The HSBC World Elite MasterCard is a card that everyone should be monitoring for their large signup bonus and no annual fees for the first year. With the large signup bonus and no annual fees for the first year, it is a great way to earn a large number of miles for free.
This is a card I would keep beyond the first year, the $149 fee waiver is subsidized by a $100 travel credit that has incredible flexibility in how it can be used. I would also be cautious of ensuring you only sign up for this card when there is at least 100,000 point sign up bonus.
The annual fee is C$149 that is sometimes waived for the first year as a sign-up bonus.
The current signup bonus for non-Quebec residents is:
- First year fee waived
- 20,000 points upon approval
- 80,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first six months
The current signup bonus for Quebec residents is:
- 20,000 points upon approval
- 110,000 points for keeping the account open for six months
This offer is only valid if you apply prior to December 28, 2020.
Together, if you spend the $5,000 on non-bonused categories, you will earn a total of 115,000 HSBC Reward Points if you are not based in Quebec and 130,000 HSBC Reward Points if you are based in Quebec.
This is a great offer. HSBC Reward Points can be converted to:
- 25,000 HSBC Reward Points = 8,000 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- 25,000 HSBC Reward Points = 9,000 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles
- 25,000 HSBC Reward Points = 10,000 British Airways Avios
- 25,000 HSBC Reward Points = $125 cashback on travel expenses
With the complete signup bonus, you can earn one of the following points:
- 32,000 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles + $75 cashback on travel expenses (Read our guide to traveling to Maldives with Cathay Pacific Business Class!)
- 36,000 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles + $75 cashback on travel expenses
- 40,000 British Airways Avios Miles + $75 cashback on travel expenses
- $575 cashback on travel expenses
Whichever option you choose, this is the cheapest and best way to earn your points since the annual fee is waived for most Canadian residents.
There are a few key benefits associated with this credit card that are outlined below.
You will earn the following points for regular ongoing spend with this credit card:
- 3 points per dollar for non-travel expenses
- 6 points per dollar for travel expenses
No Foreign Transaction Fees
There are not many cards in Canada that waive foreign transaction fees. This is one of the few cards that does.
$100 Travel Credit
Every year you can use $100 towards:
- Seat Upgrades
- Baggage Fees
- Airport Lounge Passes
If you value any of these benefits, this card has an annual fee of only $49!
You have the option of converting 3 points to:
- 1.5% cashback
- 0.96 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- 1.08 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles
- 1.2 British Airways Avios
Except for Cathay Pacific, in most cases this card is the fastest way to earn British Airways Avios and Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Miles in Canada.
The credit card comes with the following coverage:
- Worldwide Emergency Travel Medical Insurance
- Baggage Delay or Loss Insurance
- Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption / Delay Insurance
- Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
Although it comes with a rather standard insurance package, these benefits are also typically available with other credit cards.
The value of this credit card can be split into two categories; is this card worth it for the first year, where you earn a sign-up bonus, and is this card worth keeping while paying the annual fee?
Without a doubt this is one of the largest signup bonuses we have seen in Canada for any credit card. Receiving what is ultimately $575 cashback or a large number of miles in a few airlines, this credit card is a fantastic deal for the first year.
If you leverage the $100 travel credit efficiently, then the annual fee is only $49. If you value no foreign transaction fees or the ability to earn Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles (one of the few cards that make it possible), then this is a great option for ongoing spend. Otherwise, I would cancel this card after the first year.
If you have any questions, feel free to add a comment below.