Name of Card: HSBC Gold Mastercard®
Best for: If you have high credit card debt that continues to grow every month with added interest. This card is great for consumers who need a balance transfer to pay down debt and avoid more interest charges.
APR: 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from when you open your account. After that, there’s a variable APR, depending on your creditworthiness.
Rewards: Travel benefits like MasterAssist and Master RoadAssist. These can give you pre-trip planning help, assistance with lost luggage, and roadside assistance in case your car breaks down while traveling inside the U.S. You’ll also get $1 million travel accident insurance.
There are also shopping benefits. Items purchased with the card have the opportunity to get an extended warranty, which doubles your original warranty up to a year. Price protection will refund the difference of a purchase if you see the same item listed for less within 60 days of your purchase.
Other perks: Little fees, including no annual fee, foreign transaction fees, and no penalty fee for additional cards when you add authorized users. You’re also not liable for any unauthorized purchases, which means that in the event of fraud, you don’t have to pay for someone else’s scam.
There’s no late payment fee, but with a caveat: the late payment fee is waived once every 12 months. So you’re given a break to be late only once a year. Also, if you do pay late, your APR won’t go up.
Annual fee: $0
Other fees: While you get a late payment waiver once a year, there’s still a $37 charge for late payments after that. After the introductory offer, there are transaction fees for balance transfers: $10 or 4%, whichever is greater, will apply to each balance transfer. The same fees apply to a cash advance or overdraft transaction.
Even though there’s an introductory 0% APR, you could lose the benefit if you make payments more than 60 days late.
Bonus: 0% introductory APR for 18 months.
How this card might bring joy to your wallet: If you’re looking to get rid of high-interest credit card debt, moving your balances over to a 0% APR credit card could be a big benefit. High credit card debt, specifically those with interest that continues to add up, can crush your chances of paying off debt. With a 0% introductory APR, you have the chance to pay down debt, avoid getting charged with more interest, and pay off your debt sooner.
The minimal fees are also enticing. Whether you’re rebuilding your credit or just starting out, it’s good to make sure you don’t pay more than necessary. A late payment waiver can help you stay on track in case you forget to make a payment.
There are also travel and shopping perks that add extra protection to your purchases. Doubling your original warranty up to a year gives you more value on what you buy.
How this card might not bring joy to your wallet: While the low fees and introductory APR rate are great benefits, the card doesn’t offer any other major rewards. Without any cash back or travel points to rack up, this card is limited in benefits.
It’s best for paying off high credit card debt without accumulating more interest. After the introductory period, if you haven’t paid off your balance, you could face a high APR. Other than that, the card doesn’t have many enticing benefits.