HSBC Visa Platinum Card Review: A Daily Necessities Card for Moderate Spenders

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The HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card can take care of all your daily expenses and also your occasional meals whether at the fancy Wolfgang Puck or Black Swan or quick eats at McDonald’s. Let’s discover the depths of rebates this card has to offer and find out if it’s worth getting one for ourselves.

What are you really getting with the HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card?

Plain and simple, this credit card is a rebates card that has the following to offer:

  • 5% rebate on recurring bill payments.
  • Up to 5% rebate on fuel purchases.
  • Up to 5% rebate on grocery purchases.
  • Up to 2% rebate on dining.

On the surface of it, this card seems to offer something for all your day-to-day spending. On top of that, you get an unconditional 5% rebate on your recurring bill payments that includes cable, mobile, TV and internet bills.

The 5% rebate you get on your fuel and grocery purchases are only applicable if you spend at least S$800 per month in every calendar quarter of the year. Otherwise, you will get 3% cash rebate and you need to spend at least S$400.

For your dining expenses, you will get 2% cash rebate if you spend at least S$800 per month in every calendar quarter of the year. Otherwise, you will get 1% cash rebate. Also, if you dine at hotels, this card (like many others) won’t fetch you any rebates.

Therefore, this card is a winner if the only expenses incurred on your credit card are for paying your bills, buying groceries, and pumping petrol at Shell or Caltex. But, if you dine out frequently and are wondering if you should charge the expense to the HSBC Visa Platinum Card, it’s best not to (unless you need to meet the minimum spend).

Here’s the biggest catch with the rebates offered:

  • If you spend at least S$400 and below S$800 per month, your rebate is capped at S$60 per quarter.
  • If you spend S$800 and above per month, your rebate is capped at S$120 per quarter.

Rewards Points for everything you spend on

The HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card will also earn you reward points along with rebates in the following manner:

  • You will earn 1 Rewards Point for every S$1 that you spend on this card.
  • There’s no minimum amount that you need to spend to earn reward points.
  • There is no cap to earning reward points.
  • You can accumulate your points for up to 3 years and go for the big payout as these points only expire after 37 months.

How you will earn rebates and rewards on the HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card

Here’s a little illustration to better understand how and how much cash rebate and reward points you will earn on this card if you spend below S$800 per month:

CategoryMin. spend of S$400 per month/per quarterCash RebateRewards
Recurring Bill PaymentsS$250S$12.5250 points
Fuel at Shell or CaltexS$100S$3100 points
GroceriesS$140S$4.2140 points
DiningS$300S$3300 points
TotalS$790S$22.7790 points

Here’s what you’ll get if you spend S$800 and above per month:

CategoryMin. spend of S$800 per month/per quarterCash RebateRewards
Recurring Bill PaymentsS$350S$17.5350 points
Fuel at Shell or CaltexS$250S$12.5250 points
GroceriesS$300S$15300 points
DiningS$600S$12600 points
TotalS$1,500S$571,500 points

Understanding the cash rebate

We have laid out how much cash rebate you’re getting per month under every calendar quarter, but we are yet to apply the cap to these rebates. So, let’s quickly break that down:

  • For your expenses below S$800 per month, you’re earning S$22.70 cash rebate. If you keep your expenses for the rest of the quarter constant, you should ideally be earning S$68.10 at the end of the quarter (3 months). But, for spends below S$800, you can only earn a maximum of S$60 per quarter, so, you just lost S$8.10 worth of cash rebate.
  • The same way, you should ideally get S$171 cash rebate for your expenses exceeding S$800 per month for the quarter, but since you can’t get more than S$120, you’ve just lost S$51 worth of cash rebate.

The earned cash rebate will be credited to your account within a period of 2 months after the end of each calendar quarter.

However, you can redeem your reward points on the Rewards Catalogue for some vouchers. If you have accumulated up to 3,500 points, you can redeem them for:

  • S$10 worth Starbucks voucher (2,750).
  • S$10 worth Toys ‘R’ Us voucher (3,100 points).
  • S$10 worth Resorts World Sentosa Attractions Voucher (3,150 points).

You can also convert your reward points into air miles:

  • 2,000 Asia Miles (5,000 points).
  • 2,000 KrisFlyer Miles (5,000 points).

Granted that it’s not going to be the best way to accumulate points, especially in light of other cards that offer 10X and 5X points on selected categories (such as the HSBC Revolution Card). Still, this is HSBC’s way of offering you a base earn rate when you don’t hit the minimum spend or have maxed out your cash rebate caps.

Related: Best Credit Cards for Cashback in Singapore

In the ring – HSBC Visa Platinum VS Others

We come to realize how valuable something is when we pit it against everything else. So, let’s do the same to find out how the HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card fares against a few similar cards.

Spend Category/CardsHSBC Visa PlatinumPOSB EverydayOCBC 365 Citi Cash Back
Recurring Bills5% cashback1% cashback3% cashback0.25% cashback
Fuel purchasesUp to 5% cashback6% cashbackUp to 6% cashback8% cashback
Groceries Up to 5% cashback5% cashback at Sheng Siong3% cashback8% cashback
DiningUp to 2% cashbackUp to 14% cashbackUp to 6% cashback8% cashback
Minimum Spend RequiredS$400No min. spend required except for Dining (S$600)S$600S$888
Cash rebate Cap per quarterS$120Cap exists on maximum purchase amountS$180S$225 (S$75 per category)

What does the fine print tell us?

  • POSB Everyday Credit Card – POSB is quite restrictive in giving rebates across categories even though there is no minimum spend requirement. You will earn rebates on your grocery purchases only at Sheng Siong. The rebate on recurring bills is only applicable on StarHub and SP Services. Rebate on fuel purchases is valid only at SPC and rebate on dining is only applicable until September 30, 2017.
  • OCBC 365 Card – Although OCBC is offering double rebates when compared to HSBC, you need to spend a minimum of S$600 every month, otherwise you will get a flat cashback rate of 0.3% on everything. On the bright side, the card offers more benefits to customers including 3% rebate on online purchases and additional cashback on overseas purchases.
  • Citi Cash Back Card – For high spenders, this card definitely comes out top compared to the HSBC Visa Platinum card. If you’re able to spend S$888 and above , the Citi Cash Back Card gives you a potential S$225 in cash back every quarter. HSBC’s cap is only S$120. Furthermore, you are not restrictive to spending S$800 in all three months as the cashback is calculated monthly.

Related: 10 Best Cashback Credit Cards for Grocery Shopping in Singapore

Our final thoughts

HSBC Visa Platinum is a good entry level card for young executives. We’re thinking of people who have just started to take on their own bills, still drive the family car on the weekends, do a little bit of grocery shopping but don’t dine out that frequently. So, if you are looking for a useful cashback card with a low minimum spend during your first few years of working, this could be a great option.

The other useful benefit of this card is that the annual fee is waived for the first 2 years. Anytime you have to pay an annual fee on a cashback card, you’re basically starting with a negative balance. Imagine this, if you paid S$192.60 in fees, you’ll need to spend S$3,852 and be getting 5% cashback JUST TO BREAK EVEN.

Related: When Is It Worthwhile to Pay Your Credit Card’s Annual Fee?

So there, no risk for 2 years at least. If you apply now, get up to S$120 cashback until 15th July 2017, or a HSBC Gold Class Movie Card when you sign up.

Check your eligibility and apply for the HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card on BankBazaar here.

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