HSBC Advance Savings Account Review
HSBC Advance is the online branch of HSBC, one of the oldest, largest, and most respected financial companies in the world. HSBC Advance continues to maintain the reputation of excellence as they were rated Best Overall Online Savings Account by Kiplinger’s Finance as recently as 2007. (Here are more of the best online high yield savings accounts and high interest savings account rates).
In addition to the strong reputation, HSBC offers several other advantages that most other online banks don’t offer, namely a large base of brick and mortar banks, an extensive ATM network, and a strong international presence. You can find over 450 branches in the US, 10,000 branches worldwide, and more than 395,000 of no fee ATM machines in the US alone. The is a strong advantage of many online banks, which often don’t have such an extensive network of brick and mortar banks or ATM machines.
HSBC Advance Online Account Options
HSBC Advance offers 3 online accounts which can be linked together. Information specific to each type of fund is listed below, and general information about HSBC Advance features is below the three HSBC Advance accounts.
1. HSBC Advance high yield savings account.
The HSBC Advance high yield savings account is consistently among the highest paying online savings accounts in the US. This account features no minimum balance and no fees.
2. HSBC Advance Online payment accounts.
The HSBC Advance payment account is basically a high yield checking account, which gives you the ability to earn a high interest rate while still being able to make online payments, set up automatic or one time money transfers, use a debit card for purchases, or use your ATM card for free transactions at over 395,000 ATMs in the US. You can also receive a reimbursement of transaction fees for the first three transactions per month at non-HSBC branded ATMs.
3. HSBC Advance Online Certificate of Deposit (CD) account.
High rates, low minimums, and various lengths make HSBC Advance CDs a winner. You can set up the CD to roll over automatically or end the CD when the term expires. HSBC Advance CDs usually feature rates among the highest in the nation.
HSBC Advance features
Any bank can offer high interest rates. It’s what they offer in addition to the interest rates that makes them a better option than the competitor. HSBC Advance offers many great features and has won numerous accolades for their services, including Best Overall Online Savings Account by Kiplingers in 2006 and 2007, and “Best of Breed” by Money Magazine in 2007. Other great features include:
- Link to HSBC accounts. HSBC Advance account holders can easily link their HSBC savings account to their payment account (online checking account), CDs, and an HSBC Advance branded credit card if they have one. HSBC also offers many other financial products, including insurance.
- Link to an unlimited number of external accounts. HSBC Advance’s Bank to Bank transfer allows account holders to link to an unlimited number of external accounts. You can link your checking, savings, and brokerage account from various financial institutions. Be aware that some accounts cannot be linked to the HSBC Online Savings Account.
- ATM access and fees. HSBC Advance online savings account offers access to over 350,000 ATMs in the US where you can deposit or withdraw money free of charge. They will also reimburse you for the first 3 withdrawals per month made at ATM machines that are not part of the HSBC network.
- No minimum account balance, fees, or other charges. HSBC Advance has no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirement to worry about. Account holders can open an account with just one dollar and can do an ACH transfer to move money in and out of their account without incurring fees.
- Security. HSBC Advance offers top of the line online security features and has a virtual keyboard to input your security key to prevent theft of your login information from a keystroke logger or other malware.
- Data export. HSBC offers data exports to Quicken, Microsoft Money, and many other online money management programs (Note: Microsoft will no longer support MS Money, so you will need to find an alternate solution in the near future). You can check out Quicken, or these free online money management tools.
- International banking. HSBC Advance is a popular choice among international travelers. In addition to the 450 US Branches and 350,000 US ATMs, there are over 10,000 international branches and hundreds of thousands of international ATMs.
- HSBC EasyView. HSBC Advance offers customers free access to HSBC Easy View, a free account aggregator powered by Yodlee. With HSBC Easy View, you can use one password to view and track all your banking accounts, credit cards, online investments, mortgages, and other financial accounts and transactions. HSBC Easy View is an easy way to track your current transactions as well as your net worth.
HSBC Advance Customer Service
HSBC Advance Customer Service call line is available 24 hours a day. You can reach them by calling 1-800-975-HSBC. You can also contact customer service via e-mail through the Bank Mail interface once logged into your the online account. I haven’t had any dealing with HSBC Advance’s customer service so far, but they have been mentioned highly in several online customer service surveys.
HSBC Account Opening Process
Opening an account at HSBC Advance is similar to opening an online savings account at many places. You will need to provide the standard personal information such as your driver’s license number, SSN, date of birth, address, etc. They will also do a soft credit check to verify your identity. This will not affect your credit score.
Funding your account. Once you open your account and provide the information to link an external account, HSBC Advance will send two trial deposits to the external checking account you are using to make your initial deposit at HSBC Advance. After this you will receive your Customer ID and a password in two separate letters which will be mailed to the address you provided when you signed up for the account. You should also receive your HSBC Advance ATM card shortly after this. You will need your ATM card and the PIN number to create a Security Key, after which you will have full access to your HSBC Advance account. It’s a bit of a process, but provides more security than some other banks.
Overall thoughts on HSBC Advance Savings
HSBC Advance is a great bank with all the standard features offered by most of the top online high yield savings accounts, and a few extra. HSBC is a top choice if you need access to a brick and mortar bank, require an extensive ATM network, travel internationally, or want to track your investments and financial accounts in one place.
For more information or to sign up for an account, visit http://www.hsbc.com/.