HSBC Gold Mastercard Review: A Great Option for Balance Transfers [2019]

Looking for a credit card that can help you complete a balance transfer or fund upcoming expenses interest-free? This might just be it.
4 minute read | 8/27/19Aug. 27, 2019

Probably the biggest perk of the HSBC Gold Mastercard is that it offers an introductory 0% APR (annual percentage rate) for the first 18 months on all purchases and balance transfers. This means you’ll have a year and a half to pay down your debts before the standard APR kicks in.

The card is also free of both annual fees and foreign transaction fees, making it an attractive choice for anyone with upcoming travel plans or expenses who can take advantage of the interest-free credit.

HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Card

HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Card

HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Card


  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months
  • Free additional user cards
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee

Who should get this card?

The HSBC Gold Mastercard requires good-to-excellent credit, but if you qualify, the benefits might be well worth it. The card is pretty forgiving on fees, with no annual or foreign transaction fees; one late-payment fee is also waived every year.

Those in need of an affordable way to complete a balance transfer or looking to fund upcoming expenses might benefit from this card the most, since the 0% introductory APR for the first 18 months offers an attractive solution for both.

Keep in mind that after 18 months, interest increases to rates of 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable. While your APR won’t be raised as a result of late payments, the fees incurred (up to $37) each time can rack up quickly after the initial one is waived.

This card also doesn’t offer a rewards program, so if you’re looking for a credit card to help you rack up points or cash back, you’d be better off with something else.

Card basics

Annual Fee $0
Intro Bonus None
Recommended Credit Score Excellent, Good
Intro APR 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months
Foreign Transaction Fee None

Top card benefits

  • Introductory APR: The 0% introductory APR for the first 18 months allows you to make purchases and complete balance transfers free of interest. While intro APR offerings are common enough, one that lasts for so long is hard to find.
  • Late fee waiver: A late fee of up to $37 is waived once every 12 months, allowing you to make one late payment free of charge before the fee kicks in.
  • No penalty APR: HSBC won’t raise your APR due to late payments. Unlike some companies that penalize cardholders for missing a due date, this card won’t increase your interest rates just because you forgot to pay on time.
  • No annual fee: There’s no annual fee, making this card a more affordable option. Some cards with similarly tempting benefits (like the extended 0% APR) will cost you, but this one is free.
  • No foreign transaction fees: Although the card doesn’t offer travel rewards, it also won’t charge you foreign transaction fees— meaning you can take it abroad stress-free. These fees can add up quickly during international trips, making this a great perk for the regular jetsetter or even the occasional business traveler.

Common questions

How do I transfer a balance to the HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Card?

Balance transfers can be completed online, by check, or over the phone. Keep in mind that balance transfers cannot exceed your credit limit on the card. A fee of either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater, will apply on each balance transfer.

It may take seven to 10 business days for the balance transfer to be finalized, during which time you should continue to make payments to your previous lender.

Does the HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Card offer any rewards?

Though this card is free to open, it won’t help you earn any points or cash back. Unfortunately, this card doesn’t offer any rewards.

What are the benefits of a Mastercard?

With this Mastercard, you’ll enjoy additional perks like travel accident insurance and additional rental car insurance with secondary coverage. You’ll also receive discounted access to certain golf courses, complementary grounds passes for PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association of America) Tournaments, and access to Mastercard’s Priceless Cities program, which offers exclusive activities and events in cities around the world.

For a full list of Mastercard benefits that come with this card, check out the benefits guide.

What credit score does the HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Card require?

The HSBC Gold Mastercard requires good-to-excellent credit. If yours is less than perfect, consider waiting to apply until you improve your credit.

Other cards to consider

Two other (and relatively similar) cards worth considering are the Chase Slate and Citi Simplicity. Both also require good-to-excellent credit and start you out with 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers — but for varied periods of time.

Although the Chase Slate offers a 0% APR for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers, the Citi Simplicity card offers 12 months of 0% APR on purchases and 21 months on balances transfers completed in the first four months.

Neither card charges annual fees, nor will they increase your APR for late payments.

Keep in mind that these cards don’t offer any sort of rewards programs and both charge foreign transaction fees of 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each purchase — so they’re probably not your most travel-friendly options.

HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Card

HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Card

HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Card

Special Offer


See how these cards compare:

Chase Slate Card
Chase Slate Card
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for first 15 months
  • $0 fee for balance transfers in first 60 days
  • Credit Journey to monitor credit score
  • No annual fee
Citi Simplicity Card
Citi Simplicity Card
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for first 21 months
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for first 12 months
  • FICO Credit Score monitoring
  • No late, penalty, or annual fees

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