HSBC Pulse UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card: Personalised Rebates With the Convenience of UnionPay

HSBC Pulse UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card: Personalised Rebates With the Convenience of UnionPay

Customisable Cashback & Regional Travel Perks

Good for

  • Frequent regional or overseas travellers
  • Consumers with highly specialised budgets (dining, entertainment, lifestyle)
  • People with a solid understanding of their spending habits

Bad for

  • Consumers who want straightforward, everyday rebates
  • Those looking for a no-fee card
  • High spenders who want to avoid reward caps

Editor's Rating

4.5/5.0

Consumers with specialised spending habits–especially travellers–should definitely consider HSBC Pulse UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card. Cardholders earn 0.4% cashback on their general spend, plus a bonus +2% cashback which can be allocated across the "Rewards of Your Choice" categories (dining, overseas, in mainland China and Macau and with select home, entertainment & lifestyle merchants). Consumers also receive an extra +2% bonus on spend online, overseas and in mainland China & Macau. By stacking these boosts, frequent travellers can earn up to 4.4% abroad. Perks include waived foreign transaction fees for MOP & RMB, discounted limo transfers and 3 free lounge visits per year. While there's a HK$1.8k annual fee, it's waived 2 years and can easily be offset thereafter by top rewards earnings.

ProsCons
  • Up to 4.4% cashback abroad
  • Up to 2.4% cashback in other categories
  • 3 free lounge visits/yr & flat limo transfers
  • General spend only earns 0.4% cashback
  • High HK$1.8k annual fee (2-yr waiver)
  • Boosted rates apply to 1st HK$100k spend
Promotions:
  • Receive HK$800 cashback w/ HK$/RMB8k min. spend in 1st 2mo
Card Overview
Pros:
  • Up to 4.4% cashback abroad
  • Up to 2.4% cashback in other categories
  • 3 free lounge visits/yr & flat limo transfers
  • Promotions: Receive HK$800 cashback w/ HK$/RMB8k min. spend in 1st 2mo
Cons:
  • General spend only earns 0.4% cashback
  • High HK$1.8k annual fee (2-yr waiver)
  • Boosted rates apply to 1st HK$100k spend

What Makes HSBC Pulse UP DC Diamond Card Stand Out

Consumers with specialised spending habits, especially frequent travellers, should definitely consider HSBC Pulse UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card. While cardholders earn at the market standard of 0.4% cashback on general spend, they receive a bonus +2% cashback that they can allocate across the "Rewards of Your Choice" categories of spend overseas, in mainland China & Macau, on dining and with select home, lifestyle & entertainment merchants. Consumers can apply this +2% bonus to any one category, or split it amongst several in increments as small as 0.4%. This cashback boost applies to the first HK$100k annual "Rewards of Your Choice" category spend.

In addition to this "Rewards of Your Choice" cashback, which allows consumers to earn up to 2.4% in any of the above categories, consumers also receive bonus category-specific boosts. Cardholders earn a 2% "Red Hot Online and Overseas" bonus (with HK$3k spend/quarter in these categories, up to HK$300 cashback/quarter) and a bonus 2% cashback on spend in mainland China & Macau (applies to first HK$80k category spend). With these boosts, consumers can earn a competitive 2.4% rebate online and up to 4.4% overseas or in mainland China & Macau. All of these rates are amongst the highest in their respective categories on the market.

Comparing Cashback Rewards on HK$100k Spend/Yr Based on Bonus Distribution

Rewards AllocationOptimised to DiningOptimised to OverseasOptimised to Mainland China/Macau
Max Rewards rate2.40%4.40%4.40%
Cashback EarnedHK$2.4kHK$3.6kHK$4.0k
Effective Rewards %2.40%3.60%4.00%
Optimisation is defined as allocating entire +2% Rewards of your Choice bonus to, and spending all HK$100k in, the selected category

On top of earning competitive cashback on their trips, travellers can also save money abroad with waived foreign transaction fees for transactions in RMB or MOP (low 1% fee for purchases in other currencies) and enjoy the convenience of separate billing for HKD and RMB spend. Consumers can also travel more comfortably with discounted limo transfer services & up to 3 free lounge visits per year (with HK$12k spend across 2 months prior to the visit). These perks generally align with those offered by most other UnionPay travel cards.

HSBC Pulse UP DC Diamond Card is not the best option for consumers with well-distributed budgets, however. General spend only earns 0.4% cashback, and those who distribute the "Rewards of Your Choice" bonus evenly earn just 0.4% to 0.8% on category purchases outside of overseas and mainland China/Macau. Other cards, like EarnMORE UnionPay Diamond Card and ICBC Horoscope UP DC Diamond Card, offer higher base rates on general spend. Another potential drawback is HSBC Pulse UP DC Diamond Card's restrictive cashback limits. For example, consumers only earn the "Rewards of Your Choice" boost on the first HK$100k spend, which averages to just HK$8,333/month. Spend beyond this cap earns just 0.4% cashback.

Comparing Rewards Rates and Annual Fees

Credit CardGeneral SpendMax. OverseasAnnual Fee (Waiver)
EarnMORE UP Diamond2.0%1.5%HK$800 (2 Yrs)
ICBC Horoscope UP Diamond1.5%1.5%HK$1,000
SC Simply Cash1.5%2.0%
  • HK$2,000 (1 Yr)
  • Perpetual waiver available
BlueCash from Amex1.2%1.2%
  • HK$980 (1 Yr)
  • Perpetual waiver available
HSBC Pulse UP Diamond0.4%4.4%HK$1,800 (2 Yrs)
SC Simply Cash provides a fee waiver for consumers with select SC banking accounts. BlueCash from Amex provides a fee waiver with HK$25k annual spend

Nonetheless, HSBC Pulse UP DC Diamond Card is still worth considering. Those with focused spending habits can earn at highly competitive rates, and frequent travellers can additionally benefit from convenient perks. While there's a HK$1.8k annual fee, it's waived for the first 2 years. Ultimately, HSBC Pulse UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card is an excellent option for consumers with specialised budgets, especially frequent travellers.

How Does HSBC Pulse UP DC Diamond Card's Rewards Program Work?

Use our quick guide below to learn how you can redeem your credit card rewards.

  • Cashback is technically earned in RewardCash
  • RewardCash expiry varies (valid up to 2 years)
  • RewardCash is redeemed at the rate of RC$1=HK$1
  • RewardCash can be pooled & transferred across different cards and cardholders in the Reward+ App
  • RewardCash can be redeemed to offset your monthly statement or for goods, coupons or vouchers
  • Alternatively, you can redeem RewardCash through the HSBC Mileage Program
  • Miles conversion rates vary by participating airline (min. redemption of RC$40 at a time)

HSBC Pulse UP DC Diamond Card's Features and Benefits:

Card Overview
  • Annual Fee: HKD 1,800, 2-Year Waiver
  • Income Requirement: HKD 150,000
Rewards Rate Details
  • 0.4% cashback on general local spend
  • Bonus +2% "Rewards of Your Choice" rebate that can be allocated in 0.4% units across select categories (dining, overseas, spend in mainland China & Macau, and with select entertainment, home & lifestyle merchants), up to first HK$100k eligible spend
  • Additional bonus +2% "Red Hot Online & Overseas" rebate w/ HK$3k category spend/qtr (capped at HK$300/qtr)
  • Additional +2% rebate on spend in mainland China & Macau, up to first HK$80k spend
Benefits & Perks
  • MOP and RMB foreign currency transaction fees waived (1% fee for all other currencies)
  • HKD and RMB spend separately billed
  • 3 free lounge visits/year w/ HK$12k+ spend in 2 consecutive mo
  • Discounted limousine service (HK$250/ride, HK & China)
  • HSBC Year-round Offers
Promotions:
  • Receive HK$800 cashback w/ HK$/RMB8k min. spend in 1st 2mo

HSBC Pulse UP DC Diamond Card's Rewards Exclusions

The following credit card expenditures are ineligible for rewards.

Cash advances; fees and charges, withdrawals under a cash or spending instalment plan, online bill payments; purchase and/or reload of stored value cards or e-wallets (except fro reload via Octopus Automatic Added Value Service); wire transfers
Betting and gambling transactions; transactions at non-financial institutions (including purchase of foreign currency, money orders and travellers cheques); transactions at financial institutions (including purchase of merchandise and services from banks)
Quasi cash transactions; unposted or posted but subsequently cancelled, reversed or refunded transactions

How does HSBC Pulse UP DC Diamond Compare to Other Cards?

Read our comparisons of HSBC Pulse UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card with other cards and learn how each card provides unique value. We compare and contrast each card to highlight its uniqueness to help you identify the card that fits your needs.

Graph showing some of Hong Kong's best credit cards in terms of value-to-consumer after two years, based on an average monthly spend of HK$12,000
HSBC Pulse UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card v. HSBC Visa Signature Card
  • Annual Fee: HKD 2,000
  • Stand-Out: 1.6% cashback in select categories w/ bonus 2% allocated to choice
  • Read Our Full Review
High-earning consumers who want customisable cashback should definitely consider HSBC Visa Signature Card. Cardholders earn a higher 1.6% cashback on spend in each of the "Rewards of Your Choice" categories (dining, overseas, spend in mainland China & Macau and with select entertainment, lifestyle & home merchants) plus +2% bonus cashback which can be distributed across these categories. Consumers also receive a bonus 2% "Red Hot Online and Overseas" boost (with HK$3k category spend/quarter, up to HK$300 cashback/quarter), allowing them to earn up to 5.6% cashback overseas.


HSBC Visa Signature Card also offers cardholders up to 12 free lounge visits per year (with a HK$1.5k transaction in the month of each visit), which is 4 times more than what HSBC Pulse UP DC Diamond Card provides. While there aren't many regional travel perks and there's a relatively high HK$360k minimum income requirement, HSBC Visa Signature is still great for high earners who want to earn higher cashback rates and enjoy more generous lounge access perks.

HSBC Pulse UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card v. EarnMORE UnionPay Diamond Card
  • Annual Fee: HKD 800
  • Stand-Out: 2% cashback on all spend + 3 free lounge visits
  • Read Our Full Review
EarnMORE UnionPay Diamond Card is great for consumers who want to earn top rebate rates on every transaction. Cardholders earn 2% cashback on all spend–the highest flat rebate on the market–for up to HK$2k cashback per year. Consumers also enjoy the usual UnionPay travel perks of 3 free lounge visits per year and discounted limo transfers. Although there is no separate billing for HKD and RMB spend, consumers receive are exempt from foreign currency transaction fees for spend in all currencies–not just MOP and HKD. With an annual fee of just HK$800, EarnMORE UP Diamond card is also much less expensive. Altogether, consumers looking for a more affordable and straightforward card should definitely consider EarnMORE UnionPay Diamond Card.
HSBC Pulse UP DC Diamond Card v. ICBC Horoscope UP DC Diamond Card
  • Annual Fee: HKD 1,000
  • Stand-Out: Unltd. 1.5% flat rebate + lounge & limo perks
  • Read Our Full Review
High spenders with well-rounded budgets who want to avoid rewards caps should consider ICBC Horoscope UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card. Cardholders earn an unlimited 1.5% cashback on every purchase. Although consumers can earn higher rates in individual boosted categories with HSBC Pulse UP DC Diamond Card, they never have to worry about tracking categories or caps with ICBC Horoscope UP DC Diamond Card.


Consumers also receive convenient travel perks like foreign currency transaction fee waivers, separate HKD and RMB billing, discounted limo transfer services and up to 3 lounge visits per year, all while paying a much lower HK$1k annual fee. Overall, ICBC Horoscope UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card is a better option for consumers with large, diverse budgets who are tired of feeling restricted by rebate limits.

HSBC Pulse UP DC Diamond v. HSBC Visa Signature
  • Annual Fee: HKD 2,000
  • Stand-Out: 1.6% cashback in select categories w/ bonus 2% allocated to choice
High-earning consumers who want customisable cashback should definitely consider HSBC Visa Signature Card. Cardholders earn a higher 1.6% cashback on spend in each of the "Rewards of Your Choice" categories (dining, overseas, spend in mainland China & Macau and with select entertainment, lifestyle & home merchants) plus +2% bonus cashback which can be distributed across these categories. Consumers also receive a bonus 2% "Red Hot Online and Overseas" boost (with HK$3k category spend/quarter, up to HK$300 cashback/quarter), allowing them to earn up to 5.6% cashback overseas.


HSBC Visa Signature Card also offers cardholders up to 12 free lounge visits per year (with a HK$1.5k transaction in the month of each visit), which is 4 times more than what HSBC Pulse UP DC Diamond Card provides. While there aren't many regional travel perks and there's a relatively high HK$360k minimum income requirement, HSBC Visa Signature is still great for high earners who want to earn higher cashback rates and enjoy more generous lounge access perks.

HSBC Pulse UP DC Diamond v. EarnMORE UP Diamond
  • Annual Fee: HKD 800
  • Stand-Out: 2% cashback on all spend + 3 free lounge visits
EarnMORE UnionPay Diamond Card is great for consumers who want to earn top rebate rates on every transaction. Cardholders earn 2% cashback on all spend–the highest flat rebate on the market–for up to HK$2k cashback per year. Consumers also enjoy the usual UnionPay travel perks of 3 free lounge visits per year and discounted limo transfers. Although there is no separate billing for HKD and RMB spend, consumers receive are exempt from foreign currency transaction fees for spend in all currencies–not just MOP and HKD. With an annual fee of just HK$800, EarnMORE UP Diamond card is also much less expensive. Altogether, consumers looking for a more affordable and straightforward card should definitely consider EarnMORE UnionPay Diamond Card.
HSBC Pulse UP DC Diamond v. ICBC Horoscope UP DC Diamond
  • Annual Fee: HKD 1,000
  • Stand-Out: Unltd. 1.5% flat rebate + lounge & limo perks
High spenders with well-rounded budgets who want to avoid rewards caps should consider ICBC Horoscope UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card. Cardholders earn an unlimited 1.5% cashback on every purchase. Although consumers can earn higher rates in individual boosted categories with HSBC Pulse UP DC Diamond Card, they never have to worry about tracking categories or caps with ICBC Horoscope UP DC Diamond Card.


Consumers also receive convenient travel perks like foreign currency transaction fee waivers, separate HKD and RMB billing, discounted limo transfer services and up to 3 lounge visits per year, all while paying a much lower HK$1k annual fee. Overall, ICBC Horoscope UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card is a better option for consumers with large, diverse budgets who are tired of feeling restricted by rebate limits.

Jacob Weiss

Jacob is a Junior Research Analyst at ValueChampion, focusing on credit cards and other consumer financial products. Previously, he covered hedge funds and long only products for Cambridge Associates. He holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Maryland and has passed Level 1 of the CFA exam.