Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get 12,500 Avios (or Etihad, Cathay, Singapore miles) 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.

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? – March 2023 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

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

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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:

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) and free for a year Read our full review

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

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 (3% for 3 months if you apply by 31st March) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (35)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • 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

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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