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Checking Account Bonus and Latest News at HSBC

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HSBC Bank has another promotion for its Plus Checking Account. The promotional page is at us.hsbc.com/checkit. You can qualify for a $75 cash gift when you open a Plus Checking Account with an initial deposit of $1,500 of new money by 3/31/2009. Here are some of the important points:
  • must be a new-to-HSBC Relationship checking customer
  • Cash bonus is considered interest income and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT
  • Account must remain open and active for at least 180 days
  • money will be deposited in your new checking account within 6 to 8 weeks after requirements are met
The main issue with this promo is listed in note 3 of the small print: To avoid a $15 monthly maintenance fee, you need to maintain $15,000 in total combined balances including personal deposit, investment and qualifying credit balances. However, it seems like the balance in the Online Savings Account (OSA) should qualify for avoiding the fee. Even though the $1,500 initial deposit can't be into the OSA, you should be able to transfer the money from the Plus Checking Account into the OSA, and keep most of your money in this account to avoid the monthly fees as it earns a decent yield (currently 2.25% APY).

There's also a $25 cash bonus for opening a Choice Checking Account with a Debit MasterCard by 3/31/09. This requires an initial deposit of $500 of new money. To avoid monthly fees it requires either direct deposit or maintaining at least $1,500 in combined personal deposits.

Latest HSBC News

Yesterday, HSBC Finance announced that it intends to close its consumer lending business. However, its US banking operations under HSBC Bank (which includes HSBC Direct) will continue along with its credit card business. This Dow Jones article has more details on this. HSBC is being forced to raise its capital ratios after reporting a 70% drop in net profit for 2008 (see article). HSBC Holdings plc is headquartered in London and is Europe's largest bank.
  Tags: checking account, HSBC

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