HSBC Direct Savings Account Review

Matt is a Certified Financial Planner® and investment advisor based in Columbia, South Carolina. He writes personal finance and investment advice, and in 2017 he received the SABEW Best in Business Award.

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HSBC Direct’s Savings account offers an excellent combination of low fees and minimums, a user-friendly platform, and one of the highest APYs in the industry. This high-yield savings offering from one of the largest banks in the world is one of our favorites on the market for these and a few other reasons, which we’ll get into in this review.

What I like about HSBC’s savings account

There’s a lot to like about the HSBC Direct Savings account. To name some of my favorite features:

  • High APY -- The HSBC Direct Savings account currently offers a 2.05% APY (annual percentage yield) which is among the best interest rates offered by high-yield savings accounts.
  • $1 minimum deposit -- To open a new HSBC Direct Savings account, you’ll need an initial deposit of just $1, which must be made from new money (not from another HSBC account).
  • No maintenance fee -- Unlike many branch-based savings accounts, the HSBC Direct Savings doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee.
  • Mobile check deposit -- You can use the HSBC mobile app to make check deposits into your account, and to move money between accounts.
  • FDIC insured -- To be clear, this should be a feature you look for with any savings account you consider, but it’s important to mention that the HSBC Direct Savings account is FDIC-insured to the maximum amounts allowed by law.
  • Live chat -- HSBC offers live chat assistance to customers, which can be a major time-saver as opposed to waiting on hold to speak with a customer service representative.
  • Financial tools -- Account holders can use HSBC’s “Our Money Management Tools” which assist with things like budgeting, savings goals, and more.

Alternatives to consider

Because there’s no such thing as a perfect savings account, if certain features are important to you, it may be a smart idea to look at some alternatives.

Rates as of Oct. 4, 2019
Offer
HSBC Direct Savings
 
Member, FDIC
CIT Bank Savings Builder
 
Member, FDIC
Discover Online Savings
 
Member, FDIC
Rating
Rating image, 5.0 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 5.0 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 5.0 out of 5 stars.
APY

APY: 2.05%

APY: 2.10% (tiered)

APY: 1.85%

Best For…

Best For: High APY and no fees

Best For: High APY

Best For: High APY and bonus

Min. for APY

Min. for APY: $1

Min. for APY: $25k or $100 monthly deposit

Min. for APY: $1

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What can be improved

There’s no such thing as a perfect savings account (or if there is, I certainly haven’t found it). With that in mind, there are a couple of big drawbacks to the HSBC Direct Savings account that you should be aware of:

  • Online only -- Despite the fact that HSBC has over 200 U.S. branches, the HSBC Direct Savings account is online-only, meaning that you can’t walk into a branch and open a high-yield savings account. You can open a savings account in an HSBC branch, but as of this writing, the bank’s other savings accounts have APYs ranging from just 0.01%-0.15%. You can, however, move money between HSBC accounts through the mobile app -- for example, if you have an HSBC checking account.
  • No ATM/debit card access -- Unlike some other online-based savings accounts, there’s no ATM card or debit card of any kind available with the HSBC Direct Savings account. This could be a major disappointment, considering how HSBC not only has a large network of ATMs in the U.S., but around the world.

Funding options

There are a couple of ways to fund a HSBC Direct Savings account. Like most online savings accounts, you can transfer money from a linked external bank account. You can also transfer money from another HSBC bank account, or you can make mobile check deposits through the bank’s mobile app.

Withdrawal options

The HSBC Mobile Banking app allows for transfers between the HSBC Direct Savings account and other qualified HSBC accounts. You can also use the app (or the online portal) to withdraw money from your HSBC Direct Savings account to you external linked bank account(s).

Mobile app

As I’ve mentioned several times throughout this review, HSBC does have a mobile banking app, which allows account holders to deposit checks with their mobile devices and transfer money between accounts, in addition to viewing account balances and transaction history.

To be fair, while there is an app, the HSBC Mobile Banking app isn’t exactly highly-rated by consumers. The app has a 1.4-star ranking (out of five) in the App Store and a 3.3 out of five in the Google Play Store.

How to open an account

The account opening process for the HSBC Direct Savings account is a quick and easy one. You can apply online, and the entire process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Before you start, be sure you have a valid U.S. ID available, as well as information about the bank account you plan to use to fund your new account.

In order to open a HSBC Direct Savings account, you need to be at least 18 years old, have a Social Security number, have a current U.S. address, and have resided in the U.S. for the past three years.

Final take

Ideally, we’d like to see HSBC add features like ATM access to its Direct Savings account. Having said that, this is still a highly-competitive product with an excellent APY, low minimum deposit, and mobile functionality.

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