2022 Review: HSBC Revolution Card

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With 4 mpd on travel, shopping, groceries, dining, and transport, the no-fee HSBC Revolution is as close to a no-brainer as they come.

It wasn’t too long ago that it looked like the HSBC Revolution was down and out. With a maximum earn rate of just 2 mpd and HSBC nerfing points for insurance and utilities, the last vestige of a use case disappeared.

But then came a comeback worthy of Lazarus. In August 2020, the HSBC Revolution was given a major makeover, removing the annual fee while buffing the earn rate to 4 mpd on a wide range of daily transactions. It went overnight from paperweight to wallet essential, and remains an absolute must-have till today.

💳 HSBC Revolution
★★★★1/2

With 4 mpd on travel, shopping, groceries, dining, and transport, the no-fee HSBC Revolution is as close to a no-brainer as they come.
The goodThe bad
  • An easy way to earn 4 mpd on a wide variety of daily transactions
  • No annual fee
  • Free copy of The Entertainer 
  • Higher-than-average conversion fee (but comes with unlimited conversions)
Full List of Credit Card Reviews

Overview: HSBC Revolution

Let’s start this review by looking at the key features of the HSBC Revolution.

Apply Here
Income Req.
S$30,000 p.a.
Points Validity
37 months
Annual Fee
NoneMin.
Transfer

25,000 HSBC Points
(10,000 miles)

Miles with
Annual Fee
NoneTransfer
Partners
•SIA
•Cathay Pacific
FCY Fee2.8%Transfer FeeS$42.80
Local Earn0.4 mpdPoints Pool?No
FCY Earn0.4 mpdLounge Access?No
Special Earn4.0 mpd on selected online and contactless paymentsAirport Limo?No
Cardholder Terms and Conditions

How much must I earn to qualify for a HSBC Revolution?

uob preferred platinum visa income requirement

The HSBC Revolution is positioned at the entry level, with a S$30,000 annual income requirement.

If you do not meet the minimum annual income, you can place a S$10,000 fixed deposit with HSBC to get a secured version of the card, with a credit limit equivalent to 100% of the deposit amount. More information can be found in this form.

How much is the HSBC Revolution’s annual fee? 

 Principal CardSupp. Card
First YearFreeFree
SubsequentFreeFree

The HSBC Revolution’s S$160.50 annual fee was removed on 1 August 2020, and both principal and supplementary cards are now free for life. 

There are only a handful of credit cards in Singapore without an annual fee, and the few that exist are rather abject. So hats off to HSBC for doing this, while simultaneously improving the value proposition. 

How many miles do I earn?

🇸🇬 SGD Spending🌎 FCY Spending➕ Bonus Spending
0.4 mpd0.4 mpd4.0 mpd on travel, shopping, groceries, dining, transport paid online or via contactless payments

Regular SGD/FCY Spending

The HSBC Revolution earns 1 HSBC Point for every S$1 spent in Singapore Dollars or foreign currency (FCY).

1 HSBC Point is worth 0.4 airline miles, so that’s an equivalent earn rate of 0.4 mpd for both local and FCY spending. All foreign currency transactions are subject to a 2.8% fee.

Bonus Spending

Here’s where the HSBC Revolution really shines.

Cardholders will earn an additional 9 HSBC Points for every S$1 spent on selected online and offline contactless payments, whether in local currency or FCY. That’s a total earn rate of 10 HSBC Points per S$1 spent, or 4 mpd. 

The following MCCs are eligible for bonus points:

CategoryMCCs
Airlines, Car Rental, Lodging, Cruise Lines and Travel Agencies3000 to 3350, 3351 to 3500, 3501 to 3999, 4411, 4511, 4722, 7011
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
Transportation and Membership Clubs 4121, 7997

For those of you who don’t speak MCC, this includes merchants like:

  • Airlines, Car Rental, Lodging, Cruise Lines and Travel Agencies: Singapore Airlines, Scoot, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, or any other airline, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, or any other hotel, Klook, Expedia, Hotels.com
  • Department and Retail Stores: Amazon, Best Denki, Book Depository, Courts, Harvey Norman, Lazada, Qoo10, Shopee, Taobao
  • Supermarkets, Dining and Food Delivery: Cold Storage, Deliveroo, NTUC FairPrice, Sheng Siong, foodpanda, GrabFood, WhyQ
  • Transportation and Membership Clubs: Comfort, Grab (excluding GrabPay top-ups), gojek,  TADA, Ryde, Fitness First

While it’s a shame that the HSBC Revolution adopts a whitelist approach (only specified MCCs will earn bonus points) rather than a blacklist approach (only MCCs specified will not earn bonus points), the bonus categories are fairly broad and will cover a wide range of day-to-day spending. 

Once again, all transactions must be made online, or offline via contactless payment in order to earn the 4 mpd, which is capped at a maximum of S$1,000 per calendar month.

The HSBC Revolution supports the following contactless payment methods:

  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Visa Paywave (i.e. tapping the physical card)

There is currently no support for Garmin Pay, Fitbit Pay, or Samsung Pay.

The HSBC Revolution is currently the only unisex 4 mpd dining card on the market, a gap that sorely needed filling after the demise of the UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX. Moreover, since restaurants and hotels are both bonus categories, there’s no longer any need for head scratching as to whether a restaurant inside a hotel will code as a restaurant or a hotel. 

It’s also a fuss-free option to use at supermarkets, since you don’t need to tip toe around Cold Storage and Giant like UOB Preferred Platinum Visa cardholders (UOB cards don’t earn any miles at UOB$ merchants like Cold Storage and Giant)

When are HSBC Points credited? 

The 1X base HSBC Points are credited when the transaction posts, usually within 1-3 working days.

The bonus 9X HSBC Points will be credited by the end of the following calendar month from the date of transaction. For example, if you make an eligible transaction in April, your bonus points will come by the end of May. 

Base Points (1X)Credited when transaction posts
Bonus Points  (9X)
Credited by the end of the following calendar month

How are HSBC points calculated?

Here’s how you can work out the HSBC Points earned on your HSBC Revolution.

Base Points (1X)Round transaction to the nearest S$1, then multiply by 1.0
Bonus Points  (9X)
Sum all eligible transactions (including cents) and multiply by 9.0. Round down transaction to the whole number

The rounding policy means the minimum spend to earn points is just S$0.50. 

While the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa (the HSBC Revolution’s closest competitor) awards points in blocks of S$5, the Revolution awards points in blocks of S$1. This is a key advantage, because it means you lose fewer points to rounding. Consider the following illustration:

 HSBC Revolutionuob preferred platinum visa cardUOB Pref. Plat Visa
S$520 miles20 miles
S$9.9939.6 miles20 miles
S$1560 miles60 miles
S$19.9979.6 miles60 miles
S$25100 miles100 miles
S$29.99119.6 miles100 miles

If you’re an Excel geek, here’s the formulas you need to calculate your points: 

Base Points (1X)=ROUND (X,0)*1
Bonus Points (9X)
=ROUNDDOWN (Y*9,0)
Where X= Amount Spent, Y= Sum of all eligible transactions

For the full list of formulas that banks use to calculate credit card points, do refer to these articles:

What transactions aren’t eligible for HSBC Points?

A full list of transactions that do not earn HSBC Points can be found in the T&C. I’ve highlighted a few noteworthy categories below:

  • Charitable Donations
  • Education
  • Government Services 
  • GrabPay top-ups
  • Insurance
  • Professional services provides (e.g. Google & Facebook Ads, AWS)
  • Real Estate Agents & Managers
  • Utilities

CardUp, ipaymy and RentHero transactions are also specifically excluded.

What do I need to know about HSBC Points?

❌ Expiry↔️ Pooling✈️ Transfer Fee
37 monthsNoS$42.80 for 12 months of unlimited conversions

HSBC Points expire after 37 months, and do not pool across cards. If you have 10,000 HSBC Points on the HSBC Revolution, and 15,000 HSBC Points on the HSBC Visa Infinite, for example, you won’t be able to combine the two when redeeming. 

Since points do not pool, you will have to transfer all your HSBC Points before cancelling the HSBC Revolution, or else forfeit them. 

HSBC Points can be transferred to frequent flyer programmes at a 5:2 ratio, with a minimum transfer block of 25,000 HSBC points.

Frequent Flyer ProgrammeConversion Ratio
(HSBC Points: Miles)
krisflyer logo25,000: 10,000
asia miles logo25,000: 10,000

Instead of charging a fee per conversion, HSBC instead charges cardholders an annual S$42.80 Mileage Programme fee, which covers unlimited conversions for a 12-month period. Alternatively, you can pay 9,000 rewards points for a program fee waiver (totally not worth it). 

Even though your HSBC Points do not pool, you will only pay a single Mileage Programme fee regardless of how many HSBC credit cards you have. This covers transfers to both KrisFlyer and Asia Miles (i.e. there’s no need to register again for the 2nd frequent flyer program). 

Other perks

hsbc entertainer

All principal HSBC cardholders receive a complimentary copy of The Entertainer, which offers more than 1,000 1-for-1 offers for dining, entertainment and travel.  

Since the Revolution is not a “premium” card, you won’t get nearly as many offers as HSBC Visa Infinite & HSBC Premier cardholders. That said, you’ll still access to the standard Entertainer offers at more than 150 merchants in Singapore, as well as the same overseas and travel offers that higher tier cards have. 

An Entertainer membership usually retails at S$79. 

Summary Review: HSBC Revolution

Apply here

The HSBC Revolution is an absolute showstopper, and one card you need to add to your wallet. With 4 mpd on dining, groceries, transport, and travel, this could even be a suitable option for those lazy to carry around multiple cards (though I certainly wouldn’t condone using it everywhere!)

Just remember that you’ll need to pay online or via contactless payments in order to earn the bonus. Any magnetic strip or chip transactions won’t qualify. 

Add the fact that there’s no annual fee, and there’s very little to dislike about the HSBC Revolution. 

So that’s my review of the HSBC Revolution. What do you think? 

Overall Score
★★★★1/2
Ratings Guide
5 Stars
★★★★★
An essential card for miles chasers, with few viable alternatives 
4 Stars
★★★★
A very good card, although other equally good alternatives may exist
3 Stars
★★★
A decent card to round out your collection, but not absolutely essential
2 Stars
★★
Very limited use cases, and outperformed by most other cards
1 Star

Paperweight. Use for picking teeth or ninja stars
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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France is Bacon

4mpd for simplygo?

Zavian

Do you get the base points (1point = $1) for using SimplyGo? It only says you don’t get the bonus points. But how about the base points?

Anon

Better than earning 0.0mpd

Paul

Hi if I use fave pay, does it count as contact less payment?

ithh

Don’t users get 4mpd also for contactless dining with the UOB Preferred Platinum VISA?

Last edited 1 year ago by ithh
ithh

But HSBC Revolution also requires dining payments to be contactless. So, how’s that different?

starry

I have both cards and I see it as an additional card to fully maximize my 4mpd earnings per month for my dining expenditure.

xiaoboy

Does ‘contactless’ include waving physical card at PayWave terminals unlike UOB PPV ? Incidentally, Do fuel purchases fall under the transportation or retail category ?

MileTiger

Yes. It counts when you tap the card contactless or via Apple Pay

Fuel purchases not sure. Gotta ask the drivers here.

Sean

Hey Aaron
Just so you know, when I went to apply the HSBC website asks me to download their app and apply via that. Which is fine but I am not sure whether you’re getting any affiliate bonus that way – I see the affiliate code from your link but because sign-up is via app I don’t see how you get any credit (if indeed you were expecting that).
Also sign-up via app is very frustrating…

okspender

It’s a shame we can only use this card for up to $1,000 a month

Joon

They should bump it up to a higher number, and I’m sure the additional usage over the first $1K will shoot thru the roof

Jenn

… any thoughts on HSBC Infinite card vs Revolution or other HSBC cards. I’m looking to drop my Infinite card?

Chye Huat

Didn’t see hospital in the exclusion list, does this mean 4mpd for contactless payment at both public/private hospitals?

GrimaH

HSBC Revolution’s 4mpd goes by MCC whitelist approach as mentioned in the article, and as far as I see hospital MCCs aren’t included.

J_S

Aaron, does it earn 4mpd on Favepay transactions? Favepay offers a rebate that can be used to a subsequent transaction at the same merchant and would be great if bonus miles are earned!

Philippe

Any idea if topping up topping up ShopeePay entitles you to the bonus miles? Went to Whatcard and it only shows Shopee as MCC5331 but doesn’t say anything about ShopeePay.

Philippe

Between HSBC Revolution and Citi Premiermiles, which one is better on average? Considering that we are able to pay for insurance using Citi Payall to accumulate miles..

Last edited 1 year ago by Philippe
Jim

“The only caveat I’d add is that if your monthly spending is very low (maybe in the $500-1,000 range), it may not make sense to spread your points across another bank. In that case the UOB PRVI Miles + UOB Preferred Platinum Visa combination might work better. ”

Hi Aaron, I currently fall under this category of low spending. Are you able to share more about the UOB PRVI Miles + UOB Preferred Platinum Visa combination?

mechu

Would contactless payments overseas in the same categories qualify for 4mpd as well?

Rodimus82

I’m trying to use this card to make an online purchase on a local website that sells cookies. Will it quality for 4mpd?

mustafa

Hi
I’m planning some purchases at Mustafa. Does anyone know for sure the MCC for Mustafa Centre in at Syed Alwi Road? I’ve checked Whatcard and the Visa Supplier Locator – seems to be either 5331 or 5311? And what about the MCC for Mustafa Online? Should we use the HSBC Revo?
Thanks in advance

PuzzledLee

Is WhatCard.com updated for this? It still lists the Revolution as 2 mpd for dining.

AMJ

Thanks for the useful review as usual! Which rate applies if the transaction is both online AND in FCY, 0.4mpd or 4mpd? Thanks

benchwarmer

Hey, I just got this card with the latest biggest promo! Thanks for these articles.
Wanted to ask about this –>
“Instead of charging a fee per conversion, HSBC instead charges cardholders an annual S$42.80 Mileage Program fee, which covers unlimited conversions for a 12-month period.”
Will I get billed for this immediately or when I first want to transfer my miles? Thanks in Advance!

Adam

Upon your first transfer and then valid for 12 months.

anon

based on my experience and info from HSBC’s CS, the bonus points are awarded the following month from the statement date, contrary to what it seems to be on the t&c

ie. if a transaction made on 18th Apr is captured in a 14Apr-13May statement, the bonus points will only be awarded end of June.

Hy lee

How about MCC for Shopee and Shopee supermarket?

Xianghua

Would it make sense to pair this with the Amaze card? Say for restaurants that don’t use contactless?

LYS

Amaze works for mastercard only. This aint

Sam

Is there a card that you gave 5 star rating to it? would be useful if there is a list of cards with the ratings next to it

Falco

How do I get The Entertainer? I have the card for nearly half a year now and maxing out each month, but have never received anything.

JustAnotherMilesGuy

Contact HSBC customer support for the Entertainer VIP code and it should give you access!

Yuki

Hmm… Any idea which day of the week is the cutoff for miles transfer? I did my transfer on Thu but seems like it’s still pending. 😡

Yuki

Opps! Wrong emoticon. 🙁

Darren

any idea if the 4mpd will stack for supplementary card holders?

Alan

Is Harvey Norman eligible for 4mpd? I remembered checking the MCC once, seems like it’s not on the whitelist?

John

Anybody else having difficulty applying for this card? I applied for it in May and still haven’t heard anything from HSBC. I called a few times to inquire – sometimes they tell me they can’t find my application and at other times they tell me they sent a message to expedite my application. I received 4 credit cards from other banks in the meantime, so clearly it’s not an issue on my end.

Alexander

Their systems cock up, my application can even went missing for 3 weeks. Finally got the card after 7 weeks!

John

Good to know. I called them like 4 times and got a different reason every time (missing document, can’t find application, “due to overwhelming demand…”). Such a mess!

Last edited 3 hours ago by John

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