The high-yield online savings account from HSBC Advance offers a competitive interest rate, ATM access to savings (around the globe) using their free ATM card, and also comes with an account aggregator to see all your accounts in one place. This is my full review of HSBC Advance for those of you who still might be in need of an online savings account.
HSBC Advance (formerly called HSBC Direct) is the online savings arm of the well-known world-wide bank, HSBC. They are not a new player in the online banking world. They’ve been around for quite some time. And in 2007 they were noted as Best of Breed by CNNMoney.
Here are the specifics of their online savings account offering:
- FDIC Insured.
- 1.10% APY (at 10/27/2010).
- No monthly fees. No fees for transfers or HSBC ATM use.
- No minimum balance requirement. $1 needed to start.
- Manage your account on HSBCadvanceUSA.com instead of at a branch.
- Access to our 24/7 customer support.
- Deposit money at any HSBC ATM or by mail.
In addition to the savings account, they also offer CDs and credit cards. They also have checking and many other products through their regular bank which can easily be connected and viewed under one account. Note that their online billpay account has been discontinued for new accounts.
Although I don’t bank with HSBC Advance, I always thought they may be a good savings account to have for the frequent international traveler. If you go anywhere internationally, you are going to see HSBC banks. They are everywhere. Here’s the deal. With an online savings account through HSBC Advance, you will only pay the 3% foreign exchange fee to access your funds internationally at HSBC ATMs. Although it’s not perfect, it’s the best deal I’ve seen from a U.S. based online savings account.
One complaint I do have about HSBC Advance though is their website. They have out-dated information presented ($75 Apple® Gift Card offering which has expired), they lack “about” information about the HSBC Advance (Direct) part of their business, and their global homepage at HSBCadvance.com says they don’t have an Advance account in the U.S. yet. These are minor complaints. But I expect more attention to detail from a bank.
Another great feature that I see from HSBC Advance is their account aggregator, EasyView, which is powered by Yodlee. This feature lets you see all your accounts (not just at HSBC) in one place. I love this type of service (currently use Mint.com for this) and this is the first time I’ve seen it available from an online savings account.
I tested the customer service at HSBC Advance by calling their 24/7 service line at 1.888.404.4050. The phone was answered quickly by an American and my questions about the account were answered quickly and professionally.
In summary, HSBC Advance has a solid online savings product here. It has everything you could expect from a top-notch online savings product: no fees or minimums, FDIC, etc. The EasyView feature is their unique offering. Plus, it’s really ideal for anyone who may need to access funds internationally from their savings account. Therefore, if having an attached billpay account isn’t a need for you, then consider HSBC Advance.