The HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card can take care of all your daily expenses such as recurring bills, petrol, grocery and dining expenses. It is an all-round cashback card and doesn’t require you to spend a lot each month to enjoy savings. There are many credit cards that promise to save us money on daily expenses, so how does the HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card fare? Let’s review the card to find out.
HSBC Visa Platinum Card Review: A Daily Necessities Card for Moderate Spenders
Key features of the HSBC Visa Platinum Card
Plain and simple, this credit card is a daily expenses rebates card that offers the following:
- 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.
How to get and maximise your rebates
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.
[Illustration] How you will earn rebates and rewards on the HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card
Here’s a table 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:
|Category||Min. spend of S$400 per month/per quarter||Cash Rebate||Rewards|
|Recurring Bill Payments||S$250||S$12.5||250 points|
|Fuel at Shell or Caltex||S$100||S$3||100 points|
Here’s what you’ll get if you spend S$800 and above per month:
|Category||Min. spend of S$800 per month/per quarter||Cash Rebate||Rewards|
|Recurring Bill Payments||S$350||S$17.5||350 points|
|Fuel at Shell or Caltex||S$250||S$12.5||250 points|
Understanding the cash rebate cap
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 spending 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. In this example, you 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 of:
- Starbucks voucher (2,750).
- Toys ‘R’ Us voucher (3,100 points).
- 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 caps.
How does the HSBC Visa Platinum compare with other cards
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 Card fares against a few similar cards.
|Spend Category/Cards||HSBC Visa Platinum||BOC Family Card||OCBC 365||Citi Cash Back|
|Recurring Bills||5% cashback||5% cashback on telco bills||3% cashback||0.25% cashback|
|Fuel purchases||Up to 5% cashback||Nil||Up to 5% cashback||8% cashback|
|Groceries||Up to 5% cashback||5% cashback||3% cashback||8% cashback|
|Dining||Up to 2% cashback||10% cashback||Up to 6% cashback||8% cashback|
|Minimum Spend Required||S$400||S$700||S$600||S$888|
|Cash rebate Cap per quarter||S$60 – S$120||S$300 (S$100 per month)||S$180||S$225 (S$75 per category)|
What does the fine print tell us?
- BOC Family Card – The BOC Family card is a generous card, and does well in all categories except for petrol. The only caveat is the monthly minimum spend requirement is fixed at S$700. With HSBC, you get two tiers you can get cashback from.
- OCBC 365 Card – Although the OCBC 365 is offering double rebates when compared to the HSBC Visa Platinum Card, 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 OCBC 365 card offers more benefits to customers including 3% rebate on online purchases.
- Citi Cash Back Card – For high spenders, this card definitely comes out top compared to the HSBC Visa Platinum Card. 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.
Our final thoughts
The HSBC Visa Platinum Card is a good entry level card for young executives. Someone who has just started to pay their own bills, drives the family car on the weekends, does a little bit of grocery shopping but doesn’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.
So there, no risk for 2 years at least.
Card Type: Cash Rebate
Annual Fee: S$192.60 (2-year waiver)
- Show More Details
- 5% cash rebate on recurring mobile, cable TV, and internet bills
- Up to 5% rebate on grocery purchases
- Up to 5% cash rebate + 16% additional instant petrol discount at Caltex and Shell stations
- Up to 2% rebate on dining