HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard Review

4.25

$0

Annual Fee

$252

Annual Rewards

N/A

Intro Offer

$0

Annual fee

$252

Annual rewards

N/A

Intro offer


Pros


  • No annual fee
  • Competitive cash back rates
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Welcome bonus for new cardholders
  • Generous credit limit

Cons


  • Foreign transaction fees
  • Limited travel benefits
  • No purchase protection or extended warranty
  • Lower cash back rate on certain categories
  • HSBC customer service may not be as robust as other major banks

Performance test results

At DollarWise, for each credit card we test 7 different factors including the rewards, value for money, perks, insurance, strengths and weaknesses of the card.

You can see our full testing methodology here to learn why we’re the most trusted source for credit card reviews.

The HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard has earned a 4.25 DollarWise Rating out of 5. This score is based on a weighted average of the two highest scoring factors (excluding acceptance and approval).

Rewards

Fees

Perks

Interest rates

Insurance

Acceptance

Approval

The highest scoring categories for the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard are fees and interest.

These factors are weighted 70% to the highest scoring factor and 30% to the second highest score to get an overall review score.

This weighting allows us to judge cards on their merits and the customers they are designed for.

For the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard the most important factors for scoring this card are its fees and interest.

Rewards

With the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard, here’s the rates at which you earn rewards for different spending categories per dollar you spend:

Bills1%
Pharmacy1%
Gas1%
Groceries1%
Restaurants1%
Specific Stores2%
Travel1%
All Other Spend1%

Calculating your annual rewards

We estimate that spending $2,000 per month with the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard would earn $252 in rewards over the year.

Our performance testing research uses an accurate estimation of the average Canadian households spending patterns to predict the rewards a card will earn.

We found that you’d earn this per category:

Pharmacy$6
Gas$24
Groceries$60
Specific Stores$24
All Other Spend$138

Our study investigating the value found that each dollar spent on the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard is worth up to $0.01, depending on how you redeem.

This $252 in rewards value puts the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard in the bottom 40% of credit cards in Canada based on rewards earned.

The average credit card in our database earns $337 in rewards for the same spend that the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard earns $252 in rewards value.

We can compare this card to other options by looking at the earn rate by category.

This earn rate is the percentage return that you would get when you spend on this card, assuming you redeem at the predicted maximum value.

For example, if a card earned 5 points per dollar on gas and each point is worth up to $0.02, then the earn rate is 5 points multiplied by $0.02 each, divided by the dollar you spent.

In this example, that’s a 10% earn rate on gas.

SpendThis CardAverage
Bills1.00%1.25%
Pharmacy1.00%1.17%
Gas1.00%1.48%
Groceries1.00%1.71%
Restaurant1.00%1.53%
Store2.00%1.94%
Travel1.00%1.19%
Other1.00%1.08%
Above, we’ve calculated the earn rate for the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard for every spend category and compared it to the average for all Canadian credit cards.
Redemption methodAnnual rewards
Redeem for travel$126
Gift cards$113
Merchandise$76
Enjoy experiences$126
HSBC financial products$76

For an annual spend of $24,000, we estimated annual rewards value at up to $252.

That’s equivalent to a 1.05% return on spending.

The HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard has an annual fee of $0. After deducting this, we predicted net annual rewards of $252.

This puts it in the bottom 50% of credit cards for net rewards after fees.

In comparison, the average card earns net annual rewards of $254.

Fees

The HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard has a $0 annual fee.

The average card charges $85. So, the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard is in the bottom 50% of cards based on the cost of the annual fee.

Perks

We manually review the perks of each credit card to determine how they compare to other cards.

The HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard scored a 1.2 out of 5 for perks, putting it in the bottom 50% of cards.

The average card scores 1.6 out of 5 for perks.

Interest Rates

Purchase20.99%
Cash Advance22.99%
Balance Transfer22.99%

The average (median) credit card has a purchase interest rate of 19.99% and so the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard charges 1% more than the average.

For cash advances it costs 22.99% compared to the average of 19.96%.

Testing the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard with a $2,000 starting balance, you can see in the graph how the 1% more in interest rates impacts the interest over a year, compared to the average card.

Insurance coverage

InsuranceThis CardAverage
Extended Warranty1 year1 year
Purchase Protection90 days90 days
Mobile Phone Insurance$1,000$1,000

We scored it 1.8 out of 5 for insurance.

It offers 3 types of insurance, whereas the average card has 5 types of coverage.

Approval and qualifying

Do I qualify?
Estimated Credit Score660 – 724
Personal Income$0
Household Income$0
Fees
Annual Fee$0
Extra Card Fee$0
Card typeMasterCard

We scored it 3.0 out of 5 for approval.

We predict that you will require a credit score of at least 660 to qualify for the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard, while the average card requires 652 to qualify.

This puts it in the top bottom 50% of cards by approval difficulty.

The personal income requirements are $0, while the average card requires $23,896.

This puts it in the top 50% of cards by the income required to qualify.

The HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard is a popular cashback credit card that offers a variety of earning potential and benefits for its Canadian cardholders. In this review, we will discuss the earning potential of the card, highlight four benefits, and address two potential drawbacks, along with any other relevant information for prospective users.

Earning potential

The HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard allows cardholders to earn cashback rewards on all eligible purchases. The current reward rate is 2% for the first six months and 1.5% thereafter for any purchases made in dining, travel, groceries, and other eligible categories.

This offers users a straightforward and desirable cashback rate, making it simple for everyday spending.

Benefits

  1. Attractive Introductory Offer (2% Cash Back): A notable advantage of the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard is the attractive introductory offer.

    New applicants can earn 2% cashback on all qualifying purchases during the first six months, providing a boosted rate for initial spending that can lead to significant rewards early on in their card usage.
  2. Potential No Annual Fee (First Year): Another major benefit of this card is the potential for no annual fee. The HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard typically waives the annual fee for the first year of use, making it an affordable option for cardholders looking to save on costs while still earning rewards.
  3. Versatile Redemption Options: The card also offers additional flexibility with its redemption options. Cardholders have multiple options to redeem their earned cashback, such as statement credits, travel bookings, or gift cards, providing more versatility in how rewards are utilized.
  4. Purchase Protection & Extended Warranty: Lastly, the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard also offers purchase protection and extended warranty coverage on qualifying purchases. These added features can provide additional peace of mind to cardholders when making purchases with their card.

Drawbacks

  1. No Bonus Earning Categories: One significant drawback of the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard is the lack of bonus earning categories.

    While the card offers consistent cashback rates on all eligible purchases, it does not provide increased rewards for specific spending categories, such as gas or entertainment, which may be a drawback for some users who have higher spending in these areas.
  2. Limited Supplementary Cards Availability: Another potential drawback is the limited availability of supplementary cards for additional users.

    HSBC may restrict the amount of authorized users on an account, which could be a consideration for individuals who want to share the credit card and its benefits with family members or partners.

Additional information

In conclusion, the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard offers a simple and appealing cashback earning structure with a competitive introductory offer, no annual fee in the first year, flexible cashback redemption options, and various purchase protection features.

However, it may be less ideal for those seeking bonus earning categories or who need multiple supplementary cards. We recommend prospective users carefully consider these factors when deciding if the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard is the right fit for their financial goals and habits.

Not the right fit? You could consider the HSBC World Elite MasterCard. Or, if you’re looking for other options check out the HSBC +Rewards MasterCard, and the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard.

FAQ

The HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard allows cardholders to redeem their points for various rewards that provide significant value for consumers. The primary redemption option includes cash back in the form of a statement credit, which enables cardholders to reduce their balance using their earned points.

In addition to cash back, cardholders can also redeem their points for gift cards from a variety of popular retailers, giving them greater flexibility in choosing how to utilize their rewards.

Additionally, points can be applied towards travel purchases, such as flights, hotels, car rentals, and other travel expenses.

This feature makes the HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard quite versatile in terms of rewards redemption options.

The HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard credit card does impose foreign transaction fees on its users. Cardholders can expect to pay a 3% fee on all purchases made outside of Canada or in a foreign currency.

This fee is common among many credit cards and serves as an additional cost to consider for frequent travelers or individuals making foreign purchases.

The HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard credit card does not have a specific minimum income requirement for applicants. Instead, approval is based on factors such as your credit score, payment history, and overall financial stability.

HSBC considers each applicant’s financial situation individually when making approval decisions.

Key benefits

  • Earn rate: 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases
  • 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 12 months
  • $200 welcome cash back bonus after spending $500 in eligible purchases within first 3 months
  • Mastercard contactless payment technology for quick, convenient transactions
  • Option to redeem cash rewards as statement credits or gift cards
  • No penalty APR for late payments
  • 3% balance transfer fee during promotional period
  • 24/7 access to digital banking, including mobile app and online services
  • Access to Mastercard Priceless Cities benefits and experiences

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