Is the HSBC Gold Mastercard worth it? | August 2018

HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card review – August 2018

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  • Get this card if… you want a simple card with an ideal 0% intro APR.
  • Pick something else if… you want rewards.
  • Recommended good to excellent credit score of 680 to 850.
Product NameHSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$0
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74% variable
Introductory Purchase APR0% for the first 18 months from account opening (then 12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74% variable)
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first 18 months from account opening (then 12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee4% or $10 of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate26.74% variable
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 4% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Interest Free PeriodUp to 25 days
Minimum Interest$1
Late Payment FeeUp to $37
Returned Payment FeeUp to $25
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age

See Rates and Fees

The basics

The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card is a no-frills, easy-to-use credit card. It doesn’t offer rewards, but it comes with a $0 annual fee. Perhaps best of all, it offers a formidable 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the 18 months from account opening (after that, a variable purchase and balance transfer APR of 12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74% variable).

You’ll find a few welcome perks, such as travel insurance and no foreign transaction fees. HSBC is also somewhat forgiving for late payments. Your first late fee each year is waived, and you won’t be assessed a penalty APR.

The perks

  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
    Use the card as much or as little as you want without worrying about an annual fee. Also, use the card internationally without incurring fees.
  • Intro APR: On purchases and balance transfers.
    Enjoy 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the 18 months from account opening. After, you’ll receive a variable APR of 12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74% depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Cardholder-friendly policies.
    HSBC waives one late fee each year. If you happen to pay late, you won’t receive a penalty rate. And pay nothing to add additional cards for authorized users.

You’ll also like …

  • Travel benefits.
    Get access to MasterAssist travel planning, roadside assistance, rental car insurance and travel accident insurance.
  • Shopping benefits.
    Enjoy extended warranties, purchase protection and price protection when shopping.
  • Late Fee Waiver.
    If you make a late payment, you’ll receive a Late Fee Waiver. This offer is available once a year.
  • No penalty APR.
    With some cards, your APR may increase across the board for certain infractions — such as making a late or returned payment. This is known as a penalty APR. The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card doesn’t have one.
  • $0 liability for unauthorized purchases.
    If your card is used fraudulently, you won’t be on the hook for payment.

What to watch out for

  • Potentially high APR.
    Depending on your credit, you could see a purchase and balance transfer APR as high as 20.74% variable.
  • No grace period on balance transfers.
    HSBC offers an interest grace period for purchases only.
  • Higher APR for cash advances.
    Cash advances come with a 26.74% variable APR and no grace period on interest.
  • Other fees.
    The card has no annual or foreign transaction fees, but you’ll pay fees for balance transfers and cash advances.
  • Penalty fees.
    You’ll pay up to $37 for each late payment. For returned payments, you’ll pay up to $25 each.

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card, you must be at least 18 years old.

Information you’ll need

  • Full name and contact information
  • Residential status
  • Annual income and employment information
  • Social Security number, date of birth and mother’s maiden name

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of approval for the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.

How to apply for the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card

1. Visit HSBC’s site and click Apply now.

2. If you’re an HSBC customer, click Log on to apply. If you’re not, click Start your application.

3. Complete the application with details like your name, contact details, annual income and Social Security number.

How long will it take to be approved?

Typically, you can expect to hear back about your application within two weeks.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make timely payments.
    Pay your card bill online at the HSBC website, where you can also enroll in autopay.
  • Avoid interest.
    After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 25 days to pay your purchase balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest.
  • Avoid fees.
    Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $37. Balance transfers and cash advances also come with fees.
  • Customer service.
    If you have questions, contact HSBC customer service at 888-385-8916.

Bottom line

The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card doesn’t offer rewards, but it’s a solid card overall. It comes with a $0 annual fee and an impressive intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Want to see more 0% APR credit cards?

Frequently asked questions

Images: us.hsbc.com

Kevin Joey Chen

Kevin Chen is a world-travelin', copy-writin', Game of Thrones-watchin' credit cards writer for finder.com. When he's not crunching the numbers on bonus points and comparing APRs, you can find him flying around the world in search of the perfect beer.

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