Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

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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.

HSBC Premier

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. (Remember that if have recently got a Tesco credit card, you can retrospectively claim 1,000 bonus points via their refer-friend scheme. Email me at raffles [at] and I will send you a referral form.)

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.

(To see our complete list of all current credit card bonuses, click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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

  • 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