Reviews HSBC MasterCard Business card review
HSBC MasterCard Business card review

HSBC MasterCard Business card review

Published: April 24, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Business Rating:
1.6 rating
1.6 rating
1.6 / 5
Rewards Value 0.3
Annual Percentage Rate 4.9
Rewards Flexibility 2.8
Features 2.0

In a nutshell:

HSBC makes it easy to share this business-friendly card with multiple employees, but its limited rewards aren’t worth the annual fee.

Rewards Rate
1:1 on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
Automatic 2,500 points after you enroll

Annual Fee
$25 for consolidated accounts/ $25 per account for individual accounts

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($4,000 monthly spend)
$463

APR
prime rate + 9.99%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates
  • Redeem for travel, sports experiences and gift cards
  • No Saturday night stay required for travel purchases
  • No seat limitations
  • No travel redemption fee

Cons

  • minimum of 6,000 points required for gift cards
  • Rewards expire after 3 years
  • Earnings capped at 10,000 points per month
  • Can’t transfer points to other loyalty programs
  • Must go through HSBC to redeem points for travel

Other Notable Features: Individual cards for employees, individual credit limits for employees, monthly statements for every user, simple reconciliation with company-level billing, year-end summary statement

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If you’re looking for a low-maintenance business card that you can easily distribute companywide, the HSBC MasterCard is a decent card. It allows you to tailor authorized users’ spending limits so you have more control over employees’ spending.  It also separates employees’ charges into individual monthly statements so it’s less hassle to keep track of departmental spending.

The HSBC card’s optional rewards program, however, is limited and isn’t worth the $25 annual fee.

Overpriced rewards
Despite charging $25 a year for the privilege of earning rewards, the HSBC MasterCard Business card sponsors one of the most meager rewards programs on the market. Cardholders earn just one point for every dollar they spend, which is about average for a small bankcard with no annual fee, but significantly less generous than what’s offered by competitors. There are no bonus points on selected purchases, nor are there any other types of ongoing promotions.

The HSBC card does offer an automatic 2,500 bonus points when you sign up. But because the points are only worth a penny each, the sign-up bonus only amounts to $25. By contrast, many competitors offer $100 or more in bonuses. HSBC also caps the number of points you can earn at 10,000 points per month. So if your company spends more than $10,000 a month, it will still only earn a maximum of $1,200 in rewards per year.

More flexible redemption
HSBC does make it fairly easy to redeem your points – particularly for travel – once you earn enough points to make redeeming them worthwhile. However, you may have to wait several months before you’ve accumulated enough points to use them. You need at least 6,000 points – roughly $6,000 worth of spending – to redeem your points for a gift card, and at least 25,000 points to redeem your points for travel.

On the plus side, you shouldn’t have much trouble booking your trip once you save up enough points to redeem them. Like most travel rewards programs, you have to go through HSBC to book your rewards-funded travel. But unlike many competitors, HSBC doesn’t restrict your travel dates, nor does it require you to travel only during the weekends.

Good APR
The HSBC MasterCard charges a single APR of 13.49 percent, which is better than average for a business rewards card. However, if you have sterling credit, you might qualify for a card that charges several points less than the HSBC card. Cardholders with slightly lower scores may benefit the most from the card’s flat 13.49 percent interest rate if they can qualify. Many business cards charge cardholders with less-than-perfect credit considerably more to carry a balance. However, you’ll want to check your credit score before applying.

Limited benefits
Apart from its authorized user policies, the HSBC MasterCard Business card doesn’t offer many cardholder benefits. It offers a modest reprieve on interest for the card’s first six months, as well as billing perks and individual credit limits that make employee cards easier to control. However, it doesn’t offer any typical credit card perks, such as travel assistance or rental car insurance, so you may not want to rely on it as your only company card.

Reasons to get it:

  • You want more flexibility and control over your employees’ spending.
  • You want a low-maintenance business card with some rewards.
  • You already have an account with HSBC and want a card with the same bank.

How to use it:

  • Take advantage of the card’s business-friendly benefits by actively monitoring employee accounts and individually tailoring credit limits to each employee.
  • To maximize rewards spending, use your card for the first $10,000 you spend per month, then temporarily switch to another rewards card.
  • Do the math before you redeem points for travel. You may find you can get a better deal by saving rewards and purchasing travel through another site.

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