HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® Review
If you are looking for a card with low interest and annual fees, the HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® could be a good option. One of the main draws to this card is that not only do you have low fees and interest, but also the opportunity to earn points on every purchase. Not everyone is familiar with HSBC as a bank, as it is more internationally focused.
However, Canadians can find an excellent credit card with flexible redemption as well as an enticing welcome bonus offer that could be just what they are looking for in a credit card. Here’s our review of the HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® to help you decide if it will meet your needs.
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® Welcome Bonus
It’s always smart to look at welcome bonuses credit cards offer new cardholders. You will find a pretty generous offer for becoming a HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® holder with a first year annual fee waiver for the Primary Cardholder and 35,000 bonus HSBC Rewards points with a minimum purchase of $2,000 within 180 days of account opening. Earn 5,000 points*when you start your application online ($25 travel value)
This is twice as much time to get your bonus points, as many banks often require the spend within the first three months. As well, an HSBC Rewards point is worth $0.005 when redeemed for travel, so you start off right out of the gate with up to $150 available. All of this for a low annual fee of just $25.
Benefits and Features
In hand with the above-mentioned bonus, although not an extensive list of perks, there are many other benefits and features with the HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® including:
- Low yearly fees of $25
- Low interest rate of 11.99%
- Double points on eligible dining and entertainment
- Price Protection for comparison shoppers
- Purchase insurance
- No minimum income requirement so anyone can apply
- Contactless payment perfect for pandemic shopping
The card is accepted worldwide and offers optional travel insurance for those who need it.
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® Rates and Fees
As mentioned, you have very reasonable low fees with the HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® at just $25 a year for the primary cardholder and $10/year for associated cards issued. Other fees include:
- 2.5% foreign currency fee
- 5% of your balance transfer
- $2 withdrawal fees for ATM withdrawals in Canada
- $2 wire transfer fee
Where you really see a difference is in the low interest rate of just 11.9%. This represents exceptional savings for those who tend to carry a balance.
Earning HSBC Reward Points
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® is designed to make it easy for people to both earn and redeem points. As with other cards, your points earned are broken down into categories, with 2 points for every $1 on eligible dining or entertainment purchases and 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else.
Redeeming HSBC Reward Points
Some people might find it confusing for points redemption as the value varies based on the rewards you choose. You can redeem for travel, gift cards, merchandise or financial rewards. If you were travelling 30,000 points is equal to about $150.
On the other hand, what people love about this approach is they have more flexibility and can use their points where they need them most or to suit their lifestyle. You can also use the Mastercard Pay App if you want to build up your cashback automatically then redeem your points to make purchases from their online rewards catalogue.
Redemption Options for HSBC Rewards Points
As mentioned, many people choose the HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® due to its flexibility on how points are redeemed whether it is travel rewards, gift cards, or merchandise. Your choices include:
- Personal Finance such as your mortgage, credit card or savings account
- Rewards towards gift cards, electronics and exciting experiences
- Travel points towards flights, hotels, car rentals, etc.
As long as your account is in good standing, you never lose your points. That means you can continue to use your card to earn the number of points needed to meet certain goals whether it is planning a trip, paying down your mortgage or buying something special.
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® Eligibility and Requirements
You just need to meet the age of majority in your home province and be a Canadian resident to apply. With no minimum income, it becomes easier to be eligible as long as you have a fair credit score of 680 or higher. Just be sure you have proof of identity and residency such as a driver’s license. You can apply online with an ID ready to go for instant verification.
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® vs Scotia Value Visa Card
Another popular choice in this category of credit cards is the Scotia Value Visa card. Here’s how it lines up with the HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®:
- Welcome offers: 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months
- Annual fee: $29, $0 for supplementary cards
- ARP interest rate: 12.99% on purchases, cash advances, balance transfers and Scotia Credit Card Cheques
- Credit Limit: $500.00 minimum
- Tap your Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card or your smartphone
- Save up to 25% off base car rental rates at participating AVIS and Budget locations in Canada and the U.S.
One of the biggest advantages of the Scotia Value Visa card is if you have a balance owed on a high-interest rate card you can balance that transfer to your new card and pay only 0.99% interest for six months. Planned right you can save tons of money, especially if you can completely pay down the balance in that period. However, the card doesn’t offer the same benefits and features as the HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® such as rewards, price protection, extended warranties and more. It all depends on your goals and what is most important to you.
Who is this card good for?
This is the best card for people who want a card with rewards, don’t mind paying a low annual fee and are looking to reduce the interest they pay. If you have a fair to good credit score, but no income, you can reap the rewards of the points program, enjoy a low interest rate and use your reward points to help establish your financial health.
You can also use the rewards to work towards something like a trip or purchase. The HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® might have limited perks but compared to the Scotia Value Visa card you really are seeing much more value. You get a good base card that helps you save not just on interest but also on purchases in many categories allowing you to compare shop and still see savings if you find a better offer within 60 days of your purchase. It also offers excellent protection for this category of card.
You can also enjoy more nights out with double points earned on dining and entertainment, with those points used to pay for future meals and fun. All in all it is a nice rounded card for those looking to collect points on a low fee, low interest card.
How to Apply for the HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®
As with any credit card you can apply online using their online application form. Be prepared to provide ID to prove you are a Canadian resident such as a driver’s license or something with your address and a photo as well as your social insurance number. The process is quick and painless and if approved you should receive your card within a few days via mail.
The bottom line is that the HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® is a solid card offering enough perks to make it worth the low $25 annual fee. It is really a great starter card, but also allows you to reduce how much interest you pay if you tend to carry a balance. If you are looking for basic perks including a very respectable and flexible rewards program, you can use your card to work towards a dream trip or to help you out financially.
You can also simply use your rewards towards purchases, and everything you purchase provides points. However, if you are interested in no fees or extensive benefits and insurance, this isn’t the card for you. Although you will find cards with many more benefits that also help you earn rewards more quickly, this is the perfect choice for a starter card, or for people looking for the best of both worlds: Low annual fees and interest rates plus a way to collect rewards to go towards financial support or living life to the fullest.