HSBC’s Sign-up Reward Mechanics: “Bank A” and “Bank B” Explained

Since the launch of HSBC TravelOne, HSBC has had a confusing definition on who qualifies as a new or existing cardholder to its credit cards. Confusion isn’t a good thing, but within this lies an opportunity for sign-up rewards you thought you wouldn’t qualify for.

HSBC TravelOne (and Visa Infinite) stands separately from the rest

HSBC has decided to treat its newest credit card, the HSBC TravelOne, a little differently from the rest of the credit cards. For sign-up rewards, the card is standalone from other HSBC credit cards. This means that HSBC TravelOne does not affect your cardholder status for sign-up rewards of other HSBC cards, nor do other HSBC cards affect the sign-up rewards for this card.

This means that if you have the HSBC Revolution (or any other HSBC credit card), you can sign up for HSBC TravelOne and qualify as a new cardholder. The reverse is true as well: if you have the HSBC TravelOne, you can sign up for a HSBC Advance (or any other HSBC credit card) as a new cardholder.

HSBC Visa Infinite is also another standalone card that works the same way.

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For sign-up rewards, HSBC has “multiple banks”

The clearest and quickest way I can describe this is that HSBC has “multiple banks”:

“Bank A”“Bank B”“Bank C”
HSBC Revolution
HSBC Platinum Visa
HSBC Advance
HSBC TravelOneHSBC Visa Infinite

Just like how signing up for a Citibank card doesn’t affect your sign-up gifts from StanChart, getting a card from HSBC’s “Bank A” doesn’t affect your eligibility for their “Bank B” promo.

Now this “Bank A, Bank B” nomenclature is entirely made up by me to describe the situation. I imagine some branding executive frothing in their mouths right now but until there’s an easier/better illustration, I’m going with this multiple banks thing.

You can check out the terms and conditions for “Bank A” cards here. The conditions clearly states that HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card and HSBC TravelOne Credit Card are both not considered in the conditions of being a new or existing cardholder. For HSBC TravelOne and HSBC Visa Infinite, their terms and conditions only make reference to itself for the purpose of promo eligibility.

Existing cardholder definition is weird too

At the same time, HSBC’s “existing customer” definition for sign-up offers is also quite different from other banks. To qualify for existing HSBC credit cardholder promos, you need to satisfy both these conditions:

  1. Your existing HSBC card must be issued more than 12 months ago
  2. You must not have cancelled any HSBC Credit card within the “same bank” in the past 12 months.

This is more relevant for “Bank A” cards because if you have signed up for HSBC Advance 11 months ago and try to sign up for HSBC Revolution, you get no sign-up gift for the HSBC Revolution because you did not satisfy Condition 1.

If your HSBC Advance was issued more than 12 months ago and you sign up for HSBC Revolution, you will qualify for the existing cardholder promo. However, if you cancelled HSBC Platinum Visa 5 months ago, you will not qualify since you did not satisfy Condition 2.

So if you have an HSBC credit card from “Bank A” for at least 12 months and did not cancel any “Bank A” card in the past 12 months, you can indeed get existing cardholder gifts with another card within “Bank A”.

For the avoidance of doubt, regardless of your cardholder status with “Bank A”, you can still get HSBC TravelOne and enjoy that promo, because remember: HSBC TravelOne belongs to “Bank B” and has nothing to do with “Bank A”.

Do not revoke consent for marketing materials

Again, in uniquely HSBC fashion, the bank has a condition that you do not revoke consent for its marketing materials in order for you to qualify for the sign-up gifts so don’t do it if you want your sign-up gifts.

In summary

SituationOutcome
I have a HSBC Advance/Platinum/Revolution and I want to sign up for a HSBC TravelOneQualify for new cardholder gift (note that HSBC TravelOne promo requires annual fee to be paid)
I have a HSBC TravelOne and I want to sign up for a HSBC Advance/Platinum/RevolutionQualify for new cardholder gift
I have a HSBC Advance/Platinum/Revolution and I want to sign up for another HSBC Advance/Platinum/Revolution
My HSBC card is issued more than 12 months ago.
I did not make any cancellation of HSBC Advance/Platinum/Revolution in the past 12 months.

If both answers are yes, qualify for existing customer gift.
I have no HSBC cards at all in the past 12 months and I want to sign up for HSBC Advance/Platinum/Revolution AND a HSBC TravelOneQualify for new cardholder gift for both applications (note that HSBC TravelOne promo requires annual fee to be paid)

Tap here for current HSBC card deals and yes – you can get twice the sign-up offer if you are completely new to the bank. Note that HSBC TravelOne requires an annual fee payment to get your sign-up gift.

More rewards and complex? Better than no rewards and simple

Hopefully this clears things up and even though things are a little more complicated, this allows for more sign-up rewards rather than less. Sign-up gifts for existing cardholders are rare, so it’s a good thing that the bank is at least trying to provide that. It sure beats making things simple and having no sign-up rewards for existing cardholders altogether.

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