HSBC Advance Checking Account Review: Okay Interest but Awesome Perks

Kailey is an industry specialist covering bank accounts, credit cards, and all things personal finance. Her work has appeared on USA Today, CNN Money, Fox Business, and MSN Money.

We are committed to full transparency in our mission to make the world smarter, happier, & richer. Offers on The Ascent may be from our partners - it's how we make money - and we have not reviewed all available products and offers. That transparency to you is core to our editorial integrity, which isn’t influenced by compensation.

The HSBC Advance Checking Account won't impress those looking for high interest rates, but its unique perks are akin to what's offered with the best checking accounts. You can earn cash back during your first year, plus you'll get free basic checks, monthly ATM fee reimbursements, and the option to add a personal line of credit that you can use for anything you want.

However, those with low average balances would probably do better elsewhere, because the monthly maintenance fee could easily cost them more than they'd earn in interest.

Top perks

Earn 2% cash back during your first year: Those who open an HSBC Advance Checking Account by June 29, 2020, and set up qualifying direct deposits to their account will earn 2% cash back on qualifying direct deposits up to $30 per month and a maximum of $350 per year. This cash back automatically shows up in your account within about eight weeks of completing that month's qualifying activities.

No minimum requirements to open the account: You don't need to put any money in your HSBC Advance Checking Account right away if you open the account with a HSBC representative's assistance at one of its branch locations. Those who prefer to open an account online only need $1 to do so. But you'll need a minimum balance of at least $5 if you'd like to earn interest, and you may need a much higher balance to avoid a monthly maintenance fee.

Four ATM fee reimbursements per month: You can withdraw money for free at any HSBC Bank ATM, but if there isn't one near you, that's OK. HSBC will also reimburse you for up to four out-of-network ATM fees per month. This isn't as many as some other banks offer, but it should be plenty for all but the most frequent ATM users.

Option to add a personal line of credit: HSBC Advance Checking Account holders have the option to apply for Select Credit. This is a personal line of credit that you can use as needed, so you don't have to worry about taking out a personal loan for a large purchase. You can also link it to your HSBC Advance Checking Account to use it as a form of overdraft protection if you're concerned about accidentally withdrawing more than you have.

Free basic checks: All HSBC Advance Checking Account holders can get basic checks for free. There are a few styles for you to choose from, but if you want something other than the basic checks, you will have to pay for them.

What could be improved

You won't earn much interest: The HSBC Advance Checking Account offers a 0.01% APY. While this is better than not earning any interest at all, there are other checking accounts that offer higher APYs. One of these may be a better fit for you if you're set on a checking account that can help you grow your wealth.

You might have to pay a monthly maintenance fee: The HSBC Advance Checking Account has a monthly maintenance fee, which you can waive if you have an HSBC U.S. residential mortgage loan, a $10,000 minimum combined balance in all your HSBC bank and investment accounts, or a $5,000 minimum combined balance plus a monthly recurring direct deposit. Those who cannot meet one of these requirements are better off choosing a different checking account that doesn't charge any monthly maintenance fees because the HSBC Advance Checking Account will just cost them money.

Fees

HSBC Advance Checking Account Monthly Maintenance ATM Withdrawal Overdraft Stop Payment Insufficient Funds
Fees $25 $0 $0 for overdrafts resulting from ATM withdrawals or everyday debit card transactions. Fee varies for those with linked HSBC credit cards or other lines of credit $30 per item $35 per item

How to access your money

Here's a closer look at how you can deposit and withdraw money from your HSBC Advance Checking Account:

Deposit options

You can add money to your HSBC Advance Checking Account using any of the following methods:

  • ACH transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Mailed check
  • Mobile-deposited check
  • Visit an HSBC branch

You can find the HSBC branch nearest you by entering your location into the Locator tool on HSBC's website.

Unlike most banks, HSBC charges for incoming wire transfers, so you should pay another way if you don't want to get hit with extra fees.

Withdrawal options

You can withdraw money from your HSBC Advance Checking Account in any of these ways:

  • ACH transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Request a mailed check
  • ATM withdrawal
  • Point-of-sale withdrawal
  • Visit an HSBC branch

Use the ATM Locator tool on HSBC's website or in its mobile banking app to find the surcharge-free ATM nearest you.

Alternatives to consider

The Discover Cashback Debit Account is a great fit for those who like the cash-back rewards HSBC offers but want them to last beyond the first year of account ownership. It offers cash back on all debit card purchases, and it also has no minimum balance requirements and no monthly maintenance fees. It could prove to be more affordable for those who don't qualify for any of HSBC's maintenance fee waivers.

Those hoping to earn a lot of interest on their checking account funds should also check out the Axos Bank Rewards Checking Account. It offers an APY that bests many savings account APYs, although there are a few requirements you must meet in order to qualify for its highest rate. There are no monthly maintenance fees, and you get unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements. This may suit you better if you don't live near any HSBC branches.

Rates as of March 18, 2020
Offer
HSBC Advance Checking
 
 
Discover Cash Back Debit
 
Member, FDIC
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
 
Member, FDIC
Rating
Rating image, 5.0 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
APY

APY: N/A

APY: 0%

APY: Up to 1.25%

Best For

Best For:

Best For: Cash back on $3,000 of spend monthly

Best For: High APY and unlimited ATMs

Min. to earn APY

Min. to earn APY:

Min. to earn APY: $1

Min. to earn APY: $1

Next Steps

This checking account is right for you if:

The HSBC Advance Checking Account is a good fit for those with large average bank account balances who prefer other perks to a high APY. Few other checking accounts offer cash back, free checks, and monthly ATM reimbursements in addition to a modest APY. Plus, the option to add a personal line of credit will appeal to those who need to borrow money from time to time but hate jumping through the hoops of applying for loans.

About the Author