Nerfed and Hammered (Again): HSBC Revolution Loses Bonus Points on Contactless Payments and Travel-Related Expenses

In a relatively surprising revelation, HSBC continues to hammer away at the utility of its popular HSBC Revolution card. The most notable change this time is the removal of contactless transactions for its bonus earn rate from 15th July 2024. In case the card isn’t unattractive enough, it is also removing travel-related categories from the bonus earn rate from 1st January 2025. Thanks to James for sharing this.

No longer useful for offline transactions, not that useful for online ones

Until the nerf happens, cardholders will receive 10X Reward Points (equivalent to 4 miles per dollar or 2.5% cashback) on contactless transactions in eligible categories. From 15th July 2024, contactless transactions will only earn 1 reward point per dollar spent which is a mere 0.4 miles per dollar or 0.25% cashback.

This effectively makes the card useful only for online expenses. Even then, HSBC Revolution’s rewards mechanic gives its 10X points earn rate on eligible categories on a whitelist basis, meaning to say that only selected categories get the higher earn rate. Other online cards like DBS Woman’s World Mastercard or Citi Rewards give their earn rate on a blacklist basis, meaning that aside from excluded categories, everything else would earn bonus points.

Making matters worse, HSBC Revolution’s whitelist is decidedly narrow, with various exclusions like travel and more added just a months ago. This makes other cards more attractive even if you are looking to spend online.


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Exclusion of travel-related categories after 2024

Given that close competitors like Citi Rewards and UOB Preferred Platinum Visa do not give bonus points on travel-related expenses, HSBC Revolution has been favoured by those who spend more on flight tickets and hotels.

Unfortunately, even this use case has eroded over time. Travel agencies and hotels were excluded about half a year ago, and HSBC is further removing all travel-related expenses from bonus points after the end of 2024. Yikes.

No more generous sign-up gifts

Another “nerf” of sorts that came ominously last month was that HSBC excluded HSBC Revolution from the generous sign-up gifts that the other HSBC cards were offering. It’s a telltale sign that the bank no longer had much interest in promoting this card.

Those who are new to HSBC cards can still get very good welcome offers with cards like HSBC Advance and HSBC TravelOne, and I imagine you would want to take advantage of these offers sooner rather than later in case the bank also becomes disinterested in them.

The revised set of terms and conditions can be found here.

RIP Revolution

Not promoting the card actively is one thing, but with the numerous nerfs it is quite clear that HSBC has fallen out of love with the card that was once its flagship. A previously good card, the HSBC Revolution has been hammered into oblivion, and I don’t really see much of a use case for this card after the changes take effect.

For those looking for alternatives, it’s timely that I have just compiled a list of fantastic miles cards to look at. Revolution didn’t make the cut before these changes, and with today’s news I’m sure even its fans would now agree with my list.

Stay subscribed for more updates and great deals, and rest in peace, Revolution!

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