The Best HSBC Credit Cards 2021: Which One Should You Get?

The Best HSBC Credit Cards 2021: Which One Should You Get?

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Out of the existing universe of HSBC credit cards, several 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.

Best HSBC Credit Cards For

Best Cash Back Option: HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Not only is the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card 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 HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card provides some of the highest overall rewards out of all the HSBC cards, while also sporting a decent introductory APR offer on balance transfers. The card gives cardholders the ability to earn Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases after the intro period. 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® credit card can provide relief. Cardmembers get a 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases for the first 12 months from account opening (then a Variable APR of 13.99% - 23.99% will apply after the Introductory Period) and a 0% Introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months from account opening. Balance Transfers must be posted within the first 60 days following Account opening. (A Variable APR of 13.99% - 23.99% will apply after the Introductory Period.) The only downside is that the transfer fee is higher than normal. Either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater, will apply on each balance transfer. 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 HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers a good middle ground.

Highlights

Best HSBC Travel Credit Card: HSBC Premier World Mastercard® credit card

For HSBC Premier account holders, the HSBC Premier World Mastercard® credit card 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 Mastercard® credit 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.

Highlights

  • $95 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® credit card provides some of the lowest rates of any HSBC card. You get a 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases for the first 18 months from account opening (a Variable APR of 13.99% - 23.99% will apply after the Introductory Period) and a 0% Introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening. Balance Transfers must be posted within the first 60 days following Account opening. Then a Variable APR of 13.99% - 23.99% will apply after the Introductory Period. 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® credit card 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® credit card once your credit card debt is no longer an issue. That way you can keep your account open, and also do more with it.

Highlights

  • 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases for the first 18 months from account opening. (Variable APR of 13.99% - 23.99% will apply after the Introductory Period).
  • 0% Introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening. Balance Transfers must be posted within the first 60 days following Account opening. (Variable APR of 13.99% - 23.99% will apply after the Introductory Period.)
  • $0 annual fee

Our Thoughts on the Other HSBC Credit Cards

As we mentioned in the opening, HSBC has six consumer credit cards—two of which we haven’t yet discussed. In case you're interested in one of these 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® credit card. 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 Mastercard® credit card 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 Advance Mastercard® credit card

The HSBC Advance Mastercard® credit card 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 that you can Earn an Introductory 3X Points on dining and select entertainment purchases plus 2X Points on all other purchases in the first 12 months from Account opening, up to the first $25,000 in purchases. You’ll earn 2X Rewards Points on new, net dining and select entertainment purchases after the intro period. You’ll earn 1X Points on all other purchases after the intro period.. However, there are Citibank credit cards, like the Citi ThankYou® Preferred 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.

Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

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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.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).