Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

EXCLUSIVE: 40,000 Avios or miles bonus with new HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

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HSBC, as I have mentioned a couple of times on Head for Points in the past, has been planning to bring its World Elite Mastercard product to the UK for some time.  Recent changes to the terms and conditions of HSBC Premier made this clear.

The product is now set to launch – and it sounds quite exciting.

I believe that the information below is correct.  However, it has not come directly from HSBC so it may not be 100% complete.  Details were not on the HSBC website as of last night.

Before I come onto the benefits, let me remind you how HSBC Premier credit cards work if you take airline miles.  You need 2 HSBC Premier card points to exchange for either 1 Avios, 1 Cathay Pacific mile, 1 Singapore Airlines mile or 1 Etihad Guest mile.

This is what the new HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard will offer, I understand:

40,000 points (20,000 miles) for signing up and spending £2,000 within 3 months

40,000 points (20,000 miles) for spending £12,000 in your first 12 months – you only receive these points at the end of the first year, however quickly you spend £12,000

2 points (1 mile) for every £1 you spend – this makes it by far the best Avios Mastercard or Visa product

4 points (2 miles) for every £1 you spend outside the UK

There are other interesting benefits on top which come with ALL World Elite Mastercard products issued in the UK:

Airport lounge access via LoungeKey

Travel insurance (not clear how comprehensive, possibly refers to the usual HSBC Premier insurance)

Travel status benefits:  

  • Abercrombie & Kent VIP Travel
  • Fairmont Hotels and Resorts VIP Guest Status
  • Leading Hotels of the World free Leaders Club membership (save $150)
  • Hertz #1 Club Gold
  • Sixt – ‘exclusive benefits’
  • Raffles Hotels and Resorts VIP Guest Status
  • Swissotel Hotels and Resorts VIP Guest Status
  • Starwood 3-4-2 deal
  • Small Luxury Hotels of the World 3-4-2 deal

What is annual fee?

It will be £195 plus £60 for any supplementary cardholders.

What are the eligibility criteria?

HSBC Premier has tough eligibility criteria.  See here and click on the Eligibility button to see the details.

As well as opening a HSBC Premier current account, you must ALSO have £50,000 invested with HSBC, either in a savings account or via an investment product.

Alternatively, if you earn over £100,000, you qualify if you just have a HSBC mortgage or anyinvestment or insurance product.  HSBC has been known to waive the income criteria if you are on a career path which should see you earning this sort of money within a few years.

I’m not sure what the minimum investment is in an ‘investment product’ but I’m sure you could find something which would accept £1,000 or so.  They may even treat ISA’s or fixed rate bonds as ‘investment products’ – the definition is not clear online.  Some readers have been told different things by different branches.

Is the card worth getting?

I still have a HSBC Premier account from my days working for the group, more than a decade ago.

I will probably get this card although it is a more marginal call.  I still have my BMI Diamond Club Mastercard which earns 2.5 Avios per £1.  Spending £12,000 on that card earns me 30,000 Avios.

I would receive 52,000 Avios from putting £12,000 through this new card.  The extra 22,000 Avios would justify the £195 fee – just – and I may get some value from the other travel benefits.

For anyone who doesn’t have a legacy BMI Mastercard and has HSBC Premier, this is a very good deal.  You are looking at 52,000 Avios for a £195 card fee and £12,000 of spending within a year.

One thing to note though.  If you were thinking of running up the £12,000 via tax payments, remember that a World Elite Mastercard may have higher interchange fees than a standard Mastercard.  This is HMRC’s list of non-standard Mastercard fees:

Mastercard World Premium Credit Card 0.374%
Mastercard Signia Premium Credit Card 0.606%
Mastercard Elite Premium Credit Card 0.606%

So, what is the HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard?  Is it 0.374% or 0.606%?  Even at 0.606%, however, you would be ‘buying’ your airline miles cheaply.

I will about the card again when I have the official details which will hopefully be in the next day or so.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – August 2022 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.

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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

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 card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Amex Gold

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

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

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:

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

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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 (3% on business travel for four months) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (84)

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

  • harry says:

    whammo! – Virgin – 12750 points today, 3500 points coming my way tomorrow lol

  • wyvern says:

    Disappointing that there is still a charge for foreign transactions with this card,and that there is charge per additional cardholder. Amex Platinum may cost more comes with better overall benefits. While the BMI cards still work and he Lloyds Avios cards don’t charge a foreign transaction fee, I don’t think I will be getting this card.

  • Nick says:

    Just upgraded my card from the regular Premier Mastercard in branch – took 1min to complete the forms and I should get the new card within 10 days they suspect. Very easy.

    • Yuff says:

      Just upgraded online, also took 1 min.
      Code if anyone needs it is ELITE2016

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

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