After our discussion yesterday, I took the plunge and signed up for an account with HSBC Direct, taking advantage of their $25 Best Buy Gift Card Promotion. (I would have preferred cash, but I can make the gift card work for me.) Thanks to Dus10 for letting me know about the promo.
HSBC verifies ownership of a linked or initial funding account by verifying your online credentials for that bank, which results in immediate funding, or by temporary test deposits, which take a few days. Using my checking account at Wachovia, HSBC did accept my password for some reason, but there was no problem choosing my ING Direct for my initial funding. I’m starting with moving $100, but I will move my entire emergency fund over to HSBC once the link to my checking account is activated. There’s no point in having an emergency fund if you can’t get to the money in an emergency, so I want to make sure the link between my checking account is active first.
I also opted for the ATM card, which is another way to make this money available in an emergency. That is, unless the emergency is a catastrophy that brings down the entire financial network. The only people who will have access to their money in this hypothetical event are those who have an under-the-mattress fund.
The application process was simple and straightforward, but I still must wait for my username and password to be sent to me through the mail. That might take a few days. I’ll post an update again when there is more to report.
Updated October 9, 2016 and originally published July 12, 2006.