During sakura season in Japan, my social media feed literally turned pink with the flurry of posts from friends who were “revenge travelling” and finally embarking on the long-awaited holidays they’ve put on hold due to Covid-19.
With most countries having lifted Covid-19 restrictions — the most recent being Japan on 29 April 2023 — travel is back in full force. And yes…If you’re thinking of feasting on seafood in Hokkaido, shopping in Bangkok or witnessing the northern lights in Iceland, now’s the time!
Travel priorities in the new normal
While I’m extremely glad that I can hop on a plane to explore the world again, there’ve been some changes to travel in this post-pandemic “new normal”.
For one, flight prices have been soaring. Last I checked, it was practically impossible to get flights to Japan for under $1,000 on a non-budget airline. Some airlines even sell economy tickets for $4k a pop!
In addition, travel in the past two years was much more troublesome with more procedures such as taking a pre-flight antigen test and filling of forms. Thank goodness most of this has been removed! However, it’s a stark reminder of how fragile our ability to explore the world can be.
Nowadays, I travel at a slower pace in order to discover hidden gems, indulge in private dining experiences, and go on customised cultural tours guided by locals who really know their stuff.
It’s not just me. A recent study by Virtuoso found that 80% of travellers prefer to spend more on tailored products or programmes, and more want authentic and exclusive experiences, as well as flexibility when travelling.
When I revisited Barcelona and Paris, learning about Gaudí’s life on a museum tour made me better appreciate his distinct architecture that is characteristic of much of Barcelona’s attractions. In one of Paris’ underrated gems, the Buttes-Chaumont Park, I had a friendly conversation with a curious local uncle. This November, I can’t wait to experience Japan’s beautiful autumn momiji leaves in their full fiery splendour.
And one essential I’d never leave the country without is a credit card that gives me good travel rewards — such as the new HSBC TravelOne Credit Card launched earlier in May.
For example, I might suddenly realise that a day trip out may not be enough and I might want to book a hotel on the fly. Or I may decide to take a quick break from work and hop on a plane. Having access to instant rewards redemption (9 partner airlines and 2 hotel groups) would definitely give me that much-needed flexibility!
HSBC TravelOne: Instant reward redemption+
The most useful feature of a travel card is, of course, gaining miles from spending.
We all know it can be a test of patience to exchange miles points which can sometimes take anywhere from two to 14 working days. Meanwhile, the award flights are slowly running out and the next thing you know it, the date and time you want is gone.
One of the biggest benefits of the HSBC TravelOne Credit Card is that you’re able to redeem your points instantly through your HSBC Singapore mobile banking app. What’s more, a unique benefit is that HSBC has partnered with 9 partner airlines and 2 hotel groups including global hotel chains, so you’ll have a wide variety of merchants to redeem rewards from. There will be more partners coming on board by end-2023.
We heard that the TravelOne Credit Card is now the number one card in terms of the number of partner airlines and hotel groups. This means you can get the most out of the card, and have access to the largest variety of rewards that you can instantly redeem. Plus points for flexibility!
Score with sustainability
HSBC TravelOne also partners One Tree Planted, a charity that plants trees worldwide. With just 600 points, you can plant a tree and contribute to greening Planet Earth.
HSBC TravelOne: Accelerated points#
You can also earn accelerated points for overseas spending (one of the highest) and local spending. Here’s the breakdown:
- 2.4 miles (6x Reward points) per S$1 charged on foreign currency spend;
- 1.2 miles (3x Reward points) per S$1 charged on local spend
HSBC Points are valid for 37 months and the redemption fee is waived until 31 Dec 2023.
With these perks, the new HSBC TravelOne Credit Card certainly becomes one of the most attractive travel and miles cards out there!
Earn cashback and miles
Do you know HSBC TravelOne Credit Cardholders can earn cashback and miles simultaneously? Pair it with the HSBC Everyday Global Account (EGA) and qualify for the HSBC Everyday+ Rewards Programme to get additional 1% cashback.*
HSBC TravelOne: Travel privileges
Ever felt there was no time to properly make use of the travel perks that credit cards offered? Me too, but I can surely appreciate the ones that come with the HSBC TravelOne Credit Card.
If only the credit card existed when I travelled to Seoul one unseasonably hot and humid summer. My flight back was only at night, waaaay after I’d checked out of my hotel. By the time I arrived at the airport, I was uncomfortably hot and sweaty with no access to lounge facilities.
Won’t be making that mistake again with the HSBC TravelOne Credit Card!
It offers a suite of travel privileges such as up to four complimentary airport lounge visits annually via HSBC TravelOne Credit Card Mastercard Travel Pass (MTP) by DragonPass for primary cardholders.
Other benefits include discounts for hotel bookings and complimentary travel insurance coverage^ (including for Covid-19) of up to USD100k for you and your family when the cardholder charges the full cost of the air ticket to HSBC TravelOne Credit Card.
HSBC TravelOne: Flexible payments
If you’ve ever taken your whole family on a big vacay, you’ll know that it can be pricey. Now, with flight prices up, making holiday plans to popular destinations and during peak seasons is painful on the wallet.
The HSBC TravelOne Credit Card can ease the pinch of such hefty holidays. Cardholders can choose to split their purchases and enjoy flexibility, interest-free with PayLater and Card Instalment Payment Plan. Also, with HSBC Spend Instalment, cardholders can combine multiple credit card transactions into a single instalment plan (minimum S$500) and spread the repayment over 12 months, interest-free.
Note that a processing fee may be levied for Spend Instalment (varies at customer level).
Even if you have enough cash in your bank to splash, think beyond affordability. Having access to an interest-free payment plan helps you manage money wisely so that you can continue to prioritise your ongoing investments, while keeping more cash on hand to capitalise on market opportunities instead of blowing a lump sum at one go.
Earn as you enjoy
The HSBC TravelOne Credit Card is the perfect card that offers frequent flyers a lot of flexibility — to redeem, to relax, and to pay.
With instant rewards redemption with an extensive selection of airline and hotel partners, an earn rate of up to 2.4 miles, 4x complimentary lounge visits annually, complimentary travel insurance (including Covid-19), the HSBC TravelOne Credit Card’s pretty way up there as far as miles cards go, perfect for the frequent travellers and shoppers!
As for myself, with three upcoming trips planned for the year, I’m more than excited to take advantage of the lounge access and get my rewards as I spend.
HSBC TravelOne Credit Card attractive welcome offer
Apply from now till 31 August 2023 and get 20,000 air miles (awarded in the form of 50,000 reward points)~, when you spend at least S$800 within the qualifying spend period. Plus, no miles conversion fee until 31 December 2023. Terms and Conditions apply.
Going on that trip soon? Now you can unlock a whole new world of travel flexibility and benefits with the new HSBC TravelOne Credit Card.
+Air miles and hotel points redemptions will be completed instantly or within 1 business day. For Accor Live Limitless, it will take up to 5 business days. Please note that this list may be updated from time to time.
# HSBC TravelOne Credit Card reward points programme terms and conditions apply.
* SGD deposits are insured up to S$75k by SDIC. HSBC Everyday+ Rewards Programme Terms and conditions apply.
^ Travel insurance coverage is underwritten by HSBC Life (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. HSBC Bank (Singapore) Limited is not the underwriter nor the distributor for this insurance plan. It is not an obligation of, deposit in or guaranteed by HSBC Bank (Singapore) Limited (Company Registration No. 201420624K).
~Welcome Gift: Applicable when you apply for a TravelOne Credit Card from 11 May to 31 August 2023, spend at least S$800 in eligible spend within the qualifying spend period, pay the annual fee of S$194.40 (inclusive of GST) and provide marketing consent to HSBC. Please refer to full terms and conditions here.
This post was written in collaboration with HSBC. While we are financially compensated by them, we nonetheless strive to maintain our editorial integrity and review products with the same objective lens. We are committed to providing the best information in order for you to make personal financial decisions with confidence. You can view our Editorial Guidelines here.