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HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard Credit Card

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Aug 16, 2018. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Who the card is best for

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card is a decent option for people looking to earn rewards from a card with a $0 annual fee. The rewards program isn’t the highest in the market, but has the potential to earn you a good amount of cash back.

This card isn’t ideal for people looking for a 0% intro APR period for purchases since there is none for this card. Check out low interest cards for options that can help with large purchases. Also, if you want to maximize rewards or cash back, look at other cash back cards and rewards cards that have rates as high as 6% in select categories.

Where this card falls short in its category

The balance transfer fee for this card is high: Either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater, will apply on each balance transfer. Therefore if you transfer a balance of $1,000, you will be charged a $40 fee. Often this is outweighed by the intro period, but you can find balance transfer cards with lower fees like 3% or cards no intro balance transfer fees. Looking at the rewards program, you earn a lower rate than preferable. We consider 2% or 2 points per dollar spent ideal. You can find cash back cards and rewards cards with higher rates.

Additional card benefits

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card has several additional card benefits:

  • MasterAssist®: Representatives are available to help with various travel requests like pre-trip destination information, emergency medical and legal referrals, lost luggage assistance and more.*
  • Master RoadAssist® Roadside Services: HSBC will send someone to help if your card breaks down in the U.S.*
  • Travel accident insurance: Receive $1 million in travel accident insurance to cover you, your spouse, and unmarried dependent children, when you travel on a common carrier and pay for your trip with your card.*

How to use it most effectively

To gain the most value from the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card, use it for all purchases so you can earn Unlimited 1.5% Cash Rewards on all purchases. Then, if you plan on traveling outside the U.S., this card is a good option to use since unlike some other cards with foreign transaction fees, there is none. Be sure to meet the requirements of the intro offer to earn extra Cash Rewards program points: Earn an Introductory 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year, up to $10,000 in spend..

Rewards breakdown

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers Unlimited 1.5% Cash Rewards on all purchases. Although this is a below average rate, you can still earn a decent amount of rewards. Cash Rewards can be redeemed for cash back as a statement credit, gift cards, merchandise, to book new travel, or as a statement credit to reimburse a travel purchase if done within 90 days from purchase date.

There is also an introductory offer: Earn an Introductory 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year, up to $10,000 in spend.

Compare it with the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card and the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card are both $0 annual fee cards by HSBC, but besides that, they are quite different. The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card has a rewards program while the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card does not. What the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card does have is an intro period for purchases at 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases for the first 18 months from account opening and a longer intro period for balance transfers, at 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. (after, Variable APR of 12.99% - 22.99% will apply after the Introductory Period APR). That’s compared to the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card with 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. (after, Variable APR of 12.99% - 22.99% will apply after the Introductory Period APR).

Therefore, if you’re looking to earn rewards, it’s clear the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card is the better fit, but if you want to utilize a 0% intro period for purchases, or a longer one for balance transfers, the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card comes out ahead. Here are the key features of each card:

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card
Annual Fee $0 $0
Purchase Intro Rate 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases for the first 12 months from account opening 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases for the first 18 months from account opening
Balance Transfer Intro Rate 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. 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.
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater, will apply on each balance transfer. Either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater, will apply on each balance transfer and credit card check.
Regular Purchase APR Variable APR of 12.99% - 22.99% will apply after the Introductory Period Variable APR of 12.99% - 22.99% will apply after the Introductory Period
Rewards Unlimited 1.5% Cash Rewards on all purchases N/A
Sign Up Bonus Earn an Introductory 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year, up to $10,000 in spend. N/A
Foreign Transaction Fee None None

Bottom Line

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card is a decent card for people looking to earn rewards and benefit from a competitive introductory offer. We don’t recommend using this card for a balance transfer since the balance transfer fee is higher than most other cards.


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