HSBC Credit Card – A Card of a Different Name

When you seek a credit card from HSBC you are directed to credit card websites which carry different labels. It is not possible to simply find a HSBC application, fill it out and wait for a reply.

HSBC is a huge financial institution that offers services in North America, Europe and Asia. The bank has division that specialize in mortgages, insurance and personal investments.

They offer financial planning, tax planning services and credit cards. The numerous branches have services that are designed to fit the country in which they are offered.

In the United States, the majority of accounts do not carry the HSBC logo. One of the growing sectors of this huge bank is backing what are known as sub-prime credit card lenders.

Sub-Prime Cards

Sub-prime credit cards are issued to consumers who have problems with their credit file. Late payments, loss of income, medical emergency or other financial stress can quickly damage your all important credit rating.

Once that happens, it can be impossible for you to qualify for a new credit card from a major bank. You will find offers from smaller banks but often the cards are useless as they do not carry a major MasterCard or Visa logo and their use is restricted.

Accounts offered by HSBC through smaller sub-prime lenders have the financial logo of MasterCard that we all recognize as a reputable name.

APR and fees on these bad credit cards are higher while the spending limit is usually quite low. The low spending limit decreases the risk to the small bank and to HSBC while the higher interest and fees make these accounts profitable.

What you will not find are applications or details about the account. This is due to the private nature of the HSBC which require you to be a participating member in one or more of the services offered by this huge bank in order to apply for their labeled credit card.


The HSBC Premier World MasterCard requires a premier relationship between the card holder and bank. To qualify for this card, you need to open a Premier checking account and maintain a balance of $100,000 of combined U.S. personal and investment deposits.

Credit approval is required. It’s difficult to imagine maintaining a balance of $100,000 in fund with a bank and finding your credit is not good enough for one of the bank’s credit applications. However, it can happen and like all credit lenders, HSBC does rely somewhat on your credit rating.

If the combined balance of your personal deposits to the checking account and your investments falls below $100,000, HSBC will charge a monthly maintenance fee of $50 to your credit card.

You might wonder why anyone would have an HSBC card when the qualifiers are so high. For those with high incomes and cash reserves, the current APR of 9.99% makes carrying a credit card from this issuer a wise financial move.

When you have money, you have leverage. Consumers with bad credit or no credit may be able to obtain credit cards if they have high income or a significant amount of money in their bank accounts.

Most often, if you have bad credit it’s due to lack of funds which led to an inability to pay your debts or to pay them on time.

You will be applying for one of the sub-prime credit cards that are backed financially by HSBC but will not carry the logo or the favorable terms.

Other terms for the account are much the same as for standard card offers. There is a 3% balance transfer fee, the APR is a variable rate of 9.99% for purchase but cash advances have an APR of 21.99%. If you fail to make one monthly payment, your account may be hit with a penalty APR of 27.24%.

It is what isn’t included in an HSBC account contract that is most important. There is no annual fee, no over credit limit fee, no overdraft fee and no foreign transaction fee.

There is no set spending limit for the HSBC card but you are assigning what is referred to as a “revolving credit line”. Charges that exceed that line will be evaluated individually based on your credit score and on your relationship history with HSBC bank.

Customer service is excellent, of course. When you call the bank with a problem or question about your HSBC card, the bank representative is dealing with a consumer who has more than $100,000 in funds invested in the bank.

Your customer service questions are treated with the same level of professionalism and concern as questions about your investments.


If you qualify to obtain a card from HSBC, there is no disadvantage to having this card in your wallet. The low interest rate and favorable terms make it an excellent choice for a credit card you use frequently.

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This is truly a Premier credit card. However, unless you have significant financial resources, this is not a card you will make application for. The application is not available to anyone who does not have a Premier relationship with HSBC bank.

There are only a few credit cards issued that require a stellar level of financial resources simply to make an application – the account from HSBC is one of those prime credit cards.