Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

HSBC Premier offering you a free hotel stay – and the best Avios non-Amex credit card

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I have covered the HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard in some detail in the past – my full review is here.  It is a VERY attractive MasterCard product if you want to earn Avios.

There is a £195 annual fee but you will receive 40,000 Avios points for spending £12,000 in the first year*.  You also earn an unbeatable 1 Avios per £1 on your MasterCard AND get access to 500 airport lounges worldwide via LoungeKey.  Travel insurance is also included as part of the HSBC Premier current account benefits.  Other credit card benefits include a £20 Uber credit each time you spend £500+ on an airline ticket.  Full details can be found here.

The standard HSBC Premier MasterCard is also attractive.  As you can see in my review here, the card is free – albeit there is no sign up bonus – and you earn 0.5 Avios for every £1 you spend.

HSBC points can also be transferred to Etihad, Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific at the same attractive rates.

Join HSBC Premier

The only snag with these cards is that you MUST have a HSBC Premier current account.

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.

If you earn six figures and are attracted by the HSBC Premier credit card package, there is a new bribe available to persuade you to switch.

Join now and HSBC will give you a free night in one of 50 ‘premium’ hotels across the UK.

Details of the deal can be found here.  I am generally suspicious about deals like this, because you never know how much flexibility you will be given on dates.  That said, as HSBC Premier is behind it I would hope that you will not have serious difficulties.

Here is the small print:

HSBC Premier Customers can stay in one of 50 premium hotels from around the UK when they switch to HSBC Premier using the Current Account Switch Service. You can choose venues based on your preference of the type of experience you want to enjoy.

For each venue, you will have a specially created HSBC package which enables you to experience something unique or you can simply go to the venue and indulge in a night away.

You will receive a Premier booklet containing information about the specially selected venues and experiences, along with terms and conditions and details of the booking phone number. 

Hotel booking subject to availability. Offer available from 29 December 2017. Package includes cost of one night in selected hotels for two people. Other charges may apply for additional services. We reserve the right to withdraw this offer at any time. Vouchers to be used by 19 March 2019.

The offer is available to new customers only* who are UK resident, and it is subject to availability. The offer is limited to one per customer or joint relationship on eligible HSBC Premier Bank Accounts. Our partner, MLP will be booking and providing this offer on behalf of HSBC Premier. Terms and conditions apply.

* ‘New customers’ means customers who have not held an HSBC current account since 1 January 2015.

Once your Premier bank account is open, you will be able to apply for either the HSBC Premier or HSBC Premier World Elite credit cards and start earning Avios, or Etihad, Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific airline miles, at the generous HSBC rates.

(The sign-up bonus is a little messy.  You receive 40,000 HSBC Premier points, worth 20,000 Avios, for taking out the card.  You receive a further 40,000 points after spending £12,000 in a year.  However, you will not receive these points until after you have renewed the card for a second year, paying a 2nd £195 fee.)

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – February 2024 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.

Virgin Money is offering double points on spending until 14th April (£5,000 cap) to new customers when you apply for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard. Click here to learn more.

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

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points 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:

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

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) 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

2% cashback on all your business spend for 3 months (1% thereafter) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (53)

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

  • Martin says:

    Yesterday, I read the post re First deals in BA lng haul sale and saw Fort Lauderdale at £2024, since then I’ve been searching and find BA only flies LGW-FLL – no First. Have I missed something?

    • AspirationalFlyer says:

      Hi Martin – I flew FLL to LGW in November and the aircraft was a four class configured 777. However, FIRST seats were not sold and were allocated to BA gold card holders (the catering and service remained Club World). I’m not sure but if BA were using the same aircraft they could start selling First seats and, I suspect there may offer cheap POUG through Manage My Booking etc. Just so you’re aware, there is no BA contract lounge at FLL and BA didn’t offer vouchers so (unless things have changed) don’t rush to the airport!

    • Rob says:

      That price shows on Low Fare Finder ….. is all I can say.

  • pauldb says:

    The link to the hotel packages in the T&Cs doesn’t work, but I stumbled on to this page which must be a parallel offer with the same offering:

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      The Caledonian and Royal Lancaster look like the stand out choices on there. At the risk of being a terrible snob, I wouldn’t have described the Handpicked and Dakota chains as Premier material (there are, in fairness, a couple of great properties in the Handpicked group but the portfolio as a whole is very much in 4* territory)

      • Jake says:

        I tend to agree. I can’t see how those hotels would be more incentive than the cash they were giving away last month…. I would be surprised if the cash value was more than £200

  • N says:

    Can’t believe they haven’t had any offers for existing holders of the freebie HSBC Premier cards to upgrade to the paid version.

    Surely we are a captive market?

  • Nilesh says:

    Has the issue regarding the second set of 20,000 points and 2nd year of £195 fees been sorted out? The T&Cs make no mention of having to renew for a second year to get the second set of points. I know this was discussed last year but now that renewals start to come up, would be interesting to hear people’s experiences here to see if there is a way to get the full 40k of points without paying the second year’s fee.

    • New Card says:

      HSBC are resolutely refusing to pay out the second set in advance of the annual renewal date. This is clearly contrary to the Terms and Conditions and I have complained to the Financial Ombudsman.

      • Andrew M says:

        Good work! Let us know how you get on with the Financial Ombudsman complaint.

        • Rob says:

          I know at least one other reader did this and the FOS found in favour of HSBC. I honestly believe that the FOS sides with the card company in almost every case unless the evidence is blindingly clear (and HSBC saying on the website you get them after spending £12k is apparently not ‘blindingly clear’). I once made a FOS complaint about Amex and, despite it being obvious to everyone that Amex was wrong, they found against me.

        • New Card says:

          Thanks Andrew and Rob. Good to know that the FOS could well find in favour of HSBC despite the very clear terms and to be mentally prepared for a negative outcome. If the FOS finds in favour of HSBC I’m minded to file an MCOL claim for the value of the points, plus interest.

    • Andrew M says:

      I’ still waiting for my bonus 40,000 HSBC points (20,000 airline points). I spent the required amount and I’m now several months into my second year with the card. It’s my default spending card and I’ll be keeping it indefinately but I’d like HSBC to honour the comitments that they made when I opened the account. Has anyone actually received the bonus points?

      • New Card says:

        I had to follow up a (different) set of bonus points which didn’t post on time – mine was an extra 10,000 bonus point offer which was running when I signed up. I filed a complaint and they posted the points manually and paid £75 compensation for the screw up. Worth pursuing and relatively straight forward to do using the secure messaging within your HSBC online account.

      • Nilesh says:

        Would be interesting to hear what reason FOS gave when finding in favour of HSBC.

    • the_real_a says:

      Ive had a couple of FOS in my favor to date. There are two elements to a complaint, the first stage is a voluntary “agreement” decided by the call handler that requires both parties to accept. The second is the true arbitration stage that has many more checks and balance and is binding. If you are dissatisfied with the call handler investigation then ask for arbitration. this is particularly important if you are asking for judgement on the “fairness” of a T&C (rather than a financial institution not following its own T&C`s)

      Secondly i was told that the FOS needs a demonstration of loss that it can rectify. A complaint simply based on late arrival of points would not suffice since you have not “lost” anything. You cannot apply statutory interest to points nor can the FOS force miles to be paid. It CAN with cash however. A complaint based on the financial loss of not paying the miles stands a significantly better chance of success.

      • New Card says:

        Thank you for the advice. Sounds like I may need to follow through to the arbitration stage.

        How would you go about proving loss in the case of points? Presumably as the HSBC points transfer to Amazon gift vouchers I could claim in respect of any out of pocket Amazon spent to the relevant value? I suspect air miles would be a preferable claim but tbh for me it’s rarely a case of points v cash booking, these days it’s a case of wait until I have the miles for a points booking, so I can’t readily point to a recent cash booking to show loss. There are redemptions I have had to forego because of not having the miles but it is difficult to prove a negative.

        • the_real_a says:

          Points are pretty easy to value since BA sells them. I used the Tariff at which BA sell them. However you also need to think about your “loss” between getting the points now and getting the points “later” when HSBC wants to award them.

        • New Card says:

          Sorry, think I misread your original post the first time – that makes perfect sense.

  • Brian says:

    Rob – any idea on how HSBC measures the £100k?
    I specifically keep my taxable income at £99k so I don’t lose my free 3 yr old child care 🙂
    And I object to paying a 60%+ marginal tax rate!

    • Nilesh says:

      might be easier to put £50k in your HSBC account, get the account opened, and then take it out. That’s what I did years ago and I’m sure it would still work.

      • Brian says:

        would that mean removing it from my ISA though?
        or can you put £50k in an HSBC ISA?
        I don’t really want to lose the tax advantage..

        • the_real_a says:

          I went through this in the summer. HSBC are quite flexible in terms of the £50k of savings. Simply bunging cash into a current account (or currency) is acceptable. The base products open to all are shockingly bad value (ISA and savings accounts), the premier version are acceptable but not market leading. So be aware of the opportunity cost which at 50k is a lot of money, you could be paying an extra £200 a year to HSBC as lost interest.

          You will be offered a credit card as part of the interview process (since they credit check you for the premier account) – if you don’t accept immediately then it will be another credit check at a later date which might be a concern for some people. So be ready to accept if that’s what you want to do.

          As i understand it you could transfer into the basic ISA and then upgrade to Premier and then transfer the ISA again for the enhanced interest. Ask the premier team to come up with a solution for you.

      • Axel says:

        HSBC Premier said they’d monitor the funds for 3 months when I went to Jade so Im not so sure if it would work.

        Have any Jade Premiers got their Etihad Gold status confirmed by Etihad?

        • Andrew M says:

          Yes, it was very fast and easy. I asked Quintessentially to arrange the upgrade to Etihad Gold. I’ve been Gold got more than a year now via this upgrade and I haven’t flown with Etihad yet. It wll be interesting to see if the status continues indefinately for Jade members. The Jade promo material on the HSBC website certainly gives that impression.

        • Andrew M says:

          “for more than a year”

        • the_real_a says:

          What they say and do are different things 😉

        • Ben Chode says:

          Any idea on what the criteria for Jade are?

        • New Card says:

          Googled it – seems to be £500k in relationship assets…

    • pauldb says:

      I’m juggling the same hurdle. I presume they would be happy with a P60 showing earnings from last year over £100k, or a regular salary into your account of the equivalent net amount. Given the 30hrs is a 1 year thing (per child) perhaps you weren’t bothered by the hurdle in the prior year? Or presuming you make some personal pension contributions or gift aid donations to get under the £100k, there’s no reason AIUI you can’t be “taking home” more than £100k.

  • Tom H says:

    I earn six figures but as a non-home-owning millennial type I don’t have the requisite savings/investments.

    Nevertheless I’d read that HSBC can be relatively accommodating at accepting even a low cost insurance product as sufficient. However when I went into a branch a few months ago to enquire, they were fairly insistent I needed the full £50k Investment. Anyone had any better luck? Perhaps through phoning up?

    • New Card says:

      £100k per year income and ANY investment product qualifies, eg £500 in Global Investment Centre.

      I found the same – branches very unhelpful and couldn’t understand the terms properly. Over the phone was much easier.

      • Graham Walsh says:

        How easy is it to setup the £500 in GIC? Can it be done online or do you have to speak to a human?

        • New Card says:

          Online once normal HSBC bank account and online access all sorted out.

  • Rob says:

    That is new. They did something last Autumn like that but it was just Apple Pay.

  • Graham Walsh says:

    OT – An interesting read on Accor’s strategy

    • Rob says:

      Good article. Need to hope they decide to move into travel blogs as their 14th online investment 🙂

    • Brighton Belle says:

      I know a few folks in Nice that rent out via Airbnb. They loved it because they could pocket the income without declaring it to the tax authorities. Hotels hated them as they were always getting undercut, carrying big overheads, social charges, tourist tax etc. An enormous glut of room ensued.

      As soon as Airbnb said they going to cooperate with tax jurisdictions rental owners have been falling over themselves to sell and get out.

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