Review of the HSBC Premier World MasterCard

Last Reviewed: 3/23/2011

While the HSBC Premier World Card has some moderately attractive features to its rewards program, ironically its probably the insanely high deposit/investment balance requirement that will keep most readers from ever applying for this card (yours truly included).  In order to obtain the Premier World Card, you’ll need to keep a balance of $100,000 or more in some combination of HSBC checking, investment, and brokerage accounts. This HSBC card simply isn’t good enough to warrant a decision on moving that amount of Benjamins around.

On the bright side, this HSBC mastercard offers some other highly compelling benefits, such as a $50 cap on balance transfers and no foreign transaction fees. So if you already have an HSBC account, there could be some value here.

Snapshot: HSBC Premier World Credit Card
Earning Rewards
Reward Program Name HSBC Premier
Base Rewards $1 of spend = 1 point
Bonus Category Rewards Double points earned on all base purchases for 1st 6 months from account open date
Points Caps None
Points Expiration Never
Redeeming Awards
Value of Points
  • $0.01 when redeeming for cash
  • $0.0125 when redeeming for gift cards
  • $0.0166 when redeeming for airline travel.
Redemption Details
  • Redeem for cash back in increments of $50.
  • No blackout dates, booking fees or seat restrictions for travel redemptions.
Optimum Redemption Airline tickets (no blackout dates)
Annual Fee None
Foreign Transaction Fees None
Balance Transfer Fees 3%-$5 minimum, $50 maximum.
Account Maintenance Fee $50 per month if your combined checking and investment account balances drop below $100,000.

Earning Rewards With the HSBC MasterCard: Plain Jane

The strength of the HSBC Premier World rewards program is on the redemption side, not the earnings side. This HSBC mastercard earns only 1 point per dollar spent, although for the first 6 months that you have the card, you will earn double points. But as you see when you use the GetDebit ranking engine, if you hold the card for a few years, these short term promotions don’t carry much weight. For a more powerful earnings card, you may want to check out the Discover Escape Card.

The HSBC Premier Card Steps Up When It Comes To (Certain) Redemption Awards

As the table below shows, redemptions for airline travel by far and away exceed redemptions for either cash (lowest value) or gift cards. In fact, at the time of the writing of this post, the GetDebit Ranking Engine (using the default spending profile), had the HSBC Premier World card placing 16th out of 97 cards when redeeming for airline rewards-that’s pretty respectable.

Optimum Redemption Strategies for the HSBC Premier World Mastercard
Type of Reward $ Value of Reward Points Req’d $ Value/Point
Travel Credit $400 24,000 $0.0167
Gift Cards $200 16,000 $0.0125
Cash Back $50 5,000 $0.0100

Some Other Notables About the HSBC Premier Credit Card

While the HSBC card holds it own on the rewards front, there are some other intriguing aspects to the card:

  • Balance transfer fee structure: This credit card charges a 3% fee (very standard), BUT limits the fee to $50 maximum. If you were able to make a $10,000 balance transfer, your effective fee would be 0.5%-pretty amazing!
  • Foreign transaction fees: There are no foreign transaction fees for using this card overseas, another exceptional benefit (though this benefit can be found with certain other cards, including all Capital One cards).
  • Purchase APR: At the time of this post, the purchase APR on the HSBC Premier Credit Card was only 9.99%. While there are lower offers out there, this is a very respectable APR.

GetDebit’s Closing Thoughts on the HSBC Premier World Mastercard

So we’ve said it all, but here are the highlights:

  • The $100K balance required to get the card may be beyond the reach of most.
  • Redeeming your rewards for travel credits yields a very respectable $0.0167 per point value.
  • The fee structure is excellent, with a $50 balance transfer fee cap being the most outstanding. The no-foreign-fee is also a winner.

Despite some of the nice benefits of this card, we don’t see it being worth the effort of moving that much money over to HSBC to make it happen. Someday, if they lower the limit significantly, it may make sense.

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