EXCLUSIVE: 40,000 Avios or miles bonus with new HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard

HSBC, as I have mentioned a couple of times on Head for Points in the past, has been planning to bring its World Elite MasterCard product to the UK for some time.  Recent changes to the terms and conditions of HSBC Premier made this clear.

The product is now set to launch – and it sounds quite exciting.

I believe that the information below is correct.  However, it has not come directly from HSBC so it may not be 100% complete.  Details were not on the HSBC website as of last night.

Before I come onto the benefits, let me remind you how HSBC Premier credit cards work if you take airline miles.  You need 2 HSBC Premier card points to exchange for either 1 Avios, 1 Cathay Pacific mile, 1 Singapore Airlines mile or 1 Etihad Guest mile.

HSBC Premier World

This is what the new HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard will offer, I understand:

40,000 points (20,000 miles) for signing up and spending £2,000 within 3 months

40,000 points (20,000 miles) for spending £12,000 in your first 12 months – you only receive these points at the end of the first year, however quickly you spend £12,000

2 points (1 mile) for every £1 you spend – this makes it by far the best Avios MasterCard or Visa product

4 points (2 miles) for every £1 you spend outside the UK

There are other interesting benefits on top which come with ALL World Elite MasterCard products issued in the UK:

Airport lounge access via LoungeKey

Travel insurance (not clear how comprehensive, possibly refers to the usual HSBC Premier insurance)

Travel status benefits:  

  • Abercrombie & Kent VIP Travel
  • Fairmont Hotels and Resorts VIP Guest Status
  • Leading Hotels of the World free Leaders Club membership (save $150)
  • Hertz #1 Club Gold
  • Sixt – ‘exclusive benefits’
  • Raffles Hotels and Resorts VIP Guest Status
  • Swissotel Hotels and Resorts VIP Guest Status
  • Starwood 3-4-2 deal
  • Small Luxury Hotels of the World 3-4-2 deal

What is annual fee?

It will be £195 plus £60 for any supplementary cardholders.

What are the eligibility criteria?

HSBC Premier has tough eligibility criteria.  See here and click on the Eligibility button to see the details.

As well as opening a HSBC Premier current account, you must ALSO have £50,000 invested with HSBC, either in a savings account or via an investment product.

Alternatively, if you earn over £100,000, you qualify if you just have a HSBC mortgage or anyinvestment or insurance product.  (HSBC has been known to waive the income criteria if you are on a career path which should see you earning this sort of money within a few years.)

I’m not sure what the minimum investment is in an ‘investment product’ but I’m sure you could find something which would accept £1,000 or so.  They may even treat ISA’s or fixed rate bonds as ‘investment products’ – the definition is not clear online.  Some readers have been told different things by different branches.

Is the card worth getting?

I still have a HSBC Premier account from my days working for the group, more than a decade ago.

I will probably get this card although it is a more marginal call.  I still have my BMI Diamond Club MasterCard which earns 2.5 Avios per £1.  Spending £12,000 on that card earns me 30,000 Avios.

I would receive 52,000 Avios from putting £12,000 through this new card.  The extra 22,000 Avios would justify the £195 fee – just – and I may get some value from the other travel benefits.

For anyone who doesn’t have a legacy BMI MasterCard and has HSBC Premier, this is a very good deal.  You are looking at 52,000 Avios for a £195 card fee and £12,000 of spending within a year.

One thing to note though.  If you were thinking of running up the £12,000 via tax payments, remember that a World Elite MasterCard may have higher interchange fees than a standard MasterCard.  This is HMRC’s list of non-standard MasterCard fees:

MasterCard World Premium Credit Card 0.374%
MasterCard Signia Premium Credit Card 0.606%
MasterCard Elite Premium Credit Card 0.606%

So, what is the HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard?  Is it 0.374% or 0.606%?  Even at 0.606%, however, you would be ‘buying’ your airline miles cheaply.

I will about the card again when I have the official details which will hopefully be in the next day or so.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

TODAY ONLY: Win free luggage pick-up and collection with AirPortr - and a discount for everyone
British Airways launches new route to Chile - good Avios availability
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. James67 says:

    Card seems like it could be good but there are too many BUTS, the biggest one being that the real cost comes not from the annual fee but from doing business with HSBC as opposed to better deals with alternative suppliers of various financial products. Then you have to factor in competing miles earning credit cards as you suggest with discussiin of BMI earning rates; add to that amex benefits and offers, 241s, Lloyds voucher and no FX fees. Ultimately, I think the HSBC card only of value too those who would do their business with HSBC anyway, and who can also afford to run the card on top of any others already in their porfolio. What I hope this card might do prompt amex to improve their platinum card offer which has deteriorated in recent years

  2. Flyingbee says:

    This might kick me into action to finally get a UK avios earning credit card – I still have a NatWest card dating from when they earned airmiles (and now gives me nothing)!
    I’m guessing the card will be expensive to use for € spend despite getting 2 avios per £ spent outside the UK.

  3. Genghis says:

    For me, I think there’s better value elsewhere: the Amex sign up bonuses, curve for FX, clarity for ATM, BMI for ongoing spend. As James67 mentioned above, probably only of real value to those who would have HSBC banking inertia anyway

    • Anybody used Curve for foreign currency yet? (bought in the UK?) how is this treated/charged?

      • Genghis says:

        There were comments on yesterday’s discussion late evening that someone had used it at Co Op money. I believe if you pay for currency in person with the card then it will be fine. I tried to use it to pay for Travelex T5 currency (for 2.5k HR point bonus) but the online payment system refused to take it citing ‘please pay with a UK card’ (or something of that ilk)

  4. Benjamin Dyer says:

    Do you know what is happening to the current free HSBC Premier card (0.5miles/£1)?
    I guess it’s all in the fine detail – if the lounge access and insurance product is good then it would certainly make me reconsider the £450/annum we pay AMEX for Platinum.

  5. This sounds great, think it will be available to holders of the existing free Premier MasterCard?

  6. That is the toughest criteria I’ve seen for a while, body swerve from me.

    • Premier has had those criteria for a long time.

      I think you will start to see income targets for credit cards jumping up across the board. Someone who only spends £500 a month is generating £1.50 in interchange fees – you can’t even post a statement and process the payment for that.

    • Scottnothing says:

      Not that tough – I qualified for Premier by opening up a stocks & shares ISA with an initial deposit of £100 plus a monthly direct debit of £100. To date I have “only” £2,000 in savings with HSBC, no mortgage but I also meet the income threshold. I took out the card initially when Raffles made mention of the sign up bonus of 12,500 Avios in October 2014 (my bonus ended up posting twice in error).

      I previously used that card for all non-AMEX spend until I recently took out the Lloyds Avios duo. I keep it for the free travel insurance but no longer spend on it after the recent Avios earning devaluation.

      Can’t say I would rush out to get this new card at £195 a year as I have no use for the travel benefits listed above (so far). Also after putting £10,000 through the BA Amex and £7,000 through the Lloyds to trigger the vouchers I doubt I would have another £12,000 to push through a card in a 12 month period.

      • Sussex Bantam says:

        You also need to switch your current account too though ? Unless I’m reading things incorrectly ? That would be the deal-breaker for me…

        • Sussex Bantam says:

          Their web-site says

          “HSBC Premier is available to you, as long as you pay your annual income into your HSBC Premier Bank Account and either:

          1) Have savings or investments of at least £50,000 with HSBC in the UK; or
          2) have an individual annual income of at least £100,000 and one of the following products with HSBC in the UK:

          – a mortgage;
          – an investment, life insurance or protection product;”

          I guess you could pay it in and then immediately transfer it out but that does increase the faff factor quite significantly…

  7. will I be able to get this card and its benefits if I already have HBC Premier Mastercard in the UK?

  8. Looks excellent to me. I’ll gladly pay £195 to get this and replace my existing HSBC Premier Card. What their foreign transaction fees are will determine how much I use it in total. Do you know if the bonus is annual, like AMEX Gold, or just a one off?

  9. Having just read the rewards on the card and not having the BMI card plus both of us already having HSBC premier cards and putting more than £24k on the cards, each year between us, we’ll be applying for 1 each :)

  10. Potential competition for the Amex Platinum here.

  11. Why would you pay the high fee of £195 when you can get Curve for £35 and earn 1.5 AVios with BAPP or 1.25 with LLoyds.

    • Geoggy says:

      For the 40k Avios bonus and the other perks?

      I have the free card so I could do with knowing if I can get this also

    • I can only compare to LLoyds as I don’t have any legacy cards.

      It has a better sign-up bonus, I’d rather earn KrisFlyer points or earn points where I can choose where to assign them, then just having Avios and Curve costs nearly 2% at HMRC, plus Curve has annoying credit limits of ~£20k/m and daily limits of ~£5k.

      • The_Real_A says:

        Curve limits are worse, £5k a MONTH and £2k per transaction.

        • Only during your initial period. They increase when you spend more and pass their fraud checks.

          • The_Real_A says:

            Has anyone actually done that yet?

          • Genghis says:

            I probably will never pass the ‘fraud checks’ as I am reluctant to put all my spend on Curve given their recent muck ups. I shall continue to spend on Curve for FX purchases and where Amex isn’t accepted but that’s it I think.

        • Mr Dee says:

          Yes no good for business users, some spend that amount in a day.

          I have only just got my refund for the duplicate mess up 10 days ago.

      • These 5k daily limits, so restricting!

  12. pauldb says:

    I wondered if you get the second 40k as soon as you hit £12k, or whether it waits for renewal thereby making the cost 2x£195?
    Otherwise seems a decent offering – at least there’s a good new MC option if Curve goes wrong and others really do put back on earnings rates. I might be tempted though to diversify into SQ miles instead though: if you can earn a good number from this card and supplement with AmexMR then I’d say 52k SQ is worth more than 52k BA.
    However, realistically I’d probably spend £10k on 2 BAPPs and trigger a few sign-ups before paying for this card as an extra … so I’d really need to be spending £40k+pa on cards to justify this.

  13. reddot says:

    Warning to anyone not holding a British passport – they make opening a Premier account extremely hard, even if you meet all their criteria and have a joint account holder is British. No one at my branch had a clue what procedures are required for a “HR” (high-risk, I figured out) customer, and I had to go back twice and still they could not sort it. I simply gave up – there are better places for my money.

    • I also don’t hold a British passport and I have had a completely different experience with HSBC. When I upgraded to a PP account with HSBC, it took me probably the 20 minutes over the phone. I originally began banking with HSBC because of how much easier they made it for someone who had just moved here to set up a bank account. Every so often another one of my friends moves over to London and expresses their frustration at how difficult it is to set up a bank account. I always point them to HSBC and they’re always pleasantly surprised with how much easier HSBC make the process.

      • Agreed. HSBC, Citi and Amex are far more flexible because they can draw on credit records in other countries where they operate.

      • Scottnothing says:

        Was the same for me (Australian passport) though I had lived in the UK for 3 years before I moved my banking from Natwest to HSBC.

    • I was “upgraded” to Premier with HSBC in 2010. They automatically upgraded my wife’s account, who holds a non-UK passport, at the same time who does not meet the account criteria as we married without any application.

  14. Hamzah says:

    OT: Has anybody received their Curve card yet? My card was part of a batch that was supposed to be sent out on the 5th of May. I have contacted Curve, but they are being vague about when I will get it.

  15. do first direct products count for their criteria (or is it too much to assume that just because they are the same bank, it would count?)

    • thesaver79 says:

      I was going to ask the same question!

    • Small print discusses FD and M&S Bank, I think ‘no’.

    • Scottnothing says:

      They don’t count as they are not financial/investment products offered by HSBC’s investment arm.

      For avoidance of doubt, the eligibility criteria makes this clear as follows:

      “HSBC in the UK excludes M&S Bank, first direct and HSBC Expat.”

      • That’s annoying, half my FD mortgage paperwork actually had HSBC rather than FD logos, details, etc. as HSBC are the underwriters.

    • First direct definitely doesn’t count, unfortunately

  16. Danksy says:

    Curve – Given their changes to the T&C’s I’m considering not bothering now to be honest I haven’t received the card and unlikely to recoup the cost that I paid if I’m trying to hit other spend targets.

    HSBC – Almost joined them a few months back, but I’m not sure I’m quite ready to give up by 30 year relationship with my current bank; althought I’d happily ditch my 10 year relationship with Amex for this card… seems like a good deal!

    • Callum says:

      Unless you’re with some kind of private bank I’m not sure a 30 year relationship really counts for anything. Either way, there’s no reason to close it to get one with HSBC – I have accounts with almost every major UK bank.

  17. OT – Hope this is OK.

    There is a new Taxi Comparison App in town and they are offering £10 free credit for everyone who signs up and uses it this month.

    You can search by price or waiting time.
    Some of the prices on it look very competitive and they are Fixed Prices not estimates like with Uber
    Lets you pre-book cabs which you can’t do with Uber.

    Install App, open then click the 3 lines at top left of screen then click PROMOS.
    Enter Code: DAVID011

    (that is a zero not an O)




    I also have some other codes that need to be used by Sunday giving you an extra £20 off

    • Before anyone comments, I let this through because Karhoo asked me to plug them and I didn’t, so this is compensation for them :-)

      • Thank you Raffles!

        Also able to book Executive AddisonLea vehicles and Black Cabs.
        Great tool for looking up prices and booking in advance.


    • Dave – you should perhaps make clear that the £20 codes are in addition to the £10 DAVID011.

      How do people email you to get the £20 codes?

      Is SHAOH544 (£10) stackable alongside DAVID011 – making £40 total discount, probably spread over 3 journeys?

      • btw Not that many people read these footnotes compared to the number reading the day’s articles. I don’t think anybody would raise any objection to you getting together & splitting a £20 code with HFP, the site doesn’t run on thin air

        • Callum says:

          Unless they’re being very dishonest they don’t seem to be connected to Karhoo, so I doubt Raffles would want to share affiliate income with them when he could just get it for himself (though chose not to for whatever reason).

          I wouldn’t imagine it’s stackable, they’re both just referral codes people are sharing to try and get commission.

          • My reading is that Dave works for Karhoo

            • Hi – I don’t work for Karhoo in any capacity.

              The code that I can share now is
              KARHOOLOVE3 – use and ride by midnight, Sunday 22nd May
              This is stackable – Use this in addition to DAVID011 for £30 off.

            • Genghis says:

              Dave – do you benefit personally from people using your code? If so, I think it should be disclosed.

              I’m happy to give Amex referrals btw… :) lol

  18. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    I’m about 95% sure that it will be 0.606%

    You can see more detail on the world elite benefits here: http://www.mastercard.co.uk/world-elite-privileges.html

    A bin like 530418 will let you in.

  19. S. david says:

    I have HSBC premier account and will definitely stay away from this

    12k is simply ridiculous. They’re living in a parallel world. Good luck signing up enough people

    Simply think about it: you would spend approx 16k on spg, ba and gold amex just to churn for sign up and 2-4-1. Lets say you spend another 5k on lloyds for spending abroad. If you’re single and lets say you spend 3k a month or 36k a year for non credit card spending, mainly rent, mortgage, bills, cash (I know it’s totally arbitrary but for sake of calculation). That’s already 57k. Add 12k, that makes 69k total min spending or lets say 120k pre tax (again just estimate). I haven’t included any savings, capital purchase, healthcare, emergency, flight tickets where credit card gives poor value so you pay with debit card.. etc. I wonder how many people they can find making much more than this and willing to commit to this card. Obviously for families with multiple earners it’s a different situation

    This is different from amex. You only commit 3k or so per card and you can keep churning or wait depending on how much you make or spend. You dont commit to 12k

    • HSBC will do very nicely with this card. Remember that you can also redeem points for gift vouchers etc. It is free money if you pay a lot of tax with it – 1% back for a 0.6% fee plus 56 days max free credit.

    • There are lots of heavy spenders out there. Think of the Hong Kong chap who spent 20 odd million on a diamond for his daughter using his credit card…

      And the 12K for the bonus is a one-off – you won’t get the bonus every year, so there is no need to spend the 12K every year.

      • S. david says:

        See your point, but doubt they can justify marketing this card with random zillionnaires here and there. Probably need to address wider upper-middle segment to make it work?

        Yes, you dont need to spend 12k every year, which makes it obvious that as soon as your sign up bonus is triggered, you will cut the card in 8 pieces and never use it again. If anyone is paying the full fee for subsequent years, they must really love the benefits, which to me are not super attractive

        Rob, to your point, to pay a lot of tax with it, you need to be self employed. Doesnt work for random 100k earnings guy who pay maybe 1-2k tax on self assessment

        Separately Rob, do you think card is worth keeping after 12k?

  20. I have premier card and would be interesting to see details what will happen for existing holders …

    in general what would be interesting for me is lounge access … if I can get it in compairable form to PP for 195 that better than Amex Plat …

    Not sure what the point of insurance – we get it anyway from premier account already even without credit card …

  21. Stuart Ross says:

    O/T Been using Curve since late April. Since switching my default card from my Nectar Amex to my British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card, I have only now noticed that each of the 14 Curve transactions made to the BA Amex have been charged a Non-Sterling Tranaaction Fee. It seems that my BA Amex is being treated as a US-based card, which it is not.

    Worth checking the on-line details of the Curve transactions on your Amex. No response after 3 days from Curve.

    • Brian W says:


      I had this exact problem with my BAPP. I tried a similar transaction on my Lloyds Premier Amex and it charged it in GBP so I supplied screenshots of each BAPP transaction I had made in USD’s via twitter DM and got a refund from them for the FX fee charged by Amex.

      They (Curve) said that their system wrongly assigned my BAPP as a USD card. They explained they knew about the issue and the next version of the iOS app would correct this.

      It has since been updated (about a week ago from memory) and I asked for clarification if it was fixed, they confirmed is has been, although I haven’t tested it yet. You can check the setting of each card (i.e. the home currency of the card in the app and change it if it is wrong).

      I would persist publicly on Twitter, they seem to act quicker if you make a fuss that everyone can see.

      Other than this the card has been working well for me, channelling a lot of personal and business spend that I used to make on my Lloyds Premier MC through my BAPP.

      Hope this helps.

  22. pointsarb says:

    @ Stuart Ross

    I suspect that this has happened as your default currency for your BAPP within the Curve app is USD so you just need to go in and change it to GPB and you’ll be sorted I think.

    This tripped me up too on another card but luckily I managed to fix it after only a couple of transactions.

    • Singing Dwarf says:

      Yes, but the three days and no response is not looking promising.

  23. Off topic, but anyone used their Curve card for Uber? It won’t accept my card at all, Uber say my “bank” is rejecting it and Curve say there’s no reason why Uber should reject it.

  24. whammo! – Virgin – 12750 points today, 3500 points coming my way tomorrow lol

  25. wyvern says:

    Disappointing that there is still a charge for foreign transactions with this card,and that there is charge per additional cardholder. Amex Platinum may cost more comes with better overall benefits. While the BMI cards still work and he Lloyds Avios cards don’t charge a foreign transaction fee, I don’t think I will be getting this card.

  26. Just upgraded my card from the regular Premier Mastercard in branch – took 1min to complete the forms and I should get the new card within 10 days they suspect. Very easy.

    • Just upgraded online, also took 1 min.
      Code if anyone needs it is ELITE2016


  1. cherryroxx.com

    HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard UK launch