Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Card Review

overall rating
3.8

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The HSBC Gold Mastercard offers a generous 0% APR introductory offer on purchases and balance transfers. It has relatively few fees and a relaxed late-payment policy, keeping the cost of the card low. But it lacks rewards.

HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card

Overall Rating
3.8
HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card
On HSBC's Secured Site.
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 18 Months
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 18 Months
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater, will apply on each balance transfer and credit card check.
Rewards Earning Rate This card does not offer a rewards program.
how this card stacks up
When compared among all balance transfer cards in our database:
Low Introductory Interest
Low Fees
Low Long Term Interest
Security/Customer Experience
Benefits
worst best

The HSBC Gold Mastercard is not one of our top-rated balance transfer credit cards. You can review our list of the best balance transfer credit cards for what we think are better options.

Full Review of HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Card

Pros
  • 18-month 0% APR offer

  • Low on fees

Cons
  • No rewards

  • High balance-transfer fee

Pros Explained

  • 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 have 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. 

Cons Explained

  • 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

  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for Balance Carrier Persona
    Tends to pay less than balance in full and so accumulates debt on card
    Balance Carrier

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

Standard Benefits

  • 15% discount on airport concierge service
  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Contactless payment
  • Mastercard ID theft protection
  • Mastercard global service

Cardholder Experience

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.

Security Features

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. 

Our Verdict

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 18 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 18-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 for 15 months 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. 

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For HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card
on HSBC's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card
overall rating
3.8
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater, will apply on each balance transfer and credit card check.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.