HSBC expat review [2023]

Gabriela Peratello

HSBC® Expat is an international banking service for expats, providing cross border options for those moving between different countries or regions.

Read everything you need to know about HSBC Expat, including a guide to opening your first account and any fees or rates you may be charged.

Wise is a convenient alternative to hold, send, and receive your money as an expat, letting you spend like a local in 170+ countries — all at the mid-market exchange rate.


What is HSBC Expat?

HSBC Expat is an offshore banking arm of the HSBC Group. It aims to offer crossborder services specifically tailored to expatriates and migrants.

Also known as an international or non-resident account, the HSBC Expat bank account moves with you, providing a central place for expats to hold their money — including fee-free transfers in a range of currencies.

There are a few different available services, such as expat bank accounts and mortgages.

HSBC Expat is aimed at those who work or live abroad. Whether you regularly travel between countries or you want a bank in a secure, offshore jurisdiction, the HSBC Expat account can help you manage your money in multiple currencies.

Where does HSBC Expat operate?

HSBC Expat operates in over 50 countries and regions, with the option to open an account in British pound (GBP), Euro (EUR), or US dollars (USD).¹

HSBC Expat account services

HSBC Expat accounts feature a range of helpful services.

This includes:
  • Quick payments across borders

  • A convenient HSBC Expat Mobile Banking app

  • Hold money in GBP, EUR, or USD

  • Fee-free global transfers via the app 

  • Complimentary travel security services from Crisis24

  • A free physical and digital Global Money Debit Card

  • Savings accounts available in 19 currencies

  • Exclusive exchange rates with the HSBC Expat FX App

  • 24/7 customer service

  • Payments in 19 different currencies¹

Is HSBC Expat safe?

HSBC provides a range of security features to ensure your money is safe.

The bank offers up-to-date information about common scams to keep your Expat account secure, and you can access 24/7 advice and support, too.

The HSBC Expat Secure Key is an added level of protection for your account. This physical key gives you a unique password every time you log in to your accounts — keeping everything safe and secure. You can request your key at any time.¹

Which HSBC Expat accounts are available?

There are a few different kinds of HSBC Expat accounts available to global customers, including multiple saving options.

We’ve put together information about key features, pricing, pros, and cons.

HSBC Expat Global Money account

An HSBC Expat Global Money account lets you hold multiple currencies at once, transfer money between other HSBC Expat accounts, and make payments using the mobile banking app.

However, you can’t set up standing orders or direct debits. You also can’t receive funds into your account from other accounts, except your own HSBC Expat accounts.

It’s free to open a Global Money Account, but you may be charged for some international payments.¹

Currency Savings account

The HSBC Currency Savings account is available in 16 major currencies, including Australian dollar (AUD), Chinese renminbi (CNY), Japanese yen (JPY), and more.

You can withdraw and access your money at any time with no penalty. However, you need to maintain a minimum balance of 10,000 GBP or currency equivalent — and you’ll need to open an HSBC Expat Bank Account first.¹

Saver account

A Saver account lets you save money in GBP, USD, and EUR — and you can withdraw your money whenever you need it, without any fees.

There are different interest rates available depending on your currency and savings. For example, the standard rate (AER/Gross) for currency in USD is up to 1.05%.

It’s important to note that you’ll need to open an HSBC Expat Bank Account first. You’ll also need to maintain a minimum balance of 5,000 USD in your Saver account.¹

Little Expat

Little Expat is a handy way for parents to save money for their children. You can choose from four different currencies and teach your child about money.

You can also receive a preferential bonus interest rate (AER/Gross) of 1.05% for any money over 3,200 USD.

This option is only available to legal parents or guardians of a child under 18 years old, and you must have an HSBC Expat Bank Account of your own before applying.¹

Quarterly Bonus Saver

The HSBC Quarterly Bonus Saver account is available in GBP or USD, and you can earn extra interest every three months if you don’t make withdrawals.

This account is also a flexible option, letting you access your money whenever you want. The standard interest rate (AER/Gross) for currency in USD is 1.15% and the interest rate including bonus (AER/Gross) is up to 3.94%.

However, it’s worth noting that this account isn’t available everywhere.¹

Online Bonus Saver

The Online Bonus Saver account is only available online — and it includes a few key perks. You can receive bonus interest every month if you don’t make a withdrawal, and you can access your account at any time via mobile or online banking.

The standard interest rate (AER/Gross) for currency in USD is 1.00%. The interest rate including bonus (AER/Gross) is up to 2.89%.

However, you’ll need to maintain a minimum balance of 5,000 USD in your account, or you could be charged an underfunding fee.¹

Fixed Term Deposit

The Fixed Term Deposit option is available in 19 currencies, and you can save for a set period. This account offers flexibility, letting you set the time period and re-invest when it ends.

However, if you want to open an account, you’ll need to maintain a minimum balance of at least 5,000 USD.¹

Multi-currency made easy: get a Wise Account

Looking for an alternative to banks, to keep your money without a minimum balance? Wise has you covered.

The Wise Account lets you:
  • Get local details to receive money in 9 different currencies

  • Spend like a local in over 170 countries with the Wise card

  • Send money across currencies with the mid-market exchange rate

  • Hold and convert money in 40+ currencies

  • Manage your money online with the Wise app or website

Get a Wise Account
in minutes!

How do you open an HSBC Expat account?

It’s easy to open an HSBC Expat account. Here's how you do it:

Step 1. Head to the HSBC Expat website and click “Join HSBC Expat”

Step 2. Check your eligibility. Choose the eligibility criteria that apply to you and click “Continue”

Step 3. Choose your account type. You can choose a sole or joint account. You also need to check the boxes to confirm you have all the relevant documents ready for your application

Step 4. Click the “Apply Now” button to proceed to the application form

Step 5. Fill in your application, including your personal details. You’ll also need to complete a document verification process (see below)

Step 6. Submit your application. HSBC will contact you with any further questions, or to let you know if your application has been successful

Requirements and documentation

There are a few requirements to meet before you can open an HSBC Expat account. You must be over 18 and meet one of the following criteria:

  • Save or invest at least 50,000 GBP (or currency equivalent) with HSBC Expat within 3 months of opening the account

  • Your salary must be at least 100,000 GBP (or currency equivalent)

  • You must already be an HSBC Premier customer in another country or region

You will also need to provide a few pieces of documentation. This includes:

  • A valid identification document, such as your passport

  • Proof of address, such as a utility bill issued within 4 months

  • Tax identification number (TIN)

You’ll also need a smart device to upload your documents, such as a computer with the latest Chrome browser.¹ Also keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, make sure to check with HSBC which documents will be required in your case and have everything ready before you apply!

HSBC Expat account fees and rates

You can use your Global Money account to spend and convert your money in different currencies. However, you will experience some foreign transaction fees and exchange rate fees for all of these transactions.

You’ll receive the HSBC Exchange Rate when you make your transfer. This includes the HSBC cost rate and a foreign currency conversion margin. This changes constantly, so it isn’t possible to work out exactly how much your transaction will cost in advance.¹

Banks make their money from exchange rates and margins — so it’s important to consider this before transferring your money.

HSBC Expat mortgage rates

HSBC Expat account holders can access special HSBC Expat mortgage rates — and the Global HSBC network can help you with pre-application information and support.

All mortgage rates are subject to HSBC eligibility — including exactly how much you can borrow for your new home.


Is HSBC closing expat accounts?

There have been some reports that HSBC has been closing Expat accounts. It’s important to remember that HSBC has the right to suspend or close your account for a variety of reasons, including fraud protection, regulations, or legal issues.

However, you should receive 60 days’ notice before HSBC makes any changes to your account.¹

HSBC Expat support

If you need help with your HSBC Expat account, there are a few ways to contact the bank for support. The HSBC Jersey Contact Centre is available 24/7, or you can contact the HSBC Expat Hong Kong Office during typical working hours.

You can also access an HSBC relationship management team to help you save and manage your money — and the HSBC Expat social media accounts offer useful tips and tricks for expats living across the world.

We’ve listed all the relevant contact information below:

Jersey OfficeHong Kong Office

Open 24/7

HSBC Expat Premier customer:+44 1534 616 313

HSBC Expat Advance customer:+44 1534 616 212

New to HSBC Expat: +44 1534 616 055

Open Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

HSBC Expat customer:+852 2822 3133 +852 2822 3133

New to HSBC Expat: +852 2822 3225 +852 2822 3225²

Bottom line: should you get an HSBC Expat account?

An HSBC Expat account is a simple way to manage your money in multiple currencies if you regularly move around the world.

It’s important to think about any fees you may be charged for international transfers — and you need to meet a strict list of criteria to open your first account.

To find out more about your global spending options, check out Wise.


  1. HSBC
  2. Expat Network

Sources checked on 06.20.2023

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.

Money for here, there and everywhere

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location