HSBC Revolution Card – MoneySmart Review 2019

HSBC Revolution Card

The HSBC Revolution Card is a no-frills credit card that lets you earn HSBC rewards points for most things that most Singaporeans do anyway – dining out, online shopping, travelling and more.

Unlike cashback cards that force you to work your brain and micromanage your expenses, this HSBC credit card has no minimum spend and no limit on the rewards that you can earn.

Sounds like the HSBC Revolution Card may make a worthy companion? Keep reading.


HSBC Revolution Card terms and conditions

HSBC Revolution Card
Annual fee & waiver $150 (waived for 2 years)
Supplementary annual fee $0
Interest free period 20 days
Annual interest rate 25.90%
Late payment fee $55
Minimum monthly repayment 3% or $50, whichever is higher
Foreign currency transaction fee 2.80%
Cash advance transaction fee 6% or $15, whichever is higher
Overlimit fee $40
Minimum income $30,000 (Singaporean) / $40,000 (non-Singaporean)
Card association Visa
Wireless payment Visa payWave, Apple Pay
HSBC logo
on Online, Dining and Entertainment
S$1= 5X Points
on All Other Spend
S$1= 1X Point
Rewards to Miles Conversion for Selected Airline Partners
1 Point = 0.4 Miles


How does the HSBC Revolution Card work?

The HSBC Revolution Card is a rewards credit card, which means you accumulate HSBC rewards points as you spend. Once you have enough, exchange your points for vouchers or air miles through the HSBC rewards catalogue.

This card offers 5X rewards points (or 2 miles per dollar) on all dining, entertainment and online spend. Aside from plain ol’ restaurants, “dining and entertainment” includes movies, drinks (bars and clubs) and KTV sessions.

The “online spending” category is similarly broad. Unlike many other cards, the HSBC Revolution Card also allows you to earn rewards from your insurance premium payments and travel bookings (flights and hotels).

For everything else, you earn 1X rewards for each dollar spent.

While the rewards conversion rate might not sound that impressive – other cards offer up to 10X rewards – the HSBC Revolution Card’s real strength is the fact that it’s unbelievably low maintenance.

There is no minimum spending requirement for the rewards, which means you don’t need to stress out about having to spend thousands of dollars on the card every month. If you only eat out at a restaurant once that month, you still get your 5X rewards points.

And if you do find yourself balling that particular month, you don’t need to worry either. There’s no limit to how many rewards points you can earn, so you can swipe to your heart’s content.

What’s more, the annual fee is waived for two years instead of the usual one, and the income requirement is low ($30,000 p.a.). If you are able to spend $12,500 per annum, the annual fee is also waived for the subsequent years.


Who should use the HSBC Revolution Card?

With no minimum spend and no expenditure cap, the HSBC Revolution Card is one of the easiest cards to reap benefits from.
It’s particularly suitable for young Singaporeans who just started working – there’s zero pressure to spend, and the highest rewards earn rate is not just for dining, but also for entertainment venues like pubs, KTV lounges and clubs.

But like all rewards cards, the biggest problem is that you don’t get any actual money back. Those are cashback cards. Instead, you earn rewards points, and how attractive these points are to you really depends on whether you have any use for what’s in their rewards catalogue.

The most practical options would be to exchange your points for petrol or mall vouchers. The most versatile $30 HSBC mall voucher (to be used at CapitaLand malls and more) costs 12,000 rewards points, which you can earn after spending $2,400 at the 5X rewards points conversion rate.

That means you’re earning about 1.25% of your spending in rewards points, which is… Well, not that impressive.

In short, you should get this card if you want a fuss-free and seamless plastic partner – i.e. you don’t want to micromanage your spending, and you don’t want to be limited by other card’s expenditure caps.


Alternatives to the HSBC Revolution Card

Let’s check out how this card stacks up against other rewards cards aimed at entry level earners.

Citibank logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
on Online Spend*
S$1= 10X Points
on Shopping Spend
S$1= 10X Points
on All Other Spend
S$1 = 1 Point
MoneySmart Exclusive: Get an Airpods Pro or Nintendo Switch Lite delivered to your doorstep when you apply & spend on your card. Fill in the claim form after application to redeem! T&Cs apply. Valid till 31 Jul 2020.

Citi Rewards Card – You earn a very attractive 10X rewards (4 miles per dollar) when you shop for shoes, bags and clothes, both online and offline. But unless you live and breathe fashion, this card isn’t very practical for helping you earn points on everything else, like eating and travelling.

DBS logo
on Online Spend
S$5 = 5X Points
on All Other Spend
S$5 = 1X Point
Rewards to Miles Conversion
1 Point = 2 Miles

DBS Woman’s Card – Also offers 5X DBS points (5 DBS points or 2 miles per dollar) for every $5 spent online or overseas, but expenditure is capped at $1,000 a month, which is easily burst if, say, you use it for travel bookings. However, DBS has a much better redemption catalogue with vouchers from IKEA, FairPrice and more, and some of them are cheaper to redeem.

UOB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
on Online Shopping, Entertainment & Contactless Payments
S$5 = 10X UNI$
on All Other Spend
S$5 = 1X UNI$
Rewards to Miles Conversion
1 UNI$ = 2 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive: Get up to S$60 Grab Vouchers! Valid till 31 Jul 2020.

UOB Preferred Platinum Card – Get 10X UNI$ (or 4 miles) for every $5 spent on online shopping and contactless payment. Similar to the DBS Woman’s Card, but you can also use it offline at merchants that accept payWave or mobile payments. Expenditure is capped at $2,000.

As mentioned, these points are only as useful as the rewards in the catalogue, so make sure you “shop” around before deciding. It’s not that simple to just compare the earn rates because the banks’ points are different “currencies” when it comes to redeeming rewards.

The only thing that you can compare apple to apple is air miles. If you’re serious about chasing air miles, the 10X rewards cards will definitely get you there faster.

However, if you’re just starting to manage your finances, you don’t want to be overwhelmed with too many terms & conditions. The HSBC Revolution Card still wins as the least troublesome card thanks to its huge range of bonus rewards categories and lack of expenditure cap.

HSBC logo
on Online, Dining and Entertainment
S$1= 5X Points
on All Other Spend
S$1= 1X Point
Rewards to Miles Conversion for Selected Airline Partners
1 Point = 0.4 Miles


Which is your go-to rewards card? Share your recommendations in the comments!


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