HSBC is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected financial companies in the world. Their banking offers, including HSBC Direct and HSBC Advance continue to maintain the reputation of excellence as they have won numerous awards. (Here are more of the best online high yield savings accounts and high interest CD 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 230 branches in the US, 3,800 branches worldwide, and more than 39,000 no-fee ATM machines in the US alone. This a strong advantage over many online banks, which often don’t have such an extensive network of brick and mortar banks or ATM machines.
Let’s take an in-depth review of HSBC Bank to see an overview of their products and services, the current HSBC sign up offer, how HSBC compares to other banks, and whether or not HSBC Bank is right for you.
HSBC Review - Checking and Savings Accounts
- Products & Services
- Interest Rates
- Fees & Charges
- Website / App
- Customer Service
HSBC is one of the world’s largest banks, with branches over 3,80 branches in more than 60 countries. HSBC also allows customers to open accounts in multiple currencies, making this a great option for the international traveler. HSBC Direct features some of the highest interest rates in the nation. HSBC also offers a wide range of products and services, including accounts for individuals, small business owners, and large corporations. HSBC should be on your list if you frequently do international travel or live in more than one country, as they make it easy to manage and access your money in multiple locations and currencies.
HSBC Company History
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) was created in 1865 to facilitate trade between Europe and Asia. They were a local bank with goals of international expansion. Currently, they have over 38 million customers, and they work in 67 countries and territories.
Through the years, HSBC has grown and expanded across the world, through a combination of opening new branches and merging with or acquiring other banks. In 1980, HSBC purchased Marine Midland Bank in the US, which continued to their growth. In 1992, they moved their headquarters to London.
HSBC has experienced a lot of changes in their more than 150 years as a bank. But they still continue to offer dozens of financial products to their customers and now they are one of the most popular banking options, especially for those who frequently travel between countries.
HSBC Bank Features
|Banking Account Types||Checking, Savings, CDs, Credit Cards, International Banking|
|Other Account Types||Mortgages, Lines of Credit, Investing, Insurance, Business Accounts|
|Minimum Required Deposit to Open Account||Checking – $0|
Savings – $1
CDs – $1,000
|Number of Branches||230 in US|
3,800+ worldwide (over 60 countries)
|ATM Network Size||Extensive network; HSBC ATM Locator|
|ATM Reimbursements||Varies by Account|
|Remote Deposit Availability||Yes|
|App Availability||iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, BlackBerry® devices|
|Person to Person Money Transfers||N/A|
|Money Transfers||ACH, Wire Transfers|
Google Pay™, Apple Pay™, Samsung Pay™
|Customer Service Types||Phone, Email, Social Media (general account questions only)|
|Customer Service Hours||7am – 12 Midnight ET, 7 days a week|
|Member FDIC||FDIC Certificate #57890|
|Routing Number / ABA Number||#021001088|
|Current Promotions||Visit bank website for current promotions.|
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HSBC Bank Online Checking and Savings Accounts
HSBC is a full service bank that offers a variety of financial products and services, including checking, savings, debit and credit cards, CDs, mortgages and home equity lines of credit, investment products and services, and even some types of insurance. HSBC also offers business accounts, which are available for small businesses and scale up to banking for large, multi-national corporations. Coupled with their international presence, you can use HSBC for just about any banking need.
What many people don’t know, is that HSBC also offers an online only savings account, HSBC Direct, which offers some of the highest interest rates in the US. This account is separate from the main HSBC website. But you can link accounts if you wish.
HSBC also offers a variety of other checking and savings accounts that will meet most customers banking needs. Let’s dive in and take a look at the different checking and savings account offers, starting with HSBC Direct, which offers the high interest rates.
HSBC Direct Online Savings Account
HSBC Direct is an online only savings account that offers interest rates that are among the highest in the US. This is an online savings account only, and it does not come with an ATM or debit card. So all of your banking through HSBC Direct will need to be accomplished online or with the HSBC mobile app.
That isn’t necessarily a deal breaker though, as long as you use the account as intended – only as a high interest savings account. In fact, it’s high interest rates make this account ideal for keeping your long term savings, emergency fund, or sinking funds.
Alternatively, you can also open an HSBC Advance or HSBC Premier checking account (more info below), link it to your HSBC Direct account, and manage your checking and savings in tandem to better take advantage of the high interest rates at HSBC Direct, and the full banking services through the other HSBC banking services. In fact, HSBC makes it easy to manage banking through their extensive ATM network.
HSBC Direct Benefits:
- High interest rates (currently among the highest in the nation)
- No monthly fees
- $1 minimum to open an account
- Mobile check deposit
- Online money management tools
HSBC Direct Disadvantages:
- Online only
- No ATM or Debit Card
Overall, the HSBC Direct is a great online savings account, and can meet most banking needs, especially when paired with the HSBC Advance or HSBC Premier Checking accounts.
To open an HSBC Direct account, you need the following:
- You must be 18 years of age and have a Social Security Number
- Current U.S. residential address and a U.S. residential address for the past three years
- Valid U.S. ID (driver’s license, non-driver identification card, learner permit), passport or Permanent Residential Card/Green Card
- Account information for funding your new account (this will be your current online checking account info, to include routing and account number).
HSBC Checking Account Options
HSBC Bank offers several difference checking accounts. These are found on the main bank website, and can be managed at a bank branch, through an ATM, online, or via the HSBC mobile app. These accounts can also be linked to other HSBC accounts, including the various HSBC savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages and loans, investment accounts, and even the HSBC Direct account if you have one.
The HSBC Checking accounts are the Basic Checking, Choice Checking, Advance Checking, and Premier Checking.
The most popular options are HSBC Advance and HSBC Premier, both of which are interest bearing checking accounts when you maintain a minimum account balance.
HSBC Advance Online Checking Account
The HSBC Advance checking account gives you the ability to earn interest on your account balance when you maintain the required minimum, 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 thousands of ATMs in the US. You can also receive a reimbursement of transaction fees for the first four transactions per month at non-HSBC branded ATMs. There is no minimum required deposit to open an HSBC checking account.
HSBC Advance Features:
- HSBC Advance Debit Mastercard® card
- Access to HSBC ATMs worldwide, most with no withdrawal fees
- Free select style HSBC Advance checks
- International services plus Global View and Global Transfers (subject to availability; fees may apply)
- Optional overdraft protection
- Personal Internet Banking and Mobile Banking
Monthly fees (and how to get them waived). There is a $25 monthly maintenance fee, which is waived if minimum balance requirements are met. The minimum balance requirement is a combined $10,000 balance across personal accounts and HSB investments, or a $5,000 combined balance if you have a direct deposit set up each month. Business owners can also count their US dollar commercial balances to qualify for the HSBD Advance account.
HSBC Premier Online Checking Account
The HSBC Premier Checking Account offers the same features as the HSBC Advance account, with the addition of professional support with a Relationship Manager. This account is geared more toward high net worth individuals, as it requires a higher combined balance to avoid the monthly fees.
How to qualify for an HSBC Premier relationship: Customers need to maintain balances of $100,000 in combined U.S. Dollar personal deposit accounts and investment balances. Like the HSBC Advance Checking account, Premier members who have an HSBC Business account may apply qualifying HSBC U.S. Dollar commercial balances to qualify for a personal Premier relationship. There is a $50 monthly maintenance fee if minimum balance requirements are not maintained.
Other HSBC Banking Features
HSBC Bank is a full service bank with offers that go well beyond the standard checking and savings accounts. You will also find Certificates of Deposit, credit cards, debit cards, international banking in various currencies, mortgages and HELOCs, personal lines of credit, investment services, and insurance products.
HSBC Bank Certificates of Deposit
High rates, low minimums, and various lengths make HSBC 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. The minimum required deposit to open an HSBC savings account is $1,000.00.
HSBC Investment Services
HSBC offers several types of investment products and services, including the following:
- Asset Allocation Solutions
- Fixed Income products
- Equities and ETFs
- Structured Products
- Mutual Funds
- Education Savings
- Retirement solutions, such as Annuities and IRAs
HSBC Insurance Products
HSBC Offers life insurance and long term care coverage. Life insurance options include Term life, Whole life, Variable life, and Universal life. Long Term Care coverage has several options. The best way to learn more is to visit the HSBC website, or schedule a meeting with an insurance specialist at an HSBC branch.
HSBC Business Banking
This only applies to you if you have a business. But it is an important consideration for the hundreds of thousands of small business owners in the US. As a small business owner myself, I prefer to bank in a location where I can handle both business and personal banking needs in one location.
HSBC certainly qualifies in this regard, and their business accounts can handle everything from a small one-person business, up through a major corporation. Please inquire with HSBC regarding the necessary paperwork needed to open a business banking account.
HSBC Banking 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 offers many great features and has won numerous accolades for their services. Other great features include:
- Link to HSBC accounts. HSBC account holders can easily link their HSBC savings account to their payment account (online checking account), CDs, and an HSBC 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’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.
- ATM access and fees. HSBC online savings account offers access to over thousands of ATMs where you can deposit or withdraw money free of charge. Some accounts will also reimburse you for the first 4 withdrawals per month made at ATM machines that are not part of the HSBC network.
- Security. HSBC offers top of the line online security features. In addition to offering high-level encryption, HSBC also offers customers the option to request a physical security device to generate a PIN when logging in, or the ability to use a generated PIN via the mobile app when logging in.
- Data export. HSBC offers data exports to Quicken, Mint.com, Personal Capital, and many other online money management programs.
- International banking. HSBC Advance is a popular choice among international travelers. In addition to the 230 US Branches and thousands of US ATMs, there are over 3,800 international branches and hundreds of thousands of international ATMs.
- HSBC Money Management Tools. HSBC offers customers free access to money management tools to help them manage their budget, set and track financial goals, and view and track all your banking accounts, credit cards, online investments, mortgages, and other financial accounts and transactions. This is an easy way to track your current transactions as well as your net worth.
HSBC Customer Service
HSBC 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 Bank’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 Bank 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 HSBC account. Once you open your account and provide the information to link an external account, HSBC 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 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.
HSBC Bank Bank Advantages and Disadvantages
- No minimum needed to open a checking account
- HSBC Direct features best in class interest rates
- Extensive network or physical branches and ATMs
- Presence in multiple countries and territories, makes this a great bank for dual citizens and frequent travelers.
- Full-service banking means HSBC can handle just about any banking need
- Personal and business banking
- Online Checking accounts have monthly fees (can be waived if you maintain a minimum balance)
- Interest rates are low, unless you open the HSCB Direct account.
Overall Thoughts on HSBC Bank
HSBC Bank 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.
While HSBC is a great option for many, we do recommend looking into all of your options, such as Discover Bank Saving Account, to make sure that you find the right fit for you and your needs.
For more information or to sign up for an account, visit https://www.hsbc.com/.