Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

HSBC's 6% Savings Account Promo Update and $25 Checking Account Bonus


For those who want all the details about HSBC's new 6% APY new-money special, please refer to my yesterday's post. Readers have left some important points to consider about this deal.

First, be careful when you move your money if you initiate a transfer using HSBC's transfer system. As I noted in my previous post, you lose at least 2 days of interest during transfers. However, if you initiate the transfers later in the week, it can be 4 or more days due to the weekends. So the best time to initiate transfers is on Monday or Tuesday.

It has been over a year since I signed up for this savings account. When I signed up, I was able to complete the application entirely online without having to send anything in. However, a reader noted that when he recently applied online, he was sent an email from HSBC requesting that he send a copy of a phone bill or other document verifying his address. In the application he specified living at the address for over 4 years and his phone number is listed in the phone book.

Here's the link to the Terms and Conditions for the savings account (pdf). A reader noted that there is a $25 fee if the account is closed within 6 months. Since there's no minimum balance requirements, you can just keep $1 in the account to keep it open. Then you can wait for the next promotion.

$25 Bonus for HSBC Free Checking Account

You may be able to get a $25 cash bonus if you apply for a HSBC Free Checking Account with an HSBC Debit MasterCard with PayPass. Here's the link to the promo page. Offer expires March 12, 2007. Thanks to FW member Westapher317 who posted the deal on this FW thread,

Last year I opened the HSBC checking account for a $50 bonus. I received the bonus without any problems. I did have to mail in a signature card. Please refer to this previous post for the details. I did not get a hard credit pull when I opened the account.

One important note regarding the Free Checking account is that if the account is inactive for 3 consecutive months, the account will be converted to Basic Banking which has a $3/month maintenance fee regardless of balance.

  Tags: HSBC

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Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Can't find where it says that there is a charge for free checking if account is inactive for 3 months. Did find that there is a $3 charge per month for basic checking at which compares the various accounts

Will give them a call tomorrow

Comment #2 by shrazzy (anonymous) posted on
it's in the terms
If the Free Checking account is inactive for three consecutive months, the account will be converted to Basic Banking and will be subject to the Basic Banking
Terms and Charges.

Comment #3 by scott (anonymous) posted on
I have had the free checking for over 5 months with just a $100 in it and never used, I have had no fee's. But I think it's because it is a Premier checking

Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Does HSBC still eat up interest during transfer inf the transfer is initiated from another institution ?

Comment #5 by SVG (anonymous) posted on

>>Does HSBC still eat up interest during transfer inf the transfer is initiated from another institution ?<<

AFAIK yes.

The way to get around it is to mail a check. Their address is:

Att: Customer Relationship Center
PO 2690
Buffalo New York 14240-2690

Another way is use the ATM to make a deposit directly into the account.


Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
If ach transfer takes 4 days, how many days it takes to transfer money from HSBC free cheking account to HSBC Direct savings account?

Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
About sending in additional proofs of identity. I completed the on-line application and received the approval e-mail without this request. The difference perhaps was due to my being previous customer and have opened then closed the account about 6 months ago(?).

Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Make sure to be very careful when moving money in and out of HSBC. Move it on on Monday or Tuesday to avoid huge losses of interest.

Also, make sure to calculate the effective APY if you withdraw on April 30, assuming 4 days lost interest (2 days in and 2 days out).

I believe the effective interest rate in that scenario is 5.73%.

Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Transfers between any two HSBC checking/savings accounts are real-time, in the sense that the money is available immediately, even if it's a non-business day.

Transfers between HSBC checking/savings account and HSBC credit account take slightly longer time. For example, if you transfer money from your HSBC savings account to your HSBC credit card account on a business day, the "Date Posted" recorded for this payment in the credit card account is usually the next business day.

Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
I'm not sure if I understand it right... does the 6% promo rate go back to whatever the normal rate is after 4/30? I've never used HSBC and want to make it worth the while... Thanks!
- Linda

Comment #11 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Linda, Yes you are correct. After 4/30 the rate will return to whatever the normal rate is. It should be noted that HSBC Direct has remained fairly competitive over the last two years. The current standard rate is 5.05% APY. There are other banks that have remained about 0.20% to 0.25% higher than HSBC which may be better choices for the long run (see my weekly summary). But it's hard to know which will stay on top.

Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
I've had the free checking dormant and EMPTY $0 for almost 5 months. No conversion to non-free checking has happened.

I just signed up for the savings account, it's not active yet though due to the week or so it takes to get it going.

Comment #13 by logue (anonymous) posted on
From HSBC site, I initiated an ACH pull from GMAC on Saturday 1/27. It didn't show up on GMAC activity page until Monday 1/29. So I didn't really lose the weekend days.

Question: when I opened HSBC accounts, they made me do a complete application for each account. Do they still do this? I wish they could be like ING direct where it's so easy for existing customers to open a new account for different baskets.

Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
You apply as if you aren't a member. Then they link your accounts together (Checking/Savings) so you log in and have access to both.

Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
if you initialize the transfer from HSBC, it take about 4 or 5 days. I did it on 1/29 (Mon), and I just receive an email from HSBC saying that the money SHOULD show up on Friday. However, the money was deducted from my credit union by HSBC Mon. at the end of the day. (credit union website showed after end of day update around midnight).

If you initialize from other bank or brokerage, the money shows up or is deducted from HSBC faster.

Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
This may be late news to some folks but I started my application 1/27 on the internet, and I am still trying to qualify today 2/2. I had to fax another form of address verification today, then later this morning i received another e-mail that they couldn't accept my personal check for enrollment because it was a Trust account. They call it a third party check. I was told to send a money order for $1.00 to open the account and then they would accept the personal check. Can you believe, I paid $1.95 for the $1.00 money order. This 6% is beginning to be a lot of work but I have decided to perservere.

Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
I think you only need to pay $0.95 if you buy money order at a post office.

Comment #18 by ctgottapee (anonymous) posted on
i've encountered weird problems like that too, so i feel for ya

way back when i opened my ing account, they had a phone number verification program. i used a bogus number and it is tied into my credit report as my real number [hint: it is tied to a hidden fax number at a large company in my area code so nobody can verify or not verify it and nobody answers; works like a charm ;)]. they wouldn't accept the bogus number because they couldn't call me on it, and they wouldn't accept a real number because it was not in any of my credit records.

i fought on the phone for a good hour, basically backtracking to the user terms to see if a phone number was required, which the terms did NOT state. so i asked how does one without a phone open an account? i said i have gone all interent and don't use the phone anymore and they could use my yahooIM as my phone number if they wanted. after several bumps up the managerial chain, i said either change your terms or give me my account, and they buckled as they already had my money in route.

i'm starting to encounter issues now with email addresses; i especially like to fill out online forms and say i don't have an email address, hehe.

i recently had the gmcard visa card sell my email or they got hacked and my email was stolen as i use prefixes for all web accounts on my domain email address. they denied and i asked to get an email address of a manager and i forwared over 200 spam msgs send to that gm email, but didn't get a reply; at least i stuffed some ones inbox!