The best HSBC credit cards of 2020

May 27, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services institutions. Yet many U.S. consumers don’t think of the company when shopping for a new rewards credit card. HSBC currently only offers six credit cards to U.S. consumers, so let’s take a detailed look at these six cards and answer some common questions about them.

New to The Points Guy? Sign up for our TPG daily newsletter and check out our beginner’s guide.

Best HSBC credit cards for 2020

  • HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card: Best for introductory APR
  • HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card: Best for cash-back rewards
  • HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card Student Account: Best for cash-back rewards for students
  • HSBC Advance Mastercard® credit card: Best for dining and entertainment
  • HSBC Premier World Mastercard® credit card: Best for travel
  • HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard® credit card: Best for premium travel rewards

To start our analysis, here is a comparison of the best HSBC credit cards currently accepting new applications.

Comparing the best HSBC credit cards

HSBC credit card Best for Rewards rate Annual fee Eligibility restrictions
HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card Introductory APR None $0 None
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card Cash-back rewards 1.5% cash back on all purchases $0 None
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card Student Account Cash-back rewards for students 1.5% cash back on all purchases $0 Students who have a consumer deposit relationship with HSBC
HSBC Advance Mastercard® credit card Dining and entertainment 2x points on dining and select entertainment

1x on all other purchases

None for Advance and Premier clients, otherwise $45 HSBC Advance or Premier relationship
HSBC Premier World Mastercard® credit card Travel 2x points on travel

1x on all other purchases

None for Premier clients, otherwise $95 HSBC Premier relationship
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard® credit card Premium travel rewards 3x points on travel

2x on dining

1x on all other purchases

$395 HSBC Premier relationship

In This Post

More details on the best HSBC credit cards

Let’s take a look at the details of each of these HSBC credit cards and offers, including rewards rates, benefits and annual fees.

HSBC Gold Mastercard credit card: Best for 0% introductory APR

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Why this is the best for 0% introductory APR: This card offers 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months after account opening.

Introductory offer: 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening. Balance transfers must be posted within the first 60 days following account opening. Once the introductory period is over, a variable APR of 12.99%, 16.99% or 22.99% will apply. A balance transfer fee of either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater, applies on each balance transfer.

Rewards rate: None

Top benefits and perks:

  • Check to see if you are prequalified, which only requires a soft credit check that has no impact on your credit score
  • Late fee waiver, which means HSBC will waive the late fee once within a 12-month period
  • No penalty APR, which means HSBC will not raise your APR if you pay late
  • MasterRental coverage, which provides protection for physical damage and theft to most rental vehicles
  • No foreign transaction fees

Annual fee: None

Is this card worth it? Whether you’re looking to delay payment of a large purchase or you’re working to pay off debt, the HSBC Gold Mastercard may be able to help with its 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months. However, some other cards offer lower balance transfer fees, so it may be worth considering other options.

Related reading: The best balance transfer credit cards

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card: Best for cash-back rewards

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Why this is the best for cash-back rewards: This card provides 3% cash back on up to $10,000 in purchases made within your first 12 months and 1.5% cash back after that.

Introductory offer: Earn 3% cash back on up to $10,000 in purchases within your first 12 months from account opening. Plus, get 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months from account opening. Balance transfers must be posted within the first 60 days following account opening. After that, a variable APR of 12.99%, 16.99% or 22.99% will apply. A balance transfer fee of either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater, applies on each balance transfer.

Rewards rate: Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases (after the 3% introductory period ends)

Top benefits and perks:

Annual fee: None

Is this card worth it? The introductory 3% offer provides solid cash-back earning during your first year, and 1.5% cash back long-term is also strong. If you’re looking for a simple no annual fee card that earns flat-rate cash back, this is a solid choice. However, you can do slightly better with some other cards such as the Citi® Double Cash Card that provides up to 2% cash back on everything as 1% when you buy and 1% as you pay.

Related reading: The best cash-back credit cards

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card Student Account: Best for cash-back rewards for students

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Why this is the best for cash-back rewards for students: Students can be approved without any credit history. Plus, the card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Introductory offer: None

Rewards rate: Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases

Top benefits and perks:

Annual fee: None

Is this card worth it? The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card Student Account can be a good option for students who have an existing HSBC deposit account. Eligible students may be able to open this unsecured credit card without credit history and earn 1.5% cash back while building their credit.

Related reading: Best credit cards for college students

HSBC Advance Mastercard credit card: Best for dining and entertainment

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Why this is the best for dining and entertainment: This card earns 3x points on dining and select entertainment during your first 12 months and then 2x points once the introductory period is complete. You must have a qualifying HSBC Advance or Premier checking account relationship to be eligible for this card.

Introductory offer: Earn an introductory 3x points on dining and select entertainment purchases plus 2x points on all other purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, up to the first $25,000 in purchases. Plus, get 0% introductory APR on credit card purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months from account opening.

Balance transfers must be posted within the first 60 days following account opening. After that, a variable APR of 14.99% or 18.99% will apply. A balance transfer fee of either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater, applies on each balance transfer.

Rewards rate: Earn 2x Rewards Program Points on dining and select entertainment purchases after the intro period. Plus, earn 1x on all other purchases after the intro period.

Top benefits and perks:

Annual fee: $0 during the first year of account opening, then $0 for cardholders who have a qualifying U.S. HSBC Advance or Premier checking account relationship and $45 for cardholders who no longer have a qualifying checking account relationship

Is this card worth it? If you are eligible for this card with a $0 annual fee, it can be a good way to earn bonus points on dining and entertainment. But, it’s unclear from publicly available materials what type of redemption value you’ll get from Rewards Program Points. So, it may be better to opt for a more straightforward rewards credit card that earns bonus rewards on dining and/or entertainment such as the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card or the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card.

The information for the Capital One Savor card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related reading: Credit card showdown: Capital One Venture vs. Capital One Savor

HSBC Premier World Mastercard credit card: Best for travel

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Why this is the best for travel: This card offers 2x points on travel purchases as well as various travel-related perks. You must have a qualifying HSBC Premier checking account to be eligible for this card.

Introductory offer: Earn 35,000 Rewards Program Bonus Points — worth at least $400 in air travel — after spending $3,000 in the first three months from account opening.

Rewards rate: Earn 2x Rewards Program Points on travel purchases and 1x Points on all other purchases.

Top benefits and perks:

  • Enjoy complimentary unlimited premium Wi-Fi at over a million secure hotspots worldwide with Boingo. Get simultaneous access for up to four devices.
  • Receive up to $50 in statement credits annually for rides with Uber and Lyft
  • Get a statement credit of $85 every five years as reimbursement for a TSA PreCheck application fee
  • $5 off on Postmates orders of $25 or more for delivery of food, drinks and groceries (not including taxes, delivery fees, and tips)
  • 10% discount when you book your hotel or vacation home stay through Expedia, Agoda or onefinestay
  • Trip cancelation insurance that may reimburse you for your prepaid, non-refundable expenses in case you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason
  • Hotel and motel burglary insurance that may reimburse you up to $1,500 per claim for personal property stolen or damaged from your hotel or motel room as a result of burglary by forcible entry
  • Lost luggage insurance that may reimburse you up to $1,500 per claim for checked or carry-on luggage that is lost or damaged while traveling on a common carrier
  • Baggage delay insurance that may reimburse you up to $250 per claim for the cost of essential items such as clothing and toiletries if your luggage is delayed in getting to your scheduled destination
  • Purchase assurance that may reimburse you when an item you bought with your card is damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase
  • Cellular wireless telephone protection that may provide reimbursement up to $600 per claim if your cellphone is stolen or damaged
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership
  • No foreign transaction fees

Annual fee: $0 during the first year of account opening, then $0 for cardholders who have a qualifying U.S. HSBC Premier checking account relationship and $95 for cardholders who no longer have a qualifying HSBC relationship.

Is this card worth it? If you have a qualifying U.S. Premier checking account with HSBC, you might as well open the HSBC Premier World Mastercard credit card for its travel-related benefits and shopping benefits. But, if you aren’t already an eligible HSBC customer, you may want to consider other travel credit cards with stronger earning rates and additional perks such as a Global Entry application fee credit.

Related reading: Best travel rewards credit cards

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard credit card: Best for premium travel rewards

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Why this is the best for premium travel rewards: This card provides 3x earning on travel purchases, 2x earning on dining purchases and various travel and shopping benefits. You must have a qualifying HSBC Premier checking account to be eligible for this card.

Introductory offer: Earn 50,000 Rewards Program Bonus Points — worth $750 in airfare when booked online through HSBC Rewards — after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.

Rewards rate: Earn 3x Rewards Program Points on travel purchases, 2x on dining purchases and 1x on all other purchases.

Top benefits and perks:

  • Receive up to $100 in statement credits annually as reimbursement for air travel purchases charged to your card
  • Receive up to $100 in statement credits annually for rides with Uber and Lyft
  • Enjoy complimentary Lounge Key membership and get two free lounge visits per year. Additional visits are only $32 per person
  • 10% discount when you book your hotel or vacation home stay through Expedia, Agoda or onefinestay
  • Get one Global Entry application fee statement credit or one TSA Precheck application fee statement credit every 54 months
  • MasterRental coverage, which provides protection for physical damage and theft to most rental vehicles
  • Enjoy complimentary unlimited premium Wi-Fi at over a million secure hotspots worldwide with Boingo. Get simultaneous access for up to four devices
  • Trip cancelation insurance that may reimburse you for your prepaid, non-refundable expenses in case you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason
  • Hotel and motel burglary insurance that may reimburse you up to $1,500 per claim for personal property stolen or damaged from your hotel or motel room as a result of burglary by forcible entry
  • Lost luggage insurance that may reimburse you up to $1,500 per claim for checked or carry-on luggage that is lost or damaged while traveling on a common carrier
  • Baggage delay insurance that may reimburse you up to $250 per claim for the cost of essential items such as clothing and toiletries if your luggage is delayed in getting to your scheduled destination
  • Price protection that may reimburse you when you purchase an item with your card and then see a printed advertisement or non-auction Internet advertisement for the same product at a lower price within 60 days from the date of purchase
  • Extended warranty that may double the original manufacturer warranty up to a maximum of 24 months when you purchase an eligible item with your card
  • Purchase assurance that may reimburse you when an item you bought with your covered card is damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase
  • Cellular wireless telephone protection that may provide reimbursement up to $800 per claim if your cellphone is stolen or damaged
  • Earn $5 in Fandango rewards for every two movie tickets purchased
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership
  • No foreign transaction fees

Annual fee: $395 plus $65 per authorized user

Is this card worth it? This card offers some perks that aren’t commonly found on credit cards anymore such as Boingo Wi-Fi access and price protection. Plus, the card offers 3x earning on travel purchases as well as 2x earning on dining purchases and allows redemption for 1.5 cents per point when you book through HSBC Rewards. However, you’ll need to have a qualifying HSBC’s Premium checking account to get this card.

Related reading: Battle of the premium travel rewards cards: Which is the best?

How we chose the best HSBC credit cards

HSBC currently only offers six credit cards in the United States. And, only two of these cards are available to consumers without an existing HSBC relationship. So, in this guide we decided to analyze all six of the currently available HSBC credit cards and determine for whom each card might be best.

Benefits available on all HSBC credit cards

(Photo by Orli Friedman / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Orli Friedman/The Points Guy)

All of the currently available HSBC credit cards offer some basic benefits. In particular, you’ll find the following perks available on all of the HSBC cards:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Contactless-chip enable cards that allow you to tap and pay
  • See your FICO score for free on your monthly statement
  • MasterRental car rental insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Mastercard ID theft protection that can provide identity theft resolution services
  • Automatic enrollment in HSBC’s fraud alert program
  • Access to Mastercard global services which can assist with lost and stolen card reporting, emergency card replacement and emergency cash advance
  • Access to Mastercard’s Priceless Cities program which can provide exclusive access to more than 2,000 priceless experiences around the globe
  • Access to Mastercard’s Priceless Golf program which can provide exclusive access to iconic destinations and discounts on public tee times
  • Access to Mastercard’s airport concierge services including a discount on airport meet and greet services

Related reading: World Elite vs. World Mastercard: Benefits and value

HSBC Premier and Advance relationships

(Photo by Maskot / Getty Images)
(Photo by Maskot/Getty Images)

The HSBC Premier World Mastercard and HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard require you to have an HSBC Premier relationship to apply, while the HSBC Advance Mastercard requires you to have an HSBC Advance relationship to apply. Here’s what you need to know about both of these HSBC relationships.

HSBC Advance

With HSBC Advance, you won’t need to pay any HSBC fees when using a third-party ATM and you can get up to four third-party ATM surcharge fees reimbursed per month. You’ll also get access to preferred saving rates.

However, if you don’t maintain a combined balance of at least $5,000 in your HSBC deposit and investment accounts, have a recurring direct deposit from a third party to an HSBC Advance checking account once per calendar month or have an HSBC U.S. residential mortgage loan, you’ll need to pay a monthly maintenance fee of $25.

Related reading: The best checking accounts

HSBC Premier

With HSBC Premier, you won’t have fees on everyday banking transactions, no HSBC ATM fees worldwide and unlimited third party ATM rebates within the U.S. You can extend your Premier status to up to four family members and you have automatic Premier status in all countries where you bank with HSBC affiliates.

However, to become an HSBC Premier client you must have at least $75,000 in total deposits and/or investments, have at least $5,000 in total direct deposits per month or maintain a U.S. residential mortgage loan with an original loan amount of at least $500,000. A monthly maintenance fee of $50 will be incurred if one of these requirements is not maintained.

Frequently asked questions about HSBC credit cards

What is the best HSBC credit card?

The best HSBC credit card is the HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard credit card, due to its travel and shopping perks. But, this card requires you to have an HSBC Premier relationship, which may be difficult for many consumers. The best card for you depends on what factors you’re looking for in a card.

Related reading: Best credit cards

Does HSBC have secured credit cards?

HSBC doesn’t currently offer any secured credit cards. But, there are plenty of good secured credit cards offered by other issuers.

Is HSBC Gold Mastercard a good credit card?

The HSBC Gold Mastercard credit card can be a good option if you’re looking for a no-annual-fee credit card that has a 0% introductory offer for purchases and balance transfers. But if you’re looking to do a balance transfer, you may prefer a card with a lower or even waived balance transfer fee.

Is HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard worth it?

If you have an HSBC Premier relationship and will take advantage of the HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard’s travel and shopping benefits, then the card can certainly be worth it. But, if you don’t already have an HSBC Premier relationship, you may want to consider other premium travel rewards cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card.

The information for the UBS Visa Infinite card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Are HSBC credit cards easy to get?

The HSBC Gold Mastercard and HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard both allow potential applicants to check whether they’re prequalified with just a soft credit pull. So, if you’re worried about whether you’ll be approved for an HSBC credit card, you may want to check whether you’re prequalified for one of these cards.

Alternatively if you’re a student you may want to consider the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card Student Account since this card doesn’t require any credit history. However, note that you need to have a consumer deposit relationship with HSBC to qualify for this card.

Can Wisconsin residents get an HSBC credit card?

Currently, all of the HSBC credit cards have a note in their Summary of Terms that states the offer is void in Wisconsin.

Related reading: The ultimate guide to credit card application restrictions

How do I pay my HSBC credit card?

You can pay your HSBC credit card using a checking account or savings account, by mail, by phone or by enrolling in autopay. Here’s how to do each:

  • Using an HSBC checking or savings account: Log-in to your HSBC account, select your credit card and click Move money
  • Using a non-HSBC checking or savings account: Log-in to your HSBC account, select your credit card, click My Account, select Payments and then click Make a Payment
  • By mail: Fill in the remittance stub and mail it along with your payment to HSBC Bank USA, N.A., PO Box 4657, Carol Stream, IL 60197-5255
  • By phone: Call the number on the back of your credit card
  • Enroll in autopay: You can enroll in EZ-Pay autopay by logging in to your HSBC account, selecting your credit card, clicking My Account, selecting Payments and then clicking Schedule EZ-Pay

Related reading: The right way to pay your credit card bills

Bottom line

HSBC offers six credit card products currently, although all but two of these products require an existing HSBC relationship. This means that most HSBC credit card products will be primarily useful to existing HSBC clients.

But, if you are looking for a no annual fee card with a 0% introductory APR offer on purchases and balance transfers, it may be worth checking whether you’re prequalified for one of the two credit cards that are open to non-HSBC consumers.

Featured photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.