HSBC Revolution nerfs 4 mpd for contactless payments and travel transactions

HSBC has gone full BDSM on the Revolution, axing bonuses for offline spending in July 2024, then removing bonuses for travel-related transactions in January 2025.

Wow. Just this morning, I published an article outlining the arguments for keeping or cancelling the HSBC Revolution.

All things considered, I think I was pretty nice, saying that despite the nerfs to the bonus whitelist and the loss of the extra 1% cashback from the Everyday Global Account, I could still see a case for retaining the card given its transfer partner variety and still-decent bonus category coverage

So naturally, HSBC:

Lo and behold,  the HSBC Revolution isn’t done with its 2024 nerfing spree yet- far from it. Next on the chopping block are bonuses for contactless transactions and travel-related transactions, after which there’ll be really no reason to hold on to the card anymore.

HSBC Revolution to nerf contactless and travel transactions

HSBC has posted the following notice on the HSBC Revolution’s landing page. 

With effect from 15 July 2024, the following changes will be made to the HSBC Revolution Credit Card 10X Reward Points Programme.

Contactless transactions will no longer be rewarded with 9X bonus reward points. You can still earn 1X base reward point on all eligible contactless transactions. Eligible transactions made in travel-related categories will be rewarded with 1X base reward point and 9X bonus reward points up until 31 December 2024.

-HSBC

In short:

  • from 15 July 2024, the HSBC Revolution will no longer award 10X points on contactless transactions
  • from 1 January 2025, the HSBC Revolution will no longer award 10X points on travel-related transactions

As before, the bonus cap across all categories will be kept to S$1,000 per calendar month. 

You can find the updated T&Cs here.

No more bonuses on contactless transactions

The HSBC Revolution currently awards 10X points (4 mpd) on online or contactless transactions for travel, shopping, dining and transportation spending that codes under the following MCCs.

✅ HSBC Revolution Bonus Whitelist
(Till 31 Dec 2024)
Category MCCs Examples
Airlines, Car Rental, Lodging, Cruise Lines 3000 to 3350, 3351 to 3500, 3501 to 3999, 4411, 4511 Singapore Airlines, Scoot, Cathay Pacific, Emirates
Department Stores & Retail Stores 4816, 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, Courts, Harvey Norman, Lazada, Qoo10, Shopee, Taobao
Dining 5441, 5462, 5811, 5812, 5813 Crystal Jade, Paradise Dynasty, Hai Di Lao
Transport & Membership Clubs 4121, 7997 Comfort, Grab, gojek,  TADA, Ryde, Fitness First
Bonuses apply to both SGD & FCY spend

From 15 July 2024, 10X points will only be awarded if the transaction is made online. Any contactless spending will only earn 1X points (0.4 mpd).

For the sake of clarity:

  • Online spending refers to situations where you transact in-app or on a website
  • Contactless spending refers to in-person transactions where you tap the physical card, or use it with your mobile wallet

In essence, the HSBC Revolution will become an online-only card, the type you add to your apps and then keep in your drawer at home for when you shop online. It will never need to see the light of day otherwise.

No more bonuses on travel-related transactions

Losing the bonuses on contactless spending would be bad enough, but from 1 January 2025, HSBC will remove the “travel” category from its bonus whitelist altogether.

✅ HSBC Revolution Bonus Whitelist
(From 1 Jan 2025)
Category MCCs Examples
Airlines, Car Rental, Lodging, Cruise Lines 3000 to 3350, 3351 to 3500, 3501 to 3999, 4411, 4511 Singapore Airlines, Scoot, Cathay Pacific, Emirates
Department Stores & Retail Stores 4816, 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, Courts, Harvey Norman, Lazada, Qoo10, Shopee, Taobao
Dining 5441, 5462, 5811, 5812, 5813 Crystal Jade, Paradise Dynasty, Hai Di Lao
Transport & Membership Clubs 4121, 7997 Comfort, Grab, gojek,  TADA, Ryde, Fitness First
Bonuses apply to both SGD & FCY spend

Mind you, in actual practice the whitelist will be even smaller, because most dining transactions will be paid for in-person. Yes, there may be the odd restaurant here and there where you order via a QR code and pay before getting your food, but that’s about it.

The only other workaround I can think of is if the restaurant is a Kris+ partner, or supports ShopBack Pay (because both will code as online dining). Keep in mind that food delivery services like Deliveroo and Foodpanda can often code as MCC 5814, which was already nerfed back in May. 

This means means that in the span of just a year, the HSBC Revolution will have lost a shocking number of bonus categories. 

❌ Former HSBC Revolution Bonus Categories
MCC Examples
MCC 4722
Travel Agencies
[Excluded 1 Jan 24]
Agoda, Expedia, Hotels.com, Klook, Pelago, Trip.com
MCC 7011
Lodging Not Elsewhere Classified
[Excluded 1 Jan 24]
Airbnb, Millennium Hotels & Resorts, Pan Pacific Hotels
MCC 5411
Supermarkets
[Excluded 1 May 24]
Cold Storage, Giant, Little Farms, NTUC FairPrice, Sheng Siong
MCC 5499
Misc. Food Stores
[Excluded 1 May 24]
7-Eleven, Crave, Cheers, Hockhua Tonic, iHerb, Nespresso
MCC 5814
Fast Food
[Excluded 1 May 24]
Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway
MCC 3000-3299
MCC 4511
Airlines
[Excluded 1 Jan 25]
Singapore Airlines, Scoot, Cathay Pacific, Emirates
MCC 3300-3499
Car Rental
[Excluded 1 Jan 25]
Avis, Hertz, Sixt, Europcar
MCC 3500-3999
Lodging
[Excluded 1 Jan 25]
Accor, Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt
MCC 4411
Cruise Lines
[Excluded 1 Jan 25]
Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises

This basically turns the HSBC Revolution into a crappier Citi Rewards. Like the Citi Rewards, it will blacklist travel-related transactions. But unlike the Citi Rewards, it won’t offer any bonuses on offline spending, and bonuses for online spending will be limited to certain MCCs only.

What are the alternatives for airlines and hotels?

While the loss of bonuses for airlines and hotels will no doubt be annoying, the good news is that there are still plenty of alternatives that earn 4 mpd.

Refer to the articles below for more details.

2024 Edition: Best Credit Cards for Air Tickets

2024 Edition: Best Credit Cards for Hotels

Conclusion

Just when I thought the worst was over for the HSBC Revolution, the bank has dropped another bombshell by nerfing the card even more. From 15 July 2024, there will be no more bonuses for using the HSBC Revolution offline, and from 1 January 2025, bonuses will end for travel-related transactions. 

I just don’t see any use for the Revolution following these changes, as there’ll be nothing it does that other cards can’t do better. It’s such a shame, because everyone was singing this card’s praises when it got a major upgrade in August 2020. 

Harder daddy. 

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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Thomas

Bye bye HSBC!

spherical

What if you pay at restaurants but insist that they insert the card into the machine (non contactless)?

Zaos

Contactless may not work if the antenna that goes around the card is damaged. “Oops, sat on *ahem* wallet too hard. “

JHH

To get 10x it must be online or contactless. Swiping the card at a restaurant won’t work.

Dennis C

So… this is now a card that will be used if you max out DBS Woman’s World and Citi Rewards AND you want to take the time to get the correct MCC? It’s only usable for the odd online shopping or Kris+ payment now, and it doesn’t pool with any good card?

People will keep this until they have redeemed their last HSBC miles then just cancel?

SydneySinger

Funnily enough the one buff that it got this year means HSBC will lose even more people than otherwise. You can redeem miles in blocks of 2 (min. 10k miles), with no conversion fee, as of last month. I had just cleared out 73,822 miles from almost 2 years of using this card…

Kai

It should still work with kris+ right?

real Kai

Read the damn article fool

the real Kai

Harder daddy

MadMan

It’s a big nerf, sure. But you still get 10x for online shopping with Amazon, Lazada, Shopee etc, right?

That’s useful.

anon

can also be an, “oh i busted all my other cards cap” card

No AF 4mpd

Firstly, I don’t do much online shopping so a no-AF 4mpd card for Amazon with 3 year point validity is good for me. I leave the card at home since the 1K/mth cap approximates my Amzn monthly total. Slimmer wallet. Secondly, I dislike trying to get AF waivers (also dislike asking AmexPlat for bonus miles every year, I often forget – why don’t they just follow the other 120K/500K cards and just make it automatic? Is there a need to go cup in hand on the phone with some random CSO after paying $1700 AF?). I have other Citi cards… Read more »

Wee Lee

Wait until they read your comment.

Sunburnt

Can pair it to the Amaze card and convert offline transactions to online like Amaze with Citi Rewards?

Shane

It’s a visa card.Amaze card can only pari with master card.

Chris

No, amaze only supports mastercards

Michael n

Amaze pairs with Mastercard. Hsbc rev being a visa card will not work.

JW19

It’s not a Mastercard, so that’s not an option.

Rich

I love seeing so many different ways to say the same thing. All itchy fingers I guess hehe

Sunburnt

Thanks all for the amazing clarifications..Lol

Jim

The only positive thing about hsbc is now gone. Classic hsbc never fails to shoot itself in the foot.

macadamia

They’re effectively redirecting their entire contactless-using customer base to UOB Pref Plat Visa and UOB Visa Signature.

ByeHSBC

Truth is, HSBC don’t want customers using their cards

Richard

I added HSBC Revo to my NTUC Fairprice app and use for Kopitiam dining, is that affected by the 4mpd nerf? 😀

SosCili

Purchases on the FairPrice app codes as supermarket, so you’ve been getting 0.4 mpd for your Kopitiam meals since May.

Dan

Actually purchases via FairPrice app in Kopitiam foodcourt is tagged as 5814. But given that 5814 has also been nerfed, it is also 0.4mpd.

Richard

Thanks, what’s a good replacement card to add to NTUC Fairprice app? DBS WWMC?

Zezima

Yup. WWMC or CRMC.

WWMC you can use GPay / ApplePay in-app method no problem.
CRMC cannot use GPay / ApplePay in-app, have to save your credit card number directly into the FP app.

Dan

I personally use the uob lady’s card to conserve the WWMC spend limit, but options suggested by Zezima also works!

Nic

There was a recorder playing ‘My Heart Will Go On’ badly in my head as I read this article.

Jane

Fitting article image of Titanic sinking for the end of this card. I guess this card is just too good to be true. Easily one of the best generic spending card. This is as good as HSBC officially declaring killing the card.

Kkkoh

Why don’t they just kill the card?

HSBC RevoRip

They wanna do it in GrabPay Card style.

Bailey

What does online mean? Does it mean only transactions where you key in your 16 digits and the cvv?

Andy

at least atome is still usable

Stefan

Not sure if I am missing something here; but with contactless excluded, wouldn’t inserting the card (chip) or swiping the magnetic strip still be eligible for bonus points?

I could always insert/swipe first and if both of those fail opt to use another card instead of tapping my HSBC Revolution. No?

Zezima

In the first place before the nerfs, chip insert was never 10X to begin with.

Now it becomes an online-only card with very limited MCCs supported. WWMC and CRMC will be a better replacement to HSBC Revo as both online-only cards supports very wide range of MCCs for 10X.

Stefan

Indeed I was missing something obvious! Thanks for the clarification.

Adam

Swipe / chip has been earning 1X since the refresh.

Luna

I just redeemed all of my points from HSBC cards I owned (Revo & Travel One). I will see if I can get my annual fee waived for the T1 card when the statement comes. If not granted, I will cancel Travel One and keep the Revolution as a spare card for online shopping only (perhaps it will still be useful if all of the other cards already busted to the max, albeit I doubt I will spend to that extend). As long as the Revolution is still free from the annual fee, I will keep the card for just… Read more »

zenno

For the purchaing of air tickets. For HSBC Revolution is it only for Singapore air/Scoot/Jetstar? Can I purchase from EVA Air or Cathay and still earn the 4mpd till 31 Dec?

Kel

As an online shopping card, you run the risk of orphan miles unless you spend a hefty amount monthly

chk

Same here. The Revo card will get soon get very limited use from me (esp when deleted from my Google Pay app) and in future if HSBC charge a fee, then I will terminate the card.

thomas the tank

You might as well cancel it now and wait for a new sign up bonus

Jay

Is buying groceries online with the card also considered nerfed since it falls under supermarket category? Unless I opt to shop via RedMart

Avery

Hi, if i redeem 1-for-1 dining promo using Entertainer app, i can only get 1X points using HSBC revolution card for contactless payment? Need to apply for other HSBC card if not kind of waste.

zenno

I’m so sorry for the repeated message. I think i replied wrongly.

But for the Airline bonus, is it only for SIA/Scoot/Jetstar till end of 2024? Or other airlines like Cathay and EVA air is eligible for the 4mpd too?

Thanks,

YMMV

3084 (EVA) and 3099 (CX) currently get 4mpd and all other airlines (3000-3299) get 4mpd until 31/12/2024.

Tony

The problem with Credit Card is that it so laden with conditions that you lose track of them. That is where the bank makes money. I think I have enough of HSBC when I reached my 25,000 redemption limit. Trying to get another HSBC Card is a headache. They are such a pain.

Kelvin

Remember to delete it from your mobile wallet too!

SydneySinger

My first ever credit card…though to be honest I had already made the decision to drop it earlier this month and had just cleared out my miles. Thing is I was still planning to re-apply July 2025 for the sign-up bonus and use the card for flight tickets – so now I may never return to HSBC at all.

intransitmostlikely

HSBC is a garbage bank, only one step higher than SCB. Time to bin this card.

Will

SCB is one tier higher than HSBC at this juncture. At least they are realistic about the (limited) benefits they have on offer and wouldn’t slash and nerf on a whim

Dare

What about restaurant in-app payments or even Kris+ that accept Apple pay? Will this code as online or contactless?

D K

I got 5,000 orphan points and don’t have enough time to earn to hit 25000 for redemption. Any way to efficiently cash out the points?

Ivy

Hi, may I know for insurance premiums (paying with both citipayall & cardup), is HSBC revo will get 4mpd? Or use citi rewards better? Seek advice please..

judy

do you know what you’re talking about??