Thursday, April 7th, 2011
I recently got myself a HSBC Amanah Platinum Visa and was attracted to it for 3 things:
- 1.0% cash back on overseas retail spending
- 10% discount at Starbucks (yes I know I know….wattudu…I like my fancy coffee)
- Balance transfer interest free for 6 months
Balance Transfer Interest Free 0% for 6 months….WITH STRINGS
I got a phone call from HSBC that offered 0% for 6 months. Interestingly, there is no mention of this 0% for 6 months plan. On their website it states HSBC Amanah Balance Transfer Plan from as low as 6.99% for 12 months.
Back to the phone call, I was told simply that as long as I paid within 6 months, I wouldn’t be charged interest so I thought heck, why not and transferred my credit card balances from my other bank’s credit cards. No documents were signed and everything was done over the phone just through a verbal confirmation.
Now I have been continuing to use the card so I have incurred some charges on top of this balance transfer. I wanted to settle these charges but not the balance transfer since I had still quite a long way to go to settle it. I was told that I couldn’t do so and that I had to settle the balance transfer amount first BEFORE I could settle the other charges.This defeats the whole point of having an interest free balance transfer unless I was not supposed to use the card for 6 months! I told this to the customer representative who laughed when I explained to her the absurdity of the situation (she was otherwise very helpful).
Pretty sure I wasn’t imagining it and sure enough I found this this blog post:
HSBC 0% 6 Months Balance Transfer
Some of you might have heard or received calls from HSBC offering 0% Balance Transfer for 6 months. Well, a forum member at Low Yat did report that he was going to do BT with HSBC until he found out that he may face some issues since he got installment plans with them. So when HSBC called me to offer the BT Plan I took the opportunity to ask about it. She explained that HSBC have some kind of hierarchy when you make payment and told me not to worry as I don’t have outstanding balance or any installment plan with them. The thing is she said not to worry, why should I worry in the first place, and that got me worried about HSBC Balance Transfer. Anyway I don’t understand how the payment hierarchy works and not interested to know about it anyway since I am very happy with CIMB BT. But if you want to do Balance Transfer with HSBC, my advise to you is ask them about this payment hierarchy and if you understand then I guess ok for you to do BT with them. But if you don’t understand like me, better stay away from it to avoid unnecessary headache.
No mention of this ‘payment hierarchy’ was made to me when I signed up over the phone!
1.0% Cash Back for Overseas Retail Spending does not cover the INTARWEBZ
I thought I was being smart as well by using this card to spend on my server bills for BolehVPN but realized internet transactions were NOT considered overseas retail spending. Not a deal breaker but something to take note of.
So for now I’ll just enjoy my 10% discount at Starbucks