HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Card Review


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HSBC Gold Mastercard® Credit Card is a no-frills credit card with one standout benefit: a super-long 0% APR introductory promotion that applies to balance transfers and credit card purchases made within the first 18 months.

Few other credit cards offer such long introductory promotions. If you’re trying to get out from under existing credit card debt or evaluating financing options for a long-planned big-ticket purchase, HSBC Gold deserves your full attention.

Aside from its long 0% APR promotional period and a fairly standard slate of value-added benefits, HSBC Gold Mastercard doesn’t have a ton going for it: no sign-up bonus or rewards program, for starters. But that doesn’t mean it has no place in your wallet. Take a few minutes to read on and learn more about this card’s features, benefits, drawbacks, and overall suitability.

Key Features

Introductory APR

HSBC Gold’s signature feature is a long 0% APR introductory period that applies to both purchases and balance transfers. Purchases and balance transfers made with this card accrue no interest for 18 months from your account opening date. Thereafter, the regular APR applies to both. Qualifying balance transfers must be made within 60 days of account opening.

Cardholder Benefits

HSBC Gold has some useful Mastercard-backed benefits. Do be aware that some of these benefits may require out-of-pocket expenditures when invoked.

  • Travel Accident Insurance: Though HSBC Gold lacks a well-rounded travel insurance policy with benefits such as trip interruption and cancellation coverage, it does have a generous travel accident insurance policy that provides up to $1 million in coverage for cardholders who die or suffer serious injury in common carrier accidents like plane crashes.
  • Airport Meet & Greet Discount: Enjoy a 15% discount on airport meet and greet service at more than 450 destinations worldwide.
  • Rental Car Coverage: This benefit provides coverage loss and damage (subject to limitations) on rental cars paid in full with your HSBC Gold card.

Important Fees

There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. HSBC waives the late payment fee once every 12 months.

Credit Required

This card requires good to excellent credit.

Advantages

  1. No Annual Fee. HSBC Gold has no annual fee. This is great news for frugal cardholders who don’t spend enough to outpace recurring charges with rewards. It’s especially important in light of this card’s low rewards rate.
  2. Excellent 0% APR Introductory Offer. HSBC Gold has an 18-month 0% APR introductory promotion on purchases and balance transfers. That’s an industry-leading runway for interest-free purchases and balance transfers (though you must make qualifying balance transfers within 60 days). If you need to finance a major buy, such as a home improvement project, this card has your name all over it. Ditto if you’re trying to get a handle on existing high-interest credit card balances – a 0% APR interest promotion is a great way to kick-start your debt snowflaking endeavor.
  3. No Foreign Transaction Fee. HSBC Gold has no foreign transaction fee. If you routinely travel abroad, you can stretch your travel budget 2% to 3% further simply by swiping this card overseas.
  4. One Late Payment Fee Waiver Every 12 Months. HSBC waives the late payment fee once every 12 months, essentially giving you an annual mulligan should you fail to make a payment on time.

Disadvantages

  1. No Rewards. HSBC Gold doesn’t have a rewards program. If you plan to use this as your primary credit card, you have every right to demand a return on spending. Look to competitors such as Chase Freedom Credit Card (15-month 0% APR introductory promotion with up to 5% cash back on select purchases) or Chase Freedom Unlimited (15-month 0% APR introductory promotion with unlimited 1.5% cash back).
  2. No Account Opening Bonus. This card has no account opening bonus. If a sign-up bonus is important to you, consider no-annual-fee alternatives such as Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, which pays out a $150 cash bonus when you spend at least $500 in qualifying net purchases within the first three months.
  3. Relatively High Regular APR. Though this card’s regular APR is subject to change with prevailing interest rates, it’s set a few ticks higher than many comparable credit cards’. That’s bad news for cardholders who plan to carry balances after the 0% APR promotional periods end. For more ideas, check out our list of the best low APR interest credit cards.

Final Word

The HSBC Gold Mastercard® Credit Card is the spitting image of a no-frills credit card. Its sole distinctive feature is an unusually long 0% APR introductory promotion that covers purchases and balance transfers. It has no rewards program, sign-up bonus, or unusually generous fringe benefits package to entice new applicants.

But that’s fine by HSBC. This card’s 18-month 0% APR balance transfer promotion is more than generous enough to attract people struggling with high-interest credit card debts. Its identical purchase promotion is welcome news for people looking for low-cost financing options.

If you fall into either category, I highly recommend you take a closer look at this card. As long as you avoid carrying balances past the 18-month threshold, it could be the best financial decision you make this year.



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