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

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

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  • 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
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$0
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee4% or $10 of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate26.74% variable
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 4% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Interest Free PeriodUp to 25 days
Minimum Interest$1
Late Payment FeeUp to $37
Returned Payment FeeUp to $25
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age

See Rates & Fees

The basics

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers solid cash back: unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases. That’s less generous than, say, the Citi® Double Cash Card — 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 cashback card like the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card.

You’ll wish the card offered an intro APR on purchases. Unfortunately, you get an intro APR only on balance transfers — albeit one that lasts a solid 15 months. And the card has a penalty APR when the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card 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% anniversary bonus on all cash rewards earned once a 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.
  • SIGNUP BONUS: $150 cash rewards.
    Earn a $150 cash rewards intro bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months.
  • INTRO APR: On balance transfers.
    Enjoy 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the 15 months. After that, your APR reverts to 14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable based on your creditworthiness.
  • CASH BACK: On all purchases.
    Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases.
  • Anniversary bonus on cash rewards.
    Earn a 10% anniversary bonus on all cash rewards earned once a year.

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.
  • $0 liability for unauthorized purchases.
    If your card is used fraudulently, you won’t be on the hook for payment.

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 14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable .
  • Penalty APR.
    If you pay late, you may be assessed a penalty APR of 31.74% 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 26.74% 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 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.

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 Card or Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card. But the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card is a formidable card in its own right, offering 1.5% cash rewards with no annual fee.

Our guide to cash back credit cards

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.

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