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HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard Review

4.58

$0

Annual Fee

$144

Annual Rewards

25,000 points

Intro Offer

$0

Annual fee

$144

Annual rewards

25,000 points

Intro offer


Pros


  • No annual fee
  • Earns 1.5% travel rewards on eligible purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Welcome bonus offer for new cardholders
  • Travel insurance benefits included
  • Flexible redemption options for travel

Cons


  • Lower earnings rate compared to some competitors
  • Travel rewards not applicable to other reward categories
  • No additional cardholder benefits like airport lounge access
  • Slightly higher interest rate on purchases and balance transfers

Performance test results

At DollarWise, for each credit card we test 7 different factors including the rewards, value for money, perks, insurance, strengths and weaknesses of the card.

You can see our full testing methodology here to learn why we’re the most trusted source for credit card reviews.

The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard has earned a 4.58 DollarWise Rating out of 5. This score is based on a weighted average of the two highest scoring factors (excluding acceptance and approval).

Rewards

Fees

Perks

Interest rates

Insurance

Acceptance

Approval

The highest scoring categories for the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard are fees and insurance.

These factors are weighted 70% to the highest scoring factor and 30% to the second highest score to get an overall review score.

This weighting allows us to judge cards on their merits and the customers they are designed for.

For the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard the most important factors for scoring this card are its fees and insurance.

Rewards

With the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard, here’s the rates at which you earn rewards for different spending categories per dollar you spend:

Bills1 point
Pharmacy1 point
Gas2 points
Groceries1 point
Restaurants1 point
Specific Stores1 point
Travel3 points
All Other Spend1 point

Calculating your annual rewards

We estimate that spending $2,000 per month with the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard would earn $144 in rewards over the year.

Our performance testing research uses an accurate estimation of the average Canadian households spending patterns to predict the rewards a card will earn.

We found that you’d earn this per category:

Gas$24
Travel$18
All Other Spend$102

Our study investigating the value found that each dollar spent on the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard is worth up to $0.01, depending on how you redeem.

This $144 in rewards value puts the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard in the bottom 30% of credit cards in Canada based on rewards earned.

The average credit card in our database earns $337 in rewards for the same spend that the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard earns $144 in rewards value.

We can compare this card to other options by looking at the earn rate by category.

This earn rate is the percentage return that you would get when you spend on this card, assuming you redeem at the predicted maximum value.

For example, if a card earned 5 points per dollar on gas and each point is worth up to $0.02, then the earn rate is 5 points multiplied by $0.02 each, divided by the dollar you spent.

In this example, that’s a 10% earn rate on gas.

SpendThis CardAverage
Bills0.50%1.25%
Pharmacy0.50%1.17%
Gas1.00%1.48%
Groceries0.50%1.71%
Restaurant0.50%1.53%
Store0.50%1.94%
Travel1.50%1.19%
Other0.50%1.08%
Above, we’ve calculated the earn rate for the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard for every spend category and compared it to the average for all Canadian credit cards.
Redemption methodAnnual rewards
Redeem for travel$144
Gift cards$130
Merchandise$86
Enjoy experiences$144
HSBC financial products$86

For an annual spend of $24,000, we estimated annual rewards value at up to $144.

That’s equivalent to a 0.60% return on spending.

The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard has an annual fee of $0. After deducting this, we predicted net annual rewards of $144.

This puts it in the bottom 30% of credit cards for net rewards after fees.

In comparison, the average card earns net annual rewards of $254.

Fees

The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard has a $0 annual fee.

The average card charges $85. So, the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard is in the bottom 50% of cards based on the cost of the annual fee.

Perks

We manually review the perks of each credit card to determine how they compare to other cards.

The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard scored a 0.2 out of 5 for perks, putting it in the bottom 10% of cards.

The average card scores 1.6 out of 5 for perks.

Interest Rates

Purchase20.99%
Cash Advance22.99%
Balance Transfer22.99%

The average (median) credit card has a purchase interest rate of 19.99% and so the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard charges 1% more than the average.

For cash advances it costs 22.99% compared to the average of 19.96%.

Testing the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard with a $2,000 starting balance, you can see in the graph how the 1% more in interest rates impacts the interest over a year, compared to the average card.

Insurance coverage

InsuranceThis CardAverage
Extended Warranty1 year1 year
Purchase Protection90 days90 days
Trip Interruption$1,000$2,000
Baggage Delay$300$500
Hotel Burglary$1,000$1,000

We scored it 3.6 out of 5 for insurance.

It offers 5 types of insurance, whereas the average card has 5 types of coverage.

Approval and qualifying

Do I qualify?
Estimated Credit Score660 – 724
Personal Income$0
Household Income$0
Fees
Annual Fee$0
Extra Card Fee$0
Card typeMasterCard

We scored it 3.0 out of 5 for approval.

We predict that you will require a credit score of at least 660 to qualify for the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard, while the average card requires 652 to qualify.

This puts it in the top bottom 50% of cards by approval difficulty.

The personal income requirements are $0, while the average card requires $23,896.

This puts it in the top 50% of cards by the income required to qualify.

The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard credit card offers Canadians an excellent opportunity to earn rewards on their daily spending, especially for those who prioritize travel rewards.

This review will be discussing the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard credit card’s earning potential, four benefits, and two drawbacks, as well as other relevant information to help you decide if this card is the right choice for you.

Earning potential with the card

The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard earns 2 points per every dollar spent on eligible dining and travel purchases, and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases. These points can be redeemed for travel rewards such as flights, hotels, cruises, and more, providing cardholders with excellent value for their spending.

Benefits

  1. Welcome Bonus: The first major advantage of this card is the generous welcome offer. New cardholders have the opportunity to earn up to 30,000 bonus points when they meet the specified spending requirements within the first few months. This can significantly boost your rewards balance and help you reach your travel goals sooner.
  2. Insurance Packages: The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard also offers worldwide travel insurance, including travel medical insurance, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, and lost/stolen baggage protection. This comprehensive insurance package can provide peace of mind and financial protection when you travel.
  3. Foreign Transaction Fees: With no foreign transaction fees, this card is ideal for individuals who frequently travel or make purchases in foreign currencies. It allows cardholders to save on foreign exchange fees, which can be quite costly over time.
  4. Mastercard’s priceless cities program: This card also provides cardholders with exclusive access to Mastercard’s Priceless Cities program, which includes unique experiences and offers for dining, shopping, and entertainment in cities around the world.

Drawbacks

  1. Drawback: A significant drawback of the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard is the $149 annual fee. While its rewards and benefits may help offset the cost, some potential cardholders may prefer a travel rewards card with no annual fee.
  2. Drawback: Another drawback is the somewhat limited flexibility in reward redemption. While the card does offer valuable travel rewards, individuals who are interested in only cash back or other types of rewards may find the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard less appealing.

Additional information

In conclusion, the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard is an excellent option for Canadians who prioritize travel rewards, offering bonus points on dining and travel purchases, comprehensive travel insurance, no foreign transaction fees, and access to Mastercard’s Priceless Cities program.

However, the card’s annual fee and limited reward flexibility should be considered as potential drawbacks for some users. Not the right fit? You could consider the HSBC +Rewards MasterCard. Or, if you’re looking for other options check out the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard, and the HSBC World Elite MasterCard.

FAQ

The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard allows cardholders to redeem points for a wide variety of travel-related rewards. Here are some examples of what you can use your points for:

  • Airline Tickets: Points can be redeemed for flights on multiple airlines, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • Hotel Stays: Use your points to book accommodations at numerous hotels worldwide.
  • Car Rentals: Redeem points for rental cars, perfect for road trips or getting around during your vacation.
  • Cruises: Utilize your points to embark on a leisurely cruise vacation with a variety of cruise lines.
  • Vacation Packages: Plan a complete getaway by using points to cover comprehensive travel packages that include flights, hotels, and more.
  • Experiences and Activities: Enjoy local attractions, tours, and unique experiences by putting your points toward these exciting options.
  • Travel-related Merchandise: Redeem points for travel essentials such as luggage and travel accessories.
  • Gift Cards: Put your points toward gift cards for popular retailers, perfect for shopping while abroad or gifting to others.

The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard does not charge any foreign transaction fees. This means that, when you make purchases in currencies other than the Canadian Dollar, you won’t incur additional charges for the conversion process.

This can be a significant benefit for frequent travellers or those who often make international purchases, as foreign transaction fees can typically range from 2.5% to 3% of the transaction amount.

The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard does in fact have a minimum income requirement. Applicants must have a minimum personal annual income of $60,000 or a minimum household annual income of $100,000 in order to qualify for this credit card.

Key benefits

  • Interest Rate: 19.9% on purchases, 22.9% on balance transfers
  • $0 annual fee for primary cardholder
  • Earns 1.5% travel rewards on all eligible purchases
  • Welcome offer: Up to 20,000 travel rewards points after meeting spending requirements
  • Travel insurance coverage: Trip interruption, baggage delay and lost or stolen baggage
  • Purchase assurance: Coverage for loss, damage, or theft of items within 90 days of purchase
  • Extended warranty: Doubles manufacturer’s warranty up to one additional year
  • Mastercard World Benefits: Access to exclusive experiences, special promotions, and other travel-related benefits
  • Redeem points for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages, and more
  • Contactless payment option: Tap & Go and Mobile Wallet compatibility
  • 24/7 access to customer service assistance

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