HSBC has another $75 cash bonus for opening its Interest Checking Account. Here's the new promotional page. This new one is good through 10/31/07. This seems to have the same terms as the one I reported on in August. The bonus requires an initial deposit of $3,000 of money new to HSBC. The Interest Checking Account has an $8/month fee unless you either have direct deposit or if you have a combined balance of $3,000. The $3,000 combined balance should include the balance in your Online Savings Account. This is important since the interest rate of the checking is only 0.05%. To keep the bonus, the account must remain open for 180 days.
There's also a $25 cash bonus for opening a Free Checking Account with an HSBC Debit MasterCard with PayPass. This can be done instead of the $75 bonus. The Free Checking Account doesn't have any monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. 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.
The terms and charges disclosures for these accounts are available at this HSBC page.
There was a similar deal to this in February. In that February post some readers reported being told by HSBC that this was only for those who received a mailer. You may want to call to confirm the bonus before signing up. Also, be sure to save the webpage for future reference.
Last year I signed up for the Smart Package for a $50 cash bonus. One nice perk of this Interest Checking Account is that your first box of checks is free. The Interest Checking Account has come in handy for linking other accounts that require a checking account (like ING Direct). Regarding hard credit inquiries, I did not receive any for opening the checking or savings accounts. Please refer to my last year's post for details of opening an HSBC checking account.
HSBC Direct Online Savings Account Yield Falls to 4.50%
HSBC Direct has lowered the yield on the Online Savings Account from 5.05% to 4.50% APY. So this does hurt the checking account deal if you plan to keep $3K in this savings account. I was surprised to see it drop by 55 basis points. Perhaps HSBC is thinking that one big rate cut may be better than gradual rate cuts. Or maybe they believe they can be like ING Direct and attract and keep deposits due to their established presence and not based on their high rates.
Thanks to the reader who mentioned this bonus in the finding deals post.