HSBC currently offers the highest rate I know of, and the fact that they are such a large bank is comforting. Also, they do offer a free debit card that will allow you fee-free use at any of their ATMs - unfortunately their ATMs are not everywhere (none in Utah for example).
On the negative side - they don\'t offer the easy-to-use multiple account feature that ING Direct does. Also, the account number they give you is quite long - 20 digits! - making it impossible to memorize. Further, if you mis-type it and/or your password a few times, you\'ll get locked out, requiring a phone call to unlock it. Their phone support is atrocious - I was on hold for over an hour both times I called.
The account setup was a little more complicated and longer than most others, but it wasn\'t bad. If you don\'t mind the poor wait times for phone support, they are probably a pretty good option.
Great rate and decent service.
One problem I have is the way HSBC performs requested amount or balance transfers on line. When requesting money to be transferred out to an external account, HSBC immediately deducts the requested amount from the current balance (so as to not pay interest). But the money does not arrive in the external account until about 4 business days.
I sent a couple emails and the only response I received was "we'll respond within 48 hours". I tried calling and the call got dropped for "techical difficulties" at least 3 times. When I talked with a representative she had no interest in listening to my questions and simply told me the I should manage my account online.
I'm very disatisfied with their customer service and their online account display is very minimal. I can't find pending transactions, the interest rate is not posted. The interface is clunky at best. I'm pulling my money from these guys and going elsewhere because they haven't provided a level of comfort that I can get elsewhere.
My biggest gripe about HSBC is the transfer process. When transferring TO HSBC the money goes from the source account instantly but doesn\'t show up in HSBC savings for 3-4 days. When transferring FROM HSBC the money goes from HSBC instantly but doesnt show up in the target account for 3-4 days. If you need your money fast this can be frustrating.
I've never really had a problem with HSBC. I know there's a lot of negativity out there due to some of their more-publicized issues, but none of these has ever affected me. Basically, I keep my money in HSBC, they give me my interest, and I roll my money over to the next month. I don't expect lots of extras from a savings bank, I just want access to my money, I want interest added, and I don't want my money lost on fees. HSBC gives me this. That makes them a good bank in my opinion.