HSBC Gold Review: Applications Are Paused; Current Cardholders Get Some Breathing Room on Interest

Current cardholders get a lengthy 0% intro APR period and a forgiving policy on late payments.
Jan 4, 2022

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

You can no longer apply for this card, but it can help current cardholders finance a large purchase or transfer a high-interest balance. It can also save you money on fees in general.

Jump to: Full Review
HSBC Gold Mastercard
HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
12.99%-22.99%, Variable
Intro APR
0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months.
Rec. credit score
690-850 (Good - Excellent)

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • No rewards

Alternate Pick: 0% intro APR plus rewards
Discover it® Balance Transfer
NerdWallet rating 
Discover it® Balance Transfer
Cash back on all purchases

This card offers 0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 12.24%-23.24% Variable APR. Rewards: Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories that you activate, on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter, and 1% on everything else. Bonus: INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300. Annual fee: $0.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

14.49%-24.49% Variable APR

Regular APR

15.24%-25.24% Variable APR

Regular APR

15.24%-23.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% Intro APR for 21 months on Balance Transfers and 12 months on Purchases

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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Full Review

As of December 2021, the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card was no longer accepting applications. But for current cardholders looking to finance a large purchase or eliminate existing debt, it's a solid card.

The $0-annual-fee card offers a lengthy 0% intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, along with a reasonable balance transfer fee.

You can find similar features in several other cards, but what helps set this card apart is its forgiving policy on late payments. But there are limits to those terms.

HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card: Basics

Card type: Balance transfer/0%.

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: None.

Rewards: None.

APR: 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months, then an APR of 12.99%-22.99% variable.

Balance transfer fee: 4% of the amount transferred or $10, whichever is greater.

Foreign transaction fee: None.

Other benefits: Mastercard benefits such as travel accident insurance and an auto rental collision waiver.

Why you might want the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card

Lengthy 0% introductory APR period: The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card is ideal for financing a large purchase or transferring a balance from a high-interest credit card. It offers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months, then an APR of 12.99%-22.99% variable.

Late fee waiver and limits on other common fees: If you happen to miss the due date for your HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card bill, you get one mulligan per year, thanks to the card's late fee waiver. The card also doesn't charge a penalty APR. (Still, make it a habit to pay your bills on time because your credit scores can take a hit if you're 30 days behind.) You'll also pay no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, nor any fee to add an authorized user.

Travel perks: If you're on the road (or in the sky), the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card includes traveler-friendly benefits such as an auto rental collision damager waiver, travel accident insurance, and discounted airport meet-and-greet services.

Why you might want a different credit card

No rewards: The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card lacks any kind of rewards program, so your spending won't bring you any closer to cash back or discounted travel. By comparison, the $0-annual-fee Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card has an intro APR offer: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 15.24%-25.24% Variable APR — but it also earns 1.5% cash back on purchases. It charges a slightly lower fee of 3% per balance transferred. And it has a sign-up bonus: One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

You can find cards with lower balance transfer fees: The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card charges 4% of the amount of each transfer. That's not bad, but the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card  charges 3% of each amount transferred. It offers 0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 15.24%-25.24% Variable APR. It has a $0 annual fee.

Other cards are even more forgiving: If you're concerned that you may consistently forget to pay your credit card bill on time, a card like the Citi Simplicity® Card waives all late fees and offers an even longer promotional period on balance transfers. With this card, you’ll get a 0% Intro APR for 21 months on Balance Transfers and 12 months on Purchases, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49%-25.49% Variable APR. The card charges $5 or 5% of each amount transferred. It has a $0 annual fee.

Visit NerdWallet's roundup of best credit cards to see how these options compare with the competition.

Is the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card right for you?

The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card is a good pick if you're eyeing a large purchase and need a long interest-free runway to pay it off, or if you're looking to transfer a high-interest balance and need a lot of time to whittle it down sans interest. It can also save you money on fees in general.

But you can find cards that offer lower balance transfer fees, more forgiving terms, and even rewards.

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

Frequently asked questions
Is the HSBC Gold card a good card?

If you're looking for relief from interest, then yes. There's a lengthy 0% period for financing a large purchase or paying down transferred debt. You get 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months, then an APR of 12.99%-22.99% variable. The annual fee is $0, and the card offers a late fee waiver and charges no penalty APR.

Does the HSBC Gold card pay rewards? 

The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card does not offer rewards or a sign-up bonus. Its value rests primarily in its 0% promotional period.

What credit score do you need to get the HSBC Gold?

To qualify for the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card, you'll need good to excellent credit, generally corresponding to a score of 690 or above. Card issuers also look at your income and other factors.

How does the 0% period on the HSBC Gold work?

You won't be charged interest for the duration of the introductory 0% APR period. Once that promotional period expires, the card’s interest rate resets to its ongoing rate. If you have any balance remaining at that time, you’ll start being charged interest on it going forward.

What is the balance transfer fee on the HSBC Gold card? 

The fee is 4% of the amount transferred, or $10, whichever is greater. To qualify for a 0% promotional period, balances must be transferred within the first 60 days of account opening.