The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card offers a generous introductory offer of 0 percent APR for the first 18 months on all purchases and balance transfers. This allows you to pay down your debt more quickly and with no additional interest money out of your pocket. It's the very essence of a balance transfer credit card.
After the introductory period, an ongoing APR of 12.24%, 16.24% or 20.24% variable kicks in, so pay down as much of your balance as possible before you are charged an APR after 18 months.
In addition to the generous introductory period, the card doesn't charge an annual fee. It also provides no penalty APR and waives late fees, which means you won't get whacked if you miss a payment.
The card's biggest perk is 18 months with no APR. You can pay down your debt and make purchases without worrying about finance charges.
Think about that – you can have a whole year-and-a-half without any finance charges. You can transfer a balance from a high-APR card or you can make purchases directly on your new HSBC card and not pay a dime in finance charges for the first 18 months.
The card also offers no foreign transaction fee, which means you can use the card internationally without getting hit with additional fees that could be anywhere from 3-5 percent with other cards.
The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card waives the late fee when you miss your first payment or if you miss a payment after 12 consecutive months of paying on time. There's a $37 late fee otherwise. The card also won't impose a penalty APR if you miss payments.
An important note – Please remember that although these "no-late-fee" perks are nice to have, you still want to make regular payments. If you miss payments, you won't pay down your debt as quickly, and isn't that the whole point of a 0 percent APR offer credit card? Plus, credit bureaus are notified of late payments, so your credit score could still be affected even if you don't have to pay late fees or a penalty APR.
The card also provides fraud protection, extended warranties up to an additional year and coverage on most purchases up to $1,000 against accidental damage or theft for 90 days after the purchase. Plus, the card's price protection will refund the difference if you make a purchase and see it later advertised for less within 60 days of your purchase.
The card offers 18 months with a 0 percent APR, but it does charge a balance transfer fee of either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater. That means you'll benefit from not paying interest after you make the transfer, but you do need to pay that balance transfer fee. A 4 percent fee means that you would pay $200 on a $5,000 balance transfer. That's still a substantial savings if you're currently paying sky-high interest on a balance you won't be able to pay off for months and months to come.
The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card also doesn't have a rewards program. There are cards that offer both a 0 percent APR intro period as well as the added benefit of a cash-back program. Keep reading for a couple of card comparisons.
Chase Slate® offers a shorter introductory APR than the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card, BUT offers an introductory balance transfer fee waiver, which you don't get with the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card.
Chase Slate®'s introductory 0 percent APR is 15 months (then, 16.24% - 24.99% Variable); however, new cardholders can transfer balances to Chase Slate® for the first 60 days without incurring a balance transfer fee. Those savings could add up if you are transferring a high balance from another card. After the first 60 days, balance transfers are assessed a fee of $5 or 5 percent of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Neither card charges an annual fee, and neither imposes a penalty APR if you miss a payment. Note that Chase Slate® does charge a 3 percent foreign transaction fee, which makes it not ideal for international travelers.
The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is matched with the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card in the introductory 0 percent APR department. The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever offers 18 months with a 0 percent APR on both purchases and balance transfers (then, 15.24% - 25.24%* (Variable)).
Much like the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever charges a balance transfer fee. However, Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever's $5 or 3 percent fee, whichever is more, is slightly better than HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card's $10 or 4 percent fee.
Neither card charges an annual fee, nor do they offer rewards programs.
Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer's introductory 0 percent APR period for balance transfers is 18 months (then, 12.24% - 24.24% Variable) just like with the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card'; however, you only have six months of 0 percent APR on purchases with the Discover card. The balance transfer fee is slightly less with the Discover card at 3% of each transfer made.
The big difference is that the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer card also offers a cash-back rewards program. Cardholders earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 spent on purchases in bonus categories that chnage each quarter (cardholders must activate quarterly to earn the bonus). For 2018 the bonus categories are: January-March 2018: gas stations and wholesale clubs; April-June 2018: grocery stores; July-September 2018: Restaurants; October-December: Amazon.com and wholesale clubs.
New Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer will also have all the cash back earned during the first year MATCHED by Discover. That means that if you earn $200 in cash back during your first year as a cardholder, that will become $400 cash back after your first year thanks to the match.
Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer does not charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fees.
The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card is made for someone looking to transfer a balance from a high-APR credit card and paying down debt without worrying about finance charges. This card gives you a year-and-a-half without an APR, which can help you chop down your debt quickly. The card also doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee, so it's ideal for an international traveler.