HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard Review for 2023

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Written by Enoch Omololu

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Are you looking for a no-fee travel rewards credit card in Canada that offers value and flexibility?

Look no further than the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard.

In this review, learn about the features, benefits, downsides, application process, and alternative options of this credit card.

Whether you travel a lot or just want to maximize your everyday spending, the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard could be the perfect solution for you.

HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard – Summary

Let’s summarize the key features and benefits that make this card a standout choice:

  • There is no annual fee for both primary and supplementary cardholders
  • 20.99% interest rate on purchases
  • 22.99% interest rate on cash advances (21.99% for Quebec residents)
  • 2.5% foreign transaction fee
  • No income requirements

HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard

Annual fee: $0

Welcome offer: Earn 25,000 points ($125 travel value) if you spend $1,000 in the first 180 days.

Rewards: Earn HSBC Travel Rewards Points on every purchase.

Interest rates: 20.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances and balance transfers to non-Quebec residents, and 21.99% for Quebec residents.

Minimum income requirement: N/A


On HSBC’s website

  • Earn 3 HSBC Travel Rewards Points for every $1.00 spent on eligible travel purchases.
  • Earn 2 HSBC Travel Rewards Points for every $1.00 spent on eligible gas and daily transportation purchases.
  • Earn 1 HSBC Travel Rewards Point for every $1.00 on any other purchases.
  • Baggage delay, hotel burglary, and trip interruption insurance are offered.
  • Redeem your HSBC Travel Rewards Points for travel purchases, gift cards, merchandise, or HSBC financial rewards.
  • Extended Warranty Insurance for an additional year on new purchases.
  • Purchase assurance for 90 days from purchase.
  • Emergency travel insurance, trip cancellation insurance, and baggage loss insurance are offered for an additional $69.00 per year.

Excellent rewards perks

No annual fees

Flexible HSBC Rewards Points system

Some travel insurances are an extra fee

High-interest rates

The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard is a great entry-level travel card for Canadians. It comes with travel benefits, although actual travel insurance is an extra annual fee.

Benefits of the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard:

The HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard comes with a range of benefits to enhance your travel experiences and provide financial value. Let’s explore the key benefits:

Travel Rewards Program

  • Earn 1.5% Travel Rewards (3 points per $1) on travel purchases
  • 1% Travel Rewards (2 points per $1) on gas and transportation purchases
  • 0.5% Travel Rewards on other eligible everyday purchases (1 point per $1)

Built-in Travel Insurance

Baggage Delay – pays up to $100 per day for up to 3 days for essential items if your checked bag is delayed for 6 hours or more.

Hotel/Motel Burglary – protects most personal items from theft in your hotel/motel room with signs of forced entry anywhere.

Trip Interruption – pays up to $1,500 per insured person and $5,000 per trip if travel is interrupted by covered cause.

Extended Warranty – the original manufacturer warranty is automatically doubled and extended by up to one year.

Purchase Assurance – 90 days protection against loss, damage or theft on eligible purchases made with the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard.

Flexible Rewards Redemption Options

Use your points to pay off your HSBC Bank Canada mortgage faster, top up your HSBC Bank Canada personal savings account or reduce your HSBC credit card balance.

Convenience and Security

Tap your card into the reader and you’re ready to go. Plus, enjoy Zero Liability Protection for each purchase made.

Downsides of the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard

While the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard offers many advantages, it’s important to consider the following downsides:

Low Rewards for Non-Travel Expenses

Expenses such as gas and daily transportation earn 1% rewards points and you earn 0.5% on everything else. Not as attractive as some other no-fee credit cards which offer a higher standard rate for all purchases.

Cap on Travel Rewards Earnings

Earn 3 points per $1 spent on your first $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1 point per $1 spent thereafter. All good if you’re not going to spend more. If not, you will miss out on rewards.

How to Apply for the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard:

Applying for the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard is a simple process. Here’s what you need to know:

Visit the official HSBC website or the nearest branch to access the application form.

To be eligible, you must:

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  • Have Canadian citizenship or Permanent Residency
  • Be at the age of majority in the province where you live.

Make sure you have the following valid IDs on hand before applying:

  • Passport
  • Driver’s Licence or
  • Provincial government-issued I.D.

HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard Alternatives

While the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard offers attractive features, it’s essential to check out other options. Here are a few alternatives:

KOHO Extra Mastercard

This is a prepaid rewards card that offers up to 5% cashback at selected merchants. It comes with a unique-looking physical card and a virtual card for safe online transactions.

KOHO Prepaid Mastercard

Rewards: Earn 1% cash back on all grocery and gas purchases and up to 5% cash back at KOHO partners.

Welcome offer: Get a $20 welcome bonus after your first purchase.

Interest rates: N/A

Annual fee: $0

Recommended credit score:



On KOHO’s website

  • Earn 1% unlimited cash back on grocery purchases and bill payments.
  • Get up to 5% cash back at select KOHO partners.
  • Earn 0.50% interest on your spending and savings account balance.
  • Build your credit history for an optional $10 per month.
  • No annual fee and no minimum balance.
  • Free, unlimited Interac e-Transfers.
  • No fees for ATM cash withdrawals in Canada (no KOHO fees).
  • Use the KOHO app to view your balance, cash back offers, and more.

Earn unlimited cash back on all purchases

Earn 0.5% interest on your balance

No annual fee and no minimum balance

Interest is capped at 0.5%

No insurance coverage

The KOHO Prepaid Mastercard rewards your everyday grocery spending with unlimited 1% cash back and up to 5% cash back at KOHO partners. There is no annual fee, no minimum balance, and you can send and receive free, unlimited Interac e-Transfers.

American Express Green Card

This card allows you to earn 1 rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases. It also has zero annual fee, exclusive offers and free access to American Express Experiences.

American Express Green Card

Rewards: Earn 1 point for every $1 spent, plus 1 additional point on Amex Travel Online.

Welcome offer: Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months.

Interest rates: 20.99% for purchases, 21.99% for cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

Recommended credit score:

Good to Excellent

American Express Green Card

On American Express’s website

  • Earn 1 Membership Rewards point for every $1 spent with no limits.
  • Earn 1 additional point on travel bookings through Amex Travel Online.
  • Transfer points 1:1 to several frequent flyer or loyalty programs.
  • Redeem points for travel, purchases, gift cards, merchandise, and more.
  • Access American Express Experiences, like Front of the Line presales and reserved tickets.
  • Buyer’s assurance and purchase protection plans are included.
  • Book travel with Amex Travel Online to get exclusive deals.
  • No minimum income is required to apply.

No limits on how many points you can earn

Flexible points redemption and transfer options

No annual fee

You can only earn 1 point for every $1 spent

No travel benefits or insurance

The American Express Green Card is a great no-annual-fee credit card that earns you a flat rate of 1 point per dollar spent on all purchases with no limits. You can flexibly redeem your points for travel, merchandise, statement credits, and more.


This is a rewards card that earns you 1.5 Avion points per $1 in eligible purchases. Plus, enjoy no annual fees, the convenience of Mobile Pay, and purchase security and extended warranty coverage.


Annual fee: $0

Welcome offer: Get 3,500 bonus Avion points following approval.

Rewards: Earn 1.5x Avion points per $1 spent on groceries, rides, gas, streaming, subscriptions, digital gaming, and EV charging; 1 Avion point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: None


On RBC’s website

  • Earn 1.5 Avion points for every dollar you spend on groceries, rideshare, daily public transit, gas, streaming, subscriptions, and digital gaming.
  • Earn 1 Avion point for every dollar you spend on all other qualifying purchases.
  • Save 3¢/L on fuel purchased at Petro-Canada when you link your credit card to your Petro-Canada Card.
  • Redeem your points for air travel, gift cards, merchandise, statement credits, dining, etc. The minimum redemption is only $10.
  • Get a 3-month complimentary DashPass subscription, valued at almost $30.
  • Includes Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Insurance.

Competitive purchase APR at 19.99%

Attractive point redemption options

No minimum income threshold

Limited insurance benefits

The conversion rate for points is not as enticing

The RBC ION Visa is an excellent choice if you are a student or newcomer looking to get approved for a credit card with little to no credit history. It has no annual fees, and the Avion points you earn are easy to redeem.

BMO Air Miles Mastercard

With this card, you can earn 3 miles at partner locations, 2 miles at eligible grocery stores and 1 mile elsewhere for every $25 spent. It has zero annual fee and offers an automatic Air Miles Gold status.

BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard

Rewards: Earn up to 3 Air Miles for every $1 spent on everyday purchases.

Welcome offer: Get 2,000 bonus Air Miles and the first year annual fee waived.

Interest rates: 20.99% for purchases, 23.99% for cash advances.

Annual fee: $120

Recommended credit score:

Good to Excellent

BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard

On BMO’s website

  • Earn 3 Air Miles for every $12 spent at participating Air Miles partners.
  • Earn 2 Air Miles for every $12 spent on groceries (up to $500 per month).
  • Earn 1 Air Mile for every $12 spent on all other purchases with no limits.
  • Collect Air Miles twice at participating partners when you show your Air Miles card along with this credit card.
  • Get one 25% discount to use on one worldwide Air Miles flight each year.
  • BMO AIR MILES World Elite Travel and Medical Protection are included.
  • Get a complimentary membership to Mastercard Travel Pass by DragonPass.
  • Access over 1 million wifi hotspots with Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard.
  • Enjoy free, 24/7 access to concierge services.
  • Access a variety of on-demand and subscription services.
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection are included.
  • Save up to 25% at participating Alamo and National car rental locations.
  • To be eligible, you must make a minimum of $80,000 individual or $150,000 household income.

Earn Air Miles at a high rate for all purchases

25% off one Air Miles flight each year

Mastercard Travel Pass membership and Boingo Wi-Fi perks

High annual income requirement

2x Air Miles earn category is capped at $500 monthly

A lot of Air Miles are required for redemption

The BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard packs a ton of benefits into a card with just a $120 annual fee. You earn Air Miles on everyday purchases, which can be redeemed for flights, vacations, and more. Key travel benefits include comprehensive insurance coverage, a Mastercard Travel Pass membership, and Boingo Wi-Fi.

Credit CardAnnual FeeAPR PurchasesAPR Cash AdvancesRewards
HSBC Travel Reward Mastercard$020.99%22.99% (21.99% for Quebec Residents)1.5% travel rewards on travel purchases, 1% travel rewards on gas and transportation purchases, and 0.5% on all others
KOHO Extra Mastercard$84NANAGet 5% cash back at selected merchants, 2% cash-back on groceries, dining, transportation,0.5% on everything else
American Express Green Card$020.99%21.99%1x reward points on daily purchases, plus 1x additional point on Amex Travel Online
RBC Ion Visa Card$020.99%22.99%Get 1.5X Avion points for every $1 spent on groceries, rides, gas, streaming, subscriptions, online games
BMO AIRMILES World Elite Mastercard$020.99%22.99% (21.99% for Quebec Residents)Earn 3 miles for every $25 spent, 2x miles at eligible groceries, 4x miles at Shell Go+Miles

Is the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard Worth It?

If you’re someone who spends a lot on travel, this card might be the right fit for you. It has no annual fee, flexible rewards redemption options, and built-in travel insurance coverage which is uncommon for a no-fee card.

The cap on the reward amount may be a turn-off for some. But the added value provided by this card outweighs this aspect.

All in all, if you’re looking for an easy way to maximize your earnings while travelling, the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard is a solid choice.


Bonuses & Freebies for September

Free prepaid card with up to 5% cashback. No credit check & $20 bonus with CASHBACK code.

Earn up to 5% unlimited cashback. No annual fees and $25 bonus.

Get a $100 cashback bonus in the first 2 months. No annual fee credit card.

No current offers for this category.

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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has written about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, CBC News, Yahoo Finance, GO Banking Rates, Financial Post, Bankrate, Forbes, Toronto Star, CTV News, and other personal finance publications. He founded Savvy New Canadians, one of Canada’s top financial education platforms.

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