HSBC Low Rate Credit Card

My rate: 
17%
 
My annual fee: 
$90
 
Transfer: 
$5,000
 
From: 
All banks
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Offer
Card features
balance transfer
purchase rate
annual fee
Money saved
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
Apply by 30 nov 17
Enjoy 0% p.a. for 15 months on balances transferred to your new card.
A low 13.25% p.a. purchase rate.
Access to exclusive offers and privileges through the Home&Away; Privilege Program.
Add to comparison
15 months
0% p.a.
then 21.99%
with a 2% fee
13.25% p.a.
ongoing
$55
ongoing
 
saved over 15 months
Similar cards

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

Enjoy 0% p.a. for 15 months on balances transferred to your new card.
A low 13.25% p.a. purchase rate.
Access to exclusive offers and special privileges with over 27,000 selected partners in Australia and overseas with the Home&Away; Privilege Progam.
Up to 55 days on purchases interest free period which can help you stay out of debt in the future.
No extra fee for additional cardholders.
Visa payWave for faster contactless purchases.
Comes with Apple Pay.
Balance transfer fee of 2%
Cash advance rate of 21.99% p.a.

Our review

Our review of the HSBC Low Rate Credit CardReviewed by Yvonne Taylor

Low interest rate credit cards, with a couple of exceptions, are not known for showering cardholders with a heap of extra benefits. If you are lucky you might get a fairly low annual fee to accompany your low interest rate, but not much else. So the HSBC Low Rate Credit Card is a welcome addition to this sector of the market. The low interest rate is combined with not only a low annual fee but also a long zero-interest balance transfer offer and the type of exclusive privileges and discounts program normally associated with much more expensive cards.

Ongoing 13.25% p.a. interest rate is one of the lowest

If you’re looking for a low rate card, it’s possibly because you expect that there will be times when you will be unable to clear your account balance when it is due for payment. This means that you will end up paying interest for at least two months, sometimes for much longer. At 13.25% p.a., the low purchase interest rate on this card beats anything on offer from the Big Four banks.

The interest cost difference between a 20% p.a. card and a 13.25% p.a. card is obvious, but what about the savings to be made when comparing a 13.25% p.a. card with a 13.49% p.a. card from one of the Big Four? Is the difference enough to matter?

For a $5,000 debt with 3% minimum monthly repayments, you would pay $597 in interest on a 13.25% p.a. card over a period of 12 months, but a higher amount of $608 on a 13.49% p.a. card. It may not seem like a significant saving – just $11 – but the longer your debt continued, the more you would save with the HSBC card.

Low $55 p.a. annual fee

There’s not much point in having a low interest rate on your card if you are going to pay for it in the form of a high annual fee. Some low interest rate cards charge an annual fee as high as $100. But not this one. You’ll pay just $55 p.a. per year for the advantage of the low interest rate plus other benefits.

15 months 0% p.a. interest balance transfer

If you already have a credit card debt you’re trying hard to repay, the HSBC Low Rate Credit Card can help you with your existing problem as well. Bring your balance across to your new card, and see your monthly repayments work really hard at reducing your debt, because for 15 months they’re not being reduced to insignificance by the effect of interest charges.

Make just the 3% minimum monthly repayments on a $5,000 balance transfer, and after 15 months you will owe only $3,166. That’s compared with the $4,057 you would still owe if you left it in a 20% p.a. credit card.

Upfront fee and high revert rate

Many cards charge an upfront fee for making a balance transfer, and this one is no exception. The 2% balance transfer fee would amount to $100 on a $5,000 debt, and it is in fact the equivalent of paying about 1.6% p.a. in interest over 15 months, rather than 0% p.a..

And don’t be deluded into thinking that you will pay only 13.25% p.a. in interest on any amount of the transferred balance that you have been unable to clear after 15 months. The revert interest rate is the much higher cash advance rate of 21.99% p.a.

Up to 55 days on purchases

Got your finances in order, so that you don’t need to take up the balance transfer option? Then you can enjoy Up to 55 days on purchases and bill payments, because even a low credit card rate like 13.25% p.a. is best avoided if possible. If you decline the balance transfer option and pay off your purchase balance whenever it becomes due, you need never pay any interest.

HSBC home&Away Privilege Program

Who says low-rate, low-fee cards have to be ‘no frills’ as well? Not HSBC. While you certainly won’t get any rewards points or complimentary insurance with this card, what you will get is a range of discounts and benefits you can take advantage of both in Australia and overseas.

At the time of writing, you could save up to 35% on a Sydney Multi Attraction Combo Pass (Sydney Zoo, Sydney Aquarium and Madame Tussauds in Darling Harbour, plus the Sydney Tower Eye and the Sea Life Sanctuary at Manly). You could also get a 50% reduction on your first two deliveries of ready-to-prepare meal ingredients from Hello Fresh, enjoy a free dessert with your meal at the Mercure Sydney Four Elements restaurant or receive a 10% discount on perfume and cosmetics from Fresh Fragrances.

For overseas travellers there is a long list of travel, accommodation, shopping and leisure discounts.

Pay less, get more

Shopping around for the lowest credit card interest rate makes sound financial sense if you think that there will ever be a time when you have an overdue balance on your card. But that doesn’t mean that you have to choose the most basic, stripped-back card on the market. HSBC clearly appreciates its interest-paying customers, and this is the card that will give them some of the privileges normally reserved for prestige cards.

The basics

About this card

Card setup
Single
Card tier
Standard
Card type
Visa
Card use
Personal
Credit rating
Good
Gambling transactions allowed
No
Joint application
No
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
$20,000
Minimum income for pensioners
Same as standard
Pensioners
Rewards program
None
Temporary residents
Yes

Cardholders

Additional cardholders
Unlimited
Additional card fee
$0 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
$1000
Maximum credit limit
$60,000

Repayments

Interest charged from
Purchase date
Interest free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Minimum repayment
3%

Balance transfers

The offer

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.15 months2%95% of credit limit21.99% p.a.

Balance transfers to this card

Balance transfer earns rewards
No
Balance transfer fee payment due
First statement
Balance transfer from personal loan
No
Balance transfer processing time
10 - 14 days
Interest free days with unpaid balance
0 days
Maximum balance transfer
95% of credit limit
Available to existing customers
No

Banks you can't balance transfer from

You can't balance transfer to the HSBC Low Rate Credit Card at the promotional balance transfer rate from:

  • HSBC

Rates & fees

Promotional interest rates

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.15 months2%95% of credit limit 21.99% p.a.
PurchasesN/AN/AN/AN/A N/A

Ongoing interest rates

MonthlyAnnually
Cash advances 1.83% 21.99% p.a.
Purchases 1.10% 13.25% p.a.

Fees

Annual fee
$55 p.a.
Cash advance fee
3%
Dishonour fee
$30
Duplicate statement fee
$8
Foreign exchange fee
3%
Late payment fee
$30
Over limit fee
$30
Overseas ATM balance fee
$0
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
$0
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
$200
Transaction verification fee
$10

Minimum criteria for this card

What you need before applying

Be over 18 years old
You are a resident or citizen of Australia
Earn a regular income of more than $20,000 per year
Have a good credit history
You have your personal details ready to complete the online application
Have not applied for multiple credit cards recently
Joint applications are not allowed
Temporary residents are eligible
Age Pension, Disability Pension, Overseas Pension, Veteran's Pension and Widower's Pension are acceptable.
Carer's Allowance, Child Support Payments, Family Tax Benefits and Parenting Payments and Foster Care Allowance are acceptable.
Austudy and Youth Allowance are not acceptable.
Disclaimer: The minimum criteria pointers are intended only to be a guide. Your application may still be rejected by the bank even if you can answer 'Yes' to all the minimum criteria. The final decision regarding your application is up to the bank.

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