An avid Hudson’s Bay shopper? Hudson’s Bay in partnership with Capitol One has the HBC Mastercard® that you are free to use at Hudson’s Bay (stores or online) at $0 annual fee. Read here for our review on the HBC Mastercard
Hudson’s Bay originated from 1981 as a premier departmental store to Canadians which is now also available for online shopping at thebay.com. Aside from customer purchases, Hudson’s Bay also has a line of credit cards namely Hudson’s Bay credit card and Hudson’s Bay Mastercard. We will be focusing on HBC Mastercard in this post.
Basic Features of HBC Mastercard
The HBC Mastercard® features and benefits are outlined in the table below:
purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers
|Canadian Prime Rate plus 17%|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||2.5%|
|Hudson’sBay Rewards Points Earn Rate||• 4 points per $1 at Hudson’sBay Stores or Online|
• 2 points per $1 anywhere else + 25% bonus twice a year
|Hudson’sBay Rewards Point Redemption||2,000 points – $10 Hudson’s Bay gift card|
|Point transfer to AirMiles||✔|
|Minimum requirements to Apply||Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is at least 18 years old.|
|How To Apply||• Application in person at any Hudson’s Bay store |
• No online application process
The common misconception is the difference between Hudson’sBay credit card and HBC Mastercard. The Hudson’s Bay credit card can only be used in Hudson’s Bay stores or the Hudson’s Bay website. The HBC Mastercard can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, including Hudson’s Bay stores and online.
Benefits Of The HBC Mastercard
Benefit #1: No Annual Fee
The HBC Mastercard comes with no annual fee with a low minimum requirement to apply for this card. The main requirement is to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and to be a minimum age of 18 and above. The interest rate for this card is rather high where it follows the standard Canadian prime rate plus an additional 17%. The average interest rate by default is 29.99%.
Benefit #2: High Hudson’s Bay Rewards Point Earn Rate
The interesting part of this card would be the Hudson’s Bay Rewards point earn rate where you earn double points at Hudson’s Bay stores or thebay.com. Before you swipe your HBC Mastercard, be sure to enrol for a Hudson’s Bay Rewards account.
With double points, you stand to earn 4 points per $1 spent at any Hudson’s Bay store or thebay.cpm. Be sure to present both your HBC Mastercard and Hudson’s Bay Rewards card to earn the double (4x) points from Hudson’s Bay.
At any other location that accepts Mastercard, you will earn 2 points per $1 spent. When you use your HBC Mastercard at purchase locations other than Hudson’s Bay stores or thebay.com, you will not need to present your Hudson’s Bay Rewards card. Your points are automatically accumulated in your HBC Mastercard. You will also enjoy a 25% bonus twice a year on those points. How this works is the 25% bonus will appear on your credit statement in January and July, and is calculated based on the total points you’ve earned in the previous six months.
The Hudson’s Bay point redemption system basically allows you to convert your points to gift cards that can be used at Hudson’s Bay stores or thebay.com. In order to do so, you can login to the HBC Rewards site.
Here is a breakdown of the Hudson’s Bay gift card redemption value that you will receive for your Hudson’s Bay Rewards points.
|Hudson’s Bay Rewards Point Balance||Hudson’s Bay Gift Card Redemption Value|
Benefit #3: Transfer points to AirMiles
Aside from Hudson’s Bay gift card redemption, Hudson’s Bay Rewards allows you to transfer your rewards points to AIR Miles. The transfer rate would be 40 points = 1 AirMiles® reward mile. You can automate the transfer process on a weekly basis.
To enrol for the program, you can begin your weekly automatic redemption once you have your AirMiles collector number and HBC Rewards account. If you don’t want to continue with the automatic point transfer, you can stop the weekly automatic redemption on your own as well.
Drawbacks of HBC Mastercard
Here is a list of areas in HBC Mastercard that you would need to look out for if you are considering to apply for this card:
Drawback #1: No Welcome/Sign Up Bonus
Typically when you sign up for a new card, there is a welcome or signup bonus that you would receive from the respective card issuer. However, with the HBC Mastercard, there is no such bonus’. You may get 10-15% off your first purchase at Hudson’s Bay at most when you apply in store for HBC Mastercard.
Drawback #2: HB Rewards Point Expiration
Customers using the HBC Mastercard has also experienced sudden forfeit of their Hudson’s Bay Rewards points or an ad-hoc announcement where they would need to utilise their remaining points by XX date. Otherwise, the points will expire. Unfortunately, Hudson’s Bay reserves the right to do so.
Drawback #3: Low Point Transfer to AirMiles Valuation
As wonderful as it is to transfer your Hudson’s Bay Rewards points to AirMiles, the conversion rate is rather low where you only receive 1 mile with 40 points. This makes the conversion pretty invaluable. You might as well use those points for gift card redemptions and shop at Hudson’s Bay stores or online at thebay.com.
Drawback #4: Application and Customer Service Experience
Another inconvenience with the HBC Mastercard is the application process where it has to be manually done at the store itself. There is no way to apply for the HBC Mastercard online.
The common user feedback on the HBC Mastercard is the poor customer service. The main issue is the fact the customer service representatives follows a script when addressing an issue/complaint faced by customers. The typical standard operating procedure (SOP) followed is to ask a bunch of validation questions before getting to the issue. The customer service is outsourced to a team based in Philippines which explains why they follow a proper SOP that unfortunately takes a long time to solve the customers issue.
Alternatives to HBC Mastercard
There are a number of $0 annual fee cards which comes with more comprehensible benefits:
- MBNA has a variety of $0 annual fee cards that caters to your preference. Some of which the cards offer cash back up to 5% (MBNA SmartCash Platinum Plus card).
- Canadian Tire’s Triangle cards are also $0 annual fee. They have 3 credit card types. 2 of which can be applied for and 1 card is upon invitation only. You can earn CT Money up to 4% cashback when you use the card with impressive earn rates
- If you have the worry where you may not pay on time for your purchases, then you can consider a prepaid card such as Koho prepaid Visa. It comes with $0 annual fee if you (Note to editor: Need to link to Koho Prepaid Visa) statement.)
The HBC Mastercard clearly caters to Hudson’s Bay shoppers and purely to reward yourself to shop further at Hudson’s Bay. The pros of this card is the $0 annual fee and double points where you can receive up to 4 points per $1 spent in Hudson’s Bay stores and thebay.com. With the HBC Mastercard, you can use the card anywhere else where Mastercard is accepted and accumulate Hudson’s Bay rewards point at 2 points per $1 spent. With your points, you can redeem Hudson’s Bay gift cards or transfer your points to AirMiles at 40 points per 1 AirMiles® miles. Other than that, there is no added perks that comes with the card.