Best Credit Cards in Hong Kong for Big Shoppers
If you want to choose a credit card because you love to shop, you need to be cautious about it.
Credit cards can be a dangerous tool if you are not disciplined. Sometimes, these cards make us feel like we have unlimited supply of cash. Even if your next pay check is a few days away, you do not have to worry about running out of money. You can always charge it on your credit card and just pay it off when the billing comes.
According to the survey conducted by MasterCard, Hong Kong consumers love luxury shopping. 75% of the survey respondents had no intentions of decreasing their spending when it comes to luxury items. In fact, a lot of them even intend to spend more than what they used to – averaging in HK$23,845 worth of luxury items. The data revealed that Hongkongers are more inclined to purchase designer clothes (29%), jewellery (23%), and footwear (23%).
This data, although published in September of 2015, does not seem to be any different from what is happening in 2016. So if you love to shop and you want to use your credit cards, you are just like the majority of consumers living in Hong Kong.
In another survey, Visa revealed that Hong Kong consumers also love to shop on-line. 9 out of 10 respondents revealed that they bought something on-line – at least in the past 12 months leading up to the survey. The prominent purchasing tool for on-line shopping is a credit card. You can bet that any increase in on-line shopping means there is an increase in credit card spending.
There is nothing wrong about your love to shop and use your credit card to pay for your purchases. However, you need to exert effort in ensuring that you will practice self-control and discipline when it comes to paying off what you owe. Not only that, it is very important that you choose a credit card that suits your spending lifestyle. Credit card issuers often times provide card holders with incentives that will encourage them to spend using their cards.
Credit card characteristics to compliment shoppers
There are certain characteristics of a credit card for shoppers. You want to ensure that you will benefit from the incentives that credit card companies provide so you can maximize the use of your card.
Obviously, you need to consider the interest rate that the card has but we are not advising you to focus on this. These interest rates can change over time. While the other characteristics here can also change, it is usually not as frequent as the interest rate. Do not base your credit card decision on the interest rate.
Here are the important qualities that you need to look for in your primary card.
Most credit cards come with a rewards program. This is how credit card companies attract new clients. Since you love to shop, you need to pay close attention to the rewards program of your card. You want to get something back from all the shopping that you will do on your card. For instance, Hang Seng Visa/MasterCard offer Merchant Dollar Rewards – which is available to over 4,500 merchant partners of the bank. HSBC Premier MasterCard, on the other hand, offer up to 6x Cash Reward (e.g. HK$250 spent = $1 reward). Imagine being paid by the credit card company as you use your card? That is a great credit card for shoppers!
Protection and insurance.
Another thing that you need to look into is the protection and insurance that the card will give you. For instance, some cards will allow you to extend the warranty of items purchased – especially if it is an expensive item. There are also cards that could offer protection in case of theft or damages on the product. This will help you make secure purchases.
If you want to choose a credit card, make sure you consider those outside the qualities of the card. Sometimes, people forget to research about the customer service of credit cards. When it comes to returns and refunds, you want to make sure that you will not have a hard time getting assistance from the card issuer. For instance, HSBC scores low on this because calling their hotline is tedious because of the phone menu. Citibank is not as bad and you have the option to immediately talk to someone for your concerns. Even if the rewards are great, try to consider the customer service reputation of the credit card company – just in case you encounter problems, you know it will not be a frustrating experience.
Annual fees, charges.
Finally, you want to make sure you know that annual fees and different charges that you will encounter as you repeatedly use your card. There might be a way around these charges – you need to find out what they are. Also, it is important that you look out for credit cards with better terms. You might be able to enjoy your purchases better with another card. As mentioned, do not concentrate on the low-interest rate because that can change. Look at the other fees that will be expected of you.
If you want to be wise when you choose a credit card, make sure you consider these qualities so you can truly enjoy the convenience of shopping through a card.
3 great credit cards for shoppers in Hong Kong
We have 3 credit cards that you may like to look into if you love to shop in Hong Kong.
Hang Seng Visa/Mastercard.
This card does not have an annual fee and you get HK$1 rebate on any HK$250 worth of spending. So if you spent HK$2,500 on one shopping spree, you get HK$10 as your rebate. You also get to enjoy a year-round of discounts at over 4,500 merchants all over Hong Kong. The discounts can go as high as 50%. The card also offers Merchant Dollar Rewards on all these merchants. This card also allows you to automatically add value to your Octopus card.
HSBC Premier MasterCard. This card offers a perpetual annual fee waiver. Even if you use this card overseas, you can expect a 24-hour emergency and travel assistance. You can convert HK$250 worth of spending to HK$1 reward – which can also be converted into fifteen miles. If you use this card to pay for your bills, you can also earn Rewards Cash. To top it all off, you can enjoy discounts when you shop, dine, or pay for any entertainment discount all over the world.
SHOP’n GAIN Platinum Credit Card.
This card is one of the few that is exclusive for those who love to shop. There is an annual fee of HK$1,800 – but if you apply for three supplementary cards, their annual fees will be waived permanently. Now in terms of rewards, this card will allow you to earn up to 8x of 360° Rewards Points – as long as the purchase is done with Double Points Merchants on the 8th of every month. Spend on any other day of the month and you get to enjoy 2x 360° Rewards Points with supermarket and department stores Double Points Merchants.
How to use your card wisely while shopping
According to the data from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the value of credit card transactions has risen in the last quarter of 2015 by up to 3.8%. 80% of these transactions are through retail spending in local establishments around Hong Kong.
There is nothing wrong about buying – we cannot help it because we live in a consumerist society. However, that does not mean we cannot be smart about it. Here are tips that will help you make smarter decisions as you use your credit card for shoppers.
Understand the rewards program.
A study done by JD Power revealed that although Hong Kong consumers are financially disciplined when it comes to their cards, they fail in understanding their rewards program. This is a mistake especially if you love to shop and you use your card frequently. You are missing out on great savings and discounts – even cash rewards. Read and understand your rewards so you can get something out of all the spending that you are making.
Buy based on necessities and not on the sale price or reward.
Another tip is to scrutinise the reason why you are buying. If you are buying because the item is a necessity, then, by all means, make the purchase. However, if you are only buying that product because it is on sale or to get a reward, then think twice before you proceed.
Knowledge is your best defence against making a mistake. Educate yourself whenever possible so it can influence your buying decisions. Credit card issuers send notifications – make sure you pay attention. If the company intends to raise their rates, make sure you hold back on your purchases. It is important to understand the factors that can raise your interest rate or your monthly payments.
Know the billing cycle of your credit card.
Finally, you have to understand the billing cycle of your card. When you pay within the grace period of the billing cycle, you do not have to worry about the finance charge that will make you pay more than what you really bought. It is also important to check the billing itself – so you can see if there are any unauthorised transactions. You should report these incidents immediately.
When you choose a credit card, it is important that it complements your spending preferences. That is how you can maximise the rewards that you will get out of it.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in