HSBC Platinum MasterCard with Rewards review

Our rating

3 stars 3/5

See explanation of our ratings system

See breakdown of this card’s rating

HSBC is a London-headquartered bank that offers several cards for U.S. consumers. Its Platinum MasterCard With Rewards product promises a no-nonsense rewards system with flexible options, no annual fee and some entry-level perks.

Our review will help you decide if it’s the right card for you.

The basics

On a basic level, the card offers the following:

  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Rewards on spending
  • MasterCard Platinum-level benefits. These include: MasterRental insurance coverage for rental cars, travel assistance, roadside assistance (access to a hotline — you’ll need to pay for services rendered), travel accident insurance, extended warranty, price protection and purchase protection. This list of benefits are what you can expect from many other no-annual-fee rewards cards.

How the rewards work

You’ll get 1 point per dollar spent. Points do not expire, and there are no caps to how many points you can accrue. However, note that the card’s terms and conditions state that, if there are more than 12 months of inactivity on your card, HSBC reserves the right to close your card (in which case you’ll lose all your points).

You can redeem toward the following:

  • Cash back: You can choose between direct deposit (into an HSBC account) or a statement credit. Points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed this way.
  • Gift cards: Value varies
  • Merchandise: Value varies
  • Travel booked through HSBC’s travel site: Value varies. You can use points for the entire cost of whatever you’re purchasing, or use a combination of points and cash (with the remaining amount being charged to your credit card).
  • Travel statement credits against past travel purchases: Value varies. To redeem this way you must call HSBC and ask for a statement credit. It’s not automatic.

Sign-up bonus

You can earn $100 Cash Back after you spend $500 or more in new, net purchases in your first three months from credit card account opening. For an even longer 0 percent period on purchases and balance transfers, consider the HSBC Platinum MasterCard, which offers no rewards but 18 months at 0 percent.

0 percent offer

The HSBC Platinum MasterCard with Rewards offers a 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months from Account opening. After that, a variable APR of 13.99%, 17.99% or 23.99%, will apply.

How it compares

HSBC’s travel program is flexible and encompasses pretty much all the redemption options available on the market on one card. For example, it’s rare to find a card that lets you redeem for either travel purchased via the card’s portal OR a travel-statement credit (with most other cards, it’s either-or).

That said, the rewards program isn’t that exciting. There are no bonus categories. Instead, you’re earning just 1 point per dollar. That’s low, even for a no-annual fee card. Plenty of other cards on the market offer more.

You can get 1.5 percent cash back or more on all purchases with various cards.

Or, you can get 2X or 3X rewards in certain categories on various no-annual-fee cards.

The main appeal of this card might lie in whether you have a preexisting banking relationship with HSBC. If you do, the simplicity of dealing with one bank — and getting a card that allows you to deposit rewards into an existing account — may be attractive. The length of the 0 percent period (and the card’s APR) are also competitive, compared to the rest of the industry.

Why we gave it 3/5 stars

We rated this card based on our standards for flexible rewards programs (as the card advertises the ability to earn points that can be used for a variety of redemption options, from cash back to travel).

Rewards-earning rate: This card offers a flat 1X on all spending with no bonus categories.
Rewards value: You’re guaranteed a return of 1 cent per point when you redeem for cash back.
Unique perks: This card doesn’t offer any unique perks that similar cards in the industry do not.
Fair annual fee: This card doesn’t charge an annual fee.
Bonus opportunities:This card has an advertised sign-up bonus.

 
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