What Are the Pros and Cons of the HSBC Student Account?

The HSBC student account is just one of the many student current accounts available in the UK. Is it right for you? Read our review to learn more!
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Is there any good without bad? We’ll let your philosophy professors try to answer that one, but as it concerns student current accounts, we’re inclined to believe there isn’t. Understanding the benefits and drawbacks of various student accounts is important for ensuring that you sign up for the one that best matches your needs. 

Having the right student account is a key part of learning to manage your funds like a pro during university, but with so many banks and student accounts to choose from, it can be hard to know which is the best for you. With that said, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of the HSBC student account.

What are the Main Benefits of the HSBC Student Account?

  • Interest-free arranged overdraft: An interest-free arranged overdraft is the number-one must-have feature for any student account. HSBC’s student account checks this box, offering qualifying students a £1,000 arranged overdraft in their first year at university. That overdraft limit can rise to £3,000 by your third year.
  • Useful mobile app: Not only does HSBC’s mobile app offer you standard banking operations, but it also allows you to view what your account balance will be after upcoming recurring payments. This makes it an exceptionally useful tool for understanding and managing your spending and saving habits. Plus, it’s highly rated with 4.6 stars on Google Play, and 4.8 stars on the App Store.
  • Overdraft text alerts: HSBC’s overdraft text alerts are one more tool for building healthy financial habits. It will send you a notification any time you go into your arranged overdraft or are close to going into it. This can help you learn to keep a careful eye on your finances, which is essential after you graduate and start losing access to benefits like interest-free overdraft accounts.

Want to learn more about student overdrafts? Check out our post: Does a Student Overdraft Affect Your Credit Score?

What are the Main Drawbacks of the HSBC Student Account?

  • Mixed reviews from students: While the HSBC mobile banking app’s reviews are good, reviews for the student account are far from perfect. While any highly-negative review should be taken with a grain of salt, it’s worth reading what other students have said about the HSBC student account.
An image of a negative review for the HSBC student account. The review leaves one out of five stars under the review title, "Avoid this bank!" The review goes on to enumerate reasons this person had a 'terrible experience' dealing with HSBC when trying to set up a student acocunt.
  • Fees on foreign purchases and withdrawals: The HSBC student account charges a 2.75% transaction fee on all purchases made using a foreign currency. Additionally, withdrawals in a foreign currency are subject to a 2% fee on top of the 2.75% transaction fee. While a one-off fee won’t throw your finances into disarray, students who have intentions of studying abroad might want to consider a current account without international payment and withdrawal fees.

How Does the HSBC Student Account Compare to Competitors?

Compared to student accounts such as FlexStudent from Nationwide and the 123 Student Current Account from Santander, the HSBC student account is a fierce competitor. Some noteworthy comparisons include: 

  • Matching the Nationwide FlexStudent’s interest-free overdraft of £3,000 by your third year
  • £100 perk seems great, but you may be able to save more with Santander’s 123 Student Current Account perk of a four-year Railcard depending on how frequently you travel. 
  • Without a minimum funding requirement, the HSBC student account costs less to maintain each term than both the FlexStudent account and the 123 Student Current Account

To learn more about other student current accounts, check out our reviews of the Santander 123 Student Current Account and the Nationwide FlexStudent account!

FAQs About the HSBC Student Account

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for HSBC’s Student Account?

The eligibility requirements for the HSBC student account are more or less what you’ll see with its competitors:

  • You must be 18 or older
  • You must live in the UK and have been a resident of the UK for the last three years
  • You need to be able to prove that you were accepted into a qualifying university program
  • You can’t have an existing student account with another bank

Is the HSBC Student Account Available to International Students?

No, the HSBC student account isn’t available to international students. Like most UK banks with student accounts, one eligibility requirement is that you must have lived within the UK for the past three years.

HSBC does have an account for international students, although its functionality is much more limited than the regular student account. Like the student account, the international student account charges fees for transactions and cash withdrawals outside the UK, which could be a big drawback if you’re an international student who travels home during holiday.

Does the HSBC Student Account Come With Any Perks?

At the time of writing, you can get £100 just for making five debit-card transactions within the first 30 days of opening your HSBC student account. 

Is the HSBC Student Account Right for You?

The HSBC student account has a lot going for it. With an interest-free arranged overdraft that’s on par with its competitors and no minimum funding requirements, the HSBC student account is by far one of the most affordable accounts. However, its drawbacks such as fees on international transactions mean that it’s not right for everyone, particularly students who have intentions of studying abroad or travelling on holiday.

At the end of the day, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a perfect student banking product. While it’s great to find a student account with lucrative perks, it’s important to understand that banks make these offers in the hopes you’ll bank with them forever.

What’s more important than those perks is finding a student current account that has the features and tools you need to grow your financial confidence as you enter and progress through university. Therefore, always pay close attention to the details that will affect your day-to-day finances, like interest rates on overdrafts.

Own Your Finances With Pave

There’s no question that finding the right student current account is an important part of your financial education. However, it’s not the only part. Even with things like HSBC’s mobile app, you won’t be able to take other important actions for your finances, and that’s why we built the Pave app.

With Pave, you can not only keep track of your upcoming bills, but you can also learn what impacts your credit score and what you can do to build it. You can even actively build your credit through our credit line, with all timely payments being reported to credit reference agencies to build your credit score!

Ready to take your finances and credit score to the next level? Download Pave from the App Store or Google Play today!