Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get 12,500 Avios (or Etihad, Cathay, Singapore miles) with the HSBC Premier credit card

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

I was surprised last year when HSBC added the ability to earn Avios points to the HSBC Premier Mastercard. I assumed that American Express, Lloyds and TSB had that contract tied down.

I was even more surprised to see the exceptionally generous earning rate of 1 Avios point per £1 spent. For a Mastercard or Visa – especially for a free one – that is very generous.

HSBC has even been running annual transfer bonuses – the one currently running is 25%. That makes the earnings rate 1.25 Avios per £1 if you had been saving up your points.

For comparison, the 2nd most generous Visa or Mastercard option for Avios points is the Tesco Clubcard Mastercard. That earns you 0.25 Clubcard points per £1, so 0.6 Avios.

To get the HSBC Premier Mastercard requires you to have a (free) HSBC Premier current account. The snag is that the income and investment hurdles are very high as I outline here.

If you do qualify, there is great news. HSBC is running its first ever sign-up bonus for the Premier Mastercard.

As outlined on this website all you need to do is sign up before November 30th and make one solitary purchase before December 31st.

In return, you will receive enough bonus points to convert into 12,500 Avios, Etihad Guest, Asia Miles or Singapore / Krisflyer miles. Alternatively, you could convert into £80 of shopping vouchers.

If you are an existing HSBC Premier customer, this seems like a no-brainer. If you are not but meet the qualifying criteria, this may be the carrot you need to move to HSBC. I have been a Premier customer ever since it launched and I have never had any issues with them.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our November 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the top current deals:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers.

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending:

Barclaycard Select Cashback Credit Card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (35)

  • poincianakings says:

    Long gone are the days when they were giving Premier accounts to all mid to senior staff.

    This is a good deal. Of course, not as good as when it was first launched. The UK version of Premier was launched many years after HK and as a result HSBC were trying to get numbers up and therefore offered the account for free (no earning criteria) to newly qualified doctors, PHD graduates, solicitors etc. The theory being that they will all earn mega bucks in years to come. The Brother in Law got his Premier account this way.

    • JQ says:

      I think the UK premier account still has the lowest / easiest qualifying criteria amongst HSBCs in other countries.

  • Boi says:

    Can I get this account just on basis of having HSBC mortgage?

  • Boi says:

    I am off today and want to get this “free” money. Would anyone kindly list the bingo/betting offers please? I haven’t done any yet.
    Thanks in advance

  • Richard Brown says:

    Squills – Am an ex HSBC International Mgr myself. Still alive at 56 so still have four years to live, according to your theory, though I had heard International Managers were given a life span up to 55 (as opposed to 60), so I am thankful that I am now on borrowed time!!!!

  • Russell G says:

    I just walked in to HSBC’s head office branch in Canary Wharf and asked one of the four staff milling around at the front of the store doing nothing that I’d like to open a Premier account. I was told that there was a 20 minute wait to see someone. I said, “oh, in that case can I book an appointment?”, they responded saying, “no, sorry, the 20 minute wait is to see the appointment booking person who will then book you an appointment with someone else to open the account later”.

    I’m not sure how an organisation can survive when this is how potential preferential customers are treated. :-S

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.