HSBC Bank Review
Is HSBC a good bank?
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.
It has more than 160 branches in eight states in the U.S.—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 anywhere through online banking.
What We Like
Better rates for customers who borrow or deposit large amounts of money
Free checking for students
A broad variety of credit card offerings
What We Don't Like
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
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
- Savings accounts
- Certificates of deposit
- Credit cards
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 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.
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.
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.
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 June 24, 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 June 24, 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 June 24, 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 June 24, 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 June 24, 2020.
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.
HSBC offers multiple Mastercard credit card options for ow introductory rates, rewards, and student accounts.
- HSBC Gold Mastercard
- HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard
- HSBC Advance Mastercard
- HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard Student Account
- 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
The Bottom Line
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.
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.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. "HSBC Bank USA, National Association (FDIC # 57890)." Accessed June 24, 2020.
HSBC. "Our History." Accessed June 24, 2020.
HSBC. "HSBC Checking Accounts." Accessed June 24, 2020.
HSBC. "Banking Deposit Rates." Accessed June 24, 2020.
HSBC. "Online Certificate of Deposit FAQs." Accessed June 24, 2020.
HSBC. "HSBC Credit Cards." Accessed June 24, 2020.
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.