HSBC is doing 6% APR - http://www.hsbcdirect.com/1/2/1/offer?code=PPGE410000 i'm thinking about doing it. how do i calculate my monthly interest? is this right? 5000 x 6% ~ 12 = $25 a month thank you.

You mean APY. (Annual percentage yield). APR (Annual percentage rate) is what you pay on loans. Your calculation is how you work out simple interest. Compound interest is added at the end of each calculation period. Are you getting simple or compound?

oops - i'm young and still not sure how all this works. i do believe it's compound, isn't that how banks do it?

Different savings accounts cater for different needs. I cannot tell from that link what type it is. If you want growth, you can compound the interest, that is, when interest is paid, you add it to the principal (the sum deposited), so it grows, or if you want income, you can take the interest monthly or quarterly or whatever and the principal stays the same.