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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? – 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.

  • Yuff says:

    Having just read the rewards on the card and not having the BMI card plus both of us already having HSBC premier cards and putting more than £24k on the cards, each year between us, we’ll be applying for 1 each 🙂

  • DV says:

    Potential competition for the Amex Platinum here.

  • Liz says:

    Why would you pay the high fee of £195 when you can get Curve for £35 and earn 1.5 AVios with BAPP or 1.25 with LLoyds.

    • Geoggy says:

      For the 40k Avios bonus and the other perks?

      I have the free card so I could do with knowing if I can get this also

    • Tom C says:

      I can only compare to LLoyds as I don’t have any legacy cards.

      It has a better sign-up bonus, I’d rather earn KrisFlyer points or earn points where I can choose where to assign them, then just having Avios and Curve costs nearly 2% at HMRC, plus Curve has annoying credit limits of ~£20k/m and daily limits of ~£5k.

      • The_Real_A says:

        Curve limits are worse, £5k a MONTH and £2k per transaction.

        • Tom C says:

          Only during your initial period. They increase when you spend more and pass their fraud checks.

          • The_Real_A says:

            Has anyone actually done that yet?

          • Genghis says:

            I probably will never pass the ‘fraud checks’ as I am reluctant to put all my spend on Curve given their recent muck ups. I shall continue to spend on Curve for FX purchases and where Amex isn’t accepted but that’s it I think.

          • Brian W says:


        • Mr Dee says:

          Yes no good for business users, some spend that amount in a day.

          I have only just got my refund for the duplicate mess up 10 days ago.

      • Dave says:

        These 5k daily limits, so restricting!

  • pauldb says:

    I wondered if you get the second 40k as soon as you hit £12k, or whether it waits for renewal thereby making the cost 2x£195?
    Otherwise seems a decent offering – at least there’s a good new MC option if Curve goes wrong and others really do put back on earnings rates. I might be tempted though to diversify into SQ miles instead though: if you can earn a good number from this card and supplement with AmexMR then I’d say 52k SQ is worth more than 52k BA.
    However, realistically I’d probably spend £10k on 2 BAPPs and trigger a few sign-ups before paying for this card as an extra … so I’d really need to be spending £40k+pa on cards to justify this.

  • reddot says:

    Warning to anyone not holding a British passport – they make opening a Premier account extremely hard, even if you meet all their criteria and have a joint account holder is British. No one at my branch had a clue what procedures are required for a “HR” (high-risk, I figured out) customer, and I had to go back twice and still they could not sort it. I simply gave up – there are better places for my money.

    • Carl says:

      I also don’t hold a British passport and I have had a completely different experience with HSBC. When I upgraded to a PP account with HSBC, it took me probably the 20 minutes over the phone. I originally began banking with HSBC because of how much easier they made it for someone who had just moved here to set up a bank account. Every so often another one of my friends moves over to London and expresses their frustration at how difficult it is to set up a bank account. I always point them to HSBC and they’re always pleasantly surprised with how much easier HSBC make the process.

      • Rob says:

        Agreed. HSBC, Citi and Amex are far more flexible because they can draw on credit records in other countries where they operate.

      • Scottnothing says:

        Was the same for me (Australian passport) though I had lived in the UK for 3 years before I moved my banking from Natwest to HSBC.

    • NC says:

      I was “upgraded” to Premier with HSBC in 2010. They automatically upgraded my wife’s account, who holds a non-UK passport, at the same time who does not meet the account criteria as we married without any application.

  • Hamzah says:

    OT: Has anybody received their Curve card yet? My card was part of a batch that was supposed to be sent out on the 5th of May. I have contacted Curve, but they are being vague about when I will get it.

    • Johnny5a says:

      mine was the same date, received yesterday

      • lily says:

        ive got mine sitting on my kitchen counter, it arrived about a week ago and i shamefully haven’t activated it yet!

    • The_Real_A says:

      Ive had mine for about 4 weeks now

  • lily says:

    do first direct products count for their criteria (or is it too much to assume that just because they are the same bank, it would count?)

    • thesaver79 says:

      I was going to ask the same question!

    • Rob says:

      Small print discusses FD and M&S Bank, I think ‘no’.

    • Scottnothing says:

      They don’t count as they are not financial/investment products offered by HSBC’s investment arm.

      For avoidance of doubt, the eligibility criteria makes this clear as follows:

      “HSBC in the UK excludes M&S Bank, first direct and HSBC Expat.”

      • Dan says:

        That’s annoying, half my FD mortgage paperwork actually had HSBC rather than FD logos, details, etc. as HSBC are the underwriters.

    • Jonny says:

      First direct definitely doesn’t count, unfortunately

  • Danksy says:

    Curve – Given their changes to the T&C’s I’m considering not bothering now to be honest I haven’t received the card and unlikely to recoup the cost that I paid if I’m trying to hit other spend targets.

    HSBC – Almost joined them a few months back, but I’m not sure I’m quite ready to give up by 30 year relationship with my current bank; althought I’d happily ditch my 10 year relationship with Amex for this card… seems like a good deal!

    • Callum says:

      Unless you’re with some kind of private bank I’m not sure a 30 year relationship really counts for anything. Either way, there’s no reason to close it to get one with HSBC – I have accounts with almost every major UK bank.

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