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2021 Review: HSBC Gold Mastercard® Credit Card – Good for Paying Off Debt?

Updated Oct 11, 2021 | Published Feb 08, 20188 min read

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HSBC Gold Mastercard® Credit Card

Min Credit Level Fair
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 12.99–20.99% Variable
At a glance

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.
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HSBC Gold Mastercard® Credit Card
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  • Min. credit levelFair
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APR0% for 18 months, then 12.99–20.99% Variable

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.

The Rewards

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.

The Benefits

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
$0 None
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.

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HSBC Gold Mastercard® Credit Card
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  • Min. credit levelFair
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APR0% for 18 months, then 12.99–20.99% Variable
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Alternatives to the HSBC Gold Mastercard

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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APR0% for 12 months, then 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee… Ever
  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 14.74% – 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.74% – 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.
  • Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock and $0 liability on unauthorized charges
Why We Picked It

The Citi Simplicity® Card (Review), as the name suggests, is simple like the HSBC card. For no annual fee, it provides a 0% introductory balance transfer APR for 21 months, with a shorter period for purchases.

After the intro rates end, purchases and balance transfers will both get an APR of 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable).

There are no rewards with this card.

But it also has no penalty APR and no late fees, ever. The complete lack of late fees is a very rare find. The HSBC card provides one late fee waiver per year, which is also pretty favorable. However, this isn’t much of a benefit because cardholders shouldn’t be paying late in the first place.

That’s about all there is to it. In just about every way, it’s similar to the HSBC card.

Key Features
  • Free FICO credit score: Check your FICO Bankcard Score 8, based on your Equifax credit report.
  • Citi Easy Deals: Find discounts and special offers at nearby merchants; the more you spend with the card, the better the offers.
  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions: Citi can help prevent your identity from being stolen, and will help you recover if it does happen to you.
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months, then 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 21 months, then 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
  • Balance transfer fee: 5%, $5 minimum
  • Annual fee: $0

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APR0% on purchases for 15 months, then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable

Rates & Fees

  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 15 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Why We Picked It

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (Review) offers some cash back bonus categories for common purchases. Its 0% introductory APR period is for 15 months, and applies to purchases before the regular 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR applies.

You’ll also have access to Amex Offers, where you can earn extra cash back at a wide variety of merchants. This lets you save money on purchases outside the bonus categories.

The other benefits are a bit better than what you’ll get with the HSBC card. They include Entertainment Access, which provides preferred and pre-sale tickets at certain events. And complimentary ShopRunner membership, which provides free two-day shipping and returns at some online retailers.

There’s no reason why you couldn’t use both the Blue Cash Everyday and the HSBC card. If you wanted to pay off a balance over time, for example, you could transfer it to the HSBC card. Make regular payments to pay it off on time. And use the Blue Cash Everyday to earn rewards when you shop.

There’s an upgraded version of the Blue Cash card, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Review). This cash back card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee. (Rates & Fees)

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (earned as a statement credit; up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
  • 2% cash back at:
    • U.S. gas stations
    • Select U.S. department stores
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • $200 statement credit for spending $2,000 in the first 6 months.
Key Features
  • Amex Offers: Earn extra cash back at a variety of merchants.
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership: Register with ShopRunner for free two-day shipping and returns at select online retailers.
  • Entertainment Access: Exclusive tickets to events, concerts, sports, and shows
  • Travel protections: Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance, Global Assist Hotline
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 15 months, then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees)

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APRSee Terms
Why We Picked It

The Discover it® Cash Back (Review) is a popular rewards credit card. It has no annual fee, and a decent intro APR for purchases and balance transfers.

The Discover card features rotating 5% cash back categories (up to $1,500, then 1%; activation required) meaning it has considerable earning potential for a card without an annual fee. And Discover’s Cashback Match makes it even better. It means you’ll get 10% cash back in those categories during your first year, and that’s a great deal.

All Discover cards allow you to see your FICO Score 8 online whenever you’d like. It’s based on your Experian credit report, the same as the HSBC card.

This has the potential to be a very rewarding card, and could pair well with the HSBC Gold Mastercard.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back in rotating categories (up to $1,500 spent per quarter, then 1%; activation required):
    • January – March: Grocery Stores, Walgreens, CVS
    • April – June: Gas Stations, Wholesale Clubs, Select Streaming Services
    • July – September: Restaurants, PayPal
    • October – December: Amazon.com, Target.com, Walmart.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • Cashback Match: Get double cash back for the first year, provided at the end of the first year
Key Features
  • Free credit score: Track your FICO Score 8 over time, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Social Security number alerts: Get notified if your SSN is found on any thousands of risky websites.
  • Inquiry and new account alerts: Alerts if any new credit inquiries or accounts show up on your Experian credit report
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0
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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APR0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, then 14.99% - 23.74% Variable
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 – 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
Why We Picked It

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® (Review) is another reward credit card with no annual fee. It has a 0% intro APR period of 15 months for purchases before the regular 14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR kicks in.

Along with solid flat-rate cash back for non-category purchases, this card provides good rewards at restaurants and drug stores, and for travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

This card also comes with some basic shopping and travel protections. It’s similar in some ways to the HSBC Gold Mastercard, but its intro period is a bit shorter and it offers some cash back.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back on:
    • Travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
    • Lyft rides (through March 2022)
    • Grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart) up to $12,000 spent in the first year
  • 3% cash back at:
    • Restaurants
    • Drugstores
  • 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • $200 bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months
Key Features
  • DoorDash membership: A free membership (DashPass) for three months, and a 50% discount for the next nine months; a DashPass provides free delivery and reduced service fees on orders over $12.
  • Shop through Chase/Chase Offers: Earn extra cash back or find discounts with the Shop through Chase and Chase Offers programs.
  • ShopRunner membership: Get free two-day shipping at a wide selection of retailers.
  • Lyft credits: Once per month you can earn a $10 Lyft credit for every five rides you take.
  • Boxed rewards: 5% cash back rewards on Boxed Wholesale orders to be used for future purchases
  • Fandango discount: $5 off every two tickets you buy
  • Shopping and travel protections: Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Roadside Dispatch, Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
  • Purchase APR: 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, then 14.99% - 23.74% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

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HSBC Gold Mastercard® Credit Card
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  • Min. credit levelFair
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APR0% for 18 months, then 12.99–20.99% Variable

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!

How does the HSBC Gold stack up to other great 0% APR cards? Best 0% APR Credit Cards of October 2021

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.

Written by

Brendan Harkness

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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