Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

HSBC Direct's Rate Promotion Extension and HSBC Bonus Update



Update 2/08/10: The standard online savings account APY is now 1.20%.

HSBC Direct has just extended its 3.50% APY rate-guarantee for its Online Savings Account to September 15, 2008 (it used to be August 15, 2008). The rate applies to its no-minimum Online Savings Account.

HSBC Direct first came out with this 3.50% promo on June 2nd. Perhaps the competition from several other online savings accounts that have recently raised their rates to 3.50% APY has caused HSBC to extend this offer. The good thing about this offer is that you'll know the rate won't go down at least until 9/15. However, since it is a promo, it seems likely the rate will eventually go down.

As you can see from my rate summary, a 3.50% yield is now near the top for non-promo savings account rates. There are just a couple that offer 3.75% APY.

As I mentioned when HSBC first launched this 3.50% promo, the main downside with HSBC Direct is their slow ACH transfer times. Bank-to-bank transfers that you initiate from within your account can take a minimum of 3 days with 2 days of no interest. On the positive side, the ACH system allows unlimited links to other bank accounts, and these links can be set up online via trial deposits. Also, unlike Citibank, they don't impose small dollar limits on the transfers.

For those concerned with online security, HSBC Direct seems to have one of the most secure online logins. In addition to the password, you have to enter a security key via a virtual keyboard. However, for those who like to quickly access their accounts, this could be a downside. One thing that has annoyed me about this login system is that if you mistype more than twice, it can lock you out. And then you have to call to get the login reset so you can try again.

Another plus for HSBC Direct is that it's part of HSBC Bank USA which is a subsidiary of the HSBC Holdings plc. According to the annual Forbes list of the world's largest firms published on April 2008, HSBC is the world's largest company and the world's largest banking group (source). HSBC is based in the United Kingdom.

I have a more complete list of HSBC Direct's Online Savings Account features at this 2007 post.

HSBC Savings Account Bonuses

There are two bonuses for HSBC's low-interest savings accounts: $50 for opening a Premium Money Market Plus Savings Account or $25 for opening a Regular Savings Account. The expiration date is 7/31/08. These have regularly been extended since I first reported on these in February.

Unfortunately, it's not a bonus for the Online Savings Account. But you can sign up online and you can use your Online Savings Account to meet the minimum balance requirements to avoid monthly fees.

The $50 bonus requires an initial deposit of $3,000 of new money. Only customers with an Interest Checking, Interest Checking Plus, EmployeePlus, Interest Free Checking or HSBC Premier checking account are eligible to open a Premium Money Market Plus account.

The $25 bonus requires an initial deposit of $500 of new money and authorize automatic transfer of $10 or more from your HSBC checking account to your HSBC savings account.

The terms and charges disclosures for these accounts are available at this HSBC page.

There was a similar deal to this in February 2007. In that 2007 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.

In 2006 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. Regarding hard credit inquiries, I did not receive any for opening the checking or savings accounts. Please refer to my 2006 HSBC post for details of opening an HSBC checking account.

Rate History:

2/08/10: 1.20% APY
9/23/09: 1.35% APY
8/12/09: 1.45% APY
5/15/09: 1.55% APY
1/28/09: 2.45% APY
9/16/08: 3.25% APY (end of promo)

  Tags: savings account, HSBC

Related Posts

Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Now, you can reset your password online. Click the "forgot my password" link.


Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
HSBC unfortunately has low rates on CD products. However for online bill payment and online savings it is my favorite bank right now.

For CD products, I think WaMU is a crappy bank and will likely go under.

HSBC combined with Countrywide has proved supreme and both turned out to be SAFE, SECURE and HIGH INTEREST.

WaMU is not a safe and secure bank and neither was IndyMac which has failed though had very high rates as well.

I have CDs with countrywide and savingslink with them as well. Since the rate differential is .05% which is meaningless I have not touched my savingslink funds but at the same time I am not moving funds back to Countrywide because of the 1 day transfer.

Can't say what the future holds.

Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
HSBC has had my business for a long long time now and has done everything to keep that relationship alive as has Countrywide.

Those are my two favorite banks right now.

CD's and high rate savingslink = Countrywide
High rate local bank with high rate online billpayment = HSBC
Then further banks down the chain would be other banks that have the highest rates under the condition that one needed more banks because of FDIC limitations.

Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Citibank is very unstable as is WaMU.

HSBC is super rock stable as is Bank Of America/Countrywide with high rate tiers to boot for the Countrywide side of the equation.

Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Banking Guy I wince every time you post re HSBC's ACH system. Of course everything you wrote is correct. But I still am using their system regardless the cost. If they would just **** up one time it likely would drive me away. But that hasn't happened yet. Their ACH system functions like a fine Swiss watch. I have umpteen accounts linked, far more than some other ACH service providers would allow. I often move as litte as $10, which is the least allowed. Still for that small amount there is no charge except for lost interest. The HSBC OSA account pays decent interest, as you point out. I use mine as an accumulation point for various income streams, all via ACH. An added plus for me is availability of several HSBC branches within driving distance. I seldom visit them in person, but sometimes I must. One thing I don't do with HSBC's ACH system is to move large chunks of money. For that I write a check and then do a last second transfer from my HSBC free checking account. Or else I schedule the transfer in advance. The situation could change at any time in my view. Nothing lasts forever. But right now HSBC is working out fairly well for me.

Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Use HSBC with Countrywide's transfer system which is one day.

HSBC is meant as a LOCAL BANK however link from other accounts such as Countrywide.

HSBC's ACH transfer service is useless. HSBC is the best bank for online payment account and online savings combo.

Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
The other nice thing is that you can access this online account via HSBC ATM's (for deposits and withdrawals) which are common at least here in NYC

Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
The bonus link,, now forwards to some new "upgraded" offer, which is $25 bonus for Premium Money Market Plus Savings instead of $50, which was supposedly valid until Jul 31. Does anyone have a link to apply for this MM Plus Savings so that to get the $50 bonus? I waited 3 days for them to reply to my question (whether my Free Checking is enough to apply for MM+Savings), and now they changed their offer :(. [And their reply, as usually, is infinitesimally informative: "Promo? What promo?"]

Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
HSBC has extended its 3.50 rate indefinitely

Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
What is the difference between US.HSBC and HSBC Direct?
The reason I am asking is because they seem to be two separate sites with different CD rates. Thanks.

Comment #11 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
The site is the website for their brick-and-mortar banking so these rates will likely differ from the hsbcdirect.

Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
APY is now 3.25% .... Bummer....

Comment #13 by mark (anonymous) posted on
HSBC recently sent out an email offering an online 6-mo CD @ 3.75%. Somewhat perplexingly, the website still shows the old 1.75% rate.

Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on

There's a difference between HSBC and HSBCDirect....

I think you're confusing the two...

Comment #15 by Mark Jacobs (anonymous) posted on
Mark Jacobs
Just got notice today that HSBC is lowering my rate on the online savings account to 3.00%.

Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
their online savings rate is now 2.45% apy