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HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard: A New No-Fee Cash Back Card

After recently launching the HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard as a new no-fee travel card, HSBC has now announced a cash back equivalent: the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard.

Let’s take a look at the details of this new product, and how this entry-level cash back card with no annual fee might be useful for you.

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard

With a strong focus on travel rewards thus far, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard is the bank’s first cash back credit card in Canada.

Everyday earning rates are as follows:

  • 1.5% cash back on online purchases (up to $6,000 spent per year)
  • 1% cash back on gas, groceries, and drugstore purchases
  • 0.5% cash back on other purchases

The bonus on online purchases is unique and very broad. The higher cash back rate covers all card-not-present transactions, regardless of merchant category.

For example, you won’t have to worry whether a subscription service is classified as a recurring payment – either way, you’ll get the online purchase bonus. Also, you’ll earn bonus cash back for food delivery orders placed online!

If you apply before May 2, 2022, you’ll earn a welcome bonus of 5% extra cash back for the first six months, up to $2,000 spent.

That’s in addition to the regular rewards you earn from spending – not a huge difference, but certainly notable, as most cash back cards treat the welcome bonus as the total earn rate, not cumulative. Therefore, you could earn 6.5% cash back by spending $2,000 online.

(Instead of 5% extra cash back, Quebec residents will simply earn $100 upon keeping their account in good standing for six months.)

Like the Travel Rewards Mastercard, these bonuses, rates, and limits are roughly in line with the industry standard offered by HSBC’s competitors on no-fee cash back cards.

You can redeem your cash back rewards for statement credit any time once you’ve accumulated at least $25.

As for insurance, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard has the same purchase protection and extended warranty as the travel card, plus mobile device insurance of up to $1,000.

Any no-fee credit card that covers lost or damaged cell phones should at the very least be on your radar, as it’s a perk that’s somewhat rare even among premium-level credit cards. 

HSBC’s Expanding Credit Card Portfolio

The new Cash Rewards Mastercard represents HSBC’s first foray into the cash back credit card market, supplementing the HSBC World Elite Mastercard, HSBC +Rewards Mastercard, and HSBC Travel Rewards Mastercard in the mid-tier, low-tier, and no-fee segments of the travel rewards market, respectively.

Long-term, as a card with no annual fee, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard would be a good downgrade option if you are thinking about cancelling your World Elite Mastercard or +Rewards Mastercard but want to preserve an old credit account.

However, either the World Elite or +Rewards Mastercard would be a better choice for a new signup if you qualify for them, with larger welcome bonuses, a more flexible points currency in the form of HSBC Rewards rather than cash back, and a first-year annual fee waiver on both products.

After that, you can reevaluate the value proposition in the second year, and consider switching to the no-fee HSBC Cash Rewards Card. 

Conclusion

With the new HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard, HSBC is rounding out their portfolio with a no-fee cash back offering for those who are getting started along the credit card journey.

On the other hand, savvy points collectors will find this product less exciting than HSBC’s existing set of travel rewards products, including the flagship HSBC World Elite Mastercard

The card offers a modest welcome bonus worth $100, with earning rates and limits that are mostly in line with competing products. A 1.5% cash back earning rate on online purchases and mobile device insurance represent potential differentiators for anyone considering a new credit card in the no-fee cash back segment of the market. 

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