Watching An Old Card Come to Life
My wife and I have an old credit card that none of you have probably ever heard of. It isn’t an obscure product in the purest sense of the word, but it just isn’t very popular either.
This card is now called the HSBC Platinum MasterCard with Rewards. It used to just be called the Platinum Mastercard, but at some point over the past ten years they have fancied it up. The card comes with a $0 annual fee and earns 1 point per dollar. Each point is worth $.01 for cash and you can get merchandise and other rewards too!
Why Keep This Terrible Card?
Most of you probably don’t have a card from HSBC and to be honest there isn’t really a need to. This is their best rewards card and it is terrible. So you are probably asking yourself why I have this card? Well it is all about the history. My wife and I have had this card for over a decade and we all know that average age of accounts is important.
So you now know why I keep the card, but what about the title? Well I have been noticing that HSBC has started tinkering with targeted spending offers like we have seen from Citi, US Bank and others. Over the past couple of months they have sent a few very weak offers. Most of them involved earning no more than 500 bonus points, which wasn’t enough to get me to dust off the card.
Then the other day this offer came in:
“Earn up to $1001 in Statement Credits
Spend $250 each month from May 1 through August 31, 2015 and earn a $25 Statement Credit for a total of up to $1001 back in Statement Credits.”
Wow! HSBC really wants me to use this card. If I spend $250 in a month, I receive a $25 statement credit. Remember I already earn 1x on normal spend, so this is basically an 11x return on spend. Getting a $110 rebate for $1,000 in spending is definitely worth it.
While I haven’t decided how I will rack up this spending, the easiest way would probably be to just pickup a $500 variable Visa card at a local grocery store. They cost $5.95 or Walmart sells them for $4.94. If I go the Walmart route I would pay ~$20 over the four months and earn a $100 bonus plus $20 from the spend. Not bad!
This is a good reminder of why it is important to opt-in to receive marketing offers on your accounts. 99% of the time they may be junk, but then something like this comes along and that old card that has been collecting dust suddenly turns into an 11x earning beast!