HSBC Bank Review

Please Note: Information about HSBC checking has been collected independently by TheSimpleDollar.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Some of HSBC’s accounts are enticing. Its Direct Savings account offers a high interest rate and requires a deposit of only $1 to open. The short-term 6-month CD is also high. We also like that there are no annual service fees for its checking accounts if you qualify for the waiver. Plus, there’s HSBC’s Gold credit card, which won an award from GoBankingRates for being one of the top five balance transfer cards of 2019.

Savings APY
0.15%
J.D. Power Rating
770/1,000
1Y CD Rate
0.30%
SimpleScore
2.6 / 5.0
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SimpleScore HSBC 2.6
Savings APY 2
1Y CD APY 4
Customer Satisfaction 1
Mobile App 1
Product Variety 5

HSBC Bank is a financial giant known for its global reach, with over 40 million customers in 66 countries and territories. The bank was founded in 1865 and is currently headquartered in London, England. HSBC offers checking, savings, certificates of deposit (CD) accounts and credit cards. Its U.S. reach is limited, however, since the bank only has 200 branch locations in the country, which cluster on the East Coast.

Although the website can be confusing to navigate, you can find fantastic rates on HSBC’s Direct Savings, along with reasonable rates on its Direct CD accounts. The rest of HSBC’s accounts aren’t so great, however.

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In this article

    HSBC Bank at a glance

    BankMin Savings DepositMax Savings APY1-Year CD RateJ.D. Power Survey ScoreKey Benefit
    HSBC Bank$10.15%0.30%737 (in 2018)Fantastic savings rate on Direct Account

    Things to consider

    There are fewer than 200 U.S.-based branches, which makes fee-free access to cash difficult. But HSBC has locations in over 30 countries globally, which could be convenient for frequent travelers or people living internationally. HSBC’s standard savings and CD rates are quite low compared to the competition, however, so it might not be the best bank for these options if you are looking for a competitive interest rate on a standard savings or CD account.

    Also, HSBC’s website is difficult to navigate. Information about its high-yield direct accounts is on a different website from the main HSBC page, and they aren’t advertised or linked, either. It would be easy to miss these options if you didn’t know to search for them directly.

    HSBC checking accounts

    HSBC has three checking account options, but if you have less than $5,000 to deposit, your best bet is to open a Choice Checking account. The bank requires no minimum deposit to open an account. There is a $15 monthly fee unless you set up direct deposit of any amount once a month or maintain a $1,500 balance. If you don’t meet these stipulations, you can sign up for the Direct Checking, which has no monthly maintenance fee but also doesn’t offer checks.

    HSBC offers free online and mobile banking, along with optional overdraft protection. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that the overdraft coverage comes in the form of a line of high-interest credit from HSBC. If you aren’t careful, you could end up paying more in interest than you would have spent on overdraft fees.

    HSBC savings accounts

    The Direct Savings account through HSBC is the bank’s best option. The current rate is 0.15% APY. The account has no monthly maintenance fees and only requires $1 to open.

    If you have been looking around for an online savings option that will earn you money back, this could be a great choice. The cash is FDIC-insured and the bank offers mobile deposits straight to your account. Moreover, HSBC offers money management tools that help customers organize their finances, budget and save money.

    HSBC money market accounts

    Some of you are looking for a money market account that will earn higher rates but leave your cash more accessible than in a savings account. Unfortunately, HSBC doesn’t offer money market accounts.

    If you’re looking for a low-money-down money market account, try Discover, Member FDIC. Its rate is at 0.30% APY for balances under $100,000, and the account requires a $2,500 minimum deposit. There are also no monthly service fees.

    Please Note: Information about Discover Bank has been collected independently by TheSimpleDollar.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

    HSBC CDs

    HSBC’s Direct CDs offer a competitive rate of 0.20% for a 6-month term. Once your CD matures, there are several courses of action you can take. You can renew, with or without adding money, or you can renew for another term with a different CD. A 6-month CD with HSBC could be an excellent option for anyone looking for a short-term investment.

    HSBC IRA accounts

    HSBC offers both Roth and traditional IRAs. The maximum contribution you are allowed per year is based on your age. Depending on several factors, such as your income level and marital status, you might be able to invest tax-deductible contributions in your traditional IRA. Otherwise, you can contribute after taxes have been taken out. With the Roth IRA, you can withdraw post-tax dollars without paying taxes.

    HSBC credit cards

    HSBC’s Gold Mastercard credit card is great for balance transfers. It has no annual fee and 0% interest for the first 18 months, which is a long span for a promotional period compared to many other cards. After the first 18 months, the APR will rise to 12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99%.

    Their other six credit cards focus on earning points or cash back, which can be helpful for putting a little extra money back in your pocket.

    CardFeaturesForeign Transaction FeeAnnual Fee
    HSBC Gold Mastercard
    • late fee waiver
    • no penalty APR
    nonenone
    HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases after the intro periodnonenone
    HSBC Platinum Mastercard with Rewards credit card1% unlimited cash back on all purchases after the intro periodnonenone
    HSBC Advance Mastercard credit card
    • 2X points on dining and select entertainment purchases after the intro period
    • 1X points on all other purchases after the intro period
    nonenone
    HSBC Premier World Mastercard credit card
    • 2X points on travel
    • 1X points on all other purchases
    • TSA pre-check $85 credit for application fee
    • Uber and Lyft $50 annual statement credits for rides
    • travel coverage with trip cancellation insurance
    • $1 million travel accident insurance, lost or damaged baggage coverage
    • competitive variable APR of 16.74% or 20.74% on purchases and balance transfers
    nonenone for premier clients
    HSBC Premier World Elite credit card
    • 3X points on travel
    • 2X points on dining
    • 1X points on all other purchases
    • 1000+ airport lounges complimentary membership plus two free lounge visits per year
    • $100 annual air travel credit
    • $85 TSA pre-check credit for application fee
    • $100 Uber and Lyft annual statement credit for rides
    • travel coverage
    • competitive variable APR of 16.74% or 20.74% on purchases and balance transfers
    none$395 (plus $65 per authorized user)
    HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card student account
    • 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases
    • no credit history required for approval
    • unlimited access to our online tools to learn more about credit
    • free FICO credit score on your HSBC credit card statement
    see sitesee site

    The bank also provides investments on insurance and annuities. For mutual funds, you can choose from HSBC’s in-house funds, such as the HSBC Emerging Markets Debt Fund, or the bank can help you consider third-party mutual funds.The bottom lineUpon review, HSBC is Bank suitable for someone living near one of the HSBC branches or ATMs. They could find it a reliable bank, and anyone looking to transfer their high-interest credit card balance to a card with 0% interest for 18 months could benefit from HSBC’s award-winning Gold card.Who might want to go elsewhere? Anyone who prefers to have a physical bank near them and doesn’t live in an HSBC coverage area might want to skip this bank. Moreover, a person who gets easily flustered with cumbersome technology might find the HSBC website more of a source of frustration than assistance.

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    Tiffany Verbeck

    Contributing Writer

    Tiffany Verbeck is a personal finance expert. She uses her storytelling skills gained from a master’s degree in writing to run a freelancing business focused on helping people make and manage their money. She has been published in The Financial Diet, Fast Capital 360, The Write Life, Matador Network and other publications