HSBC Direct entered the online banking world in 2005. Since then, they’ve become one of the most popular providers of high-yield savings accounts. The Executive VP of HSBC Direct, Kevin Martin, describes the company as being “committed to helping [HSBC] customers to get the most from their money”. He states that “[W]e constantly look for ways to reward them.”
That dedication to a quality product, combined with HSBC’s reputation as one of the oldest and most firmly established banks in the world has been responsible for “cementing its status as one of the most popular and consistent big-name marketers of online only savings accounts with very appealing interest rate deals.”
A FREQUENTLY (AND STRONGLY) RECOMMENDED OPTION
HSBC Direct isn’t a fly-by-night way to set up a savings account. The bank has been regularly recognized for the quality of its options.
In 2007, Kiplinger ranked HSBC as the “best overall online savings account,” citing its many features and the high interest rates paid to depositors.”
A Kiplinger endorsement should be a sufficient reason to have faith in the institution and quality of its services. With that big-name testimonial in place, it comes as no surprise that many others have added their voices to the chorus of support the bank receives. A review from 2008 put HSBC among the top three online banking options. Jim Wang ranked HSBC in the top five, as well.
SAVINGS ACCOUNTS WITH FLEXIBILITY
Most of us think of savings accounts as little more than a place in which we can park a little extra money that we’d like to keep liquid. Interest rates generally range from low to nonexistent. Accounts offer very little flexibility. Savings accounts, in most cases, are the most boring financial instrument in the world. HSBC Direct, however, has re-envisioned the idea of a savings account, creating a more feature-rich account.
HSBC Direct savings account holders experience tremendous flexibility in addition to everything one would generally expect to get from a savings account.
- ATM. Savings accounts come with ATM cards that can be used all around the world. This allows customers to handle their banking and to make withdrawals with ease.
- FEE FREEDOM. Unlike many online savings account options, HSBC Direct does not charge its customers any fees for accounts.
- NO MINIMUM. There’s no minimum balance requirement. You can open an account for as little as $1 and you’re not required to keep more than a penny in the account after that.
- GOOD RATES. Like other online banking options, HSBC Direct offers interest rates unrivaled by your corner bank.
- INSURANCE. All accounts are FDIC insured up to $100,000. These are legitimate accounts with a legitimate bank and standard federal protections.
For a long time, HSBC attracted customers with an impressive 6% rate of return (APY) on its accounts. While that was a promotional rate that later dipped, it was enough to get a great deal of attention and is probably one reason for the bank’s rapid climb up the popularity ladder.
You won’t get 6% today. That rate is long gone, a casualty of the Fed’s actions on interest rates and the banks negative experience in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis and attendant financial crisis. Like other major online account providers, including Ing, HSBC Direct has reduced its interest rates.
Currently, the APY sits at 3%. While 3% isn’t the kind of ROI we’d like to help give our retirement money a boost, it’s still much more than what most brick and mortar banks can even think of providing. It’s also more than what you’ll find from a variety of competitors, too.
GETTING AN ACCOUNT
Signing up for an HSBC account isn’t significantly different than signing up for any other online savings accounts. You complete an online application and later “seal the deal” with some traditional paperwork. In order to move through the process, you will need information about your other accounts and the standard material you’d expect to produce when opening any other bank account.
HSBC does not appear to require any particular level of creditworthiness to establish an account. The do conduct a credit check, but it’s of the “soft” variety and is used exclusively to confirm the identity of the account holder.
People who’ve set up accounts with HSBC report that thee process worked ran smoothly and that the bank quickly posted initial deposits.
If you’re interested in establishing your own account with HSBC Direct, you can access the online application by clicking on this link.
Most of us use savings accounts. They may not be the centerpiece of our personal finance strategy, but they are an element of how we handle our money. Many of us are currently relying on checking accounts that offer us little more than an old-fashioned passbook and a few cents worth of interest earnings per year.
HSBC Direct provides a compelling alternative. You can secure all of the benefits traditionally associated with brick and mortar bank offerings while experiencing a higher level of overall functionality and a superior interest rate.
You’re going to maintain savings account. You should do it in a smart place and that’s exactly what HSBC Direct provides.
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