HSBC Direct Savings Review
It’s surprising how many people are still not utilizing high-yield savings accounts (HYSA) like HSBC Direct Savings as a safe and convenient way to maximize their earnings.
In fact, a recent Credit Karma survey found that only 25% of Americans have an HYSA, while 73% said they use a traditional bank account as their primary method of savings.
In many cases, it comes down to a basic lack of awareness among consumers — many of whom have never been taught about the benefits of online savings accounts.
Let’s take a close look at HSBC Direct Savings and examine whether it’s a good fit for you.
About HSBC Direct Savings
HSBC Direct Savings is an online savings program from HSBC Bank. While HSBC has a number of branch locations throughout the United States, its Direct Savings program is online-only. As a result, they are able to offer very competitive rates and lower fees than most other national banks.
HSBC Direct Savings currently offers an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.50% on all balances. They also offer no monthly maintenance fees and only require a $1.00 minimum opening deposit.
This is a pretty decent return — especially when considering how much freedom and flexibility you have to move money around at your leisure, compared to, say, a money market account or a certificate of deposit (CD). Like any other leading HYSA, this is designed to be a convenient and lucrative way to maximize short-term savings.
HSBC Direct Savings Account
HSBC Direct Savings is an excellent, low-cost, and high-return option for both established savers and people who are just getting started.
- No Monthly Maintenance Fee
- Strong APY
- Mobile Check Deposit
- Must Abide By Reg. D
- No ATM Access
The Pros of Having an HSBC Direct Savings Account
Here are some of the top reasons why HSBC is high on my list of recommendations for HYSA plans.
No Monthly Maintenance Fee
If there’s one thing that I can’t expound on enough, it’s that fees are not your friend.
Banks will often try to sneak in monthly maintenance fees at the expense of the customer — essentially, charging them for the interest they accrue.
However, this is not something that you’ll find at HSBC Bank, as there are no monthly maintenance fees or even a startup fee. So, you’ll be able to keep your monthly interest at the end of the month instead of giving it back to the bank. Awesome!
A 0.50% (APY) is nothing to scoff at right now. In fact, it’s right in line with any other leading HYSA on the market.
While this is a far cry from 2019 when rates were hovering well above 2%, the fact that you can still get this rate in a down market is something that you should take advantage of while you still can. Depending on fluctuations in the market, banks like HSBC could decide to cut their rates even further. In case you’ve been out of the loop, there is talk that the Fed could potentially cut rates to below zero!
So trust me: If you’re using a traditional savings account, you’re leaving money on the table. An HYSA is a much better option if you’re looking to grow your money.
Mobile Check Deposit
One piece of advice that I always tell people when they are looking into HYSA plans is this: Make sure it comes with an easy deposit feature. Not every HYSA will offer one, and some can be a pain to deal with.
HSBC Direct comes with a mobile banking app, which makes it fast and simple to deposit checks into your account, providing convenience and helping you save time. And as we all know, saving time means saving money.
In addition, HSBC Direct enables online transfers between eligible online accounts, allowing you to move money around as you need to — without any hassle.
You may roll your eyes at this feature. But, in my experience, I have learned that convenience is of the utmost importance when it comes to dealing with finances.
The last thing you want to do is have to wait several hours or days to obtain financial records. They should be available at your fingertips whenever you need them. HSBC Direct makes this easy by allowing you to view, download, and print electronic versions of your statements, going back seven years.
Important Account Features to Consider
Before you rush and sign up for HSBC Direct Savings, there are some important factors that you should be aware of.
You Must Abide by Regulation D
Federal law mandates that you can only make six transactions per month on certain savings transfers and withdrawals. This is called Regulation D. If you exceed six transactions, the bank has the right to convert your account into a checking account or close your account altogether.
So, my advice to you is simple: This is not a checking account. This is a place where you should deposit money, and keep it there.
Think about it: The more money you have in savings, the higher your monthly return will be. Open a high-interest checking account, and use that for daily transactions. You shouldn’t even come close to hitting Regulation D limitations.
There is No ATM Access
Another thing to consider is that you can’t use an ATM card or debit card to withdraw funds. However, HSBC does have some pretty decent checking accounts, and credit card accounts. Since you can move money easily within HSBC when you need to, you shouldn’t have a problem accessing your money.
One piece of advice is that if you need to dip into your HYSA, move more money than you need. That way, if you have to access more over the course of the month, you won’t exceed Regulation D limits.
It Comes With a Variable Rate
This may be the hardest part about relying on an HYSA account. Unlike with CD rates, the interest rate is not secure and can fluctuate depending on the economy. While this means your rate can keep plummeting, it also means that it can shoot up, potentially providing a nice reward for patient customers.
HYSA can be turbulent, and nobody likes watching their rates plummet unexpectedly. However, banks still need to offer competitive plans. Unless the economy really tanks, you likely don’t have to worry about the interest rate sliding too far.
And while you are free to explore money market accounts, keep in mind that the economy could jump while your money is tied up, locking you in at a lower interest rate and essentially penalizing you until your term limit is up.
You Should Set a Limit For Yourself
We all love to watch our money pile up in one big account. There’s a certain satisfaction in watching your money grow in increments — especially when interest is applied.
However, there comes a point when you have to think about diversifying, and moving money strategically to reduce risk and maximize your earnings.
Otherwise, you could actually lose money by keeping it in an HYSA too long. After all, it’s meant to be a short-term savings plan — not a long-term vehicle.
As a general rule of thumb, you should keep about six months of emergency funds on hand in your HYSA to cover basic expenses. For the rest, consider CD ladders, which mature at different stages, or the stock market.
Whatever you do, don’t invest in bitcoin right now. It’s unstable, insecure, and its value remains unproven.
It’s relatively easy to sign up for HSBC Savings Direct. You need to be 18 years of age, and have a Social Security Number and other identification.
Unfortunately for international customers, you do need a current U.S. address where you’ve lived for at least two years in order to open this account. However, HSBC can work with certain international customers with non-resident status.
There is a $1 minimum balance required at account opening. In addition, the $1 opening deposit must be new money, meaning it can’t be previously held by another member of the HSBC Group in the U.S. Still, it’s only a dollar, and many banks expect you to bring much more money to the table to open a new account.
HSBC Bank made headlines back in 2018 when the company had a small data breach that impacted about 1% of accounts. In response, they suspended all affected accounts and resolved the situation.
Since then, the company has avoided any data breach incidents. It remains one of the more secure online banking platforms, offering fraud and identity protection services in addition to standard online security protocols like full encryption, digital certificates, and secure mail.
One nice feature is the HSBC Security Device. This small device generates unique security codes that are required when logging in and making internet transactions.
As an online-only bank, HSBC Direct lacks the support that you would expect to receive from a traditional brick-and-mortar bank. The truth is, though, that many national banks do not offer great service as a rule of thumb.
Local banks are also notorious for attempting to control your money and lock you into their services. So, you could actually benefit from having an HSBC account.
That said, the company offers a variety of customer service options including full live chat assistance, automated telephone banking, and 24/7 mobile banking. In other words, you’ll always be able to access your account when you need to and communicate with support.
Ultimately, it’s not the most robust customer service in the industry but it’s functional and reliable.
Alternatives to HSBC Direct Savings
In addition to HSBC Direct Savings, you should also look into the following options:
Discover Bank (0.60% APY)
Discover offers a 0.60% APY right now. But the company offers very strong customer service, no monthly fee, daily compounding interest, and no minimum balance.
Capital One (0.50% APY)
Capital One’s 360 Performance Savings plan offers a high APY, along with little to no fees. They also offer in-person customer service at any branch location, which can be a plus if you ever have an issue and need to speak with someone face to face.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs (0.60% APY)
Marcus by Goldman Sachs also offers no transaction fees and doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement to earn interest.
How Does HSBC Direct Savings APY Work?
One of the nice parts about HSBC Direct Savings is that the APY remains the same — 0.50% — regardless of how much money you have in the account. As the company explains on its website, the APY is 0.50% on balances less than $15,000, on $15,000 or more but less than $50,000, on $50,000 or more but less than $100,000, and for $100,000 or more.
Is HSBC direct savings safe?
HSBC Direct Savings is a trusted financial institution, offering a full range of cybersecurity safeguards like encryption and strong user authentication. The company even offers a powerful device security feature, which generates unique codes during login for extra protection. The bank is FDIC-insured to the maximum permitted by law: $250,000 per account.
Is HSBC a global bank?
HSBC Bank’s financial products serve 66 countries and territories, with 39 million customers. And while HSBC Bank is an online bank, the company maintains local support across the United States.
Is An HSBC Direct Savings Account Best For You?
HSBC Direct Savings is an excellent, low-cost, and high-return option for both established savers and people who are just getting started. The combination of a strong APY and flexible mobile functionality make this a program that all prospective HYSA customers should have on their radar.
With any financial decision, it’s important to do your homework to make sure you’re getting the best deal. To that end, you may want to check out my recommendations on the best HYSAs before you sign up for any new account.
Here’s to saving more than you’re spending, so you can be one step ahead on the path to financial independence.