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HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard Review

Earn travel rewards and get comprehensive insurance with this fee-free travel credit card. 

The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard lets you earn flexible points to redeem for travel, cash, merchandise or gift cards. You’ll earn 3 points for every dollar you spend on travel and 2 points for gas and daily transportation. This card comes with no annual fee, a generous welcome bonus and comprehensive travel insurance (with the option to pay more for travel medical). 

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Annual Fee

Up to 3 points per $1 spent


30-second take

  • Get this card if you’re looking for a travel rewards card with a decent array of benefits and no annual fee.
  • Choose something else if you want a higher points value or you’d like to earn accelerated rewards for groceries or bill payments.
  • There are no income requirements to qualify for the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard.

The basics

The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard comes with no annual fee and offers the following additional benefits:

  • Accelerated rewards for travel. Earn 3x the points when you spend money on travel (flights, hotels and car rentals) and 2x the points for gas and transit purchases.
  • Earn points on all purchases. Collect 1 point for every dollar you spend on non-travel related purchases.
  • Welcome bonus. Get 25,000 points ($125 travel value) when you spend $1,000 within 6 months of account opening. Valid until February 28, 2023.
  • Purchase protection. Take advantage of 90-day purchase protection or extend your manufacturer’s warranty for up to 1 year when you purchase items with your card.
  • Travel insurance. Enjoy several types of travel insurance including trip interruption, baggage delay, hotel/motel burglary and optional travel medical.
Insurance typeWhat does it coverLevel of coverage
Trip interruption insuranceCovers costs if you need to delay your return flight after you’ve left on a covered trip.Up to $1,500 per passenger per incident (or $5,000 for all insured combined)
Baggage delayHelps you pay for essentials if your checked baggage is delayed for 6+ hours en route to your trip destination.Up to $100 per day to a maximum of 3 days
Hotel/motel burglaryProtects you from theft of most types of personal property from hotel/motel rooms with evidence of forceful entry.$1,000 per occurrence
Optional travel medicalGives you access to emergency travel medical, trip cancellation and extra trip interruption/lost baggage insurance.

Learn more here

Pay an annual fee of $69 plus tax for this optional insurance
Please note: You’ll usually need to pay for a certain portion or all of your trip on your HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard to take advantage of travel insurance.

The perks

  • Flexible points. Redeem your points for your choice of travel, cash, merchandise or gift cards.
  • Free additional cards. Pay $0 for every additional cardholder you add to your account (up to a maximum of 4 additional cards).
  • Security features. Enjoy zero-liability coverage to protect against fraud and secure your transactions with chip and pin technology.
  • Easy to pay. Link your card with Apple Pay or set up contactless payment on your phone to pay in one easy swipe.
  • 24/7 support. Call HSBC at any time of day or night to troubleshoot issues with your account.

What to watch out for

  • High interest. You’ll pay as much as 20.99% interest on outstanding balances and 22.99% on cash advances and balance transfers (21.99% in Quebec).
  • Low points value. You’ll have to redeem around 25,000 points to get $100 worth of value, which means each point will be worth only half a cent.
  • Travel medical costs more. You’ll need to pay $69 plus tax every year to get added travel medical and trip cancellation insurance.
  • Limited accelerated rewards. You’ll only earn accelerated rewards for travel, gas and transit – but not for daily purchases such as groceries or bill payments.
  • Foreign transaction fees. You’ll pay a rate of 2.5% when you make or return transactions in a foreign currency.

HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard interest rates

Interest TypeInterest Rate
Purchase interest rate20.99%
Cash advance rate22.99%
Standard balance transfer rate22.99%

What should I know before I apply?

Eligibility requirements

To apply for an HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Be the age of majority in your province (18 or 19 years old depending on where you live).

You will also need to provide the following documents and information:

  • Your name, residential status and contact information
  • Your Social Insurance Number and date of birth
  • Your email address and phone number
  • A valid piece of ID such as a passport or driver’s licence

How to apply

  1. Visit HSBC’s website to start the online application.
  2. Complete the application, which includes providing your name, email address, Social Insurance Number and birth date.
  3. Review and submit your application.

Bottom line

The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard is a good fit for customers who spend a lot of money on travel, gas and transit. It offers flexible rewards, a generous welcome bonus and a decent level of travel insurance for a fee-free card. Just be aware that this card comes with slightly higher interest rates and the value of points is lower than with many other cards.

Frequently asked questions about the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard

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