HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card review

Madison Blancaflor Avatar
Madison Blancaflor @M_Blancaflor  in  Cash Back How we rate our cards  |  Advertiser Disclosure
HSBC Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases for the first 12 months from account opening
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% Introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months from account opening
Regular APR:
Variable APR of 14.99% - 24.99% will apply after the Introductory Period
Terms and Restrictions Apply | Rates and Fees

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our cash back category page.

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card: Details and benefits

The card offers a little bit of everything: a balance transfer offer, cash back rewards and travel benefits and shopping benefits. You’ll earn 3 percent cash back on all purchases in the first 12 months (up to the first $10,000 spent) and unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases after.

The first-year value of this card is its primary draw. The 3 percent cash back offer on your first $10,000 adds up to $300 in cash back over the course of a year. There is no annual fee, so this card can take a back seat in your wallet after you’ve capitalized on the first-year value.

While the HSBC Cash Rewards card offers a few nice perks, it doesn’t specialize in any particular category.

Now, you can get a handful of shopping perks that are nice but may be hard to keep track of:

  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership for unlimited/free 2-day shipping and free return shipping
  • $5 off orders of $25 or more on food, drinks and groceries delivered from Postmates (taxes, delivery fees and tips not included)
  • 10 percent discount when you book through Onefinestay

Advantages
  • Not currently available
  • Earn 3 percent cash back on your first $10,000 spent in your first 12 months from account opening, and unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases after
  • A variety of travel and online shopping perks make this a great beginner card for those not sure which kind of card will best suit them
  • No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and a flat rewards rate make this a simple and inexpensive card to use on everyday purchases
Disadvantages
  • There are other no annual fee cards out there that offer higher rewards rates, depending on how you spend
  • The balance transfer fee is either $10 or 4 percent, whichever is greater

Is the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard worth it for you?

The HSBC Cash Rewards card does have its advantages, but you’re likely to find better long-term value in other credit cards.

Within the first year, you can reap a lot of cash back rewards if you use the card for most purchases. Credit card beginners can also take advantage of the variety of perks the card offers, which can help you narrow down what type of card will ultimately work better for you.

If after using this card for a year, you find you enjoy the simplicity of the rewards system, then you can move on to a flat-rate cash back credit card. If you end up spending more in certain categories, a card like the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card or the Chase Freedom® can help you better maximize cash back rewards. If you end up utilizing the travel perks that the HSBC Cash Rewards card offers, a travel-focused card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will be a better fit for your needs.

Those well-versed in the credit card game can certainly utilize the first-year rewards potential, but the bottom line is that there are more worthwhile credit cards out there. This card doesn’t really pair well with others, and those looking for specific perks or card features can find more specialized cards.

If you have excellent credit you can score a low variable interest rate at 14.74 percent, but if your credit score is at the lower end of their average approval score (~680), you might get stuck with their max 24.74 percent variable interest rate.

Get the most value from the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard

Frequent travelers will enjoy no foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, roadside assistance and MasterAssist® Travel Assistance Services. While these are useful perks for travelers, the card offers no way for you to maximize rewards on travel expenses or transfer your rewards to partners for higher redemptions.

Shoppers can utilize perks such as price protection, Purchase Assurance® and extended warranty (up to an additional year); however, HSBC has no shopping portal for cardholders (a big draw for many brands with loyalty rewards programs).

In order to get the most value out of this card, you need to maximize the high first-year earning potential. Take advantage of the Introductory 3 percent Cash Back on all purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, up to the first $10,000 in purchases.

How much are the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard rewards worth?

As mentioned above, the main draw to this card is the rewards potential it carries for the first year. The card offers an introductory 3 percent cash back on all purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, up to the first $10,000 in purchases.

Assuming your average monthly spend is $1,600 on your credit card, you’ll earn around $480 in cash back rewards by the end of your first year of card ownership. After the first year, however, that would decrease to about $316 in cash back each year. While $316 is a solid reward, you can earn more with other no annual fee cards.

If you’re looking for a solid balance transfer fee card, the HSBC Cash Rewards Card does offer zero percent APR for 12 months on balance transfers (14.74 percent — 24.74 percent variable APR after intro period) with a 4 percent balance transfer fee. You could save up to $2,000 in interest if you paid off the debt by the end of the introductory period.

How to redeem rewards

Your rewards can be redeemed for travel statement credit, travel packages, gift cards, charity, merchandise items or cash as a statement credit or direct deposit.