HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card review

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Snapshot

4.4

Bankrate rating
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HSBC Image
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Rewards rate

1.5%–10%

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

3%

Regular APR

Variable APR of 12.99%, 16.99%, or 22.99%

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card overview

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card isn’t a standout. While it has a decent welcome offer and solid cash back earnings paired with an introductory 12 months of 0 percent APR on balance transfers and purchases (13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR thereafter), there are other cards that offer better options across each of these categories.

Still, there’s plenty to like about this jack-of-all-trades Mastercard, making it a potential contender for a permanent place in your wallet.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Above-average cash back earning for the first 12 months
  • Multiple benefits, including intro purchase and balance transfer APR

Cons

  • Other cards offer better individual welcome offers and reward rates
  • High balance transfer fee

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: Unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all eligible purchases
  • Welcome offer: 3 percent cash back on eligible purchases in the first 12 months, up to $10,000 in purchases
  • Annual fee: None
  • Purchase intro APR: 0 percent for the first 12 months
  • Balance transfer intro APR: 0 percent for the first 12 months
  • Regular APR: 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable

Current welcome offer

Want to double your cash back for the first year? That’s essentially the welcome offer from HSBC. For the first 12 months (and up to $10,000 in purchases), cardholders earn 3 percent cash back on all eligible purchases, followed by 1.5 percent unlimited cash back once the spending cap is met. This means if you make $10,000 worth of purchases in your first year of card ownership, you’ll get $300 cash back.

Rewards

While the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard’s reward rates are described in terms of cash back percentages, the card’s documentation makes it clear. For every eligible purchase, you’ll earn “cash rewards” points you can redeem for cash back or other rewards.

Earning rewards

In practice, this means eligible spending in your first year will earn you three cash rewards points per dollar, which you can redeem at a rate of 3 percent cash back. Afterward, you’ll earn 1.5 cash rewards points per dollar, or 1.5 percent cash back.

Redeeming rewards

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card focuses primarily on cash back that can be deposited to your HSBC account or used as statement credit.

Other redemption options are also available, however, including airfare, hotel bookings and car rentals, along with gift cards and merchandise, all of which are accessible through HSBC’s online rewards portal.

How much are cash rewards points worth?

The value of cash rewards points varies based on the rewards you select. For example, rewards points redeemed for cash back are worth 1 cent per point. This value remains consistent even after the welcome offer expires—you simply earn fewer points on each purchase.

When it comes to redeeming points for other rewards, meanwhile, the value is less consistent. The cost of flights and other merchandise often changes based on seasonal fluctuations and consumer demand, making cash redemption the more reliable option.

Benefits

Along with a solid welcome offer and steady cash back, this card also offers other benefits.

Mastercard Travel and Lifestyle Services

These Mastercard services provide access to luxury amenities and upgrades at popular travel destinations worldwide.

Identity theft protection

If your identity or card is compromised, you get access to one-on-one support until your claim has been resolved.

Cellphone protection

Has your smartphone been stolen or damaged? You’re covered with up to $600 in reimbursements per claim, as long as you pay your bill with your card.

Shopping and travel benefits

You’ll get access to a ton of shopping and travel discounts, including 10 percent off rental homes with onefinestay, a complimentary ShopRunner membership, discounted access to Priceless Golf courses and more.

Rates and fees

While this card has no annual fee, it does have late and returned payment fees of up to $39, along with a 24.99 percent cash advance variable APR and a 29.99 percent penalty variable APR if you make late or returned payments. The penalty APR persists for at least six months.

But it’s not all bad news—cardholders also enjoy a 0 percent intro balance transfer APR for the first 12 months (13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR thereafter), making this card a great choice if you’re looking to move credit card debt from another, higher interest account. To take advantage of this rate, balance transfers must be posted within the first 60 days of account opening. You’ll also need to pay the greater of a $10 or 4 percent balance transfer fee.

In addition, cardholders get 0 percent intro purchase APR for 12 months, followed by a 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR based on creditworthiness.

How the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard compares to other rewards cards

Compared to some of the best cash back rewards cards and no annual fee offerings, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard comes up short—but not by much.

Those looking for a higher earning rate should consider the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offers up to 2 percent unlimited cash back—1 percent when you make eligible purchases and another 1 percent when you pay for those purchases. While the 2 percent flat rate is lower than HSBC’s intro 3 percent offer, the big benefit here is that there’s no limit on how much you can earn each year, and the offer never expires.

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, meanwhile, offers 1.5 percent unlimited cash back on all purchases, plus $200 cash back after you spend $500 in the first three months—all with no annual fee.

HSBC Image

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

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4.4
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

3%

Rewards rate

1.5%–10%

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
Citi Image

Citi® Double Cash Card

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

2%

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
Capital One Image

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

$200

Rewards rate

1.5%–5%

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)

Best cards to pair the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard with

If you’re looking to pair the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard with another credit offering, consider a travel rewards card that offers bonus multipliers for spending on airfare or dining or a card that offers a bigger cash back bonus upfront.

Here, it’s all about finding the card that best fits the situation. For everyday spending and balance transfers, the HSBC card makes sense; but for bigger travel bonuses or direct cash back benefits, other cards come out ahead.

Bankrate’s Take—Is the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card worth it?

While other options outpace it in specific circumstances, the HSBC cash rewards offering is a solid all-around choice that combines intro purchase and balance transfer APRs, no annual fee and reliable cash back.

The information about the HSBC Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.