A guide on how to open a bank account in Iceland from the UK, covering everything expats and international students need to know.
HSBC is one of the biggest banks in the world, operating in 62 countries and territories. If you’re looking to open an account with this major UK and global bank, you’ll have plenty to choose from.
This includes the HSBC Advance account, which we’ll be putting under the microscope here in this helpful guide. We’ll cover everything from account features to fees and how to apply.
Plus, we’ll take a quick look at an alternative worth considering, especially if you need to send or spend internationally - the Wise multi-currency account.
Simply put, HSBC Advance is a current account. It’s just like the countless other similar offers out there. But what makes this one from HSBC stand out is the access to discounts and money-saving offers that come along with it.
Plus, it gives you the freedom to bank how you want, comes with a £1000 overdraft and a built-in ‘smart money’ tool designed to keep you in full control of your finances.¹
When stacked up against the incentives of many of its competitors, the HSBC Advance account is a very attractive deal that covers all the bases.
It’s a solid all-rounder for your everyday banking needs, and it even comes with no monthly fees.¹
However, there is a drawback. The HSBC overdraft has an interest rate of 39.90% AER,¹ so you’ll need to take that into consideration.
Here are the features and benefits of the HSBC account in a nutshell:
- Access to numerous money-saving discounts.
- A built-in £1000 overdraft
- A ‘smart money’ feature, keeping you in control of your finances.
- No fee to use the account.
- Overdraft charged at 39.90%.
The HSBC Advance account is a current account for your everyday banking needs. Its collection of features and wide range of discounts and offers make it perfect for those looking to make a switch.
Maybe if your current bank isn’t doing what you need, or the fees are getting out of hand, then this will sound like a very tempting offer.
And to sweeten the pot, HSBC even offers a £200 incentive bonus if you switch to them using the Current Account Switch Service.
However, you’ll need to jump through a few hoops. Conditions to get the bonus include setting up or switching over at least two direct debits and paying in £1500+ within the first 60 days.¹
Also, use of this card abroad will accrue a 2.75% fee so it may not be the best bet if you’re looking for an account to accompany you on your travels.²
For overseas use, it’s a far preferable option as it comes with no fees and no markups to the mid-market exchange rate, and can be used in a versatile number of currencies seamlessly.
Like the sound of the HSBC Advance account? If so, you’ll need to know how to apply. Fortunately, the application process for this account is very simple.
First of all, let’s go over the eligibility requirements, and this will be quick because they’re not very strict.
The only clear-cut rule is that you’ll need to be over the age of 18 to apply.
The rest of the requirements are subject to a credit check, so you’ll need to hand over your personal details for this to be carried out. This credit check must find you eligible for the £1000 allotted overdraft that comes with the account.¹
As this is an everyday current account, that’s basically all that’s required of you.
Now to get applying. The best and easiest way to do this is online. Simply go to the HSBC Advance product page and find the big red button at the bottom that reads ‘apply for a sole account’.
There’s also a joint account option to consider but the process is the same, so we’re sticking with this option for this guide.
You’ll be walked through the application where you’ll need to submit:
- Your addresses for the past 3 years
- Your employment details
- Your income details
- Proof of your identity and address
Make sure you have these to hand and complete the application.
Once this is done, you can submit the form for consideration by HSBC. Sometimes approval will be immediate, and sometimes they’ll take some time to consider it.
And that’s it. Now you just wait for approval.
This account doesn’t come with many fees, but you will need to be careful if spending abroad. Here’s a quick run down of the fees involved with the HSBC Advance account:³
|Transaction type||HSBC Advance fees|
|Minimum balance required||£0|
|UK card payments and ATM withdrawals||£0|
|Overseas card payments and ATM withdrawals||2.75% (Min: £1.75 Max: £5)|
|Debit card payment in foreign currency||2.75%|
If international transfers are something you’re interested in, then there’s something important you should jot down in your considerations.
Transferring to other currencies is seldom a cheap process when you use a traditional bank. HSBC, across most of its accounts, uses its own exchange rates. This is called the HSBC Exchange Rate.
It should be noted that the best and fairest exchange rate is called the mid-market exchange rate. Most banks use this with added mark-ups and fees that are, quite often, not especially transparent.
This is the case with the HSBC Exchange Rate, which likely comes with a noticeable markup.
There’s also a fee for international transfers outside of the EEA:³
|Transfer Type||HSBC Advance Fees|
|Transferring to other HSBC accounts||£0|
|Transferring to within the EEA||£0|
|Transferring to non-EEA||£5|
If the markup on the HSBC Advance account’s international exchange rate is a deal breaker for you, then consider an alternative.
Your finances can be managed in 50 currencies online. Plus, the accessible, easy-to-use Wise app makes the process of managing your money a seamless experience.
- HSBC - Advance Account
- HSBC International - Using Your Card Abroad
- HSBC - Advance Account Information pdf
Sources last checked on date: 10-May-2023
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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