HSBC Classic Credit Card review 2022

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

For 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: ★★★★★

Representative example: When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 29.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).

£250

Minimum credit limit

Up to 56 days

Interest-free each billing period

29.9%

Representative APR

0%

Balance transfer fee

Details

IssuerHSBC
NetworkVisa
Annual/monthly fees£0
Balance transfers29.9%
Balance transfer fee0%
Purchases29.9%
Purchases interest-free periodUp to 56 days
Cash advances35.9%
Minimum credit limit£250
Maximum credit limitSubject to status: £1,000
Additional cards available3
Additional Rewards InfoDiscounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Travel incentiveDiscounts and exclusive offers available through HSBC Home and Away.

Review by


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.

Expert review

The only “credit builder” in HSBC’s range, this card is likely to have the least strict eligibility requirements, 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.

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Pros and cons

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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?

HSBC's card

1 - 1 of 1
Name Product Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Minimum income Representative APR Incentive Link
HSBC Classic Credit Card
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,000.
£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 £1,000 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 Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Minimum income Representative APR Incentive Link
Tymit Credit Card
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit £15,000.
Not specified
22.4%
Representative Example: Rep. APR 22.4% (variable). This means for a purchase of £100 at 22.4% spread over 12 months, you'll pay a total of £111.39 (12 payments of £9.28). No annual fee.
Check eligibility
Vanquis Bank Chrome Credit Card
£0
Min. limit £150, max. limit £1,200.
Not specified
29.5%
Representative example: When you spend £250 at a purchase rate of 29.5% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.5% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
thimbl. credit card
£0
Min. limit £150, max. limit £1,200.
Not specified
39.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 39.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 39.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Vanquis Bank Classic Credit Card Visa
£0
Min. limit £150, max. limit £600.
Not specified
39.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 39.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 39.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
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Compare up to 4 providers

Approval for any credit card will depend 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.

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 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 (£175.78), it'll cost you around £5.26 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 ratings

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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.

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