HSBC Bank Review

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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.

HSBC Bank at a glance

Bank Min Savings Deposit Max Savings APY 1-Year CD Rate J.D. Power Survey Score Key Benefit
HSBC Bank $1 2.05% 0.95% 737 (in 2018) Fantastic savings rate on Direct Account

What we like about HSBC Bank

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.

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 2.05% APY, which is 24 times the national average. 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. Its rate is high at 1.55% APY for balances under $100,000, and the account doesn’t require a minimum deposit. There are also no monthly service fees.

HSBC CDs

HSBC’s Direct CDs offer a competitive rate of 2.00% for a 6-month term. Interestingly, the rate drops to .95% if you keep your money in for 12 months. 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.

Card Features Foreign Transaction Fee Annual Fee
HSBC Gold Mastercard
  • late fee waiver
  • no penalty APR
none none
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases after the intro period none none
HSBC Platinum Mastercard with Rewards credit card 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases after the intro period none none
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
none none
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
none none 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
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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.

The bottom line

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.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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