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Both Visa and Mastercard have their own top-tier category of credit cards – Visa Infinite and World Elite, respectively.

We’ve reviewed the Visa Infinite side of things already, and now it’s time to take a closer look at what Mastercard has to offer.

Related: A Showdown Between World Elite Mastercard And Visa Infinite

The benefits of having a World Elite Mastercard

With nearly all World Elite Mastercards, you’ll get access to:

Mastercard World Experiences

If you have a World or a World Elite Mastercard, you’ll get preferred access to all sorts of valuable offers and complimentary upgrades through Mastercard World Experiences.

You can take advantage of these offers, like upscale hotel benefits, through Mastercard Access.

Mastercard World Elite Priceless Cities

Mastercard Priceless Cities allows you to pick and choose from an array of inspirational experiences and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities from all over the world or closer to home.

Here are some examples of what’s available:

Mastercard Priceless Cities example options

Mastercard World Elite concierge service

Concierge service is perhaps one of the most underrated perks that come with most premium credit card offerings.

Just by calling your concierge service, you’ll get help from a real person when making restaurant or hotel reservations, ordering flowers, making business arrangements, and much more.

It’s like having a personal assistant…but free.

Related: The Ins and Outs of Credit Card Concierge

Airport lounge access

Most World Elite Mastercards have lounge access included for all their Mastercard Airport Experiences lounges.

Benefits can range from basic membership to basic membership plus up to 4 free passes.

Cirque du Soleil

As an official partner of Cirque du Soleil, Mastercard cardholders have access to exclusive perks, such as:

  • backstage access,
  • the opportunity to attend “Cirque Camp”,
  • a 15% discount on Canadian shows (and discounts on Las Vegas shows),
  • preferred seating,
  • presale tickets, and
  • premiere nights.

World Elite downsides

With all the amazing perks you can get with these cards, there must be some kind of catch, right?

Depending on your financial situation, it may be hard for you to qualify. You’ll need a personal income of at least $80,000 or $150,000 household, which makes these credit cards pretty inaccessible for many Canadians.

And with annual fees ranging from $0 to $199 (with an average of $110), this might feel quite steep to some people.

The best World Elite Mastercards in Canada

Interested in becoming part of the World Elite?

Here are our top picks for the best World Elite Mastercards in Canada.

World Elite Mastercard Annual fee Welcome Bonus Apply Now
BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard $120 (first year free) 2,000 AIR MILES (terms) Apply Now
Brim World Elite Mastercard $199 (first year free) $500 worth of rewards after the first purchase at participating retailers (terms) Apply Now
Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard $99 30,000 Alaska Airline miles (terms) Apply Now
BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard $120 (first year free) 10% cash back for the first 3 months, up to $2,000 in spending (terms) Apply Now
National Bank World Elite Mastercard $150 $300 cash back (terms) Apply Now
HSBC World Elite Mastercard $149 (first year rebated) Up to 60,000 points (terms) Apply Now

The best: BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard

If you want the absolute best World Elite credit card, look no further than the .

For a reasonable $120 annual fee (which is waived the first year), this card comes with premium perks like:

  • free access to Mastercard Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey,
  • 2 complimentary lounge passes annually, one of the only 2 World Elite credit cards to do so (visits are typically $32 USD per visit), and
  • access to 24/7 credit card concierge service.

But what really stands out with this card is its insurance coverage. In fact, it has one of the most comprehensive packages you can get with 14 out of types in total.

On top of getting the first year free, you’ll receive a welcome bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES – worth over $400 when redeemed for travel.

For earn rates, you’ll get 1 AIR MILE per $10 spent on everything, which is one of the highest of any other personal AIR MILES card on the Canadian credit card market right now. Plus, get double that at National and Alamo car rental locations.

With 1 mile being worth up to 20 cents when redeemed for travel, you can get an average return of up to 2.02%.

Another great standout perk this card offers is its 15% discounts on all AIR MILES flight redemptions, allowing you to stretch out your miles even more.

It’s also our top pick for shopping at Costco.

Get all the details here:

Related: BMO AIR MILES World Elite Credit Card Review

Honourable mentions

Coming hot after the are these honourable mentions. If you’re not an AIR MILES collector, these credit cards are great alternatives.

Brim World Elite Mastercard

For cash back rewards, the is a top card in this category.

You’ll earn 2% cash back on your first $25,000 in annual purchases (1% after that). Shop with Brim’s 150+ partners, and you can earn anywhere from 3% to 30% back with them.

And, it comes with 15 types of insurance coverages, including rare mobile device and event ticket cancellation coverages, plus other great perks such as free Boingo Wi-Fi, Brim installment plans and no foreign exchange fees.

Just note that it has a high annual fee of $199, but is currently first year free.

Related: Brim Financial Mastercards Review: A New Generation Of Smart Credit Cards

Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard

For the travel bug, the is truly a hidden gem. Its famous companion flight voucher alone makes this card worth its annual fee and then some.

Don’t let the card name fool you – it’s not just ideal for people living in Alaska. You can use your points with any one of Alaska Airlines 18 airline partners, like British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Japan Airlines – just to name a few.

And with an annual fee lower than most World Elite Mastercards ($99 instead of the common $120), you’re looking at even more valuable savings.

Related: How To Maximize The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Program

BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard

Giving you a flat earn-rate of 1.5% on absolutely all purchases, the is our top cash back World Elite selection.

This card will give you a welcome bonus of 10% cash back on all purchases for your first 3 months, up to $2,000 spent. That’s a potential for up to $200 in rewards.

And with an insurance package that’s nothing to sneeze at, you’re sure to get the most out of your purchases with this card.

You can find the full details of the card here:

Related: BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard Review – A Card For More Than Just Rewards

National Bank World Elite Mastercard

With one of the best insurance packages out there, the may not seem like an obvious choice, but there’s lots of value to be found with this card.

Starting with the earn rates, you’ll get tiered rewards based on your annual spending:

  • 1.5 points on your first $40,000 in purchases, then
  • 2 points per $1 spent on your next $40,001 to $80,000 in purchases, and
  • back to 1.5 points per $1 spent after $80,001 in purchases.

There’s also the unique feature of receiving up to $250 in fee reimbursements:

  • $100 for parking fees,
  • $50 for seat selection fees, and
  • $100 for baggage check-in fees.

Not to mention you’ll be covered by 10 out of types of purchase and travel insurance, including 15 days of emergency medical coverage for people over 65.

You can find the full details of the card here:

HSBC World Elite Mastercard

Offering some unique perks, as well as a high flat earn rate on travel rewards, the also offers no foreign exchange fees – the only card on our list here to do so.

For rewards, you’ll earn 3 HSBC Reward points for every $1 spent, which gets doubled to 6 points per $1 spent on eligible travel purchases. With an HSBC Rewards point worth up to 0.5 cents each when redeemed for travel, you’re looking at a return between 1.5% and 3%.

The best part? You won’t pay any foreign exchange fees on any purchases you make in foreign currency. Save the typical 2.5% other credit cards charge just for making a purchase that isn’t in Canadian dollars.

Finally, there’s also some unique perks you can take advantage of:

  • $100 annual travel enhancement credit,
  • 10% off select hotels booked through HSBC’s Agoda and Expedia sites, and
  • complimentary Mastercard Airport Experiences membership (each visit costs US$32).

You can find the full details of the card here:

And there you have it

With some of the more unique credit card perks, like Cirque du Soleil perks, World Elite Mastercards have a lot going for them.

What do you think? Do you prefer Visa Infinite benefits, or are you a World Elite fan?

Let us know in the comments below.

Frequently asked questions about World Elite Mastercards

What is the best World Elite Mastercard?

Our top ranked World Elite Mastercard is the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard. This card offers a high earn rate of 1 mile per $10 spent, 14 types of insurance coverage, and a 15% discount on the number of miles needed to book an AIR MILES reward flight within North America.

What are the income requirements of World Elite Mastercards?

All World Elite Mastercards have income requirements of either $80,000 personal or $150,000 household.

Do all World Elite Mastercards have airport lounge access?

No, not all World Elite Mastercards have access to Mastercard Airport Experiences. And for the ones that do, most do not provide free lounge visits – each one will cost US$32.