The Verdict: The HSBC Cash Rewards Credit Card is among the top cash back credit cards on the market, especially early on. You get 3% cash back on all purchases in the first 12 months, up to the first $10,000. And you’ll also earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases after that. That’s very good – around 50% better than average, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report.
The HSBC Cash Back Credit Card’s top-notch rewards also have a solid supporting cast, so to speak. Most importantly, there’s no annual fee. That makes it $19 per year cheaper than the average card. Its lack of a foreign transaction fee should also be welcome news for anyone planning international travel or spending.
Financing is the HSBC Cash Rewards Card’s biggest weakness. Yes, it does offer a 0% introductory balance transfer APR for the first 12 months, but it is below the market average of 13 months. And it also charges a 4% (min $10) balance transfer fee, while the average balance transfer credit card charges 3.01%.
Furthermore, the HSBC Cash Rewards Card’s 0% balance transfer offer extends to new purchases. But its regular APR could be above even the average among credit cards for people with good or excellent credit, which you need for approval.
So if you have good credit or better and want a card for everyday purchases that offers a consistently high earning rate with a few extras thrown in, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard should definitely be in the running. And if you don’t know what shape your credit is in, you can check your latest credit score for free on WalletHub, the only site with free daily updates.
- 3% Back for the First 12 Months: You get 3 points / $1 for the first 12 months of account opening, up to $10,000.
- 1.5% Back Base Earning Rate: This rate applies to every purchase you make after the intro period ends (or after you reached the $10,000 cap), which makes this card much simpler than many rewards competitors. It’s also more lucrative, considering that the average cash rewards card gives you slightly more than 1% back.
- No Annual Fee: This saves you about $19 per year compared to the average credit card. Most cash back credit cards for people with good or excellent credit don’t charge annual fees, though.
- High Regular APR: The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard’s regular APR is advertised as a wide range: 13.99% - 23.99% (V). The exact amount depends on your overall creditworthiness. So people with excellent credit generally get a rate at the low end, while folks with good credit get rates toward the high end.
Either way, you’re likely to overpay if you carry a balance from month to month. The average credit card for excellent credit charges 13.09%, according to WalletHub's research, while the average card for good credit charges 19.4%.
Other Things To Consider
- Below Average Balance Transfer Offer: HSBC Cash Rewards gives you 0% for 12 months on balance transfers and 0% for 12 months on new purchases. That’s almost as long as the average 0% transfer term: 13 months. But it’s also accompanied by an above-average transfer fee: 4% (min $10), versus roughly 3.01% for the average balance transfer card. And it’s not even the best HSBC credit card for balance transfers. The HSBC Gold Card’s 0% period lasts six months longer.
- Good or Excellent Credit Required: Good credit is generally thought to start at 660, but we recommend a score of 700+ to give yourself reasonable odds of approval. You can check your latest credit score for free on WalletHub to get a sense of your chances.
Compared To The Competition
The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard is a great cash back credit card, to be sure. But it’s not the only one. Below, you can see how the offer stacks up against the top competition.
HSBC Cash Rewards Credit Card
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
|Annual Fee||$0||$0||$0||$0 intro 1st yr, $95 after|
|Rewards Bonus||N/A||N/A||$200||Up to $350|
|Rewards Rate||1.5 - 3 points / $1||2% Cash Back||1.5 - 5% Cash Back||1 - 6% Cash Back|
|Purchase Intro APR||0% for 12 months||N/A||0% for 15 months||0% for 12 months|
|Transfer Intro APR||0% for 12 months|
Transfer Fee: 4% (min $10)
|0% for 18 months|
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $5)
|Regular APR||13.99% - 23.99% (V)||13.99% - 23.99% (V)||14.99% - 23.74% (V)||13.99% - 23.99% (V)|
|Editors' Rating||4.7 / 5||5.0 / 5||4.7 / 5||4.7 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More|
Rates & Fees
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Rates & Fees