The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard® is a pretty great travel card considering it has no annual fee. You will earn 3 points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases* (car rentals, vacations, hotel flights, etc.), 2 points for each dollar you spend on gas, and everyday transportation* (like subways, trains, and taxis) and 1 HSBC Reward point per dollar on (almost) everything else you buy with your card*.
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About the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard®
Although HSBC may not be as recognizable as some of the other major financial institutions in Canada, it has been making a name for itself by offering some great travel credit cards. The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard® is a no-fee travel credit card that earns you HSBC Rewards points.
This is incredible news: HSBC Rewards is an especially underrated travel rewards program. With HSBC Rewards, you can use your points for any travel expenses that you charge to your card. There are two major things to note about the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard®. Unlike the higher-tier HSBC World Elite Mastercard®, you can’t transfer your points to airline partners and there is a 2.5% fee on foreign currency transactions.
Card Features and Benefits
If you love to travel, then you’ll want to take a dive deep into the details of the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard®. Although the welcome bonus of 25,000 HSBC Rewards ($125 travel value) points changes occasionally, it’s still generous considering this is a no-fee card.
The earn rate is as follows:
- 3 points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases* (car rentals, vacations, hotel flights, etc.).
- 2 points for each dollar you spend on gas, and everyday transportation (like subways, trains, and taxis).
- 1 HSBC Reward point per dollar on (almost) everything else you buy with your card*.
As you can see, the earn rate is pretty respectable. The main thing to consider is that the increased earn rate for travel purchases is only up to the first $6,000 spent each year. After you hit that limit, your earn rate is 1 HSBC Rewards point per $1 spent*.
It’s also worth mentioning that 1 HSBC Rewards point has a fixed value of 0.5 cents per point (when redeemed for travel), so your real earn rate is between 0.5 and 1.5 cents per point.
Besides earning travel rewards, the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard® includes the following benefits:
- Baggage Delay Insurance: If your bags are delayed by six hours, you’ll be reimbursed for up to $100 per day (up to three days) for the purchase of necessities.
- Trip Interruption Insurance: If your trip is interrupted, you’ll be reimbursed up to a maximum of $1,500 per insured person to a maximum of $5,000.
- Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance: You’re insured up to $1,000 if your hotel/motel is broken into and your goods are stolen or damaged.
- Extended Warranty Insurance: Your manufacturer’s warranty is doubled up to one additional year.
- Purchase Assurance: Purchases made with your card are covered from theft, loss, and damage for 90 days.
- Zero liability: You won’t be held liable for any unauthorized purchases.
Pros and Cons of the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard®
The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard® continues the trend of no-fee travel credit cards offering a welcome bonus. In this case, it’s 25,000 HSBC Rewards points ($125 travel value) if you spend $1,000 in the first 180 days. Offer valid for non-Quebec residents only. Quebec residents are eligible for a different offer. If you live in Quebec, there’s no minimum spending requirement—only that you must keep your account open and active for 180 days. You must apply by October 31, 2022 for this offer. Conditions apply.
You could argue that the best perks of this card are the included travel insurance policies. It’s rare that you come across a no-fee credit card that gives you trip interruption, hotel/motel burglary, and baggage delay insurance. The only catch is that you would need to charge at least 75% of the cost of your flights and hotels to your HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard® for the insurance to be valid.
No annual fee
Increased earn rate on travel, gas, and transportation purchases
Increased earn rate on travel purchases is capped at $6,000
Low base earn rate
No travel medical insurance (can be purchased for additional cost)
The Verdict: Get insurance coverage, skip the annual fee
The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard® fills a gap in HSBC’s offerings: a no-fee travel rewards credit card. If you don’t want to pay an annual fee, but still want to earn travel rewards and have decent insurance, then this card will likely be of interest.
That being said, this card isn’t likely to make a huge impact on your bottom line. If you’re looking to maximize your rewards, or you want even more travel benefits, we suggest taking a look at the HSBC World Elite Mastercard®.
*Terms and conditions apply.
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