Full Review of HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Card
18-month 0% APR offer
Low on fees
High balance-transfer fee
- 18-month 0% APR Offer: This card offers an 18-month 0% APR introductory period on purchases and balance transfers. Any balance transfers must be posted within the first 60 days after opening an account. While it's possible to find cards that offer longer introductory periods on balance transfers, like the Citi Simplicity card, this card still beats the one-year norm for most 0% APR offers. Further, plenty of such offers, including the one for the Citi Simplicity, offer significantly shorter 0% intro periods on purchases compared to the HSBC Gold Mastercard.
- Low on Fees: Cardholders can save on fees with this card compared with others, especially if they’re sometimes tardy in paying the monthly bill. What's more, if you miss a payment, this card will waive the late fee (of up to $39) once every calendar year, and then won’t impose a higher penalty APR on your account. Those breaks for people who are occasionally tardy paying their bills depart from practices with other cards.
- No Rewards: Several other cards on the market show you can get a 0% APR introductory offer and decent rewards at the same time. That makes the absence of rewards on this card all the more glaring. By comparison, the Capital One Quicksilver card offers a 15-month 0% introductory period on purchases and offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
- High Balance-Transfer Fee: When you transfer a balance to the HSBC Gold Mastercard, you’re levied a fee of $10 or 4% of the amount transferred, whichever is greater. While there are cards with higher fees, that’s still more than the customary rate of $5 or 3% of the transfer balance. That difference could significantly increase the cost of a transfer—boosting the cost of transferring $10,000 by $100, for example.
This Card is Best For
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Tends to pay less than balance in full and so accumulates debt on card
The HSBC Gold Mastercard is best-suited to people who have had trouble keeping up with the payments on other credit cards, and anticipate they may have trouble paying them on time for this one, too.With no rewards, this card instead focuses on features to help in a debt crunch: a competitive 0% APR introductory offer, a once-a-year waiver of the late fee, and absence of a penalty APR if you do miss a payment. The 18-month 0% APR offer also applies to purchases, so you can carry the balance from new charges to the card for a time without running up interest. That might allow you to focus on paying down a transferred balance or to spend, say, $1,800 on new appliances and pay off the purchase at $100 per month for 18 months.
HSBC Gold Mastercard’s Outstanding Benefits
- $1 million travel-accident insurance
- Late-fee waiver once a year
- 15% discount on airport concierge service
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Contactless payment
- Mastercard ID theft protection
- Mastercard global service
HSBC earned below-average scores in J.D. Power's 2019 regional credit card customer satisfaction survey. Indeed, it ranked last and performed poorly in categories like communication, rewards, and benefits and services.
HSBC's customer service department is available at 855-806-4664. Customers who need to report a lost or stolen card can call 800-462-1874 24/7. HSBC can also be reached by visiting a branch, by mail, or by tweeting questions and comments to @HSBC_US.
This card’s security standards meet the norm for the industry. Cardholders get 24/7 fraud monitoring and alerts, chip technology and zero fraud liability for unauthorized transactions. It also offers Mastercard's identity theft resolution services and contactless payment.
Fees To Watch Out For
The balance transfer fee on this card is $10 or 4% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. While not the highest such fee on the market, this is still higher than the industry norm of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount.
The HSBC Gold Mastercard is a decent choice in a card that drops rewards in favor of features to help handle debt. A generous introductory period of 0% APR makes it a competitive option for those interested in making purchases or transferring a high-interest balance, and forgiving late-payment provisions reduce the cost of failing to pay a bill on time.
That said, those mainly motivated by favorable balance transfers will enjoy even-better terms with the Citi Simplicity card, which also has no annual fee. It has a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from the first date of transfer, and transfers can be made within the first 4 months after opening an account, twice the allowable window with the HSBC Gold Mastercard. There's also a 12-month 0% introductory period on purchases. Plus, the Citi Simplicity card is more lenient on fees, offering no late fee, penalty APR, or annual fee ever. You can even choose your payment due date.
On the other hand, if you want to earn rewards while using a 0% APR introductory offer, the Amex EveryDay credit card could be a good fit. It offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months made within the first 60 days of account opening and earns 2 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases. All other purchases on the card earn 1 point per dollar. Also, the Amex EveryDay card, for instance, doesn’t charge a fee for balances that are transferred within 60 days of opening an account, where the HSBC Gold Mastercard charges a relatively high 4%, a higher rate than most balance transfer cards.