HSBC Checking + OnlineSavings = Great Combo

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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.

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  1. I want to sign up for this account now, but given the bonus supposedly expired on Feb. 6, is it worth the risk of not getting the bonus when HSBC when probably have an identical new offer up?

  2. I have opened the accounts with the second combo viz. free checking and online savings. I did get a set of free checks and also got a MasterCard Debit card along with it. Apart from that whtever you have mentioned is very true.

    And this combo does work well as whenever I have to pay a bill, I schedule a transfer from Savings to Checking followed by a Scheduled bill payment the following day from the checking accoount.

  3. If you’re not in a hurry, then there may be another bonus in the future (who knows?). But yeah, that one expired so I wouldn’t try for it.

    NS – If that’s true, then the Free Checking is looking better and better. They don’t mention either of those features on the website. I had to do the first combo for the $50 bonus, but may switch to the Free Checking after six months.

    That’s what I forgot to add – If you signed up for the $50 bonus, you can downgrade your Interest Checking account to a Free Checking account without penalty or losing the bonus after six months.

  4. Jonathon,

    Did you get the $50 bonus in your account yet? I opened my account a few weeks ago and am still waiting.

  5. I’m also doing the first combo. I haven’t received my checks or the debit card yet. The account shows up online, and I haven’t received the $50 bonus yet.

  6. My main bank — where my direct deposit goes and where my online bill pay comes from — is NetBank. I’m wondering if it would be beneficial to switch to HSBC. I sent HSBC an email asking for more information. Specifically, I wonder if the online savings account would count towards the $3K to avoid fees. Also, I wonder of the M/C debit card can be pointed to the online savings account? If not, I wonder if there is a fee to use the online savings account for overdraft protection on the checking account, i.e., a fee when the checking is overdrawn and they automatically withdraw funds from the online savings account.
    I’m assuming HSBC does not have prepaid deposit envelopes like NetBank, but I have an account at a local bank to make deposits (cash, coin, and checks that I don’t want to get lost in the mail) that I can transfer elsewhere.

    Then again, I could leave everything the status quo. Having an ATM card for the online savings account is enough of a temptation. 🙂

  7. No Bonus yet, but they said it should come in 45 days, as long as you opened the entire “Smart Package”, which means Interest Checking + Premium Money Market + Debit Card. To get the Debit Card and checks, I had to specifically call and request them.

    “Specifically, I wonder if the online savings account would count towards the $3K to avoid fees.”

    Ummm… I answered that in the first paragraph 😉

  8. Just to add to my previous comment. I did receive a 50$ signing bonus for opening my Free Checking Account with HSBC. So, I guess they are offering the bonus for both the checking accounts. And it usually takes around 4 weeks before you see that amount in your account.

  9. Jonathan, why did you have to specifically call and request your debit card and checks? I thought they will be automatically included in your application package, since they ask you which type of card you prefer during the application…

  10. Additional fact that I found out, through calling them, that some of us already might know. You are allowed only 6 withdrawls (Internet Transaction/ATM withdrawals) from your online savings account per statement period. Anything over would be a fee/penalty.

    Deposits are unlimited of course.

  11. bobbie – I don’t know, but they didn’t send them to me until I did. So if you don’t get it for a while I’d call them.

    jlo – Yes, the 6 withdrawal rule is true of all savings accounts at any bank.

    NS – Did you get the $50 from a previous promotion or the ‘GET50’ one I posted? HSBC has had promotions before for Free Checking, but this one specifically required the SmartPackage. Both are expired anyways, so no big deal.

  12. does the 6 withdrawal rule apply to transfers from your hsbc savings to hsbc checking?

  13. erica,

    Transfers from HSBC Onlinve savings to HSBC Checking is considered ta withdrawal.

    I thought about it. Realistically, I don’t think an average bank user would go over 3-4?

  14. Jonathan – I used the promotion before the ‘GET50’ code. Dont remember wht it was.

  15. I called HSBC, I can verify that you have to call to request your debit MasterCard. They said the checks automatically get processed. I should be receiving them soon.

  16. Fine print. “Offer expires March 15, 2006.” It was extened?

    “HSBC reserves the right to charge your checking account an amount equal to the bonus if your Debit MasterCard account does not remain active for at least 180 days.”

    Do you have to actually use it for it to remain active? It’d be a real pain if they closed it after 179 days.

    Looks like a good combo. I’m going for it.

    Will they pull credit if you already have the online savings account?

  17. Yup, looks like it was extended. Cool.

  18. Regarding the free order of checks and debit card, my experience was different from the other posters here. I got the debit card automatically because I selected that option during opening. I had to sent a Bankmail through their internet banking to request for my free check order.

  19. Hi Jonathan,
    Have you used your HSBC checks to link to your ING and to Virtual Bank accounts?
    Just wondering whether ING or VB has any objection.. though I can’t think why they should.

  20. I linked both with no issues.

  21. I am on the phone with a HSBC representative; he told me that the code expired

  22. Anonymous says

    just received the $50 offer from HSBC. the new expiration date is May 26, 2006.

  23. is it still the GET50 code?

  24. Just two updates about the bullet points under Free Checking in the original article:

    1) From HSBC’s site: “Free first order of selected wallet-style checks” (previous, had to pay for even the first set?)

    2) HSBC Debit MasterCard Card with PayPass or ATM card
    (previously, was ATM card only?)

  25. If you get the HSBC Free Checking and link it to the HSBC Direct Online Savings, can you get a combined monthly statement in the mail as well as bank through one internet banking login?

  26. im planning to open an account here
    but i want to know more about

    mastercard, visa card or checking accounts information

  27. send me email about the information..

  28. i would like to open a savings account could i possibly have the classic savings account, and open a checking account, is there any policies for the remainin balance should be…thanks

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