Questions About HSBC Credit Cards



  • I applied for an HSBC Cash Rewards Credit Card…I did get an instant approval but the line approved was a really tiny one ($1,600) I have an excellent credit history, a Fico Score of about 780 and usually when i apply for a new card, the initial line is generally around $7500 to $8000 (sometimes even more)…So, this was kind of “insulting” (lol)…

    I was wondering, if there is anyone out there with experience with HSBC Credit Cards…are the always like that with the initial line? Would it do any good to call when i receive the card and talk to an actual person about getting it increased? Unless i could get about $7500 at least for the initial line, i would probably want to close the account…

    Also, how is is it as far as registering and using their online system to check on your credit card activity? And how is their Customer Service?

    All thoughts…suggestions…appreciated! 🙂



  • I applied for the HSBC Cash Rewards Credit Card last December, @craig10x, and was instantly approved for a paltry $1,250 LOC – in stark contrast to the $10,000 LOC that I applied for and received from a different issuer in November (FICO 817, all credit cards paid in full each month).

    Would it do any good to call when I receive the card and talk to an actual person about getting it increased?

    After 90 days of HSBC card history (numerous payments-in-full, since the amount of available credit is so laughable), I called and requested an increase to $15,000, believing that I would have more luck speaking to a person vs. using the simpler online request tab; the agent stated that it would be a soft pull, since the card was so new, and that a decision would be made within 7-10 days…I just checked on it, and it apparently was too soon to make such a request, as the increase was reportedly declined, “letter of explanation in the mail”.

    Unless i could get about $7500 at least for the initial line, i would probably want to close the account…

    If you can put up with the inconvenient $1600 limit, take advantage of the following perks for the first year:

    • $150 Cash Back after spending $500 or more in new, net card purchases during the first 3 months from Account opening
    • 0% Introductory APR on Balance Transfers for the first 15 months from Account opening (then 14.24%, 18.24%, or 24.24%)
    • 1.5% Unlimited Cash Back on all purchases
    • 10% Anniversary Bonus on all Cash Rewards earned each year
    • No Annual Fee
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees

    I don’t know if it is still available, but I was somehow eligible to receive an additional signup bonus of an extra .05% cash back for the first six months, making my cash back rate 2%.

    Rather than simply cancelling the card, consider keeping it merely as a backup card – after you have received your $150 CB bonus – keeping the card in your sock drawer until you need it, or until there is an enticing offer to use it again. It is my understanding that cancelling a credit card can negatively affect one’s credit score, as a credit score relies on the total amount of credit already available, as well as on the age of each card.

    Also, how is it as far as registering and using their online system to check on your credit card activity? And how is their Customer Service?

    Registering online is easy, but the HSBC website seems to be designed more for the deposit account customer than for the credit card customer.

    The opening page gives a summary of the account, but one is taken to a new page to make payments, view history, view pending transactions, and such, and one is taken to a different page to view cash back history and redemption options.

    Each page has its own log off button, and each page automatically logs off the user if the user does not return within ca. 10 minutes.

    Cardholders can also sign up for alerts via text and email, to help keep track of spending, balance, and potential fraud.

    I can tolerate a mediocre website, as long as I’m able to make online payments at will.

    However, I cannot tolerate a website that is inconsistent, to my detriment:

    Whenever I have made intermediate online payments of $100-$485, they were credited immediately, allowing me to make new purchases within minutes.

    However, when I made a nearly $1000 payment on the statement due date (the statement balance had been paid off a week earlier, but I wanted to free up the LOC to make a new purchase), it was not credited immediately, thereby preventing me from making a large purchase that I wanted to make.

    I wasted an hour with an online chat agent who first said that the payment needed to be confirmed (it was an ACH payment that had been deducted from my non-HSBC checking account on the previous day), which could take up to 3 business days (…still waiting…), then said that it had been confirmed, but that it needed to be “verified”, per regulations, which would take until April 4th (7 business days?).

    I expressed my confusion about the delay, telling the agent that all of my previous HSBC payments had been credited immediately, so this delay was unprecedented, and didn’t make any sense…

    Then, thinking that the large payment amount might have caused the issue, I informed the agent that I had never encountered this “hold” with any of my other cards, specifically citing a $15,000 online payment that I had recently made to a US Bank card (from the same non-US Bank checking account), without incident…

    After receiving no satisfactory answer (there was a feeble, “Sorry, I wish that I could help you,” at one point, but the agent, otherwise, remained silent), I declared that, with this unwarranted hold period, and the resulting disruption to my purchasing ability, this HSBC card was basically useless to me…

    …at which point, the agent terminated the chat and sent me to a survey to fill out, which I most certainly did… 😀



  • @kohlspowrshopper Thank you so much for your thoughtful and very extensive reply! 🙂

    Considering that when i open a new credit card, they generally start me in the $7000 to $8000 range (sometimes higher) it was rather insulting to get such a tiny limit (like as if i was just starting out with credit)…Even Citibank, which is not known for starting you out with high limits recently gave me $5000 to start and when i applied for an increase right after getting the card to $12000 they gave me a $10,000 line and said to wait 6 months and then i could ask for more…

    However, based on what you reported, it doesn’t sound like HSBC would be as accommodating…

    I was really going to just use it as a back up card to my Citi Double Cash, but did want a decent line on it…I also have an Ally Bank Cashback Card with a $7500 line…i figure if HSBC would give me a decent line, i’d close that…looks like it will probably be the reverse (close HSBC and keep the Ally card as the back up)…

    I will try calling them after the card is activated (just called them and they said i’d need to have the card and activate it first before checking about an increase) but i am not optimistic at this point… 🙁



  • @craig10x I suppose i could use it for a month, get $500 in purchases and then sock drawer it until i get the cash rewards…sounds like you have to wait the 3 months to actually get the bonus in your account…then i could cash out and close it…meanwhile, keeping the Ally card as back up instead…

    I’d only want to keep it for the long run if they agreed to give me a decent opening line…It would have to be at least $5000 though i’d prefer more like $7500…



  • @craig10x said,

    I will try calling them after the card is activated … but i am not optimistic at this point… 🙁

    It appears that cardholders are eligible for CLI’s only once every six months (likely applies to new cardholders, too); I knew that 90 days was pushing it, but I was so tired of making weekly payments to even be able to use the card, that I was willing to take the chance…

    …sounds like you have to wait the 3 months to actually get the bonus in your account…

    I received my $150 bonus shortly after meeting the $500 threshold…applied it toward my account mere days after paying the first month’s statement balance.

    I’d only want to keep it for the long run if they agreed to give me a decent opening line…It would have to be at least $5000 though i’d prefer more like $7500…

    I haven’t been able to find any chatter on the Internet about HSBC…no indication as to how generous it is with CLI’s once the probationary period is over… Will just have to wait and see…

    I’ll keep using the card as much as I can until the 2% cash back bonus ends in May; then, if I can’t get an increase large enough to make it worth my while to even pull the card out of my wallet, I will probably just use it as a backup card. ☹



  • I hear you! If that’s the case (the bonus is paid shortly after you actually reach it and not 3 months later) then i may well rack up the $500 in the first month and at least get the $150 before shutting it down…

    I know what you mean…it is hard to find a lot of info about how HSBC as far Credit is concerned…

    I saw mixed posts…some said they got a low amount like us and they wouldn’t budge and others said they granted them a very reasonable starting line after re-evaluating, even though the card was new…

    So, i figure the best bet is to give it a shot when i receive and activate it…not much to lose…and should be interesting to see what happens…

    I saw some said they started off with say, $7500 or $8500! (during the instant approval) Would like to know how they pulled that off (lol)…

    I just got another e-mail from them…sounds like the card is on the way…That was pretty quick…



  • @craig10x What gets me is i got ANOTHER e-mail and it specifically mentions that the card was mailed on friday…Very fast service, i must say…and they were pretty nice on the phone too…Now, if i can just get them to give me a decent credit line to work with! I should receive it by middle of next week or possibly sooner (they even tell you it is coming from nebraska in a plain white envelope)…I’ll post here after i talk to them…

    I’m getting the impression that this will be a good card to have IF i can get away from the crummy credit line 😉



  • I have what is known as the HSBC Cash Rewards World (can’t remember the exact name) MasterCard which was originally a HSBC Premier World MasterCard when I signed up as a Premier Client but never brought any assets so I dropped out of the program after 3 months and they moved me to their HSBC Fly or something World MasterCard, both started with $7500 for the credit line which was back in 1997 or 1998. Then they automatically raised me to $8500 during the past few years when I haven’t even used the card. I have not try asking for a CLI yet.



  • @almighty1 Now that would be a reasonable starting line…if they want me to actually USE the card, i hope they will at least give me $7500 when i call them after getting the card, which should be rolling in before the end of the week…

    To someone with a 775 FICO score, $1600 is really an insult…i realize a computer made that determination, so let’s see how a REAL person does…



  • @craig10x - Capital One is a even worse insult because back then, all they would give me is $500 and never raised it.



  • The card came in the mail today and i activated it…the Credit Line is actually $1,750.00 but STILL…Anyway, i will call tomorrow to their credit department and see what they say…I was only going to use it as a second card to my Citi Double Cash Card but if it’s anything less than $5000, i won’t be keeping it…I’d be happier i with at least $7500 or so…

    Will post after i talk to them…



  • I got a small credit line as well. However, I didn’t much care because I was only doing it for the $150 bonus.

    The problem I had with them is that they are way to into fraud. A $6.97 transaction at Walmart after a month of usage shut me down, and another charge for $16 at the 5 month mark did the same thing. Calling to deal with it was a pain.

    I’m keeping the card to get the 10% bonus points on the anniversary and cashing them out. I’ll never use the card again. I can’t run the risk that they’ll fraud my account again if an autopay were to come through.

    I also wouldn’t feel comfortable traveling with the card. After calling to unfraud from my cell, they called my house phone to double check. If I were traveling, there wouldn’t have been anyone to answer the house phone.

    I will say to pay attention to the redemption thresholds. I redeemed only $100 so that there was $50 in reserve to be able to do a $50+ redemption to get the straggling annual bonus points out.



  • HSBC was likely concerned that you were spending that $6.97 on a Walmart gift card (to cover bail for a family member or to send to some unscrupulous person pretending to be the IRS coming after you for back taxes…), so you should feel downright grateful that it took the utmost care to protect you from that potentially detrimental purchase, @chyvan

    HSBC won’t stop there at protecting you, either: You can feel equally secure in the knowledge that HSBC will suspect every payment that you make to be fraudulent, too: HSBC will freeze the amount of credit available to you for up to 14 business days – even if you’ve made an ACH payment and the funds have long been withdrawn from your bank account – because HSBC needs to manually verify each payment (hold times increase with high $$ payments and payments made around or on your statement due date) since your external bank might be shifty and not release the funds…

    So, if you’ve paid off your statement balance and sent in extra funds to pay off new purchases in advance, you can have a credit of $700 or more, and HSBC will still keep your available credit at $0…for your protection: HSBC can’t let you continue spending wildly without confirming that you really were the one to have submitted payment.


  • Global Moderator

    @craig10x said in Questions About HSBC Credit Cards:

    The card came in the mail today and i activated it…the Credit Line is actually $1,750.00 but STILL…Anyway, i will call tomorrow to their credit department and see what they say…I was only going to use it as a second card to my Citi Double Cash Card but if it’s anything less than $5000, i won’t be keeping it…I’d be happier i with at least $7500 or so…

    Will post after i talk to them…

    @craig10x you never posted back what happened with this - any update?



  • @jtownsucks46 Oh, Sorry about that…i called them up and had them cancel the card…when they asked why i was closing, i mentioned that the line was too low for me to use the card in a practical manner…
    I am using my Citi Double Cash Card as my main card now…and i also have a Schwab Investor Card (American Express) as my back up card…At the current time, both have $10,000 lines…I’m going to try for a Credit Line Increase on the Citi Card when it reaches the 6 month mark (in the fall)… I have a very good credit history and fico score but too many hard pulls in the past year (which is what causes the problem of getting a new card and a decent line) so, i will just stay with my current two cards for now… 🙂



  • IME with Citi, when I asked for a possible CL increase to my first DoubleCash card, I was told there will be HP so I didn’t proceed. I just PCd my Dividend and AA plat cards to DCash where the higher CL of those cards were transferred to the new DCash they sent me. I’m better off with cumulative higher CL and different cut off dates.


 

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