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Last updated on Feb 24, 2020

HSBC Gold Mastercard Review

No-frills travel credit card with a generous introductory balance transfer offer ​
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HSBC Gold Mastercard

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 0% introductory APR for 18 months
  • Travel and rental car insurance
  • Access to VIP travel services
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How We Reviewed HSBC Gold Mastercard

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4 card compared

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7 features evaluated

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20 hours researched

If you’re looking for a no-frills credit card that gives you peace of mind while traveling with low fees, insurance coverage, and access to top-of-the-line services, the HSBC Gold Mastercard may be for you. This card doesn’t offer the rewards points system that you might be used to seeing with other travel credit cards. However, what it lacks in a rewards program, it makes up for with robust insurance coverage and services for frequent worldwide travelers. You’ll also enjoy added security through ID theft protection no matter where you are in the world with this card.

This card offers a lengthy 18-month introductory 0% APR period on balance transfers and purchases, which is helpful if you’re hoping to pay down other debt. The balance transfer fee is 4%, higher than some other cards like Capital One’s Venture Card, but you may still save money over the 18 months by not having to pay interest on the balance.

HSBC Gold Mastercard Overview

  • Rewards Rate: N/A
  • Sign-up Bonus: N/A
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 14.49%-24.49% variable (0% for the first 18 months)
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 4%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 0%
Pros
Cons
  • 0% introductory APR: zero interest on purchases or balance transfers for the first 18 months
  • No foreign transaction fees: use your card normally while traveling abroad
  • Late payment forgiveness: late payment fees are waived up to once per year with no raised APR
  • No rewards scheme: you won’t earn points based on how much you spend
  • High balance transfer fee: pay a 4% fee before you can take advantage of the 0% intro APR on balance transfers

Who Should Get HSBC Gold Mastercard?

Best for: Frequent travelers who want extra insurance coverage and access to VIP benefits but don’t care about earning redeemable rewards, or those hoping to pay down other credit card debt.

Not for: Credit card rewards aficionados who like to use points to earn cash back or book travel.

Main Benefits

No foreign transaction fees

When you use your card to make purchases abroad, you won’t be charged any additional fees, which means you can use your HSBC Gold Mastercard typically anywhere in the world.

Travel accident insurance

Receive up to $1 million in coverage if you or your family members are injured while traveling.

MasterRental coverage

Your card comes with insurance coverage against theft or damage to most rental vehicles.

Master airport concierge

Receive a 15% discount on Mastercard’s VIP airport meet and greet service, which includes an escort to and from your gate and expedited customs and security at 450 airports worldwide.

Possible Drawbacks

Limited rewards structure

Although the HSBC Gold Mastercard has some great benefits, you won’t earn any points or rewards as you spend, and therefore won’t be able to earn cash back or extra travel perks.

No travel partners

Numerous frequent travelers choose a credit card that partners with their preferred airline or hotel’s loyalty card. The HSBC Gold Mastercard doesn’t have any travel partners, so you won’t benefit from these types of rewards.

The Competition

HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card Amex EveryDay® Credit Card Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card Discover it® Balance Transfer
Rewards Rate N/A 2 points per dollar at supermarkets; 1 point on all other purchases N/A 5% cash back on rotating quarterly purchases; 1% cash back on all other purchases
Sign-up Bonus N/A 10,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months N/A Double your cash back at the end of the first year
Annual Fee $0 $0 $0 $0
APR 14.49-24.49% variable (0% for first 18 months) 14.49-25.49% variable (0% tor first 15 months) 15.24-25.24% variable (0% for first 12 months) 13.49-24.49% variable (0% the first 6 months)

*All information accurate as of Feb. 8, 2020.

HSBC Gold Mastercard Compared to American Express Everyday Credit Card

HSBC Gold Mastercard and American Express Everyday Credit Card are similar in many ways; both have $0 annual fees and nearly identical APRs. However, HSBC Gold Mastercard offers a better introductory 0% APR period of 18 months, which is three months longer than that of its competitor.

The one thing you’ll get with the American Express Everyday Credit Card that HSBC Gold Mastercard doesn’t offer is rewards points. American Express cardholders will earn two points for every dollar spent at supermarkets and one point per dollar on all other purchases. HSBC doesn’t currently have any type of rewards scheme for its Gold Mastercard with the benefits more tailored towards providing insurance and services for frequent travelers.

The Bottom Line

The HSBC Gold Mastercard isn’t for those who expect cash back rewards from their travel credit card. However, you may find even better ways to save by consolidating existing credit card debt and enjoying an extended zero-interest period on balance transfers. If you’re currently paying sky-high interest on other balances, it’s worth doing the math to see how much this card could help you save.

About the Authors

Lisa Melillo is a personal finance writer for Reviews.com. Over the past seven years, she’s covered insurance, travel, and home-related topics for a variety of online publications and businesses.