The HSBC Advance Credit Card: All you need to know

Aman Saxena

The banking giant HSBC offers a cashback credit card called the Advance Credit Card. You can get cashback on all purchases you make using the card with no minimum spending. And the cashback rate gets a boost if you are an existing Advance banking client.

But the enticing cashback offers don’t mean that you will feel real money in your wallet with this card. Instead, you might find that you are paying quite a bit in fees- even for overseas purchases. Read on to learn more about the inner workings of this credit card and if it could work for you.

If you want to actually save money on fees and travel and spend with freedom, take a look at Wise’s multi-currency card
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How does the HSBC Advance Credit Card work?

The HSBC Advance Credit Card works like a traditional credit card. Once you are approved, you will be given a credit line and Visa card to use for spending. You can use the card overseas or online too. Then every statement period, you will receive a bill with how much you need to payback. If you aren’t able to pay the amount back in full, the remaining balance will be hit with an interest rate.

But the HSBC Advance Credit Card does not come cheap. There is a sizable interest rate and a number of fees to keep your card up and running. To make it easier to understand the major fees, here is a breakdown below. Want a card that is cheaper with none of the HSBC fees? Take a look at Wise’s borderless card which lets you travel globally with one account.

Fees and charges

the HSBC Advance Credit Card¹Wise borderless card
Annual feeS$ 192.60 ((GST) included; waived for the 1st year)None
Annual interest rate25.9%None
Overseas exchange rateSet by VisaThe mid-market exchange rate
Late payment feeS$ 55None
Minimum monthly repayment3% or a minimum of S$ 50None
Foreign currency transaction fee2.8%None
Cash advance transaction fee6%, with a minimum of S$ 15None
Overlimit feeS$ 40None

Who is eligible for the HSBC Advance Credit Card?

The HSBC Advance Credit Card is available for adults above the age of 21, and who meet the minimum income requirement. For Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents, the minimum income requirement is S$ 30,000 annually. If you are a Singapore citizen or PR but are self-employed or work on commissions, the minimum is S$ 40,000.

If you are a foreign nationality, then the minimum annual income requirement is S$ 40,000 as well. In all cases, if you aren’t able to make the income requirement, you can put down a fixed deposit collateral of S$ 10,000.

To apply, you can head to the HSBC website and apply directly, or head down to an HSBC branch near you. You will need to provide identification documents for all primary and supplemental applicants, as well as proof of income.²

What can I do with the HSBC Advance Credit Card?

You can use your HSBC Advance Credit Card for regular day to day purchases, and for larger purchases like travel wherever Visa is accepted. But the major perk is cashback on purchases that comes with this card. And if you are an Advance Banking client already with HSBC, you will get an extra boost on your cashback.

The HSBC Advance Credit Card cashback/ rewards

The biggest perk that the HSBC Advance Credit Card offers is the cashback on spending, but it does come with strings attached. First, if you spend below S$ 2,000 per month, you are only getting 1.5% cashback on all purchases. But if you spend above S$ 2,000 per month on the card, you get 2.5% cashback. If you have an existing Advance banking relationship with HSBC, you’ll get an additional 1% on the cashback. While there is no minimum spending required, there is a cap of S$ 70 per month.³

The HSBC Advance Credit Card travel insurance

When you charge your entire travel fare or deposit to your HSBC Advance Credit Card, you qualify for complimentary travel insurance. The coverage can be up to S$ 350,000 and covers you and your family members that are traveling. It also covers travel inconveniences like delays, missed connecting flights and lost luggage.⁴

Overseas spend with the HSBC Advance Credit Card

You’ll get between 1.5-2.5% cashback with the HSBC Advance Credit Card when you spend overseas but does that really offset the card’s foreign transaction fees? Actually, no. With a foreign transaction fee of 2.8% on all overseas purchases, you will still be paying out of pocket even if you get the highest non-banking cashback. And that goes for any purchases you make in a foreign currency, even online.

On top of that, Visa sets the exchange rate for every transaction. And what it does is set the exchange rate you get lower than the mid-market exchange rate. That’s the rate the banks use themselves and the one you see on Google. By doing this they are able to take a small slice of every transaction that is converted. So when your HSBC Advance Credit Card converts every foreign transaction first into US dollars and then into Singapore dollars, you are paying this small hidden fee twice. On every transaction.

Get your Wise borderless card - a multi-currency account that is on average 7 times cheaper than banks

With Wise, you get smart technology that helps make shopping and traveling overseas easy on your wallet. In one account, you can hold 40+ global currencies that you can use locally- even in Thailand and Malaysia. With no foreign transaction fee, annual fee or cash advance fees, you will be paying a lot less out of pocket with the Wise borderless card.

Even better is that Wise comes with an award-winning app that helps you keep track of your spending with magic notifications. So whether you are on holiday or shopping online on Alibaba or Amazon, you will only pay one low conversion fee of .35-1%. That’s it. So forget cashback offers with minimum spends, and get the Wise borderless account that lets you keep real cash in your wallet.

Sources used for this article:
  1. Fees & Charges
  2. Eligibility
  3. Cashback
  4. Travel Insurance

All sources checked as of 26 Feb, 2020

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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