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HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card Review

At a Glance
Hsbc Cash Rewards Card
4.3 / 5
Rating

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 3% bonus cash back on the first $10,000 in purchases made during the first 12 months of card membership
  • Rewards: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Benefits: 10% annual cash back bonus
  • Intro APR: 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 12 billing cycles
  • Regular APR: 14.99% to 24.99% (variable)
  • Fees: No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Good to excellent

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card is a no-frills cash back credit card with no annual fee and a solid sign-up bonus that promises up to $300 bonus cash in the first year of cardmembership. And, with an unlimited 1.5% yield on all eligible spending, it’s an ideal everyday credit card for consumers who tend not to concentrate their spending in narrow categories.

There’s more. HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard has a solid lineup of Mastercard-backed benefits and a generous 0% APR introductory promotion for balance transfers as well. Just don’t expect too many bells and whistles – you won’t find any luxe travel perks or white-glove services here.

If you’re in the market for a new general-purpose cash back card, read on to learn more about what to expect from HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard.

Key Features

Sign-Up Bonus

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard earns an introductory cash back rate of 3% on the first $10,000 in eligible purchases made during the first 12 months your account is open. That’s worth up to $300 in bonus cash.

Earning Cash Back

After the first $10,000 spent during the first 12 months of account opening, all eligible purchases earn unlimited 1.5% cash back, with no caps or restrictions on how much you can earn. There are no spending categories or tiers. Cash back accrues as “Cash Rewards,” with each Cash Reward equal to $0.01 in actual cash back. Once earned, Cash Rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing.

Redeeming Cash Back

You can redeem your accumulated cash back for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, and travel purchases. Statement credit redemptions generally value Cash Rewards at $0.01 apiece. Merchandise, gift card, and travel purchases may have variable redemption values and minimums. For instance, airfare redemptions require at least 10,000 Cash Rewards.

Other conditions and exclusions apply. Check with HSBC for a full accounting of redemption terms, values, and other important information.

Annual Cash Back Bonus

No matter how much or how little you spend on your card each year, you’re entitled to a 10% cash back bonus. For instance, if you spend $10,000 in a calendar year (after the first year), you’ll earn $150 in regular cash back and $15 in bonus cash back, for a total of $165 for the year.

Additional Benefits

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard comes with some nice benefits, including:

  • Complimentary ShopRunner membershop, which entitles you to unlimited, free 2-day shipping and free return shipping at more than 100 online stores
  • Discounts on certain Postmates orders, including $5 off on food, drink, and grocery orders of $25 or more
  • 10% discounts on bookings at participating Onefinestay rental properties – more than 10,000 high-end rentals in major cities around the world
  • Cell phone protection, up to $600 per covered incident (subject to deductible)

Check the card’s guide to benefits for a complete accounting of its perks and benefits, along with important limitations, restrictions, and out-of-pocket expenses.

Introductory APR

This card comes with a 12-billing-cycle, 0% APR introductory promotion on purchases and balance transfers. After the promotional period ends, regular variable APR applies.

Regular APR

Once the 12-month introductory period ends, the regular purchase and balance transfer APR rises to range from 14.99% to 24.99% (variable), depending on your personal creditworthiness and prevailing interest rates.

Important Fees

There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Balance transfers and cash advances both cost the greater of $10 or 4%. If you link your credit card to an HSBC bank account for overdraft protection purposes, you’ll be charged the greater of $10 or 4% for overdraft cash advances applied to cover bank account shortfalls.

Credit Required

This card requires good to excellent credit. Any notable blemishes on your credit history may disqualify your application.

Advantages

  1. No Annual Fee. The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard Credit Card has no annual fee. That’s great news for frugal cardholders who don’t spend heavily enough to offset an annual levy, and those who simply wish to maximize their cash back earnings.
  2. Solid Baseline Cash Back Rate. This card earns unlimited 1.5% cash back. That’s better than the industry-standard 1% cash back rate, though lower rates are often paired with special cash back tiers or categories that earn at far higher rates. For general spending, this card’s unlimited 1.5% yield makes it a solid contender.
  3. Long 0% APR Introductory Promotion for Purchases and Balance Transfers. HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard has an unusually long 0% APR promotion for purchases and balance transfers: 12 months from sign-up. That’s great news for new cardholders planning major purchases, and those facing down high-interest balances elsewhere. With some discipline and a workable debt reduction strategy, you can make a real dent in credit card debt with that kind of runway.
  4. Generous, Easily Attainable Sign-Up Bonus. This card’s sign up bonus is worth up to $300 when you spend $10,000 in purchases during the first year.
  5. 10% Annual Cash Back Bonus. You’re entitled to 10% bonus on all cash back earned each year, no matter how much or little you spend. This effectively boosts your card’s cash back yield by 0.15%, for a total return of 1.65% on all eligible spending.
  6. No Foreign Transaction Fee. This card has no foreign transaction fee. That’s great news for cardholders who regularly travel overseas, but don’t want to invest in a premium airline or hotel rewards credit card that demands brand loyalty (and confusing travel loyalty program calculations) or charges a hefty annual fee.
  7. Unlimited Cash Back Potential With No Point Expiration. Cash back earned with your HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard never expires. If you use your card infrequently or as a secondary spending aid, this is a big help – otherwise, your cash back earnings might disappear before you can redeem.
  8. Nice Perks and Benefits. This card has a decent lineup of shopping and travel perks, such as 10% discounts at select Onefinestay properties and a complimentary ShopRunner membership.

Disadvantages

  1. Potential Cash Back Earnings Capped at 1.65%. HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard’s potential cash back earnings are capped at 1.65%: unlimited 1.5% baseline earnings, plus the 10% annual cash back bonus. This is a drawback relative to competing cards, such as Chase Freedom and Discover it, which both have special quarterly rotating spending categories that earn 5% cash back.
  2. Charges Penalty Interest. This card has a very high penalty interest rate. If you’re prone to falling behind on your credit card payments due to cash flow issues or unexpected expenses, you’ll trigger an APR increase that’ll last for at least 6 months. Plan accordingly, and consider a comparable card that doesn’t charge penalty interest. The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a good option.
  3. Certain Redemption Options Require Minimums. Certain redemption options, notably travel, set minimum redemption thresholds. In some cases, these can be pretty steep: You need at least 10,000 Cash Rewards to redeem for online airfare purchases, for instance. That’s a serious hurdle for light spenders – though you can always redeem for statement credits without worrying about hefty thresholds.

Final Word

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card is very much a “what you see is what you get” product. If you like unlimited 1.5% cash back paired with a solid sign-up bonus and a long 0% APR introductory promotion, you’ll find nothing to dislike about this card. If you’re accustomed to more bells and whistles, or higher cash back earning potential, this might not be your best fit.

Verdict
Hsbc Cash Rewards Card
4.3 / 5
Rating

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card is a no-frills cash back credit card built for everyday spending. For best results, maximize your spending during the first year to capitalize on the 3% bonus cash rate, and take advantage of the 12-month, 0% APR promotion if your situation warrants. On the other hand: If you’re looking for lots of value-added benefits, a purchase APR promotion, or eye-popping cash back yields after the first year, keep on searching.

Key benefits include no annual fee, 3% bonus cash during the first year, long 0% APR balance transfer and purchase promotion, 10% annual cash back bonus, solid baseline cash back rate, no foreign transaction fee, and unlimited cash back potential with no point expiration.

Notable drawbacks include cash back earnings capped at 1.65%, penalty interest charges on past-due balances, and minimum redemption requirements for certain redemption options.

Overall, this is a great no-annual-fee cash back card that’s ideal for general spending, including overseas. It’s nothing fancy, but that won’t bother its target users.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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