Is the HSBC Gold Mastercard worth it? - October 2018 | finder.com

HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card review – October 2018

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This card offers a market-leading intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.

30-second take

  • Get this card if you want a superb intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Pick something else if you want rewards.
  • Apply with a 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 (then 12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74% variable)
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first 18 months (then 12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee$10 or 4% 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
Interest Free PeriodUp to 25 days
Late Payment FeeUp to $37
Returned Payment FeeUp to $25
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Rates & FeesRates & Fees
Minimum Age18 years of age

See Rates and Fees

The basics

The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card offers several benefits that give similar simple credit products a run for their money. With no annual fee and a low introductory rate, you’ll get the chance to save on your purchases and any existing balances you decide to transfer.

The perks

  • Annual fee: None.

    Use the card as much or as little as you want without worrying about an annual fee. This is a good perk when combined with the card’s intro APR.

  • Intro APR: On purchases and balance transfers.

    Enjoy 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months following your account opening. After, you’ll receive a variable APR of 12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74% depending on your creditworthiness.

    This is a top-notch intro APR. There are very few cards that offer a 0% intro APR for up to 21 months, and this one comes very close.

  • Cardholder-friendly policies.

    HSBC waives one late fee each year. If you happen to pay late, you won’t receive a penalty rate. You also won’t pay to get additional cards for authorized users.

    Late fees are widespread among card providers. The penalty APR is also more common than it may seem, and can often be as high as 29.99% variable.

You’ll also like …

  • Potentially low APR.

    Depending on you credit, you may qualify for an ongoing purchase and balance transfer APR as low as 12.74% variable. This is a relatively low rate given the average credit card APR is around 16%.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

    Providers typically charge a 3% foreign transaction fee, especially for cards without travel rewards. Use your HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card abroad and at foreign websites without incurring a fee.

  • Shopping and travel benefits.

    Get access to MasterAssist travel planning, roadside assistance, rental car insurance and travel accident insurance. Also, enjoy extended warranties, purchase protection and price protection when shopping.

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. This is higher than the average credit card APR of around 16%.

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Consider other cards if …

  • You want the longest intro APR period on balance transfers.

    The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card is the undisputed winner. It offers a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from the date of your first transfer on requests completed within the first four months of your account opening. After that, your APR will be 14.74% to 24.74% variable.

    The trade-off is a merely solid intro APR period on purchases. You’ll receive a 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months of card membership. After that, your APR will be 14.74% to 24.74% variable.

  • You want an even longer intro APR period on purchases.

    Look into the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card. It offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for an outstanding 20 billing cycles. After that, your APR will be 11.74% to 23.74% variable.

  • You want an intro APR and rewards.

    Discover it® Cash Back offers elevated cash back in rotating categories. It also offers a 0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers — after that, you’ll have a variable APR of 13.74% to 24.74%.

    The Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card is another great choice, offering 1.5% cash back on all purchases. On top of that, it offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. After the intro period ends, a variable APR of 16.74% to 25.49% applies.

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. A better credit score can also secure you a higher credit limit and a lower APR.

What do customers say about the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card?

HSBC Bank USA, National Association is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It currently has an F rating from the agency due to its failure to respond to 10 customer complaints. The company currently has over 100 complaints; however, according to the BBB, most of these have been answered or resolved.

How to apply for the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card

  1. Visit HSBC’s site and click Apply now.
  2. Complete the application with details like your name, contact details, annual income and Social Security number.
  3. Review and submit your application.

How long will it take to get my HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card?

Typically, you can expect to hear back about your application within two weeks. If you’re approved, you’ll likely receive the card in the mail within 7 to 10 days.

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, cash advances and overlimit transactions also come with fees.
  • Customer service.
    If you have questions, call the number on the back of your card. You can also call HSBC customer service at 1-800-975-4722.

Bottom line

The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card doesn’t offer rewards or high-powered benefits. Instead, like the Citi Simplicity® Card, it aims for one stellar perk: a fantastic intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.

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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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