HSBC Revolution Credit Card

Review: HSBC Revolution Credit Card (updated 2024)

The HSBC Revolution Credit Card was once a revolutionary card which promises to let its users stack up a ton of airline miles for travel. It has since fallen to the point where we’ve almost completely stopped using it.

The HSBC Revolution Credit Card has undergone significant changes this year. From the initial devaluations at the start of the year to a significant improvement in airline transfer partners, and finally the lethal reductions recently.

We have previously written a post on the HSBC Revolution Credit Card and gave it an overwhelmingly positive review. Given all the changes that happened, we think it’s only fitting that we give it another look now.

Once a favourite for those chasing miles and points in Singapore, we now look back at its fall from grace and determine if it’s still a card worth having in your arsenal.

Earning Miles

One of the best ways to earn airline frequent flyer miles is through spending on credit cards. If you are going to spend the money anyway, you might as well earn extra points/miles on top of it to redeem for your next business-class flight.

The Iberia A350-900 Business Class window seat.
Iberia Business Class redeemed with British Airways Executive Program’s Avios.

For HSBC credit cards, in particular, you’ll earn HSBC Points whenever you spend with your card. These HSBC Points can later be transferred out to individual airlines’ frequent flyer programs (like Singapore Airline’s KrisFlyer Program) as miles./image

Earn Rate

This is where the HSBC Revolution Credit Card has undergone the most changes over the past year. The card used to be the golden boy of miles earning where it once had a long list of merchant types where you can earn a lot of points and miles. With each month that passes, the list gets shorter and will be at a state where it takes tremendous determination and effort to earn your points.

After 15th July 2024, the HSBC Revolution Credit Card will no longer earn bonus points for any contactless payments. Leaving it with only online purchases at a select few categories.

When you spend on a bonus category with your HSBC Revolution Credit Card, you’ll earn 10X HSBC Points per S$1 spent. Based on the transfer ratio to a frequent flyer program (as explained in a section below), that will translate to 4 miles per dollar (mpd).

The HSBC Revolution Credit Card goes by a whitelist approach for the bonus points categories. Only online purchases in the categories qualify for the bonus points. Physical purchases at the same stores will earn 1X HSBC Points per dollar which translates to a maximum of 0.4 mpd.

CategoryExamples
Travel (until 31st December 2024)Singapore Airlines, Scoot, AirAsia, Jetstar, Marriott, Hilton
Department Stores and Retail StoresShopee, Lazada, Robinsons, Love Bonito, Lululemon, Takashimaya
DiningDin Tai Fung, TWG Tea, Bengawan Solo, Grab Food, Deliveroo, Chope, Wine Connection
Transportation and Membership ClubsGrab, Gojek, Ryde, Tada, Fitness First, Anytime Fitness
Bonus Categories as of July 2024

A further devaluation will come on 31st December 2024 when cardholders will no longer earn bonus points for travel-related expenses. The full list can be found here.

Miles Expiry

Points earned from the HSBC Revolution Credit Card last for 37 months from the time you earned it. This is a reasonable duration and you wouldn’t need to constantly worry about it expiring.

Points Pooling with Other HSBC Credit Cards

Following the update on 28 May 2024, cardholders can now pool and redeem the points earned from all HSBC credit cards together.

This means that if you have an HSBC Visa Infinite, HSBC TravelOne or HSBC Revolution, you’ll see the points earned from each card pooled together. You will be able to aggregate and redeem the points as a single pool. There are a couple of benefits to this.

Firstly, you will reduce the amount of orphaned points on each card. As points transfer typically require a minimum amount of points, by aggregating the points together you’ll have less chance of having insufficient points on each card for transfer.

Secondly, you can save on transfer fees. Each transfer of points to a frequent flyer program has a nominal cost (typically S$40 + GST for HSBC, even though it’s waived until 31 January 2025). By pooling the points together, you can redeem all your points at once, thereby reducing the overall cost of points transfer.

Transfer Partners

The number of airline transfer partners for the HSBC Revolution Credit Card has since increased significantly following the bank’s upgrade to allow for points pooling. Having more transfer partners means users have more options to spend their points.

In some cases, it can cost fewer points to redeem flights for a similar route across different airline programs.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer52,000 (Saver)
Air Canada Aeroplan45,000
Singapore to Tokyo on Singapore Airlines, Business Class, 1-way (as of 6 July 2024)
Singapore Airlines A350-900 Business Class Configuration
Business Class Cabin in Singapore Airlines

Airline Transfer Partners

Although HSBC now boasts 17 airline transfer partners, not all of them are the same. This is because the conversion ratio is vastly different across different transfer partners. Only 9 partners have a good transfer ratio, while 8 others have worse transfer ratios.

This means that you’ll need more HSBC Points to redeem for a similar amount of airline miles. For example, if a ratio is 25,000 : 10,000, it means that you’ll need 25,000 HSBC Points to get 10,000 airline miles. If a ratio is 35,000 : 10,000, it means that you’ll need 35,000 HSBC Points instead to get 10,000 airlines miles. Therefore, a lower conversion ratio is more favourable.

PartnerConversion Ratio (HSBC points : miles)Effective mpd on a 10X purchase
Airasia Rewards25,000 : 20,0008
British Airways Executive Club25,000 : 10,0004
Cathay Pacific Asiamiles25,000 : 10,0004
AirFrance FlyingBlue25,000 : 10,0004
Etihad Guest25,000 : 10,0004
Eva Air25,000 : 10,0004
Qantas Frequent Flyer25,000 : 10,0004
Singapore Airlines Krisflyer25,000 : 10,0004
Vietnam Airlines Lotusmiles25,000 : 10,0004
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus30,000 : 10,0003.33
United Mileage Plus35,000 : 10,0002.8
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles35,000 : 10,0002.8
Qatar Privilege Club35,000 : 10,0002.8
Hainan Air Fortune Wings Club35,000 : 10,0002.8
Air Canada Aeroplan35,000 : 10,0002.8
Air Vistara Club Vistara40,000 : 10,0002.5
Japan Airlines Mileage Bank50,000 : 10,0002

Some of our favourite frequent flyer programs like Air Canada Aeroplan, Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles and Qatar Privilege Club have less than ideal transfer ratios which is unfortunate. Even though it might seem like Air Asia has a great transfer ratio, the program itself doesn’t allow for great redemptions. Each Air Asia point is not worth the same as other airline miles.

On the bright side, there are some great programs like EVA Air, Air France KLM Flying Blue and British Airways Executive Club with great transfer ratios.

Overall, we think that is an improvement over the previous partner list.

Sign Up Bonus

The HSBC Revolution Credit Card often features fairly decent signup bonuses with low spending requirements. If you’re new to HSBC and do not currently have an existing HSBC credit card, you can consider signing up for the HSBC Revolution Credit Card as your first card with the bank.

Offers Available
Samsonite ZELTUS 69cm Spinner (worth SGD680)
S$200 cash via PayNow
Promotion valid till 30 September 2024

To qualify for the signup bonus, you’ll need to spend a minimum of S$500 within 30 days of card approval. You’ll also need to be a new-to-bank HSBC customer. This means that you cannot currently own any HSBC credit cards, or have cancelled one in the past 12 months.

The Entertainer Subscription

The Entertainer is a lifestyle subscription that gives you 1-for-1 deals at many restaurants around Singapore. You’ll receive a free annual subscription if you remain an HSBC cardholder. As advertised on their site, there are over 1,000 deals available around the world to choose from.

If you’re familiar with The Entertainer, be aware that this is not exactly the “full” version. The HSBC Entertainer is watered down, with fewer selections and fewer copies of discounts available at each restaurant.

I’ve used the discounts several times throughout owning the card and think that this is a good perk to have. I’m pleasantly surprised that with all the reductions in benefits for the HSBC Revolution Credit Card, this perk continues.

This benefit exists for all HSBC credit card cardholders and is not exclusive to the HSBC Revolution Credit Card.

Eligibility

The HSBC Revolution Credit Card is eligible for anyone 21 and above and have an income of more than S$30,000 annually.

Fees

There is no annual fee for being a primary cardholder of the HSBC Revolution Credit Card. This is very useful as you do not have to remember to call in to waive the annual fees every year.

In addition to that, you get 5 supplementary cards for free annually. Supplementary card members do not get their own HSBC Entertainer membership.

Final Thoughts

HSBC Revolution Credit Card

Miles Earning Capabilities
Benefits
Fees

Summary

HSBC has once again revolutionised the HSBC Revolution Credit Card, this time through death by a thousand cuts. The significant reduction in bonus points earning capabilities means that the card lost its biggest selling point.

2.5

Should I sign up for the HSBC Revolution Credit Card?

If you do not currently have the HSBC Revolution Credit Card, then it might still make sense to sign up for the card. However, the reason to sign up for the card will be for the sign-up bonus rather than the card benefits.

Before signing up, it will be best to compare the sign-up bonuses across all HSBC credit cards. It does not matter if it’s a cashback credit card or a miles credit card. You only have 1 chance at getting the sign-up bonus due to your “new-to-bank” status, so make that count.

What should I do if I already have the card?

Now to the million-dollar question, should I cancel the HSBC Revolution Credit Card if I already have it?

This is a harder question to answer than it seems. Even though the card carries no annual fee, you incur opportunity costs just by having it as you will not be able to take advantage of a subsequent new-to-bank status for a sign-up bonus.

We recommend cancelling the card if and only if you do not have any other HSBC credit cards that you use regularly and you do not have any significant amount of HSBC Points that you have not transferred yet. If you have some HSBC Points, it will be good to transfer them out before cancelling the card.

If you do not have enough HSBC Points to make the minimum transfer, try to spend on the remaining bonus categories before 31st January 2025 so that you can at least transfer out the points for free.

Note that we’ll always recommend having a card for at least 12 months before cancellation to avoid sign-up bonus clawbacks and being on the bank’s naughty list.

What are some alternatives?

As the HSBC Revolution Credit Card was previously a core piece of our miles-earning strategy, it was painful to see it lose its capabilities. However, we have to move on and look for alternatives that can supplement what we’ve lost.

UOB Preferred Platinum Card

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card in Singapore
UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card

The UOB Preferred Platinum Card comes closest to the HSBC Revolution Credit Card when it comes to the bonus categories. It earns 4 mpd on all contactless spending and even carries a slightly higher monthly bonus spending limit than the HSBC Revolution Credit Card.

The main downside will be UOB’s lack of transfer partners but makes up for it with the great UOB credit card ecosystem and points pooling.

Read our full review of the UOB Preferred Platinum Card here.

UOB Lady’s (Solitaire) Card

UOB Lady's Card in Singapore

After 31st December 2024, we can no longer use the HSBC Revolution Credit Card for travel expenses. This is where the UOB Lady’s Card can come in handy if the travel category is selected.

As it is also a UOB credit card, it can be a great complement to the UOB Preferred Platinum Card due to the points pooling feature.

Read our full review of the UOB Lady’s Card here.

Our Updated Credit Card Strategy

With all these changes happening, we have also made some changes to our overall credit card strategy. As travel hackers, we have to be nimble the modifying our strategy when needed.

You can find out more about it here.

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