Is the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard worth it?

Review: HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

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Updated October 21st, 2018
Name Product Credit Score Min. Annual Fee Intro Balance Transfer APR Reward Value per Dollar Secured or Unsecured Annual Fee APR for Purchases (Purchase Rate) Intro APR for Balance Transfer
720
0%
Unsecured
$0
13.99% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then to variable)
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
680
0%
1
Unsecured
16.99%, 21.99% or 26.99% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.99%, 21.99% or 26.99% variable)
Balance transfer offer of 0% for 15 months and enjoy 10,000 bonus points.
720
0%
1
Unsecured
17.24%, 21.99% or 26.99% variable
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 17.24%, 21.99% or 26.99% variable)
Earn 15,000 bonus points after your first purchase.
680
1
Unsecured
$0
16.99%, 22.74% or 25.74% variable
Get 4 points back on dining, 3 on travel, 2 on Uber rides and online shopping and 1 on other purchases, and redeem points for Uber credits, gift cards or cash back.
670
99
0%
1
Unsecured
$99
17.99%, 21.99% or 26.99% variable
0% for the first 12 billing cycles (then 17.99%, 21.99% or 26.99% variable)
Earn 40,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
680
0%
1
Unsecured
$0
16.99%, 21.99%, or 26.99% variable
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 16.99%, 21.99%, or 26.99% variable)
Earn points toward the rewards of your choice, and redeem points for statement credits.
680
95
0%
1
Unsecured
$95
17.99%, 21.99% or 26.99% variable
0% for the first fifteen billing cycles (then 17.99%, 21.99% or 26.99% variable)
Limited-Time Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles when you make your first purchase in the first 90 days and pay the annual fee.
680
99
0%
1
Unsecured
$99
17.99%, 21.99% or 26.99% variable
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 17.99%, 21.99% or 26.99% variable)
Earn 3x HawaiianMiles on eligible purchases made directly from Hawaiian Airlines.
680
79
0%
1
Unsecured
$79
17.99% or 26.99% variable
0% for the first fifteen billing cycles (then 17.99% or 26.99% variable)
Earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening and payment of the annual fee.

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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 (offer currently unavailable) 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 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 finder.com. 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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