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Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

Old Sep 10th 2009, 1:34 pm
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Default Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

Hi,

This is my first post and I would be very interested in any opinions you may have!

I am moving to Massachusetts from the UK in January for a job. I'm a bit of a worrier generally but as I'm making this move on my own I am particularly so!

One of my biggest concerns is not having any credit history when I get there so I've been looking at ways of getting my hands on a US credit card... I've got a UK American Express which I can transfer to a US one. I have also been referred by International Autosource to HSBC, USA where they will open a checking account and give me a credit card before I even get there. I'm just a bit worried because there are no branches anywhere near where I'll be living, so my question is, will I need to visit the branch for banking? Here in the UK I pop into my branch 2-3 times a month to pay things in but is this something people need to do as much in the US?

I was thinking of opening the account just to get the credit card and then opening another checking account when I get out there but I'm not sure if this is frowned upon?

All this worrying does not mean that I'm not extremely excited about the move!!
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Old Sep 10th 2009, 2:15 pm
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Default Re: Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

Yes, I think it is worth it to get the credit card. They will use your UK credit history to set a US credit limit. Then you will have a US based Amex and Mastercard to help build up your credit history.

Branch banking is a personal issue. I have used phone banking since 1990 and love it. My wife can't stand telephone banking and loves a branch.

If you like telephone and Internet banking the best bank in the US is USAA. You need to open the account over the phone. Don't worry about the military membership mentioned on the website.

Ohh, lastly enjoy the US and welcome to BE.

Last edited by cranston; Sep 10th 2009 at 2:22 pm.
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Old Sep 10th 2009, 2:47 pm
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Default Re: Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

Hi there, welcome to BE.
HSBC is a good option - I used them for my own banking needs four years ago when I moved over here. They have a dedicated international banking team that will be available online and via phone to help with anything you need and the lack of branches is really not an issue unless you are used to going into a branch every day for some unknown reason
Other banks that offer the same global service are Citibank and Wells Fargo (Wells is affiliated with HSBC), but if you are a worrier and would like options to consider, these two will be good ones for you.
My other piece of advise (for what it's worth!) would be to open a "local" account when you arrive. Either with a Credit Union, who will give you good rates and treat you as a member rather than a customer (all about how they use their profits etc), or with a National US bank, like a Bank of America - that way you have all bases covered.
Congrats on the move - know what you mean with it being exciting, overwhelming, and God damn scary all in one go!
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Old Sep 10th 2009, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

HSBC are fantastic. I have HSBC Premier and have never been better served by any company. I visited a branch once when I first got here, to pay a check in and withdraw some money before my ATM card arrived, and have not needed to since.
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Old Sep 10th 2009, 6:12 pm
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Default Re: Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

Originally Posted by princessconsuela View Post
One of my biggest concerns is not having any credit history when I get there so I've been looking at ways of getting my hands on a US credit card... I've got a UK American Express which I can transfer to a US one.
Great that you have a UK Amex account already, hopefully with decent history. I opened a UK Amex account on purpose a few months before we moved over. My UK credit limit was just £2,800 and when I asked for them to open a US Amex account based on the UK account there was no problem and they gave me a $10,000 credit limit right off the bat.

As for banking, personally I like to have the availability of a branch near me so went with a bank that has branches in our area (Fifth Third Bank). They've been very good so far. You'll have no problem opening an account at any decent bank with just your passport. US law states that a bank has to be able to identify you uniquely to open an account. Most accept a passport for this but some go beyond and insist that they need an SSN to open an account - some even insist that this is the law but they are wrong, it's just their bank policy.
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Old Sep 11th 2009, 12:19 am
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Default Re: Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

Originally Posted by princessconsuela View Post
Hi,

This is my first post and I would be very interested in any opinions you may have!

I am moving to Massachusetts from the UK in January for a job. I'm a bit of a worrier generally but as I'm making this move on my own I am particularly so!

One of my biggest concerns is not having any credit history when I get there so I've been looking at ways of getting my hands on a US credit card... I've got a UK American Express which I can transfer to a US one. I have also been referred by International Autosource to HSBC, USA where they will open a checking account and give me a credit card before I even get there. I'm just a bit worried because there are no branches anywhere near where I'll be living, so my question is, will I need to visit the branch for banking? Here in the UK I pop into my branch 2-3 times a month to pay things in but is this something people need to do as much in the US?

I was thinking of opening the account just to get the credit card and then opening another checking account when I get out there but I'm not sure if this is frowned upon?

All this worrying does not mean that I'm not extremely excited about the move!!
Not got anything to add that hasn't been said already, apart from welcome to BE and bring your thermals! We moved to MA in February (albeit in 2005) and it's bloody cold! The locals reckon it's the third week in January that's usually the killer....
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Old Sep 11th 2009, 12:55 am
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Default Re: Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

Welcome to BE

Go the AmEx route, it's the simplest way, that and possibly local credit union if there's a work affiliation to help out.

HSBC are pretty handy, but there's only one branch in Boston which isn't much help for a bank in general.

Where abouts in MA you moving to anyway? BoA are all over the place, but they are also pretty evil.
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Old Sep 11th 2009, 8:08 am
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Default Re: Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

Thank you all for your advice! I think I will go for a HSBC account and also open a local one when I get there. I'm going to be in or around New Bedford. I bought a hat last week to keep me warm in the cold weather but I've got a feeling I'm going to need more than that!!
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Old Sep 11th 2009, 11:14 am
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Default Re: Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

Originally Posted by princessconsuela View Post
Thank you all for your advice! I think I will go for a HSBC account and also open a local one when I get there. I'm going to be in or around New Bedford. I bought a hat last week to keep me warm in the cold weather but I've got a feeling I'm going to need more than that!!
Just a bit!

Bless...
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Old Sep 11th 2009, 8:55 pm
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Default Re: Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

Originally Posted by princessconsuela View Post
Thank you all for your advice! I think I will go for a HSBC account and also open a local one when I get there. I'm going to be in or around New Bedford. I bought a hat last week to keep me warm in the cold weather but I've got a feeling I'm going to need more than that!!
wow...that's way out there in the middle of no where....gets more wet and windy than cold down there though tbh...still a tad nippy....get decent LL Bean boots and you'll be all set
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Old Sep 12th 2009, 12:31 am
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Default Re: Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
wow...that's way out there in the middle of no where....gets more wet and windy than cold down there though tbh...still a tad nippy....get decent LL Bean boots and you'll be all set
Handy for Providence, and the Cape and Martha's Vineyard in the Summer!
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Old Sep 12th 2009, 12:33 am
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Default Re: Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

Banana hammock!

Sorry - being dying to blurt that out since she first posted...
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Old Sep 12th 2009, 2:37 am
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Default Re: Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

Originally Posted by tonrob View Post
Handy for Providence, and the Cape and Martha's Vineyard in the Summer!
Yeah, but Providence is a bit meh and the cape/vineyard are car parks in the summer....much nicer during the spring, when unfortunately when most things aren't open....always the way that ain't it

Nice area though.
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Old Sep 13th 2009, 8:20 am
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Default Re: Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

Originally Posted by tonrob View Post
Banana hammock!

Sorry - being dying to blurt that out since she first posted...


I had been thinking the exact same thing!
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Old Sep 13th 2009, 9:58 am
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Default Re: Should I open a checkin account with HSBC in the US?

Originally Posted by SarahG1976 View Post


I had been thinking the exact same thing!
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