HSBC Visa Infinite cutting earn rates from May 2024

From 20 May 2024, the HSBC Visa Infinite will end its step-up earn rate of 1.25/2.25 mpd on local/overseas spend. The question is: what's the replacement?

The HSBC Visa Infinite Card might be the most expensive card in the $120K segment, but you’d never know from its earn rates. 

In the first year of membership, cardholders earn a miserly 1/2 mpd on local/overseas spend. That’s on par with the BOC Elite Miles, and when you’re paying up to S$662 in annual fees, on par with the BOC Elite Miles is not where you want to be.

Cardholders who charge more than S$50,000 in a membership year can trigger a step-up earn rate of 1.25/2.25 mpd in the following year. It’s certainly better, but far from market-leading, when other cards offer better earn rates from the get-go without the hoop jumping.  And let’s not forget that the opportunity cost will be substantial, since that S$50,000 could have been put on 4 mpd cards. 

But HSBC has now announced that the step-up earn rate will be discontinued altogether from 20 May 2024. That naturally begs the question: what are they replacing it with?

HSBC Visa Infinite eliminating step-up rate

HSBC Visa Infinite Cardholders currently enjoy either the regular earn rate, or step-up earn rate. 

  Regular Earn Rate Step-up Earn Rate
Local Spend 1 mpd 1.25 mpd
Overseas Spend 2 mpd 2.25 mpd

If this is their first membership year, or if their cumulative spending was less than S$50,000 in the previous membership year, they will earn:

  • 2.5 HSBC Rewards Points per S$1 spent locally (1 mpd)
  • 5 HSBC Rewards Points per S$1 spent overseas (2 mpd)

If their cumulative spending was at least S$50,000 in the previous membership year, they will earn:

  • 3.125 HSBC Rewards Points per S$1 spent locally (1.25 mpd)
  • 5.625 HSBC Rewards Points per S$1 spent overseas (2.25 mpd).
⚠️ Important note
The mpd calculations here assume that you transfer points to a partner with a 2.5 points = 1 mile conversion ratio. From 28 May 2024, HSBC Visa Infinite points can be converted to 21 different airline and hotel partners, with ratios ranging from 2.5-5 points = 1 mile. This means your earn rates could be as low as 0.5/1 mpd, depending on partner.

But not any more. HSBC has now announced that from 20 May 2024, the step-up rate will be eliminated:

The Step Up Earn Rate (as defined in the HSBC Visa Infinite Terms and Conditions) will no longer be available with effect from 20 May 2024.

For HSBC existing Visa Infinite credit cardholders, we will be running an exclusive promotion to enjoy the step-up earn rate for a limited period of time. We will provide the details soon, thank you for your support

While details are scarce at the moment, HSBC says they will make the step-up rate available to all Visa Infinite cardholders for a limited time, which I guess is good news for some- though won’t the step-up crowd be angry if they went out of their way to spend S$50,000 and now it’s open to any normie?

The bigger question is what happens after this limited-time promotion ends. Surely HSBC can’t be planning to leave the Visa Infinite’s earn rates at 1/2 mpd and call it a day? That would make it the lowest-earning $120K card in the whole market, AMEX Platinum Reserve aside.

💳 Earn Rates for General Spending Cards
(income req.: S$120K)

Card Local Spend FCY Spend
SCB Visa Infinite Up to 1.4 mpd* Up to 3 mpd*
DBS Vantage
1.5 mpd 2.2 mpd
OCBC VOYAGE 1.3 mpd 2.2 mpd
UOB VI Metal Card 1.4 mpd 2.4 mpd
Citi Prestige 1.3 mpd 2 mpd
Maybank Visa Infinite 1.2 mpd 2 mpd
HSBC Visa Infinite 1 mpd 2 mpd
AMEX Plat. Reserve 0.69 mpd 0.69 mpd
*Min. S$2,000 spend per statement month, otherwise 1 mpd for both SGD and FCY

Watch this space.

Conclusion

From 20 May 2024, the HSBC Visa Infinite will eliminate its step-up earn rate of 1.25/2.25 mpd. Prior to that, there’ll be a limited-time promotion for all cardholders to enjoy these rates, but unless HSBC has something else up its sleeve, it seems to me that the regular rates of 1/2 mpd are the long-term plan.

That’s certainly not good enough for a card this expensive, so let’s hope I’m wrong. 

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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CwF

Appears also now to exclude hospitals as well.

FormerHSBCcustomer

With the removal of 1% cash back on credit card spend for Everyday Rewards scheme and now removal of step up earnings miles, this card is a joke.

TS77

This will be my last year of the card, I know a couple of others who plan to ditch it too.

It’s a shame but it really doesn’t add up anymore.

chartermember

Is it me or has the Amex Plat Reserve received a new card design?

Ali

the rewards and benefits have already wilted over the years and any further “enhancement” might just be a disguise to kill the card once and for all

UK_Ship

I’m only keeping it (for now) for the airport limo benefit- an Alphard a month more than covers cost of card and the EGA cash back was a bonus. Let’s see what they do next…

Titus

New card found: UOB Lazada World MasterCard

comment image

Random FYI: This card is in Malaysia and Thailand as a Platinum MasterCard

Last edited 23 days ago by Titus
T J

This is because of Citi’s consumer exit. You’ll find other UOB cards in those markets to have similar offerings as well.