If you’re overwhelmed with your current credit card balance or are being crushed under high APRs, it might be time to transfer your debt to a credit card that charges 0 percent interest on these transfers for a limited time. Such balance transfers can provide a way to consolidate high-interest credit card debt without the stress of paying added interest.
The key, though, is to pay off your transferred debt before your new card’s 0 percent interest rate offer expires. Most cards give you 12 to 18 months before their 0 percent offers end and they revert to their standard APR. If you haven’t paid off all your debt by this time, the amount you still owe will be hit with this higher interest rate.
The first step to getting a balance transfer card is doing your research. If you’re considering a balance transfer with HSBC here is what you should know as well as recommendations for the bank’s best balance transfer cards.
How to complete a balance transfer with an HSBC card
You can do an HSBC balance transfer online or by phone.
To apply online, click “Apply now” on the HSBC credit card you want and fill out the form. Toward the end of the application process, you’ll be asked to enter the accounts from which you’d like to transfer your balances.
HSBC transfers the full amount from each card in the order you list them, up to your initial balance transfer limit. That limit is less than your total credit in order to cover balance transfer fees and interest charges.
If you reach the limit on the initial balance transfer, HSBC will cancel the request for that account or reduce the amount of the balance transfer to match your limit.
To do a transfer from an existing card, log in to your account at www.us.hsbc.com in the top right corner and click on “My Accounts.” Choose the credit card number on the left side of the page and click “View Details.” You will go to the page for that account, where you can select “Service—Balance Transfers.”
Follow the prompts and provide the information required to begin your balance transfer, which usually includes the other account’s billing address. You can find this information on your credit card bill, but you may want to check with your issuer to ensure you have the right address for balance transfers.
Once you enter the details of your accounts, click to accept the terms and conditions and hit “submit.”
Important facts about a balance transfer to HSBC
In order to maintain a good credit score and stick to your budget, there are a few things you should remember about your HSBC balance transfer:
- Continue making payments on your other credit cards until the transfer processes.
- You cannot transfer balances to an HSBC card from another HSBC credit card or HSBC loan.
- Balance transfers carry a fee of $10 or 4 percent of the transfer, whichever is greater.
- Balance transfers must be completed in the first 60 days after opening your account.
How long does a balance transfer with HSBC take?
Once you have submitted your application to HSBC it may take anywhere from seven to 10 days to be processed. It’s important to note that HSBC requires you to take advantage of your introductory balance transfer offer within 60 days of opening your new account.
Once your request for a balance transfer has been processed and approved, you will receive a balance transfer check for the amount requested (or your credit limit if your previous balance exceeds your new credit limit).
Do balance transfers impact your credit score?
Before you jump into your HSBC balance transfer, consider how it may affect your credit score. New accounts make up 10 percent of your credit score, so your score may drop by a few points if you open a new card for a balance transfer.
The overall length of your credit history accounts for 15 percent of your FICO credit score and opening a new credit card will also lower that average. Fortunately, the longer your credit history is as a whole, the less impact a new account will have on this aspect of your credit score.
If you’re moving a balance from one card to another, you’re not reducing your overall debt.
But it’s better to have two credit cards using half their available credit rather than a single card charged to the hilt. The credit scoring agencies look at both your total credit utilization and the balance versus the credit limit on any single card.
Ultimately, if you transfer high-interest debt to a 0 percent interest credit card, you should be able to pay down your debt faster, which will increase your credit score.
Best HSBC credit cards for a balance transfer
HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card
With no annual fee and a generous 0 percent introductory APR offer for the first 18 months (variable APR of 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent after) the HSBC Gold Mastercard is a good card to consider for a balance transfer (balance transfers must be completed within the first 60 days).
While there are no rewards offered with this card, the long 0 percent APR period coupled with the potential to have an APR as low as 13.99 percent after the introductory offer ends makes this a compelling card to consider when looking to make a balance transfer.
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
Like the HSBC Gold Mastercard, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard has no annual fee and a 0 percent introductory APR that lasts for 12 months after the account is opened (12.99 percent, 16.99 percent or 22.99 percent variable thereafter).
This card has the added benefit of 3 percent cash back on all purchases up to $10,000 in the first 12 months from account opening, which could equal $300 cash back over the course of a year.
The variety of perks that come with this card make it a good consideration for a balance transfer. But remember, all HSBC cards have a $10 or 4 percent (whichever is greater) fee applied to all balance transfers and balance transfers must be completed within the first 60 days.
HSBC Advance Mastercard® credit card
If you love trying new restaurants on the weekends or going to see the newest hit blockbuster, then the HSBC Advance Mastercard may be a good balance transfer card to consider. It has no annual fee and offers an introductory 0 percent APR period for the first 12 months (variable APR of 14.99 percent to 18.99 percent after, and balance transfers must be completed in the first 60 days).
Best of all, this card has an introductory offer of 3X points on dining and select entertainment and 2X points on all other purchases up to $25,000 in the first 12 months.
Our take on HSBC balance transfers
With generous 0 percent APR offers lasting as long as 12-18 months and no annual fees, transferring higher interest debt to a new HSBC credit card may be worth it.
Just remember to use your card wisely, pay off your balance before the introductory period ends to avoid interest charges and redeem your rewards for added savings.
The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard combines a long intro APR period with generous rewards and an anniversary bonus every year, making it the best value for an HSBC balance transfer credit card.
If you need more advice on balance transfers, be sure to read the rest of our balance transfer guides.
The information about the HSBC Gold Mastercard credit card, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card and the HSBC Advance Mastercard credit card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.