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 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.
£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.)