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Update: Moving Savings From ING Direct to HSBC Direct

This article was written by in Saving. 30 comments.

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.

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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 .

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

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.

In which case, the money in the bank or under the mattress will probably be just about worthless aside from their fire-starting abilities anyway… ;)

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avatar 2 Anonymous

Do you know of other banks that offer sub-accounts?

I have always wondered whether it is worth having several small savings accounts, for squirreling money away, even though that means the fees from each one erode the return.

Sub-accounts sound like an excellent solution that gives me saving targets while not multiplying fees…

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avatar 3 Anonymous

Yeah. I am irritated and impatient with the HSBC process so I am going to skip it for now. I think I can get myself close to the same rate by doing ING short-term CD’s. I couldn’t really figure out the HSBC rate card (it looked like it was for all CD’s at the bank and not from the online savings stuff), and they all require $1K minimums, so I’ve talked myself out of HSBC.

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avatar 4 Luke Landes

Just so there’s no confusion… the products HSBC offers in their branches doesn’t include their online offers. The HSBC Direct (the online version) doesn’t have any minimum balance requirements. Here’s their FAQ.

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avatar 5 Anonymous

Just FYI in case you didn’t notice, there is still a limit on the ATM card there – so if you have an emergency over $300-400 / day (can’t remember – it’s in the terms on the site), you’re not going to be getting your money fast enough. (I’m doing the same as you though – moving ING to HSBC for now…just wanted to point that out since I noticed it in the fine print).

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avatar 6 Anonymous

I recently switched from ING to HSBC as well, keeping just a minimum at ING just in case I want to go back.

Overall, the sign up wasn’t bad for me. I got all my letters in a three day period, about a week and a half to two weeks from when I signed up. Not as fast as ING was some time ago, but it’s a one time thing. I also signed up for a free checking account at the same time.

I also got the ATM/debit card. I live in California, and apparently, here one can use an HSBC card at Wells Fargo for withdrawals for no fee from either Wells Fargo or HSBC. I tested this by making one $40 withdrawal from a Wells Fargo ATM from the checking side, and sure enough, I got no fee from either bank. My understanding is that HSBC and Wells Fargo have a joint venture together, and since HSBC doesn’t have many branches in CA this ATM arrangement came about. I’m not complaining.

Overall, I’m fairly pleased with HSBC. Their web site isn’t quite as nice as ING or some other bans I’ve used, but I’ve seen much worse sites too.

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avatar 7 Anonymous

ING just implemented some, what they call security “features”. I’m not impressed. The sign on process is now terrible and I have to remember so many things just to log in to view my accounts that I’ve begun the search for someplace new and found this article. I’m going to try HSBC, I don’t care much for the ATM card, but if it’s a NO fee at Wells Fargo, well, we’ve got those ATMs here in Wisconsin. It sounds much more promising since ING’s been lagging with rates. I love the higher rate at HSBC.

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avatar 8 Anonymous

If you didn’t notice, for the best buy card promotion to actually work for someone they must be a current best buy cardholder. Bummer.
Must be a Best Buy cardholder to qualify for gift card offer.

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avatar 9 Anonymous

I’ve been a very happy ING customer for over a year, but I just started looking to switch too. I agree with Roger – I hate the new ING login procedure. It might be petty and anal (…OK, it IS petty and anal), but I absolutely hate the security pictures one has to choose to login. I might not have minded if they had some good pictures (like a National Park), but donuts, nuts, and voodoo masks – what are they trying to say about me? Why not let me download my own security picture? I don’t want to leave, but I might have to “settle” for one of those higher interest rate banks, like HSBC or Emigrant Direct.

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avatar 10 Anonymous

Well, a complex login won’t determ me. It actually makes me more interested in ING. Since I am in the IT industry, I read the constant news about hackers and their ever-developing skills. Anything a bank can do to make access to my personal account and data is going to be a plus. Far too often we leave the doors open just because we haven’t been robbed yet – not because turning the handle is so hard :-)


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avatar 11 Anonymous

I remember when ING Direct first started out their rate was at about 6.35% and up. Now their rate has sunk to 4.35% and has never returned. Competion is good, and I’m glad to see other banks creating their own Direct services. It gives us more choices to put our money. Me, I just signed up with HSBC Direct and will be reaping the rewards.

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avatar 12 Anonymous

After all this time, still happy with your move? I do not know which one I will choose, can you give me an advice?

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avatar 13 Anonymous

Yes, Flexo. – What is your opinion between the 2 banks?
I’d be curious now that you have a historical perspective on the decision now?
Please advise for those of us who’ve just stumbled upon your article!

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avatar 14 Anonymous

I have been trying all day to get to and I am unable to get there to open a new account. Does anyone know why?


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avatar 15 Anonymous

I have had both Ing and HSBC accounts for about 2 years now. As others have said HSBC is always paying a slightly higher interest rate but Ing’s website is much easier to navigate through. But I like the extensive security sign in process at HSBC. But in the end, interest rates are most important to me so about 75 percent of my money is in HSBC and the other 25 in ING. You will be happy with either. At this point in time their interest rates are nearly identical anyway.

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