Updated May 3, 2020

HSBC Bank Review: Is It Good?

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HSBC Bank offers a full array of services for different needs, including a high-yield online savings and several checking options. But there are downsides. Read on for the pros and cons.

HSBC Promotion
HSBC Advance Checking - Up to $270 Cash Bonus

Overall Score

4.7

Savings

5.0

Checking

5.0

Customer Service

4.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Global presence
  • High online savings APY
  • Not in every state

Bottom Line

Large full-service global bank

HSBC is one of the largest banks in the world, with physical branches all over the globe. It also has an online banking operation called HSBC Direct.

This means it offers a variety of products for almost every need. HSBC provides the traditional banking and investment services, while the online operation is able to offer higher interest rates on its deposit accounts.

This may be right for people who want the convenience of a large traditional bank, yet higher interest rates for their savings. However, there are downsides.

Let's go over what you can get with HSBC.

Products Offered

HSBC is a full-service bank offering a range of services and products, including:

How much do I have to deposit?Account
No balance minimumBasic Banking
$5,000+ balanceHSBC Advance
$75,000+ balanceHSBC Premier

Note: HSBC branches are not available in every state. There are 230 branches in the U.S., but most are located on the East and West Coasts. You can, however, apply for an account online no matter where you live in the U.S., just as long as you have a U.S. residential address.

HSBC Checking Accounts

HSBC offers a few checking accounts for different needs. All checking accounts offer a HSBC Debit Mastercard, access to HSBC ATMs worldwide, free online and mobile banking, and optional overdraft protection.

  • Basic Banking. This basic checking account has no balance requirement, so it's best for low-balance customers. But it does have a $3 monthly service fee. There is no fee for the first 8 checks written per month, but each additional one will have a small $0.35 fee.

  • Choice Checking. This account has unlimited free check writing. There is a $15 monthly service fee that can be waived if you set up at least one direct deposit per month OR maintain a combined balance of $1,500 in deposit and investment accounts.

    These requirements are pretty reasonable and easy to meet. So if you can do so, then this account is a better option.

  • HSBC Advance. This account gives you Advance relationship benefits, which can give you perks like better loan rates and access to exclusive credit cards.

    This account has a $25 monthly service fee that can be waived if you have $5,000 in combined U.S. Dollar personal deposit accounts and investment balances OR a monthly recurring direct deposit from a third party to an HSBC Advance checking account OR an HSBC U.S. residential mortgage loan.

      HSBC

      HSBC Advance Checking - Up to $270 Cash Bonus

        Get up to $270 with a 3% Cash Bonus Checking Offer when you open a new HSBC Advance checking account and complete the following qualifying activities.
      • Open your new HSBC Advance checking account online by June 29, 2020; and
      • Set up Qualifying Direct Deposits into your new HSBC Advance checking account; and then
      • Enjoy 3% Cash Bonus, up to $270, on Qualifying Direct Deposits up to $50 per month, during the first 6 calendar months after account opening
      • You will automatically receive the 3% Cash Bonus in your new HSBC Advance checking account approximately eight weeks after completing that month's qualifying activities.
      • Deposit products are offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
      Expires 6/29/2020

  • HSBC Premier. This is best for high net worth individuals who need global access. You get a Relationship Manager who can help with all services HSBC offers. There is no foreign transaction fee for purchases made with the debit card.

    There is a $50 monthly service fee that can be waived if you maintain a combined balance of $75,000 in deposit and investment accounts.

      HSBC

      HSBC Premier Checking - Up to $700 Cash Bonus

        Get up to $700 with a 3% Cash Bonus Checking Offer when you open a new HSBC Premier checking account and complete the following qualifying activities.
      • Open your new HSBC Premier checking account online by June 29, 2020; and
      • Set up Qualifying Direct Deposits into your new HSBC Premier checking account; and then
      • Enjoy 3% Cash Bonus, up to $700, on Qualifying Direct Deposits up to $120 per month, during the first 6 calendar months after account opening
      • You will automatically receive the 3% Cash Bonus in your new HSBC Premier checking account approximately eight weeks after completing that month's qualifying activities.
      • Deposit products are offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
      Expires 6/29/2020

Compare Checking Account Promotions

    HSBC

    HSBC Advance Checking - $225 Welcome Deposit

      Get a $225 Welcome Deposit for eligible new customers who open a new HSBC Advance checking account and complete the following qualifying activities.
    • Open your new HSBC Advance checking account online by June 29, 2020; and
    • Make recurring monthly Qualifying Direct Deposits totaling at least $500 from a third party to your HSBC Advance checking account(s) for 3 consecutive calendar months from the second full calendar month after account opening
    • You will automatically receive the $225 Welcome Deposit in your new HSBC Advance checking account approximately eight weeks after completing all qualifying activities. It's that simple.
    • Deposit products are offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
    Expires 6/29/2020
    HSBC

    HSBC Premier Checking - $475 Welcome Deposit

      Get a $475 Welcome Deposit for eligible new customers who open a new HSBC Premier checking account and complete the following qualifying activities.
    • Open your new HSBC Premier checking account online by June 29, 2020; and
    • Make recurring monthly Qualifying Direct Deposits totaling at least $5,000 from a third party to your HSBC Premier checking account(s) for 3 consecutive calendar months from the second full calendar month after account opening.
    • You will automatically receive the $475 Welcome Deposit in your new HSBC Premier checking account approximately eight weeks after completing all qualifying activities. It's that simple.
    • Deposit products are offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
    Expires 6/29/2020

    Chase

    Chase Premier Plus Checking℠

    • Enjoy $300 as a new Chase checking customer, when you open a Chase Premier Plus Checking℠ account and set up direct deposit.
    • Enjoy $300, more benefits, and earn interest on your new Chase checking account.
    • The $25 Monthly Service Fee is waived when you keep an average beginning day balance of $15,000 or more in any combination of this account and linked qualifying Chase checking, savings and other balances.
    • No Chase fee on first four non-Chase ATM transactions per statement period.
    • Earn interest on your checking account balance.
    • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches
    • Open your account online now.
    • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
    Chase

    Chase Total Checking®

    • Enjoy a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
    • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches
    • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
    • Open your account online now.
    • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
    TD Bank

    TD Beyond Checking

      New customers who apply online for a TD Beyond Checking account can earn a $300 cash bonus after receiving direct deposits of $2,500 or more within 60 days. To qualify for this offer, you must be a U.S. resident and apply for the offer online. Offer is available in these states: CT, DC, DE, FL, MD, ME, MA, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VT, VA
    • Earn $300 when you receive direct deposits totaling $2,500 or more within 60 days
    • Get more from your checking account. With TD Beyond Checking with Payback Plus, you'll earn interest and get reimbursed for non-TD ATM transactions, Rush Bill Payments and more.
    • Monthly maintenance fee waived when you receive monthly direct deposits of $5,000 or more, or maintain a minimum daily balance of $2,500, or a combined balance of $25,000 across eligible TD accounts.
    • TD fees waived at any ATM and non-TD fees reimbursed when you keep at least a $2,500 daily balance
    • Overdraft Payback - Get overdraft fees automatically reversed up to two times a year.
    • Get your money where it needs to go —fast— with Rush Bill Payments, Send Money with Zelle®, incoming wires and a reimbursement for one outgoing wire (domestic or international) per statement cycle.
    • TD checking accounts come with an instant-issue debit card. And, you can pay with confidence with Zero Liability protection and 24/7 fraud monitoring.
    • Monthly maintenance fee waived on one TD Simple CheckingSM account and any Savings and Money Market accounts. Plus, get free standard check orders, money orders, official bank checks and stop payments.
    TD Bank

    TD Convenience Checking℠

      New customers who apply online for a TD Convenience Checking℠ account can earn a $150 cash bonus after receiving direct deposits of $500 or more within 60 days. To qualify for this offer, you must be a U.S. resident and apply for the offer online. Offer is available in these states: CT, DC, DE, FL, MD, ME, MA, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VT, VA
    • Earn $150 when you receive direct deposits totaling $500 or more within 60 days
    • Low minimimum daily balance of $100 waives the $15 monthly fee.
    • Students and young adults ages 17 through 23 get additional perks like no minimum balance requirements and no monthly maintenance fee.
    • Instantly replace a lost or worn debit card by visiting a TD Bank location near you
    • Access accounts via Online Banking with Bill Pay, Online Statements and TD Bank Mobile Deposit, with 24/7 cash access at TD ATMs in the U.S. and Canada – plus 24/7 Live Customer Service
    • Get a 0.25% discount on TD Bank Home Equity and Personal Loans

HSBC Direct Online Savings

HSBC Direct Online Savings offers one of the highest interest rates on the market. It has no monthly service fee, and the minimum opening balance is just $1.

This is a basic online savings account without any bells and whistles. There is no ATM card. The only way to access your money is by transferring the funds to a checking account (whether to HSBC or another bank).

This is offered through HSBC Direct - the online bank. So this account can only be opened online.

    HSBC

    HSBC Direct Savings - 1.30% APY

    • Earn 1.30% APY on all balance tiers
    • No monthly maintenance fee
    • Minimum balance to open account is $1
    • Member FDIC

Compare Savings Account Promotion

HSBC Certificate of Deposit

With a Certificate of Deposit, you must leave your money in the account for the entire term, or you'll incur a penalty. You get a locked-in interest rate for the whole term. The minimum required to open an account is $1,000, and there are no service fees.

HSBC offers 3 term CDs: 6-month, 12-month, and 24-month. The APY is decent, but not the highest on the market. You can actually get a much higher interest rate with the online savings account (and your money won't be tied up, either).

Investment Services

HSBC also offers investment services. Their financial professionals can help you develop an investment strategy best for you. Some options include:

  • Self-Directed: HSBC offers a range of products, including stocks, ETFs, options, no load mutual funds, and fixed-income securities. There is no fee to open.

  • HSBC Spectrum: Choose between 5 asset allocation models. Financial professionals can help you choose the best one for your goals and risk tolerance. The minimum investment required is $25,000.

  • Managed Portfolio: An investment advisor will help you customize a portfolio and come up with the best asset allocation for you. The minimum investment required is $250,000.

Retirement Accounts

HSBC offers the following types of retirement accounts:

  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • SIMPLE IRA
  • SEP Retirement Plans
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan
  • 403(b) Retirement Plans

For IRAs, you can choose between a self-directed or a managed account. The IRA has no maintenance or termination fee if you are an HSBC Premier client. For all others, the annual service fee is $35.

Reasons to Bank With HSBC

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  • New customer bonuses. HSBC often offers high cash bonuses to new customers for opening a new checking account (and meeting certain requirements). It's worth it to wait until a bonus offer comes out. Check out the list of current HSBC promotions.

  • Global access. HSBC is a global bank operating in 67 countries across Europe, Asia, North America, the Middle East and Egypt. So if you travel often, it's nice to know you can still find your bank overseas. This makes it easier to withdraw from ATMs and get emergency financial support if you need it.

  • No ATM withdrawal fees worldwide. You can use the debit card to access ATMs globally, most with no withdrawal fees. However, the ATM operator or network may charge a fee for ATMs located outside the U.S.

  • High Savings APY. HSBC Direct's online savings account offers one of the highest APYs on the market. There is no monthly service fee and you only need $1 to open.

  • Potential for better loan rates. If you have an Advance or Premier checking account, you may be eligible for preferred loan rates or special financing options. If you're planning to take out a mortgage or need a personal line of credit, this can come in handy.

  • Overdraft protection. All checking accounts come with an optional overdraft protection feature. You can get a personal line of credit that allows you to borrow money as you need it (up to your available credit limit). If you accidentally overdraft your checking account, this line of credit can be used to cover it.

Reasons to Look Elsewhere

  • Fees. HSBC's checking accounts come with some pretty steep fees. There is a monthly service fee, unless you can meet direct deposit and/or balance requirements. The basic banking account doesn't even have a way to waive this fee.

    If you want to avoid fees, there are online checking accounts that are completely free to maintain.

  • Interest rates are not competitive. Except for HSBC Direct's online savings account, the other accounts offer low interest rates. If you have a lot of money to park in a bank, other online banks offer better deposit rates, so your money can grow faster.

How It Compares

Ally Bank: Ally Bank is a completely online bank. The good thing about this is that since online banks have low overhead, there are no service fees at all and interest rates are high. The downside is that there are no physical branches to do banking business. There is also no worldwide presence.

Ally Bank provides some of the highest rates on the market for their deposit accounts. It offers a full breadth of services, including checking, savings, CDs, IRA, and investment accounts. If you're looking for high interest rates and don't mind web-banking, then it's best to go with an online bank. Ally's investment services also offer either self-directed investing or a managed service.

Charles Schwab: Charles Schwab is a big name among investment brokerages. It also offers online checking and savings with no service fees or account minimums. However, the interest rates are low. The good thing about their checking account, though, is that it refunds all ATM fees worldwide. Plus, the debit card has no foreign transaction fee, so it's great for travelers.

Charles Schwab's main business is investment. It offers both self-directed and a managed portfolio. The unique thing about the managed portfolio is that there is absolutely no management fee, and you only need $5,000 to open.

Compare Bank Promotions for May 2020:

You might also consider:

Bottom Line

HSBC is a huge bank with a solid reputation. It could be for you if you're looking for a bank with a huge global presence. High net worth individuals also have more of an incentive with premium service and better loan rates. However, just make sure that you can meet the checking activity/balance requirements, or you'll pay a monthly service fee.

HSBC Direct's online savings account offers very competitive rates. It's a good choice if you're looking for a bare-bones savings account.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

More from CreditDonkey:


Best Online Savings Account


Best Online Checking Account


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HSBC Direct Savings

Are you tired of abysmal interest rates on your savings accounts? Maybe you've even abandoned the thought of a savings account because it just doesn't seem worth it anymore.

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