HSBC Bank is a nationally recognized leader in the financial services industry, with more than 40 million customers worldwide. Early in its company history, the bank focused primarily on credit cards, loans and other business products and has only recently started offering retail checking and savings accounts.

Like many other banks, HSBC frequently offers cash bonuses in the hopes of attracting customers to open new accounts and deposit new-to-HSBC funds. If you’re looking to move around some cash or open a new account, taking advantage of an HSBC bank signup bonus can be a great way to earn some extra cash with relatively little work.

HSBC bonus details

HSBC is currently offering three cash deposit promotions, and customers who open certain checking accounts within the specified promotional period can take advantage of an HSBC Bank open account bonus. In addition to opening the accounts, customers must make a minimum initial deposit and meet other qualification requirements.

Premier Checking bonus

Customers who open a new HSBC Premier checking account on or before September 30, 2020 can be eligible to receive a $450 welcome deposit. In addition to the account opening, you must also make $5,000 monthly direct deposits from a third party into the HSBC Premier account for three consecutive calendar months, and customers who previously held any HSBC consumer deposit or investment account within the last three years are ineligible for this promotion.

To qualify, you must apply for the promotion using the online application form on the HSBC website and meet the specified promotional requirements. Once all requirements have been met, the $450 Welcome deposit will be automatically deposited into your new HSBC Premier account within eight weeks.

Advance Checking bonus

For customers who may not meet the $5,000 direct deposit requirement, HSBC offers a $200 Welcome deposit for customers who open a new HSBC Advanced checking account. Accounts must be opened using the online offer page on or before September 30, 2020, and HSBC Advance customers must make at least $500 in monthly third-party direct deposits for three consecutive months.

As with the Premier checking bonus, any customers who previously held an HSBC deposit or investment account within the last three years are ineligible for this promotion. Qualifying account holders who meet all of the specified bonus requirements can expect to receive their $200 Welcome bonus deposited directly into their HSBC Advance account within eight weeks.

Student Checking bonus

Students on a budget get even more flexibility and a $100 welcome bonus with HSBC’s Choice Checking offer. Choice Checking is an account that caters to the everyday banking needs of students. The account can be opened with no minimum deposit required, and students will not incur monthly maintenance fees on the account for six years.

To be eligible for the $100 Welcome bonus, students must open their Choice Checking account before October 30, 2020 and list their occupation as “student” when opening the account. While the account can be opened with no minimum deposit, students who wish to remain eligible for the cash bonus must deposit at least $25 within the first 30 days of account opening and meet one of three criteria:

  •     Maintain a monthly direct deposit of $500 for three consecutive months;
  •     Make monthly debit card purchased totaling $100 or more for three consecutive months; or
  •     Use the electronic bill pay service for three consecutive months.

After completing all required promotional activities, students will receive an automatic direct deposit in their Choice Checking account within eight weeks.

What’s the catch?

The most obvious catch for these offers is they only apply to new HSBC customers. For the purposes of these promotions, HSBC considers you a new customer as long as you haven’t held any deposit or investment account within the last three years.

HSBC further limits these promotions to one per customer, and the bank reports the bonus cash as income to the IRS. Although the bonus requirements only specify maintaining a direct deposit for three consecutive months, customers may need to continue a minimum direct deposit in order to avoid ongoing account maintenance fees.

Is this a good deal for you?

Although free cash is always appreciated, these bonuses aren’t that beneficial for most customers. If you’ve already got an HSBC account (or have had one within the past three years), you won’t qualify for these promotions anyway.

But even if you’re new to HSBC, the ongoing direct deposit requirements are fairly steep. For the highest tier bonus, you’ll need $5,000 in monthly direct deposits, so be prepared to route a sizeable portion of your regular monthly income to this account in order to meet that requirement.

If you can’t take advantage of other ways to earn money, such as short-term CDs, opening a new account can still net you some cash. Once your account is opened, there are few perks that can’t be found with other banking partners. Both the HSBC Advance and the HSBC Premier accounts offer online banking, optional overdraft protection and access to a network of fee-free ATMS. This could be a good deal for you if you are a student looking for a flexible account or you have plenty of cash to deposit each month, but most consumers could likely find larger cash bonuses with fewer restrictions and more account features elsewhere.

Bottom line

The HSBC Bank checking account bonus offer is decent, but not exceptional. Most consumers can find cash offers similar to the HSBC Bank new account bonus elsewhere and receive better account features with less ongoing commitment.

College students may appreciate the flexible account features, but the HSBC bank bonus for student accounts also has the smallest cash reward.  If you planned to migrate some of your finances to HSBC anyway, qualifying for a free HSBC Bank bonus can be a simple way to earn a few hundred dollars extra this summer. Since these promotions only apply to new customers, however, transitioning your funds just to take advantage of a small cash bonus probably isn’t worth it.

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