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$75 Bonus for HSBC Interest Checking Account - Online Savings Account Yield Falls to 4.50%

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HSBC
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.

Related Pages: checking account, savings account, HSBC

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Comments
16 Comments.
Comment #1 by Allan (anonymous) posted on
Allan
Wow - interest rates dropping everywhere! P.S. Anyone notice that GMACbank website is down since yesterday?

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Comment #2 by PiZtoL (anonymous) posted on
PiZtoL
Well this stinks. I just moved my money back into HSBC from GMAC. I regret not signing for the 4 month IndyMac CD special of 5.75apy. Yes I have noticed the site has been down. Maybe tons of people are transfering their $ out of GMAC.

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
It seems to me this sets up HSBC to do another one of their "new money only" special rate deals for their OSA. We have seen such deals before. I continue to keep a very low balance in my HSBC OSA for this reason. One never knows when the balloon will go up.

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I made a deposit into interest checking and only the 1st $500 was made available. HSBC also tried to push a LOW RATE CD on me as well when I went into the branch. I have been using HSBC since the Online Savings came out and the account has been terrific holding up the yields all along. Now HSBC is getting MONEY HUNGRY and my relationship is going down the wayside.

Online Payment Account AND Online Savings are both FREE and are still WORTHWHILE accounts to keep open since there are NO FEES and great branch locations when you need it so its still a great account to have. Online Banking is now the wave of the future, and the in teller usage is now horrendous as ever. I want to AVOID HUMAN interaction especially if they will give me low rates and waste my time as I can pop into an ATM or use online billpay easily.

However I will be ending my IN BRANCH relationship with HSBC.

The Free checking product is NOT FREE and has an inactivity fee. The terms and conditions when you sign up say this. HSBC just removed it from the MAIN WEBSITE but the current file for terms and conditions which you agree to specifically have this condition.

So now I have to wait till my funds clear and then I will close out my non HSBC Online accounts and just keep a small amount of ATM funds in the account.

As for a regular free checking account, does anyone know who offers the best FREE Checking with no maintanence fee requirements locally in the NYC Metro area?

I believe Citibank will lower to below HSBC in all honesty but we need to wait till next week to find out. Rate went up to 5.10% then down to 5% and they didnt reduce to adjust for the fed rate cut yet.

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Comment #5 by Bala (anonymous) posted on
Bala
Wamu is offering Online savings 5% APY with life time free checks free checking account. We can open online without having any hard or soft credit pull. They just check the checksystem report.

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Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
No thanks to WaMU. Will not do business with them again. Had really bad experience. HSBC honored the 5.05% APY for a LONG LONG TIME and had a 6% promo at one point.

I had applied for a WaMU online account but had nightmares with them and I never even go to the point of opening up the account.

I am LOOKING for FREE CHECKING with quick fund availability. Will keep the HSBC Online accounts and another online account active at Countrywide Bank.

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Howz Countrywide bank?

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Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I haven't read anything positive about Countrywide. I guess it depends on your risk tolerance. I would think that somewhere in the pile of negative stories, there would at least be one positve spin. But, no, haven't seen anything close.

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
If your looking for a checking account go with Salem five eone account, they don't have a branch in NYC, but this has not been an issue for me, I'm in NYC, you can withdraw from any ATM, they refund $15 in ATM fees per month, first order of checks are free, no ACH system, but you can push or pull from other sites, and great customer service, American CSRs, not outsourced, and on top of everything else you get a 4.80-5.10 APY.

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Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
"If your looking for a checking account go with Salem five eone account"

I use HSBC for billpayment @ 4.50% now since I push funds from savings to the 2.50% online payment account.

Reason for the local checking account with quick fund availability is for times when I have to deposit physical checks and cash at a teller and if I ever need to use a physical check.

With HSBC Im moving over to fully online accounts with them with no checkwriting privaledges. I havent used a physical check in ages.

On the 1st business day AFTER a large check deposit I got the first $500 to use. The fund availability policy on the interest checking is horrendous to say the least considering this was a Bank check from Washington Mutual. I lose a full 1% now on the 3,000 in interest checking to boot since Countrywide is 5.50%. No need for this account anymore.

Countrywide customer support and service has been EXCELLENT. We have a local branch here to boot. Everyone got scared away which means HIGHER interest for me. I am under FDIC insured limits with the bank.

A combo of HSBC Online Savings/Online Payment Accounts and Countrywide and possibly a FREE CHECKING account at a local bank if I need teller service. UNLESS someone has a HIGHER LOCAL rate which stays high. Citibank's 5% I don't think will last too much longer and neither will Sterling Bancorp 5.02% APY in all likelyhood.

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Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Banking Guy,

Thanks to your August offer post, I applied in branch and received my $75 bonus. Now, my question is this: Can I apply for this new offer again??? Am I pushing the envelope a bit too much???

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Comment #12 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Glad the last $75 bonus worked out.

About trying to repeat this bonus, I'm not sure if that's allowed. In my opinion, that's pushing the envelope too far. But I can't find anywhere in their promo page where they say you have to be a new checking customer.

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Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
HSBC blows. I never got the promised $75 bonus (not on this account, but another). Prior to that account, I opened (with great effort) another checking account which they closed after 3 days with no explanation.

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Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
HSBC does BLOW now. They were great for a few years but its time to switch from them.

Countrywide now is TERRIFIC. But I still need a bank to link to them. I am ditching all my accounts with HSBC. Do I need to keep $1 in the Online savings to keep the account active as well as the online billpayment account? I will keep the accounts just in case.

Which bank has the BEST fund availability policy for checking in NYC for FREE CHECKING Accounts? Sovereign requires 15k at 4.75% to get next day funding and offers a regular free checking account.

Commerce USED to have FREE checking and is now $100 minimum in NYC. Sovereign is FREE checking. Not sure who else offers it. WaMU promises free checking but I had a nightmare with them and will not use them.

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Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I'm not sure what they're offering in NYC, but Wachovia has been a great bank for me down here in FL and also when I'm in NYC on business (nice that the hotel I stay at has a Wachovia in the same building!) They do have free checking specials around here with $50 sign-up bonuses, but I do believe they require a minimum balance of some sort.

I've always had exceptional service from them, but I'm one of their Wealth Management customers, so I wouldn't be surprised if they treated me different than the average Joe.

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Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
You have to have activity every 3 months in the Free checking account or they convert it to basic banking and charge $3 per month.

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