There’s no denying that Canadians love to travel. There’s just one problem: it can be expensive. Depending on where you’re going, flights can cost you a fair amount. Then there are accommodations, attractions, food, and more to factor in. The good news is that you can reduce your travel expenses with the right rewards program.
HSBC Rewards may not be as popular as some of the other programs available, but it offers some incredible perks. You can use your points for travel, experiences, gift cards, merchandise, and even financial products.
HSBC also has great credit cards that come with some sweet travel benefits that will make you feel like a VIP. Here’s how HSBC Rewards work and how to maximize your points.
What is an HSBC reward point worth?
The value of your HSBC Rewards points can vary depending on what you’re redeeming your points for. Most people use their points for travel redemptions where it takes 25,000 HSBC Rewards points to claim $125 in travel. That means the value of 1 HSBC Rewards point is $0.005 (.50 cents) per point for travel.
While travel may be the most popular option for your HSBC points, you still have other redemption options including experiences, gift cards, merchandise, and financial products. You can also transfer your points to a few select airline programs. Every redemption is different, so the following chart will give you a rough idea of what your points are worth.
Reward HSBC Rewards points value Best value: Travel-related redemptions 25,000 points = $125 towards travel
1 point = $0.005 when redeemed for travel
Experiences $0.005 - $0.0055 per point when redeemed for experiences Gift Cards $0.0045 - $0.0049 per point when redeemed for gift cards Merchandise $0.0030 - $0.0050 per point when redeemed for merchandise Financial products $0.0030 - $0.0040 per point when redeemed for financial products Airline transfer partners The value of your points varies depending on the redemption of your choice through the airline loyalty program.
As you can see, there are a lot of options with your HSBC Rewards points. That said, it’s clear that the value of your redemptions can vary quite a bit, so you shouldn’t rush into things.
Using your points for travel and experiences give you the best deal, but gift cards and merchandise make good presents. Using your points for financial products may not seem like a good idea, but you can consider it if helps you out of a financial emergency.
How to earn HSBC Rewards
To earn HSBC Rewards points, you need to have an HSBC Rewards credit card. Fortunately, HSBC offers a lot of choices.
The HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® is the program’s premium travel credit card, and it comes with a generous welcome bonus, a great earn rate, and some fantastic perks.
There’s also the HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® which has a low-interest rate and low annual fee.
You can’t go wrong with any of the HSBC credit cards that earn you HSBC Rewards points, but you want to pick one that lines up with your spending habits and goals.
Y&T’s Preferred HSBC Rewards Credit Card: HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
Welcome Bonus: Earn up to 100,000 Points* ($500 travel value) PLUS a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year ($149 value). Must apply by January 31, 2022. Conditions Apply.
The full Welcome Bonus breaks down into the following components:
- Welcome Bonus of 20,000 Points ($100 travel value)
- Spend $6,000 in the first 180 days to earn an additional 50,000 Points ($250 travel value)
- Earn 10,000 Points ($50 travel value) for adding your 1st Authorized User
- Receive an additional 20,000 Points ($100 travel value) as an Anniversary Bonus
- Annual Fee Rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year ($149 value)
Rewards earnings: Earn 3% in travel rewards on all eligible travel-related purchases and 1.5% in travel rewards on all other eligible card purchases.
Additional Perks: No foreign transaction fees, $100 annual travel enhancement credit, complimentary membership to Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey, travel insurance coverage
This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec (Quebec residents eligible for separate offer).
*Terms and Conditions apply.
®/TM Mastercard and World Elite are registered trademarks, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Used pursuant to license.
How to redeem HSBC Reward points
You can see your points balance and make the majority of your redemptions at rewards.hsbc.ca. You don’t need to bank with HSBC to get an HSBC credit card, but you’ll need to create an account on the site to access your points. The actual process of redeeming your HSBC points differs depending on what you plan on getting.
HSBC Rewards for travel
Interestingly enough, HSBC Rewards doesn’t have its own travel portal. This actually benefits you since you can charge any travel purchase to your HSBC Rewards credit card and then redeem your points later. Since you’re not restricted to a travel portal, you can shop around for the lowest price or use sites that earn your loyalty points.
There is one significant downside when using your HSBC Rewards points for travel. There’s a minimum redemption of 25,000 points ($125 travel value). If you want to redeem more points, it goes up in 10,000 increments ($50 travel value), so plan accordingly.
HSBC Rewards for experiences
HSBC Rewards is one of the few loyalty programs that allows you to redeem your points for experiences. When you’re on the HSBC Rewards website, select experiences as the category, and you’ll see what’s currently available. In the past, there have been experiences such as helicopter rides and food tours. The experiences often change, so you should check your account frequently to see if anything new appears.
HSBC Rewards for gift cards
There are hundreds of merchant gift cards for you to claim on the HSBC Rewards website. Some of the more popular retailers include Best Buy, Amazon, Costco, Canadian Tire, Cineplex, Disney, and Esso. You can redeem a gift card with a value as low as $25, but you can also go up to $500.
HSBC Rewards for merchandise
If you’re looking for a physical item to redeem your points for, check out the hundreds of merchandise products available. Choose from items such as razors, sports memorabilia, headphones, tablets, laptops, and more. While getting free merchandise is cool, it may not give you the best return on your points.
HSBC Rewards for financial products
Interestingly, you can use your HSBC Rewards points for a few different financial products.
- $15 HSBC Mastercard statement credit – 5,000 points
- $15 HSBC Savings account credit – 5,000 points
- $20 HSBC Mortgage credit – 5,000 points
If you don’t bank or have your mortgage with HSBC, then you won’t be able to use your points for those products.
HSBC Rewards for airline rewards program miles
HSBC Rewards is one of the few loyalty programs that allows you to transfer your points to select airline partners’ rewards programs. The transfer partners and ratios are as follows:
- 25,000 HSBC Rewards points = 8,000 Asia Miles
- 25,000 HSBC Rewards points = 9,000 Singapore Krisflyer Miles
- 25,000 HSBC Rewards points = 10,000 British Airways Avios
There’s a minimum requirement of 25,000 points if you want to transfer your points to one of these airlines, and then it goes up in 10,000 increments. Having these airline transfer partners can be handy if you have a specific redemption in mind.
How to maximize your HSBC points
Once you start getting familiar with HSBC Rewards, you’ll quickly realize how easy it is to redeem your points. That said, to get the most value out of your HSBC Rewards use these tips to maximize your points.
- Since you can use your HSBC Rewards points for any type of travel, book with websites that have the lowest prices or offer loyalty points.
- When redeeming gift cards, look at the value per point for each merchant. Some retailers require fewer points for gift cards which increases the value of your HSBC Mastercard rewards.
- Since gift cards can have a higher value than merchandise, it could be more beneficial to redeem a gift card and then use it to buy merchandise in-store or online.
- Using your points for financial products give you the least value, but they can help if you run into a financial emergency.
How HSBC Rewards compares to other rewards programs
HSBC Rewards is a useful travel rewards program since you can book any travel on your own and it has a few airline transfer partners. The one major downside is that there’s a high minimum points requirement when you make redemptions for travel.
On a positive note, the lineup of HSBC credit cards is impressive, so you won’t have any problem earning points or getting great travel benefits.
American Express Membership Rewards is easily the most comparable travel rewards program. Some people will prefer the Amex program since their airline transfer partners include Aeroplan. The threshold for travel redemptions is also much lower since it only takes 100 points to claim $1 in travel. That said, American Express cards are accepted at fewer retailers compared to HSBC, which uses Mastercard.
Although Scotia Rewards doesn’t offer any airline transfer partners, it’s still popular since you can redeem your points for any type of travel. Plus, some Scotiabank credit cards have no foreign transaction fees.
HSBC Rewards FAQs
The last word
HSBC Rewards may not have the brand recognition as some of the other loyalty programs in Canada, but make no mistake, HSBC Rewards is a winner.
HSBC has a wide range of credit cards that allow you to earn points fast and come with incredible travel perks. When you’re ready to redeem your points, you have many points available to you, so you can do as you please.