2021 Review: HSBC Gold Mastercard® Credit Card – Good for Paying Off Debt?
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The HSBC Gold Mastercard has one big feature: a very long 0% intro APR for both purchases and balance transfers. If you need to pay off some new expenses or you’re dealing with high-interest credit card debt, this card could help.
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Our Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars
We give the HSBC Gold Mastercard® Credit Card 4 out of 5 Stars because it’s simple and inexpensive to use. But it doesn’t have many extra features.
Why We Like It
- With 18 months at 0% APR this card is great for paying off either purchases or balance transfers over time.
- It’s low on fees: no annual fee, foreign transaction fee, or penalty APR. Also, one late fee waiver per year.
Why It Could Be Better
- There are no rewards with this card, like points or cash back.
- There are only some basic shopping and travel protections available.
- Your credit score is only available on your statement, rather than freely online like many other cards.
The HSBC Gold Mastercard is pretty simple, with one main attraction: it offers a 0% intro APR period for 18 months before the regular 12.99–20.99% Variable APR applies.
Other than that, there isn’t much else to this card. It has no rewards, and the benefits are very basic.
But it also has no annual fee, and is very forgiving when it comes to the other terms. There are no foreign transaction fees either.
It may not be the most exciting card, but it’s one of our top picks for the best 0% Intro APR Credit Cards. If you want to pay off some purchases or a large balance over time without accruing interest, this card is a great option for that.
Like most credit cards with a long intro APR and no annual fee, the HSBC Gold Mastercard is pretty basic. But there is some variation among cards like this. See our alternatives below for some other cards with intro APRs and different features.
Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card
- Save money from interest charges: Use the 0% intro APR to help pay off any large purchases you have to make. Or transfer a balance away from an account with a high APR.
- Take it with you when you travel: This card is a pretty good option for spending outside the U.S. because it has no foreign transaction fees. It’s also a Mastercard, so it has widespread acceptance.
- Don’t close this card after the intro APR runs out: Having more credit cards with open credit lines is good for your credit.
There are no rewards to earn with this card. Instead, its most attractive features are the intro APR and low fees.
If you’re looking for ways to earn points or cash back, check out our picks for the Best Cash Back Rewards Credit Cards.
There aren’t a whole lot of fancy benefits with this card. But you will get the same basic set of shopping and travel protections that many credit cards offer.
- Free FICO credit score: You can see one of your FICO Score 8 credit scores for free, based on your Equifax credit report. However, your score will only be reported on your monthly statement, either digital or mailed. Many other cards will let you check your score online for free whenever you’d like. But no matter which credit card issuer provides the score, it will usually be updated once per month anyway.
- Yearly late fee waiver: Your first late fee will be waived each year. This is a pretty forgiving feature. Some other cards may waive your first late fee, but that’s usually as good as it gets.
- Purchase Assurance Protection: Eligible items you buy with your HSBC card are covered against damage and theft for 90 days.
- Price Protection: If you find an item you bought being advertised for a lesser price, you could be reimbursed for the price difference. You must purchase the item entirely with your HSBC card. This applies to print and online advertisements. Claims must be made within 60 days of the date of purchase.
- Extended Warranty: This applies to eligible items you buy with your HSBC card that have a manufacturer’s warranty of 12 months or less. This benefit will double the item’s warranty, up to a maximum of 12 additional months. If an item has multiple warranties they can each be extended.
- MasterTrip Travel Assistance: Provides pre-trip planning and help with travel emergencies. That includes emergency card replacement or cash advances, medical assistance and referrals, and more. Available when traveling 50 miles or more from home.
- MasterRental Insurance: Provides coverage against damage and theft for rented vehicles when you pay with the Gold Mastercard. You’ll need to decline the rental company’s own insurance or damage waiver in order for this to apply.
- Master RoadAssist Roadside Service: Call 1-800-307-7309 if you need help with your vehicle when driving, like a tow truck or flat tire change. You may save some money compared to calling the service directly because some fees are pre-negotiated. This service is not available outside the U.S.
- Travel Accident Insurance: Provides $1,000,000 in coverage when traveling by common carrier, against accidental loss of life, limb, speech, sight, or hearing. Covers you, your spouse or domestic partner, and dependent children. You must charge the entire fare to your HSBC card to be eligible.
- Mastercard Airport Concierge: Get a 15% discount on Airport Meet and Greet services. Airport concierges are available to escort you through the terminal, in some cases expediting you through security or immigration.
The Terms & Fees
|Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|14.99–24.99% Variable||14.99–24.99% Variable||27.24% Variable|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|Either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater, will apply on each balance transfer and credit card check.||Either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater, will apply on each cash advance transaction.|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|32.00%||Up to $37||Up to $25|
The star feature of this card its 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers, which lasts for 18 months. That’s a pretty competitive offer, making this card one of our top picks when it comes to long 0% purchase APR intro periods.
Use that intro period to pay down a balance over time at no extra cost. Just be sure to pay at least the minimum payment. If you don’t, you can lose your introductory rate and get stuck with the regular purchase APR.
To make sure that you pay off your balance on time without accruing any interest, divide your balance by the number of months you have to pay it. That will give the amount you need to pay each month to pay it off on time. Consider aiming to pay it off one month early, just to be safe.
There’s no annual fee with this card. That means it can be completely free to use. Just pay off your balance in full every month to prevent interest charges from accruing. This doesn’t apply during the 0% intro period, of course.
There are no foreign transaction fees here either. So you can use this card outside the country without worrying about an extra fee, like many other credit cards will charge.
Your first late fee will be waived each year, if necessary. This is a favorable term for cardholders, but hopefully you don’t need to use it. You can set up automatic payments to avoid late fees. And you can set up autopay to pay the statement balance in full each period, for an easy way to avoid interest. That’s true for all credit card issuers.
The Bottom Line
The HSBC Gold Mastercard® Credit Card is simple, but it does one thing very well.
If you’re looking for some time to pay off a large balance, this card provides over a year to do just that. Be sure to keep up on payments during that intro period. Do that, and it will be a good way to help you get out of credit card debt.
You’ll have to look elsewhere if you want to earn points or make use of truly valuable perks. But if you have some trouble while shopping or traveling, the protections of this card might be able to help out.
This card is designed around the long intro APR period, like some other cards. Check out some different card offers that are similar to HSBC card below. Or see a different card from HSBC that offers 1.5% cash back, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card (Review).
How Do I Apply for the HSBC Gold Mastercard?
Just follow the link below to be directed to HSBC’s site to apply, where you can provide your personal information.
What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the HSBC Gold Mastercard?
This card is recommended for people with good credit.
To qualify for good credit, your FICO scores would have to be at least 670, or your VantageScores would need to be at least 700.
But keep in mind credit card issuers consider other factors too. Things like income and monthly rent and mortgage payments factor into your creditworthiness. So even if your scores aren’t high enough, there’s still a chance you could be approved. However, that also means you could still be denied even if they are high enough.
Alternatives to the HSBC Gold Mastercard
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Do you have the HSBC Gold Mastercard card? How do you like it, and what do you use it for? Leave your comment, we’d love to hear from you!
Brendan has been writing about personal finance for over eight years, and is now taking on the challenge of bringing high-quality credit education to the masses. He makes sure that Credit Card Insider is covering the most important credit topics transparently and precisely, and that we have up-to-date reviews of credit cards so you can find cards that are right for you.
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