The HSBC Cash Rewards Card offers 3% cash back on the first 12 months of account ownership or the first $10,000 in purchases – whichever comes first. Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases after the introductory bonus. The card also offers a 12-month introductory APR of 0% on purchases and balance transfers, followed by the card’s default APR. Unfortunately, the card has a 4% balance transfer rate, so it’s not the best option for balance transfers.
The HSBC Cash Rewards Card has many travel-related benefits, including no international transaction fees, MasterRental car rental insurance, travel accident insurance and a Mastercard airport concierge service. Other perks include golf discounts and a ShopRunner membership for faster shipping and free returns at many participating stores.
A respectable mid-range product for those who prefer simplified flat-rate cash back, the card doesn’t quite hit the numbers an unlimited 2% cash back card might have, but without foreign transaction fees as a trade-off , the card will appeal to many cross-border commuters with its travel perks and travel reward redemption options.
- At first glance
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees
- 3% cash back on purchases up to $10,000 in the first year
- Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back.
Up to $10,000 will automatically receive a 3% cash back bonus in the first year of account ownership. After that, you will automatically get 1.5% unlimited cash back. Rewards never expire and are only available to accounts in good standing. As usual, balance transfers and cash advances or fee payments never bring back any money.
There are various redemption options for the HSBC Cash Rewards Card. Rewards can be redeemed for travel through direct use of points, gift cards or merchandise bookings, or as cash back via statement or direct deposit. Only HSBC accounts are eligible to use cash back rewards for direct deposit.
To estimate the rewards you can earn with the HSBC Cash Rewards Card, Forbes consultants have estimated how much households in the 70th percentile of income spend on their credit cards each year. 70% of working families have an annual income of $100,172 and can pay $26,410 by credit card. This number is used to estimate the potential return on this credit card.
With one credit card, 1.5% cash back on all purchases, and no category bonuses, the math is simple. Assuming you use that credit card for all purchases, earning 1.5% cash back on $26,410 in spending equals $396.15 in cash back per year.
In addition to the standard 1.5% cash back, you’ll get an additional 1.5% cash back on the first $10,000 or an additional $150 spent in the first year.
0% introductory price
The HSBC Cash Rewards Card offers an introductory APR of 0% on purchases within the first 12 months of account opening and a 0% introductory APR on fund transfers within the first 12 months of account opening, followed by a standard APR of 0% for the card. 13.99% – 23.99% Variable.
More card benefits
- ShopRunner: Free membership to save on shipping and returns with select stores.
- MasterRental Coverage: Rental car damage and theft insurance.
- Travel Accident Insurance: Life or disability coverage up to $1,000,000.
- Priceless Golf: Discounted tee times at select participating golf courses and free PGA Terrain Pass,
- MasterCard Identity Theft Protection: The Benefits of Identity Theft Monitoring.
- Phone Protection: Up to $600 per claim for stolen or damaged phones.
- FICO Score Access: Free FICO Score access for every statement.
Please see your Cardholder Agreement for current rates and fees.
How the cards are stacked
Chasing Freedom Flex℠
For those willing to put in the effort, the Chase Freedom Flex pairs well with HSBC Cash Rewards. HSBC’s basic cashback rewards stand in stark contrast to Flex’s offering, which requires activation and a quarterly rotation. Cardholders earn 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories (activation required) up to $1,500, 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% at restaurants and pharmacies, and 1% on all other purchases .
If you’re comparing the two outside of the match, Freedom Flex offers an introductory APR of 0% for 15 months on account opening and funds transfer, followed by variable APR of 15.24% – 23.99%. The introductory balance transfer fee is $5 or 3% of each transfer amount, whichever is greater for the previous 60 days, then $5 or 5% of each transfer amount, whichever is greater. This introductory offer lasts longer than the HSBC card offer. Freedom Flex also comes with a welcome bonus: a $200 bonus after spending $500 within the first 3 months of account opening. Neither card has an annual fee, but the Freedom Flex offers an arguably stronger package of benefits.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card
For those who don’t care about foreign transaction fees, American Express cards like the Blue Cash Preferred Card can offer interesting comparisons or pairings. The Blue Cash Preferred offers 6% cash back up to $6,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets (1% thereafter), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, at U.S. gas stations and in transit (including taxis) ) offers 3% cash back. 1% cash back on carpools, parking, tolls, trains, buses, etc.) and other eligible purchases. You receive cash back in the form of Rewards Dollars, which can be redeemed for statement credit.
The biggest hurdle with the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card, however, is the annual fee. The introductory annual fee is $0 for the first year and $95 thereafter. Pretty good in terms of potential to earn rewards. For the right person, this might make sense. But for many, an annual fee doesn’t work. It’s always a good idea to make calculations based on actual expenses to make a decision. (Terms and conditions apply. See rates and fees).
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card*
For those who spend heavily on Amazon and Whole Foods Market, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature may be the right combination with the HSBC Cash Rewards Card. Earn 5% bonus cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, plus qualifying Prime memberships, 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and pharmacies, and 1% on all other purchases, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Might make sense, but beware of carefully crafted compromises. This is cash back earnings or promotional APR for Amazon purchases, not one of those.
The benefits of Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature seem pretty good, with plenty of travel insurance benefits and no foreign transaction fees. Like the HSBC Cash Rewards Card, the Prime Rewards Card has no annual fee, but requires Amazon Prime membership. The two can make a great couple.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Card is also a good option instead of the HSBC Cash Rewards Card, especially for households that mostly shop on Amazon and Whole Foods.
Is this card right for you?
Overall, the HSBC Cash Rewards Card matches other mid-range credit cards with solid cash rewards and fairly strong perks. It won’t compete with top-tier cards that offer unlimited 2% cash back, but with no foreign transaction fees, it’s an attractive option for those who want a fixed-rate cash-back income on the go. The card can also be paired with a more targeted rewards card that scores higher in certain categories.
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