RBC Replaces HSBC Credit Cards: Which One Will You Get and What Are the Alternatives?

HSBC Canada Halts Credit Card Applications

RBC has begun the transition from HSBC banking products to its own. In fact, in January 2024, RBC began sending information to customers about which RBC credit card will replace their HSBC card. Here’s what you need to know and some great alternatives to consider.

RBC Credit Cards Replacing HSBC Cards

In late November of 2022, RBC announced it had struck a deal to acquire the Canadian arm of the international banking giant HSBC. Ten months later, the Competition Bureau gave its blessing. The whopping $13.5 billion CAD deal has seen RBC and HSBC Canada moving pieces around the chessboard. Gradually, HSBC customers and employees are being integrated to RBC.

Those of you with an HSBC card will receive your new RBC credit card in February or March 2024. Your HSBC points are not lost, but the exchange value offered by RBC remains unspecified. Here’s a table summarizing which RBC credit card will replace your HSBC card.

HSBC credit cardReplaced by
HSBC World Elite MastercardRBC Avion Visa Infinite (confirmed)
HSBC Cash Rewards MastercardRBC Cash Back Mastercard (confirmed)
HSBC +Rewards MastercardRBC ION+ Visa (probably)
HSBC Travel Rewards MastercardRBC ION Visa (probably)
HSBC Metal World Elite MastercardRBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege (probably)
Credit Card Migration from HSBC to RBC

Are RBC Credit Cards Any Better Than Those From HSBC?

In other words, are you losing out? To determine the answer to this question, you need to compare the benefits of your new card with those of your old one. For example, while the HSBC World Elite Mastercard offered between 1% and 3% rewards on purchases, the RBC Avion Visa Infinite card offers between 1% and 1.25%. On top of that, the HSBC card didn’t charge foreign transaction fees and offered a free additional card.

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To compensate, RBC is waiving the foreign transaction fee on the RBC Avion Visa Infinite for former HSBC customers, offering free additional cards and providing an extra credit. Moreover, this card has unique benefits. If you love getaways, you’ll fall for the 2-for-1 offer on Friday ski passes at participating resorts. You’ll also enjoy a $0.03/L discount and earn 20% more Avion points at Petro-Canada service stations.

The transition appears to offer roughly equivalent value for RBC ION Visa and RBC Cash Back cards. Other transitions, such as from the HSBC +Rewards card to the RBC ION+ Visa card, could even be to your advantage. Instead of 2 points for certain expenses, the RBC ION+ card offers 3 Avion points for more categories, including streaming, dining and gas. However, its interest rate is higher.

Looking for HSBC Credit Card Alternatives? Look at these Top Contenders

For those who had their hearts set on HSBC, don’t lose hope! Here are our top picks to fill that rectangle-shaped hole in your heart (or wallet): 

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card: Best travel card for lounge access

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The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card consistently ranks as one of the best travel cards with no foreign transaction fees. Not only do you get six free airport lounge visits per year, but you also get access to the Visa Infinite Hotel Collection, Visa Infinite Dining and Wine Country program, Visa Infinite Concierge Service offering 24/7 assistance for pretty much anything. Plus, enjoy stress-free travel with 7 complimentary travel insurances, purchase protection, and extended warranty coverage.

Eligibility requirements: Must have a minimum annual personal income of $60,000, or a minimum annual household income of $100,000, or have at least $250,000 of assets under management. You must also be a Canadian resident, the age of majority in your province/territory of residence, and no bankruptcy in the last 7 years. 

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card: Best for groceries

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This golden gem is another one of the best card for lounge access on the market, making it another top alternative to the HSBC World Elite Mastercard. You also get access to over 1,200 airport lounges with a discounted Priority Pass, 7 different travel-related insurance coverages, mobile device insurance, as well as purchase protection and extended warranty coverage. Plus, you earn up to 6 Scene+ points for every 1$ spent on groceries. This card is great for a host of daily expenses.

Eligibility requirements: Must have a minimum annual personal income of $12,000, be a Canadian resident and the age of majority in the province/territory where you live, and no bankruptcy in the past 7 years. 

Rogers World Elite Mastercard: Best for USA lovers

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The Rogers World Elite Mastercard is new on the scene and offers some great perks if you like to travel and shop in the great US of A. While there is still a foreign transaction fee, this is offset by 3% cash back on purchases made in USD. You also get a complimentary Mastercard Travel Pass, access to over 1,300 airport lounges, and 4 complimentary travel-related insurance coverages. You also get Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty coverage. Rogers customers get additional money-saving perks.

Eligibility requirements: You must have a minimum annual personal income of $80,000, or a minimum annual household income of $150,000. You must also be a Canadian resident and be the age of majority in the province/territory where you live. To maintain your eligibility, you must spend at least $15,000 on the card each year.

If none of these cards feel like a great fit, check out our credit card comparison tool. In the meantime, stay tuned for more banking buzz and remember to spend wisely!

Heidi Unrau is a senior finance journalist at Hardbacon. She studied Economics at the University of Winnipeg, where she fell in love with all-things-finance. At 25, she kicked-off her financial career in retail banking as a teller. She quickly progressed to become a Credit Analyst and then Private Lender. This hands-on industry experience uniquely positions her to provide expert insight on loans, credit scores, credit cards, debt, and banking services. She has been featured in publications such as WealthRocket, Scary Mommy, Credello, and Plooto. When she's not chasing after her two little boys, you'll find her hiding in the car listening to the Freakonomics podcast, or binge-watching financial crime documentaries with a bowl of ice cream. Fun Fact: Heidi has lived in five different provinces across Canada and her blood type is coffee.