HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard Review: Worth Applying For?

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard Review

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card has a $0 annual fee and offers up to 3% cash back on purchases made in the first 12 months of having the card

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The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card is a $0-annual-fee credit card that offers Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases after the intro period. Instead of an upfront sign-up bonus, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers an introductory rewards rate for the first 12 months of having the card. During this introductory period, you'll earn 3% cash back on all purchases.

That is an outstanding rewards rate for a credit card with a $0 annual fee. The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card is best for people who prefer a simple earning and rewards structure.

Pros

  • Introductory 3% rewards rate for the first year is outstanding
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers

Cons

  • After the first year, there are better options than a 1.5% rewards rate
  • No upfront sign-up bonus
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Earn 1.5% cash back

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card has a very simple way to earn cash back.

You'll earn Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases after the intro period.

There are no category bonuses and no limitations to the amount of cash back that you can earn. This makes the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card a great option for cardholders who value simplicity. However, keep in mind that there are more rewarding cashback cards, including simple flat-rate cards with a higher rate of cash back on every purchase, like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.

Earn 3% cash back for a limited time

Instead of offering an upfront sign-up bonus, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card has a different introductory offer:

Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year, up to $10,000 in spend. Earn Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases after the intro period

Structuring the introductory offer in this way has a few advantages and disadvantages. The primary advantage is that you will earn an outstanding return on your spending for up to $10,000 in the first year. On the other hand, your rewards are spread out throughout the year — that means you have to keep spending on the card in order to get the full value of your introductory offer.

$10,000 might seem like a lot of money to spend on a credit card, but when you break it down by months, it isn't as daunting. It comes out to only $833.33 per month, and you'll be earning an outstanding 3% cash back on all of those purchases.

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Redeem cash back easily

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card has a few different options for redeeming your cash back:

  • Cash back –The simplest option and the one that most people will choose is to have your cash back applied either as a direct deposit or as a statement credit. If you choose to have your cash back direct deposited, you will need to have an HSBC bank consumer checking or savings account.
  • Travel purchases – You can redeem for travel purchases by either contacting the HSBC travel call center or logging on to your HSBC account.
  • Gift cards and merchandise – You can also redeem your points for gift cards or merchandise. As with most credit card rewards points, redeeming in this fashion gives you fairly low value and is not recommended in most cases.

Other HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card benefits

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card also has a variety of other credit card benefits that some cardholders may find useful.

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers a 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases for the first 12 months from account opening 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.

In addition to not having an annual fee, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card comes with no foreign transaction fees. This makes it a great card to use while traveling overseas.

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card comes with MasterRental™ coverage that can apply when you're renting a car. In order to activate the MasterRental coverage, you'll need to use your HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card to pay for the entire car rental agreement. You'll also need to decline the rental car company's coverage. The details on all car rental coverage are important, so before counting on this insurance, you'll want to make sure to read the fine print and make sure you're adequately covered.

Cardholders of the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card also have access to Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services. This can help get you access to luxury travel benefits and amenities while you travel.

How does the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card compare to other cards?

If you're looking at applying for the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card, here are a few comparisons to other similar cards.

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card vs. Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

On Citibank's Secure Website

The Citi® Double Cash Card also has a $0 annual fee, and offers an introductory APR of 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers (then a 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) APR applies) and a flat cashback rewards rate on all purchases. The Citi® Double Cash Card lets you Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. However, it doesn't come with an introductory offer. That makes the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card a definite winner for most people, at least for the first year.

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

On Chase's Secure Website

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is another card that offers a 1.5% cashback rate, but it comes with some additional bonus categories. The card lets you Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases. Another advantage of the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is that it offers a sign-up bonus upfront with a nominal amount of spending: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

If you have a premium Chase card, you can also take the cash back that you earn with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card as Ultimate Rewards points. That allows you to combine it with Ultimate Rewards® points earned with a card like the Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®. This can help you truly maximize the value you get from your spending. Most people will end up getting more value out of the Chase Freedom Unlimited® than the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card.

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card vs. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is another card that has a $0 annual fee and offers unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day. Like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card has an upfront welcome offer: Earn a One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. That will make it more attractive for most people, since you get the full bonus value within the first three months instead of having to continue to spend on the card over a 12 month period.

Is the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card worth it?

The welcome offer on the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card makes it one of the highest rewarding cashback cards out there. It's hard to find a card with no annual fee that will return 3% cash back on all purchases, even if only for one year. For the first year, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card is definitely worth getting for the 3% cash back. After the first year, you may consider cancelling and applying for a card like the Citi® Double Cash Card or Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which offer slightly better rewards rates.

The information related to HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

These 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.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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).