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- Introductory 0% APR period applies to new purchases and balance transfers, making this a great card for paying off existing high-interest credit card debt
- Minimal fees
- Interest rates after intro period are fairly low
- Late fee waiver
- No penalty APR
- No signup bonus
- No rewards program
- Balance transfer fee of 4%
- Possible to find longer balance transfer offers
Recommended Credit Score
- Good to excellent credit
The HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Card: Is It a Good Card for Balance Transfers?
The HSBC Gold Mastercard is designed for cardholders looking for an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers, but it has little else to offer in terms of attractive perks and benefits. The possibility of a high APR after the introductory period — and the availability of slightly longer intro APR offers elsewhere — means you may want to evaluate your options before choosing a balance transfer card.
In this review:
- HSBC Gold Mastercard Benefits
- Downsides of the HSBC Gold Mastercard
- HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Limit
- How It Compares to Similar Cards
HSBC Gold Mastercard Benefits
The HSBC Gold Mastercard is a simple, straightforward card with a few perks beyond its introductory APR offer and potential for a fairly low APR when the intro period runs out.
0% APR for 18 Months
The biggest selling point for the HSBC Gold Mastercard is its introductory 0% APR for 18 months on both balance transfers. This feature helps cardholders bogged down by existing high-interest credit card debt to pay off said debt in a cost-effective way. Another reason to use this card would be to finance a big purchase you can’t afford to pay for outright.
>> Read More: Best Sign-Up Bonus Offers on Credit Cards
To be eligible for the intro rate, balance transfers have to be posted within the first 60 days of account opening. After 18 months, the interest rate on this card can be relatively low. The APR for balance transfers starts at 13.24% for the most creditworthy cardholders and goes up to 21.24%.
Little to No Fees
Another positive component of the HSBC Gold Mastercard is its limited fees. There’s no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee. There’s also a once-a-year late fee waiver if you fail to make a payment on time.
The card has no penalty APR, and there’s no fee to add authorized users and additional cards.
The HSBC Gold credit card offers standard travel benefits available with most HSBC Mastercard products.
These include MasterAssist for pre-trip planning assistance and help with lost luggage. Also included is Master RoadAssist Roadside Services which provide help if your car breaks down while traveling domestically in the U.S. The card carries a generous $1 million in travel accident insurance.
As with the travel benefits, the HSBC Gold Mastercard features a host of shopping benefits available with other Mastercard products from HSBC.
The card includes extended warranty protection, which doubles the original warranty on purchases up to one additional year. Purchase assurance covers theft or damage to purchased items, and price protection refunds the difference if an item is advertised for less within 60 days after buying it.
Cardholders also have access to identity theft resolution services, which can help protect you against fraud and restore your identity in the event your information is compromised.
Downsides of the HSBC Gold Mastercard
No rewards program is linked to the HSBC Gold Mastercard, so once you pay off your transferred balance or the promotional 0% period ends, there aren’t many reasons to keep using the card (unless you qualify for the lowest APR).
>> Read More: How to pay off credit card debt early
There’s also a 4% balance transfer fee to factor into the costs of transferring existing debt to the Gold Mastercard. Most cards with equally attractive intro offers charge 3% fees, and some don’t have balance transfer fees at all.
HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Limit
Depending on how much you want to transfer to the card, your credit limit — which varies based on your credit score — may not be large enough for you to transfer the full balance or take advantage of the intro APR for large purchases.
Based on customer reviews, approved credit limits with this card seem fairly low. Although higher limits are certainly possible, we found most reviews mentioned a maximum $5,000 credit line at the time the card is issued.
How It Compares to Similar Cards
How does the HSBC Gold Mastercard stack up when it goes head-to-head with similar cards?
HSBC Gold Mastercard vs. Citi Simplicity Card
The Citi Simplicity Card is another card that aims to attract customers who want to pay off high-interest debt. But unlike the HSBC Gold Mastercard, the Citi Simplicity card has a 0% intro APR period on balance transfers for 21 months, giving cardholders an extra three months to pay down their transferred balances at no interest. The Citi Simplicity card’s intro APR for new purchases lasts for 12 months (compared to HSBC’s 18 months), and its balance transfer fee is 5% (compared to HSBC’s 4%).
Following the end of the intro period, the Citi Simplicity card offers a standard purchase APR from 16.24% to 26.24%, several percentage points higher than the HSBC Gold Mastercard. If transferring a balance is your main goal, the Citi Simplicity might be the better option — but when it comes to ongoing use after the intro period ends or financing a large purchase upfront, the HSBC Gold card will probably save you money in interest charges.
HSBC Gold Mastercard vs. BankAmericard
The BankAmericard offers an introductory 0% APR for the first 15 billing cycles for both purchases and balance transfers. What’s more, balance transfers completed within 60 days of opening the account will incur no fees at all.
Depending on how much you plan to transfer and whether 15 months is long enough to pay off the balance, you could save quite a bit with the BankAmericard over the HSBC Gold Mastercard. After 60 days, the balance transfer fee is a full percentage point lower (3%) with BankAmericard, although the standard APR (15.24% to 25.24%) is quite a bit higher.
The HSBC Gold Mastercard is a good option for when you need to transfer existing high-interest credit card debt or finance a large purchase interest-free. Beware the 4% balance transfer fee, which is a full percentage point higher than most other balance transfer cards.
There is no cash back or other rewards associated with this card, so once the introductory 0% interest period runs out, there aren’t a lot of reasons to keep using the HSBC Gold Mastercard.
If the HSBC Gold Mastercard credit card doesn’t meet your needs, check out our Best Rewards Credit Cards page.