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Picking a credit card that’s right for you can be tricky: companies and cards offer so many different incentives and rewards, it can be hard to keep them all straight and decipher which is the best for you. This is especially true if you often travel abroad and face the possibility of foreign transaction fees. And if you were looking for no fees and cash back, forget about it.
Until now, that is.
HSBC Bank is now offering two credit cards that have no fees, which makes them especially useful for traveling worldwide. Up until recently, you had to bank with HSBC in order to apply for one of their credit cards, but these new cards are available to anyone who qualifies. HSBC also has many international locations, so using your HSBC card and contacting customer service abroad is easy.
Here’s why we think the HSBC Gold Mastercard and the HSBC Cash Rewards cards are ideal for frequent travelers.
Why We Love It: This card has one of the lowest APRs on the market: variable 11.99% to 19.99% APR after an 18-month introductory offer of 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers. This is a useful option if you’re trying to consolidate or pay off credit card debt.
The HSBC Gold Mastercard also offers a more flexible late fee policy than most. If you’re ever late making a payment, you have the option of waiving the late fee once a year. As if that weren’t enough, there is also no penalty APR for late payments—something almost unheard of in the credit card industry. On top of that, this card has no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee. It also comes with purchase, price, and return protection, as well as travel protection for cardholders and their families.
The main drawback to this card is that it does not have a rewards program. If rewards are a must-have for your credit cards, you will want to look elsewhere.
Why We Love It: Like the HSBC Gold Mastercard, the Cash Rewards Mastercard has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Unlike the Gold, you get cash back with the Cash Rewards card—which is rare for a card that has no fees.
Cardholders receive 2% cash back on all purchases for the first six months that the account is open and 1.5% cash back on purchases after that. While 1.5% may not seem like much, it’s a higher rate of return than the usual 1% that cards with no annual fees usually offer. The Cash Rewards card offers a 10% anniversary loyalty bonus on all rewards that you earn for the year and has a special offer when you sign up: you can earn $150 cash back after spending $500 within the first three months. Rewards can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, and gift cards. There is an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 15 months that the account is open. The purchase APR is 13.99% to 23.99%, which is slightly higher than the Gold card but still competitive.
Like the HSBC Gold Mastercard, the Cash Rewards card comes with travel, purchase, price, and return protection for cardholders. It does have a higher interest rate, and the introductory 0% APR period isn’t as long, but if you’re more focused on being part of a rewards program, then this may be the card for you.
Who Are These Cards For?
These cards are good picks for people who often travel and shop overseas. And with their special 0% introductory offers on balance transfers, they are also both helpful if you’re looking to pay off card debt—although the HSBC Gold Mastercard has a longer introductory period.
Finally, if you want basic credit cards with straightforward benefits, these cards are definitely a good option, especially since there are no spending categories to keep track of for the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard.
If you’re looking for a broader rewards base, you may want to consider something else, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, although this card does charge an annual fee. To qualify for one of these cards, you need to have good to excellent credit. You can check your credit score for free at Credit.com.
At publishing time, the HSBC Gold Mastercard, HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard, and Chase Sapphire Preferred are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.