I really did not see this one coming. We were aware of RBC purchasing HSBC Canada for almost a year now. The hope was that they would do something like TD did when they purchased MBNA Canada back in 2011. After all this time, TD has continued to keep the MBNA name on their credit card product line, rather than a full integration to TD.
It looks like RBC is taking a different approach. On the one extreme, did RBC really just purchase HSBC to wipe them out completely to reduce the overall competition in the market? Or does RBC want a clean slate and optimistically has something up their sleeves?
Either way, the takeover has not completely gone through, yet HSBC is not longer accepting new credit card applications. These were cards in their portfolio:
- HSBC +Rewards Mastercard
- HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard
- HSBC Metal World Elite Mastercard
- HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard
- HSBC World Elite Mastercard
Lost features and benefits
The discontinuation of all the cards mentioned above means that there are at least two significant losses in a broader sense (i.e. to the overall credit card market), such as:
- No foreign exchange fees on their travel cards
- HSBC Rewards transfer partners to: British Airways Executive Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Existing cardholders continue business as usual for the time being. As a grandfathered cardholder, if you enjoy the card, I suggest hanging on at renewal. There is no way to know when they will shut it down completely (which seems to be the writing on the wall).
The RBC purchase of HSBC Canada still has the potential to be a good move overall, if they combine their resources and offer even better products, such as combining RBC Avion and HSBC Rewards into a more powerful transferable points program. But this is currently not a good look. I hope there will be more positive announcements to counter this.