HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card: Forgiving and Good for Balance Transfers

Daryl Brown

| July 12, 2019

One of the longest low intro APR periods on the market with no annual or foreign transaction fees along with payment features designed to help card carriers struggling to pay down their debt make this a very worthwhile addition to your wallet. Rewards-hungry consumers will be disappointed, though, as this Mastercard® designed for people with Good/Excellent credit lacks significant rewards and sign-up bonuses.

The Basics

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening. Then a variable APR of 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% will apply.
  • No Penalty APR
  • Late Fee Waiver.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $0 Annual Fee.
  • $0 liability for unauthorized purchases.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
The primary benefit of the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card is the lengthy 0% Intro APR period. Balance transfers must be posted within the first sixty days of opening the account. If you bought a $1,000 big-screen TV for Christmas of 2019, you could watch it for free in 2020, and pay for it in early 2021 without any interest! Compared to having to pay the maximum APR of 21.24%, you would save hundreds of dollars by using this card.

The long initial 0% APR period helps those who have rung up big balances on other cards, while the lack of a penalty APR reduces the pain for those having trouble making the payments on this card. Late payment fees can be up to $37, but the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card offers a waiver on late fees that you can take advantage of once per year. Balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, and overdraft fees are the greater of $10 or 4% of each transaction.

The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card is chip-enabled for enhanced security and is also compatible with mobile payment options such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Perks include the MasterAssist® Benefits program with $1 million travel accident insurance, extended warranty that can add up to a year onto purchase warranties, zero liability for unauthorized purchases, damage/theft protection, and a price protection program that refunds the difference if a lower advertised price is found within sixty days of an item’s purchase.

Currently, there are no sign-up bonuses or rewards programs associated with this card.

Pros

  • One of the market leaders in 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Relatively low Regular APR

Extended 0% APR Period – A 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases for the first 18 months from account opening and 0% Introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening are difficult to find, especially in a $0-annual fee card that’s available to consumers with good credit (680 minimum recommended credit score).

Low Post-Introductory APR – The 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% post-introductory APR structure of the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card is well below the national average – a pleasant surprise for a card with such a long 0% introductory APR.

Forgiving on Late Payments – An annual late fee waiver allows you to avoid the $37 late payment fee once per year. There’s also no penalty APR (some competing cards impose penalty APRs approaching 30%). However, introductory APRs may be revoked if a payment is more than sixty days late.

Limited Fees – One of the longest low intro APR periods on the market with no annual or foreign transaction fees, combined with worldwide acceptance, makes the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card a great choice for world travelers.

Cons

No Reward Programs or Sign-Up Bonuses – The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card doesn’t offer any rewards programs, and therefore no sign-up bonuses. There are balance transfer cards that offer rewards, like the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer, but they’ll come with a tradeoff such as higher post-introductory APRs or shorter 0% APR offers. If rewards are extremely important to you, look elsewhere.

Average Perks – The travel, protection, and shopping benefits are average compared to other cards on the market. In addition, credit score updates are only available once a month, printed on your credit card statement.

Balance Transfer Fees – The 4% balance transfer fee isn’t the lowest available, but it’s reasonable given the payoff benefits. If you only want this card to transfer a balance and don’t need 18 months to pay it off, you can find other 0% APR cards with lower balance transfer fees, useful rewards programs, or sign-up bonuses.

Conversely, if you need a bit more than 18 months to pay off your balance, consider the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever that carries a 21-month 0% APR balance transfer period in exchange for a higher balance transfer fee and post-introductory APR.

HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card

0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening. Then a variable APR of 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% will apply.

Apply Now

Good/Excellent Credit Needed

Benefits & KEY FEATURES

    • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening. Then a variable APR of 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% will apply.
    • No Penalty APR
    • Late Fee Waiver.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
    • $0 Annual Fee.
    • $0 liability for unauthorized purchases.
    • Terms Apply.
    • See Rates & Fees

View Details

Conclusion

The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a new long-term card, you have a significant balance to transfer, and you need extra time to pay off your debt.

The combination of a long 0% APR introductory period on both purchases and balance transfers, few fees, and a favorable post-introductory APR make this card well-suited to consolidating and paying off high-interest debt without shifting new purchases to a different card.

As with any balance transfer card, it’s important to control purchases to avoid running a fresh balance on new purchases – but the terms of the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card are more forgiving if you have a slip-up along the way to fiscal responsibility.

If you don’t plan to use the balance transfer advantages, the post-introductory APR still makes this card a decent choice – but you can probably find a better combination of rewards and standard APR if debt reduction isn’t your goal.

Photo ©iStockphoto.com/PeopleImages

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