In our opinion, HSBC Advance Credit Card is one of the best no annual fee cash back credit cards currently available in Singapore. However, there is a big caveat: for this card to work well for you, you need to apply and qualify for HSBC's Advance customer status. If you do, this card provides cash rebate of up to 3.5% without charging any annual fee, easily one of the best deals you can find in the country. If you're interested in getting an easy to use, flat-rate cashback card while saving on annual fees, this could be the credit card for you. Over the course of this review, we will outline the main features and highlights of the HSBC Advance Credit Card so that you can get the most bang for your buck.
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What Makes HSBC Advance Credit Card Stand Out
HSBC Advance Credit Card, in our opinion, is one of the best no-fee cashback credit cards in the market, with a big caveat. If you are or can easily become a HSBC Advance Banking customer, you can enjoy 3.5% of cashback at no annual fee whatsoever. However, if you don't qualify for the Advance status, you can only enjoy 1.5-2.5% of cashback (depending on your salary) while paying S$192.6 of annual fee to use the card. To be a HSBC Advance Banking customer, you have to meet at least one of the following requirements with HSBC:
- Total Relationship Balance of at least S$30,000 in deposits, investments and/or insurance, with 6 months’ grace period to place in your funds
- Home Loan with an initial loan quantum of at least S$200,000
- Salary credit of S$3,500 per month, with 24 months grace period from Advance relationship opening to reach Total Relationship Balance of at least S$30,000
- Salary crediting or reoccurring deposit of at least S$3,500 per month and have applied for / hold a HSBC Credit card or a HSBC Personal Loan
- Reoccurring deposit of at least S$2,500 per month, with 24 months grace period from Advance relationship opening to reach Total Relationship Balance of at least S$30,000
HSBC Advance credit card's cash rebate is tiered depending on your spending level, as detailed in our table below. To put it simply, HSBC Advance customers can enjoy 2.5%-3.5% of cash back for every dollar they spend. Given that an consumer spends about S$2,000 per month and that Advance customers tend to be wealthier, it's almost a given that all HSBC Advance card customers can earn 3.5% consistently on their dollars. Not only that, this card's cash rebate can scale incredibly because its monthly cap is extremely high at S$125 for Advance customers (S$70 for others). Therefore, this card is especially effective for affluent users with a high spending habit.
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Above characteristics make HSBC Advance Card's value proposition amazing is its perpetual waiver of the annual fee for Advance customers. Not only that, this card also comes with a variety of extra benefits like up to 16% discounts on petrol at all Caltex and Shell stations in Singapore and 7% discount off your travel bookings on Agoda.
Where the HSBC Advance Credit Card falls a little short is its utility for non-Advance customers. Non-Advance customers have to pay an annual fee of S$120 to use this card, and are likely to earn only 1.5% of flat rate cash back for their expenditures; for consumers who are looking for a similar value proposition, they can find much better else in cards like Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card. However, HSBC Advance Card is still one of the best card offerings in the country for anyone who can get HSBC Advance status, and it made our 2017 editor's picks for Best Cashback Credit Cards, Best No-Fee Credit Cards, and Best Rewards Credit Cards.
HSBC Advance Visa Credit Card Benefits & Features
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How does HSBC Advance Credit Card Compare Against Other Credit Cards?
To help you get an idea of how the HSBC Advance Credit Card performs against the competition, we provide the following side-by-side comparison of this card with other leading travel rewards credit cards.
HSBC Advance vs OCBC 365 Card
The OCBC 365 Card is another one of our favorite no-fee cashback credit cards for the average consumer. OCBC 365 Card helps you save on a variety of categories like dining (6%), online shopping (3%), petrol (22%), groceries (3%) and utilties (3%), just to name a few. Though its cash rebate is capped at S$80 per month, we think this is high enough to not cause a problem for most average consumers. Its annual fee of S$192.6 may seem high, but OCBC waives this fee for 2 years and subsequently for anyone who spends S$10,000 per year. Being one of the best cash back credit cards in its own right, we think OCBC 365 card could be a better no-fee card for you if you do not qualify for HSBC's advance status.
HSBC Advance vs UOB One Card
The UOB One Card is another terrific cash rebate credit card that come with a flat rate cash back. It awards up to S$100 of rebate per month for anyone who spends at least S$2,000 per month consistently (for up to 5% of cash back). For an average consumer that spends about S$2,000 per month, this could be a much better way to earn rebates than HSBC Advance card, even if you qualify or HSBC Advance status. However, if you spend significantly more than S$2,000 (i.e. S$3,500), HSBC Advance still yields more value because its cap cashback is higher at S$125 vs UOB One's S$100.
HSBC Advance vs Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card
The Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card is a great alternative for HSBC Advance card if you do not qualify for HSBC Advance status. While this card matches HSBC Advance's cash rebate at 1.5% for non-Advance customers, SC Unlimited Cashback Card actually waives its annual fee for 2 whole years, compared to the S$120 per year charged by HSBC. If you are looking for a flat-rate, no-fee cash back card, this is the better option when you can't qualify for HSBC's Advance status.
*ValuePenguin calculates the dollar value of rewards based on S$2,000 of monthly spending. We sum the value of points, miles and cashback in dollar terms and subtract the annual fee over a 24-month period. The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.