Zero Clover

Zero Clover

Student in Sol III

Qualifying for HSBC Premier as a Broke Student


This article does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. And is not recommended for any U.S. resident or anyone planning to immigrate to the United States. You should consult your own tax, legal, accounting and immigration advisors before engaging in any operations.

This article was updated on March 14, 2023, based on the current situation, and the advertising section has been removed.

This article was written on August 25, 2022, and readers should be aware that the world is constantly changing. The content in this article may have become partially or completely inaccurate or even incorrect. This site does not provide any form of guarantee to readers who attempt to reference the methods in this article. Use at your own risk.

HSBC Premier, as a concierge banking service, can provide a lot of convenient services. Among them, what readers of this article are most concerned about is HSBC's global account opening service, which allows you to open bank accounts in multiple regions around the world without being present or having a visa. It is also a valuable service that allows you to apply for local credit cards without local income proof or deposits. Among these services, for residents of mainland China, the most important thing is the HSBC HK account.

For customers without a Premier Relationship, even if they go to HSBC HK, they are likely to be refused to open an account. Once refused, it will leave a negative record in the HSBC system, and generally, it will not be possible to open an account with HSBC HK within six months (for further reading: "Do you think having 1 million makes you a privileged customer? For banks, it's just a chicken rib"). Witness account opening requires a deposit, and HSBC CN currently requires a certain main relationship bank in CN and assets to meet the standards to provide witness account opening services. This means that you must put 500,000 RMB in a bank account with an almost 0 interest rate. Do you think wealth management is also included in the asset requirements? HSBC Bank's wealth management is not losing money and surpasses 90% of customers.

Therefore, the goal of this article is to provide a solution that allows you to apply for an account without the requirement of a deposit. Even if you have assets that meet HSBC's standards but don't have so much money to spend, it is recommended that you refer to the content of this article, because leaving funds idle in an HSBC account is a very uneconomical behavior.

Special: HSBC HK#

HSBC HK is a special case. Among all the regions where remote account opening is possible, HK is the only region where mainland residents cannot apply online directly. Opening an account through HSBC CN will require meeting the asset requirements (i.e., a total asset value of at least 500,000 RMB).

Currently, the main method for opening an account in HSBC HK without meeting the asset requirements is the "Employee Banking Services" (EBS) program. This requires your employer to be on the list of companies in this program, and your pre-tax monthly income must be no less than 30,000 RMB / 50,000 RMB. After that, you need to maintain a minimum balance of 100,000 RMB in the account and make a certain amount of transfers every month to maintain Premier status. Intermediary account opening also takes advantage of this, allowing you to impersonate an employee of a qualified company by forging documents and colluding with account opening managers. However, being a fake employee carries risks, including being kicked out of the employee program and having to pay account management fees or having the account closed by HSBC.

In addition, whether you are a real or fake employee, since you do not meet the asset requirements, you cannot bring any benefits to the Relationship Manager (RM). Therefore, after meeting the account opening requirements of one overseas region, the RM will generally not assist you in opening a second overseas HSBC account. However, if you have exceptional communication skills and have in-depth discussions with the RM, it is possible to open a Hong Kong account while meeting the overseas HSBC requirements (non-asset requirements) but not meeting the requirements of HSBC CN. This website welcomes readers to confidently try this approach.

Application Route#

The branch of HSBC where you start and the strategy you use to apply for an account depend on the assets you currently hold. If you need a Hong Kong account very much and temporarily do not have the liquid assets required by HSBC CN, short-term borrowing is also an option to consider, as long as the interest rate is lower than the cost of using an intermediary to open an account. Of course, borrowing will harm your credit record, so if you are considering car loans or mortgages in the near future, you need to consider it carefully.

HSBC Expat#

HSBC Expat is a branch of HSBC operating in Jersey. Jersey is an offshore financial center of the UK, and the advantage of opening an account with Expat is that you do not need any existing HSBC relationship and do not need to convince the Relationship Manager that you will deposit assets that meet the requirements after opening the account.

After registering for HSBC Expat's "Share The Experience" program, you can open an HSBC Expat account and receive a referral bonus of 250 GBP after the account has been open for at least six months. You can register through this link to get the bonus. This activity does not require the account to meet the Premier status, but this site recommends that you at least meet the requirements of HSBC US, otherwise it may cause scrutiny from Expat and result in account restrictions and global account closure. Pay attention to the information you use when registering for "Share The Experience," including your email address, which should match the information you used when opening the HSBC Expat account to ensure a match.

HSBC Expat is currently a branch of HSBC Group that is very sensitive to risk control. A considerable number of users have had their accounts closed globally due to triggering Expat risk control. There are various reasons that can trigger HSBC Expat's scrutiny, including opening too many accounts in a short period of time, changing residential addresses, residential addresses not matching tax residency status, and even receiving transfers from your own account with the same name, which may also trigger scrutiny.


It is surprising that HSBC US continues to operate after selling off a wave of customers, and it is in a state of continued underperformance. However, HSBC US is still the easiest HSBC branch for mainland residents to meet the requirements for. In addition to the regular asset requirement of 75,000 USD, you can also meet the requirement by making a monthly direct deposit (DD) of 5,000 USD. Generally, company salaries or government subsidies are considered direct deposits. However, the bank's IT system does not always correctly identify ACH transfers, and transfers from some brokerage accounts or other personal bank accounts may also be recognized as DD. But HSBC US is straightforward and almost all ACH transfers are recognized as direct deposits, including the Velo account (aka East West Bank e-Premier Checking Account), which is the easiest for mainland residents to open, and it will be recognized as DD. Since opening a Velo account now requires a 300 USD account opening fee, it is recommended to use the banking function of a Schwab One Intl account for this operation.

This means that you only need to have another US bank account and transfer 5,000 USD to HSBC US every month, and then transfer from HSBC US to your own account. 5,000 USD is roughly equivalent to the highest level of after-tax salary in the HSBC CN employee program, but it does not require you to be employed by any company on the whitelist or carry the risk of using an intermediary, making it the lowest-cost solution to meet the requirements.

However, it should be noted that HSBC's backend system can actually distinguish between real and fake DD. Although it is not known why they do not strictly review the Premier status, if you need the RM to provide proof of account opening requirements to other HSBC branches, the RM is likely to tell you that the account does not meet the requirements and refuse to provide the proof.

Remote account opening with HSBC US requires a US visa or an existing HSBC relationship in another region, so you should open HSBC Expat first and then HSBC US. After that, change the main relationship bank to HSBC US and transfer 5,000 USD every month to make your global HSBC Premier account exempt from management fees.


For residents of mainland China, HSBC SG cannot be applied for directly online. Instead, you need to leave your contact information on the official website, and an RM from HSBC SG will contact you to complete the account opening process. However, for readers residing in specific regions, you can open an account directly online through HSBC EasyID, please refer to the HSBC SG website for details.

HSBC SG can be applied for without any other HSBC relationship, but it is strongly recommended not to do so. Because HSBC SG accounts cannot be downgraded, if you do not meet the requirements, you will be charged management fees that cannot be waived. Make sure to consider applying for HSBC SG only after meeting the requirements of the main relationship bank.

HSBC SG credit cards are now more restricted, and non-Singapore residents / foreign residents can only apply for secured credit cards and cannot obtain unsecured credit cards. Therefore, it is recommended to give up the idea of HSBC SG credit cards. However, if you have the funds to meet the Premier status requirements in Singapore (200,000 SGD), it is possible to apply for a non-secured card through RM approval.


When opening an account on the HSBC UK website, if you provide a UK address, your UK credit record will be checked, and you may be refused to open an account if you have no credit record, a short credit history, a bad credit record, or if HSBC does not like you. If you provide an address in the European Union, you may be required to provide local ID. Therefore, the best way to apply for HSBC UK is still to open a UK account through IBC (International Banking Center). CN IBC requires a UK visa when applying for a UK account, but a 1-year / 2-year UK tourist visa is sufficient to meet the IBC requirements. Overseas IBC does not require a visa but may require providing local ID or signing in at an offline branch. In addition, with the closure of HSBC in Hong Kong, it has become realistic to open an account at the HK IBC headquarters, but along with it, HK IBC has tightened its account opening requirements and may require a UK visa / admission notice / employment proof, and will strictly review the reasons for account opening.

Please note that when opening an HSBC UK account directly through the HSBC UK website, you need to claim that you are a UK or EU resident and reside in the UK or EU. This may be considered illegal, so please consider carefully whether you want to do this if you plan to immigrate to the UK.


Currently, HSBC AU has opened remote account opening to residents of specific regions, but mainland Chinese users still need to apply through IBC, and CN IBC naturally requires a visa. However, a 600 Visa (tourist visa) can meet the visa requirements of IBC.

HSBC AU also provides a low-cost solution to meet the requirements, which is to have a monthly turnover of 9,000 AUD. It does not need to be a specific type of transaction or a single transaction, so it is more flexible. AU visas are relatively easy to apply for (compared to the US), so if you obtain a visa, you can consider opening an HSBC AU account.


In the case where you already have an overseas HSBC Premier account that meets the requirements, you can also consider opening an HSBC CN Premier account. In this case, you can open an account without making a deposit in CN (opening an HSBC CN account with 0 deposit without any other HSBC Premier account is not an easy task).

Although HSBC's exchange rate is not good, HSBC Global Transfer to China requires less time and fewer procedures compared to other banks, making it suitable for emergency use.


HSBC FR has already been confirmed to be sold to a local bank. Although it still accepts international account opening, the approval rate for mainland Chinese residents is extremely low, and it can almost be considered as refusing to open accounts for Chinese residents. Even after being sold, HSBC FR can still obtain a local bank account in France for free, and almost all French banks do not allow remote account opening.

When opening an HSBC FR account, it is important to note that HSBC FR has strict requirements for address proof: bank statements, property ownership certificates, and other documents are not accepted. It must be a utility bill and must be in English. If you can obtain a utility bill from your location, you can add a translation yourself. Please note that when opening an HSBC FR account, do not use a UK address as the "residential address."

After the account is opened, you need to deposit at least 200 EUR into the IBAN provided by HSBC FR (which is actually your account number). HSBC FR currently has multiple DP reports that do not accept transfers from HSBC Expat and Wise, so it is recommended to use other HSBC branches or other banks for transfers. Please note that if the currency of the transfer is not EUR, HSBC FR will automatically convert it to EUR, which may cause trouble in subsequent steps.

In addition, when registering for HSBC FR online banking, you cannot choose your username, and HSBC FR will generate a ten-digit number for you. When registering for online banking, you need a Secret Code. This code will be sent to you by mail, but HSBC FR can only send it by regular mail. Therefore, if it is sent to a region outside the European Union, it is very likely to be lost. It is recommended to use an address in the European Union or the UK as the "mailing address."

If you have not received the Secret Code (14 days after opening the account), you can call HSBC FR's customer service to request a reset. The customer service will ask you some questions to verify your identity, including the amount of your last transfer to the account. If the answer to the question is correct, HSBC FR will send a text message containing a ten-digit number to your mobile phone, and the customer service will tell you which six digits are the real Secret Code.


HSBC CA has already been confirmed to be sold to the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), but it still accepts international account opening. Of course, it does not accept online account opening for mainland Chinese residents, and Chinese residents must apply through IBC.

There is not much to note when opening an HSBC CA account, but the Debit Card received after international account opening does not have online transaction functionality and must be activated in person at any HSBC CA branch to enable online transactions. However, this card is an ATM card of a non-global card organization, and even if it has online transaction functionality, it is not widely accepted.

After opening an HSBC CA account, there is a chance to be instantly approved for a credit card by depositing at least 10,000 CAD or the equivalent in foreign currency into the account.

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