I am thinking of opening a HSBC Direct Savings Account shortly, in which I'll probably deposit $200-$300 a month as the start to my savings (I am a student making a little extra money recently, so I thought I should start setting some of it aside).
Does this seem like a good move, or do you have another suggestion for my money?
Do you have any other ties to HSBC and will you need to be doing much with your money? Since the regular rate at HSBC is 3.75%, the better options are currently PC Financial (4.0%) and ICICI (4.5%). If you can wait a few days whenever you need to access your money, those are options with simple features but better rates.
PC Financial somewhat worries me, as they don't have actual branches. Should I be concerned about that, considering the fact I was going to do all my banking online for this savings account anyway?
Yeah, I don't really need quick access to the money, so a few days would be no problem.
ICICI's website looks awful, which says to me that they aren't very professional. Has anyone ever dealt with them? How was your experience?
Thanks for your input. I would prefer the higher interest rates, but I am paranoid about sketchy business practises from banks/financial groups I don't know much about.
I wouldn't worry too much about it if you're dealing with them completely online. Just transfer your money in, check your online statement once in a while, then transfer out when needed.
I recently documented the sign-up process with ICICI in a series of articles (see the Articles page) but haven't had a chance to test out their website interface much yet. The sign-up process was rather uncoordinated, but everything worked out fine, without me needing to contact them at all. They seem to be legit, but I'll just try and avoid talking to them.
For the most peace of mind, I've found Citizens Bank (even though they have no branches) to have the best service. This is perhaps because they're a Vancity initiative...
Citizens Bank is my favourite bank hands down. Their current rate is 3.8% (you'll find they're always 0.05% higher than ING).