HSBC, short for Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, is a global financial services organization serving more than 40 million people across 64 countries.
HSBC Direct is the international bank’s online-only branch with its own range of deposit products and terms.
An open-membership digital institution, HSBC Direct makes its accounts—including checking, savings, and certificate—available to nearly anyone that applies.
HSBC Direct’s product choices are about as limited as your standard online-only bank, but the APYs that come with them are higher than the current national average.
Can HSBC Direct’s account terms and customer satisfaction live up to the high bar of competitiveness these online banks set? Read our review to find out.
In this post you'll learn:
HSBC Direct Online Savings Account Rate + Details
HSBC Direct’s online-only deposit accounts are insured per depositor up to $250,000 by the FDIC. This digital bank offers an online savings account, but does not have a money market account in its suite of products at this time.
HSBC Direct Online Savings Account
An HSBC Direct Savings account, ranked one of the best savings accounts of 2020 by The Ascent, earns an APY of 1.01%. The national average APY on a savings account is 0.06%, making HSBC’s product nearly 20x better by comparison and a top competitor across all banks and credit unions currently.
There is no minimum balance required to earn the stated interest rate of 1.01% and there is currently no difference in rates across balance tiers. This account requires a minimum opening deposit of just $1 and any money used to fund a new account must be new money. There is a maximum daily online transaction limit of $350,000.
Interest is credited and compounded monthly. There is no monthly maintenance fee regardless of your account balance and you’ll never be charged an excessive withdrawal fee. You will, however, be charged a fee of $35 for every overdraft and $15 for every incoming wire transfer. HSBC Direct will allow you to make up to six transactions into or out of this account per month.
To fund a new savings account, you can deposit money via electronic funds transfer, wire transfer, or mobile check deposit. Initial deposits must be made with new money, but accounts can be funded with transfers from another HSBC account after opening.
How Does HSBC’s Online Savings Account Compare?
Shown below are today’s highest yielding online savings accounts available nationwide. Online banks tend to offer higher APYs than brick and mortar institutions as they have lower overhead costs and return those savings to customers in the form of higher rates.
|1.20%||$1,000 minimum deposit (new money). No monthly balance requirement.||Review|
|1.11%||$100 minimum deposit required.||Review|
|1.10%||$4.50 monthly fee can be waived.||Review|
|1.10%||1.00% APY on $1k – $24,999 and 1.50% APY on $25k or more.||Review|
|1.05%||Must avg. 12,000 daily steps.||Review|
|1.01%||$4 monthly fee charged if account dips below $1k.||Review|
|1.00%||$100 minimum deposit required.||Review|
|1.00%||$500 minimum balance required.||Review|
HSBC Direct CD Rates
HSBC Direct CD accounts offer fair rates and limited options. HSBC Direct normally features a wider range of CD options, but is currently only selling these three.
HSBC Direct CD Rates
These online-only certificates seem middle-of-the-road but are technically above the national average, which sits at just 0.24% for a 12 month CD. That said, there are a number of other online financial institutions offering more attractive rates.
HSBC Direct CDs require a minimum opening deposit of $1,000. You must also maintain an average daily balance of $1,000 in order to keep earning interest. Dividends are compounded daily and credited at maturity for 6 and 12 month terms and credited either monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually for a 24 month term (your options for how often your interest is paid on a 24 month account will depend on what’s applicable to your account when you open it). If your account is eligible for periodic interest payments, you can have these automatically credited to another HSBC deposit account rather than having them reinvested in the CD.
Avoid an early withdrawal penalty after renewal by making changes to an account within the 10 day grace period after maturity (this includes the maturity date). Early withdrawal from terms of up to 369 days will cost you 30 days’ interest, from terms of 370-733 days will cost you 90 days’ interest, and from terms of 734 or greater will cost you 180 days’ interest. Only the first fee applies at the moment, of course.
About HSBC Direct & Customer Experience
In addition to CDs and savings accounts, HSBC Direct does feature a checking account option. This doesn’t come with paper checks, but it does come with an HSBC Debit Mastercard. You can use this at any HSBC U.S. ATM location. But you’re out of luck if you want to access your savings account funds from an ATM, as these accounts do not have ATM cards available.
HSBC Direct is an online-only bank despite being a subsidiary of a global institution. This means that you’ll need to log online on a computer or mobile device to service your HSBC Direct account as branch locations, though spread out across the U.S., are not going to let Direct members open new accounts or manage their money.
So what can you expect your banking experience to look like if you join HSBC Direct? Big picture-wise, HSBC seems to do fine in the customer satisfaction department. Please note, however, that the following customer reviews have been given for HSBC overall, not for HSBC Direct in particular.
If you look at the 48 customer reviews for HSBC on Consumer Affairs, you’ll see a pathetic rating of 1 star. If you look at the 1,731 reviews on WalletHub, you’ll see a respectable 3.9 star rating. Finally, out of 366 reviews on Trustpilot, HSBC clocks in at just 1.7 stars. Why the discrepancy? Interestingly, HSBC customers pretty much report one of two experiences: very good or very bad.
For some, HSBC customer service is nothing but excellent. For others, it’s consistently terrible. Mixed reviews like this make it difficult to know who to believe, but in many review forums, HSBC scores more 4 and 5 star ratings than anything else.
One common theme across these ratings, which appears as both praise and a complaint, is the strict security protocol of the bank. While some appreciate HSBC’s diligence in keeping account holders safe from identity theft and fraud, others are just frustrated by security measures such as phone calls and account freezes when suspicious activity is presumed.
Again, HSBC and HSBC Direct don’t provide quite the same experience to customers and this should be taken into consideration. But although those 1 star ratings might look grim, don’t dismiss HSBC entirely for them. As for mobile banking, the HSBC US app for Apple devices has a 3.5 star rating and the HSBC US app for Android devices has a 2.3 star rating.
There are many ways to get in contact with HSBC representatives. If you want to go the traditional route and get some help with your account over the phone, customer service can be reached any day of the week at (800) 462-1874 from 8AM to 10PM ET (COVID-19 updated hours). You can also send HSBC customer service a letter at the address: HSBC Bank USA, N.A. P.O. Box 2013 Buffalo, NY 14240
For a more modern and faster alternative, tweet HSBC @HSBC_US. Finally, HSBC Direct also features a Live Chat option that’s not operated by a bot. This is especially useful for those that like to catalogue their conversations and get answers right away.
No one would blame you for passing on HSBC Direct’s CD accounts given their current yields, but you may want to give their savings account serious consideration. It boasts one of the highest yields available anywhere. Just remember that online savings accounts, in general, come with variable rates that can change at anytime, and without notice.