Credit Cards

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® Review

Overall Ranking

4.5/5

Overview

Annual Fee

5/5

Cash Back Rewards

4/5

Welcome Bonus

4/5

Ease of Redemption

5/5

With no annual fee, strong cash back bonus categories, and easy redemptions the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® is a great card. You can earn 1.5% cash back on up to $6,000 of your online purchases, including streaming services, online subscriptions, and food delivery*. You’ll also earn 1% cash back on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases&. Plus, 0.5% on almost all on all other purchases*. All with no annual fee.

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About the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®

While many Canadians are familiar with the big five banks in Canada, HSBC quietly flies under the radar. It would be a huge mistake to underestimate HSBC, as its lineup of credit cards is impressive. With the introduction of the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®, HSBC finally has a no-fee cash back credit card.

The addition of a cash back card with no annual fee is a smart move on HSBC’s part since many Canadians don’t like the idea of paying fees to have access to a credit card. Plus, there’s no high personal or household income requirement to qualify for this card, so it’s attractive to many different people.

Card features and benefits

Since this is a cash back credit card, the features are pretty straightforward. One clear advantage is the welcome bonus. Apply for an HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® by Oct 31, 2022, and earn an additional 12.5% cash back on all purchases for the first six months (up to $1,000 in total purchases). That’s $125 in cash back! If you’re a resident of Quebec, you’ll earn $125 cash back* if you keep your account open and active for 180 days. Conditions apply.

Like many other cash back credit cards, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® has an increased earn rate on select categories and a base earn rate on everything else.

Your earn rate is as follows:

  • 1.5% cash back on up to $6,000 of your online purchases*. This includes streaming services, online subscriptions and food delivery.
  • 1% cash back on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases*.
  • 0.5% cash back on almost all other purchases*.

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® is the first cash back card to offer an enhanced earn rate on all online purchases. However, according to the terms and conditions, your online purchase of goods or services with your HSBC card must fall under the “online purchases” classification in the Mastercard Network.

What’s great about HSBC’s cash back rewards is that you only need to reach $25 in cash back to redeem. Once you’ve hit that minimum threshold, you can redeem for cash back as a statement credit online at rewards.hsbc.ca.

Besides the cash back regards, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® gives you the following benefits:

  • Mobile Device Insurance: Coverage of up to $1,000 in the event your eligible mobile device is lost, stolen, accidentally damaged, or experiences mechanical failure.
  • Extended Warranty Insurance: Automatically doubles the original manufacturer’s warranty for up to one additional year when you use your card to purchase eligible items.
  • Purchase Assurance: 90-day coverage in the event of loss, damage or theft for eligible items purchased using your card.

Pros and cons of the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®

With so many no-fee cash back credit cards on the market, it’s hard for a new one to stand out from the crowd. That said, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® is differentiating itself from the competition with its increased earn rate for online purchases. This is advantageous because online shopping has exploded over the last few years and continues to grow.

  • No annual fee

  • Increased earn rate on online, grocery, gas, and drugstore purchases

  • It's easy to redeem cash back

  • Mobile device insurance


  • Increased earn rate on travel purchases is capped at $6,000

  • Low base earn rate

How the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® compares

One of the most popular no-fee cash back credit cards is the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, so it’s the perfect choice to compare to the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®.

Although the welcome bonuses are similar in the sense that you can earn cash back, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card gives you 10% back, whereas the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® provides 12.5% back, former allowing you to earn up to $100 while the latter allows up to $125. Keep in mind that these offers can change at any time.

As far as the earn rate is concerned, which card is better depends on where you spend the most money. With the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®, you get 1.5% cash back on up to $6,000 of your online purchases*, and 1% cash back on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases*. The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card allows you to pick up to three categories where you earn 2% cash back. Both cards give you 0.5% cash back on all other purchases*.

When it comes to extra perks, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® comes out ahead since it includes mobile device insurance, whereas Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card does not.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two cards.

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Welcome offerSpecial offer: Earn an additional 12.5% cash back on all purchases for the first 180 days (up to $1,000 in total purchases). Must apply by Oct 31, 2022. Quebec residents earn $125 cash back* if you keep your account open and active for 180 days. Conditions apply.Apply for a Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card by May 31, 2022 and earn an extra 10% back (up to $100) when you spend up to $1,000 in everyday purchases within your first 2 months.*
Earn rateEarn 1.5% cash back on up to $6,000 of your online purchases*, 1% cash back on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases*, and 0.5% cash back on all other purchases*.Earn 2% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in up to three 2% Money-Back Categories of your choice, and 0.50% Money-Back Rewards on all other purchases.
Extra perksMobile device insurance, extended warranty, and purchase assurance.Extended warranty and purchase assurance.
Annual fee$0$0

Verdict: Is the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® worth getting?

There’s no denying that a no-fee cash back credit card that gives you an increased earn rate on online purchases will be appealing to some people. That said, since Mastercard doesn’t make their list of online merchants publicly available, it may take some trial and error to figure out which retailers give you the enhanced earn rate.

The good thing is that you still get 1% cash back on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases*, which are typically popular categories for many consumers. Take a look at your regular spending, if it lines up with the increased earn rate offered by the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®, then this card could be a good choice.

*Terms and conditions apply.

®/TM Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Used pursuant to license.



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