequent flyer conversions are subject to the following redemption rules:

  • A minimum of 25,000 HSBC Rewards points must be redeemed at once
  • HSBC Rewards points must be redeemed in increments of 10,000 points

Here’s a quick chart to see the best ways to redeem HSBC Rewards points:

HSBC Rewards

Travel Purchases

British Airways Avios

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

25,000

$125

10,000

9,000

8,000

35,000

$175

14,000

12,600

11,200

45,000

$225

18,000

16,200

14,400

55,000

$275

22,000

19,800

17,600

65,000

$325

26,000

23,400

20,800

75,000

$375

30,000

27,000

24,000

85,000

$425

34,000

30,600

27,200

95,000

$475

38,000

34,200

30,400

105,000

$525

42,000

37,800

33,600

115,000

$575

46,000

41,400

36,800

125,000

$625

50,000

45,000

40,000

Lastly, like many other rewards programs, there is also the option to redeem points at a subpar rate for gift cards, merchandise, or cash deposits into a HSBC bank account.

The Best Ways to Redeem 100,000+ HSBC Rewards Points

Frequently Asked Questions

What counts as a travel purchase to redeem points for?

Almost any travel-related purchase would be eligible for a points redemption. This could be flights, trains, hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, or anything of the sort.

Is there a minimum amount of points I need to make a redemption?

For statement credits, you need to redeem at least 200 points, equal to $1. For transfer partners, you can only redeem in multiples of 25,000 points.

Is it better to redeem points for statement credit or transfer to partners?

It depends! The great thing about HSBC Rewards points is that it’s a transferable currency.

If you want the flexibility to cash out your points at a fixed rate, you can do so at a decent value.

If you have a specific redemption in mind or you’re looking to build a balance with a transfer partner, you can do that as well.

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