I am looking for reviews of HSBCdirect.com Online Savings Account. Anyone tried them yet?
They are basically setup similar to ING. No checks, no direct access but you can move money to/from a linked account easily. I'd compare to ING (www.ingdirect.com), be advised it can take 2-3 days to get the money into your linked account so you must plan for the money move ahead of time.
For Internet banking at a "standard" bank, you could check Presidential (www.presidential.com) if you carry at least $1,000 balance (to eliminate fees) and a monthly direct deposit. They currently pay 4.5% APY, they have good rates consistently but I never see them advertise.
I think it's great if you want a higher interest rate and you'd like the account to be somewhat inaccesible so it's easier to save. I have the ATM card but I leave at home and only draw money out for emergencies.
www.ripoffreport.com is a great site that offers feedback on just about any business, and it is also great for filing a complaint about any business that you have had problems with. Online banking can be convenient, but remember that any disputes you may have will have to be handled online or by phone. With identity theft so rampant these days, I don't think I would want my savings to be online--someone may find out how to access your account and take your money without leaving a clue. At least a bank in your area would be able to assist you immediately if theft of your account did occur. If an online bank has higher interest rates than your local bank, you need to think about the risks you are taking as opposed to the extra money your account will accrue. In my opinion, I would rather have a personal banker assist me in investing my savings--you will always be dealing with the same people at one place. When it comes to my money, I want to know exactly where it is, and I want to be able to access it when I want it, especially in case of an emergency. Good luck in whichever option you chose.
We've used HSBC for several months. The interest rate is currently 5.05%, which is the highest money market account out there at the moment. You have to be comfortable with managing your account online, and there is a 3 day waiting period for bank-to-bank transfers. It's easy to transfer money between HSBC and your local bank, there's just that 3 day waiting period. You can set up automatic deductions to make savings automatic. There are no fees or minimums.
A lot of those features are common to all online money market accounts. Personally, I want to switch to the Vanguard Prime Money Market account because it has a longer track record and has always had a good interest rate even during times when others have not, but the interest rate isn't quite as high as HSBC at the moment so I can't convince my husband to switch yet.
Interest rate and track record are what you want to check out. We call these "savings" accounts because that's the term we understand, but they're really "money market" accounts, which means all the money from all account holders is pooled and invested in short term securities like cd's. If the managers do a good job, then the interest rate stays high. If not, they will drop. So track record is important if you don't want to be moving your money around all the time chasing the highest interest rate. That's why I like the Vanguard Prime Money Market account-- it has a good track record-- it's had good interest rates even during rough spots for other companies. Right now they're all doing good so it's tempting to go with the highest interest rate. Also, I think the vanguard account has a fee if you don't have a certain minimum balance, and I don't remember what it was, but I remember it was something we could meet. I don't know if it's easy to move money from the vanguard account to your bank because I've never tried it, but I know that it would be easy to set up automatic deductions because I can do that with our IRAs we have with Vanguard.
Thanks to everyone for providing their opinions. I'm still researching options for a savings account, but the more opinions I can find the better! Most of the replies a bit old, for for anyone reading this now: remember to verify the claims yourself as best you can. Things change!
I have been lookign at three possabilities: IGN Direct, HSBC Direct, and Emigrant Direct.
Vanguard Prime, mentioned in the first post, does not seem to be FDIC insured - ING, HSBC and Emigrant all claim up to $100,000 FDIC insurance.
As of the time of this writing, both ING Direct and HSBC Direct offer free withdrawls from participating ATMs. However, HSBC will also refund service fees from NON-participating ATMs up to 3 transfers a month (refunds kick in on the first business day of the following month).
HSBC will mail you a check upon request. I have not seen any info on IGN or Emigrant's websites that indicate that service. That will be a question to ask the company directly if you decide to investigate further.
Another important difference: HSBC alows you to deposit into the savings account by linked account transfer, check or wire transfer from non-linked accounts. Emigrant explicitly states that you can ONLY transfer funds to and from a linked account (Except initial deposit), while ING provides no specific information.
Both IGN and HSBC allow automatic, periodic transfers from linked accounts. Emigrant doesn't mention this feature.
So far, HSBC looks to be the best option in terms of features and access. All of the options I've looked at have (currently) 5.05% rates.
Just do your homework. Good luck!
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