HSBC Business Credit Card

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 2:26pm by Site Administrator

Getting an HSBC Business Card

Business credit cards provide several advantages over other credit and loan options, but owners of new businesses often think they have insufficient history for acceptance. This is likely true, if you are working to establish credit with only a business guarantee. In that case, it can take a year or more to build the kind of credit history and assets necessary to obtain unsecured credit. The advantages, including organized expenses for budgeting and rewards for using the card to pay necessary expenses, are generally enough for owners to risk basing the credit application on their personal history and collateral.

Regardless of how you go about obtaining a credit card, it is important to choose carefully. Lenders have different ways of assessing risk, and they always emphasize some special feature. Your task is to identify the credit card offer with the features best suited to your business. You can gain an idea of what to look for on credit offers with this summary of the HSBC MasterCard BusinessCard and its BusinessCard Rewards program.

HSBC Introductory Terms

Almost every card features an introductory period of 0% interest lasting for a set number of months. However, each credit provider handles the details differently. With HSBC the introductory APR lasts for six months. It applies to new purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances as long as these do not exceed the maximum limit. Other credit offers may limit the application of introductory APR to only new purchases or balance transfers.

Regular Terms

After the introductory APR expires, your new purchases will have a grace period of 25 days before interest accrual. The APR at HSBC is a variable rate established quarterly. Purchases are 9.99% plus the prime rate established during the last quarter. In June 2012, this totals 13.24% APR. Balance transfers and cash advances are subject to a higher interest rate set at 17.99% plus the prime rate. This is currently 21.24%.

Multiple cards may be issued for employees at no charge. The maximum credit limit is $25,000, and you can set spending limits on individual cards. Preferred clients and others with high ratings and substantial assets may receive modified terms, such as lower rates and higher limits.

Cards can be billed individually, or you may choose consolidated billing. The former option allows employees to retain their rewards, but it requires each card holder to pay the participation fee. Consolidated accounts will accrue rewards together with a single participation fee.

Basic Fee Structure

The BusinessCard has no annual fee, but there is an annual fee of $25 for participation in the rewards program. A balance transfer fee will apply at any time. This ranges from a minimum $5 to a $50 maximum assessed at 3% of the transfer. Cash advance and overdraft fees are calculated in the same manner.

Applied Penalties

No one expects to post a late payment or go into default, yet you should still understand the lender’s application of penalties. These can vary dramatically between offers. HSBC will first impose a $35 penalty for late payments. Returned payment, such as a check, will result in another $20 penalty. Your account may be subject to interest rate increases without notification, and there are no rules on how long rate changes will remain in effect.

Rewards Program

Upon the initial participation fee, the account will receive 2,500 bonus points. Thereafter a point will be earned with each dollar spent on new purchases. Each billed account is limited to earning 10,000 points per month. The expiration date for points is set at the end of the third year after earning the points. Points earned in June 2012 will not expire until December 2015.

The BusinessCard Rewards program allows set point totals to be redeemed for gift cards and certificates with a specific list of businesses, auto rental vouchers, and airline or hotel vouchers. Some businesses partnered with the program include Sears, Old Navy, ExxonMobil, Hyatt, Avis, and Office Depot. Travel redemption is unrestricted with HSBC rewards. Unlike some other rewards programs, there are no blackout dates, redemption fees, or seat limitations.

Related Benefits

Many business owners choose to seek credit cards and other financial instruments with the bank holding their business checking account. While not necessary, this can speed approval and provide better access to other business programs offered by the lender, such as HSBC’s BusinessSmart for Professionals. Similarly MasterCard may offer benefits that are not discussed in the HSBC MasterCard BusinessCard offer.

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