HSBC Bank Review

Is HSBC a good bank?

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HSBC 

HSBC Bank has more than 160 branches in eight U.S. states—California, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, plus Washington, D.C. If you don't live in one of those areas, you still can take advantage of its services, which include checking and savings accounts, loans and credit cards investing and more, anywhere through online banking.

HSBC Bank dates back to 1865 when it was known as the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. In 1998, the name was shortened to HSBC.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Better rates for customers who borrow or deposit large amounts of money

  • Free checking for students

  • A broad variety of credit card offerings

Cons
  • Relatively low APYs across the board, especially in savings accounts

  • Unlimited rebates on non-HSBC ATM fees available only with the most expensive checking account

  • Limited CD offerings

Company Overview
  • Official Website www.us.hsbc.com
  • Bank Product Offerings Checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, credit cards
  • Customer Service Multiple phone lines; Twitter (@HSBC_US) M-F 6 a.m.–9 p.m. ET, and Sat. 8 a.m.–7:30 p.m. Live online chat daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m. ET.
  • Year Founded 1865

Who Is HSBC Bank Best For?

HSBC Bank is a good option for someone who wants to bank with a known commodity and who might be interested in lending and investment options through the same institution. HSBC could be a good option for you if:

  • You carry high balances and want to earn a modest annual percentage yield on those balances.
  • You are looking for a mortgage worth at least $500,000 and want an account with rewards tied to the mortgage.
  • You are a student establishing a bank account, perhaps for the first time.

What Does HSBC Bank Offer?

HSBC Bank offers most standard options for deposit accounts, including:

Checking Accounts

HSBC offers a range of checking accounts.

Basic Banking

As the name implies, the Basic Banking account is best for customers who do not need any frills. There is no minimum balance to maintain, and the monthly maintenance fee of $1 cannot be waived. There is no fee for up to eight checks or withdrawal slips each month, but any beyond that cost 35 cents each.

Choice Checking

Choice Checking is another basic account that comes with a $15 monthly maintenance fee that can be waived if a combined balance of $1,500 is held in HSBC accounts or if at least one direct deposit is made each month. Meeting one of those standards saves you the $1 per month a Basic account will cost regardless of balance or activity.

A student version of this account is available to new account holders who list "student" as their primary occupation. The $15 monthly fee is waived, regardless of balance or direct deposit activity for the first six years the account is active.

HSBC Advance

The Advance option provides access to preferred mortgage rates, though it is important to note that no specific rate is promised. Additionally, the account offers four rebates per month on fees imposed by non-HSBC ATMs and access to an Advance Savings account. This account earns an APY of 0.01% as long as the minimum balance is at least $5.

The monthly maintenance fee for this account is $25, but that can be waived by maintaining combined balances of $5,000 with HSBC or if at least one direct deposit is made into the account each month.

HSBC Premier

Premier accounts offer all the benefits of an Advance account, but rebates on fees at non-HSBC ATMs are unlimited, and the account provides access to a Premier Savings account. This account earns an APY of 0.01% as long as the minimum balance is at least $5.

The $50 monthly maintenance fee can be avoided by maintaining combined balances of $75,000 with HSBC, taking out a mortgage with HSBC with an original loan amount of at least $500,000, or having at least $5,000 in direct deposits each month.

Savings Accounts

As with checking, HSBC offers several flavors of savings account.

HSBC Everyday Savings

This is a standard savings account with a nominal APY. Maintain a balance of at least $1 and you'll earn 0.01%, as of Aug. 14, 2020.

HSBC Advance Savings

This is another standard savings account available to anyone with an Advanced checking account. It earns the same 0.01% APY as an Everyday Savings account on balances up to $14,999.99, but the rate bumps up to 0.05% if the balance is $15,000 or more, as of Aug. 14, 2020.

HSBC Premier Savings

Available to those with Premier checking accounts, Premier Savings offers the opportunity to earn a 0.10% APY on balances from $25,000 to $99,999.99 and 0.15% on balances of $100,000 or more. Balances less than $25,000 earn only a 0.01% APY, as of Aug. 14, 2020.

Even though Premier is marketed as HSBC's top savings account, the Advance option actually offers a better APY on balances from $15,000 to $24,999.99, as of Aug. 14, 2020.

Certificates of Deposit

HSBC offers CDs with 6-, 12-, and 24-month terms with a minimum deposit of $1,000 to open the account. Rates are accurate as of Aug. 14, 2020.

CD Rates
Term APY
6 months 0.60%
12 months 0.70%
24 months 0.70%

Penalties will be assessed for early withdrawal depending on the term. The penalty is 30 days of interest for CDs with terms up to 369 days, 90 days of interest for terms from 370–733 days, and 180 days of interest for terms 734 days or longer.

Credit Cards

HSBC offers multiple Mastercard credit card options for low introductory rates, rewards, and student accounts.

Introductory-rate credit card

  • HSBC Gold Mastercard

Rewards credit cards

Student credit cards

  • HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard Student Account

Travel rewards credit cards

  • HSBC Premier World Mastercard
  • HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

Other Financial Products From HSBC Bank

HSBC Bank also has a wide range of other offerings:

  • Mortgage lending
  • Home equity lines of credit
  • Personal loans
  • Retirement investments
  • Life insurance

HSBC Bank Customer Service

Customers can reach support staff via multiple phone numbers depending on the type of account or on Twitter at @HSBC_US. Representatives are available via Twitter from 6 a.m.–9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.–7:30 p.m. EST on Saturday. Live chat through HSBC's website is available daily from 8 a.m.–10 p.m. EST.

In 2016, HSBC was fined by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for unfair billing practices. Customers were charged improperly for a credit-monitoring service that did not deliver the full benefits promised.

How to Bank With HSBC Bank

To open an account with HSBC Bank, visit us.hsbc.com or call 1-800-975-4722. As with any financial institution, you need to provide personal information when opening a bank account.

Final Verdict

BENEFITS

If you have basic banking needs and are looking for an institution that is well-established, HSBC should cover most bases for you—especially if you plan to carry high balances or borrow large sums. In that case, you'll get their best rates on checking and savings accounts.

DRAWBACKS

If you're not carrying large balances, the account offerings have few benefits. Online banks offer savings accounts with significantly higher APYs, and many other banks and credit unions provide perks like rebates on ATM fees to customers even with basic or middle-tier accounts.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. HSBC. "HSBC Checking Accounts." Accessed June 24, 2020.

  2. HSBC. "Banking Deposit Rates." Accessed Aug. 14, 2020.

  3. HSBC. "Online Certificate of Deposit FAQs." Accessed Aug. 14, 2020.

  4. HSBC. "HSBC Credit Cards." Accessed Aug. 14, 2020.

  5. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. "OCC Assesses $35 Million Penalty Against HSBC Bank USA, N.A.; Orders Restitution to Customers for Unfair Billing Practices." Accessed June 23, 2020.