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HSBC Revolution Card Review: The BEST Miles Card

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The HSBC Revolution card is a popular miles card and I’ve been using it for almost 2 years now.

I think it’s one of the best miles cards that every miles chaser needs to have, and today, I’ll share my favourite and least favourite things about the HSBC Revolution card.

What Is The HSBC Revolution Card?

The HSBC Revolution card is a specialised miles card that is popular due to its ability to earn 4 miles per dollar (mpd) on a wide range of transaction categories.

It earns 4 mpd on just about any retail transaction that you might make on a daily basis, including but not limited to the following:

  • Dining (restaurants, bars, fast food, food delivery)
  • Groceries (in-person & online delivery)
  • Ride-hailing (Grab, Gojek, TADA, Comfort, Ryde)
  • Shopping (in-person & online)
  • Travel (flights, hotels, car rentals, online travel agencies)

Note that the 4 mpd earn rate only applies for online and Visa contactless payments.

For transactions made outside of these bonus categories or payment methods, the HSBC Revolution card earns only 0.4 mpd.

The HSBC Revolution card has high utility value for online and offline transactions, making it a hybrid between the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa (PPV) and Citi Rewards cards.

The HSBC Revolution card is an entry-level credit card with an annual income requirement of S$30,000, so it is easily accessible to most working adults.

While it is commonly referred to as a miles card, the HSBC Revolution card actually earns HSBC Points, which can be converted to miles.

10 HSBC Points are awarded for every S$1 of eligible spending, which can be converted to airline miles at a rate of 25,000 points = 10,000 miles.

Here is an overview of the details of the HSBC Revolution card.

Eligibility RequirementS$30,000 annual income
21 years old
Annual FeeNone
Earn Rate4 mpd (shopping, dining, groceries, transport, travel)
0.4 mpd (other spend)
Monthly Spend CapS$1,000 for 4 mpd
No cap for 0.4 mpd
Miles Validity37 months
Miles Transfer Blocks25,000 HSBC Points = 10,000 miles
Transfer PartnersCathay Pacific
Singapore Airlines
Transfer FeeS$43.20 / year (unlimited transfers)

What I Like About The HSBC Revolution Card

1: 4 Mpd On Common Daily Transactions

The best thing about the HSBC Revolution card is that it earns 4 mpd on a wide range of transactions that cover the most common daily expenses.

This means that on a day-to-day basis, you can expect to earn 4 mpd on most of your transactions – dining, shopping, groceries, cabs, and travel.

Dining transactions include anything from fast food places to restaurants to hotel restaurants to bars.

Shopping transactions include anything from fashion to accessories to electronics to e-commerce platforms.

The inclusion of Travel as a bonus category for the HSBC Revolution card is what differentiates it from competitors like UOB PPV and Citi Rewards.

Check out my review of the Citi Rewards card here!

Neither of these cards earns 4 mpd for travel-related expenses like flight and hotel bookings, so HSBC Revolution is the one to use.

While the HSBC Revolution card does not earn 4 mpd on as many categories of transactions as UOB PPV or Citi Rewards, it is more than sufficient for daily use.

2: Generous Miles Calculation

Next, the HSBC Revolution card has one of the most generous calculations to award miles.

Miles, or HSBC Points, are awarded in blocks of S$1, where 10 HSBC Points are earned for every S$1 of eligible transactions.

This is broken down into 1 base HSBC Point + 9 bonus HSBC Points.

Base HSBC Points are awarded per transaction by rounding them to the nearest dollar, ie $0.50 of spending is rounded to $1 and earns 1 base HSBC Point.

Bonus HSBC Points are awarded by multiplying the sum of all your eligible monthly transactions by 9, then rounding down.

3: Free HSBC Entertainer Subscription

A perk of the HSBC Revolution card that is often forgotten, or any HSBC card, is that it comes with a free subscription to Entertainer with HSBC.

If you don’t know, Entertainer is a lifestyle subscription app with promotions at partnered merchants, offering 1-for-1 deals or discount coupons.

HSBC offers a free subscription to its credit card customers with varying degrees of perks depending on which credit card you own.

HSBC Revolution only comes with the lowest tier of subscription benefits, but there are still a handful of great deals to take advantage of.

You can receive your free subscription by contacting HSBC’s customer service and downloading the Entertainer with the HSBC app from your app store.

4: No Annual Fee

Finally, the HSBC Revolution card has revoked its annual fees, so cardholders don’t have to go through the hassle of requesting a fee waiver.

This isn’t a big deal by any means because most banks waive annual fees for entry-level credit cards, but it’s a nice-to-have feature nonetheless.

What I Don’t Like About The HSBC Revolution Card

1: Whitelist Approach

One downside of the HSBC Revolution card is that it adopts a whitelist approach for transactions eligible for 4 mpd.

This means that only transactions under a specified list of merchant category codes (MCCs) will earn 4 mpd.

In contrast, both the UOB PPV and Citi Rewards cards adopt a blacklist approach for mobile contactless and online payments respectively.

This means that all transactions will earn 4 mpd except those included in a specified list of MCCs.

Check out my review on the UOB PPV card here!

This subtle difference means that the HSBC Revolution card earns 4 mpd on a smaller range of transactions, and is not ‘anything goes’.

Consequently, it is not able to earn 4 mpd on miscellaneous transactions that don’t fall under the major categories of dining, shopping, groceries, travel, and transport.

One example of this is private medical expenses.

However, this isn’t an issue in most cases since major daily expenses are covered.

2: No Transaction History For Miles Crediting

Next, keeping track of your miles (HSBC Points) earned is a nightmare.

There’s no historical log of your points being credited into your account or any breakdown of points.

Instead, you find out how many points you earned via your monthly statement, and that’s that.

It isn’t too bad if all your transactions earned you 4 mpd as expected.

But if not, it’s extremely difficult to find out which transactions earned you miles and which didn’t.

It’s a far cry from UOB which provides transaction-level crediting details and Citibank which provides daily consolidations.

3: Higher Conversion Fees

Finally, HSBC charges a higher-than-average fee of $40 for converting points to miles.

In comparison, the market standard is usually $25.

However, that’s also because HSBC’s conversion service is slightly different.

While most banks typically charge this fee on a per-conversion basis, HSBC charges this as a 1-time fee for the year.

This means that after paying the $40, you can make as many point transfers as you want within the year at no additional cost.

Also, while HSBC Points don’t pool across cards, this conversion fee is shared between all cards.

So, if you own the affluent HSBC Visa Infinite card as well, you only need to pay the conversion fee once to transfer points from both of these cards.

I’d rather pay a one-time fee as per other banks since I don’t expect to accrue a large number of miles within the same year after making my first transfer.

How To Maximise 4 mpd With HSBC Revolution

If you’ve decided to use the HSBC Revolution card, here’s a cheat sheet on how to maximise earning 4 mpd:

  1. Online or contactless payment (Visa payWave/mobile) only
  2. Selected categories only (dining, shopping, groceries, transport, travel)
  3. Up to S$1,000 of spending/calendar month only

The HSBC Revolution card has the same miles earning rate on the same categories of transactions for both online and offline spending.

However, offline spending must be made via contactless payment – either with a physical card via Visa payWave or with mobile devices via Apple Pay/Google Pay etc.

Only transactions made under selected eligible categories will earn 4 mpd, which covers most daily expenses like dining, shopping, groceries, transport, and travel.

Finally, the HSBC Revolution card only earns 4 mpd on the first S$1,000 of spending every calendar month.

Any spending over S$1,000 will only earn 0.4 mpd for that month.

Other Things To Note

1: Bonus Points Cap Period

The HSBC Revolution card earns 4 mpd on the first S$1,000 of eligible card spending each month.

The monthly basis for this card is calendar months, which makes things pretty straightforward.

This means that you can only earn 4 mpd on up to S$1,000 of spending each month, regardless of whether your card statement has reset or not.

2: 1% Cashback With HSBC EGA

If you have an HSBC Everyday Global Account (EGA), you are eligible for the Everyday+ Rewards Programme.

Under this programme, you will be able to earn a bonus of 1% cashback on your HSBC credit card spending.

This means that on top of the 4 mpd earned by your HSBC Revolution card, you will also earn 1% cashback on your transactions.

I wrote an entire post about this, which you can find here.

3: Sign Up Rewards

HSBC doesn’t always offer signup rewards for their credit cards, but once in a while, they do.

The only way to know for sure is to check before signing up.

Here is the current offer for HSBC credit cards.

HSBC Offer: Xiaomi Robot Vacuum, AirPods Gen 3 + MagSafe Charger, JBL Speaker, or S$250 Cash

4: Terms & Conditions

If you’d like to familiarise yourself with the HSBC Revolution card, you can check out the terms & conditions here.

Final Thoughts

Having used the HSBC Revolution card for almost 2 years, I think it’s the best and most essential miles card to own.

It has the same miles earning rate for online and offline transactions and doesn’t come with various criteria or conditions, making it simple to use.

Even though it adopts a whitelist approach for eligible transactions to earn 4 mpd, it’s not an issue in most cases because most common daily transactions are included in this whitelist.

Furthermore, it also earns 4 mpd on travel-related transactions, which is rare among specialised miles cards.

It earns miles from as little as S$1 of spending, and the free subscription to Entertainer with HSBC ties in nicely with the card’s utility for spending on dining and lifestyle transactions.

The card having no annual fee is icing on the cake, so even if you don’t end up using the card very often, you don’t have to worry about getting your annual fee waived.

The HSBC Revolution card is a must-have card I would recommend to anyone thinking of getting into the miles game, and I’ll definitely be using it for the foreseeable future.

Do you use the HSBC Revolution card? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments below!

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