[Update November 2022: After keeping their CD (certificate of deposit) rates at historic lows throughout 2020 and through the beginning of 2022, HSBC Direct has finally been raising their CD rates this Summer and Fall. See more details 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.
For the purpose of this review, we will solely focus on HSBC Direct’s CDs and their rates. Continue reading our review to see if their CDs are right for you.
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.
To put these offers in perspective, the current national average for a 12 month CD and a 24 month CD sit at just 0.71% APY and 0.83% APY, respectively, according to FDIC data.
If you’re in the market for a longer term CD, there are still credit unions paying 4.00% APY + on 60 month terms but HSBC does not offer long term CDs at this time.
Minimum Deposit Requirement
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.
Compounding and Crediting 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.
Grace Period and Early Withdrawal Penalties
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.
How to Access and Fund Your Account
To fund a new CD, 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
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.