HSBC Premier Checking review: Personalized banking for high-net-worth individuals


Rating as of based on a review of services January 30, 2023.

(Money Under 30 Rating)

Ranking

6.5/10

HSBC offers three checking account options – Premier, Choice and Basic. Except for the Basic account, you must maintain high combined HSBC account balances to qualify for the account, and/or to avoid the (steep) monthly service charges. Each comes with an HSBC Debit Mastercard, as well as mobile banking with mobile check deposits. HSBC offers savings products, but they pay rates well below what is typically found among popular online banks. However, the bank offers home financing as well as investment products, and will be a good choice for consumers looking to conduct international transactions.

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Fees

5/10

Service

9/10

Benefits

7/10



Best for:

 

  • Priority customer service
  • High balances
  • Foreign transactions

Editor's Note - You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent financial advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone. This content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser, unless otherwise noted below.

HSBC is a global bank with branch locations across the United States and in countries around the world. This bank offers a number of different products and services for every area of personal finance from everyday banking to wealth management and loans.

In this article, I’ll share the features, benefits, and drawbacks of the HSBC Premier Checking account. As you’ll learn, this particular account is for a very specific type of customer but will not be a good fit for the majority of readers. Hopefully, this HSBC Bank review helps you decide what side of this you fall on.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Relationship perks — Receive specialized service from a dedicated Relationship Manager, if you qualify for relationship status.
  • International benefits — Save on fees when you travel and transfer funds easily between countries.

Cons

  • Strict requirements for relationship — In order to qualify for an HSBC relationship and waive the monthly fees, you must maintain a very high minimum balance or meet direct deposit or loan requirements.
  • Monthly maintenance fee — $50 is too much for the average person to spend on a checking account, and it's not easy to waive this fee.
  • Low interest rate — While this is technically an interest-bearing checking account, it only pays an APY of up to 0.01% currently. Subject to change.

HSBC Premier Checking features

The HSBC Premier Checking is a premium bank account offering exclusive member benefits, international banking advantages, and more to people who meet the steep requirements to qualify for relationship status.

Here are some of the key features of this account.

Perks and member privileges

There are many aspects of this account that make it different from your average checking account, including a variety of relationship perks and privileges.

One example is that this checking account allows you to open an HSBC Premier Savings Account. This is a premier relationship savings account that you can’t open unless you already have a Premier relationship.

To qualify for a Premier relationship, you need to have a Premier checking account and meet one of the following requirements:

  • Maintain a balance of at least $75,000 across qualifying accounts
  • Receive at least $5,000 in qualifying direct deposits each month
  • Have an HSBC U.S. residential mortgage loan with a value of $500,000 or more when you opened it (must be a single loan)
  • Maintain Private Bank status

This savings account pays a standard APY of 0.05% and a relationship APY of 3.00% (qualifications apply). Rates are accurate as of 11/17/22.

Basically, to have HSBC relationship status at all, you need the HSBC Premier Checking account.

Other perks of a relationship include:

  • Interest – earn an APY of 3.00% on the Premier Relationship Savings account, compared to a standard APY of 0.05%.
  • Status sharing – share your Premier status with up to four of your family members.
  • Waived fees – you won’t be charged for stop payments, incoming wire transfers, cashier’s checks, and more as an HSBC Premier Checking customer.

As you can see, some of these perks are better than others. You wouldn’t have to look hard to find a similar interest rate elsewhere, but sharing your status and avoiding fees could be useful.

International benefits

The Premier Checking account comes with extensive international features including emergency financial support at branches in other countries and easy access and fund transfers between foreign accounts.

HSBC branches and ATMs are located in over 30 different countries. Meaning, members can access their money and get support around the world. There are no foreign transaction fees when you use your HSBC Premier Credit Card abroad or ATM fees for in-network international ATMs. HSBC will also reimburse up to five out-of-network ATM transactions per month in the U.S.

With Global View, members can view their HSBC accounts that are based in other countries and link them together for convenient transfers and management. With Global Transfer, members can transfer money instantly between their worldwide bank accounts in 27 different countries and 28 different currencies. Accounts do not have to be with HSBC to qualify but transfers to or from non-HSBC accounts may incur third-party charges. Not all regions are included in this transfer program and transaction limits may apply.

HSBC Credit Cards

You’re not required to apply for a credit card as a Premier HSBC member, but this is the best way to unlock all of the travel benefits HSBC has to offer. The two available travel rewards credit cards are the HSBC Premier World Credit Card and the HSBC Elite Credit Card.

Both HSBC-branded credit cards give you access to more global perks than just the HSBC Premier Checking account alone.

For example, HSBC Premier World Credit Card cardholders receive benefits including a TSA Precheck statement credit of $85 every five years as reimbursement for the application fee and global Wi-Fi access with Boingo. Plus, they’ll earn 2X Rewards Points on new travel purchases. HSBC Elite Credit Card cardholders receive an annual travel credit, complimentary lounge access, travel insurance, and 3X Rewards Points on new travel purchases.

Read more: Best travel rewards credit cards

Premier Relationship manager

When you open an HSBC Premier Checking account, you are connected with a Relationship Manager who can assist you with anything you need help with when it comes to HSBC banking. It’s like having a personal financial concierge at your fingertips.

You won’t pay any extra fees for priority customer service or appointments with your Relationship Manager.

HSBC Premier Checking account pricing

The HSBC Premier Checking account isn’t free and is, in fact, pretty expensive.

While there is no minimum deposit requirement for this account, there are requirement options you need to meet in order to waive the $50 monthly maintenance fee. These are:

  • Maintaining a balance of at least $75,000 across qualifying accounts OR
  • Receiving at least $5,000 in qualifying direct deposits each month OR
  • Have an HSBC U.S. residential mortgage loan with a value of $500,000 or more when you opened it (must be a single loan)
  • Maintain Private Bank status

You’ll notice that these are the exact same requirements to qualify for relationship status. That’s because this account is designed to be your ticket to a relationship with HSBC and not just a regular bank account that you leave money in and never use otherwise.

All of your savings accounts, Trusts, and certificates of deposit can count toward the balance requirement. If you don’t meet one of these in a month, you will be charged the monthly maintenance fee for that month and will not be eligible for an HSBC Premier relationship (meaning you won’t receive perks like access to a Relationship Manager).

These requirements are waived for all customers with Private Bank status.

Read more: Best checking accounts with no minimum deposit

Who is it for?

The HSBC Premier Checking account is best for the following groups.

High net-worth individuals

The Premier account is best for people who hold large sums of money. If you can meet the minimum balance requirements or receive enough direct deposits to qualify for relationship status and waive the monthly fee, you’ll be able to take full advantage of this account.

People who want top-tier service

If you want to be treated like a VIP, you’ll appreciate the HSBC Premier Checking experience. Having your own Premier Relationship Manager will mean more access to support, less waiting in lines and on the phone when you need help, and guidance to help you make the most of your membership with this bank.

Frequent travelers

People who regularly find themselves in other countries and have bank accounts in multiple regions around the world will get the most benefit out of this account and the perks that come with it. The ability to link and transfer funds between different global accounts, plus save on things like foreign transaction fees when using your Premier debit or credit card and U.S. ATM fees, can be a huge advantage for people who want convenient access to their money wherever they go.

And with an HSBC credit card, the travel benefits are multiplied.

Who is it not ideal for?

The HSBC Premier Checking account is not going to be a good fit for the majority of people. Here are just a few people that should look elsewhere to meet their banking needs.

People with less cash flow

For the average person, this account is overkill. If you don’t have a lot of money to deposit and can’t qualify for an HSBC Premier relationship, you’ll probably be better off choosing an account with much lower minimum balance requirements that won’t charge you a monthly fee. It probably won’t come with the same level of service and benefits, but these really aren’t necessary for many people.

People who don’t want to pay monthly fees

You don’t have to pay to bank unless you know the pros are worth paying for. There are plenty of checking accounts out there that don’t charge any monthly maintenance fees whatsoever. So if you don’t want to spend $50 a month, don’t.

Read more: Best no-fee checking accounts

People who want to earn interest

If it’s a high-yield checking account you’re after, you won’t find what you’re looking for here. The HSBC Premier Checking account pays almost no interest regardless of your balance, so it’s not a good choice for long-term growth and supplementing your savings goals with a steady stream of dividends. For an account that will pay a more significant interest rate on your balance, you’ll want to check out high-yield checking accounts.

HSBC vs. competitors

There are a couple of checking accounts that can be compared to the HSBC Premier Checking account because they offer similar services and features. Here are some of those alternatives.

Chase Sapphire Premium Checking account

The Chase Sapphire Premium Checking account is also a premium bank account with everyday benefits like relationship rates on interest-bearing accounts and savings.

With this account, you’ll earn a higher APY on Chase Premier Savings accounts (with five transactions per month from your linked checking) and you won’t be charged fees for wire transfers, stop payments, or most ATM transactions. The Chase Sapphire Premium Checking account requires you to maintain a minimum balance of at least $75,000 to avoid a $25 monthly maintenance fee. Like the Chase Sapphire credit cards, this account gives you access to exclusive member perks like Chase Offers.

For U.S.-based customers who don’t have much use for international travel benefits, this premium account from Chase might be a better option as it charges a lower fee. But for customers based outside of the U.S. or world travelers, the HSBC Premier account might be worth paying for.

Bank of America Advantage Relationship checking account

The Bank of America Advantage Relationship checking account is another relationship bank account that’s most rewarding for people who maintain higher balances. However, it requires a much lower minimum balance to waive fees and qualify for relationship status than HSBC.

You need to either maintain a balance of at least $10,000 across all of your savings and checking accounts to avoid a $25 monthly fee or enroll in Preferred Rewards. This is a rewards program with a variety of banking and investing perks including credit card rewards boosts, relationship savings rates, investing discounts, loan rate reductions, and more. To qualify for the lowest tier, Gold Tier, you’ll need a balance of at least $20,000. You can count all of your banking and investing accounts toward this balance.

This account is a better option for people with lower net worths who still want relationship banking. The Preferred Rewards program gets better the higher your balance is, but the lowest tier offers benefits on balances starting at $20,000. The HSBC Premier account, by contrast, only gives you relationship status at $75,000 and above.

Summary

The HSBC Premier checking account is impressive in a lot of ways, but it’s not for everyone. Unless you can meet the steep balance and direct deposit requirements to waive the monthly fee and qualify for relationship status with this bank, you should probably not open an HSBC Premier account.

But if you can meet these requirements and think you’ll really use the global banking and account benefits, go right ahead.

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About the author

Total Articles: 16
Lauren Graves is a personal finance writer specializing in honest brand and product reviews. She wants to help people feel less stressed when they spend their hard-earned cash and do her part to make money make sense.