Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

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

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? – September 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.

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points if you apply by 2nd October. You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 points if you spend £3,000 within 90 days. Apply here.

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 a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 bonus points (SPECIAL OFFER TO 2ND OCTOBER) 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:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

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

  • James67 says:

    Card seems like it could be good but there are too many BUTS, the biggest one being that the real cost comes not from the annual fee but from doing business with HSBC as opposed to better deals with alternative suppliers of various financial products. Then you have to factor in competing miles earning credit cards as you suggest with discussiin of BMI earning rates; add to that amex benefits and offers, 241s, Lloyds voucher and no FX fees. Ultimately, I think the HSBC card only of value too those who would do their business with HSBC anyway, and who can also afford to run the card on top of any others already in their porfolio. What I hope this card might do prompt amex to improve their platinum card offer which has deteriorated in recent years

  • Flyingbee says:

    This might kick me into action to finally get a UK avios earning credit card – I still have a NatWest card dating from when they earned airmiles (and now gives me nothing)!
    I’m guessing the card will be expensive to use for € spend despite getting 2 avios per £ spent outside the UK.

  • Genghis says:

    For me, I think there’s better value elsewhere: the Amex sign up bonuses, curve for FX, clarity for ATM, BMI for ongoing spend. As James67 mentioned above, probably only of real value to those who would have HSBC banking inertia anyway

    • Simmo says:

      Anybody used Curve for foreign currency yet? (bought in the UK?) how is this treated/charged?

      • Genghis says:

        There were comments on yesterday’s discussion late evening that someone had used it at Co Op money. I believe if you pay for currency in person with the card then it will be fine. I tried to use it to pay for Travelex T5 currency (for 2.5k HR point bonus) but the online payment system refused to take it citing ‘please pay with a UK card’ (or something of that ilk)

        • Simmo says:

          Interesting! – I’ve been looking but can’t find them!
          I think trail and error until we find somewhere it works!

  • Benjamin Dyer says:

    Do you know what is happening to the current free HSBC Premier card (0.5miles/£1)?
    I guess it’s all in the fine detail – if the lounge access and insurance product is good then it would certainly make me reconsider the £450/annum we pay AMEX for Platinum.

  • Dips says:

    This sounds great, think it will be available to holders of the existing free Premier MasterCard?

  • Anon says:

    That is the toughest criteria I’ve seen for a while, body swerve from me.

    • Rob says:

      Premier has had those criteria for a long time.

      I think you will start to see income targets for credit cards jumping up across the board. Someone who only spends £500 a month is generating £1.50 in interchange fees – you can’t even post a statement and process the payment for that.

    • Scottnothing says:

      Not that tough – I qualified for Premier by opening up a stocks & shares ISA with an initial deposit of £100 plus a monthly direct debit of £100. To date I have “only” £2,000 in savings with HSBC, no mortgage but I also meet the income threshold. I took out the card initially when Raffles made mention of the sign up bonus of 12,500 Avios in October 2014 (my bonus ended up posting twice in error).

      I previously used that card for all non-AMEX spend until I recently took out the Lloyds Avios duo. I keep it for the free travel insurance but no longer spend on it after the recent Avios earning devaluation.

      Can’t say I would rush out to get this new card at £195 a year as I have no use for the travel benefits listed above (so far). Also after putting £10,000 through the BA Amex and £7,000 through the Lloyds to trigger the vouchers I doubt I would have another £12,000 to push through a card in a 12 month period.

      • Sussex Bantam says:

        You also need to switch your current account too though ? Unless I’m reading things incorrectly ? That would be the deal-breaker for me…

        • Sussex Bantam says:

          Their web-site says

          “HSBC Premier is available to you, as long as you pay your annual income into your HSBC Premier Bank Account and either:

          1) Have savings or investments of at least £50,000 with HSBC in the UK; or
          2) have an individual annual income of at least £100,000 and one of the following products with HSBC in the UK:

          – a mortgage;
          – an investment, life insurance or protection product;”

          I guess you could pay it in and then immediately transfer it out but that does increase the faff factor quite significantly…

  • Greg says:

    will I be able to get this card and its benefits if I already have HBC Premier Mastercard in the UK?

    • Rob says:

      No idea, need to wait for the small print. Doubt they would want to annoy a Premier though.

  • Tom C says:

    Looks excellent to me. I’ll gladly pay £195 to get this and replace my existing HSBC Premier Card. What their foreign transaction fees are will determine how much I use it in total. Do you know if the bonus is annual, like AMEX Gold, or just a one off?

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

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.