Comes with a free multi-currency debit card and the account allows you to hold balances in all the following:
GBP - pound sterling
EUR - euro
USD - US dollar
AUD - Australian dollar
ZAR - South African rand
PLN - Polish zloty
CAD - Canadian dollar
NZD - New Zealand dollar
CHF - Swiss franc
SEK - Swedish krona
HKD - Hong Kong dollar
AED - UAE dirham
CZK - Czech koruna
NOK - Norwegian krone
DKK - Danish krone
SGD - Singapore dollar
JPY - Japanese yen
CNH - Chinese yuan renminbi
Note: You currently need to be an HSBC customer to open an account.
They mentioned during the application that all of the account documents would be available in the app shortly after opening, but that doesn’t yet seem to be the case (having given them about an hour).
This means it’s not possible to find out the GBP account number and sort code as they don’t seem to be displayed in the app, even though you are allowed to pay in from other U.K. accounts according to their website.
It’s effectively quite good if you load up the GBP account and spend on the card in an unsupported currency as that’s using Visa’s wholesale exchange rate with nothing added. Supported account conversion (including “live conversion” to fund a transaction, as Revolut do) uses HSBC’s exchange rates to create a balance, which doesn’t look great.
You can transfer to Global Money currency balances from existing HSBC Currency Accounts (in your name) using the app too, which allows you to spend money from those accounts, albeit indirectly. This is potentially useful as HSBC Currency Accounts do not come with debit cards, while Global Money does. Interestingly, though, it’s a separate debit card and GBP balance to your existing HSBC current account. The whole thing is FSCS protected which is good.
It is possible to add Euros to the Global Money account without any fees if you send a SEPA transfer to a Euro-denominated HSBC Currency account, then internal transfer to the Global Money Euro balance. GBP can also be added without fees, either through internal transfer or directly from U.K. accounts through Faster Payment.
You can only add to the other balances by converting from pounds, using HSBC’s poor rate, or transfer from/through HSBC Currency Accounts - which all charge to receive international payments other than via SEPA. So really not that useful for the other supported currencies, but a way of getting a fee-free Euro account from a big-name bank (in a roundabout fashion, as you have to pair up Global Money with a Euro HSBC Currency Account).
I saw that myself when poking around earlier, although the difficulty would be if/when you needed to convert back to pounds; it wouldn’t be best to use Global Money so you would have to convert via Revolut or Wise anyway.
Still, it could be good to receive money into HSBC in the first instance due to the FSCS protection - so it would be a good place to safely store funds.
I opened Global Money recently. I think it’s good and a good alternative with a traditional bank to the Monzo, Revolut etc. I know its not as feature rich as new banks but imo it will cover the needs of most people for travelling abroad.
I just got one of these. I’m not fully sure if I’ll use it yet. The main reason is the only purpose would be spending abroad - with Barclays premier I can just create a travel wallet in app and use the same card and account - this seems like it might be overkill for me.
Still, nice looking card and one for the collection if nothing else.
These days, with 0% fees on foreign spending so widely available (starling, monzo, Chase, etc), I’m not sure how useful these foreign currency cards are. The main use now is on currency speculation, I presume?
I don’t think that’s for me, though I was stung slightly with a US holiday that I booked just before brexit, so it would’ve been better had I locked in a currency rate, but these events are as likely to go in my favour as against me
I guess so. I suppose some of the convenience of Monzchasling etc is that you can just use the same card at home as you do abroad and it just does it’s thing. I do agree that for the most part other banks really should consider dropping non-sterling transaction fees if they want to remain competitive.
If I am being honest I have no real idea yet how useful this card will be. It looks nice, and it works really well (tested it out on Amazon yesterday) so I may even start to use it for day to day spending soon
I don’t really think there’s any competitive reason for the incumbents to drop the fees, because most people are in the UK for 99% of the time and those that aren’t, can more than afford the 3% fee (on the higher end) and get a more personal service from these banks anyways that offsets that cost.
For the 99% who are in the UK 99% of the time, they make a decent chunk of change for the banks in FX fees for the two weeks they’re abroad.