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HSBC Bank Reviews: Checking, Savings and CD Rates

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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HSBC Bank’s checking account options

HSBC Advance

Offers some free perks, but comes with an abysmal rate.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.01%

$5

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1 (none if opened by a representative at a branch)
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: Up to 4 refunds each month on U.S. ATMs outside New York state
  • Overdraft fee: None

This checking account is meant for those who want to earn a bit of interest – and we mean “a bit”. You will also be paying a $25 monthly maintenance fee unless you either keep a minimum of $10,000 in combined HSBC Bank account balances or have a recurring direct deposit of at least $5,000.

Perks you get with this account include no ATM fees, free HSBC Advance checks (select styles), and access to Advance relationship benefits. This includes various discounts and the option to apply for a rewards credit card with no annual fee.

How to get the HSBC Advance account

To open an HSBC Advance account, fill out an application form online. You’ll be asked to fill in your personal information such as Social Security number, a form of ID, name, address and date of birth. Then you can fund your account.

You can also open an account by calling the bank or stopping in at a local branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on HSBC’s secure website

Member FDIC

HSBC Premier

The account that takes advantage of all of HSBC Bank’s services.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.01%

$5

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1 (none if opened by a representative at a branch)
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $50 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None

While the interest rate paid on these balances aren’t anything to write home about, this checking account does offer services for those who plan on making a lot of international transactions and have a number of accounts across HSBC Bank.

For one, there are no ATM fees or foreign transaction fees when using your debit card. Account holders also get their best rates for HSBC Bank’s money market accounts and mortgages. You’re also paired with a relationship manager who will help you with emergency financial support and priority service wherever you are. You also have the ability to link all eligible worldwide HSBC Bank accounts and make transfers between them.

To waive the monthly maintenance fee, you’ll need to keep a minimum of $100,000 across any qualifying accounts in the U.S.

How to get the HSBC Premier account

To open an account, you can fill out an application form on HSBC Bank’s website. You’ll need to provide your personal details such as name, address, Social Security number and government-issued identification. Afterwards you’ll need to fund the account.

You can also open an account in person or by calling customer service.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on HSBC’s secure website

Member FDIC

Basic Banking

When a basic checking account is all you want.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1 (none if opened by a representative at a branch)
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None

This account is best for those who are looking for a no-frills checking account with no minimum balance amount. The monthly maintenance fee includes free e-statements, a Mastercard debit card, online banking and bill pay. Unfortunately, this account isn’t interest-bearing, nor can you waive the maintenance fee like at other online banks.

Another important aspect to note is that you only get the first eight checks or withdrawal slips you write for free. Exceed that limit in a month and and you’ll be paying $0.35 for each check or withdrawal you make. Keep in mind that this limit doesn’t apply to bill pay, ATM withdrawals or for Illinois residents

How to get a Basic Checking account

You can open a Basic Checking account by filling out an online application form. You must be at least 18 years of age, have a Social Security number, currently have a U.S. residential address and have had U.S. residency for the past three years to apply for an account online. If you do not have a Social Security number or have a military address, you will need to contact customer service. You’ll also need a government-issued ID.

Alternatively, you can call customer service or open an account in person at your local branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on HSBC’s secure website

Member FDIC

Choice Checking

A step above the basic checking account with the ability to waive the monthly maintenance fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1 (none if opened by a representative at a branch)
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None

The Choice Checking account is a great option for those who intend to use the account for regular transactions. This account isn’t interest-bearing, but you can waive the maintenance fee like at other online banks. To waive the monthly maintenance fee, you’ll need to either set up a recurring direct deposit from an outside institution or maintain a total combined account balance of at least $1,500.

Aside from free online banking, mobile banking, a Mastercard debit card and bill pay, there are no limits on transactions as with the Basic Checking account.

How to get the Choice Checking account

Head over to the HSBC Bank website and fill out an application form. You’ll be asked to fill in your personal information such as Social Security number, a form of ID, name, address and date of birth. You’ll then be able to fund your account.

Otherwise, you can open an account in person or by calling the bank.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on HSBC’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How HSBC Bank’s checking accounts compare

Despite the range of services available with HSBC Bank’s checking accounts, the interest rates paid on balances fall way short when compared to some of the best offerings out there. Other competitors offer much higher rates on checking accounts and require no minimum balances. Competitors offer free checks and ATM reimbursements without socking you with hefty fees like those charged by HSBC Bank. Unless have other existing accounts with HSBC Bank or are interested in the bank’s international products, you’re better off looking elsewhere.

HSBC Bank’s savings account options

Everyday Savings

An extremely low rate even for a basic savings account.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.01%

$1

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1 (none if opened by a representative at a branch)
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 (can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None

This is HSBC Bank’s basic savings account and it really doesn’t offer any bells or whistles. You get free online banking and can avoid the monthly maintenance fee by keeping an average ledger balance of at least $500.

HSBC will charge you $0.75 per withdrawal you make over three in a month, unless you have a minimum average balance of $1,000 or more in the account. And, because this is a savings account, Federal Reserve Regulation D limits account holders to six withdrawals per month.

How to get the Everyday Savings account

To get this account, you can fill out an online application form on HSBC’s website. You’ll be asked to provide information such as your name, address, Social Security number, and government-issued ID. Then you’ll need to fund the account. You can also head to your local branch or call the customer service line.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on HSBC’s secure website

Member FDIC

Advance Savings

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.01%

none

0.05%

$15,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1 (none if opened by a representative at a branch)
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: Up to 4 refunds each month for U.S. ATMs outside New York state
  • Overdraft fee: None

This account offers a higher rate, but only if you can qualify for the account. To be eligible, you need to already have either the HSBC Advance Savings account or the HSBC Premier checking account.

This savings account is also part of the HSBC Advance relationship program, which has features such as ATM refunds, preferred rates and more. To stay in the program, you need to have at least $10,000 across your qualifying HSBC Bank accounts or have at least $5,000 in direct deposits each month. If you no longer have either the HSBC Advance or Premier checking account, your account could be converted to the Everyday Savings account without notice.

As with all savings accounts, Federal Reserve Regulation D mandates that account holders are limited to six withdrawals a month. HSBC Bank does not charge an excess withdrawal fee for this account, however, once the account has violated the Regulation D limits, HSBC will notify you and may convert the account to a transaction type account or close the account.

How to get the Advance Savings account

To get this account, you’ll need to first enroll in the HSBC Advance program. To do so, you can head over to their online application form and open an HSBC Advance checking account. If you already have one, simply log into your account online and you can begin the application process there.

Otherwise, you can also head to your local branch to open an account or by calling customer service.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on HSBC’s secure website

Member FDIC

Premier Savings

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.01%

none

0.10%

$25,000

0.15%

$100,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1 (none if opened by a representative at a branch)
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None

To be sure, these are much better rates compared to the other two savings accounts, but you can only qualify for them if you start an HSBC Premier relationship. This means you’ll need to have an Premier checking account and keep at least $100,000 in qualifying HSBC Bank accounts. Unless you intend on keeping a lot of money with HSBC Bank, you might want to look at other options.

However, if you’re looking for a comprehensive banking solution, this could be a great choice.

How to get Premier Savings account

You can open an account in person, by calling the bank. You can also do so online by first opening a Premier checking account. If you’re an existing Premier checking account holder, simply log into your account online and you can begin the application process there.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on HSBC’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How HSBC Bank’s savings accounts compare

HSBC Bank requires relatively high minimums for their best rates. Yet these rates are minuscule compared to what other competitors are currently offering on savings accounts and many don’t even offer limited ATM access.

All this said, you’re better off looking elsewhere.

HSBC Bank’s CD rates

Direct CD

Term

APY

New Customers Only

6 months

0.75%

12 months

0.80%

24 months

0.80%

Existing Customers Only

9 months

0.01%

18 months

0.05%

36 months

0.10%

48 months

0.15%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of term:
    • Up to 369 days – 30 days simple interest
    • 370 to 733 days – 90 days simple interest
    • 734 days and greater – 180 days simple interest

This is a fixed rate CD. Interest is compounded daily and credited either monthly, quarterly or semi-annually. If your CD term is a year or less, interest will be credited at maturity.

HSBC’s rates and terms differ depending on whether you’re a new customer or an existing customer.

If you don’t have your CD set to automatically renew, you’ll receive a notice before your maturity date. Once it matures, you’ll have a 10-day grace period in which to decide what to do. Otherwise, it’ll either automatically renew or remain in the account – you won’t earn any interest – until you inform HSBC Bank what you want to do.

How to get HSBC Bank’s Certificates of Deposit

You can open a CD account by filling out an online application form. You’ll need to enter in personal details such as your name, address and Social Security number. Then you’ll need to fund the account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on HSBC’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How HSBC Bank’s CD rates compare

HSBC’s CDs are similar to its other retail banking products, with lower than average interest rates. Even the promotional rates for new customer fall short of their online counterparts’ CD rates and other banks and credit unions also offer a wider range of terms. Even though HSBC Bank does offer a lower minimum deposit amount, you’re still better off looking elsewhere.

Overall review of HSBC Bank’s banking products

One of the only advantages we can really come up with for HSBC Bank is it offers a way to transfer between international accounts and no transaction fees for their debit card for certain accounts. Otherwise, there really isn’t much else to differentiate it. Their banking products offer really low rates and minimal features, unless you’re willing to keep a large chunk of cash with the bank.

In short, if you’re looking to park your savings in a checking, savings or CD account, look for better rates elsewhere.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Auto Loan, Reviews

LightStream Auto Loan Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

Reviewed By

If you’re in the market for a quick, affordable and hassle-free way to finance your next car, a LightStream auto loan should definitely be on your radar. It’s particularly well-suited for deal-seekers with good credit who don’t mind working with an online company when it comes to financing their cars. If you’d rather work with a local company that can offer in-person support, however, you might want to skip this lender.

How LightStream auto loans work

LightStream offers a wide range of options for financing your next ride, including:

  • Purchase of a new or used car, either from a dealer or an individual
  • Auto loan refinance (except it does not refinance its own loans)
  • Auto lease buyouts
  • Loans for motorcycles, as well as boats and RVs
  • Classic car loans

Auto loans at a glance:

  • Starting APR range: 3.49%–9.49%
  • Fees: None
  • Loan amounts: $5,000–$100,000
  • Terms: 24–84 months
  • Credit requirements: Minimum 660 credit score
  • Mileage or vehicle restrictions: None

LightStream offers the same starting rate whether you’re buying a new or used car from a dealer, something you don’t see at other lenders. But keep in mind that the lowest rates go to those with the best credit who opt for the shortest loan terms possible and use autopay to make their car payments.

Satisfaction guarantee

If you see a lower rate elsewhere, LightStream will beat any verified offer with a rate that is .10 percentage points lower. It also promises a $100 guarantee within 30 days if you aren’t satisfied with your loan experience.

How to apply for a LightStream auto loan

The only way you can apply for a LightStream auto loan is through its online form. It is an online lender, after all, so you should be comfortable with handling your business details — including the loan application — online. You’ll need to:

  1. Acknowledge receipt of LightStream’s statement on the use of electronic records.
  2. Agree to receive electronic records.
  3. Agree to use electronic signatures to sign your loan documents.

You’ll also need to have a Visa or Mastercard credit card to apply, which LightStream uses during the verification process.

You will be asked to provide:

  • The purpose, term and amount of desired loan
  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Phone number
  • Social Security number
  • Employment information
  • Annual income
  • Total amount of assets and equity in your home

From there, LightStream may contact you for more details and documentation. If approved, you’ll need to sign your loan documents electronically and provide LightStream with your bank account details. The money will then be deposited into your bank account, which means you’ll need to pass it along to the seller, whether that’s a dealer or private seller. LightStream will not send the money to the seller directly.

It’s important to note that LightStream doesn’t offer any preapproval options, but if you apply and are approved for a loan, you are under no obligation to accept the loan.

How to qualify for the best rates

LightStream requires good credit at a minimum, but looks for excellent credit when giving the best rates. It defines excellent credit as:

  • Five or more years of significant credit history.
  • A credit history with a variety of account types such as major credit cards (for example, Visa, MasterCard, Amex), installment debt (vehicle loans) and mortgage debt if applicable.
  • An excellent payment history with no delinquencies or other problems repaying debt obligations.
  • A proven ability to save as shown by some or all of the following: liquid assets (stocks, bonds, bank deposits, etc.), cash down payments on real estate, retirement savings and little, if any, revolving credit card debt.
  • Stable and sufficient income and assets to easily repay current debt obligations and any new loan with LightStream.

Pros and cons of LightStream auto loans

LightStream offers the convenience of an online lender with the backing of a brick-and-mortar bank as the online arm of Truist, the bank created by the merger of  SunTrust Bank and BB&T. But it’s important to weigh all of your options carefully when choosing an auto loan. It’s one of the biggest purchases you’ll make, after all.

Pros

  • Wide variety of loans: New, used, refinance and lease buyouts loans are available on a wide range of vehicles. Unlike other lenders, LightStream doesn’t place restrictions on your vehicle’s age, make, model or mileage.
  • Decent rates: We’ve seen lower starting rates at credit unions, but you’ll have to meet membership requirements. LightStream has no membership requirements and provides the same starting rates for new and used vehicles as well as refinance loans.
  • No down payment required: LightStream finances up to 100% of the car’s cost. Of course, it’s always best to put down as much as you can afford on an auto loan. This will help you save money over the life of your loan and avoid becoming underwater on that loan.
  • Quick funding: If you complete the application process and are approved by 2:30 p.m. EST, you could receive funds the same day.
  • Good reviews: LightStream auto loan reviews are generally positive.

Cons

  • Good credit required: To qualify for a LightStream auto loan you’ll need a credit score of at least 660 or better.
  • No preapproval process: Unlike many lenders, you’ll have to complete a full application in order to see your rates and terms. Still, the process is fast, and if you complete your rate shopping within a certain time period, multiple applications should not impact your credit any more than a single application.
  • No face-to-face service: If you’re the type of person who likes to seal the deal with a handshake after signing the documents, you’ll want to stick with some place local.

LightStream vs. Capital One

If you’d like a bit more of a guided approach to the car-buying process,  Capital One’s Auto Navigator loan options might be better for you. Rather than sending you cash directly that you can use on whatever car you want to buy, Capital One’s Auto Navigator service lets you first get prequalified for financing, and then shows you which dealers in your area may offer based on the type of car you want to buy and the financing you can afford.

If any of the offerings pique your interest, you can then finish the application and buy the car. It’s still a good idea to compare the offer with other new and used car loan rates.

LightStream vs. Carvana

Carvana works similarly to Capital One Auto Navigator in that you can prequalify for financing and browse real cars in your area that you may then be able to buy. It’s important to remember that Carvana only sells used cars and its financing is only available on Carvana cars. But it is possible to finance here with poor credit — Carvana requires borrowers to be 18 years old, have no active bankruptcies on their credit report and earn at least $4,000 per year.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Credit Cards, Reviews

CreditStacks Mastercard Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Written By

The CreditStacks Mastercard offers a unique opportunity for individuals with little or no U.S. credit history – such as recent college graduates or professionals relocating to the U.S. for employment – to be approved for a credit card.

That’s because instead of requiring a Social Security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) as most traditional credit cards do, the CreditStacks Mastercard allows applicants to apply using a valid passport or U.S. government-issued ID, a U.S. visa or a permanent resident “green” card (if applicable), as well as proof of income. The CreditStacks Mastercard also allows you to apply up to 60 days prior to starting your new job in the U.S.

We break down the pros and cons of the CreditStacks Mastercard, and show how it compares to the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, which is also designed to help individuals establish or rebuild credit.

CreditStacks Mastercard pros

No credit history required. With the CreditStacks Mastercard, you can apply without a Social Security number and with little or no U.S. credit history. Once you obtain your Social Security number, you must provide it within 60 days of account opening. At that point, CreditStacks will begin reporting your credit activity to the Equifax and TransUnion credit bureaus.

Note, if you have been living in the U.S. for more than one year, you will be required to provide a Social Security number when applying for the card. A credit check may also be performed.

Decent credit limit. The CreditStacks Mastercard offers a credit line of up to $5,000 – which is a generous amount for an unsecured credit card that doesn’t require credit history.

Your credit limit will be determined by the proprietary underwriting procedures of CreditStacks, which will consider your current employment situation and additional factors, instead of your credit score.

No annual fee. The CreditStacks Mastercard comes with a $0 annual fee.

Additional CreditStacks Mastercard benefits:

  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection(™). Access free identity theft resolution services, as well as Mastercard ID Theft Alerts(™).
  • Extended warranty. Receive an extended warranty of up to one year past a manufacturer’s warranty of 12 months or less.
  • Purchase protection. If you are dissatisfied with a purchase, you may be eligible to receive a full refund for up to 60 days from the date of purchase.
  • Price protection. Get reimbursed for the difference if you find a lower price for an eligible new item within 60 days of purchase using your CreditStacks Mastercard.
  • Purchase assurance. Cardholders receive coverage if an item is lost, damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase.
  • Travel protections. The CreditStacks Mastercard offers a MasterRental(R) collision damage waiver, lost or damaged luggage insurance, travel accident insurance, baggage delay insurance and trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance. Plus, receive access to exclusive experiences and offers through Priceless Cities and special travel offers through Mastercard’s online booking tool.
  • Cellphone insurance. If you use your CreditStacks Mastercard to pay your monthly cellphone bill, you can receive coverage against theft or damage of up to $600 per claim and up to $1,000 per 12-month period.

CreditStacks Mastercard cons

No rewards program. The CreditStacks Mastercard does not offer a sign-up bonus or rewards on the purchases you make using the credit card. That said, when trying to build or rebuild credit, it’s best to focus on paying your bill on time and in full (when possible) each month, rather than racking up rewards.

No intro APR on purchases. The CreditStacks Mastercard does not offer a 0% intro APR on purchases – meaning, if you don’t pay your balance in full each month, you will be subject to interest charges at a rate of 15.49% Variable APR.

That said, the card’s ongoing APR for purchases is reasonable – considering that some cards designed for individuals with little or no credit come with APRs upwards of 26.99% (variable).

Compare it to the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Similar to the CreditStacks Mastercard, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is designed for individuals with little or no credit. However, because it is a secured credit card, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® requires a refundable security deposit of $49, $99 or $200, for an initial credit line of $200.

If you deposit more money before your account opens, you may be eligible for a higher credit line, up to $1,000. Additionally, you can be given access to a higher credit line after demonstrating responsible card usage by making your first five monthly payments on time.

While the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® does not require U.S. citizenship to apply, it does require a valid SSN or ITIN, as well as a residential address in the U.S. or a U.S. military location.

See how the cards compare side-by-side in the table below.

CreditStacks Mastercard vs. Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

 CreditStacks MastercardCapital One® Secured Mastercard®
Annual fee$0$0
Rewards rateN/AN/A
Credit lineUp to $5,000$200-$1,000
Deposit requiredNone$49, $99 or $200
Regular purchase APR15.49% Variable26.99% (Variable)

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® also comes with a number of benefits, including auto rental collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance, extended warranty and 24-hour travel assistance services. As a Capital One member, you will also have access to virtual card numbers and account alerts from Eno, as well as access to your credit score and fraud monitoring through CreditWise.

But if you plan to carry a balance on your card, you’ll be better off with the CreditStacks Mastercard, since the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® comes with a substantially higher APR of 26.99% (Variable).

Read our: Capital One Secured Mastercard review

Which credit card is best for me?

If you haven’t yet established credit in the U.S., the CreditStacks Mastercard could be a good fit. In addition to not requiring a Social Security number for approval, the card helps build your credit by reporting to two major credit bureaus.

But if you’re in the market for a secured credit card and already have a SSN or ITIN, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is a good alternative. While the card offers a much lower credit line than the CreditStacks Mastercard, it does offer a variety of useful benefits that aren’t common for a secured credit card.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.