I received an email to inform me that HSBC Direct has extended its “promotional” interest rate on the online savings account of 3.5% APY to September 15, increasing this promotion by one month.
I’m not sure what the difference is between a “promotional” rate and any other rate; as always, interest rates on savings account are subject to change at any time. Perhaps HSBC Direct has simply planned when it will lower its rates while other banks generally keep that information private until the change occurs.
3.5% is the best rate you can get right now for internet-based savings accounts backed by major financial institutions. This rate would put HSBC Direct at the top of the list, but I’m keeping them listed with their last known non-promotional rate.
HSBC Direct does not offer a referral program, however. When you open an account at ING Direct, you can earn a $25 bonus immediately (accessible after 30 days) simply using a referral link generously offered by Consumerism Commentary readers (and one-time visitors). Keep in mind you need to open the account with an intial deposit of at least $250, and keep your money there for a month.
I’ve updated the list of referral links to include some new ones as each link can only be used once.
Updated June 16, 2011 and originally published July 25, 2008.