Saturday, January 07, 2006

My 2 cents on HSBCDirect

A reader, Alsymer, recently asked for my 2 cents on HSBCDirect. Aside from my frustration with the mortgage side of HSBC I continue to be pretty happy with HSBCDirect for my savings.

I had a few glitches setting up my account, but I got those ironed out pretty quickly. I'd put their web interface somewhere between ING (pretty good) and EmigrantDirect (fair) - my main complaint being the constant opening of new windows instead of just doing a good job at navigation. But it's an annoyance, not an impediment. One more thing that I consider a quirk is that they don't do statements on the last day of the month, but seem to apply interest and issue statements on the day of the month which corresponds to when you opened your account.

I have since made HSBC where my main emergency funds are held and here is why I am currently a fan:
  • They offer a sign-up bonus (current promo code: start)
  • They currently pay the highest APY for $1 to open an account
  • I can add unlimited "external" banks for transferring (sadly ING is not compatible but this is becoming less of an issue for me)
  • I can use Quicken's Direct Connect to download my transactions (I abhor web connect, which requires me to go to the website, log in, and initiate a download)
Some people grumble about the hold times. ING and EmigrantDirect both hold deposits for 5 days but my experience so far with HSBCDirect is that deposits via transfer are credited to your account in 48 hours after being debited from the source account. MyMoneyBlog has a great comparison page, so visit that for more details.

The point is to pick one and just can always move your money later.

I think any one of these online savings banks are useful and each person will have their preferences. You could always open an HSBC account and receive $25 and once you have saved at least $250 use that to open an ING account and qualify for the (nerfed) $25 bonus and net yourself $50 just for thrills. Go nuts...just get going!

[Update] If you are looking for other opinions on HSBCDirect, here are some links. If you'd like me to add your opinion to the list, just email me with the URL


  1. That's really interesting. I opened an HSBC Direct account on New Year's Eve, so it sounds like my statement will be based on the end of the month, afterall... just coincidence. It is good to know that you have a favorable opinion of them. I opened with $1 and used the promo code. I have received my account number, and hopefully will receive the rest of my info in the mail today. I am really looking forward to getting started with this as soon as possible. I wonder if they are going to give a bump in interest with the recent fed news, as well.

    I actually got my mother and father-in-law to open an account on New Year's Day, as well as my brother-in-law. I have nearly got my sister-in-law convinced into doing it. It will be a great opportunity for her as she just turned 18, and has just started working. She is starting her higher education soon, and I hope she gets started on the right foot.

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  3. HSBC sounds pretty good for savings according to your and dus10 d's writings. I've had poor luck with their credit card service, but I'm happy with my auto loan through HSBC. I usually don't like their customer service phone reps, and I dislike having to call every month to convert my second payment to principle only. They gave an opening bonus of $25 for amounts as little as 1$ ?

    Wealth Today

  4. Yes...I got $35 for opening with $1! Of course, they shortly became my main savings account, but they didnt know that at the time ;)

  5. I thought HSBC was ridiculous about when they give your account number. They make you verify your bank account so they can withdraw funds, then they actually debit your bank - all before giving you your account number(they mail it to you). It's idiotic. If any computer glitch happened it would take months to find your funds in their mamouth operation.
    They've got to change this or people will not sign on.


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