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HSBC Platinum Mastercard with rewards review

HSBC Platinum Mastercard with rewards review

Published: November 16, 2018
Published: November 16, 2018
Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
1.6 rating
1.6 rating
1.6 / 5
Introductory Offer: 1.4
Net Value: 2.5
Features: 2.0

In a Nutshell:

This low earnings rewards credit card charges a pricey fee for transferring a balance and only gives cardholders 12 months to take advantage of its interest-free promotion. This offer is no longer available on our site.

0% Introductory Period
12 months

Transfer Fee
$10 or 4% (whichever is higher)

Introductory Purchase APR

Regular APR
14.99-24.99% (variable)

Annual Fee

Other Notable Features: No foreign-transaction fee, travel assistance, roadside assistance, zero fraud liability, identity theft resolution services

Low Interest Rating:
2.7 rating
2.7 rating
2.7 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties: 2.8
Rewards: 1.8
Features: 1.0

In a Nutshell:

While the HSBC Platinum Mastercard can help save money with its low APR and 0-percent introductory offer, you’ll need to be especially careful to stay on top of your payments due to its exorbitant penalty APR. This offer is no longer available on our site.

Regular APR
14.99-24.99% (variable)

Introductory Purchase APR
0% for 12 months

Introductory Balance Transfer APR
0% for 12 months


  • No annual fee
  • 4% balance transfer fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 4% cash advance fee


  • $37 late payment fee
  • 31.99% penalty APR
  • $26 returned payment fee

Other Notable Features: No foreign-transaction fee, travel assistance, roadside assistance, zero fraud liability, identity theft resolution services

Rewards Rating:
2.4 rating
2.4 rating
2.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.2
Annual Percentage Rate: 3.8
Rewards Flexibility: 4.2
Features: 0.0

In a Nutshell:

With an anemic rewards rate and a middling APR, the HSBC Mastercard ranks near the bottom of our list of travel cards. This offer is no longer available on our site.

Rewards Rate
1:1 on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
$100 if you spend $500 in the first three months

Annual Bonus

Annual Fee

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)

14.99-24.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • No blackout dates
  • Redeem points for travel, merchandise or gift cards
  • Option to purchase rewards-funded travel through an outside travel site or through HSBC


  • Must book travel reservations 21 days in advance
  • Can’t transfer points to other loyalty programs

Other Notable Features: No foreign-transaction fee, travel assistance, roadside assistance, zero fraud liability, identity theft resolution services

You’re unlikely to get far with this low-earning rewards card. By awarding cardholders just one point for every dollar spent, the HSBC Platinum Mastercard ensures cardholders will have to wait months – and possibly even years – before they earn enough points to fund a round-trip flight in the U.S. To earn a free foreign flight, you have to be a heavy spender.

Unlike most travel rewards cards, the HSBC Mastercard doesn’t offer any spending bonuses, making it tough to accumulate a large number of points in a reasonable period. The HSBC Mastercard does offer a modest sign-up bonus, making it easier to fund a domestic flight in the card’s first year. But you still have to spend a significant amount to get there. It also offers a little more flexibility with redemption than the average travel card; for some travelers, that can help make up for the card’s less-than-thrilling rewards.

Uncommonly low earnings

Most of the travel rewards cards reviewed by help cardholders boost rewards totals by offering bonuses on certain types of spending. The few cards that don’t offer such generous rewards rates help make up for it by charging competitive APRs that are well below average for a travel card.

By contrast, the HSBC Platinum Mastercard offers an uncommonly low rewards rate that gives cardholders just one point for every dollar they spend. However, HSBC still makes cardholders pay for those rewards with a relatively high APR. If you have good credit and are looking for more generous rewards with your spending, you can almost certainly do better with another card.

Middling APR

The HSBC card’s minimum APR of 14.99 percent is slightly below average for a rewards credit card. The typical rewards card charges cardholders an APR around 17 percent. But most rewards cards that charge a comparable APR offer significantly more benefits. Meanwhile, the card’s 24.99 percent maximum APR is on the high side for a rewards credit card, making it a riskier choice for cardholders with lower scores. If you can’t afford to repay your debt in full with this card, you can wind up paying far more in interest than you ever earned with rewards.

Almost no benefits

The HSBC Platinum Mastercard also doesn’t offer very many cardholder benefits, making it even harder to justify the card’s higher APR. Unlike most mainstream credit cards, the HSBC Platinum Mastercard doesn’t offer any travel insurance coverage, such as rental car insurance or lost luggage insurance. Nor does it offer many other coveted extras, such as concierge service. The HSBC card does offer travel assistance for cardholders who need extra help while on the road and it scores points with frequent travelers by waiving the card’s foreign-transaction fee. But it doesn’t offer any other unique benefits that can’t be found on less expensive cards.

More flexibility for travel purchases

Flexible redemption is the most appealing perk offered by the HSBC Platinum Mastercard. Unlike most travel cards, HSBC allows cardholders to shop around for cheaper travel and purchase a rewards-funded ticket through another travel website. This can potentially allow cardholders to squeeze more value from their rewards earnings by allowing them to use rewards for less expensive travel. By contrast, many competitors lock cardholders into higher prices by requiring them to redeem rewards-funded travel through the issuer’s site.

The HSBC Platinum Mastercard doesn’t restrict cardholders’ travel dates either, making it less of a pain to book a hotel or flight. However, HSBC does require you to book travel at least 21 days ahead, so you can’t use the points for any last-minute trips

Why get the HSBC Platinum Mastercard?

  • You want a flexible travel rewards card that doesn’t restrict travel dates and allows you to book your ticket elsewhere.
  • The HSBC offers the lowest APR you can get on a rewards card.
  • You already have a relationship with HSBC bank and want a card with the same bank.

How to use the HSBC Platinum Mastercard:

  • To maximize the value of rewards points, shop around for less expensive travel.
  • Plan ahead when using HSBC points for travel. You need to make plans at least three weeks in advance.
  • Try to pay off purchases in full to avoid paying relatively high interest.

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