Is the HSBC TravelOne Card the One and Only Travel Card You Need?—MoneySmart Review 2023

hsbc-travelone-card-review

Let’s talk about the HSBC TravelOne card’s name—“Travel One”. It aims to be the 1 travel card you need. HSBC says so as well: “Unlock instant travel rewards and elevated travel experiences everywhere you go with the one and only travel card you need.”

But does the HSBC TravelOne card (literally) live up to its name? If I only have 1 travel card, I want good miles earn rates, low (or no!) annual fees, and a slew of travel benefits and privileges. 

Let’s take a look at how the HSBC TravelOne Card fares. We review the card’s earn rates, travel rewards, privileges, and more. 

 

HSBC TravelOne Card Review—Is it MoneySmart?

HSBC-TravelOne-Card

Overall: ★★★★☆
Best for: Travellers who want a general spending miles card with a good range of travel benefits, including free travel insurance and cashback/discounts offers worldwide on dining, lifestyle, and more. 

Category Our rating The deets
Earn rates: HSBC Reward points ✈️✈️✈️✈️ – 2.4 miles per S$1 foreign spend
– 1.2 miles per S$1 local spend
– No bonus earn categories
– HSBC Reward points expire after 37 months
Earn categories ✈️✈️✈️
Annual fees and charges ★★★★☆ S$194.40 annual fee
Accessibility ★★★★☆ Minimum income requirement: $30,000 (Singaporeans and PRs, salaried workers) / $40,000 (Singaporeans and PRs who are self-employed or commission-based; non-Singaporeans)
Extras/periphery rewards ★★★★☆ – 4 complimentary visits every year to airport lounges worldwide
– Complimentary travel insurance when you charge your flight ticket to the card
– Overseas discounts and cashback offers with Mastercard Travel Rewards and Mastercard Priceless Specials
– Complimentary access to ENTERTAINER with HSBC
– Access to ID Theft Protection to safeguard your personal data
– Access to Sherpa travel advisory tool to seamlessly get info on travel and health restrictions
Sign-up bonus ★★☆☆☆ Spend $800 within 30 days of card approval and pay the annual fee to receive 20,000 miles. Valid till 31 Aug 2023. Do check the HSBC TravelOne Card page for the latest sign-up promotion.

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

 

Contents:

    1. HSBC TravelOne Card: Summary
    2. HSBC TravelOne Card: Eligibility
    3. HSBC TravelOne Card: Annual fees
    4. HSBC TravelOne Card: Earn rates
    5. HSBC TravelOne Card: Bonus earn categories
    6. HSBC TravelOne Card: Rewards points redemption
    7. HSBC TravelOne Card: Benefits and privileges
    8. HSBC TravelOne Card: Sign-up promotion
    9. Should I get the HSBC TravelOne Card?
    10. Alternatives to the HSBC TravelOne Card

 

1. HSBC TravelOne Card: Summary

HSBC logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Earn up to 2.4 Miles | Instant Activation*
on Local Spend
S$1 = 1.2 miles
on Foreign Currency Spend
S$1 = 2.4 Miles
Travel Insurance coverage, Airport Lounge visits
Complimentary
MoneySmart Exclusive:

Get a Hinomi Q1 Ergonomic Chair (worth S$499) or a Samsung 27-inch Smart Monitor M5 (worth S$432) or an Apple AirPods 3rd Gen + S$50 Cash (worth S$313.80) or S$150 Cash via PayNow when you apply and spend a min. of S$500 from Card Account Opening Date to the end of the following calendar month. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Apr 2024

The HSBS TravelOne card is an entry-level air miles card that’s good for general spending. It doesn’t come with any bonus earn categories, but does come with a good mix of travel benefits and privileges. These include travel perks (such as cashback and discounts when you shop overseas) and travel protection in the form of complimentary travel insurance.

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2. HSBC TravelOne Card: Eligibility

Let’s first talk about who’s eligible for the HSBC TravelOne Card.

An entry-level miles card, the HSBC TravelOne Card has pretty typical age and minimum income requirements:

  • Age requirement: 21 years old
  • Minimum annual income requirements:
    • For Singaporean and PR salaried workers: $30,000
    • For Singaporeans and PRs who are self-employed or commission-based: $40,000
    • For foreigners: $40,000

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3. HSBC TravelOne Card: Annual fees

The HSBC TravelOne Card comes with a pretty standard annual fee of S$194.40. Generally, this is the standard annual fee for most entry-level credit cards, barring credit cards with $0 annual fee.

Of course, the annual fee doesn’t matter if a fee waiver is available. HSBC doesn’t say anything about the first year’s annual fee (you can always try your luck requesting a fee waiver!). However, they will waive the annual fee for the second year onwards if you spend over S$25,000 per year. That’s about $2083 per month.

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4. HSBC TravelOne Card: Earn rates

Here’s a quick look at how the HSBC Travel One Card’s earn rates compare to other entry-level miles cards:

Miles per dollar (S$1)
Entry-level miles credit card Local spend Foreign spend
HSBC TravelOne Card 1.2 miles (3 Reward points) 2.4 miles (6 Reward points)
Standard Chartered Journey Credit Card 1.2 miles  2 miles
Citi PremierMiles Card 1.2 miles  2 miles
OCBC 90°N Card 1.3 miles 2.1 miles
UOB PRVI MASTERCARD Miles Card 1.4 miles (UNI$3.5 per S$5 spend) 2.4 miles per S$1 overseas spend (UNI$6 per S$5 spend)
DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card 1.3 miles 2.2 miles

The HSBC TravelOne Card local spend earn rates are average at best—there are miles cards with lower local earn rates, such as the BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard, which clocks in at just 1 mile per dollar (mpd).

However, the HSBC TravelOne Card’s foreign spend earn rates are above average. The only other miles credit card out there with a comparable rate is the UOB PRVI MASTERCARD Miles Card, which comes with a $5 minimum spend caveat—you need to spend S$5 to earn UNI$6/2.4 miles.

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5. HSBC TravelOne Card: Bonus earn categories

At its heart, the HSBC TravelOne Card is meant for everyday, general spending. That comes with 1 downside: it doesn’t have any bonus earn categories. These refer to specific spend categories with which you can earn a greater number of miles per dollar.

Bonus earn rates are miles credit cards are usually between 3 mpd to 10 mpd. Here are some examples:

Is it a big disadvantage that the HSBC TravelOne card doesn’t have bonus earn categories? We would say not necessarily. It really depends on if you’d spend more on those bonus earn categories in the first place. For example, if you don’t want to book via Kaligo, Expedia or Agoda, the Citi PremierMiles Card and DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card bonus earn rates are basically made defunct.

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6. HSBC TravelOne Card: Rewards points redemption

HSBC rewards you with Rewards points for each dollar of your spending—they don’t just give you miles directly. Here’s a breakdown of the points earn rates:

  • 2.4 miles (6 Reward points) per S$1 foreign spending
  • 1.2 miles (3 Reward points) per S$1 local spending

The good news is that from now till 31 Dec 2023, HSBC won’t charge you any conversion fee for redeeming your points for air miles or hotel points. Usually, you have to pay an annual HSBC Mileage Programme fee of S$40, subject to GST.

On top of that, HSBC rewards redemptions are fast. According to HSBC’s TraveIOne Card page, they’ll complete redemptions for air miles and hotel points instantly or in 1 business day.

Do note that HSBC Reward points expire after 37 months. 3+ years sounds like a lot of time, but you know how these expiry dates can creep up on us without us realising—fellow points hoarders, you know what I mean.

Prefer a rewards system with points/miles that never expire? Consider the Standard Chartered Journey Credit Card for 360 Rewards Points that never expire, or the Citi PremierMiles Card for Citi Miles that never expire.

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7. HSBC TravelOne Card: Benefits and privileges

Although the HSBC TravelOne Card doesn’t have any bonus point categories, it does come with a generous slew of travel benefits and privileges. Broadly, these fall into 2 categories: travel perks, and travel protection.

 

HSBC TravelOne Card travel perks

  • Airport lounge access: As the primary cardholder, you get 4 complimentary lounge visits per year to over 1,300 airport lounges around the world.
  • Travel rewards: With the HSBC TravelOne Card, you get to enjoy cashback and discounts when you travel and do your shopping overseas under the Mastercard Travel Rewards catalogue. These apply to both in-store and online merchants across over 25 countries, including Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores in Japan and Bloomingdale’s in the United States. 
  • Mastercard Priceless™ Specials: This is another MasterCard rewards programme that you get with the HSBC TravelOne card, but this one is a bit more upmarket. It offers privileged access to benefits across travel, culinary, shopping, sports, entertainment, and arts and culture.

HSBC TravelOne Card travel protection

  • Travel insurance: If you charge your air ticket (in full) to your HSBC TravelOne Card, you’ll get complimentary travel insurance coverage (including COVID-19) of up to USD100,000.
  • ID Theft Protection™: The HSBC TravelOne Card doesn’t just want to give you peace of mind while on holiday—it also aims to do so while you’re browsing and making purchases online. You can register for Mastercard ID Theft Protection™ to ensure your personal data is safe and secure, protecting you from identity theft and fraud. 
  • Checking travel and health restrictions: It is such a chore to check for travel and health restriction/documentation. The HSBC TravelOne gives you access to Sherpa, a travel advisory tool that tells you what Visa requirements, travel documents, and even if COVID-19 tests are needed prior to your trip. 

Hungry for more benefits? Even if you aren’t travelling, the HSBC TravelOne Card comes with a dining perk you can use right here in Singapore. You’ll get complimentary access to ENTERTAINER with HSBC, which comes with tons of 1-1 deals on dining, lifestyle and travel. These deals are available worldwide, but there are plenty to choose from locally too.


ALSO READBest Food Discount and Rewards Apps in Singapore—Chope, Burpple, Entertainer & More


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8. HSBC TravelOne Card: Sign-up promotion

From now till 31 Aug 2023, you can get up to 20,000 Miles (in the form of 50,000 Rewards Points) when you apply for the HSBC TravelOne Card.

The downside is that you need to pay the card’s annual fee of S$194.40 (GST already included), as well as spend at least S$800 in qualifying transactions within 1 month. Depending on your lifestyle, this minimum spend could be easily doable, or a tall order.

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9. Should I get the HSBC TravelOne Card?

If you’re looking for a general spending travel card (that means no bonus earn categories!), the HSBC TravelOne Card is a decent choice. Its earn rates are average or slightly above average (especially when it comes to foreign spending), and we like that you earn Rewards points per dollar spent. For some other cards with similar earn rates, you need to spend say $5 before you chalk up any points. This means that the HSBC TravelOne Card can help you earn points on even the smallest purchases.

HSBC TravelOne Card
Pros Cons
  • Decent earn rates, and you earn for each dollar spent, no minimum amount per transaction 
  • Fast reward redemptions for miles and hotel points—instant or within 1 business day
  • Low annual fee
  • Decent travel benefits, such as complimentary travel insurance, overseas shopping discounts, and access to ENTERTAINER with HSBC
  • Entry-level minimum income requirements, with option for self-employed or commission-based workers
  • May need to pay a $40 (before GST) conversion fee to turn your points into miles from 2024
  • Need to spent $25,000 for second year fee waiver
  • Sign-up promo of 20,000 miles requires you to pay the annual fee of S$194.40 and spend S$800 within 1 month

Don’t forget that the HSBC Reward points expire after a 37-month period. This could be a pro or a con, depending on how much of a points hoarder you are.

The HSBC TravelOne Card does live up to its name as the 1 and only travel card you’ll need…if you’re looking for a general spending miles card. We suggest you get the HSBC TravelOne Card if you want a general spend card, if you value travel benefits, and if you’re looking for a higher than average earn rate for foreign spending. This card isn’t for you if you want a high bonus earn rate on selected categories, or if you want miles that never expire. 

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10. Alternatives to the HSBC TravelOne Card

Here are some other entry-level miles cards for you to consider. These rewards points/miles never expire:

Standard Chartered Journey Credit Card: This card rewards you with a bonus earn rate of 3 miles for online transactions on transport, food delivery, and groceries. The best part is that the 360 Rewards Points you earn never expire.

Standard Chartered logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Annual Fee Waived
for every S$1 spend on Transportation, Food Delivery & Online Grocery merchants. Capped at 3,000 Miles in a statement cycle
S$1 = 3 Miles
for all Eligible Foreign Spends
S$1 = 2 Miles
for all Eligible Local Spends
S$1 = 1.2 Miles

Citi PremierMiles Card: Citi Miles never expire! Plus, earn up to 10 miles per $1 spent on selected hotel bookings. 

Citibank logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
LUCKY DRAW | GET UP TO S$18,000 WORTH OF PRIZES
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
All Foreign Currency Spend including Retail and Online
S$1 = Up to 2 Miles
Selected Online Hotel Bookings
S$1 = Up to 10 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[FASTER GIFT REDEMPTION | GIVEAWAY]
Get a Sony HT-AX7 Portable Theatre System (worth S$769) or an Apple iPad (9th Gen), 64GB (worth S$508.30) or a Nintendo Switch OLED (worth S$549) or S$300 Cash via PayNow, in as fast as 6 weeks from meeting the S$500 spend criteria!
 
PLUS stand a chance to get a Rolex Submariner 124060 (worth S$15,521) or an Apple iPhone 15 Pro, 128GB (worth S$1,664.25) or a Sony PlayStation®5 (SLIM) Digital Edition (worth S$669) when you apply through MoneySmart! T&Cs apply.

Valid until 21 Apr 2024

OCBC 90 N Card: Travel$ never expire. You’ll also get up to 7 miles per $1 spent on Agoda accommodations worldwide.

OCBC logo
Earn Miles That Don't Expire
on Agoda accommodations worldwide
S$1 = Up to 7 Miles
on Foreign Currency spend
S$1 = 2.1 Miles
on Local spend
S$1 = 1.3 Miles

Check out and easily compare the other air miles credit cards in Singapore.

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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,o00 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.

Don’t miss our ultimate list of credit card reviews for the low-down on credit cards in Singapore.

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