This card offers an introductory 3% cash back on all purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, up to the first $10,000 in purchases, no annual fee (see Rates & Fees), and some added travel and purchase protection.
As one of its notable features, you’ll earn a 10% Anniversary Bonus on all cash rewards you’ve earned every card anniversary. Read on to find more about what the HSBC Cash Rewards card has to offer for you.
|Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.||Balance transfer fee is 4% of the amount transferred, $10 minimum.|
|An introductory 3% cash back on all purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, up to the first $10,000 in purchases.||No bonus rewards categories.|
|10% Anniversary Bonus.||Requires good/excellent credit.|
|0% Intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers, then a 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable APR.||(see Rates & Fees)|
|No annual fee.|
|No foreign transaction fee.|
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard Benefits
The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card is the go-to card for these reasons:
- Cash back on every purchase. Most credit cards allow you to earn just 1% on most of your purchases; however, you get unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase with this card.
- 0% introductory APR. The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® offers 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months from account opening. Afterwards, your APR reverts to 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable based on your creditworthiness (see Rates & Fees). If you’re trying to pay off another card, this is a great card to do so. Note that the HSBC Cash Rewards card’s 0% balance transfer offer does not extend to new purchases.
- Anniversary Bonus. Each year you keep this card, you’ll earn a 10% bonus on all cash rewards you’ve earned.
- No annual fee (see Rates & Fees).
- No foreign transaction fee. Use this card internationally without worrying about those pesky fees. (see Rates & Fees)
- Travel benefits. Get access to MasterAssist® travel planning, roadside assistance, rental car insurance, and travel accident insurance.
- Shopping benefits. Enjoy extended warranties, purchase protection, and price protection when shopping.
- Free FICO Credit Score. You can see one of your FICO 5 Credit Scores for free with this card. It’s based on your Experian credit report. Your score will only be reported on your monthly statement, either digital or mailed.
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard Pitfalls
You may not like the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card due to these reasons:
- High balance transfer fee. The average balance transfer credit card charges about 3%. However, the HSBC Cash Rewards card has a fee of either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater. (see Rates & Fees)
- Potentially earn better cash back. The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® has a cash back rate of 1.5% which is better than your standard credit card. However, you could potentially earn more cash back if you apply for other cards.
- High regular APR potential. Your overall creditworthiness will dictate the result, but you could be assigned a variable APR. Either way, you’ll be paying above average among credit cards for people with fair credit, despite requiring good or excellent credit for approval.
- No bonus categories. A flat-rate cash back card increases your rewards earnings across the board, not just in one category. But for those who spend a lot in one area, such as groceries, a card with bonus categories may offer better value, such as the Chase Freedom® Card which offers 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories that change every 3 months. Of course, you’d have to keep up with the categories and sign up to get this benefit. With the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®, there’s nothing to keep track of every quarter. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t use both types of cards: a flat-rate card for everyday purchases, and a card with tiered rewards for purchases within a certain category.
- High credit requirement. If you don’t have good to excellent credit, you may not be able to qualify for this card.
Earning Cash Back
It’s simple to earn cash back with the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card. You’ll receive 1.5% cash back on every purchase, with no limit to the amount you can earn.
The most notable feature of this card is the 10% Anniversary Bonus on all cash back rewards earned in the previous year. This means that you’ll get a slight boost to your cash back every year.
When you add that to the rewards you earn, you can earn the equivalent of 1.65% cash back on your purchases. You’ll get that 10% bonus within seven days after your account anniversary.
This 10% Anniversary Bonus is available as long as your account is active and in good standing. Just make at least one transaction in the year that qualified for cash back rewards and don’t be over the credit limit or make frequent late payments.
The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers a few different options for redeeming your cash back. You can earn financial rewards, gift cards, merchandise, charity, and travel rewards.
I recommend redeeming your rewards for statement credits, which is quick and easy. This will lower your account balance by directly depositing it into your HSBC consumer checking or savings account. You’ll have to redeem a minimum of $25.
The other options won’t get you the full value of your rewards. For example, redeeming a $10 gift card will cost you 1,500 points.
Different Banks, Same Cash Back?
Here’s how the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card stacks up against the Chase Freedom® Unlimited Card.
If you’re only signing up for one card, you’re better off with the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® due to the 10% Anniversary Bonus offer.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card will only be better than the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® if you plan to pair it up with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — Chase’s hot travel rewards card. The Freedom Unlimited’s value increases when paired with either card because it unlocks more options for using your rewards.
Instead of awarding pure cash back, like the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® gives you Ultimate Rewards points on every purchase. When the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is your only card, those points are good for getting cash back at its advertised 1.5% rewards rate.
However, when you pair it with one of the two cards mentioned above, you can transfer your points to one of Chase’s airline or hotel loyalty programs. This greatly boosts the rewards rate on the Chase Freedom Unlimited® beyond 1.5%, which outperforms the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®.
The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers solid cash back with unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards on all purchases and no caps on your earnings. That’s less generous than some other cards out there, but you won’t pay an annual fee for it.
You’re also not limited to certain categories, like the 1% back on non-category purchases you’ll get with most reward cards. Plus, you’re getting a 10% Anniversary Bonus each year you have the card, giving you a little boost in your earnings of 1.65%.
It also offers a good signup bonus, no foreign transaction fees, free FICO 5 access, and solid travel and shopping benefits. If you like simple rewards without all the hassle, you may as well use the HSBC Cash Rewards card over a tiered cash back card or another card. Check out more credit card bonuses and reviews. Plus, see what HSBC bank bonuses are offered their accounts.