HSBC Classic Credit Card review 2021

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

For existing HSBC 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 £1,200 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

Account fee

Details

IssuerHSBC
NetworkVisa
Annual/monthly fees£0
Balance transfers29.9%
Balance transfer fee2.9% (min. £5)
Purchases29.9%
Purchases interest-free periodUp to 56 days
Cash advances29.9%
Min credit limit£250
Max credit limitSubject to status: £1,000
Additional cards available3
IncentiveDiscounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.

Review by


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.

Expert review

The only “credit builder” 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.

The HSBC Classic 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.

Aqua Classic Credit Card

Aqua Classic Credit Card

  • An Initial credit limit of £250-£1,200
  • Receive text alerts when you’re approaching your credit limit
  • Choose your repayment date
  • No annual fee

Representative 29.7% APR (variable)

Credit provided by NewDay Ltd. 18+, subject to status, UK only. T&Cs apply.
Promoted

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Applicants with low credit scores may be eligible
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Only available to existing customers

How does it compare?

HSBC's card

Name Product Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Minimum income Representative APR Incentive Link
HSBC Classic Credit Card Visa
£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 £1,200 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 Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Minimum income Representative APR Incentive Link
Aqua Classic Credit Card
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,200.
Not specified
29.7%
Representative example: Assumed credit limit £1,200, representative 29.7% APR (variable), purchase rate 29.75% p.a. (variable).
Please note: you can’t have two Aqua accounts or open an Aqua account within 12 months of opening a Marbles, Fluid or Opus account, issued by New Day
Check eligibility
Marbles Card
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,200.
Not specified
29.7%
You could get a credit limit increase after three months. Choose a monthly repayment date that suits you and change it up to twice a year.
Representative example: Assumed credit limit £1,200, representative 29.7% APR (variable), purchase rate 29.75% p.a. (variable).
Please note: you can’t have two Marbles accounts or open a Marbles account within 12 months of opening an Aqua, Fluid or Opus account, issued by New Day
Check eligibility
Bip Credit
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit not specified.
Not specified
29.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Aqua Classic Balance Transfer Card
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,200.
Not specified
34.9%
Representative example: Assumed credit limit £1,200, representative 34.9% APR (variable), purchase rate 34.95% p.a. (variable).
Please note: you can’t have two Aqua accounts or open an Aqua account within 12 months of opening a Marbles, Fluid or Opus account, issued by New Day
Check eligibility
Tesco Bank Foundation Card
£0
Min. limit £100, max. limit not specified.
£5000
27.5%
Collect 1 Tesco Clubcard point per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 Clubcard point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco in each purchase transaction.  Must have available credit to collect Clubcard points. Clubcard points are turned into Clubcard vouchers every 3 months or sooner using Faster Vouchers. Clubcard vouchers can be used in Tesco or with Clubcard Reward Partners to get even more value on dining out, hotel stays and travel.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 27.542% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 27.5% APR (variable).
TSB Classic Credit Card Mastercard
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
Not specified
27.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 27.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 27.9% APR (variable).
Vanquis Bank Chrome Credit Card
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,500.
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).
Vanquis Bank Aquis Visa
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,000.
Not specified
29.8%
You could get a credit limit increase after your 5th statement and further increases every 5 months, up to £4,000.
Representative example: When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 29.84% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.8% APR (variable).
Amazon Classic Mastercard
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
Not specified
29.9%
Be upgraded to the Amazon Platinum Mastercard if you make at least one transaction a month, make repayments on time and stay within credit limit in the first 12 months..
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).
HSBC Classic Credit Card Visa
£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 £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).
Vanquis Bank Balance Transfer Credit Card Visa
£0
Min. limit £150, max. limit £1,000.
Not specified
33.5%
Representative example: When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 33.5% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 33.5% APR (variable).
Barclaycard Forward Credit Card
£0
Min. limit £50, max. limit £1,200.
£3000
33.9%
Buy tickets for up to 3500 selected live events through Barclaycard entertainment and get 5% off tickets per year and exclusive pre-sale tickets on selected festivals with 10% off ticket prices.
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).
118 118 Money Guaranteed Rate Card
£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).
Aqua Advance credit card
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,200.
Not specified
34.9%
Reduce your rate over three years if you stay within your credit limit and pay on time. No extra fees on what you spend abroad.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34.9% APR (variable).
Fluid Credit Card
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit not specified.
Not specified
34.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34.9% APR (variable).
Level Credit Card
£0
Min. limit £200, max. limit £1,500.
£9600
34.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34.9% APR (variable).
Zopa Credit Card Visa
£0
Min. limit £200, max. limit not specified.
£10000
34.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34.9% APR (variable).
Post Office Classic Card
£0
Min. limit £200, max. limit £8,000.
Not specified
34.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34.9% APR (variable).
Capital One Classic Credit Card
£0
Min. limit £200, max. limit £1,500.
Not specified
34.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34.9% APR (variable).

Capital One Luma Mastercard
£0
Min. limit £200, max. limit £1,500.
Not specified
35.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 35.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 35.9% APR (variable).
Capital One Luma Purchase Mastercard
£0
Min. limit £200, max. limit £1,500.
Not specified
35.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 35.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 35.9% APR (variable).
thinkmoney credit card
£0
Min. limit £200, max. limit £1,500.
Not specified
39.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 39.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 39.9% APR (variable).
opus card
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit not specified.
Not specified
39.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 39.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 39.9% APR (variable).
thimbl. credit card
£0
Min. limit £150, max. limit £1,000.
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).
Ocean Credit Card
£0
Min. limit £200, max. limit £1,500.
Not specified
39.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 39.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 39.9% APR (variable).
Cashplus Credit Card Mastercard
£0
Min. limit £50, max. limit not specified.
Not specified
39.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 39.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 39.9% APR (variable).
Vanquis Bank Classic Credit Card Visa
£0
Min. limit £150, max. limit £1,500.
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).
Origin Credit Card
£0
Min. limit £150, max. limit £1,500.
Not specified
59.9%
Representative example: When you spend £250 at a purchase rate of 59.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 59.9% APR (variable).
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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're an existing HSBC customer and 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 29.9%, which is the same as the standard purchases 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. For example, if you spend 200 euros (£168.71), it'll cost you around £5.04 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 two 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.

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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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