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Something's in the air with the Citi cards, especially with the Dividend species. Another 5% cash card, Chase Cash Plus, seems unavailable for some time now.
Amongst all that jazz, someone on the apocalyptic Citi Dividend thread proposed a card offered by what we used to know as a subprime card issuer, HSBC, the Direct Rewards card.

Here's the link. Credits to user mountainview.

I don't know any details about this card, but it will soon appear in the 5% rewards card thread, at least it should. So, if anyone knows more about this, please do it here.

Edit: I already skimmed the link and a few reviews made by fellow FWers and all I got is reflected in the summary. When you find out something new, just put it there.

Some people were instantly denied when applied for the card, others were instantly approved. It seems it pulls Experian.

Phone number: 800-379-7999

800-513-1777

Preliminary observations: two factors seem to be of importance in getting an approval: the credit score and the number of cards. Scott1961, with a score in the 800s and only 4 cards, got the card, while Dolmar, with the score in the high 700's, and about 8-9 cards and a high (documented) income DNQ.
As a conclusion, HSBC seems to prefer a more "oligopolistic" or even monopolistic personal CC market (but for the monopoly case, there is the Orchard). In other words, in this case the number of open cards is crucial.

Let's see if this hypothesis gets its confirmation.

As of September 26, 2006, the "Apply now!" links in the application website seem not to work anymore.
Edit: the next day, link works again.

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
Any updates on claiming Cash Back?

We hadn't used our Direct Rewards card since about June (before the changeover to the ... (more)

themicah (Jan. 18, 2008 @ 1:22p) |

themicah -

I was able to claim my reward -- you have to call a Card CSR who will then transfer you to the Rewards CSR. T... (more)

bejota3 (Jan. 18, 2008 @ 2:31p) |

Thanks bejota3. I tried calling earlier but because mrsthemicah is the primary cardholder they wouldn't let me redeem t... (more)

themicah (Jan. 18, 2008 @ 3:47p) |

12 month 0% BT, 3% BT fee, capped at $75

5% CashBack at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations. For other stores, 0.5% on up to $3K purchases, 1% for more.
CashBack capped at $500 for any yearly anniversary period of the account.

CashBack is paid annually, anything less than $10 is forfeited.

One thing of concern is the usually ridiculously low credit limits.

And an open question: would HSBC allow conversion of other cards to this one? Moreover, can HSBC cards managed by Orchard, Household, Ameriquest etc. (owned by HSBC) be switched over this type? And if not now, is there any chance for this in the future?

Any background data on Metris ?

Update on Nov. 15: the card has become a Discover, see here
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g10ny, it's officially called the 'Direct Rewards Platinum MasterCard'. i make the distinction since there is another one offered by HSBC and Discover called the 'Direct Rewards Platinum'. i suggest you update accordingly.

Done.
Ouch, the card is so ugly! It better be worth ruining your love life (as compared to the Hello Kitty card) if kept in the wallet

Is it confirmed that this is actually new? With Citi's 5% disappearing, and a couple months of rumors of Chase's 5% card disappearing, I wonder what HSBC's intention with this is. If it's a brand new program, I suppose it won't be disappearing anytime soon? (at least for those who sign up?) It would suck if, come October, Citi kills their program, perhaps Chase follows, and then this turns out to be only a couple months worth of a good deal. Would be great if HSBC intentionally started this to get all the customers of the soon-to-be-killed 5% cards and keeps it that way for a while.

I'm sure if HSBC wanted, they could switch from subprime lending over to compete with Citi, Chase etc. for the regular CC crowd. After all it's one of the world's largest banks. It's just whatever segment is being targeted by their marketing strategy.

There have been some discussios in the past regarding all sorts of HSBC experiments, with 2% flat cards, or 5% over some spending level, but nobody came up with this link, nor did we get any sort of direct mailing regarding this card. We are a lot of people here, so it's nearly impossible to not hear anything about it for a long time. Excepting the targeted offers and the GM Card, so far the best CashBack card from HSBC was the 1% flat one.

So, I venture to assert that this card is pretty new. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Hi,
I'm just wondering if the links to apply for this card might be a scam. When I do a whois lookup on thecreditshop.com and directrewardscard.com, it shows the following as the contact.

Metris Companies, Inc.
domain.request@METRISCOMPANIES.COM
2202 FOX DR
CHAMPAIGN, IL 61820-7554
US
Phone: 217-363-1500
Fax: 217-352-9101

Now, I know that Metris Companies, Inc was acquired by HSBC (according to http://www.hsbcusa.com/hsbcusa/abouthsbc/metris.html). However, the Campaign, IL address seems suspect. When I do a google lookup on the address, one of the results is this:

http://www.123contractorquotes.com/search.aspx?service=electrical&city=champaign&state_name=il

which says that the address belongs to a "Security Management Co" electrical contractor?

Anyone who applies and gets approved for this card please post the credit limit HSBC issues you. They are notorious for low (under $1000) limits.

budster said: Hi,

Now, I know that Metris Companies, Inc was acquired by HSBC (according to http://www.hsbcusa.com/hsbcusa/abouthsbc/metris.html). However, the Campaign, IL address seems suspect. When I do a google lookup on the address, one of the results is this:

http://www.123contractorquotes.com/search.aspx?service=electrical&city=champaign&state_name=il

which says that the address belongs to a "Security Management Co" electrical contractor?


Interesting, according to the building owner there are only 2 tennants, Allstate and F.E. Moran, Inc. Alarm and Monitoring Services. http://www.fox-companies.com/tenants/the_corporate_center/2202_Fox_Drive_Tenants.html

That could be an old address you found on google as according to Hoovers they are located in Minnesota

budster said: Hi,
I'm just wondering if the links to apply for this card might be a scam. When I do a whois lookup on thecreditshop.com and directrewardscard.com, it shows the following as the contact.

Metris Companies, Inc.
domain.request@METRISCOMPANIES.COM
2202 FOX DR
CHAMPAIGN, IL 61820-7554
US
Phone: 217-363-1500
Fax: 217-352-9101

Now, I know that Metris Companies, Inc was acquired by HSBC (according to http://www.hsbcusa.com/hsbcusa/abouthsbc/metris.html). However, the Campaign, IL address seems suspect. When I do a google lookup on the address, one of the results is this:

http://www.123contractorquotes.com/search.aspx?service=electrical&city=champaign&state_name=il

which says that the address belongs to a "Security Management Co" electrical contractor?

I was wondering the same thing.
It also seems odd that you cannot find this card directly from the HSBC website.

If you want high credit limit don't even think of applying for this card...you'll be disappointed. You've to remember that this is an asian bank.

DaloSony said: If you want high credit limit don't even think of applying for this card...you'll be disappointed. You've to remember that this is an asian bank.I think it's more to do with HSBC being a traditional subprime lender that brings about such low limits... nothing to do with being an "Asian bank."

I recently accepted a targeted mailed offer for HSBC Cash Back Rewards Platinum MC that has 1% first 5k, 2% next 5k and 5% afterwards, max account year is $300 reward (ie =13k spending). $50 min redemption, earning expire 3 years. 0%apr x 12 months for purchases and no-fee balance transfers using their balance transfer checks. Full Platinum benefits plus only 1% foreign transaction fee.

They gave me 11k credit line

You need special one-time code to apply.

Probably test-marketing this card.

dlr3 said: DaloSony said: If you want high credit limit don't even think of applying for this card...you'll be disappointed. You've to remember that this is an asian bank.I think it's more to do with HSBC being a traditional subprime lender that brings about such low limits... nothing to do with being an "Asian bank."

And in fact HSBC is British, " the pure Anglo-saxon blood" I assume.

dlr3 said: DaloSony said: If you want high credit limit don't even think of applying for this card...you'll be disappointed. You've to remember that this is an asian bank.I think it's more to do with HSBC being a traditional subprime lender that brings about such low limits... nothing to do with being an "Asian bank."

Agreed - in fact I think it has a lot to do with Household Bank, which they bought out in 2003, and much less to do with HSBC as a global corp. Given that this is a Metris card and not a Household card, their credit limits may differ, but I have no evidence as such.

Although HSBC isn't too big in the US, I believe they are one of the top 3 banks in the world (with Citigroup and BOA) and higher on the Forbes Global 2000 than ExxonMobil, which you don't get to by catering to people that have $500 limits on their creditcards.

And like another poster said, they are HQ in London, despite their name.

Xeon852 said: Agreed - in fact I think it has a lot to do with Household Bank, which they bought out in 2003, and much less to do with HSBC as a global corp.

exactly, that's what people fail to realize. HSBC is not a subprime lender, Household Bank is, and because HSBC bought HouseHold Bank, people mistakenly associate HSBC with being a subprime lender.

opmnxtc said: Xeon852 said: Agreed - in fact I think it has a lot to do with Household Bank, which they bought out in 2003, and much less to do with HSBC as a global corp.

exactly, that's what people fail to realize. HSBC is not a subprime lender, Household Bank is, and because HSBC bought HouseHold Bank, people mistakenly associate HSBC with being a subprime lender.


Enough about whether they are prime or subprime, all I need to know is how large of limits do they give?

It's worthwile to note the PHound experience with a $69 annual fee HSBC card giving 5% on everything.
It's on this thread.

Funniest thing, rewards are given when you PAY the card, not when you buy with it.

So what would this card be like? I'm not jumping on it right now, since HSBC pulls EXP for me, and I have to wait a few months until some inquiries get past the 6 months window.

Who's gonna be the first?

THIS kinda sounds like it might be from the old DIRECT MERCHANTS BANK which got folded into HSBC recently... another subprime crap issuer.

Denied straight up...could be that I already have 2 hsbc cards or that I've applied for about 15 cards the past week. Or I'm being discriminated against.

Applied and denied. 700 FICO, 30k\\year income, no late\\missed payments on record.

nm

the annual payout is a downer; loss of accrued interest over the course of the year, etc.

psychtobe said: the annual payout is a downer; loss of accrued interest over the course of the year, etc.I agree with that. I can't think of another card that's got a payoff period that long. Heck, I thought the ED card 6 month payout was long. And what's the deal about the Citi 5% cards going away? I hadn't heard that before.

Edit
NM, I found the thread about the 5% cards going away. Its just Dividend, rather that Reward cards.

Add me to the list of people instantly denied - although since I just did an app-o-rama a few weeks ago, this is no surprise.

Apparantly HSBC being a subprime issuer wants to make sure that its customers show a history of financial difficulties in order for this card to make money from finance charges. Good luck to all with 700+ FICOs getting the card. You probably wanna lower your score the 600-650 range to get this card.

And thanks for the people above for saving me from a needless inquiry.

From these denial examples, it is clear that this card, which is NOT subprime, is targetted at those with EXCELLENT credit.
You probably wanna avoid an AOR before getting this card.

I'll apply if my Citi AT&T Universal Rewards (Thank YOu points) is revoked - I'd still rather have 5x TY points for G/G/D spending, awarded monthly, than 5x Cash Back awarded yearly.

mscisco said: From these denial examples, it is clear that this card, which is NOT subprime, is targetted at those with EXCELLENT credit.
You probably wanna avoid an AOR before getting this card.



maybe...one might think they want somewhat risky credit for intrest.....i have great credit, but high balances 0%, about 10 new cards added in past 2 months and alot of inq. tc scores are around 670. so maybe you are right.

Im not going to bother with this one unless I need a second 5% to compliment my Chase Rewards Plus, and I decide not to do my 0% until 2011 on Groceries. And then I would try to convert my existing HSBC. I also might wait until my FICO improves, which means some time mid-next year.

Called HSBC to find out more and the CSR had no clue what I was talking about. He said there is not a card called "Direct Rewards Platinum".

This card is now added and rated in the 5% Reward Card Thread Its rated pretty high but as long as Chase keeps offering Chase Rewards Plus, I don't think this one will be my top pick.

BeerMeNow said: Called HSBC to find out more and the CSR had no clue what I was talking about. He said there is not a card called "Direct Rewards Platinum".

Call him back and tell him I must be hallucinating when I pull mine out of my wallet!! (This is what happens when companies make acquisitions faster than the train their employees.)

greatpgmr said: BeerMeNow said: Called HSBC to find out more and the CSR had no clue what I was talking about. He said there is not a card called "Direct Rewards Platinum".

Call him back and tell him I must be hallucinating when I pull mine out of my wallet!! (This is what happens when companies make acquisitions faster than the train their employees.)


Is there a customer service number on the back?

ILikeDollars said: Add me to the list of people instantly denied - although since I just did an app-o-rama a few weeks ago, this is no surprise.

Whoops, guess I spoke too soon. Applied online on the 19th, received the "instantly denied" message. Received a letter today asking me to call to verify some information.

I called in and verified the information, and was approved for $5k. Asked to get that increased; she said the request would have to be reviewed by a manager and I could call back tomorrow for the result.

They must have mailed that letter out the same day I applied - even more strange, the letter was dated the 11th. So all those who've been instantly denied, watch your mailboxes.

Hmm...I submitted an app online and was approved instantly. Was kind of shocked after seeing so many rejected.

They must have mailed that letter out the same day I applied - even more strange, the letter was dated the 11th. So all those who've been instantly denied, watch your mailboxes.

ok. thanks. we'll see..

BeerMeNow said: Hmm...I submitted an app online and was approved instantly. Was kind of shocked after seeing so many rejected.Hmm can you brief us with your credit score/history so that we can better see which groups of people are getting accepted?

BeerMeNow said: Is there a customer service number on the back?

800-379-7999

XeroK00L said: BeerMeNow said: Hmm...I submitted an app online and was approved instantly. Was kind of shocked after seeing so many rejected.Hmm can you brief us with your credit score/history so that we can better see which groups of people are getting accepted?

In a nutshell it is good. I think a 725+ FICO.


greatpgmr said: BeerMeNow said: Is there a customer service number on the back?

800-379-7999


Thanks!

Skipping 258 Messages...
Thanks bejota3. I tried calling earlier but because mrsthemicah is the primary cardholder they wouldn't let me redeem the rewards. I'll have to call back later and pretend I'm her.

I'm particularly curious about the rounding system, because if they are always rounding down and not keeping track of the pennies from month to month, they're effectively reducing the Cash Back to less than they claim it is.



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