In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Details
    • Product Overview
    • Fees and charges
    • Application Requirements

HSBC Classic Credit Card review

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HSBC Classic Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
Finder score
Representative example:
When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).
Minimum credit limit
£250
Interest-free each billing period
Up to 56 days
Account fee
£0

Our verdict

Used correctly, this HSBC card could help you build (or rebuild) a positive credit history.

The only "credit builder" in HSBC's range, this card is likely to have the least strict eligibility requirements (as long as you're an existing banking customer), offset by relatively low opening credit limits and a relatively high interest rate. As with the vast majority of credit cards on the market, the interest rate can be tailored to the applicant (and can be higher than the advertised representative APR), and the credit limit will be tailored to the applicant.

While perks are generally few and far between when it comes to credit builders, HSBC's card can earn you a little cashback through Visa Offers.

The Visa Offers scheme looks at your spending habits on the card then emails you weekly with a personalised selection of offers. You don't need to activate these – they're automatically applied when you use your card with the brands listed.

You can also benefit from some rather-specific discounts from brands around the world with HSBC's home&away rewards programme.

Pros

  • Applicants with low credit scores may be eligible.
  • Customers report excellent customer service when dealing with HSBC.
  • Can provide up to £0 credit, depending on your circumstances.
  • No annual fee.

Cons

  • There are other credit builder cards on the market with higher limits.
  • Minimum annual income of £6800.
  • Late payment fees apply.

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Details
    • Product Overview
    • Fees and charges
    • Application Requirements

For existing banking customers with limited or less-than-perfect credit records, HSBC's pared-back card could act as a stepping stone to cards or loans with better rates.

Details

Product Overview

Issuer HSBC
Network Visa
Annual/monthly fees £0
Balance transfers 29.9%
Balance transfer fee N/A
Purchases 29.9%
Purchases interest-free period Up to 56 days
Cash advances 35.9%
Minimum credit limit £250
Maximum credit limit Subject to status
Additional cards available 3
Additional Rewards Info Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Travel incentive Discounts and exclusive offers available through HSBC Home and Away.
Potential costs 4.0 ★★★★★
Doing its job 4.0 ★★★★★
Extras 4.0 ★★★★★
Overall Finder score 4.0 ★★★★★

Fees and charges

Minimum monthly payment 2.5% or £5 (whichever is greater) or the total of any interest, default fees and charges plus 1% of the outstanding balance.
Annual/monthly fees £0
Balance transfer fee N/A
Foreign usage charge (EU) 2.99%
Foreign usage charge (rest of world) 2.99%
Cash advance fee 2.99% (min. £3)
Late payment fee £12
Replacement card fee £0
Duplicate statement fee £0
Exceeding limit fee £12
Additional card fee £0
Dormancy fee £0

Application Requirements

Minimum Age 18
Minimum income £6,800
Availability You need to hold an active HSBC current account (excluding Basic Bank Account)

The HSBC Classic Credit Card is issued on the Visa network (used by a whopping 4.2 billion cards), so you'll be able to use it at more than 100 million merchant locations across more than 200 countries and territories.

How does it compare?

HSBC's card

1 - 1 of 1
Name Product Finder score Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Minimum income Representative APR Incentive Link
HSBC Classic Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit not specified.
£6800
29.9%
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).
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Other popular credit builders

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Name Product Finder score Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Minimum income Representative APR Incentive Link
Additional account needed
HSBC Student Credit Card Visa
3.5
★★★★★
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £500.
Not specified
18.9%
Available alongside an HSBC Student Account (receive £100 and a 1-year subscription to Headspace when you open a new student account).
Representative example: When you spend £500 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
Go to site
Barclaycard Forward Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
£0
Min. limit £50, max. limit £1,200.
£3000
33.9%
Rate discounts: 3% interest rate reduction if you make all your repayments on time for the first year, and a further drop of up to 2% more if you continue to do so in the second year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 33.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 33.9% APR (variable).
Go to site
118 118 Money Guaranteed Rate Card
3.5
★★★★★
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
£8400
34%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Zable credit card
3.5
★★★★★
£0
Min. limit £200, max. limit £1,500.
£9,600
48.9%
Representative example: Representative 48.9% APR (variable). Based on assumed borrowing of £1200. Rate of interest 48.9% (variable) annual.
Check eligibility
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Approval for any credit card depends on your status. The representative APRs shown represent the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances, the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.

Case study: Elijah has an HSBC credit card as he also banks with them

Elijah Ssempa profile pic
Elijah Ssempa

London

I actually applied for an Amex card first but didn’t get it, then I was approved for a regular HSBC credit card, so now I’m at the stage of building up my credit. I bank with HSBC so it was a trusted option for me and the card was loaded straight into my banking app - it was a smooth process. Though it does often take a day for transactions to be processed and show up in the app - it’s not instant, which can be frustrating.

If there's one thing you'd tell a friend who's thinking of getting this, what would it be?

Do your research, go on a comparison website to compare credit cards and really read about what is best for you - it won’t necessarily be the same as for someone else.

Repayment options

You can make manual repayments through HSBC's app by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (0345 7404 404). Alternatively, you may wish to set up a direct debit.

A direct debit protects you from forgetting to make a repayment and damaging your credit score – making it harder and more expensive to borrow money in the future – and getting hit with a penalty fee (£12) as a result.

You can arrange a direct debit for repayments when you apply for the credit card. The table below shows the options available.

Choose from the following direct debit options for your monthly repayments:

Minimum amount Fixed amount Fixed percentage Full amount

How to apply for the HSBC Classic Credit Card

If you've compared cards and settled on the HSBC Classic Credit Card, completing the secure online application form takes about 15 minutes. Before you apply, check that you meet the eligibility requirements and have the information and documents you'll need to make the process as straightforward as possible.

Frequently asked questions

What credit limit will I get with the HSBC Classic Credit Card?

If HSBC offers you this deal, it will specify a personalised credit limit based on HSBC's assessment of your situation. The minimum limit offered on this card is £250, and HSBC does not specify a maximum. Once you've had the card for a while and shown HSBC you're reliable, you may wish to apply for a credit limit increase.

Can I withdraw cash using the HSBC Classic Credit Card?

Although it's possible, withdrawing cash from a credit card account is generally not a good idea, as "cash-like transactions" (such as withdrawing cash at an ATM, getting cashback at the till, spending at a casino or buying currency) often incur steep fees and/or higher rates of interest.

The cash advance fee on the HSBC Classic Credit Card is 2.99% (min. £3). For example, if you withdraw £50, you'll incur a fee of £3.00. Withdraw £250 and you'll incur a fee of £7.48.

The interest rate on this part of your balance will be 35.9%, which is 20% more than the standard purchase rate (chargeable from the day of the transaction – the card's usual "up to 56 days interest-free" grace period won't apply).

Can I manage the HSBC Classic Credit Card from an app?

Yes. You can manage this card through HSBC UK's free mobile banking app.

How much does it cost to use the HSBC Classic Credit Card abroad?

Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.99% charge (which is very standard). For example, if you spend 200 euros (£170.77), it'll cost you around £5.11 in fees.

What is the minimum payment on the HSBC Classic Credit Card?

Each month, you must pay at least 2.5% of your balance at that point or £5.00 – whichever of the 2 figures is greater. So if you had, say, £180.00 outstanding, you'd pay £5.00, and if you had £800.00 outstanding, you'd pay £20.00.

Paying only the minimum required amount each month is generally not advisable as it tends to be a very expensive way to borrow money, which can lead to persistent debt.

Finder credit card scores

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor

Our experts score credit builder credit cards to determine their value against similar products on the market. We look at a number of important factors, like interest rates, credit limits, features to help you track your credit, plus the potential costs involved with running the card both in the short and longer term.

You can read more about our scoring criteria on our credit card methodology page.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.
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