Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get 5,000 bonus miles with the HSBC Premier credit cards – World Elite is now 45,000 miles!

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HSBC Premier has launched a special sign-up bonus on its two HSBC Premier credit cards.

Until 31st August, you will receive an additional 10,000 HSBC Premier points when you take out either of the HSBC Premier credit cards and spend £2,000 within 90 days.

2 HSBC Premier card points can be exchanged for either 1 Avios, 1 Cathay Pacific mile, 1 Singapore Airlines mile or 1 Etihad Guest mile.  This means that the bonus is worth an extra 5,000 Avios or other miles.

What is the total bonus you get?

The free HSBC Premier credit card usually has no bonus.  This special offer takes the bonus up to 10,000 points = 5,000 miles.

The £195 HSBC Premier World Elite card usually has a bonus of 80,000 points.  This special offer takes the bonus up to 90,000 points = 45,000 miles!

Here are the headline benefits for the two cards:

HSBC Premier (free version, representative APR 18.9% variable):

1 point (0.5 miles) for every £1 spent – this is a great deal for a free MasterCard and is the most generous free Avios MasterCard or Visa product available

2 points (1 mile) for every £1 spent in foreign currency, although there is a 3% foreign exchange fee

£15 access to 871 airport lounges via LoungeKey

£20 Uber credit every time you charge £500 of airfare to your card

0% interest on purchases for 9 months and a special deal on balance transfers

HSBC Premier World

HSBC Premier World Elite (£195 fee, representative APR 59.3% including fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit)

2 points (1 mile) for every £1 spent – this is very generous and makes the card attractive for anyone with substantial Visa or MasterCard expenditure.  Note that HMRC charges a higher fee for World Elite cards (0.6%) than standard credit cards (0.4%) so bear this in mind if you were thinking of getting the card to pay your tax bills.

4 points (2 miles) for every £1 spent in foreign currency, although there is a 3% foreign exchange fee.  If your employer settles your credit card bill – so the 3% FX fee is not your concern – then this is exceptionally good.

Free access to 871 airport lounges via LoungeKey. Guests are charged at £15 and you can pay £60 to give adult friends or family a supplementary credit card.  There is no way of making children free, however.

12 months of Expedia+ Gold membership (not exciting, see here)

£20 Uber credit every time you charge £500 of airfare to your card

It is important that you understand how the bonus is received:

40,000 points (20,000 miles) for spending £2,000 in your first 90 days

Until 31st August, an additional 10,000 points (5,000 miles) for spending £2,000 in your first 90 days

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

This means that you are probably committed to paying the fee for the 2nd year in order to receive the 2nd batch of points.  It is possible, if you don’t use your card after the renewal date, that you could get away with not paying the fee, although you may have to pay it and then chase a refund via the Ombudsman.

The spending bonus is ONLY for the first year.  You won’t receive any bonus points for spending £12,000 in your 2nd or subsequent years.

As a Word Elite credit card, you also receive other special benefits with various travel brands and retailers.  I will do a separate article on this later in the week.

(EDIT:  As the comments mention, as per the full terms and conditions, the rules state that “3. If you meet the requirements for this offer as described above, we will award 40,000 Premier Reward Points to your HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard Credit Card within 60 days from point of qualification”.  This means that you should NOT have to wait until the end of the year to get your 2nd lot of 40,000 points.)

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 any investment or insurance product.

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.  That said, I have not yet got around to applying for the credit card.

The free card is very attractive purely for the 0.5 Avios per £1 on-going spending rate.  The £195 World Elite card depends on what use you would get from the other benefits.  For me, I don’t value the airport lounge access (I get that via Amex Platinum, and unlike HSBC it covers my kids too) but on the other hand I could pay the extra £60 for a supplementary card and get a friend or family member lounge access.

The Uber credit would be worth having, although it isn’t clear if it is £20 of credit or a free ride up to £20.  I’d probably trigger five of these per year.  In fact, as BA tends to charge each ticket individually, a £2,000 bill for 4 Club World redemption tickets might go through as 4 x £500 transactions and so trigger £80 of Uber credits.

Here is the worse case scenario on the World Elite card:

You pay £195 and you are forced to pay £195 for the 2nd year to get the 2nd half of the bonus.  That is £390 spent in return for 45,000 airline miles PLUS a hugely generous 1 mile per £1 spent on the MasterCard.  That’s not bad.

Perhaps give Avios a miss?

Most HFP readers who get the World Elite card will send the 45,000 miles to Avios.  There’s nothing wrong with that.

If you are a solo traveller, you could consider using these miles for something other than Avios.   If you’ve ever fancied trying Etihad’s Business Class Studio or First Class Apartment, 45,000 miles – plus miles from your spending – would get you quite a long way down the line for a one-way ticket.  (Two people would still be a long way short which is why I thought this works better for a solo traveller.)

You could also think about Singapore Airlines – perhaps a one-way First Class Suite ticket between Frankfurt and New York for example?

Both Etihad and Singapore are Amex partners so you could top up your miles via Membership Rewards points if needed.

Further reading ….

My full review of the free HSBC Premier card is here and you can apply here (remember you must already be a HSBC Premier customer).   My review of the HSBC Premier World Elite card is here and you can apply here.

The additional 10,000 points / 5,000 miles bonus is available until 31st August.

Thanks to Jonathan for the tip off on this!

PS.  In my article yesterday on the new Santander Select World Elite card, I said that a £60,000 income is required.  This wasn’t completely accurate.  You need to pay £60,000 into your account per annum.  If you are self-employed then that does mean £60,000 of income as you are paid gross.  If you are an employee, you’d need to be earning around £90,000 in order to have £60,000 of net salary to pay in.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (35)

  • Sam Wardill says:

    My card application is in progress. Only taken about a month so far. I will ask them if I get the bonus.

    I also took a print of the offer in case they try to sting met to renew in order to get the 2nd tranche (tho seems this may be un-necessary).

    Might have to sign my wife up for Premier and get her the free card for paying VAT bills.

  • D1865 says:

    Two quick ones (apologies if I missed them above):

    1.) Is the fee for the World Elite card refunded pro-rata upon cancellation?
    2.) I see that HSBC have a quite attractive (£200) switching bonus for current accounts. Is there any sensible way to combine that with the above cards for a new HSBC customer?

    • CDB says:

      Fee is non-refundable
      I switched to HSBC last week in branch – opened a premier current account, savings account and signed up for card all at the same time. To get the £200 you have to use their ‘switching service’ which means transferring direct debits etc etc

  • Jac says:

    What are the criteria for a couple? Is it joint income / investment for a joint account and need both to meet for individual criteria for individual accounts. I m HSBC premier but my wife has just a normal hsbc account? Will she be upgraded automatically if she applied for Premier.
    I already have a Elite Mastercard so the benefits would be only the avios (not worth) but for my wife the card could be more interesting,

    • Genghis says:

      “in the case of a joint account, at least one of the parties must have an individual annual income of at least £100,000”.
      I.e. if she applied on her own and did not meet the criteria, then no. If as part of a joint account, then yes as you meet the criteria. Whether you can have a joint account and a single account is another matter…

  • Ammar says:

    Is there a difference between the rates on the free card and the world elite premier card – are they both 0.6%?

    I was looking to pay my tax to HMRC but not sure the maths works out if it over a two year cycle.
    I currently have the IHG premium card but wondering if worth continuing – I could do with the avios.

    • Rob says:

      Ahem …. if you go to the HMRC website and put in the first 8 digits of your IHG card, it will add a charge of 0.38%. You then switch to the HSBC card ….

      • Ammar says:

        Thanks – Its sl less with the HSBC Premier free card so equivalent to IHG – I think 0.374%
        I think if I get the bonus with the Premier elite then I will go for that £250= (incl CC fees)=45k Avios

  • Roro says:

    Hi,

    Do you think it’s worth to take out the cheapest life insurance product possible with HSBC to then get this credit card? I meet the £100k criteria but don’t have enough savings or a mortgage with them, so was thinking about a cheap life insurance product (cheapest I found was £1.15 for £10k cover)… is that worth it?

    Thanks
    Roro

  • Richard Randall says:

    Just to say that I signed up to the HSBC World Elite card last year. The 40,000 points payable at the end of the first 12 months were actually paid as soon as I had reached the 12k spend threshold. This was around month 8.

  • Polly says:

    Richard, I had passed the 12k spend when that bonus transfer to baec was announced, but the HSBC csa was adamant that they would not apply the points. She insisted they are applied at the end of the 12 month period. Was hoping they would add them, so l could benefit. However soon after bonus date ended, they suddenly posted them. So they change the rules when it suits them.

  • Ammar says:

    OT – I am BA Bronze. I am looking to book some Economy Qatar flights from BHX on one booking and some malaysian flights on another booking – will QR check my luggage all the way through as they are one world members?

    • Polly says:

      No, most likely they won’t departing from the uk. You might get lucky. But don’t bank on it.They may do so at check in on your return journey with MAS. They are better at doing that again. So you will need to leave at least 4 hours between connections incase you need to collect bags, clear immigration, slow in Asia, and then check in again.

      • Ammar says:

        Thank you….thats a shame! Qr were good whrn I flew back from cgk earlier in year, but your right I need to be allow longer!