The revamped HSBC World Elite Mastercard is now live

The changes to the HSBC World Elite Mastercard that were first announced back in October 2022 went live this week. The card has new earn rates, free additional cards and improved insurance coverage. On top of that HSBC have revealed a new card design as well.

Let’s take a look at the revamped card that Rewards Canada still ranks as the best No Foreign Transaction Fee card in Canada:

New card design

HSBC World Elite Mastercard


To match the new travel rewards and cash back cards that HBSC released last year the World Elite Mastercard has a new vertically aligned card design.

Earn Rates

The earn rates on the HSBC World Elite Mastercard are now as follows:

  • 6 Points for $1 in Net Purchases which are Travel Purchases. This earn rate applies to a
    maximum of $50,000 in Travel Purchases on the Account in a calendar year. After the maximum
    is reached, the earn rate of 2 Points for $1 in Travel Purchases applies.
  • 4 Points for $1 in Net Purchases that are Gas, Grocery and Drugstore Purchases;
  • 2 Points for $1 in Net Purchases, other than Travel, Gas, Grocery and Drugstore Purchases

As you can see travel purchases have remained untouched so we’ll move on to the next earn rates.  The card now has accelerated earn for gas, groceries and drug stores. At 4 points per dollar that is a ~33% boost over what the card offered previously and as HSBC Rewards points are worth 0.5 cents each towards travel this represents a 2% return when redeemed towards any travel. This is a good change for those who spend lots in these three categories.

The base earn rate however took a ~33% cut from 3 points per dollar to 2 points per dollar. Or in terms of return towards any travel bookings, 1.5% down to 1%. This is a big hit for those who have been using this card for purchases where other cards don’t have accelerators such as Costco and a lot of other everyday spending locations. I am glad they have at least kept the value at 1% for travel as others like BMO and TD (unless you use Expedia For TD) now have base earn rates below 1% when redeeming towards any travel.


The card will retain its $149 annual fee (First year free right now though along with 80,000 points!) on the primary card and the good news is they have removed the fee on supplementary cards. That means any additional cards you add to your account will no longer cost $50 per year. This puts the card in-line with cards like the American Express Cobalt® Card which doesn’t have fees for supplementary cards.

If you bank with HSBC and are a Private, Premier or Advance client the bank they have increased the rebate you receive towards the annual fee on the card. The rebates are $149, $50 and $25 respectively.


The card’s insurance coverage has changed as well and those changes are all positive:

Emergency Travel Medical Insurance

The out of province medical coverage has been boosted from a $1 million max to $2 million plus it now provides coverage in Cuba. The big change here however came overage to those 65 and up. Previously the card offered no coverage for those 65 and over. However now to card provides 21 days of coverage for those 65+!

Baggage Delay or Loss Insurance

Some small but also significant changes here. The card’s baggage delay coverage has been improved to 6 hours from 12 hours and for baggage loss the coverage has been increased to $1,000 per person from $750.

New Insurance Coverage:

The card has also received new insurance coverage including Flight Delay, Hotel/Motel burglary, Mobile Device and Price Protection.

Flight Delay Insurance:
Reimbursement of up to $250 per day to a maximum of $500 total (2 days) per trip for all insured persons travelling on the same trip for certain necessary and reasonable expenses if the confirmed scheduled flight is delayed by 6 hours or more.

Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance:
Protects you from theft of most items of personal property from a hotel/motel room to a maximum of $1,000 per occurrence.

Mobile Device Insurance:

Coverage of up to $1,000 if your eligible mobile device is lost, stolen, accidentally damaged, or experiences mechanical failure.

Price Protection Service:

When you purchase a new item of personal property and find the same product advertised at a lower price within 60 days of your purchase, the difference will be refunded, up to $500, subject to a calendar year maximum of $1,000 per account.


All other benefits including the No Foreign Transaction fees, airport lounge access and the annual $100 travel enhancement credit remain the same on the card.


The current rewards on the card will remain the same however HSBC has also brought back the option to book travel through them. Thus you get the best of all travel rewards – book travel yourself and redeem points against the charge, convert to airline partners or book travel through HSBC and redeem points right at the time of booking.

The best card for the 65+ market

One thing I can say and have said since they first announced these changes back in October is that this is now the best overall credit card for the 65+ market. With accelerated earn on travel, groceries, gas and most importantly, drug stores – the card covers all the important categories for this market segment. Add the amazing new out of province medical coverage along with its No Foreign Transaction fees and this card should be on the radar for anyone 65 and over.

Wrapping it up

Even with the changes the HSBC World Elite Mastercard remains as one of the best Mastercards in Canada as it has become an even more well rounded travel card. Yes, the cut in the base earn rate is a tough pill to swallow but hopefully for most they will be able to make up for it with the extra point earned on gas, grocery and drug store purchases. Ultimately it will come down to your spending habits to see if this card still fits the bill for you. One group of Canadians that it will really fit the bill for now are those 65 and over thanks to that amazing out of province medical coverage.

Click here to learn more and/or to apply for the HSBC World Elite Mastercard