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April 19, 2019 12:00 PM PT

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard Review

Read more about HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card from HSBC, a CreditDonkey advertiser
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.
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With an unlimited 1.5% cash back and a 10% anniversary bonus, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard is a catchy cash back card. Is it right for you? Read this in-depth review before you apply.

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HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard sets itself apart from other 1.5% cash back cards by also offering a 10% bonus on all cash rewards earned once a year. There is no annual fee (See Rates & Fees).

Earning power alone, this puts it ahead of comparable cards like Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver.

But it's not perfect. There are some downsides to consider.

Read on for the pros and cons. We also compare it against other popular cash back cards to see if another one is better for you instead.

Who This Card Is Good For

If any of these things describe you, you may like the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard.

You want a simple card.
This card gives you 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There are no bonus categories or rotating calendars to keep track of.

Your spending is varied.
You tend to spread your spending among gas, groceries, movies, shopping, dining out, etc.

You travel abroad sometimes.
There is no foreign transaction fee, so it'd make the perfect companion for trips abroad. And since it's a Mastercard, it's accepted just about everywhere.

What credit score do I need for the HSBC Card Rewards Mastercard?
Generally, you need a good - excellent credit score. This means a score of 680 and above.

Reasons to Get This Card

  • Earn an Introductory 3% Cash Back on all purchases in the first 12 months from Account opening, up to the first $10,000 in purchases

  • Cashback On Every Purchase
    You get unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase automatically. You don't have to worry about enrolling in bonus categories.

  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    On top of that, you get a 10% bonus on all cash rewards earned each anniversary year. This effectively increases your cash back rate to 1.65%, which is an above-average rate.

  • No Annual Fee
    All the cash rewards you earn are yours.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
    It's great that this card doesn't charge that pesky 3% foreign transaction fee. You can use this card abroad without worrying about extra charges.

  • Intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers
    There is an intro 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months from account opening. After that, the Variable APR of 14.99% - 24.99% will apply after the Introductory Period. Balance transfers must be posted within the first 60 days. This could be useful if you have credit card debt on another card that you're trying to pay off.

  • No Fee for Authorized Users
    Additional cards will be given to authorized users for no extra cost.

How to redeem your points?
The easiest redemption method is as statement credit applied to the account. If you want to redeem as direct deposit, you can only deposit into an HSBC checking or savings account. Other types of redemptions (such as for travel) have more restrictions.

Downsides

However, there are downsides that may cause you to reconsider:

  • Balance Transfer Fee
    There is a balance transfer fee of $10 or 4% (whichever is greater), which is on the pricey side.

    If you're seriously thinking about doing a balance transfer as a debt-payoff strategy, look into these cards with NO balance transfer fee instead. You'll save on the fee, so all your extra funds can go towards paying off debt instead.

  • Cashback Rate Not the Highest
    The effective 1.65% cash back rate is above-average. But there are other no-annual-fee cards that can offer more if you're willing to be more strategic.

    For example, Chase Freedom gives you 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories. You can earn a lot more if your spending falls within those categories.

  • Zero Travel Rewards
    This card is good for the occasional traveler because there's no foreign transaction fee. But if you travel frequently, you may want a card with better travel rewards, such as the ability to transfer to travel partners.

Other Benefits

The HSBC Cash Rewards also come with these purchase and travel benefits:

  • Purchase Protection: If an eligible item is damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase, you can be reimbursed up to $1,000 for each eligible item, for a maximum of $25,000 per year.

  • Price Protection: If you bought an eligible item and within 60 days, you see a printed ad for a lower price, you can be refunded the difference in cost, up to $250 per claim. You're allowed to make 4 claims per calendar year.

  • Extended Warranty. Doubles the original manufacturer's warranty—up to an additional 12 months—for eligible purchases with a warranty of 12 months or less.

  • Secondary Car Rental Insurance: You get collision and theft coverage when you pay for the entire rental with the card and decline the rental company's insurance. Secondary coverage means HSBC will pay any extra fees that your primary insurance doesn't cover.

  • Travel Accidental Insurance: You and your immediate family are insured up to $1,000,000 against accidental death or dismemberment on a covered trip in a common carrier.

  • Roadside Assistance: If you run into car trouble, HSBC can send help your way. You'll have to still pay for the services, but at a pre-negotiated rate. This is only valid within the 50 U.S. States and District of Columbia.

How It Compares

Now, let's compare the HSBC Cash Rewards with other popular cash back cards.

If You Want Intro APR on Purchases: Chase Freedom Unlimited
Like the HSBC Cash Rewards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited gives you cash back on all purchases.

However, Chase Freedom Unlimited has a foreign transaction fee, so it's not for traveling abroad.

 Chase Freedom UnlimitedHSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card
 Apply NowApply Now
 

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

 

Summary

 
  • New Offer! Double Cash Back: Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. A Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • Earn an Introductory 3% Cash Back on all purchases in the first 12 months from Account opening, up to the first $10,000 in purchases
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus on all Cash Rewards earned once a year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 14.99% - 24.99% variable APR.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $0 liability for unauthorized purchases.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 15 months0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases for the first 12 months from account opening
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR for 15 months0% Introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months from account opening
Purchase APR16.99% to 25.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.99% to 24.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR16.99% to 25.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.99% to 24.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of each transaction in U.S. dollarsNo foreign transaction fee
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Cash BackIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Double Cash Back: Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.Introductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn an Introductory 3% Cash Back on all purchases in the first 12 months from Account opening, up to the first $10,000 in purchases
Cash Back RewardsCash Back Rewards: Double Cash Back: Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.Cash Back Rewards: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
Bonus Cash Back Bonus Cash Back: 10% Anniversary Bonus on all Cash Rewards earned once a year.
 Apply NowApply Now

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

If You Want Max Cash Back: Chase Freedom
Chase Freedom gives you 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories (on the first $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter). They're usually in everyday spending categories like gas, drugstores, grocery stores, restaurants, etc. This can really allow you to get the most cash back possible if you align your spending to the categories.

 

Chase Freedom

HSBC Cash Rewards

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 15 months0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases for the first 12 months from account opening
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR for 15 months0% Introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months from account opening
Purchase APR16.99% to 25.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.99% to 24.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR16.99% to 25.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.99% to 24.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of each transaction in U.S. dollarsNo foreign transaction fee
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 Terms Apply. See Rates & Fees
 

Benefits and Features

Cash Back DealIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.Introductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn an Introductory 3% Cash Back on all purchases in the first 12 months from Account opening, up to the first $10,000 in purchases
Cash BackCash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.Cash Back Rewards: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
Bonus Cash BackBonus Cash Back: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Bonus Categories for 2019:
January - March 2019: Gas Stations, Drugstores, and Tolls
April - June 2019: Grocery Stores and Home Improvement Stores
July - September 2019: Gas Stations and Select Streaming Services
October - December 2019: Department Stores, PayPal and Chase Pay
Bonus Cash Back: 10% Anniversary Bonus on all Cash Rewards earned once a year.

Chase Freedom: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on August 27, 2019 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

If You Want Up to 2% Cash Back: Citi Double Cash
Citi Double Cash gives you 1% cash back on purchases AND another 1% cash back as you make payments. If you always pay in full, this effectively equals a 2% cash back rate. However, this card does not offer a sign-up bonus. So you won't get an immediate reward.

If you're looking at a new card for the long run, then the earnings from Citi Double Cash will eventually beat out the HSBC Cash Rewards.

 

Citi Double Cash

HSBC Cash Rewards

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for PurchasesN/A0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases for the first 12 months from account opening
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0%* introductory APR for 18 months*0% Introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months from account opening
Purchase APR15.99% to 25.99%* (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.99% to 24.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR15.99% to 25.99%* (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.99% to 24.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of each purchase transaction in US dollars.No foreign transaction fee
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 Terms Apply. See Rates & Fees
 

Benefits and Features

Cash Back Deal Introductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn an Introductory 3% Cash Back on all purchases in the first 12 months from Account opening, up to the first $10,000 in purchases
Cash BackCash Back Rewards: Earn cash back twice on every purchase: 1% cash back when you buy; plus an additional 1% cash back as you pay for those purchasesCash Back Rewards: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
Bonus Cash Back Bonus Cash Back: 10% Anniversary Bonus on all Cash Rewards earned once a year.

Citi Double Cash: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on August 7, 2019 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Citi® Double Cash Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom Line

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard is a very worthy contender among the 1.5% cash back cards. The 10% anniversary bonus each year even puts it ahead of the competition from a rewards perspective. And the no foreign transaction fee is a great benefit for the occasional travelers.

However, beware of some downsides. If you're a heavy spender or frequent traveler, there are other credit cards that could give you bigger rewards.

Next Step: View the issuer's official application, terms, and details

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by HSBC. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by HSBC. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on April 19, 2019. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check HSBC website for updated information.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

For rates and fees of the HSBC Cash Rewards card, please click here.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom, Citi® Double Cash Card, and Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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HSBC Bank Review


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More Articles in Reviews

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card
Apply for HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card
At HSBC's Secure Site
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • Earn an Introductory 3% Cash Back on all purchases in the first 12 months from Account opening, up to the first $10,000 in purchases
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus on all Cash Rewards earned once a year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 14.99% - 24.99% variable APR.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $0 liability for unauthorized purchases.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Introductory Bonus Cash BackCash Back RewardsBonus Cash Back
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% Intro APR for 12 months
0% Intro APR for 12 months
Variable APR of 14.99% - 24.99% will apply after the Introductory Period
$0





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