Excellent Card for Hedging Currency for Overseas Travel
I applied for and was approved for the HSBC Everyday Global card on-line in a few minutes, and uploaded some documents, and received the card a week later.
For local use in Australia the card is much like other debit cards, put money in and use it. The one advantage I've found from using VISA debit cards is that when I buy plane trips at BudgetAir.com.au, I don't incur the fee that is otherwise charged on Mastercard Debit and Credit cards and on Visa Debit cards.
One downside of the HSBC card, is that I cannot change the PIN on-line, and have to do it at one of their ATMs. (I have none handy).
For getting access to cash overseas, I generally go unhedged and use the Citibank Debit Mastercard, which doesn't have the overseas 3% foreign exchange fee, and the cash is given out at the Mastercard exchange rate (unless one foolishly selects the option routinely now put in overseas ATMs to convert the withdrawal amount to Australian dollars at their rate - DON"T do it).
But, if one is travelling overseas in say three to six to nine months, and one is worried that the Aussie dollar may fall or collapse and hurt or ruin one's holiday, then the HSBC Everyday Global Card is the best card I've so far come across for hedging currency quickly and easily, at lowest cost. One can choose to buy 10 foreign currencies and put them in the card at the HSBC exchange rate, for use when travelling later.
Here are AUD-Euro exchange rates at around 11pm 23 Dec 2018.
Mastercard Rate 0.6190 Euro = 1 AUD (i.e. Citibank Debit Mastercard rate)
VISA rate 0.6168 Euro = 1 AUD
HSBC rate 0.6027 Euro = 1 AUD
Qantas Cash 0.5870 Euro = 1 AUD
The much lower Qantas Cash rate is pretty typical of the rates charged in the various Banks' Travel Cards' exchange rates - and they are miserable in my opinion. Hedging at those discounts to the actual rate (found at XE.com) are occasionally worthwhile, like back when the Aussie dollar was at parity with the US dollar.
The HSBC card was plainly providing much better value to people wanting to lock in their expenses for a forthcoming trip. And that is the main advantage of this card, which can save you money (though always check rates at HSBC, Qantas Cash and Banks before deciding to load and buy the currency on this card).
Note well, if you just have Aussie dollars in the HSBC card and use it overseas, then you will have the money converted at HSBC's exchange rate on the day, which will be at not as good a rate as you could have gotten had you used the Citibank Debit Mastercard rate.
Unfortunately, I know that some people reading this review will have their eyes glazing over by now given the discussion of exchange rates. Which is one reason major banks keep making huge amounts of money on foreign exchange from our overseas trips using local credit cards and local Travel Cards.
Terrible customer service and not helpful
The Hsbc and the woman behind the counter are giving two different policies. Two many paperwork’s required to open a bank. This is 21st century!!!! Basically just happy for me to walk out the door without helping out or offering suggestions. Provided passport and utility bill as per what they required online. Went to branch in Southport being told its not enough.
A THIRD World Local Bank
2019 already and these guys still having their mindsets back to 80s.
With almost everything can be done online these days for almost all banks.
And this, the "Third World Local Bank" still requires you to complete a hard copy FORM and then either send or fax it back to them for a simple Daily Withdrawal Limit increase from AUD $1000 to AUD $2000.
It's such a disgrace.
Awful Customer Service - Dont Trust the Card will work
I had two of these accounts with HSBC and the service was awful. I lost my PIN and it took 4 days for them to issue a new one as apparently that is how their systems work. Overall, pathetic customer service. Stick Clear!
Poor customer service, system errors, lower exchange rate
Opened this account for a trip to Canada and USA because it promised no foreign exchange fees. Loaded it with AUD and used it for ATM withdrawals and purchases on the Visa Debit card, that were then converted to AUD. All Visa purchases were treated by HSBC as ATM withdrawals (and not Visa purchases) at an exchange rate set by HSBC which was several percent lower than the Visa and Amex credit card exchange rates for the day. I made several Amex transactions so I could compare and there was almost no benefit to the HSBC card even with the Amex 3% foreign currency charge, due to Amex having a better exchange rate. On returning home I found I had been overcharged by hundreds of dollars with seven transactions in error, which all appeared to be due to HSBC system errors. Four were duplicated transactions, another was a cancelled transaction for $0.15 Canadian that was converted to $52.02 Australian, and two others converted from CAD to AUD at the ridiculously low exchange rate of 0.71 cents instead of 0.96 CAD per AUD. Lodged a dispute with HSBC and received no response. Followed up after eight weeks in writing, no response. After 11 weeks lodged a complaint with the Australian Governments Financial Ombudsman Service and got a credit from HSBC two weeks later. No apology for the lack of response or explanation. I closed this account immediately I got my refund. HSBC banks in each country are different and HSBC Australia refused to provide any pre-trip advice as to whether HSBC Canada or HSBC USA would levy fees for using their ATMS for withdrawals. They refused to find out and told me to contact those banks myself. I tried multiple HSBC ATMs in New York over the weekend I was there but I couldn’t use any of them as they were all inside banks and none were accessible outside bank hours, so I don't know if they charge an ATM fee or not. Most other ATMS I found were accessible after hours, so I had to use one of these and pay the fee. I would give this product zero stars if I could.
Card blocked midway through holiday
Used this Everyday Global Card in America for 7 weeks. Halfway through the holiday purchases at restaurants and hotel accomodation weren't working on the card. Went 3 days later to an ATM when we ran out of money thinking it might of been the shops, but turns out I couldn't get any money out. HSBC in America won't help you, and our American mobile plan wouldn't allow us to call Australia. Family in Australia had to contact HSBC and ask them to contact us. Our card was blocked due to an $84 accomodation stay. The whole purpose of getting the card is to pay for things on holiday. We went for 4 days without being able to use our card and one day without being able to get food or accomodation. I asked HSBC why block my card for an accomodation payment, when I spent $10,000 prior to that on meals, accomodation, multiple shopping sprees, fuel around 7 states and tours. I was told that the system only hi-lighted the one accomodation stay. I will never use HSBC again. Toured the world a few times with Travelex and never had a card been stopped once. For anything.
Very Inflexible Product
This product is ridiculously inflexible and requires a user beware warning. On opening this account the holder is required to select a number of supported currencies to transact in from a drop down list should you wish to secure a particular currency at a set rate prior to travel. These currency choices then become locked in and it is then not possible to add additional supported currencies at a later date to support travel to other destinations. According to HSBC their tech team is "looking at the issue". I would suggest that anyone opening one of these inflexible accounts selects ALL of the listed currencies available to protect the needs of future travel. A pretty ordinary deficiency from a product trumpeted by HSBC as revolutionizing travel debit cards. This issue leaves a nasty taste before even having the opportunity to use it.
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