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HSBC Canada Halts New Credit Card Applications: What’s Next?

By Heidi Unrau | Published on 16 Oct 2023

HSBC Canada Halts Credit Card Applications

    HSBC Canada has officially hit the pause button on new credit card applications. Yep, you read that right. No more applying for that HSBC World Elite Mastercard or any of their other cards for that matter. Don’t panic, your current HSBC credit card will continue to work just fine for the foreseeable future. But why the sudden move? The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is in the closing stages of acquiring HSBC Canada. Here’s what to know as well as some great HSBC credit card alternatives to set your sights on. 

    RBC & HSBC Canada: When Two Become One

    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 finally gave its blessing. The whopping $13.5 billion CAD deal has seen RBC and HSBC Canada moving pieces around the chessboard. 

    Unlike ING Direct Canada, which was renamed Tangerine by Scotiabank upon its acquisition in 2012, HSBC Canada and its employees will be fully integrated under the RBC umbrella. “After closing, we expect to bring HSBC Canada clients and employees under the umbrella of RBC’s brand,” Jeff Lanthier, RBC’s director of media relations, revealed to the Globe and Mail.

    Current HSBC Canada Cardholders, Don’t Panic!

    For those of you clutching your HSBC cards and wondering if they’ve suddenly turned into the wallet version of a floppy disc, fear not! You can continue swiping, tapping, and enjoying the perks. HSBC Canada assures that you can keep calm and carry on, for now at least. You’ll still accumulate points, cash back, and all those lovely rewards you’ve come to love. 

    However, my crystal ball is out of order. Will RBC introduce new RBC credit cards with the same or similar features, or simply offer their existing cards to former HSBC Canada customers… who’ve now become RBC clients. Only time will tell.

    Looking for HSBC Credit Card Alternatives? 4 Top Contenders

    For those who had their hearts set on a new HSBC card, 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 overall

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”5f31a9ab92ec22115033b2c2″]

    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 aslo 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 no foreign transaction fees

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”5f32aa0a63ae8636997fa6a7″]

    This golden gem is one of the best no foreign transaction fee cards on the market too, 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. 

    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

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”5f9043f69499f16c55a7c5c0″]

    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.

    RBC Avion Visa Infinite: Best RBC credit card overall

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”5f354f1692ec22115033b30a”]

    If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em with the RBC Avion Visa Infinite. This RBC darling gives you flexible travel points, comprehensive insurance, and some tasty purchase protection. If you love powder trips, you’ll love the 2-for-1 deal on Friday ski passes at participating resorts. You’ll also enjoy saving $0.03/L and earning 20% more Avion points at Petro Canada gas stations. Shop at Rexall? Use your RBC card to earn 50 Be Well points per dollar on eligible purchases

    Eligibility requirements: Must have a minimum personal annual income of $60,000, or a minimum annual household income of $100,000, or have at least $250,000 of investable assets. You must also be a Canadian resident and the age of majority in your province/territory of residence. 

    HSBC Canada: So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiederseh’n, Adieu!

    Whether you’re an HSBC credit card veteran or a hopeful newbie, we’ve listed 4 promising contenders to consider. If none of them feel like a great fit, check out our Credit Card Comparison Tool to find a card that is.

    In the meantime, stay tuned for more banking buzz and remember to spend wisely!

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    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.