Bits: 50% bonus on HSBC transfers to Avios, £15 LON-EDI train tickets, 40% bonus on Hyatt points

News in brief:

50% transfer bonus on HSBC Premier points to Avios

The HSBC Premier credit cards are now the most generous way of earning Avios from a non-Amex.  The free HSBC Premier MasterCard earns 0.5 Avios per £1 whilst the £195 HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard earns 1 Avios per £1.

The World Elite card comes with a sign-up bonus of 40,000 Avios points so the £195 fee is worth paying!  Details of how the bonus is awarded are here.  You MUST have a HSBC Premier current account to get these cards and the criteria are tough as the linked article explains.

HSBC has just launched a 50% transfer bonus when you move your points to Avios.  This would mean that the World Elite bonus would be worth 60,000 Avios if you transferred it all during a similar bonus.

Details are here on the HSBC site.  Transfers must be completed by 30th November.

HSBC Premier World Elite

£15 one-way Virgin Trains tickets to Edinburgh

Virgin Trains East Coast has launched a new promotion to encourage people who fly between London and Edinburgh to try the train.

Fill in the form on this page of the Virgin Trains website and you will be sent a code allowing you to book a single or return train ticket between London Kings Cross and Edinburgh Waverley, Haymarket, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Dunbar, Inverkeithing, Kirkcaldy, Leuchars, Dundee, Falkirk Grahamston, Stirling, Gleneagles or Perth.

The cost will be £15 each-way in Standard Class and £30 each-way in First Class.  Bookings can be made up to one day before travel.

You need to claim your code by 3rd November and book by 10th November for travel by 16th December.

Park Hyatt Mallorca

40% bonus when you buy Hyatt Gold Passport points

Until 25th October, Hyatt is offering a bonus of up to 40% when you buy Gold Passport points.  This is as good a deal as you ever see from Hyatt.

You need to buy 10,000 points to get the full 40% bonus.  Purchases of 5,000+ receive a 30% bonus.  Smaller purchases get nothing.

This is obviously worth a look if you need to top up your account.  It may also be worthwhile if considering a stay in a top tier Park Hyatt such as the ones in Paris or Sydney, where buying the points may be cheaper than paying cash.

The new Park Hyatt resort in Mallorca opened this Summer and looks very impressive, see the photo above.   Prices are a little scary in Summer (rooms from Euro 600-700, or Euro 800-900 if you want a cancellable one) so a redemption at 20,000 points per night ($360 under this offer) would be a good deal.  Even better, ‘cash and points’ is now available for Park Hyatt Mallorca.  This takes a room down to 10,000 points + €114 per night.

The Hyatt ‘buy points’ site is here.

Bits: Earn 1000 Miles & More miles with Blacklane, Iberia wine deal, Gatwick schedule changes
Avios added as reward option with hotel booking site Agoda PointsMAX
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  1. Anyone know how quickly the points (and especially the sign-up bonus) are awarded?

    As in – if I take the card out now and spend £2k by mid-November, will I get the points in time?

    • You’ll get the points on the statement when you’ve spent £2k.

    • HSBC post the points at the end of your monthly statement, so if you took the card out now and spent the amount required to get the bonus, you would receive them sometime around this time next month. However if you do not do it in the statement month then you will have to wait up to 31 days for the next one.

      • Crap – not back in the UK until November so that’s probably a no for me. Suppose they won’t post the card to a random overseas hotel…

        • You could get someone to send it to your hotel via FedEx? I’ve done that before although HSBC have in the past sent replacement cards to a foreign branch, you could see if they’d do that for you?

  2. Thanks for the train code Rob, I had missed this one. The question now is it eorth booking given the risk if further strikes. First class usually gets crammed as a result of these promotions and standards of servuce decline as a result but is still ok. Now to see if I can fid a decent hikton sale price to combine with my £50 amex and my hhonors card free night.

  3. Thanks for the train code. I need 5tp for gold so I was thinking of train to MAN for a day out then fly back but might change to EDI and get to use the tram!

    • I like the idea of the tram but it seems to take an age from the airport to Haymarket and seems to go a rather indirect route. Much easier in a taxi

      • The good old airport bus is also ironically a bit quicker than the tram too!

        • “The good old airport bus is also ironically a bit quicker than the tram too!”


          The thing about the tram is that it can’t get stuck in traffic once it’s past Haymarket – and even on Princes Street, the priority measures mean it usually goes straight through as well. Personally, I prefer a journey that’s always 35 minutes to one that’s normally 25 but sometimes 45, especially on my way TO the airport.

          I find the tram much more comfortable as well, but that’s a matter of taste of course. It’s smooth enough to use a laptop on, which I always find a bit of a trial on the jiggly bus.

          (For anyone who’s wondering, the tram takes longer because it goes a longer way round, so that it can visit the RBS headquarters and an enormous business park.)

          • > > The good old airport bus is also ironically a bit quicker than the tram too!”


            The bus is also a little cheaper, and the airport stop is right outside the terminal, while it is a bit of a walk from the tram stop.

            On the other hand, the tram stop at Haymarket is before the bus stop.

            But the tram is just so pleasant, compared with the bus.

            One final point perhaps – with an airport busstop immediately opposite the Holiday Inn at Edinburgh Zoo, this becomes a perfectly practicable airport hotel too if the price is right. And the hotel restaurants are in the Tastecard scheme too, so you get 50% off your food, which is perfectly acceptable.

          • It’s not a bad option, just when it became clear they weren’t going to build a full network (and instead just mirrored the existing airport bus) they should have instead spent a fraction of the cash putting a small train station at the end of the runway where all the Fife trains go past anyway! :)

      • And quickest of all will soon be Scotrail to Edinburgh Gateway then tram to EDB – depending on connection time of course.

        It’ll bring a potential journey time down to around 16-17 minutes!

        A lot of Edinburgh people have a great deal of affection for being thrown around a shoogly bus, whose driver has a very heavy foot on the accelerator and brake and aims to hit every single pothole between Princes Street and Turnhouse.

        A lot of non-Edinburgh people are delighted that they no longer have to trek all the way into Edinburgh just to take the train out of Edinburgh to pass the airport they landed at 90 minutes earlier.

        • I always found it somewhat odd that folk heading north (this was when I was a student in St Andrews) would usually get the airport bus into Haymarket to then get a train north to Leuchars, rather than just getting the 747 bus to Inverkeithing and picking up the train there!

          • The 747 was fine if you wanted to head to Fife.

            Heading to Glasgow or Stirling meant walking from the airport under the dual carriageway and up the sliproad until you reached the bus-stop next to the petrol station. Unpleasant enough in the daytime, awful at night and in typical Edinburgh weather.

  4. Anyone know if it’s possible to get a contactless HSBC Premier credit card? Kinda sucks that they released the cards without that feature, I find myself not using it for every day spend because of that.

  5. nice….I’ve got a fee on my world elite to transfer

  6. I had my points earmarked for Singapore Airlines, but a 50% bonus is tempting…. has the bonus ever been higher for BA? And ever a bonus for Singapore Airlines?

  7. The Park Hyatt Mallorca is available on Secret Escapes right now for as little as £165 per night including breakfast. Obviously, this is not for the summer, but it’s still a decent rate.

  8. From T&Cs (and indeed the banner on the promo page) looks like it works going to as well as from London :)

  9. Is the 50% Avios from Premier Points a targeted offer? I haven’t received any email about it and apart from the link to the Ts& Cs I can’t find any other information on the website

  10. I plan on going to York front Kings Cross next month. It’s probably not officially valid to use one of these Edinburgh ticket and get off at York, but would physically be possible even if I have to buy a local ticket to gain access to the platform. Does anyone have any tips or warnings about doing this? I might even be able to get Advance tickets to York for about the same price anyway, so it might be a theoretical question.

    • Dan, Depends if the ticket allows for a break of journey. If it does then it is safe to exit and restart at York.

    • You would be committing a criminal offence by not having a valid ticket for the journey you want to make.

      You probably wouldn’t be caught and even if you were caught Virgin would probably just make you buy a full-fare ticket for £113 / £185 in 1st (this is not a fine, which can only be imposed after conviction in a court)

    • Others have responded about using such a ticket to get *to* York – i.e. not permitted, but you’d probably get away with it without a problem – but just in case you (or anyone else) were thinking about it, I definitely wouldn’t try the *reverse*, i.e. board a train at York for London with an Advance ticket for a journey starting from Edinburgh to London.

      • Wayne Phillips says:

        buy a separate single from the nearest station to york and use that to walk out the gates (although Rob says there aren’t any in York). You can pick up the single ticket in London before you leave

        Problem solved

        • Yes, for a journey *to* York (and Rob is correct, there aren’t any ticket gates at York).

          However like I said, don’t try this the other way round, i.e. for a journey *from* York (with an Advance ticket starting from Edinburgh).

          • Well, yes and no.

            Definitely don’t do it on a long distance service – eg Board at York when your ticket was for that service from Newcastle.

            However. It’s worthwhile being mindful that due to the bizarre way that tickets are allocated a further +connections ticket can be cheaper.

            Eg when I buy a ticket from Edinburgh to London, I check the prices from Fife, Borders and central Scotland – sometimes it’s cheaper than simply from Edinburgh and as it is a defined connection not starting at the ticketed origination station doesn’t matter.

  11. I triggered the bonus pretty quickly but have only been awarded 20,000 avios. It’s a bit annoying to have to wait until the end of the year for the other half.

    Also, is there any information on a long term bonus for large spend on the card? Is the second 20,000 avios likely to be repeated every year?

  12. rams1981 says:

    To be clear it’s not a 40,000 avios bonus is it unless you spend 12k on the card?

    • Correct.

      • Hi Raffles, would opening a business savings account with HSBC enable me to meet the personal eligibility requirement?

        • Not sure – if you are a sole trader I would guess you’re OK, for a Ltd company it is a different matter – but if you are sole shareholder? You’d need to ask.

        • If you meet the higher income requirement (income of 100k+) you can make the grade by ANY investment.

          I managed it will £200 in the global investment centre in to a random fund – in fact it is doing rather well. I thought it sounded a little borderline, but checked with their premier call centre before applying.

    • Looking at my statements, it looks like the 12k spend bonus of 20K Avios doesn’t post when you pass £12k, so I assume it appears when coming up to the anniversary of the card.

  13. OT – Can Curve rewards be withdrawn as cash?

  14. Jonathan says:

    OT – Just received my recent Mile Booster bonus from Virgin. The activity description says 30% but the actual points awarded are 100% so cant complain. Just hope Virgin do not realise :-).

  15. O/T: I stayed at the Guoman Tower last night to try and trigger the £50 Amex statement credit. Absolutely dire – avoid! It’s obviously not been updated in 20 years, room was very small, incredibly stuffy, windows wouldn’t open more than a crack, aircon didn’t work. The bed was uncomfortable and the pipework creaked and groaned as if it’d had the Madras.

    This morning, the fire alarm went off for 2 minutes at 8am and then stopped, leaving everyone half-dressed and wondering whether or not to evacuate (and from speaking to the staff I gather that this is a regular occurrence). They have a single maitre d’ seating people at breakfast which meant the queue stretched all the way around the balcony and back to the lifts – it took 20 minutes to be seated. Finally, they wouldn’t print me an invoice and promised it’d be emailed “immediately” – two hours later, no invoice.

    There is absolutely no comparison between this place and the Guoman Marble Arch, which is a grand, modern and swanky-feeling place.

  16. Looking at that Virgin form, there’s no actual check that you really have flown during the period – it would be easy to just click on an airline and a date, then hit submit?

    If that’s the case, I’ll share with friends in Edinburgh.

    • Seemingly not. I did have some flight details to enter, but it then just gave me a voucher code without any possibility of actually having checked them.

      Of course, making up details of a past flight would be fraud and bad etc. etc. But they let you enter a date in the future when you PLAN to fly. Saying “oh, I was indeed planning to fly on this date, but I’ve been tempted by your voucher so I’ll take the train instead” would be pretty unimpeachable, even by my prissy ethical standards.

  17. Nectar have just announced 50% back on transfers to Virgin – presume this could be combined with this deal for a good value trip to Edinburgh?

  18. Sorry, but very OT – Is there a minimum time to wait between applying for your first and second AMEX cards.
    I wanted the gold and then BAPP cards and got the gold first. I have hit the 2k bonus target almost immediately.
    I now need to buy a new lawnmower and want to get the BAPP card first.

    Is there a minimum wait?
    Should I wait until the first bill has been received/ paid? Or just do it immediately.

    Thanks for your help.

  19. Sarah Murray says:

    OT. Boots no longer accepting gift cards (bought from Tesco) for PAYG top-ups. (It was nice while it lasted)

  20. O/T probably numpty question… looking at booking IHG New York hotels on IHG’s own site and logged into my rewards account, options are priced in US dollars, but I can change the currency to GBP. If I book am I charged in dollars or sterling. The currency would dictate which card I would use and I will be charged immediately as this is an advanced purchase non-refundable rate.

    I’m probably overthinking this.. :-)

    • Sterling

      • Nope.

        Basically it’s up to the hotel. You should be charged in US dollars unless the hotel wants to pull the DCC scam on you (in which case complain).

        You will be charged whenever a person at the front desk gets around to it, which depends on the hotel’s policies again. It might the following day, or any time between booking and actual stay.

        Being logged in doesn’t affect anything.

        If you’re talking about buying points&cash then IHG charges you in US dollars straight away.

  21. Ralph Taylor says:


    Ok a bit confused – so “The World Elite card comes with a sign-up bonus of 40,000 Avios points” is only really a “sign-up bonus” of 20,000 Avios points, and then an anniversary bonus of 20,000 points after spending 12k? Or have I got that wrong?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yes the confusion in the article maybe because you get 40k points on sign up and 40k points convert to 20k Avios then another 40k points/20k Avois for spending £12k by your anniversary date

    • The anniversary bonus appears to be a ‘one off’ for the first year only. This is why I include it in the ‘sign up bonus’ calculation.

  22. First year anniversary bonus of 40,000 points (20,000 avios) on spending 12k I believe.

    I still don’t have an investment product and have been able to keep my hsbc premier account for 4 months now. Wonder if they’ll bother chasing me to do something.

  23. Great tip for Hyatt – thanks for posting. I’m needing 2nts in Sydney in December having purchased a Qatar ex Pisa to Auckland fare earlier this year and managed to get QR to change the destination changed for Sydney once AKL route was officially postponed. I fancied a splurge at the Park Hyatt which I’ve had my eye on for sometime… but it’s never a bargain there. £657 per night room only is unfortunately beyond my price point which is what the nightly rates costs here. Similar rates via other search engines and bed banks so I know this is what it costs. Alternatively 30000 points a night which given the current Hyatt 40% bonus points promo drops to £399 per night or I can do part points 15000 + £201 per night.

    The points purchase costs £420 so works out to be about the same as full redemption overall. All equating to a 40% saving on the nightly rate is not to be sniffed at and will be as good as I’m ever going to get there….. and i can just about justify this to myself.

    However I’m still toying with the Pullman Circular Quay and the avios/IB promo you mentioned the other day as for similar (in fact slightly less) cash outlay I can rack up a decent(ish) stash of avios and tip into Accor Platinum status as a result just before the scheme changes for the worst on 01JAN. I also have an existing cheaper reservation at another hotel which I confirmed and prepaid at pre-brexit rates via Kaligo with 7,800 avios attached so I just need to work out which is going to give me the best overall return taking into consideration outlay cost, avios return and enhanced accor benefits.

    I think in typing this I’ve just answered my own dilemma regarding the Hyatt! All the above offers and benefits learned via this site…. you certainly don’t make life easy alerting me to all these offers but it is incredibly enjoyable experiencing (some) of them! :)

  24. AviosHunter says:

    I read that the HSBC avios is an annual promotion. Do you know if this is always recurring in the same period of the year? November?


  25. Thanks Raffles. Just an oversight:

    You actually get 40000 reward points and not avios woth the HsBC card and conversion rate is 2:1 therefore you get 20000 avios + 50%

  26. Hi Raffles, the link in your article above is broken. I wonder if the offer has been withdrawn. When I go to the website to do a transfer to Avios, it just starts the standard conversion rate.,


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