Out of the six HSBC credit cards, three offer outstanding benefits that make them worthwhile for consumers. This article goes over those cards based on the most popular credit card categories. You can also read about the other HSBC credit cards at the bottom of this article.
HSBC Credit Cards For…
Best Cash Back Option: HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
Not only is the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® the best cash back option this card issuer has, it's also arguably the best card in the entire HSBC lineup. That's because the Cash Rewards Mastercard provides some of the highest overall rewards out of all the HSBC cards, while also sporting a decent 0% introductory APR offer. The card gives 1.5% cash back on all purchases. These rates rival the top cash back credit cards on the market, even when compared to offers from banks like Chase and American Express.
For consumers who are currently struggling to pay down their credit card debt, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® can provide relief. Cardmembers get a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 15 months from the time they open an account. The only downside is that the transfer fee is higher than normal. You must pay either $10 or 4% of the amount being transferred—whichever is greater. Many of the best balance transfer cards charge either 3% or waive the fee. However, if you're after a mix of cash back rewards and transfer capabilities, the Cash Rewards Mastercard offers a good middle ground.
- 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
- $150 cash back after spending $500 or more in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 15 months from account opening.
- HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® Review.
Best HSBC Travel Credit Card: HSBC Premier World Mastercard® credit card
For HSBC Premier account holders, the HSBC Premier World Mastercard is fantastic. Unfortunately, if you don't have this type of account you can't qualify for the card. Premier accounts are intended for customers that maintain a balance of at least $100,000 with HSBC. Anybody who doesn't meet this requirement has to pay a fee. If you need to do that, neither the Premier account nor the card are worth it.
Qualified Premier clients don't pay any annual fee on the card, which is a great deal considering all the benefits that come with it. Cardholders get an $85 credit to reimburse a TSA Pre application fee. This can greatly expedite your time at the airport. You get an annual $50 credit towards Uber and Lyft rides, so long as you use the HSBC Premier World card to pay. All these are just some of the benefits. We encourage Premier account holders interested in travel to check out more about this card on HSBC’s website.
- No annual fee for qualified HSBC Premier clients.
- Annual $50 credit towards Uber and Lyft.
- 10% discount when you book your hotel or vacation home stay through Expedia, Agoda or onefinestay.
Best Low Interest Option: HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card
The HSBC Gold Mastercard® provides the lowest rates of any HSBC card. Your APR will be either 12.24%, 16.24% or 20.24%, depending on your creditworthiness. Plus, you also get 0% APR for 18 months from account opening. That's the longest zero-interest period of any HSBC card. Even when held to higher standards, and comparing it to the biggest card issuers, 18 months is a better deal than most cards provide.
The biggest downside to the HSBC Gold Mastercard® is that it's not as useful once you’re done paying off your debt. The card doesn’t have any reward or cash back program that would make it worthwhile. We recommend trying to get your account changed to the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® once your credit card debt is no longer an issue. That way you can keep your account open, and also do more with it.
- 0% APR for 18 months from account opening.
- No annual fee.
- No rewards program.
- HSBC Gold Mastercard® Review
Our Thoughts on the Other HSBC Credit Cards
As we mentioned in the opening, HSBC has six consumer credit cards—three of which we haven’t yet discussed. In case you're interested in one of those other cards, we discuss them below and explain why they were not included in the above list.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard® credit card
HSBC’s other travel card is the HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard®. The card is hard to recommend because it doesn’t do enough to justify its $395 annual fee. At this price range, this card is competing with the likes of the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ and The Platinum Card® from American Express. Once you start comparing it to premier cards, the HSBC Premier World Elite begins to fall apart. The card’s annual airline credit is just $100, whereas other cards with high annual fees usually provide $250-$300. Your points also have less transfer options than other premier cards. The lack of worthwhile rewards, make this card difficult to recommend.
HSBC Platinum Mastercard® with Rewards
The HSBC Platinum Mastercard with Rewards provides a measly 1% rewards rate on all your purchases. By today’s standards, that is an extremely low rewards rate. There are even cards for people with bad credit that come with better rewards. Typically, when a card has rewards this low it will offer some other features that make it worthwhile. That's not the case with the Platinum Mastercard. When compared to the other HSBC cards we've talked about—or even compared to the other available cards—this one fails to impress.
HSBC Advance Mastercard® credit card
The HSBC Advance Mastercard suffers from the same problem as the two cards mentioned above. It’s not a bad card by any means, but there are plenty of other credit cards that offer better rewards. The only good feature available on this card is the 2% rewards rate on dining and select entertainment purchases. However, there are Citibank credit cards, like the ThankYou® Preferred Credit Card, that offer the same rewards rate in these categories while also allowing you to transfer points to multiple airlines and hotel programs. That’s not to mention the multitude of cash back cards that will provide the average consumer with significantly better rewards.
How do the HSBC Credit Cards Compare for the Average Consumer?
We took a look at data on average consumer expenditures to determine how much the typical person can expect from these cards in terms of rewards. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people commonly spend $200 per month on gas, $330 on groceries, $230 on dining out, and $670 on other miscellaneous expenses. The graph below shows you the rewards each card provides over 2 years, minus any annual fees, given the above listed spending.
Comments and Questions
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Info about the following cards: American Express® Gold Card, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card, Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, and Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card from American Express has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.