HSBC is one of the largest international banks, and it has a growing presence within the United States. They are mainly an online bank - and they offer some of the best yields you'll find on savings products. Plus, they also typically offer great bonuses for signing up for their accounts.
They are still a full-service bank, with a range of products. However, unlike other banks, they do lack branches in the U.S., and they don't have a huge ATM network.
- Full service online bank with a tilt towards international customers
- HSBC Direct Savings has one of the top yielding APY
- Top notch bonus offers for different accounts
HSBC Online Bank Details
HSBC Direct Savings
Up to $750 with Premier Checking
Who Is HSBC?
HSBC is an international bank with branches throughout the world. It is one of the largest banking and financial services organizations with a network covering 66 countries and territories. HSBC was founded in Hong Kong on March 6, 1865.
HSBC is derived from The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, which is the founding member.
What Do They Offer?
HSBC is a full-service bank offering personal and business financial products. Its products include checking, savings, mortgages, loans, credit cards, CDs, insurance, and retirement. In this article, we’ll look at personal deposit products.
Except for its Direct Savings account, HSBC products aren’t anything to write home about. However, if you are looking for a full-service, international bank, HSBC is a top choice.
There are four checking accounts to choose from on hsbc.com:
- Premier: There is a $75,000 minimum or recurring direct deposits of $5,000/month are required. Otherwise, the account incurs a $50/month fee. There are unlimited out-of-network ATM reimbursements in the U.S.
- Advance: There is a $5,000 minimum with direct deposit or a requirement of $10,000 in other accounts. Otherwise, the account incurs a $25/month fee. Four out-of-network ATM reimbursements are available in the U.S., except for New York.
- Choice Checking: There is no minimum with direct deposit or a requirement of $1,500 in other accounts. Otherwise, the account incurs a $15/month fee.
- Basic Banking: There is no minimum. The account will incur $3/month fee regardless of balance. The first eight checks are free, then after that they cost $0.35/check.
Listed on the hsbc.com website are three savings accounts. Their APYs range from 0.01% to 0.15%. Those rates aren’t enough to incentivize anyone to sign up, given the rates at over 2.00% APY at other banks.
However, deposits into savings accounts count toward the overall balance for waiving maintenance fees on checking products.
HSBC also offers three CDs:
- 6 months
- 12 months
- 24 months
$1,000 is required to open a CD and a $500 balance must be maintained to avoid a $5 maintenance fee.
As you can see, HSBC can be heavy on the fees.
What you don’t see on the above site are two additional products. One is a $0/month fee checking account and the other is a 2.20% APY savings account. You’ll have to go to a completely different site to see both of them. There is no link from the hsbc.com website.
Why HSBC chooses to hide these products is a mystery. Below are the details on both products, which you can find at https://www.hsbcdirect.com.
Direct Checking: There is no monthly fee and there are no fees when using HSBC ATMs within the U.S. It requires $1 to open. One drawback of this account is that you can’t write paper checks.
Direct Savings: This has a 2.20% APY. It requires $1 to open.
HSBC Direct products are online-only.
HSBC does have excellent customer service. You can reach them 24/7 by live chat.
There is a mobile app available as well, which allows for mobile check deposits. HSBC has some branches on the east coast and west coast of the U.S. What this means for most Americans is that accessing a local branch or in-network ATM will be impractical.
Are There Any Fees?
There are maintenance fees on non-Direct financial products. You can avoid these fees by going with the online-only HSBC Direct Checking or Savings products.
How Do I Open an Account?
To open a regular HSBC checking, savings, or CD product, visit https://www.us.hsbc.com and select the product you want to open. To open an HSBC Direct Checking or Savings account, visit https://www.hsbcdirect.com.
To open an account, you must be 18 years old, have a Social Security number, and valid U.S. ID. You’ll need to have a U.S. residential address for the past three years as well.
Is My Money Safe?
Yes — for U.S. deposit account holders, funds are backed by the FDIC. HSBC also uses bank-grade encryption on its website.
Is It Worth It?
If you are looking for a full-service bank within the U.S., HSBC is probably not going to be your top choice. The lack of branches and in-network ATMs across the country is a big disadvantage compared to other major U.S. banks. The high balance requirements to avoid monthly fees are also not competitive.
Someone who may like HSBC is a person looking for a high-yield savings account and is OK with an online-only bank. The website hsbcdirect.com has a 2.20% APY savings account — a competitive yield. Or, if you need an international, full-service bank, HSBC has a strong standing throughout the world.