I am not shy to admit that I have several savings accounts which I move my funds around to maximise the interest rates. To me, I relish the opportunity to optimise my emergency cash. To the ignorant outsider such as my wife, the sloshing of funds resembles a mini money-laundering operation. By the way, this statement is meant to be a joke. A merit of my optimisation strategy is that it has enabled me to take advantage of promotions fairly quickly. One such recent promotion that caught my attention (and dollars) was by HSBC for its Everyday Global Account (‘EGA’). This is my review of HSBC EGA’s promotion that allows account holders to earn up to 5.45% interest rate.
What is HSBC Everyday Global Account (EGA)
The HSBC Everyday Global Account (‘EGA’) is a multi-currency savings account that supports up to 10 different currencies. Multi-currency savings account is great as it allows the account holder to transfer funds in foreign currencies without the hassle of converting it to Singapore dollars first. For instance, I may enter into a USD trade on Webull or a HKD transaction with Moomoo. I conveniently transfer foreign currencies from my multi-currency account (I use DBS Multiplier) into these low-cost online brokerages before executing the trades.
Moreover, I use the HSBC EGA in tandem with my HSBC Advance Credit Card to earn 3.5% cashback on my eligible spending. More details on this hack in the later part of my article.
With a headline interest rate of 5.45% p.a., it certainly got me delving deeper into its terms and conditions to understand if there is any catch to the promotion.
5.45% Interest Rate Promotion
It turns out that there’s isn’t much of a catch to this amazing promotion except:
- Bonus interest rate is applicable on incremental fresh funds for 4 months only (May-Aug 2023). This interest will be credited by 31 Oct 2023
- Advertised rate applies for clients who are on Premier banking tier. Personal Banking clients get a tad lesser interest rate but still fairly attractive as shown in Diagram 1
Note that bonus interest rate is applied only to the incremental increase in the average daily balance of that month (eg: May) compared to the previous month (eg: April). This is provided that all eligibility conditions are met:
- Both New and Existing HSBC EGA account holders who successfully register by sending an SMS within the promotional period of 1 – 31 May 2023
- The incremental average daily balance is a result of fresh funds sitting outside of HSBC being transferred into the account holder’s HSBC EGA
Since this promotion is opened to both new and existing customers, it explains why I have also registered even though I have been holding a HSBC EGA for years. What makes this even more attractive is that the “top-up amount” eligible for Bonus Interest Rate is capped at S$2 million. This is extraordinarily high which makes it an attractive place for a guaranteed return of 4.45% p.a., albeit for 4 months only.
But wait a minute, didn’t the headline advertise for 5.45% p.a. while the total interest rate demonstrated thus far only adds up to 4.45%? Well, the remaining 1% bonus interest will be fulfilled under the HSBC Everyday+ Rewards Programme.
HSBC Everyday+ Rewards Programme
To be eligible for the 1% bonus interest, an EGA account holder who is a Personal Banking client must perform 2 really simple tasks as shown in Diagram 3.
I have been automating Step 1 via GIRO instruction ever since I have the HSBC Advance Credit Card. For those who are worried about finding incremental “$2,000” every month, not to worry as I have explained in this article on my hack; simply reverse the transfer by setting up a recurring transfer of the same funds out of your EGA! Many readers have thanked me for this tip and I guess this is reward for reading the terms and conditions closely.
As for Step 2, I use my HSBC Advance Credit Card to make 5 eligible transactions which gives me 3.5% cashback. That is right, the HSBC Everyday+ Rewards Programme also dishes out 1% bonus cashback (as a cash rebate against card spend) in addition to 1% bonus interest (bonus interest credited into your EGA).
Here is why I applied for the HSBC Advance Credit Card several years ago and have been using it consistently:
- A no-frills cashback card with a high cashback rate of 3.5%, although spending should ideally be capped at $2,800 per month to maximise the cashback rate
- Access to the Entertainer which provides 1-for-1 F&B deals
- Weekly HSBC WOW deals on dining, travel and retail spend. Example of an ongoing WOW weekend deal is shown in Diagram 5.
We took advantage of the HSBC WOW Weekend promotion to bring our mothers out to Goodwood Park Hotel for a nice afternoon tea buffet. It worked out to only $37 per pax which I find very reasonable.
Note that whether it is the 1% bonus interest or 1% cashback, there is a cap of $300 per calendar month. Therefore, this means the maximum deposit that will be eligible for the 1% bonus interest is $30,000. Furthermore, it is only applied to the incremental balance for each calendar month.
One-time Bonus Cash Reward
HSBC is clearly pulling out all the stops to attract deposits with an additional one-off cash reward. Personal banking clients who maintains an average account balance of $100,000 for 6 consecutive months will receive a cash reward of $150. This is an additional 0.3% on an annualised basis. For premier banking clients, it is $300 cash reward for maintaining an average account balance of $200,000.
It can be very confusing and hence I have summed up all the applicable interest rates and cash reward under Diagram 6 if you choose to register for the HSBC EGA promotion.
Who is this promotion for?
As a personal banking client looking at a guaranteed interest rate of 5.3%, this promotion by HSBC ranks the highest amongst the high-yield savings accounts that I have analysed previously. Even though the bonus interest rate is valid for 4 months, I think it is worth the effort and that is why I have signed up. Likewise, I imagine these groups of savers would also benefit:
- High net worth individuals looking to place large amounts of cash (up to $2mil) with guaranteed yield of 5.45% p.a.
- Consistent savers looking for a temporary place to park emergency funds
Do note that a fall below fee of $5 applies if the average daily balance for the month does not meet the minimum balance of $2,000 but I don’t think this should be an issue for most. For those who wish to apply for HSBC EGA, you may do so via HSBC main website and don’t forget to SMS and register for the promotion. For those who are interested in the HSBC Advance Credit Card, you can apply through my affiliate link from SingSaver. Thank you in advance!
This article is published on 10 May 2023
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