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] headforpoints.co.uk 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.)

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  1. Does the card or the Prermier account give you a full annual travel insurance policy similar to the Amex Platinum card?

  2. It does, and having had cause to use it on one occasion, dealing with it was very straightforward.

  3. I already have this card and its due to expire in about 6 months, does anyone know if they now issue this card with contactless?

  4. OT but just noticed Miles and More cards show 1,500 bonus points (on first purchase) and 10,000 if you spend £2k within 90 days. That’s on M&M site. If you click through to MBNA it still just shows 1,500 on first purchase.
    Apply by 22/12/14. Is this a new offer that MBNA just haven’t updated yet?

  5. squills says:


    “No fees, please
    The basic reason that many retailers – particularly small businesses – won’t accept American Express is because of the fees the company charges businesses when customers swipe their card. Amex charges a retailer around 3.5% whenever a customer pays with one of their cards; by contrast, Visa and MasterCard charge around 2-3%, and sometimes less for debit cards. While this may not seem like much, many small businesses operate low-margin businesses where even a percentage makes a difference.

    Big spenders, big profits
    So why does American Express charge higher swipe fees, especially if it knows that so many retailers won’t accept the card because of them? The short answer to this question is that American Express has a slightly different business model compared to many other credit card issuers.

    In general, most credit card companies make their profits from interest charges. But American Express relies on annual fees charged to customers and swipe fees from merchants to make money. This means that the company is unlikely to lower the fees it charges retailers, unless they were to undergo a major change to the way the company operates.

    It’s also important to note that American Express is popular among a wealthier clientele. Most Amex customers are shopping primarily with plastic, and in stores that gladly accept their preferred credit card. These big spenders are generating plenty of income for the company through the swipe fees they rack up – according to the Wall Street Journal, American Express’s profits rose by 4.9% in the second quarter of 2013 alone.”

  6. squills says:

    Tesco: points are in! New Q, that is.

  7. 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.

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

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

  9. 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

  10. 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!!!!

  11. 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

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