HSBC EGA ends 1% cashback for credit cards, adds GIRO restrictions

From 2 May 2024, HSBC EGA customers no longer have a free choice of cards for 1% cashback on spend, though the feared exclusion for credit card GIRO payments has not come to pass.

The HSBC Everyday Global Account (EGA) is one of the best-kept secrets out there, because it’s basically a free S$300 or S$500 each month for very little effort on your part. 

How it works is simple: make a minimum deposit to your EGA and five transactions on your HSBC cards, and enjoy an extra 1% cashback on your card spending and GIRO bill payments. Oh, and you can withdraw the deposited funds immediately and park them elsewhere if you wish.

This means that you could basically earn 4 mpd + 1% cashback with the HSBC Revolution, while enjoying a 1% rebate on your non-HSBC credit card bills. What’s not to love?

Unfortunately, there’s changes coming to the EGA from 2 May 2024, when only HSBC Everyday Global Debit Card spending will qualify for the extra 1% cashback. But it’s not nearly as bad as we first feared, because the exclusion of non-HSBC credit card bills for GIRO payments has not come to pass.

HSBC Everyday Global Account changes

 Till 1 May 2024From 2 May 2024
Eligibility for 1% cashback
  • HSBC credit cards
  • HSBC Everyday Global Debit Card
  • GIRO bill payments
  • HSBC Everyday Global Debit Card
  • GIRO bill payments
GIRO bill payment exclusions
  • Payments to HSBC credit cards
  • Payments to HSBC credit cards
  • Payments to any financial institute and trading platforms relating to crypto-currencies, stock exchange and trades

As part of the HSBC Everyday+ Rewards Programme, EGA customers currently earn an additional 1% cashback on card spending and/or GIRO bill payments when they: 

  • Deposit S$2,000 (Personal Banking) or S$5,000 (Premier/Jade) in fresh funds each month. (There is no holding requirement for these fresh funds; you can literally transfer them in today and out tomorrow)
  • Make at least five transactions of any amount on a HSBC personal credit card or HSBC Everyday Global Debit Card

The 1% cashback period starts from the day after both criteria are met, and runs till the end of the following calendar month. For example, if you meet the criteria on 5 April, the period will run from 6 April to 31 May. That’s good reason to meet the criteria as early in the month as possible. 

The 1% cashback for card spending and GIRO bill payments is capped at:

  • S$300 per month (Personal Banking)
  • S$500 per month (Premier/Jade)

From 2 May 2024, two main changes are taking place:

  • The 1% cashback for card spending will only apply to the HSBC Everyday Global Debit Card (though the five qualifying transactions can still be made on any HSBC personal credit card, in SGD)
  • The 1% cashback for GIRO bill payments will not apply to financial institutions, securities brokerages or dealers

The restriction on card spending is obviously a big nerf, because it means the end of stacking 1% cashback with the HSBC Revolution or your preferred HSBC card. You must use the HSBC Everyday Global Debit Card from 2 May, which offers very little by way of benefits. 

However, there’s some good news here. It was previously thought that the restriction on GIRO bill payments would also exclude non-HSBC credit cards (HSBC credit card payments were excluded all along)- understandable because of the “financial institutions” wording.

But that’s not the case. 

I’ve confirmed with a HSBC spokesperson that the new exclusion does not cover GIRO bill payments to non-HSBC credit card bills. 

 The new exclusion does not include GIRO bill payments to non-HSBC credit card bills. This means customers who continue to qualify for the HSBC Everyday+ Rewards Programme will still earn 1% cashback when they pay their non-HSBC credit card bills via GIRO.

The new exclusion criteria specifically exclude transactions from financial institutes and platforms related to crypto-currencies, stock exchanges, trades and any form of wallet top-ups.

-HSBC spokesperson

And that’s certainly a relief. It basically means that the loss of 1% cashback on HSBC credit cards is the main headline here; you can still make five transactions on your HSBC credit card (in SGD) early in the month, then enjoy the 1% cashback on your GIRO payments like always. 

Remember, there’s no minimum spend to worry about here; all that matters is these five transactions don’t run afoul of HSBC’s general exclusions list, e.g. insurance, education, utilities. You could go to your neighbourhood NTUC, head for the self-checkout stations and buy five plastic bags in five separate transactions, if you were so inclined.

Alternatively, as some in the comments have pointed out, you can also skip the card spending altogether and make 5x fund transfers from your EGA to a non-HSBC account.

Terms & Conditions

You can find the current and revised T&Cs below, and I’ve put the two side by side in Draftable for easy comparison.

Conclusion

From 2 May 2024, HSBC EGA customers will no longer be able to earn 1% cashback on any HSBC credit or debit card spend except for the HSBC Everyday Global Debit Card. 

The silver lining here is that the new GIRO bill payment exclusions do not cover other bank credit cards, as originally feared.

Look, no one likes nerfs, but you have to give HSBC credit for keeping this programme alive as long as they did. It’s basically free money for customers who are willing to jump through a couple of admin hoops each month. 

I personally never got around to setting up my EGA because of sheer laziness (think of how many GIRO forms I’ll need to fill), but if you’ve already done that paperwork then good on you.

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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ksp210

There are other ways to meet the minimum 5 transactions requirement. The easiest is the make 5 fund transfers to a non-HSBC account. I maintain a recurring 5 x $1 transfer out to another bank account on the 1st of each month. More environmentally friendly than buying 5 plastic bags from the neighborhood supermarket.

Tiak

From my reading of the T&Cs, your statement,”It appears the revised strategy now will be to make five token transactions on the HSBC Everyday Global Debit Card early in the month…” seems incorrect. To enjoy the 1% on GIRO payments, five transactions on any HSBC personal credit card (not just the Everyday Global Debit Card) will do. For most of us, this would be the HSBC Revolution Card. Yes, it was a nightmare to redo all the GIROs, but I think it was worth it. You get 1% not just on GIRO for credit card bills, but insurance, taxes and… Read more »

chk

I’m upset with this change.
And nope. Credit card spends will no longer qualify for additional 1% cashback (Not Revo, Not Advance, not any credit card). This is clear from the table in the email from HSBC.
The thing is: Am not keen to get the EGA Debit Card & charge spends on the Debit Card. Really unhappy

Louie

For the GIRO payment setup, once it is done it will be applicable for the 1% cashback throughout … as long as we meet the required spending/transaction criteria every month, or the 1% cashback is only valid for a limited period?

Alex

it will be 1% throughout as long as you continue to meet the spend/transaction criteria.

Steven

That’s good to know. I’m only still with hsbc because of the everyday+ 1% on my cc bills.

Almost closed the accounts

wil

May we clarify about financial institutions – CPF contributions? Insurance premiums? Taxes?

Or do they mean transactions relating to crypto-currencies, stock exchange and trades in FI/ platforms?

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