I recently opened an HSBC Checking Account to get the $50 bonus, but also to work with my existing HSBC Direct/OnlineSavings account paying 4.80% APY. Now that I have both, I would definitely recommend it! With my SmartPackage Interest Checking account, there is no monthly fee with either direct deposit or $3,000 in combined balances in ‘qualifying accounts’. The big question was whether the OnlineSavings account is such an account. To have written confirmation, I sent an online secure message on HSBC’s site. The response:
Your Online Savings account balance will be included for the combined balance requirement of your checking account.
Sweet! The way I look at it, there are two ways to do the combo:
Interest Checking + OnlineSavings
- To avoid fees, you need to keep $3,000 in combined balances, or simulate direct deposit with an ACH transfer from another bank each month.
- You get your first order of checks for free
- You get an HSBC Mastercard Debit Card
Free Checking + OnlineSavings
- No monthly fees, no minimum balance, no direct deposit requirement
- You do need some sort of checking activity every 3 months, or you’ll be knocked down to Basic Banking checking, which does have fees.
- You need to buy your own checks (less than $9 online)
- No Mastercard Debit Card, just plain ATM card
Both Combos offer:
- Check-writing ability, and thus the ability to link to ING, Emigrant, etc.
- ATM access to money
- Free Online Billpay
- Possible branch access to people who live near one.
- Instant Transfers between Checking and OnlineSavings accounts, and thus possibly avoid HSBC’s longer transfer times.
- Online links and transfers to virtually any other bank account
- The high 4.80% APY rate of the OnlineSavings account.
I’m doing the first combo, and I’m likely going to stop using my ING, Emigrant, and Virtualbank accounts completely now and see how it goes. This will simplify things for me, with less paperwork and easier tracking of things. I’ll be sure leave a couple bucks in each so they don’t close my account without notice.
By Jonathan Ping | Banking | 2/13/06, 8:54pm