When it comes to the low interest credit cards, you rarely get any rewards. This isn’t a big deal since most people get a low interest credit card to help reduce their debt, but there’s no denying that getting a few extra perks would be a nice bonus. That’s where the HSBC +Rewards Mastercard comes into play.
Not only do you get access to HSBC’s low interest rate of 11.90% on all purchases, cash advances and balance transfers, but you’ll also earn HSBC Rewards points on all your purchases. Best of all, the annual fee is just $25. No, there’s no catch. Read my HSBC +Rewards Mastercard review now for all the details.
HSBC +Rewards Mastercard benefits
- $25 annual fee – first year free (apply by June 29, 2020)
- 10,000 HSBC points sign up bonus when you spend $2,000 in the first 180 days of cardmembership
- Earn 2 HSBC points for every $1 spent on eligible dining and entertainment purchases
- Earn 1 HSBC point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
- Price protection
- Purchase assurance
- Extended warranty
- 11.90% interest on all purchases, cash advances and balance transfers
- Optional travel insurance ($69 per year)
Offer for Quebec Residents
- $25 annual fee
- 15,000 HSBC points sign up bonus if you keep your account open and in good standing for 180 days
Let’s be clear, although earning rewards is great, if you have debt, paying down your balance should be your priority. Yes, the HSBC +Rewards Mastercard has a low interest rate of 11.90%, but the rewards you’ll earn are worth less than that.
Now, if you know you need to carry a balance for a little while, this card is a decent choice. You could also argue that the price protection which covers your purchases for 60 days is worth the $25 annual fee. What that means is if you buy something with your HSBC +Rewards Mastercard and the price drops within 60 days, you’ll be credited the difference up to $500.
The earn rate of 2 HSBC points for every $1 spent on eligible dining and entertainment purchases; and 1 HSBC point for every $1 spent on all other purchases is nothing to get excited about, but it’s better than nothing.
Purchases protection covers your purchases from loss, theft and damage for the first 90 days, while the extended warranty doubles your manufacturer’s warranty up to one additional year.
HSBC +Rewards Mastercard travel insurance (optional)
- $69 per year
- Travel medical – $1,000,000 for 17 days (65 and under)
- Trip cancellation/trip interruption – up to $2,000 per person
- Baggage delay – up to $750 / 12 hours
Besides paying the annual fee, you up need to charge at least 75% of your eligible expenses (transportation, hotel, vacation package, etc.) to your HSBC +Rewards Mastercard for your travel insurance to apply.
Although this is a nice add-on, the travel insurance is nothing special. Sure, the baggage delay insurance is generous as it gives you up to $750 in coverage (most cards cap at $500), but you need to wait 12 hours to make a claim (other cards only require only 4-6 hours). There are better credit cards with travel insurance on the market and it may even be a better value to buy a separate travel insurance package to ensure you’re covered.
How HSBC Rewards works
HSBC Rewards is easily the least known loyalty program when it comes to major banks in Canada. It’s not surprising since many Canadians tend to bank with a Canadian bank, but that doesn’t mean HSBC Rewards isn’t any good. I personally rank it in the middle of my list of Canada’s bank travel rewards programs.
Since it takes 25,000 HSBC points for a $125 travel credit, each point is effectively worth .5 cents each. In other words, the earn rate for the HSBC +Rewards Mastercard is 1% for eligible dining and entertainment purchases; and .5% for all other purchases.
The ability to use your points on any travel purchase you make gives you maximum flexibility, but you can get more value out of your points if you transfer your points to one of their airline partners (British Airways Avios miles, Asia Miles and Singapore KrisFlyer miles). This of course assumes you need to fly with one of those airlines
How the HSBC +Rewards Mastercard compares to others
When looking at the list of the best low interest credit cards in Canada, the HSBC +Rewards Mastercard is quite comparable. Most of the cards on the list have a regular interest rate of 12.99% whereas the HSBC +Rewards Mastercard charges 11.90% interest.
What the HSBC +Rewards Mastercard lacks is a balance transfer promotional period as there are many cards that offer 0-3.99% interest for 6-10 months. This is a great option if you’re looking for ways to reduce your debt. The HSBC +Rewards Mastercard does allow you to balance transfer, but the rate is at the standard 11.90%.
That said, the HSBC +Rewards Mastercard is one of the few cards that allow you to earn rewards and it has price protection which not many credit cards offer.
My HSBC +Rewards Mastercard is positive. Although it lacks low interest balance transfer promotion, the regular interest rate and the ability to earn points makes this a good fit for people who have specific needs. Plus, the price protection benefit can be well worth the $25 annual fee.