The HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card bottom line
This card is right up at the top end of the market, offering 0% on balance transfers for 25 months. Transfers carry a below-average fee of 1.5%. Added to that other perks such as ongoing offers and discounts and 0% on purchases for three months, and this card is a very competitive option.
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
What I like about the HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card
There is a lot to like about the HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card. The balance transfer offer itself stands out, but there are also other little extras that help to sweeten the deal.
- 0% introductory balance transfer offer – HSBC is offering a long interest-free balance transfer period with this card. Cardholders will have 25 months at 0% interest on any balances they transfer within the first 60 days, giving them just over two years to clear their debt.
- Balance transfer fee – The card does carry a balance transfer fee, but it is below average at 1.5% (or a minimum of £5). For example, if you were to transfer a balance of £500, the charge with the HSBC Balance Transfer Card would equate to £7. With a typical balance transfer fee of around 3%, the fee would be £15. This fee applies to any transfers made within the first 60 days. It’s worth noting the fee on transfers made outside this window will be set by HSBC.
- 0% introductory period on purchases – In addition to its interest-free balance transfer offer, the HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card has 0% interest on purchases for three months. Compared with the long balance transfer introductory period this is nothing to write home about, but it is an added element to the card’s overall offer.
- Worth knowing – You can take out an additional card free of charge for your partner or family member, provided they are above 18 years of age. Be aware that you cannot transfer balances from other cards in the HSBC Group, including first direct, M&S Financial Services and John Lewis Financial Services. Added to that, you are not eligible to apply for this card is you have had an HSBC credit card in the last six months.
What could be improved?
The HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card is a stand-out offer, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas that could be improved.
- Short transfer window – While the interest-free period on your balance transfers is long, the window in which to make that transfer is relatively short. At 60 days it is at the lower end of the market, with other cards offering a period of 90 days in which to make transfers. This is not necessarily a problem, but something to be aware of.
- Short 0% introductory period for purchases – At three months, the interest-free period is short, particularly in comparison with the period offered by cards that specifically cater for purchases. There is the added danger that this period could tempt you into spending within the first few months instead of focusing on getting your balance under control.
How does the HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card offer stack up?
The HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card is a competitive option. The 0% period on balance transfers crosses over the 30-month threshold, which few other cards currently do. At 25 months, it is one of the longest interest-free periods around at the moment. Add to that a lower than average balance transfer fee of 1.5% and a 0% introductory period on purchases, and the card places itself as one of the top choices for balance transfer cards currently available.
The HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card credit score
The card requires applicants to have an annual income/pension of £8,500 or more. You must also be a UK resident, over 18 and not hold an HSBC Basic Bank Account.
How do I apply?
Applications can be made online, although if you are on the Channel Islands or Isle of Man you will need to visit your local branch. Applicants will need to provide personal details such as addresses for the past three years, date of birth and nationality, as well as information regarding their income and outgoings.
Is the HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card right for you?
If you’re looking for a balance transfer deal that will give you a long runway in which to clear your debt, then the HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card could be the right fit. The 25-month period gives you just over two years to clear your balance, and with a comparatively low transfer-fee of 1.5%, you won’t have to pay as much as with other cards for the privilege. If you’re not fussed about having a long time in which to pay off your debt, then there are other cards available that offer a decent 0% introductory period but are fee-free. Similarly, if you are looking for a card that caters for purchases as well, then there are better options available. But if it is solely a 0% period on balance transfers you are after, you would struggle to find a card that offers the same combination of a long interest-free period and relatively low transfer fee.
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