At a glance
In this day and age, online savings accounts have taken the reins in the industry. Online accounts provide the flexibility of anytime banking with a high annual percentage yield (APY).
The main attraction of online banks is that they can provide higher interest rates because they don’t have the added costs of running many traditional brick-and-mortar banks. They also tend to boast no maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements. Online savings accounts have the capability to link to external bank accounts, which makes transferring money easy.
The HSBC Advance Online Savings Account is one such online savings account that has gained immense popularity. HSBC is the second largest banking and financial services company in the world with 7,500 offices in 87 countries and over 100 million customers. Not only does HSBC offer online accounts, but they also have a physical presence in many countries across Europe, Asia, North America, and South America.
HSBC account holders can access their accounts online and perform the following actions:
- Check balances
- Set up bank-to-bank transfers
- Transfer between HSBC accounts
- Receive direct deposits
HSBC also gives its members the capability to connect their online savings account to any (and multiple) checking accounts, regardless of what other banks they are with. Connecting your savings account to an external checking account is the best and fastest way to transfer liquid funds because you don’t have to write a check or wait several days for funds to be deposited.
With the HSBC Online Savings Account, you have access to your money at any time and can use virtually any ATM in the United States to obtain cash. However, to deposit money, an HSBC ATM must be used. Also, HSBC does have some physical branches should you need to meet with a representative in person. That said, customers do not need to live near one in order to utilize this account.
Finally, HSBC is a FDIC-insured bank which means that your money is insured up to $250,000.
- Ease of Opening an HSBC Advance Online Savings Account. You only need $1.00 to open an account and have no obligation to deposit an additional amount within a given time frame. There are no fees to open the account and the application process is extremely easy. You don’t need to open a checking account to maintain your HSBC savings account and you have online access to it 24/7.
- Annual Percentage Yield (APY) of 0.80%. While 0.80% does not seem like much, it is more than what many other banks are offering. Despite the national decline in interest rates, HSBC continues to offer one of the highest APYs when compared to similar accounts.
- No Maintenance Fees. Many banks deduct monthly maintenance fees from your account if you do not meet specific requirements, such as a minimum balance or direct deposit transfers. It doesn’t matter if you have $10 or $10,000 in the account; you will earn the APY with no fees. This is a particularly good thing for accounts with small balances where fees can end up being more than the interest you earn.
- No Minimum Balance Requirements. Unlike their competitors, HSBC does not require account holders to maintain a minimum amount in their account, and they only require $1.00 to open one.
Every bank and banking account has its drawbacks:
- Depositing Money. Deposits can be made at any HSBC ATM. But if you do not have one near you, you will have to use snail mail. The best alternative is to set up direct deposits from your employer.
- Other Fees. Like many savings accounts, HSBC does charge fees for various services. For example, there is an account closing fee if the account is closed within six months of opening. Additionally, there is an overdraft fee of $35. There is also a fee for both sending and receiving wire transfers, even though this is fairly common across banks. Do your due diligence and read the fee disclosure to find out exactly what fees will affect you.
- For Some Services, You Need a Branch. Depositing coins, obtaining a cashier’s check, and having documents notarized are just a few of the services that a branch can provide that an online service cannot. For those who need such services and do not have an HSBC branch in their area, the best option is to have a second account at a local brick-and-mortar bank.
In today’s economy, it is hard to find an account that pays enough interest to make leaving your money there worthwhile. Fortunately, HSBC offers a relatively high APY and boasts the added benefits of no minimum balance requirements and no monthly maintenance fees. If you are the kind of person who prefers the simplicity and convenience of online banking to a traditional banking relationship, you may benefit immensely from the HSBC Online Savings Account.
Do you have an online savings account with HSBC Advance? What has your overall experience been like?