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 Premier Checking - $450 Welcome Deposit

Overall Score






Customer Service

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:

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 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.

    Member FDIC

    HSBC Premier Checking - Up to $600 Cash Bonus

    Expires 8/31/2021
    • Get up to $600 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 August 31, 2021; and
    • Set up Qualifying Direct Deposits into your new HSBC Premier checking account; and then
    • Enjoy 3% Cash Bonus, up to $600, on Qualifying Direct Deposits up to $100 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.

But these aren't the only checking accounts to consider. Here are the best bank promotions.

Compare Checking Account Promotions

Bank Promo LinkPromoReview
HSBC Premier Checking$450Review
HSBC Premier CheckingUp to $600Review
Chase Total Checking®$225 BonusReview
Chase Business Complete Bankingâ„ $300Review
Huntington 25 Checking®$500 BonusReview
Huntington 5 Checking®$200 BonusReview
Huntington Asterisk-Free Checking®$150 BonusReview
TD Beyond Checking$300 CashReview
TD Convenience Checkingâ„ $150 CashReview

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.

Member FDIC

HSBC Direct Savings - 0.15% APY

  • Earn 0.15% APY on all balance tiers
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Minimum balance to open account is $1
  • Member FDIC

Compare Savings Account Promotion

CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Savings Connect - 0.50% APY

  • Earn a competitive high yield savings rate with access and convenience features of an eChecking account.
  • Earn up to 0.50% APY on Savings Connect and 0.25% APY on eChecking.
  • Savings Connect is a tiered interest rate account dependent on the account holder opening a linked qualifying eChecking concurrently and makes periodic qualifying deposits.
    • Base Tier: (0.42% APY, 0.399% Interest Rate) A minimum qualifying deposit of $200 is not deposited each month into the linked eChecking or the eChecking account is closed.
    • Upper Tier: (0.50% APY, 0.499% Interest Rate) A qualifying deposit of $200 or more is deposited into the linked eChecking account each month.
    • APY assumes a qualifying deposit of $200 or more is made to the linked eChecking account each month.
  • Minimum of $100 for both the Savings Connect and eChecking to open ($200 total).
Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Online Savings Account - Earn 0.40% APY

  • No fees
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • No minimum balance required
Axos Bank
Member FDIC

High Yield Savings

  • 0.61% APY on balance < $25,000
  • 0.25% APY on balance $25K-$100K
  • 0.15% APY on balance > $100K
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No fees to open or maintain account
  • Free ATM card upon request
  • FDIC Insured

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
  • 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:

You might also consider:

CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Savings Builder - Earn 0.40% APY

Earn up to 0.40% APY. Here's how it works: Maintain a minimum balance of $25k OR make at least a $100 minimum deposit every month. Member FDIC

UFB Direct

UFB High Yield Savings - Earn up to 0.20% APY

  • Earn 0.20% APY on balances of $10,000 and above
  • Member FDIC

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.

Write to Anna G at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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.

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HSBC is one of the largest banks in the world, with physical branches all over the globe. It offers a full array of services for different needs, including a high-yield online savings and several checking options.

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