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HSBC Direct Drops Interest Rate to 1.55% APY

This article was written by in Banking. 5 comments.

The way banks are dropping interest rates on savings accounts, you would think they don’t want your money. Most “high-yield” savings accounts now offer rates well under 3%. HSBC Direct is the latest to announce an interest rate cut, from 2.6% to 2.45% APY and is currently at 1.55% as of May 2009. Obviously there is more that goes into the decision to cut rates than attracting customers, but online banking is more of a commodity now. Saving and lending money is less focused on community. The sheer number of banks that are available to any customer at a click of a button results in competition, but the field is mostly homogeneous.

For many customers focused on making the most out of their cash, the interest rate is the most important feature of a bank. Friendly tellers and community service are no longer major drivers when choosing an institution to keep money, particularly amongst the surge of online-only banks. The best online banks do focus on customer service and user experience, however. But the bottom line is money. The force of compound interest is so important, and when you’re dealing with significant cash in the bank, you want to ensure your money is earning as much as possible.

When I started seriously managing my money towards the beginning of this millennium, I chose ING Direct because its rate was the highest and it came highly recommended from people I trust. I’ve discovered since then that this bank offers good customer service and a decent online experience, so I continue to recommend them to friends and readers who want to get started. And it’s hard to ignore your ability to earn $525 just for opening a new account there. Their rate is no longer the highest, but it not far behind HSBC Direct, at 1.5% APY.

There are ten fresh referral codes as of last night for ING Direct’s Orange Savings Account. These allow new customers to earn $25 right away for opening a savings account and they are provided by Consumerism Commentary readers. If used properly, with a $250 initial deposit, the depositor receives this bonus while the reader who provided the link receives a $10 bonus. Once a new account is open, the customer should receive referral links of his own to share.

Updated March 22, 2011 and originally published January 28, 2009.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

My husband and I decided to make the jump and “chase” the high interest rate of HSBC. We had seen that is was consistently higher than our ING savings account. However we have decided (two months later) to forgo the “extra” interest with HSBC and move all of our money back to ING. Reason being, in the two months that we were with HSBC we have had the *worst* customer service. They couldn’t get my husbands log-in information or SSN correct, they were rude on the phone, and personally, I didn’t like their interface. For all the headaches they put us through the extra money we would earn wasn’t worth it to me. We are now happily set up at ING again, who I have not had a single issue with. I completely agree with Flexo in recommending ING, they truly provide a total package that you can’t receive anywhere else.

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avatar 2 Anonymous

Looks like ING just dropped again, to 1.85%. I have to say I’m getting pretty annoyed by this (their rates are dropping at a rate more frequently than once per month). Do they want to keep their customers?

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