HSBC Classic Credit Card review 2023
Used correctly, this HSBC card could help you build (or rebuild) a positive credit history.
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.
You say: ★★★★★We say: ★★★★★
Doing its job: 2/5
In a nutshell:
Minimum credit limit
Up to 56 days
Interest-free each billing period
Balance transfer fee
|Balance transfer fee||0%|
|Purchases interest-free period||Up to 56 days|
|Minimum credit limit||£250|
|Maximum credit limit||Subject to status: £1,000|
|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.|
|Doing its job||★★★★★|
|Overall Finder rating||★★★★★|
|Overall customer rating|
Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in personal finance, from day-to-day banking to investing to borrowing, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their money. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.
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.
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.
Pros and cons
- Applicants with low credit scores may be eligible.
- Customers report excellent customer service when dealing with HSBC.
- Can provide up to £1,000 credit, depending on your circumstances.
- No annual fee.
- There are other credit builder cards on the market with higher limits.
- Minimum annual income of £6,800.
- £12 late payment fee.
How does it compare?
Other popular credit builders
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.
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 is able to offer you this deal, the offer will specify a personalised credit limit based on HSBC's assessment of your situation. The minimum limit offered on the card is £250, while the maximum is £1,000. Once you've had the card for a while and shown HSBC that 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 (£173.60), it'll cost you around £5.19 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.