[Update May 2022: After keeping their CD rates at historic lows throughout 2020 and 2021, HSBC Direct is finally starting to offer competitive CD rates again. As of May their top rates are a 12 month CD yielding 1.25% APY and a 24 month CD yielding 1.75% APY. See all rates and deposit accounts below.]
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 digital branch. Their product suite is limited to just a handful of deposit accounts but they feature decent yields.
Currently they offer the following products:
- HSBC Direct Savings Account
- HSBC Direct Checking Account
- HSBC Direct CDs (certificates of deposit)
As an open-membership digital institution, HSBC Direct makes its accounts—including checking, savings, and certificate—available to nearly anyone that applies.
If you’re in the market for a high yield deposit account, then you may want to consider HSBC Direct’s variable-rate online savings account or their fixed-rate CDs.
Continue reading our review of both these products below.
HSBC Direct CD Rates
HSBC Direct CD accounts offer decent rates on a limited set of terms. Below are HSBC Direct’s current CD rates and terms.
These online-only certificates seem middle-of-the-road but are technically above the national average, which sits at just 0.22% for a 12 month CD. That said, there are a number of other online financial institutions offering more attractive rates.
If you’re in the market for a bank deposit over a savings account, there are still credit unions paying 2.0% APY on 60 month terms and online banks with 12 month CDs over 0.50% APY.
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.
HSBC Direct Online Savings Account Rate + Details
HSBC Direct is member FDIC and all deposits are federally insured up to the applicable limits. Their online savings account comes with a variable rate, no monthly fees and a low minimum balance requirement of just $1.00.
HSBC Direct Online Savings Account
To give HSBC Direct’s online savings account rate some context, the current national average for a savings account sits at just 0.06% APY.
Below is a complete list of potential fees and charges you may face as an HSBC Direct customer:
|Monthly/ Annual Fee||$0|
|Minimum Opening Deposit||$1.00|
|Additional Transaction Fee||$0|
|Maximum Daily Deposit||$350,000|
|Maximum Balance (Including All Accounts)||$2,000,000|
|Balance Verification Letter||$20 for the first copy. $5 for each additional copy.|
|Incoming Wire Transfer||$15 each|
|Paper Statements||$6 each|
|Legal Paper||$100 for each court order.|
Online Savings Account Features
The HSBC Direct Online Savings account comes with some notable features. We’ve listed the most noteworthy ones below:
- Anyone with $1.00 can open the account.
- The APY (annual percentage yield) consistently beats the national average by a considerable margin.
- No monthly maintenance fees.
- Financial tools available. Online savings account holders have access to HSBC’s Money Management Tools which help with budgeting, goal setting, saving and more.
- 24/7 live chat with actual people if you get stuck or need help with your account.
- Mobile check deposit. Download the app on Google Play or Apple and cash checks on the go and move money between accounts.
Online Savings Account Drawbacks
Depending on how you plan to use the savings account, it may have some pitfalls. We’ve listed these potential drawbacks below:
- Although HSBC has a large branch and ATM network worldwide, there are no ATM or debit card(s) of any kind issued with their online savings account.
- The mobile apps are quite poor. Although we listed mobile check deposit as a feature of this account, the mobile app experience in general is fairly bad – scoring a 1.4 star rating out of 5 for IOS and a 2.7 star rating out of 5 for Android.
- Limited products. HSBC only offers three types of deposit products at this time.
How to Access and Fund Your Account
To fund a new savings account, you can deposit money in the following ways:
- electronic funds transfer,
- transfer from existing HSBC account,
- wire transfer, or
- mobile check deposit.
Initial deposits must be made with new money and can be as little as $1.00. However, once the account is open you can move funds from existing HSBC accounts.
Once your account is open you can withdraw money using the following methods:
- Electronic funds transfer
- Transfer funds to another HSBC bank account
- Wire transfer
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.
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.
If you look at the 48 customer reviews for HSBC on Consumer Affairs, you’ll see a paltry 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.
There are many ways to get in touch with a HSBC representative. 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. Also, as mentioned, HSBC Direct also features a Live Chat option that’s not operated by a bot. This is especially useful for those that like to catalog their conversations and get answers right away.