How To Open an HSBC Account

It's simpler than you think to get started with HSBC.

If you’re here, you’ve likely already decided on — or are strongly considering — opening an HSBC account. HSBC is a global financial institution founded in 1865. As one of the world’s largest banking organizations, it serves more than 40 million customers throughout 64 countries/territories. 

A recent GOBankingRates survey found that more than 30% of Americans don’t have bank accounts. And many who do never consider moving their assets to another bank — even when they’re offered lucrative sign-up bonuses to do so. Whether you’re a first-time bank account owner or you have experience across multiple banks, learning how to open an HSBC account is simple. 

This guide will cover every step to opening an account with HSBC, as well as main account features, how to avoid fees and whether HSBC is really the right choice for you. 

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Steps To Open an HSBC Account

If you’re wondering how to open an HSBC account, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will give you detailed instructions on finding the right account for you, what documents you’ll need to open it, how to apply in person or online and more. 

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1. Determine Which Bank Account You Want To Open

The HSBC account you want to open depends on your current banking needs. Are you looking for a bill-pay account to use for rent, utilities and other monthly expenses? Or do you need a secure place to grow that new car fund? 

HSBC has a bevy of checking, savings and CD accounts,  but for the sake of simplicity we’ll talk mostly about its checking and savings options.

HSBC checking accounts

  • HSBC Premier: Best for customers who keep high balances
  • HSBC Advance: Best for customers who want great mortgage rates
  • Choice Checking: Best for customers who want to fulfill day-to-day banking needs
  • Basic Banking: Best for customers who don’t use their account often 

HSBC savings accounts 

  • HSBC Premier Savings: Best for customers who keep high balances
  • HSBC Advance Savings: Best for the typical banking customer with a medium balance
  • HSBC Everyday Savings: Best for customers with lower balances who still want to save

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Look: 10 Banks Offering Free Checking With no Minimum Balance

2. Gather Your Personal Information 

You may be asking yourself “What do I need to open a HSBC account?” Well, here are the HSBC account opening requirements. Whether you’re applying for an account online or in person, you’ll still need these documents/information. 

  • Personal information (name, date of birth) 
  • Social Security number
  • Contact information (phone number, email, address) 
  • Employment status and income 

If you decide to go to a branch to open an account, you’ll want to bring your driver’s license, state ID or military ID to verify your identity. 

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3. Apply Online or in Person

You can apply to open an account either online or in person. The process should be simple if you have all the required information listed above. 

To apply online, follow these steps: 

  1. Go to the HSBC homepage
  2. Hover over the “Banking” tab on the left
  3. Click on the type of account you want to open 
  4. Select the specific account you would like to open
  5. Click “Learn more” and then “Get started” 
  6. Fill out the necessary information

You can also visit your nearest HSBC branch and have a representative walk you through the application process. This is preferable for customers who are new to HSBC or new to banking in general. To find a HSBC location near you, use its branch locator and enter your location.

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What To Do If You Need Help From HSBC Customer Service 

If you have questions that could best be answered by an HSBC customer service representative, call one of the following numbers: 

  • Personal Banking: 800-975-4722
  • HSBC Premier Banking: 888-662-4722
  • HSBC Advance: 866-584-4722

During the coronavirus pandemic, phone hours have been moved to 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET. You can also chat with an HSBC representative via chat in your online banking portal, or send the bank mail at HSBC Bank USA, N.A., P.O. Box 2013, Buffalo, NY 14240.

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HSBC Account Fees and Features

You may be wondering “What are HSBC’s account types?” Just like any other major bank, HSBC gives you access to a range of checking, savings and CD accounts. This guide will be going over the main fees and features of HSBC checking and savings accounts. 

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Checking Account Fees and Features 

Different banks have different policies regarding checking account fees. HSBC, in particular, has service fees for its checking accounts, but they can usually be waived with a high enough balance. 

This table will go over the various minimums, fees and benefits for each HSBC checking account, so you can weigh your options and decide which one is right for you. 

HSBC Checking Accounts at a Glance
Fees and FeaturesHSBC Premier HSBC Advance Choice Checking Basic Banking 
Minimum opening deposit$75,000 OR direct deposits totaling at least $5,000 a month$5,000 OR one qualifying direct deposit per month$1,500 OR one qualifying direct deposit per month ($0 minimum for students)$0
Monthly service charge$50$25 $15$1
Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fee$0  $0 $2.50 $2.50 
Overdraft fee$0 $35 $35 $35 
BenefitsUnlimited ATM withdrawal and international banking servicesLower balance requirement and preferred mortgage rates Easy-to-meet balance requirements and international bankingSimple, balance requirements 

Find Out: Best Checking Accounts of 2020

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Savings Account Fees and Features

HSBC has three savings accounts; one for higher balances, one for moderate balances and one for lower balances. Its highest APY is 0.15% and its lowest is 0.01%. 

Check out HSBC’s savings accounts and see which one fits your needs. 

HSBC Savings Accounts at a Glance
Fees and FeaturesHSBC Premier SavingsHSBC Advance Savings HSBC Everyday Savings 
Minimum opening deposit$0, but you must have an HSBC Premier checking account already$0, but you must have an HSBC Premier or Advance checking account already$0
Monthly service charge$0$0$0
Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fee$0$0$2.50
Overdraft fee N/A N/A N/A
BenefitsTiered and competitive interest rates based on balanceLower balance requirement and easy international bankingOpen to everyone, no balance requirement

Discover: Best Savings Accounts of 2020

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How To Avoid Unwanted Fees 

Avoiding HSBC banking fees is a matter of meeting the account minimum balance or direct deposit requirements. Here are the requirements for each account:

  • Premier: $75,000 OR direct deposits totaling at least $5,000 a month
  • Advance: $5,000 OR one qualifying direct deposit per month
  • Choice Checking: $1,500 OR one qualifying direct deposit per month ($0 minimum for students)
  • Basic Banking: $1 monthly service charge no matter what 
  • Everyday Savings: $0

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Monitoring and Protecting Your Bank Account

The main reason that so many Americans won’t use online banking is the fear of fraud. But there are things you can do to help prevent this from happening. And, if it does, be assured that HSBC accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000, so as long as you’re below that amount, you’ll get your money back. 

Here are some steps you can take to avoid fraud: 

  • Use strong passwords that nobody else could guess. 
  • Enable two-factor authentication, meaning your account is accessed with a two-step process including a password and fingerprint or face scan. 
  • Install cybersecurity protection on your computer and phone. 
  • Monitor your transaction history for suspicious activity. 
  • Turn on online banking alerts so you’ll be notified with each transaction.

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Consider: Insider Tips for How To Choose the Best Bank

Should You Open an HSBC Account?

HSBC has consumers in 64 different countries and territories, so if you’re a frequent traveler, it could be the bank for you. It also offers competitive interest rates to customers with high account balances. However, to gain access to its highest savings rate, you need at least $100,000 — and that rate is only 0.15%. Suffice it to say that there are online banks out there with much higher rates for lower balances. 

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Overall, if you’re a traveler who values bank account access from anywhere and low-to-no ATM fees, then HSBC could be the perfect bank for you. But if you’re mostly stateside and prefer lower balance requirements with higher interest rates, you may want to look elsewhere. 

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This content is not provided by HSBC. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by HSBC.

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About the Author

Levi is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. With a background in both print and digital publications, he’s written primarily about military lifestyle and politics and is now transitioning to personal finance.