Editorial Review

HSBC Gold Review: Breathing Room From Interest and Fees

You'll get a lengthy 0% intro APR period and a forgiving policy on late payments, but other cards offer even longer interest-free windows, not to mention rewards.

Sara RathnerApril 15, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: It's a good pick if you're financing a large purchase or looking to transfer a high-interest balance. It can also save you money on fees in general.

HSBC Gold Mastercard

on HSBC's website

Rates & Fees

on HSBC's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% Variable

Intro APR

0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening.

recommended credit score

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • No annual fee

  • 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening, then a 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable APR

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons
  • No rewards

Alternate Pick: 0% intro APR plus rewards

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Cash back on all purchases

This card offers an intro 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.24% - 26.24% Variable APR. Rewards: Unlimited 1.5% back on purchases. Bonus: Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. Annual fee: $0.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% Variable

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

14.74% - 25.74% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

16.99% - 26.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening.

Intro APR

0%* on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles*

Intro APR

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

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Full Review

If you're looking to finance a large purchase or are trying to eliminate existing debt while avoiding interest, the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card could fit the bill.

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. But you can find similar features in several other cards.

What helps set this card apart is its forgiving policy on late payments. There are limits to those terms, however, and anyone who's hoping to earn rewards will want to look elsewhere.

HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card: Basics

Card type: Balance transfer/0%.

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: None.

Rewards: None.

APR: 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening, then a 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable APR.

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

Foreign transaction fee: None.

Other benefits: Travel benefits, price protection, purchase assurance, extended warranty.

Benefits

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% Introductory APR on credit card purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening, then a 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable APR.

Reasonable balance transfer fee: The card's balance transfer fee of 4% isn't the lowest you can find, but it's lower than the balance transfer fee charged by another popular balance transfer option, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever.

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 and shopping perks: If you're on the road (or in the sky), the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card includes traveler-friendly benefits such as roadside assistance, travel accident insurance and help with lost luggage. The card also doubles your purchase's original warranty up to one additional year. Plus, if you see a lower price for an item within 60 days of buying it, you'll get a refund of the difference thanks to the card's price protection feature.

Drawbacks

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 American Express Cash Magnet® Card has an intro APR offer: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.24% - 26.24% Variable APR — but it also earns 1.5% cash back on purchases. And it has a welcome offer: Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

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 American Express Cash Magnet® Card charges 3%, and the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® charges 2%.

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 - No Late Fees Ever waives all late fees. And while this card offers a lengthy interest-free window, the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card can give you even more time to pay down a balance. It offers 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 20 billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 12.24% - 20.24% Variable APR.

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 longer 0% intro APR periods, lower balance transfer fees, more forgiving terms, and even rewards.