HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard Review
A good cash back credit card can be very useful for busy professionals. It helps pay for everything–from utility bills, shopping, and groceries to filling up your car with gas. Since the card gives you cash back with every transaction, you can be sure that you are saving money, even when you are spending on credit.
In this article, I’ll review the main features and benefits of the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard, one of the most rewarding credit cards in the market today.
The Major Benefits
The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers one of the best cash back rates in the market. You can get 3% cash back on every transaction and save up to $10,000 for the first months of using the card. After the first year, you will continue to get 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
You will also protect yourself from the trouble of rotating categories. There are no quarterly enrollments required and no caps on how many points you can earn using the card.
Cardholders will get a flat 1.5% reward rate for this card without jumping through hoops and qualifying conditions. That is quite good, considering that most other cards only offer cash back of up to 1% after the introductory period is over.
Furthermore, HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® cardholders will also get a 10% anniversary bonus for all cash rewards earned during the year. That means if you earn $500 in cash rewards on your shopping for the year, you will get an additional $50 at the end of the year for completing your anniversary with HSBC.
Every purchase is rewarding with the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card.
Detailed Card Features
It is quite surprising that the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® isn’t as well known as more popular competing credit cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited or Capital One Quicksilver card. Nonetheless, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® delivers a lot of value and rewards for users–more than you might expect from a typical cash back credit card.
Like other credit cards in its category, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® generates a flat cash back for users on every purchase. This can be quite a big benefit for users who buy products and services daily and don’t want to spend too much on a single transaction.
The cash back rate does not have a minimum spending requirement before it kicks in. Whether you are spending $5 or $500, you will earn the same rewards rate for everything that you buy. This is also one of the few cards that allow cardholders to maximize their earnings through smart buying patterns.
For instance, the card can be paired with other reward credit cards that have a higher maintenance requirement. These cards offer a higher cash back reward–from 3% to 5% on certain types of purchases like fashion or electronic products. However, they only give 1% cash back when you purchase most other types of goods.
You can just use the HSBC Rewards Mastercard® for your primary shopping needs and be sure that you will get a higher rate of cash back every time. Just use the other cards when you need to purchase the specific items that give higher cash back on those cards. No more worrying about credit card rewards, cash back, or savings. Simply swipe the HSBC card at an outlet when you want to redeem your cash back points and you are done.
The 10% bonus for card anniversary also makes it stand out compared to other credit cards. While the number may seem small, it can make a huge difference if you are a big spender who likes to use your credit card for every single purchase.
If you get $500 every year in cash back you will only get $50 in extra bonus. However, if you are earning a cash back of $10,000 per year, the reward alone will be $1,000 which is quite nice. The best part is that you can earn limitless cash back. You can potentially get a credit card anniversary reward of $2,000 or $5,000, based on spending habits.
A Good Sign-Up Bonus
The sign-up bonus for the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® was updated recently, perhaps in response to competition from other credit card companies. The general cash back rate is 1.5% but the card currently offers cash back of 3% on every purchase which is quite good, even for a card in the cash back category.
If you maxed out the benefit for the spending cap on this offer–a limit of $10,000–you can easily get $300 in cash back for the first year. Add the 10% anniversary bonus and you are getting $330 in cash back in total.
A Cash-Back Rate to Bank On
If you compare this card to other cash back credit cards with more promising reward programs, you will see that the HSBC card is the better option in general. The higher cash back offer for most other rewards credit cards only applies to certain categories of products. You will probably only ever buy these products once or twice in a year. This can more than offset any benefits that you get for getting such cards because the rewards are difficult to earn and build up in a short period.
Suppose you get a cash back reward card that offers a 5% cash back card with a rotating category of products. The categories of products get changed every three months. You will need to keep an eye on the categories that offer a higher cash back return. It is quite possible that the card is only useful to you for the first three months and later, the higher reward categories switch to something that you are not interested in purchasing for the rest of the year.
Of course, the categories will switch again after six and nine months but there is no guarantee that you will find anything that you need on offer. You will still get 1% cash back on the card but nowhere is this close to the flat 3% rate that you get with the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®. If you do not use your other card throughout the year you may not earn a lot of cash back rewards.
Compare that to the HSBC card that offers a flat 3% irrespective of what you buy. The HSBC cash back credit card is more reliable. The cash back bonus is 2% higher than what you would get on other cards and you are guaranteed to receive it.
You can earn a significant amount of cash back with this card if you use it every day for all types of purchases. If your typical monthly expenses are over $3,000, then you can collect more than $1,000 cash back rewards on the card by the end of the year.
You can also pair this card with another cash back credit card that offers a higher rate for specific product categories. You will need to strategize your purchases smartly and only use the card that gives you higher cash back on a specific purchase. The HSBC card lets you maximize your cash back and always get the optimum returns for all kinds of purchases.
Many users couple the HSBC card with a 5% cash back credit card and use it for every purchase that does not give them 5% cash back.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
Another significant benefit of the HSBC Mastercard is that you can use it abroad without worrying about extra charges from your card issuer. HSBC is an international bank and they offer a complete waiver on foreign transaction fees. This HSBC card allows you to travel anywhere around the world and spend on purchases with minimal costs.
Most cash back credit cards do not offer their customers this perk, so it is quite nice. That is not to say that no cash back credit cards charge a fee for international transactions; however, very few leading banks offer this facility so make the best use of it.
A Reasonable Interest Rate
The APR charged on HSBC’s cash back credit card is also relatively low, at least when you compare it to other credit cards. The minimum APR on the card is 15.24%–a rate that is quite rare to find even on credit cards claiming to charge low interest rates. Typically, the interest on credit cards starts at 17%.
On the other end, the highest APR on HSBC’s cash rewards credit card is 25.24%. Yes, it is high but still lower than some of the other credit cards where interest rates can go up to 29.99%.
What credit score do I need for this card? You’ll need a Good to Excellent (690 – 850) credit score to qualify for the HSBC Cash Back Mastercard®.
How does the bonus offer stack up? Currently, you can get 0% interest on all purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, which is highly competitive with other cards on the market.
Is there a balance transfer fee? The HSBC Cash Back Mastercard® does have a 4% balance transfer fee–it’s 4% of the amount transferred, or $10, whichever is greater.
Overall, we really like the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®. It’s a solid cash back credit card that doesn’t bog you down with rotating categories and gives a solid annual bonus. If you’re looking for something that just works and you don’t have to stress over–check this one out.