HSBC Revolution nerfing bonuses for groceries, food delivery and fast food

From 1 May 2024, the HSBC Revolution will no longer offer 4 mpd on groceries, food delivery and fast food, another blow to this once-attractive card.

The HSBC Revolution has already suffered one round of nerfs this year, with travel agencies, AirBnB and most hotels getting the cut in January 2024.

Unfortunately, HSBC isn’t done yet, because there’s further nerfs coming from May 2024, when grocery stores, food delivery and fast food restaurants will earn just 0.4 mpd, instead of the current 4 mpd.

With the previous nerf, you could tell yourself that travel is an occasional event, and the day-to-day value proposition of the card remained untouched. Well, you can’t argue that anymore, because this nerf severely hamstrings the HSBC Revolution as an everyday spending card. 

HSBC Revolution further narrowing bonus whitelist

From 1 May 2024, the HSBC Revolution will no longer earn 4 mpd on the following MCCs:

MCCExamples 
MCC 5411
Supermarkets
Cold Storage, Giant, Little Farms, NTUC FairPrice, Sheng Siong
MCC 5499
Misc. Food Stores
7-Eleven, Crave, Cheers, Hockhua Tonic, iHerb, Nespresso
MCC 5814
Fast Food
Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway

Such transactions will only earn 0.4 mpd, like all other non-bonus categories.

These are some big nerfs, make no mistake about it:

  • Excluding MCC 5411 means no more bonuses at supermarkets like Cold Storage, NTUC FairPrice and Sheng Siong
  • Excluding MCC 5499 means no more bonuses at convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Cheers, as well as merchants which skirt the definitions of dining, like Hockhua Tonic, iHerb and Nespresso
  • Excluding MCC 5814 means no more bonuses on Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s and Starbucks

But the problems go beyond just the obvious. MCC 5499/5814 are used by food delivery services such as Deliveroo, Food Panda and GrabFood (these can sometimes code as MCC 5812, but will you really take the risk?).

MCC 5814 is also used by all XNAP merchants, even if they have nothing to do with fast food (e.g. florists, wet market vendors), so you won’t be able to use the HSBC Revolution for this either. 

MCCs can often be opaque to the customer, but if you’re uncertain, here’s three ways of looking it up prior to purchase:

MethodEase of UseReliability
HeyMax●●●
📱 Instarem app●●●●
🤖 DBS digibot
●●●

Not the first nerf for the HSBC Revolution in 2024

At the start of 2024, HSBC Revolution nerfed bonuses for travel agents and many hotels

What makes this more annoying is that it’s not even the first nerf for the HSBC Revolution this year.

Back in January 2024, the HSBC Revolution removed MCCs 4722 and 7011 from its bonus whitelist, which meant no more 4 mpd on travel agencies such as Klook, Pelago and Trip.com, as well as AirBnB and many hotels. 

But at least there were workarounds in that case. You could continue to earn points on such transactions by paying with a BNPL service like Atome, where available (Atome codes as MCC 5999, which continues to be on the Revolution’s whitelist).

I don’t think BNPL providers have much interest in partnering with fast food outlets and grocery chains, so there is no workaround for the current nerf, other than to switch to a different card.

Alternative cards to use

For what it’s worth, the HSBC Revolution is not the only card to earn bonuses on these MCCs. 

The following cards still earn 4 mpd on MCC 5411 Supermarkets.

💳 Best Cards for MCC 5411
CardEarn RateRemarks
Citi Rewards
Apply
4 mpd
(online)*
Max S$1K per s. month
Review
DBS WWMC
Apply
4 mpd
(online)
Max S$1.5K per c. month
Review
UOB Lady’s Card
Apply
4 mpd
Max S$1K per c. month. Must choose Family as bonus category
Review
UOB Lady’s Solitaire
Apply
4 mpd
Max S$2K per c. month. Must choose Family as bonus category
Review
UOB PPV
Apply
4 mpd
(online or in-store mobile payment)
Max S$1.1K per c. month
Review
UOB Visa Signature 
Apply
4 mpd
(in-store contactless payment)
Min S$1K, max S$2K per s. month
Review
*Or pair with Amaze for offline spend

And of course, there’s still the DBS yuu Card, which earns an unbeatable 18% rebate for Cold Storage and Giant until further notice.

The following cards still earn 4 mpd for MCC 5499 Misc. Food Stores and MCC 5814 Fast Food.

💳 Best Cards for MCC 5499/5814
CardEarn RateRemarks
Citi Rewards
Apply
4 mpd
(online)*
Max S$1K per s. month
Review
DBS WWMC
Apply
4 mpd
(online)
Max S$1.5K per c. month
Review
UOB Lady’s Card
Apply
4 mpd
Max S$1K per c. month. Must choose Dining as bonus category
Review
UOB Lady’s Solitaire
Apply
4 mpd
Max S$2K per c. month. Must choose Dining as bonus category
Review
UOB PPV
Apply
4 mpd
(online or in-store mobile payment)
Max S$1.1K per c. month
Review
UOB Visa Signature 
Apply
4 mpd
(in-store contactless payment)
Min S$1K, max S$2K per s. month
Review
*Or pair with Amaze for offline spend

HSBC Revolution revised bonus categories

From 1 May 2024, here’s what the HSBC Revolution’s bonus whitelist will look like.

CategoryMCCsExamples
(non-exhaustive)
Airlines, Car Rental, Lodging, Cruise Lines3000 to 3350, 3351 to 3500, 3501 to 3999, 4411, 4511Singapore Airlines, Scoot, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Royal Caribbean, Avis, Hertz
Dept. Stores & 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 Amazon, Best Denki, Book Depository, Harvey Norman, Lazada, Qoo10, Shopee, Taobao
Dining5441, 5462, 5811, 5812, 5813Paradise Dynasty, Crystal Jade, Hai Di Lao, Swensen’s, Harry’s
Transport & Membership Clubs 4121, 7997 Comfort, Grab, gojek,  TADA, Ryde, Fitness First
Bonuses apply regardless of whether spend is in SGD or foreign currency

It still looks like a very comprehensive list of merchants, but the squeeze is definitely on. I would focus on using the HSBC Revolution mainly for airlines, car rental, department stores, restaurants (where I’m certain the MCC is 5812), and taxi/ride-hailing transactions. 

Conclusion

From 1 May 2024, the HSBC Revolution will no longer earn 4 mpd on groceries, food delivery or fast food restaurants, which is a big blow to its value proposition. 

Keep in mind, this card was already nerfed once at the start of this year with the loss of travel agencies and many hotels, and it feels like HSBC is trying to kill this card by inches. 

There’s still uses for the HSBC Revolution to be sure, but you’re going to have to rejig your strategy and divert some spending to other bonus cards, which will further stress their caps. In a worst case scenario, it could mean fewer miles earned overall, for someone who’s now busting the limit.

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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Jarnytha

I’m close to axing this card.

bent

Actually no harm to keep this until your 3 yr points expiry is up before deciding whether to continue to use this card after you cash out your points.

Since no Annual Fee anyway.

Bryan

Could you please share what is your new strategy after such nerfs

Christopher

I was thinking the same thing

Colin

this sucks. I give my mum this card for general use with 60% spending on groceries. What card should I let her use now? A simple one card solution that just paywave and tap

fish

i give them my amaze card linked to crmc

ppv is usually enough for me

Zhong

DBS Yuu if your mum shops at CS group. 18% cash back is hard to beat

getoffmylawn

is it just me feeling that its a good thing things are being nerfed left right and centre? about time to weed out the masses jostling for award space…

Kev

damn currently using this card with Fairprice app.

would using CRMC with Fairprice app constitues online spend or i still need pair with Amaze (and subject to $1K cap) ?

Adam

Counts as online

Himynameis

i have same question

Benedict

Does Citi Rewards still earn 4mpd when paired with Fairprice app for payment?

John

You missed standard chartered smart card for fast food.

Smart card holder

Only certain fast food restaurants count for that card though. Go to Long John Silver’s or 4fingers and that card earns the same thing as Revolution

bluepanda

C’mon, who goes LJS and 4f? Mcd, BK and KFC ftw! 🤣

VT-CIE

I got my Citi Rewards a few days ago, on the 5th anniversary of its big enhancement (28 March 2019) as it was my birthday the next day, along with the Amaze in order to complement my HSBC Revolution.

Suffice it to say that I feel like I dodged a major bullet, because up until then the Revo was my only specialised spending card. Not any more! I feel lucky that I got the CRMC just in time for the Revo’s nerf.

1April

1st April Special??

Hokel

How about eating in Koufu and Kopitiam premises? Unsure about the MCC though

sand

from my datapoint via NTCU app payment at Kopitiam, it codes at 5814, hence will be nerfed as well

Will

Kopitiam codes as 5814. Confirmed through Amaze card

Dave

Alright, I’m getting to 25k points, cash out to Krisflyer and come back next year for yet another Samsonite suitcase.

Last edited 15 days ago by Dave
Benjamin

If I did not read the new HSBC EGA T&C wrong, HSBC credit cards will no longer earn 1% cashback starting May 2024.

Pchon

Hi all

If make purchase at hawker using xnap and transaction less than 5 dollars now how to earn point ah?

Christopher

Next card to get DBS WWMC?

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