Awesome: HSBC Revolution receiving major upgrade from 1 August

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From 1 August, the HSBC Revolution will earn 4 mpd on online purchases and contactless payments (capped at S$1,000 per month).

Well well.

When HSBC revised its T&Cs to exclude education, insurance, and utilities payments, I remarked that this was the death of the HSBC Revolution. After all, the card’s 2 mpd online bonus rate was only useful for these categories, and with those gone, why keep it? 

I’m pleased to see that HSBC has proven me wrong. From 1 August, the HSBC Revolution will receive a major upgrade, allowing cardholders to earn 4 mpd on online spending and contactless payments. 

hsbc revolution upgrade

The upgraded HSBC Revolution card

Apply Here

From 1 August 2020, the HSBC Revolution will change as follows: 

 Until 31 JulyFrom 1 August
Annual FeeS$160.50None
Online Purchases2 mpd4 mpd
Contactless Payments0.4 mpd4 mpd
Local Dining2 mpd0.4 mpd (physical card)
4 mpd (contactless)
Local Entertainment2 mpd0.4 mpd

HSBC will scrap the S$160.50 annual fee for the Revolution card, and switch up the bonus categories. 

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Gone is the bonus for local dining and entertainment, which is no big loss given that you could do much better with other cards anyway. In its place comes a 4 mpd bonus for online purchases and contactless payments, capped at S$1,000 per calendar month.

The 4 mpd will be awarded in the form of 10X HSBC rewards points, split into:

  • 1X base points for every S$1 of eligible transactions
  • 9X bonus points for every S$1 of eligible transactions

Bonus points will be credited by the end of the following calendar month from the date of transaction. 

The new T&C can be found here

4 mpd for contactless payments & online spending

HSBC defines contactless payments as those made via Visa contactless through a
contactless terminal mode which includes Visa payWave and Apple Pay.

In case you’re wondering why Google Pay isn’t listed, that’s because HSBC cards are not supported on Google Pay, believe it or not. Ditto for Fitbit Pay and Samsung Pay, sadly, but it just means you’ll have to bring the physical card around. 

 Eligible?

Online transactions will cover both internet and app-based transactions. 

Do note that HSBC is not awarding a blanket 4 mpd on all contactless and online transactions. Instead, they’re adopting a “whitelist” approach, defining eligible transactions as follows: 

CategoryMCCs
Travel related such as Airlines, Car Rental,
Lodging, Cruise Lines and Travel Agencies
3000 to 3350, 3351 to 3500, 3501 to 3999, 4411, 4511, 4722
Department Stores and Retail Stores4816, 5045, 5262, 5309, 5310, 5311, 5331, 5399, 5611, 5621, 5631, 5641, 5651, 5655, 5661, 5691, 5699, 5732 to 5735, 5912, 5942, 5944 to 5949, 5964 to 5970, 5992, 5999
Supermarkets, Dining and Food Delivery5411, 5441, 5462, 5499, 5811, 5812, 5813, 5814
Others such as Transportation and
Membership Clubs
4121, 7997
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This should still cover all the basics, such as:

  • airline and hotel bookings
  • e-commerce shopping at Amazon, Lazada, Qoo10, Shopee, Taobao
  • food delivery with Deliveroo, foodpanda, GrabFood
  • ridesharing apps like Grab, gojek
  • taxi transactions

GrabPay wallet top ups will not earn bonus points, based on HSBC’s rewards exclusion categories

How does this compare to the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa?

These new perks make the HSBC Revolution a direct competitor with the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa. However, it has two key advantages: 

  • The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa awards points in S$5 blocks (anything less than S$5 earns 0 points), while the HSBC Revolution awards points per S$1
  • The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa does not earn miles at SMART$ merchants like Cold Storage and Giant. There’s no such restriction for the HSBC Revolution

On the flip side:

  • UOB has a bigger cards ecosystem and pools points, so there’s less of a risk of orphan balances. HSBC does not pool points among its cards
  • The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa adopts a “blacklist” approach, which means that all contactless transactions earn 4 mpd unless otherwise stated. HSBC only awards 4 mpd on certain MCC ranges

This means the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa still has an important role to play in your wallet- use it at the dentist’s office, or at the hair salon, or anywhere that isn’t on the HSBC Revolution’s whitelist. 

What can I do with HSBC rewards points?

HSBC Rewards Points can be transferred to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, at a 5:2 ratio. 

 Transfer Ratio
(Points: Miles)
5:2
5:2

HSBC charges a S$42.80 annual fee that covers unlimited points transfers, and points are valid for 37 months from date of accrual. 

Welcome gift of luggage or cashback

From now till 31 August, new-to-bank customers can choose between a Samsonite Prestige 69cm luggage bag (worth S$670) or S$150 of cashback when they spend a minimum of S$800 during the qualifying period. Applicants will be prompted for their choice at the time of application. 

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The qualifying spending period depends on when your card was approved:

Card Opening DateQualifying Spend Period
1-30 June 20201 June- 31 July 2020
1- 31 July 20201 July- 31 August 2020
1-31 August 20201 August-30 September 2020
1-15 September1 September- 31 October 2020

Customers who apply via MyInfo will receive an additional S$30 of Grab codes. 

This offer is available for customers who do not currently hold a principal HSBC credit card, and have not done so in the past 12 months. The full T&C can be viewed here

Conclusion

Apply Here

I’m very pleased about this development, as it’s breathed new life into the HSBC Revolution. The free copy of The Entertainer and the removal of the annual fee only sweetens the deal. 

I’ll be adding this card to my wallet and looking forward to 1 August. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Happy Camper

🥳

Brian

So eating out still use UOB PPV right? anyway this is nice to have as it is zero annual fee now. regretted cancelling it the last time.

aaron you can also mention the sign up bonuses offered with the bank maybe?

Bent

MCC for dining (generally) is in HSBC whitelist so no harm to use this for paywave at restaurants / food places

Mr.J

Aaron : in the initial table, you mentioned “Local Dining 2 mpd 0.4 mpd”.

However the MCC for restaurants is 5812, which is whitelisted (as u mentioned later in the article).

Hence, it would be a good idea to clarify the 0.4 in your first table does not apply where the payment is contactless at a restaurant – in such case, u would get 4mpd….

Jason

Taping of physical card consider as contactless payment?

Adam

Yes, unlike PPV.

Guest

You mentioned UOB PPV still has an important role to play – “use it at the dentist’s office, or at the hair salon”, does these transactions also get 4mpd on PPV?

Separately, any idea if Favpay transactions linked to credit cards are counted as contactless – be it for Revolution, PPV or any other cards that awards additional points/rewards for contactless transactions?

Mike

They do but you must pay using mobile payment.

Bent

I will usually link grabpay card (topped up with CRV) to Fave pay to double dip.

RTK

This is such welcome news!! This development would lead to so much marital bliss!! Let me explain: I applied for UOB cards twice in the past 3 years, and was deemed not eligible for either the PRIVI Miles or the Preferred Platinum. This, despite being eligible for, and currently holding the Amex Platinum Charge and Citi Prestige. I also previously held the SC Visa Infinite and HSBC Visa Infinite cards. We have a Fairprice next door, and I would curse UOB everytime I shopped there and earned a meagre 1.2 mpd from Citi 😀 For 4mpd, I would try to… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by RTK
data

Hi RTK

Just for a reference point, do you know why you were rejected by UOB? Do they have some sort of Rule like Chase 5/24 in US? Or perhaps it is related to type of income, maybe they prefer salary statements rather than NOA or business statements?

Thanks for the info in advance. Hope it’s not too intrusive to ask

RTK

Thanks data! I’m employed, decent income levels, good credit rating..

Oh well..

Last edited 1 month ago by RTK
mk mk

just to share: i find UOB very conservative (or unwillingness to deviate) with their risk assessment algorithm. my application to review credit limit was rejected few times. i checked the CBS report and realised i got a HX grade so i queried CBS about the record sent to UOB. while other banks also see that HX grade on the CBS report, it has no bearing on credit worthiness (i know this since DBS/Citi/OCBC already increased my limit/successful application). the CBS record basically states that it was a litigation that was concluded and anyone can tell it is not due to… Read more »

chk

Hi RTK I hold cards from many banks include the Platinum Charge Card and SCB X-Card but when I applied for OCBC Titanium, and I got a letter saying I do not meet the criteria. I went to the Credit Bureau to get my free credit report and I was graded the highest level. I think there is something red flagged in OCBC Bank system against my name or NRIC. Anyway, I could not be bothered to visit and get it changed since there are plenty of alternatives in Singapore. For you, UOB probably has something marked against you recorded… Read more »

Billy

Wow… dunno how to react cos I just called to HSBC yesterday afternoon to cancel the card! I have not been using it for the past 1 year. I guess no love loss…

Brian

same. just lose out on the sign up gift i guess

derfner

does this mean we can top up grab pay with this card?

Financialmtc

no

Bent

mentioned in the article: “GrabPay wallet top ups will not earn bonus points, based on HSBC’s rewards exclusion categories. “

Curious

So can i use this to top up my grab pay mastercard, and would HSBC give me 4mpd for that? Technically i can then use that to pay almost everything…

Financialmtc

no

Bent

mentioned in the article: “GrabPay wallet top ups will not earn bonus points, based on HSBC’s rewards exclusion categories. “

Bent

i see, ok means no 10x rewards for usage on public transport.

Joe

how about top-ups to ez-link cards via ez-reload or using their app? last time they got specify in their T&Cs, the new one don’t have.

Bent

Downside of UOB PPV vs HSBC is that UOB PPV now awards the bonus UNI$ only for mobile txns i.e. cannot tap the physical card. Some people find it easier to tap the physical card (which HSBC allows) esp in view of covid where people have to have the mask on all the time. Hard to get faceID to work and trobulesome to key in passcode. But the annual fee for transfer seems steep. How long are their points valid for?

Bent

Found my answer:
All Points awarded shall expire at the end of a 37 month period which shall commence from the month subsequent to the month in which such Points were awarded.

37 months validity is more generous than UOB UNI $ expiry of 2 years, so perhaps worth it to get this card since there is no AF + they award points for every $1 iso $5 blocks that UOB does. Hard to say how long this new T&C of 10x reward points will last for though.

Bent

Unfortuantely for DBS, I have do it yearly due to expiry of their DBS WW points on an annual basis. Most other banks have min 24mth expiry I believe.

dk

Holding on to this card turns out to be a good thing lol

Kai

can i get 10X points by using paywave or applepay to pay fairprice grocery purchase or dining?

Nquire

U didn’t read the article?

Kai

Sry….I am not native Singaporean. My english is not that good.
Just want to confirm with you guys.
Do you mean the “whitelist” in the article?

Guest

Please read the article before asking, else you are wasting the efforts of producing this article.

bent

Yes, Supermarkets, Dining and Food Delivery are eligible categories

Kai

ic. thanks a lot

Jerry

This is just like the Citi Rewards like a $1k cap. 4mpd is good but feels kinda nerfed still.

Bent

i guess if u breach your cap with UOB PPV or Citi Rewards, this is now a new avenue for you to clock 4mpd for that month, but yea also means more points lying around with different banks.

Kit

Does monthly GIRO payment to gym facilities like Fitness First considered online transaction? Previously it is considered online transaction, now it is not mentioned.

Clarissa

Hi Aaron,

Will you be updating your “What card do I use…?” page with this new addition of HSBC Revolution. Seems like it’s really going to be a very good card to have that covers so much of basic necessities (dining, gym etc)

Tea

Hi Aaron, thanks for your insightful sharing as usual! Can I know if there is a cap on HSBC spending to qualify 4miles?

L L

The revised T&Cs are a welcome change, but after combing through the whitelist MCCs, I noticed that there are some notable MCCs not included. E.g. in the travel category, the MCCs listed for lodging are for hotels/resorts/motels with their own MCC (i.e. major lodging merchants), which means other lodging using generic MCC 7011 does not earn 4mpd! 🙁 Not sure if this is a deliberate exclusion by HSBC but it didn’t make sense to me that 7011 is not included. I’d have to make sure that I book such lodging using a travel agency such as Booking.com in order to… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by L L

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