Is the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard worth it? | June 2018

Review: HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card – June 2018

We know that everyone's situation is unique and we aim to help you find the right product for you. We may receive compensation when you visit our partners' sites or are approved for their products. You can read more about how we maintain editorial independence and how we make money here.

This card is not offered through

  • Get this card if… you want a simple rewards card with no annual fee.
  • Pick something else if…you’re looking for travel rewards or more powerful cash back options.
  • Recommended good to excellent credit score of 680 to 850.
Product NameHSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
Intro APR for Balance Transfer0% Intro APR for 15 months (with whichever is greater: $10 or 4% balance transfer fee)
Balance Transfer Rate (not intro)14.49%, 18.49%, or 24.49% variable
APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )14.49%, 18.49%, or 24.49% variable
Annual fee$0
Cash Advance Rate26.49% variable
Card TypeMastercard
Interest Free Period
The interest-free period on purchases is the period or number of days you do not have to pay interest on your card purchases. You will be charged interest either from the day you make a purchase or from the statement date, unless you pay the closing balance in full by the due date (or within the interest-free period) on your statement.
Up to 25 days
Returned Payment Fee$25
Minimum Interest$1
Minimum Credit ScoreFair (660-699)
Minimum Age18 years of age
Annual fee$0
Returned Payment Fee$25
Late Payment Fee$37
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 4%, whichever is greater, will apply on each cash advance transaction

See Rates & Fees

The basics

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers solid cash back: unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards on all purchases. That’s less generous than, say, the Citi Double Cash — but you won’t pay an annual fee for it. And if you like simple rewards, you might prefer the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card over a tiered cash back card like the BankAmericard Cash Rewards.

You’ll wish the card offered an intro APR on purchases. Unfortunately, you get a intro APR on balance transfers — albeit one that lasts a solid 15 months — only. And it’s puzzling that HSBC would impose a penalty APR when its Gold Mastercard doesn’t.

However, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card redeems itself with a good signup bonus, no foreign transaction fees, solid travel and shopping benefits and a 10% bonus on cash back you earn each year.

The perks

  • No annual fee or foreign transaction fees.
    Use the card as much or as little as you want without worrying about an annual fee. Also, use the card internationally without incurring fees.
  • INTRO APR: On balance transfers.
    Enjoy APR on balance transfers for the 15 months. After your APR reverts to 14.49%, 18.49%, or 24.49% variable based on your creditworthiness.
  • CASH BACK: On all purchases.
    Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • Anniversary bonus on cash rewards.
    Each year, earn a 10% bonus on all cash rewards you’ve earned.

You’ll also like …

  • Travel benefits.
    Get access to MasterAssist travel planning, roadside assistance, rental car insurance and travel accident insurance.
  • Shopping benefits.
    Enjoy extended warranties, purchase protection and price protection when shopping.

What to watch out for

  • Potentially high APR.
    Depending on your credit, you may see approval for a purchase and balance transfer APR as high as 14.49%, 18.49%, or 24.49% variable.
  • Penalty APR.
    If you pay late, you may be assessed a penalty APR of 31.49% variable. This APR applies for at least six months.
  • No grace period on balance transfers.
    HSBC offers an interest grace period for purchases only.
  • Higher APR for cash advances.
    Cash advances come with a 26.49% variable APR and no grace period on interest.
  • Other fees.
    The card has no annual or foreign transaction fees, but you’ll pay fees for balance transfers and cash advances.
  • Penalty fees.
    You’ll pay up to $37 for each late payment and up to $25.00 for each returned payment.

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card, you must be at least 18 years old.

Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.

Information you’ll need

  • Full name and contact information
  • Residential status
  • Annual income and employment information
  • Social Security number, date of birth and mother’s maiden name

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of approval for the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.

How to apply for the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

How long will it take to be approved?

You’ll typically hear back about your application within two weeks.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make timely payments.
    Pay your card bill online at the HSBC website, where you can also enroll in autopay.
  • Avoid interest.
    After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 25 days to pay your purchase balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest.
  • Avoid fees.
    Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $37. Balance transfers and cash advances also come with fees.
  • Customer service.
    If you have questions, contact HSBC customer service at 888-385-8916.

Bottom line

You may find better cash back with cards like the Citi Double Cash or BankAmericard Cash Rewards. But the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card is a formidable card in its own right, offering 1.5% cash back with no annual fee.

Frequently asked questions

Kevin Joey Chen

Kevin Chen is a world-travelin', copy-writin', Game of Thrones-watchin' credit cards writer for When he's not crunching the numbers on bonus points and comparing APRs, you can find him flying around the world in search of the perfect beer.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Go to site