HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card review 2020
Benefit from 0% interest on balance transfers for 25 months with HSBC’s dedicated balance transfer card.
HSBC’s Balance Transfer card is designed to let you transfer an existing balance to HSBC to enjoy an extended interest-free period. It is one of several credit cards offered by HSBC, but it’s the only one specifically designed for balance transfers, and therefore offers the longest period of 0% interest.
You say: ★★★★★We say: ★★★★★
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In a nutshell:
0% interest on balance transfers
0% interest on purchases
|Balance transfers||0% for 25 months reverting to 21.9%|
|Balance transfer fee||1.5% (min. £5)|
|Purchases||0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9%|
|Purchases interest-free period||Up to 56 days|
|Min credit limit||£500|
|Max credit limit||Not specified|
|Additional cards available||1|
|Incentive||Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.|
Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in credit-based products including business and personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their borrowing. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.
While this card doesn’t come with an annual or monthly fee attached, there is a balance transfer fee (albeit a competitive one) of 1.5% (min. £5) to consider, which could be a significant factor for those transferring larger sums. Balance transfer offers with no transfer fees involved do exist, but they don’t tend to be found on the longest 0% interest deals.
It’s also important to remember that if you don’t clear your balance in full within the 25 months, then any outstanding balance will start to accrue interest at the card’s standard rate.
It’s pretty light on perks, which is probably to be expected from a card that’s primarily about helping people clear debt faster, but you will be able to benefit from some (incredibly specific) offers through the HSBC Home and Away scheme plus cashback deals through Visa Offers.
The card is operated on the Visa network, meaning it can be used in over 30 million locations worldwide.
The HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card is issued on the Visa network (used by a whopping 3.3 billion cards), so you'll be able to use it at more than 46 million merchants across more than 200 countries and territories.
Pros and cons
- An impressive 25 months of 0% interest to focus on clearing existing card debt.
- Benefit from Visa Offers cashback rewards.
- Use this card for contactless payments, Apple pay, Google pay and Samsung Pay.
- Competitive balance transfer fee.
- Not available to customers already using the HSBC Basic Bank Account.
- Requires a minimum income of £6800 p.a.
- Balances can't be transferred from first direct, M&S Bank or John Lewis cards.
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 losing your promotional interest rate as a result (as well as damaging your credit score and incurring the late payment fee of £12). You could use a fixed-amount direct debit to ensure you've cleared your debt before the 0% period expires – simply divide your outstanding balance by 25 to see what you'll need to pay each month (this assumes you don't use the card for additional spending).
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
First, you can use Finder's eligibility checker to find out if you'd be likely to get approved for the HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card. This won't impact your credit score. If it's good news, you can then proceed to HSBC's online application, which takes 10-15 minutes to complete. You can request a balance transfer as part of your application.
Existing HSBC customers can alternatively apply in-branch (make sure to take photo ID, proof of address and a recent bank statement).
Frequently asked questions
Can I transfer a balance from an HSBC card to another HSBC-branded credit card?
Does HSBC have an app?
Yes. You can manage this card through HSBC UK's free mobile banking app.
What should I do with my old credit card?
Transferring a balance doesn't automatically close your old account. In most cases, you'll want to close the old accounts straightaway, especially if they have a annual/monthly fee or if you might be tempted to use them in the future. There is an argument that you should keep the old account open to help your credit score. That's because doing so keeps your "credit utilisation ratio" lower (that's a measure of how much credit you're using compared to what's available to you), and helps the average age of your credit accounts. However, unless you're just about to apply for a new mortgage, it's probably fair to say that most people would prefer to have no more bank accounts open than was truly necessary.