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HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card review

Published: November 6, 2018

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Published: November 6, 2018

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Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
3.2 rating
3.2 rating
3.2 / 5
Introductory Offer: 3.3
Net Value: 3.5
Features: 2.0

In a Nutshell:

With a generous 18-month, interest-free intro offer on both balance transfers and new purchases, the HSBC Gold Mastercard is a great choice for cardholders looking to pay down their debt. You’ll also save a bit on charges thanks to the $0 annual fee, lack of foreign transaction fees and one late fee waiver per year.

Learn more about this card

0% Introductory Period for Balance Transfers
18 months (must be posted within the first 60 days following account opening)

Transfer Fee
4%

Introductory Purchase APR
0% for 18 months

Regular APR
12.99-20.99% (variable)

Annual Fee
$0

Other Notable Features:  No foreign transaction fees, one late fee waiver per year, extended warranty, travel accident insurance, purchase protection

The HSBC Gold Mastercard is a decent card for users looking to pay down large debts with a generous introductory APR. However, users only have 60 days to post balance transfers to claim the offer, and the card has a slightly higher than normal transfer fee at 4 percent.

While you won’t earn traditional rewards with this card, you’ll still enjoy travel and shopping benefits such as emergency roadside services, travel accident insurance, price protection and extended warranty.

Time to pay off debt with balance transfer intro offer

If you’re hanging on to some debt and want a little more time to pay it off, the HSBC Gold Mastercardׅ might be a good option. You only have 60 days from account opening to post your transfer, but you’ll get a lengthy 18 months with no interest to chip away at the balance.

Higher than average balance transfer fee

At 4 percent, the HSBC Gold Mastercard transfer fee is slightly higher than the average balance transfer card, with plainer cards charging no fee at all and rewards cards charging up to 3 percent. This might not seem like much of a difference, but it quickly can add up to quite a bit on larger balances.

Before deciding if this is the card for you, consider how much the transfer fee will add to your debt. With a 0 percent APR for an 18-month intro period, it is possible that you will save in interest what the fee will add, but you’ll want to do the math on your own finances before applying.

Generous intro APR for new purchases

On top of the introductory 18-month, 0 percent APR for balance transfers, the HSBC Gold Mastercard offers an intro period for new purchases. If you need to start paying off some debt, but know you have a few charges to make first, this is a great way to avoid taking on additional interest.

But be careful. If you are more than 60 days late on a payment during the first 18 months, you are at risk for losing your introductory APR and could end up with significant interest charges. To make the most of this card, you’ll want to make steady, on-time payments that bring down your balance before the intro period ends.

Low, average and high APR possibilities

When it comes to balance transfer cards, the HSBC Gold Mastercard has a lower range of possible APR options. After the introductory period, you’ll qualify for a variable APR of 12.99 percent, 16.99 percent or 20.99 percent based on your credit score. While you can’t know for sure where you will fall in the range before applying, it is important to consider the possibilities before choosing this card.

If you have excellent credit and can qualify for the 12.99 percent APR, this card is a great option to continue paying off your debt. This is one of the lowest options you’ll find on balance transfer cards, which often hover between 17 and 24 percent.

If you are at the high end however, carrying a balance on this card might not be the best choice for you, especially if it will take you more than the 18-month intro period to pay off your remaining balance. Instead, consider a card with a smaller APR (even if it means less rewards) like the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®.

No matter the APR you qualify for, you should take advantage of the interest-free period to pay off as much of your balance as possible.

No rewards and limited benefits

The HSBC Gold Mastercard does not offer any traditional rewards like miles or cash back, but it does come with a few benefits that other balance transfer cards do not. Travel benefits­ – including trip planning assistance, emergency roadside services and travel accident insurance – as well as shopping benefits such as extended warranty, price protection and purchase protection let users enjoy a few perks without paying an annual fee or higher APR.

If you want to continue to earn rewards while you pay off your debts, consider alternatives such as the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card or Discover it® Balance Transfer card.

A few extra ways to save

On top of travel and shopping benefits, the HSBC Gold Mastercard allows its users one late fee waiver per year. They also don’t have a penalty APR for late payments. These might seem like small savings, but they can make a big difference when it comes to chipping away at large balances.

Why get the HSBC Gold Mastercard?

  • You want to transfer a balance, with time to pay it off interest-free.
  • You have good to excellent credit and can qualify for a lower APR.
  • You want a balance transfer card with no annual fee, but still want some travel benefits.

How to use the HSBC Gold Mastercard

  • Make your minimum payments on time, and pay off as much as possible in the first 18 months.
  • Only make new purchases you can pay off in the introductory period.
  • Utilize perks like price protection and trip planning to save money day-to-day.

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