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Online shopping 101: how to make it worthwhile

Woman using her laptop; Image for 'What is Online shopping?' article
Times have changed when it comes to shopping. True, you could still spend hours browsing every store at the mall before it closes, but now you can do the same any time of the day or night by browsing on your phone! Here are some tips to make sure you’re shopping safely.

Pros and cons of shopping online

While we know how easy it is to just browse, click, and pay, there are also some downsides to online shopping. Let's take a look at the good and the bad:


  • Shopping is easier and faster online. You can save time and money as you can do away with transportation, parking, long lines and navigating a busy mall.
  • Wider selection. With online shopping, you can access a wider variety of brands and products that you might not be able to find at your local mall. You can even buy items abroad at the comfort of your home.
  • Benefit from customer reviews and ratings. This makes it easier for you to compare items or decide if the item is worth the money.


  • Hacking, phishing and scams. These are common, and you should always be vigilant whenever you shop online and share your information.
  • Shipping issues. With the volume of items delivered daily, damaged goods and late deliveries also happen too. Make sure to let your seller know about these problems.
  • More returns and refunds. Because you can't really see or touch what you bought until it arrives, it’s possible to get the wrong size, style or item in the mail, causing returns and refunds. Checking reviews or asking the seller about an item is a good way to avoid this.

How to maximize your shopping experience

Online shopping is fun, but it becomes so much better when you know when to shop and what to look out for to have a great shopping experience.

Shop during double-digit dates. A lot of online shopping sites have monthly sales on double-digit dates. So consider holding off on purchases until the next time the date matches the month, like 3 March or 10 October. You can save a lot as sellers often give bigger discounts on dates like these.

Look for sale vouchers and cash back offers before you buy. Save even more on your purchases when you collect sale vouchers and use cash back offers for additional discounts on items or even free delivery.

Watch out for special offers on your credit card. Some shops offer special discounts for using certain credit cards, like HSBC. Find out about the latest special offers from our partners.

Get cash back on your purchases. Cash back credit cards offer instant rebates that let you save more on your purchases. With an HSBC Platinum Visa Rebate Credit Card, you can enjoy rebates as high as 5% on transactions – and that includes online shopping, too. Learn more about it the HSBC Platinum Visa Rebate Credit Card.

HSBC Platinum Visa Rebate Credit Card Rewards

Don’t have a card yet?

Earn 5% rebate on shopping and travel transactions, 1% on insurance and 0.50% on all of your other transactions with a new HSBC Platinum Visa Rebate Credit Card. Apply for one today.

Already an HSBC credit cardholder? Discover latest credit card articles here.

How to shop safely online

Shopping online might be fun, convenient and easy, but there are fraudsters out there trying to get your money or your account information. Here are a few tips to keep you safe from these cybercriminals.

Change your passwords often. Update your passwords regularly (every 60 to 90 days) and make them as unique as possible. Also, don't use the username or password from your online banking for any other site.

Read reviews and check ratings. One way to avoid scams is to read reviews carefully. They can help you research about the shop or seller and can give you an indication of how legitimate they are.

Keep your details private. Never share your log on credentials, credit card details or your One-Time-Passwords with anyone.

Not yet an HSBC cardholder?

Apply for an HSBC Platinum Visa Rebate Credit Card and enjoy as rebates as high as 5% on shopping and travel transactions, 1% on insurance and 0.50% on all of your other transactions. 

Apply now

Don’t have a card yet? Apply online now.