HSBC Direct Online Savings Review

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Well, I’ve finally gotten full access to my HSBC Direct savings account. The process was a lot longer than I would’ve liked:

Day 1 – I applied online where they asked the usual prying questions and did one of those Experian/Equifax identity checks based on information on your credit report. I hate those, as the questions are always very weird, but I passed. I filled out the signature card online, and opted to fund my account online as well. Nothing to mail in, very nice. They then send two trial deposits to the account that you want to fund from.

Day 3 – In about two business days, the numbers show up in your account, and you have to go back and type in your deposit amounts. After verifying the amounts, HSBC will then suck the amount you want to deposit out of your designated account. I recommend starting out with a small deposit, you’ll see why next.

Days 9-11 – You then have to wait for two separate letters via snail mail. I suppose this increases security, but since I’m on the West Coast and the letters came from New York, they take forever. I got the first letter on Day 9, and it contains your Customer ID login, and is 20 digits long! I got the 2nd letter on Day 11, and it contains your password, another 8-digit beast.

Finally, now you can log into your account and see your money that disappeared from your checking account a week ago. Then, to initiate transfers in between external accounts, you have first make a Security Key, which can only be typed in via your mouse. After that, they want your ATM card number and PIN info. If you don’t have that just click on “Forgot PIN” and call the number they provide. Finally, you can add external accounts.

Day 12 – Two more letters. ATM Card in one, and my HSBC account number and routing number (022000020) in the other. Do they have a vested interest in supporting the U.S. Postal Service or what? Check out Cap’s Review of this process too.

In the end, opening an HSBC Direct savings account to about 12 days, so be forewarned. Their customer service has been pretty good so far, with short hold times except for on weekends. The interbank transfer times are a bit slow, but it balances out with the added flexibility of being able to link almost any bank out there without having to send in checks.

Here is some possibly useful information if you need to contact them from my application form:

Attn: Customer Relationship Center
P.O. Box 4045
Buffalo, NY 14240
Phone: 1-888-404-4050

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  1. I opened an account the around the same day (after the $25 bonus was announced) except I didn’t have to verify with the small deposits method. I verified ownership of the initial transferring account instantly by typing in my ID and password for that account. Also, I am in Illinois so all snail mail took about three days less. In all, I am relatively happy with them so far.

  2. Also, I wanted to add that according to two HSBC CSRs they do NOT run a hard credit check for a bank account application. They do run a ChexSystems check, which virtually all banks do when opening up a new account.

  3. Hmm. I guess I’ll give Emigrant another week or so to bump up their rates, and then my money will be emigrating to HSBC!

  4. One useful feature is that you can rename your customer ID and your password to anything you want. Look under change profile. Much easier to type and remember afterwards 🙂

  5. Thanks – I usually just use a form filler, but yeah that’s probably a good idea. Minimum of 8 characters for username, and your password can’t be the same as your Security Key. Ahh, that’s better =)

  6. Any idea how long before the $25 sign-up bonus gets deposited? Any idea of any minimum amount that needs to be maintained? Are there any other requirements? I opened my account two weeks ago with just a $1 initial deposit. I haven’t deposited anything else but now that HSBC is higher than ED, I might consider to move it all over.


  7. Just completed the online application – now the waiting begins. The credit union that I use: BECU ( does allow transfers to/from ING via their External Transfers module in Online Banking. All you Washington residents should check them out.

  8. I signed up for HSBC and I guess the first time I read the first letter, I misread it because I thought it said I could use the same password I used online or the one from the mail, so I tried to log in using my password since I hadn’t gotten the 2nd letter yet and it denied me once and I figured I typed it wrong so I tried to retype it and it locked my account out. Wouldn’t even work when I got my password in the mail 2 days later. I had to call them. I was on hold for about 25 minutes before someone answered the phone and told me her terminal was down she’d have to transfer me back into the queue but she’d use the code to get me to the front of the cue. But the annoying part is she asked me for my info and then told me her terminal was down.

    Then I got reasked the same questions and even more, I was curious how secure this “security” really was. The girl asked me for the exact deposit amount I made, I told her $5 and it was really $1. She asked what my initial deposits were for verifying Direct Deposit and I told her the wrong amounts as well. How long the account was opened, I told her over a month when it had been a week. And the one I thought would be an issue was address, I told her I had just moved so I wasn’t sure which address I gave them. Which was bogus cause I moved 6 months ago, I gave her my old address. She told me looks like everything matches and reset my password for me.

    The key was social & name. That’s it. So all this extra security is utterly pointless if you can just make stuff up.

  9. Sign up bonus took about 6 weeks to show up for me. I called the CSR a couple of times, not sure if it would have shown up or not without it…

    I’ve found transfers take a little longer than I’d like with this bank. They seem to use your money for a day or two longer than Virtualbank does. Not a huge deal but annoying. You really need to plan your transfers out. For this reason I too may open one of their checking accounts.

  10. Does HSBC still has the $50 bonus for opening checking account? I saw someone posted here about the bonus but couldn’t find the link anymore.

  11. You should be able to push stuff into HSBC from ING without a problem.

    Regarding BECU, I use them, but I’m pretty certain you must be directly related to a Boeing Employee to use them. At least, that was the original setup, it may have changed recently.

  12. Quick question:
    “ING doesn’t play well with CashEdge-based transfer systems.” Does this mean that I can’t link my HSBC with my ING?

  13. According to FatWallet, the $50 bonus ended 9/30. Also, I saw this:

    “NOTE that certain activity is required in order to keep this account free; they will convert it into Basic Checking and charge monthly fees after three months of inactivity.”
    Here’s the link to FW Any confirmation on that?

  14. You can set up your HSBC account as an account under ING. I did this to transfer all my savings out of ING to HSBC.

  15. For a while, you could add accounts with only account number and routing number at ING. They have since disabled this feature. Now, you must send in a check to link external accounts.

  16. Jonathan, I think you forgot to mention the letter with the telephone access code. So far I have 4 letters from HSBC and no ATM card yet. Access ID, Password, Telephone Access Code, Account # & Routing Number. And lucky letter #5 will hopefully have the ATM card.

  17. Have u thought of putting money in 4.40% Pot o’ Gold of umbrella bank or 4.5% Superior Savings. I was reading the FW and just thought would share the opinion.

  18. the $25 sign up bonus will be deposited 45 days after opening, which is about 6 weeks. Be sure not to close your account within 6 months or you’ll have to pay that $25 back

  19. Thanks for your account of the opening process. I too recently opened an account and am quite disappointed that I have to wait for snail mail in order to have full access to my account (I also live on the West Coast). I actually never had any small deposits into the account from which I’m funding my HSBC account, instead the amount I wanted to invest was taken out a couple days after I opened the HSBC account.

  20. I have a money-making idea with HSBC:

    Link your HSBC account to 100’s of other banks. Then those trial deposits can really add up….

  21. Got atm card in the mail today. Was about to setup bank to bank transfer, they want pin thats supposed to come in as well. Called them, and they bypassed the atm/pin requirement. Finally, I am ready to link my accounts!

    One thing to becareful, in the agreement, it says that for using their ATMs you pay $1 fee for checking you balance and $.50 fee for withdrawls from the savings account and thats from their own ATMs, more from other ATMs. In essence, that ATM card you get is quite useless and if lost, could result in few headaches. For ppl that have yet to sign up, I recommend not requesting the ATM/Debit card.

  22. Ah…so the “No ING” transfer thing is related to CashEdge. Huh. Annoying, but so far it hasn’t gotten in my way.

  23. The only problem for me to open this account if that, if you live in current address less than 2 years, HSBC requires your previous address. I just went to the US less than 1 year and my previous address is not US address. Anyone knows how to overcome this problem?

  24. Just got my $25 bonus posted to my account. For the work I did, I deserve that $25 😉

  25. Does HSBC let you set up subaccounts like you can at ING?

  26. I tried to open an account with HSBC to get the $25 bonus. I received the two small deposits and verified them but never received anything more. I called them three times and they said they were still verifying my identity. I finally just gave up; it wasn’t worth the effort.

  27. HSBC is awesome. With 4.25% i believe they will have one of the best rate ever.

  28. still wondering if I should transfer from ED to HSBC.


  29. I was just reading through the User Agreement and I noticed the following concerning use of their Bank to Bank Transfer service.

    18. Service Charges

    Bank to Bank Transfers

    Consumer Checking
    Consumer Savings

    The following Service Charges apply to all Consumer Checking and Savings Accounts when completing a transfer from HSBC to another financial institution. These charges do not apply to a customer that owns an OnlineSavings Account, HSBC Premier, or Domestic Private Banking account.

    Fee Transaction — $3.00 per transaction.

    So does this imply we shouldn’t use their Bank to Bank Transfer service in order to transfer between their Checking account and ING?


  30. LSD – I don’t think they are useless, especially if you have HSBC ATMs in your area. Just don’t ask for an “Account Statement Update”. You don’t need to get one of these if you are just making deposits or withdrawals. Bank of America also charges $1 for these, but calls it a mini-statement.

    If you withdraw money, then you’ll get your balance anyways. I don’t plan on using any HSBC ATMs, but I got one just in case I want to have quick access to my money.

    Neo – Yes, you would want to establish this link at ING by sending them a check. Using their Bank-to-Bank transfers from their *checking* account will cost you $3.

  31. I just got the credit card and pin verification part bypassed. The customer service representative told me that there would not be a $3 fee for transfers from the online bank.

  32. Does anyone know if HSBC charges the fee only when you “push” money from their transfer function? Can you “pull” from another bank (using HSBC routing number, etc) without getting charged the $3? I’m still waiting for all the letters they send before my account is FINALLY open, so I can experiment myself.

  33. Call me frugile… or whatever you want.. I choose to use the Trial deposits, with ING a long time ago, I got maybe 10 cents – not a huge deal. But I applied late last night with HSBC, and my trial deposits already hit today with over a dollars worth of deposits.

    I can’t really have gotten much faster with actually giving them my account information (password and numbers to log on). But a days turnaround, and over a dollars worth is not bad for someone who doesn’t have lots of cash. Add to that the $25, and it’s nothing for “maybe” an hours worth of time in setting up the account!

  34. 1. got all the variations of postings here to open hsbc account, which is now finally open
    2. got ATM card and pin to use in the lone ATM/branch in DC; no csr had emailed yet about my clarification for the atm use charges – i think i got more info from reading the postings in this great site, esp. regarding not to do balance inquiry
    3. my concern is for the last 3 days, i have been trying to call the 800 number and all i get are 2 runs of the menu and then the call gets dropped off – anyone else experiencing this?
    4. i also clicked a link on the ads on this other site – w/c says they are a marketing affiliate for hsbc; they have an 888 number for hsbc w/c gives me same loop back and call drop off; i don’t think its my phone as i am able to get to their menu and use it for other calls…
    5. what do you think? thanks!

  35. forgot to mention getting the $25 bonus sooner than getting bank-to-bank transfer set up…now i am really motivated to get the bonus for opening a smart checking acct – problem is, i can’t find the link…would u mind leading me to it? thanks a bunch jonathan!

  36. Just opened an account in late Feb.. bout a couple weeks ago. I’ve experienced pretty much everything posted here.. from the horrible wait on the snail mail to the frequent calls to customer service to set up the most mundane things that you’d assume they’d automatically do for you (such as re-linking my account that I used to deposit funds in the first place?!)

    All in all from what I’ve read here it seems like a normal part of their service. Can anyone who has been with them awhile speak of their experience after everything is set up?


  37. I tried to open an account, but they requested I send in proof of my address. I sent them a bill as proof, which, they said wasn’t good enough, to which I said.. “You suck”. No problems like that with ING or Emigrant.

  38. HSBC is now up to 4.65%.

  39. Patrick Chivier says

    I want to check my account on my internet banking, but i forgot my password. And i just remember my personal logon. Can you help me to create a new password so i can check my account again.
    Patrick Chivier

  40. Even though I agree with the process being a bit slow, can?t knock the fact that they are very thorough protecting your accounts with all the security measures (I was amazed with the info they had to even ask me these questions, wow?and scary). Let?s face it, if they didn?t ask so many questions when you call or extra pin #s (i.e. bank to bank transfers), we would complain about that. The 2 verification deposits were never taken back. I love the way they have your page set up, the quick response time when you have a question and the step by step guidance. Guess though the only thing I don?t like is not getting temporary checks automatically, that you need to request via phone or coming by the branch to pick the style, however, after making a point that I don?t live close to one of their branches AND that it would be hard to pick a style over the phone, they took my order via email explaining how their basic style looks like. I truly give HSBC a 5 star rating and can?t wait for the little piggy to show another increase on the APY. I am amazed how it went from 4.50 to 4.65 to now 4.80 in such a short period of time. I just enrolled in April. Believe me, once you have the enrollment process done, you will see that this was the best choice, don?t lose out on their great service. Take care!

  41. Does HSBC compound on a daily or monthly basis? What about crediting?

  42. About the HSBC ATM card, thanks for the tip on “don?t ask for an Account Statement Update?.

    I’ve never used my HSBC ATM card yet. How much in total will I be charged if I am using a non-HSBC ATM machine? Including charges from HSBC and surcharges from the machine owner.


  43. This all sounds great and I was going to switch to hsbc direct…
    ..if note for this fine print

    Note: All applicants must be U.S. residents and at least 18 years of age

    – d’you know of any online bank that allows non-us residents? I’m in the Philippines now. Thanks

  44. I’ve had a number of VERY annoying and costly problems with HSBC online savings account. I opened an account with HSBC at the end of January 2007. It took 10 days for my ATM card and pin to arrive. However, my password to access my online account never arrived in the mail. I had to call HSBC on February 8th to get them to resend it. They refused to expedite it (even when I offered to pay to have it sent via Fed Ex). It is now February 22nd and I still have not received my password via mail. I’ve been told that it wasn’t sent out until February 15th and that it would take 7-10 business days. (It’s being sent from New York to Virginia. I could walk to New York in 7-10 business days!)

    The problem with not having my password is that I can’t deposit additional funds into the account. I have over $200,000 sitting in a checking account that I was going to deposit in this account. Every week of delay penalizes me over $230. (The other option would be to send a check to them, but I’ve been told that this process takes at least 10 business days).

    I’m an attorney and I’m very curious whether other people have had similar problems with HSBC failing to send out passwords and/or delaying the process for depositing money into a savings account.

    (Incidently, my wife attempted to open an account with HSBC to circumvent the problems I was experiencing. She waited and waited and waited for the initial deposits to show up in her normal checking account and they never appeared. When she called HSBC, she was informed that she must have entered the wrong checking account information. (She knows that she provided the correct information). Instead of correcting the apparent mistake over the phone, HSBC told her that she would have to start the application process from the beginning. To say that we’re frustrated is a vast understatement.)

  45. Ok… No one answered this one IMPORTANT question about compounding yet:

    Brian Says:

    August 2nd, 2006 at 7:14 pm
    Does HSBC compound on a daily or monthly basis? What about crediting?

    I would like to know this as well. Anybody?

  46. Here is the interest compounding schedule for HSBC, ING, Emigrant, and Virtual Bank

    Online Savings Accounts: Where?s The Fine Print?

    Finally the compounding schedule really isn’t that important:

    Interest Compounded Daily vs. Monthly: Does It Matter?

  47. Great, thank you!

  48. Thanks for that comparison Jonathan, I had forgotten just how small the difference was. No need to worry about compounding schedules at all.

    HSBC has enough complaints here that the 6.00% until 4/30/07 doesn’t sound too enticing anymore. I’m with ING right now.. does anybody think it would still be worth it to set up a second account with HSBC?

  49. Yes, it is good to remember that APY takes into account all compounding frequencies already.

    Keep in mind more people are going to post complaints than praise on the internet, whether for banks or whatever. Nobody is going to search for “places to praise HSBC”, whereas if someone has a problem they will certainly search for a way to complain or try to fix the problem.

    I note that most people are having trouble with the initial openings. Yes, it is tedious. They have a lot of security concerns, which I think are valid if over the stop for some people. Yes, you do have to link your own accounts via Cashedge.

    After all that, I have had good service from HSBC. I have never been charged a surprise fee, or had any missed transfers. They are a bit zealous with their account security, but I’m okay with that. Interest posts on time. When I call, someone usually answers within a few minutes. Their main drawback remains their slower 2-4 day transfer times between banks. If they removed this, I would consider making them my main bank. Again, these are just my opinions.

  50. Perhaps somebody here will know the answer to this questions as my current bank was not able to give me a solid answer.

    When it comes to transferring money from bank to bank…

    I’m currently wanting to transfer money from a Wells Fargo account to the Online Savings account with HSBC. My question is regarding online fund transfers. When I talked to one person at Wells, they seemed to believe this would go through as a wire transfer – Wells would then charge me $33 per transfer. Is this correct, or will an online transfer like this not have any fees from the bank I am transferring to AND from.
    Basically, I would like to put this money in right now, and then be able to pull some out in 5-6 months without losing all the interest I just earned to do so!

  51. For Ryan, I had the same type of problem in Jan 2007. Apparently the day I signed up they “lost” all their info for that day due to a server crash or something. All in all, it took me 3-4 weeks before I was fully “into” my account. The money had transferred at the correct initial date and continued to accrue interest while I waited for the snail mail stuff. It finally came and everything worked as advertised. I’ve had no further problems and have successfully completed several transfers into/out of my HSBC account. Very easy, but it does take about a week to clear and post. I think they say 3-5 business days… At the current 6%, I’m more than pleased!

  52. I’ve got another question about the $3 transfer fees. It says there is no fee when you deposit money into your HSBC, but a $3 fee for sending it out. But then it says no fees for Online Savings account customers. So is there a fee for sending out or no? Also, can I just pay a credit card bill from this online savings account – then I wouldn’t do the bank transfer at all. (I plan to pay back a 0% Citi card on the usual monthly basis). I would like to make the payment with no fees.

  53. There are no transfer fees when you transfer in and out of the Online Savings account.

  54. Ryan, I also had some costly problems with HSBC. I opened my first account fine – no problems. Then, I opened a second JOINT account, which I planned to fund with over $xx,xxx.xx. When I attempted to complete the co-applicant section (several days later), we no longer had access to the funding portion. In between the first section and the second, we had an emergency and needed to use some of our money from the checking account. I called HSBC to say, please decrease my funding amount by $5000. They refused. Sorry, it is done, we have not control. They accused me of providing incorrect information and not funding it correctly. I think it is ludicrous that HSBC has no control at this juncture. I forced an overdraft into my checking account by removing my money only to find out that HSBC cannot even stop their system from attempting to get the money from my account again! I am going to be in the red for the entire week now! On top of all this….the first guy I spoke with said that this happens often. So make sure you type in the right amount and don’t have any last minute emergencies because it is out of HSBC’s hands.

  55. shernell says

    Hey Ryan I have had the same problem with HSBC. I submitted my application on Mar 9,2007. Called on the 23rd of March because I had not received an ATM card or temp password. Called talked to a manager named Eric, got frustrated and hung up. Called back on Tuesday March 27, was told my address was formatted wrong!?!? And they would resend my ATM card and my temp pw. Friday via DHL I received my ATM card. Apr. 2 I received pin. I figured since I requested ATM card and password on same day that I should have also received temp pw. Called today spoke with someone in India stated person I spoke with last week never re-sent my pw and that he would. I argued and pleaded for him to send Fed Ex or DHL just like they sent my ATM. He said no it could only be sent normal mail. I asked him why was my ATM sent DHL he said that was different. I’m boiling with frustration regarding this account. Now I dont think the 6.00 apy is worth this crap!! I wont to know is there anyone I can report HSBC too? Maybe my local DA or the BBB this is crazy? Any suggestions?

  56. They suck at customer service!!!! You will only ever get a foreigh country to deal with and they have no idea how to connect you to a local bank if you happen to be in an area that does not have a branch. I have been trying to get a Power of Attorney cpompleted for my mother’s account (as she is in ICU on life support) for about 3 weeks now. This is the worst experience! As soon as this is done, this account is closed for good! NO interest rate is worth this!!!!!

  57. Ryan, I too have had a problem with setting up my account. I initially applied for the account sometime in late May or early June, but my address had recently changed so the credit check was slowed down a bit and I finally received approval for the account on the 6th of June. I received my ID via e-mail on the 7th or 8th and was told in the e-mail that I’d received my password within 4-6 business days of my account approval. As eager as I was to begin using this account, I called on the 6th day after having not received my password and they told me it’d take 5-7 business days so I should wait a day, then if I still hadn’t received it on the 8th day, to call them back. So I waited, and called them back on the 8th business day (6/19 at this point) and they confirmed my address and said they’d send a new one. So I waited another 7 business days and still nothing (I made calls in between just to confirm the address was correct and that it was mailed out on the 19th).

    So I called again on the 27th, and was eventually redirected to some operator in India. For 30 minutes I argued with him as he read from a script, telling me there’s nothing he can do, but resend it and this time I’d have to wait 8-10 business days for some reason. I refused to accept that, since the other ones never even reached me, I didn’t want to wait two more weeks before I’d have to call again. I asked him to overnight it, he said they couldn’t do it, I asked for him to send it first class instead of the “normal”(?) class that they use, and he said they couldn’t do it. He “talked to his supervisor” twice, but still gave me the same scripted replies. So I told him to refund me my $1 deposit and close my account. He said I’d be charged $25 and I argued that they never even gave me access to the account and refused to pay the fine. He told me I’d have to make the request in writing, so I asked for the mailing address and he went to speak to his supervisor again. Finally he came back and told me that the my address must have been truncated as it went through the departments, so the mailing department was mailing it to an incomplete address, so he put it on 2 lines (which you can’t do yourself during the application by the way) and said he’d mail it to me first class. I finally received my password on the 2nd of July.

    Well, needless to say, I’m thrilled to have my HSBC Online Savings account, but boy was it a pain to get here.

  58. love2ruminate says

    HSBC Direct is down to 4.50 :((

  59. Greg, I have the same question…I’ve been calling Wells Fargo, but they won’t give me a solid answer either. Please someone answer.

    “Perhaps somebody here will know the answer to this questions as my current bank was not able to give me a solid answer.

    When it comes to transferring money from bank to bank…

    I’m currently wanting to transfer money from a Wells Fargo account to the Online Savings account with HSBC. My question is regarding online fund transfers. When I talked to one person at Wells, they seemed to believe this would go through as a wire transfer – Wells would then charge me $33 per transfer. Is this correct, or will an online transfer like this not have any fees from the bank I am transferring to AND from.
    Basically, I would like to put this money in right now, and then be able to pull some out in 5-6 months without losing all the interest I just earned to do so!”

  60. I just opened an online savings with HSBC. I do my banking online with my credit union, so I’m able to see when the money leaves.

    My only complaint was that there was a mix up when I added links to both my checking and savings accounts – money was taken from my checking when I’d requested it be taken from my savings. I fixed this by keeping only a single link so there’s no guesswork where they’ll take it from.

    As of now, the money going to HSBC is shown as a withdrawal, not a wire transfer. (same as paying your credit card online) There are no fees from either the bank or the credit union for these bank to bank transfers. I was relieved, as in the directions it was unclear what was a transfer and what was a wire transfer. Hope this helps.

  61. The term “wire transfer” usually refers to a Federal Funds Wire Transfer. This is something that allows you to receive funds in an account on a same-day basis. Because it takes place rapidly, most banks charge for inbound wire transfers (there may be an outbound charge, as well).

    The bank-to-bank transfers being discussed for the online savings accounts are similar to ACH (Automated Clearing House) transfers. These generally take 3 business days, and should carry no in or outbound fees, as they are costless to the banks — they do not have to put in a request for fed funds. I’ve never been charged for such a transfer, either way.

    That is my understanding of the situation.

    M&T Bank, HSBC’s crosstown Buffalo rival, now has a similar account called the e-Money Market account. The procedure appears to be smoother than with HSBC, and CS is much easier to reach.

    Good luck!!

  62. One more thing about the new M&T account. They don’t have bank-to-bank transfers, as I write this, yet they plan to have them by about 8-1-08.

    Happy banking!!

  63. I’ve just discovered this web site and am interested in the “direct online” savings account. I’m not at all knowlegable about it though. Can anyone send me a web site to read up on it, or explain to me how it works. I’m interested in trying to make my money earn as much as possible with out having to pay out fees etc. And where can I find out which online bank is paying the best interest?
    I just learned of and signed up for the “save yourself” promotion with TD Ameritrade.
    Thanks for any and all advice and information.

  64. i just opened like 3 days ago a becu savings and checking account online and did there minimum deposit. they took the deposit out of my external account already but how come its not showing on my becu account. it shows $0 available balance in my checking and -$5.00 in my savings? what is going on.

  65. I reviewed all related topics about HSBC direct saving deposit, but I still not get the answer. “””””Do I will be charge if I transfer money from “bank of America” checking account thorugh online banking?”””””

  66. Carina – If you initiate through HSBC Direct website, then the answer is no.

  67. No — you will not be charged if you utilize HSBC to initiate. The process is a little cumbersome at first, but easy once you get used to it.

  68. I see no-one has posted in a while, but I hope one of you has an answer for me.

    I’ve had an HSBC direct account for a few months and have interacted with it solely online. I am now living abroad for a while (in China of all places) and, before going to an HSBC branch to try to withdraw some cash – want to understand something so I don’t waste a day of bureaucracy and navigating the city with my minimal (borderline non-existent) mandarin:

    CAN I ACCESS MY HSBC DIRECT account from a physical branch? I’d like to withdraw more than the ATM limit – but I’ve been told that the HSBC DIRECT is technically a separate or slightly different entity and branches can’t access the accounts.

    Has anyone been able to do this? In a country outside the US? Is there any documentation?



  69. Marc, I’ve always used only the ATMs and B-to-B applet on the HSBC site. My understanding, however, is that although your online account is a liability of the same bank as other HSBC accounts, one of the features of the online account is that you cannot do in-branch transactions. That is one of the “give-backs” for the higher rate on the online account. They save by cutting down branch overhead, to a certain extent. In NYC, the ATMs are more convenient than their teller lines, anyway, but I don’t know about other countries’ HSBC branches.

  70. Be aware that HSBC has a breach of information, I have received a scam call, they knew I had HSBC account, my cell phone ( which is registered under different name). When I called HSBC about it, it took me more than two hours to reach and explain to the customer service my concerns. They blamed it on me, they said I might have lose my personal info or something, when I gave them the phone number of the scammers, they were not interested at all.

    Then I decide to transfer all my funds from HSBC to my other bank.

    So it took me another hour to reach the actual branch near me, they told me that they can’t transfer money to my other account, that I have to mail a request to theyir office in BC, I am in ON, so another week of waiting. I ask them what other option I have , they said I don’t have any other, so I should wait.

    Then I ask for the withdrawal of cash, but they said they don’t have cash on hand and that I have to wait up until next Friday, it was Thursday morning.
    Naturally, I was furious, because when I was opening the account they told me that I can withdraw up to 100K if I give them one day notice. After half an hour, of yelling at me that I have no idea how banks work, they decide to give it to me next Tuesday, I wasn’t happy with that too. So after another 15 minutes of arguing they agreed to give me part of the money, but the rest will wait till Tuesday.

    Then I ask them if I could do a money draft to transfer all my money and they finally they said OK we could do that for you, but have a seat we will be with you shortly.

    So then I was sitting there watching them serving other customers for another half an hour, and I notice that if one has “Premium account ” ( or whatever they call it, it is a black card) one will be treated with smiles and timely, and normal account holders are treated like a second class customers.

    So to summarize, The HSBC phone customer service are like a robots and they do not listen to what you say, they have the script of the template answers. And it takes several hours before you can get an answer to “unusual” question.

    The branch customer services is unfriendly and rude.

    HSBC will not give you cash (more than 10K) as soon as you request it or the next day. (even if they have it)

    They don’t care if a scammers are using HSBC name.

    They don’t care if there is a concern that HSBC may have a breach of information.

    Nothing beats a real banks, CIBC, TD, RBC, BMO etc.

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