HSBC Live+ Credit Card: With 8% Cashback on Dining, Shopping, and Entertainment, is this the Ultimate Lifestyle Credit Card?

hsbc-live-plus-credit-card-moneysmart-review

Some credit cards reward you for dining, some are geared towards shopping rebates, and others are all about your entertainment spending. But what if you want all 3?

Enter the freshly launched HSBC Live+ Credit Card, a lifestyle card that currently gives you 8% cashback at dining, shopping, and entertainment merchants. The latter includes streaming subscriptions like Disney+, Netflix, and Spotify, making the HSBC Live+ Credit Card the highest rebate earner for streaming services among other credit cards in Singapore. On top of that, you’ll also earn 5% cashback when you fill up at Caltex and Shell petrol stations in Singapore. Yup, this credit card packs quite a punch!

At first glance, the HSBC Live+ Credit Card sounds like a winner for its relatively high cashback rate across a range of spend categories. But after 31 Dec 2024, its highest cashback categories will have their cashback rates reduced to 5% (assuming HSBC doesn’t extend the promotion rates). Is the card worth getting in 2024 if we know it won’t be as good in 2025? Do its minimum spends and cashback caps make sense? How does the cashback work? Let’s find out.

HSBC Live+ Credit Card—Is it MoneySmart?
hsbc-live-plus-credit-card
Overall: ★★★★☆ (4.3/5)
Best for: Anyone big on dining, shopping, and or entertainment like movies and streaming services.
The catch: The 8% (only till 31 Dec 2024) or 5% cashback rates on dining, shopping, entertainment and petrol are subject to a minimum spend of $600/month for all months in a quarter and a cashback cap of $250 per quarter.
Pros—What we like Cons—What we don’t like
– Generous 8% cashback rate (till 31 Dec 2024) on dining, shopping and entertainment
– Even after 31 Dec 2024, the usual 5% cashback rate applies to dining, shopping, entertainment, and petrol spending
– Other deals and discounts include 15% at over 200 restaurants across Asia and $2 off Golden Village movie tickets
– You get standard access to the ENTERTAINER with HSBC app.
– You can still earn 8% cashback on the remaining payment amount after applying the 15% dining discount at selected merchants
– 15% off dining under the Live+ Dining Programme: Restaurants in Singapore are limited to 35 (when we counted) and tend to be more expensive establishments you’d only visit on special occasions. Plus, some are subject to minimum spends of up to $200 for the 15% discount to be applicable.
– While you can enjoy 15% off dining at selected merchants overseas, foreign transaction fees still apply.
– You’ll only receive your cashback within 2 months after each quarter, and not at the end of every month.
HSBC Live+ Credit Card at a glance
Category Our rating The deets
Earn rates: Cashback ★★★★★ 8% cashback (includes 3% limited-time additional cashback) on dining, shopping, and entertainment from now till 31 Dec 2024
5% cashback applies to dining, shopping, and entertainment spending after 31 Dec 2024
5% cashback on petrol spending at Shell and Caltex
– Minimum of $600/month spend for all months in a quarter
– Cashback capped at $250 per quarter
Earn categories ★★★★☆
Annual fees and charges ★★★★☆ $196.20 (first year waived, waived for subsequent years if you spend more than $12,500 with the card per year)
Accessibility ★★★★☆ Minimum income requirement:
$30,000 (Singaporeans and PRs)
$40,000 (self-employed or commission-based Singaporeans and PRs)
$40,000 (foreigners)
Otherwise, you need a minimum fixed deposit collateral of $10,000.
Extras/periphery rewards ★★★★★ – Up to 17% upfront fuel savings and additional 5% cashback at Caltex and Shell
– Standard access to ENTERTAINER with HSBC for 1-for-1 dining deals and more
– 15% discount at over 200 restaurants across Asia through our curated Live+ Dining Programme.
– Online and offline shopping deals, e.g. Breitling, Far East Flora, LG, Golden Village, Swarovski, lululemon via ShopBack, Uniqlo via ShopBack
– Complimentary coverage for any online purchase losses or damages
– Enjoy hundreds of deals and privileges with Visa Signature, including up to 15% Booking.com Wallet Credits on accommodation bookings, 15% off at CASETiFY, and 10% additional credits for ClassPass subscription
– Complimentary travel insurance coverage of up to S$1 million for travel inconvenience, personal accidents and emergency evacuation or repatriation 
Sign-up bonus ★★★★☆ For new HSBC cardholders:
(a) $100 cashback when you make at least 1 qualifying transaction from Card Account Opening Date to the end of the following month.
(b) Samsonite ZELTUS 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale (worth $680) OR $200 cashback with $500 spend from Card Account Opening Date to the end of the following month.
For existing HSBC cardholders: $50 cashback with $500 spend from Card Account Opening Date to the end of the following month.
Valid till 30 Sep 2024.

See our credit card ranking rubric to find out how we rank credit cards.

 

HSBC Live+ Credit Card MoneySmart Review (2024)

  1. HSBC Live+ Credit Card: Cashback rate and categories
  2. HSBC Live+ Credit Card: How does the cashback work?
  3. HSBC Live+ Credit Card: Deals and offers
  4. Should I get the HSBC Live+ Credit Card?
  5. HSBC Live+ Credit Card: Sign-up promotion
  6. Alternatives to the HSBC Live+ Credit Card

 

1. HSBC Live+ Credit Card: Cashback rate and categories

HSBC logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Up to 8% Cashback
on Dining, Shopping and Entertainment
8% Cashback*
on fuel at Caltex and Shell gas stations in Singapore
5% Cashback*
on All Other Spends
0.3% Cashback*

The HSBC Live+ Credit Card is a lifestyle credit card. Its chief benefit is its 5% cashback on a number of lifestyle categories:

  • Dining: Restaurants, fast food outlets, bakeries and more (but supermarkets are not included)
  • Shopping: Includes departmental stores, clothing shops, shoe stores and more
  • Entertainment: Includes movie tickets and subscriptions such as Disney+, Netflix, and Spotify
  • Petrol: Shell and Caltex

From now till 31 Dec 2024, HSBC is sweetening the deal with a bonus 3% additional cashback on the first 3 categories above. That means you’ll earn a generous 8% cashback on dining, shopping, and entertainment.

On other spending, you’ll earn the base cashback rate of 0.3%.

Here’s a full list of the merchant category codes eligible for the 5%/8% cashback:

hsbc-live-credit-card-mccs
Image: HSBC

 

2. HSBC Live+ Credit Card: How does the cashback work?

The HSBC Live+ Credit Card’s cashback programme works on a quarterly basis. So firstly, you’ll need to spend a minimum of $600 per month on the card for all 3 months in a calendar quarter

If you fulfil this requirement, you’ll receive your 5% or 8% cashback within 2 months after the end of the quarter. Yeah, that means you may only see the cashback you earned in July in as late as November—that’s 5 months of waiting time!

Cashback will be credited into your card account. It doesn’t come in the form of rewards points or miles.

You can earn a maximum of $250 cashback per quarter, which works out to a spend amount of $3,125 (assuming 8% cashback) or $5,000 (assuming 5% cashback).

Earning cashback with the HSBC Live+ Credit Card in your first quarter

Since the HSBC Live+ Credit Card’s cashback programme works on a quarterly basis, does that mean I have to wait for the start of a quarter to apply for the card? Otherwise, I can’t hit the minimum monthly spend for all 3 months in a quarter, right?

Wrong. HSBC will ignore the $600/month minimum spend only for your first quarter. All you have to do is hit a $1,000 minimum spend during the first quarter to be eligible for the 8% (till 31 Dec 2024) or 5% (after 31 Dec 2024) cashback. You’ll still only receive your cashback within 2 months after the quarter ends, but the spend requirement is much easier to fulfil.

 

3. HSBC Live+ Credit Card: Deals and offers

On top of the cashback you’ll earn, the HSBC Live+ Credit Card will also give you discounts and deals in each of the 3 bonus lifestyle categories it targets. I’m listing some examples of what you can expect below, but you can also click on the respective links to see the full lists.

  • Dining: 15% at over 200 restaurants across Asia under their Live+ Dining Programme. For example in Singapore, you can get 15% off à la carte food at Alma by Juan Amador, Dancing Crab, Lao Beijing, Sarnies Cafe, TungLok restaurants, and more
  • Shopping: Deals are available both online and in-store. Examples include 15% off regular price items at Far East Flora, 20% off with minimum $80 spend at Laneige, up to 3% cashback + $7 bonus cashback at lululemon via ShopBack, and 15% off regular priced items with a minimum spend of S$300 at Swarovski
  • Entertainment: Get discounts at Golden Village—enjoy $2 off movie tickets and purchase a Weekdays Movie Card at $80 or an All-Days Movie Card at $115 (worth 10 movie tickets). Movie Cards are also available for Gold Class.

 

4. Should I get the HSBC Live+ Credit Card?

While the HSBC Live+ Credit Card comes with a nice set of deals and privileges, its biggest draw is still its fat 8% cashback rate being offered till the end of 2024.

If you’re big on dining out, shopping (mainly clothes and shoes) and/or watching movies, the HSBC Live+ Credit Card is a great card to add to your wallet. It’s both comprehensive and, thanks to the 8% limited-time cashback, generous. I can’t think of any other card on the market right now that offers the same cashback rate on 3 lifestyle categories.

When I say you’re “big” on dining, shopping and/or movies, I mean you should at least be spending at least $600 a month on these categories for this card to make sense for you. This is the minimum you need to be eligible for the 8% cashback. To maximise it, charge an average of $1,042 a month to the card—this will yield the maximum cashback of $250 per quarter.

Are you sold? Get the HSBC Live+ Credit Card sooner rather than later, while its 8% cashback rate and welcome gift of up to $300 cashback still apply. After 2024, if HSBC doesn’t extend the 8% cashback offer, the HSBC Live+ Credit Card isn’t as impressive.

 

5. HSBC Live+ Credit Card: Sign-up promotion

HSBC logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Up to 8% Cashback
on Dining, Shopping and Entertainment
8% Cashback*
on fuel at Caltex and Shell gas stations in Singapore
5% Cashback*
on All Other Spends
0.3% Cashback*

For new HSBC cardholders, you get 2 sets of welcome gifts when you sign up for the new HSBC Live+ Credit Card:

  • $100 cashback when you make at least one qualifying spend from Card Account Opening Date to the end of the following month.
  • Samsonite ZELTUS 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale (worth $680) or $200 cashback when you spend at least $500 from Card Account Opening Date to the end of the following month and provide marketing consent.

If you’re an existing HSBC cardholder, you can get $50 cashback when you spend at least $500 from Card Account Opening Date to the end of the following month and provide marketing consent.

Valid till 30 Sep 2024.

Live Your Adventure Lucky Draw with HSBC

HSBC is giving away a brand new Mercedes-Benz EQB!

Sign up and activate your HSBC Live+ Credit Card to earn yourself 20 chances in HSBC’s Live Your Adventure Lucky Draw, open from 24 Jun to 23 Sep 2024.

While the grand prize is the Mercedes-Benz EQB, 90 winners will also walk away with 86,000 KrisFlyer miles—worth a round-trip Economy Class ticket to Paris.

Here’s how to increase your chances of winning:

 

6. Alternatives to the HSBC Live+ Credit Card

Standard Chartered Smart Credit Card: Earn 6% cashback on fast food dining, coffee and toast, digital subscriptions and your daily commute (Bus/MRT). If HSBC doesn’t renew the additional 3% cashback that brings the HSBC Live+ Credit Card’s 5% cashback to 8%, the Standard Chartered Smart Credit Card will be the highest cashback earner for subscription services like Netflix and Spotify.

Standard Chartered logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Up to 6% Cashback
Cashback from Netflix, Spotify, fast food joints and more. *T&Cs apply.
6%*
Annual Fee
S$0
Minimum Spend
S$0
MoneySmart Exclusive:

Earn 1,890 SmartPoints or up to S$230 Cash via PayNow when you apply and spend a min. of S$1,000 in eligible transactions within 60 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply.
 
Use 1,890 SmartPoints to fully redeem a product from our Rewards Store. If the product costs more, redeem with your points and top up the rest by purchasing additional SmartPoints e.g. get an Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) at only S$214 on top of your earned SmartPoints.

Valid until 15 Jul 2024

UOB One Card: If you spend $2,000 a month, you can get 10% cashback on McDonald’s (including McDelivery®), Shopee, DFI Retail Group (Cold Storage, CS Fresh, Giant, Guardian, 7-Eleven and more), Grab (including GrabFood) and SimplyGo (bus and train rides).

UOB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Online Promo
LUCKY DRAW | Up to 10% Cashback
Cashback on McDonald's, DFI Retail Group, Grab, Shopee, SP and more
Up to 10%
Cashback Cap per quarter
Up to S$500
Min. Spend per month
S$500
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[LUCKY DRAW]
Stand a chance to win a Cartier Santos-Dumont Watch - Large Model, Blue (worth S$6,000) or an Apple 11-inch iPad Air WiFi, 128GB (worth S$899) or a Sony PlayStation 5 SLIM Digital Edition (worth S$669) when you apply and spend a min. of S$1,000 in Eligible Transactions each month for the first two consecutive months from the card approval date. T&Cs apply.
 
PLUS get S$350 Cash Credit from UOB when you are the first 200 new-to-UOB credit card customers in July 2024 who successfully apply for an eligible UOB Credit Card and spend a min. of S$1,000 per month for 2 consecutive months from their card approval date. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 11 Aug 2024

Citi Cash Back Card: With a $800 minimum monthly spend, enjoy 8% cashback on petrol and private commute spend, and 6% cashback on dining and groceries spend.

Citibank logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
FASTER GIFT REDEMPTION | FLASH DEAL
Cash Back on Groceries, Petrol & Private Commute
Up to 8%
Total Cash Back Cap, per month
S$80
at Caltex, Shell & Esso
Up to 23.64% savings
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[FLASH DEAL | FASTER GIFT FULFILMENT]
Get UPSIZED CASH REWARDS of up to S$480* OR 5,040 SmartPoints + S$80 Trip.com Coupon, in as fast as 5 weeks from meeting the S$500 spend criteria! T&Cs apply.
 
Use 5,040 SmartPoints to fully redeem a product from our Rewards Store. If the product costs more, redeem with your points and top up the rest by purchasing additional SmartPoints e.g. get an Apple 10.9-inch iPad Wi‑Fi 64GB (10th Generation) at only S$110 on top of your earned SmartPoints.

Valid until 15 Jul 2024

 

P.S. Here’s our MoneySmart credit card ranking rubric

In case you’re wondering, here’s how we decide on our credit card rankings.

Is that credit card MoneySmart? Our MoneySmart credit card ranking rubric
Category Our rating
Overall The average rating for the credit card on the whole, calculated from the ratings for the individual categories below. Plus, we’ll give you a one-liner on who we think the credit card is best suited for. 
Earn rates: Air miles / Cashback / Rewards points Air miles / Cashback / Rewards points. This category looks at the depth rather than breadth of earn rates.

  • 5 stars means this card’s got the highest earn rates within that credit card type.
  • 3-4 stars mean it’s average
  • 1-2 stars reflect earn rates that are below average.
Earn categories This category looks at the breadth rather than depth of your earnings.

  • 5 stars: Earn with ANY spend.
  • 3-4 stars: Earn on a large number of categories (e.g. all dining, transport and retail, but not telco bills) OR earn on 1 very broad category (e.g. all contactless/mobile payments).
  • 1-2 stars: Earn a decent rate only on selected categories, such as fast food only.
Annual fees and charges
  • 5 stars: $0 
  • 4 stars: $1-200
  • 3 stars: $201-500
  • 2 stars: $501-$999
  • 1 star: $1,000 and up
  • We dock a star if fee waiver is NOT allowed.
Accessibility Minimum income requirements:

  • 5 stars: Less than $30,000 a year
  • 4 stars: Around $30,000 a year for Singaporeans and $40,000-$45,000 for non-Singaporeans
  • 3 stars: $30,000-$60,000 a year for Singaporeans, $40,000-$70,000 for non-Singaporeans
  • 2 stars: $60,000-$120,000 a year for Singaporeans, $70,000-$120,000 for non-Singaporeans
  • 1 star: $120,000 and up for either, or both

Exclusivity: We dock 1-2 stars if there is/are another category/categories that make the card exclusive and very specific to a certain clientele.

Extras/periphery rewards These include:

  • Travel benefits, such as airport lounge access
  • Lifestyle benefits, such as spa privileges
  • Dining benefits, such as complimentary AMEX Love Dining or Entertainer with HSBC subscriptions

We count the number of benefits and award between 0.5 to 2 stars for each, depending on how good the perk is.

Sign-up bonus
  • 5 stars: The gift(s), cash, or miles are the highest we see out there compared to other credit cards of the same type (miles, cashback, etc). Also easy to attain these welcome bonuses.
  • 3-4 stars: Average but not disappointing sign-up bonus compared to other credit cards. You aren’t losing out.
  • 1-2 stars: You are probably losing out in terms of the welcome bonus you’re getting; there are other similar credit cards with sign-up bonuses that are better or easier to attain.

Check out our ultimate list of credit card reviews for the low-down on credit cards in Singapore.

 

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About the author

Vanessa Nah is a personal finance content writer who pens articles on the ins and outs of buying your first home, the T&Cs of credit cards, and the ups and downs of alternative investments. She’s a researcher at heart and leaves no stone unturned when it comes to breaking down complex finance concepts and making them easy to understand for the everyday Singaporean. When Vanessa’s not debunking finance myths, you’ll find her attending dance classes, fingerpicking a guitar, or (most impawtently) fulfilling her life mission to make her one-eyed cat the most spoiled and loved kitty in the world.