Reminder: HSBC’s new rewards exclusion categories kick in from 1 July

HSBC cards will no longer earn points on CardUp/ipaymy, education, insurance or utilities payments from 1 July. Remember to switch out your cards.

Back in May 2020, HSBC announced some changes to the T&Cs of its rewards program that kick in from 1 July 2020.

That’s just one day away, so here’s a reminder of what you need to do.

What are HSBC’s new rewards exclusion categories?

From 1 July 2020, HSBC will exclude the following transactions from earning rewards:

  • Foreign exchange transactions (including but not limited to;
  • Donations and payments to charitable, social organisations and religious organisations;
  • Quasi-cash transactions (including but not limited to transactions relating to money orders, traveler’s checks, gaming related transactions, lottery tickets and gambling);
  • Payments made to financial institutions, securities brokerages or dealers (including but not limited to the trading of securities, investments or crypto-currencies of any kind);
  • Payments on money payments/transfers (including but not limited to Paypal, SKR, CardUp, SmoovPay, iPayMy);
  • Payments to any professional services provider (including but not limited to GOOGLE Ads, Facebook Ads, Amazon Web Services, MEDIA TRAFFIC AGENCY INC);
  • Top-ups, money transfers or purchase of credits of prepaid cards, stored-value cards or e-wallets (including but not limited to EZ-Link, Transitlink, NETS Flashpay and Youtrip);
  • Payments in connection with any government institutions and/or services (including but not limited to court costs, fines, bail and bond payment);
  • Any AXS and ATM transactions;
  • Tax payments (except HSBC Tax Payment Facility);
  • Payments for cleaning, maintenance and janitorial services (including property management fees);
  • Payments to insurance companies (including but not limited to sales, underwriting, premiums and insurance services);
  • Payments to educational institutions;
  • Payments on utilities;
  • The monthly instalment amounts under the HSBC Spend Instalment;
  • Balance transfers, fund transfers, cash advances, finance charges, late charges, HSBC’s Cash Instalment Plan, any fees charged by HSBC;
  • Any unposted, cancelled, disputed and refunded transactions



You’ll no longer earn any rewards points on CardUp/ipaymy transactions from 1 July. For those of you using your HSBC Visa Infinite or HSBC Revolution (unlikely, given the low earn rates) for recurring billing arrangements, be sure to swap out your card immediately. 

Remember that even if you schedule your CardUp/ipaymy payment before 1 July, all that matters is the date your card is actually charged

Fortunately, most general spending cards will continue to earn miles and points as per normal on CardUp/ipaymy, so there’s no shortage of alternatives. 

💡 If you haven’t paid your income tax bill yet, remember that CardUp is offering a 1.75% discounted rate for Milelion readers. This lets you buy miles from as low as 1.07 cents each. Read the details here, and learn about all your tax payment options here



Forget using your HSBC credit card to pay your school fees, because payments to educational institutions are now out too. Whether you’re paying in-person or online, no more points will be earned here. 

Your best bet now is to hope your institution takes American Express cards, or use a Maybank Visa Infinite card. 


The exclusion of insurance is a huge loss, given how HSBC was one of the last banks awarding points for this category. You could even earn up to 2 mpd by paying with the HSBC Revolution, a fact explicitly advertised this on its landing page:

Well, no more. Insurance transactions will be excluded from 1 July, leaving you with precious few options here



HSBC is turning off the lights for utilities too, which means no more 2 mpd for online payments with the HSBC Revolution. If you’ve saved your credit card as the recurring payment method for your OEM supplier, be sure to swap it out. 

Fortunately, utilities is one area where there’s still an abundance of alternative options for earning points. 

Detailed T&Cs for HSBC credit card

 Until 30 June 2020From 1 July 2020
HSBC AdvanceLinkLink
HSBC PremierLinkLink
HSBC RevolutionLinkLink
HSBC Visa InfiniteLinkLink
HSBC Visa PlatinumLinkLink


Although insurance, education, and to a lesser extent utilities are all categories we’ve seen on other banks’ exclusion lists, I’m particularly concerned about the decision to exclude CardUp/ipaymy. Hopefully HSBC will just prove to be an aberration here, but we’ll have to see. 

Take a few minutes to swap out any HSBC credit cards you have saved as recurring payment methods for the transactions above. If you need further clarity on what cards to use, consider the guides below:

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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HSBC Revo is of no use to me anymore with all the new exclusions. Already cancelled the card.


I am really looking forward to the SG credit card market “evolution”, how worse could it be?



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