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Bits: HSBC World Elite bonus developments, 25% bonus on Amex Travel MR redemptions, Cathay sale

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News in brief:

HSBC Premier World Elite bonus developments (positively!)

There has been an interesting development in the saga of the HSBC Premier World Elite credit card bonus (which I am legally obliged to tell you has a representative APR of 59.3% variable including the £195 fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit.)

When you take out the HSBC Premier World Elite card, you receive 40,000 HSBC points after spending £2,000 in three months and a further 40,000 HSBC points (worth 20,000 Avios) when you spend £12,000 in 12 months.

For many people, there is NO good reason to keep this card after the first year.  You need to pay a £195 fee but there is no spending bonus.  You will continue to keep the card benefits, such as free airport lounge access, but this may not justify £195.

However, HSBC had been forcing people to keep the card for a 2nd year in order to receive the 2nd part of the bonus, the extra 40,000 points for spending £12,000.

As I discussed in this article, it states that you receive the second batch of 40,000 points within 60 days of spending the £12,000:

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

For months, HSBC has been claiming that this is an error and it was meant to say that you will receive the second batch of 40,000 points within 60 days of your card renewal date.  A lot of people DID receive the second batch of 40,000 points when they rang up HSBC and complained.  The bank then took a firm position that you are not getting the points until after the first year is up.

This week, however, two readers contacted me to say that they had hit the £12,000 target and received the 2nd batch of 40,000 points in advance of their renewal.

I know that some readers have complained to the regulator about HSBC’s behaviour – and lost.  However, based on a couple of cases this week HSBC may have decided to voluntarily follow its own published rules, which is very generous of them.

HSBC Premier World Elite

25% on Membership Rewards redemptions via Platinum Travel – a bad deal

If you have an American Express Platinum card, you probably got an email on Friday saying that you will get a 25% bonus when you redeem your Membership Reward points via Platinum Travel.  This would cover any prepaid flights or hotels.

This is not a great deal.

The standard redemption value when you use points to pay for Amex Travel bookings is 0.45p per point.  This is rubbish, when you assume that you can get 1 airline mile per point instead.  You’re actually better off redeeming for Nectar points and getting 0.5p per point off your Sainsburys shopping!

The extra 25% bonus takes you to 0.57p per point.  This is still poor, and I doubt any HFP reader would get value here.  Give it a miss.

Cathay Pacific sale

Cathay Pacific has launched a short economy sale, running to Wednesday 17th January.

Economy prices from London are Hong Kong £479, Manila £469, Ho Chi Minh City £499, Bali £469 and Shanghai £469.

The Business Class sale which began earlier is still running, with prices including Tokyo £2469, Beijing £2359, Shanghai £2359, Adelaide / Brisbane /  Cairns / Melbourne / Sydney £3129.

Details are on the Cathay Pacific site here.

Your best option to maximise your miles when paying is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold.  This offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.  Our review of Amex Gold is here.

(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.)

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  1. O/T – a little while back there was a website mentioned where all the printer cartridges, lego etc bought from Tesco which has bonus points were then sold.

    I.E. bought the product for the bonus points,
    No interest in the product itself

    Can anyone remind me what this website is?


  2. Michael_s says:

    I just hit my hsbc world elite target of 12,000 – thanks for heads-up on HMRC deadline Rob! Is there anyway to churn this card once points are in? Or once you got the bonus you’re not eligible again (even after years??)

  3. Lady London says:

    “I know that some readers have complained to the regulator about HSBC’s behaviour – and lost.”.

    What use is the regulator then? It’s in the t’c and c’s. How can any competent fair regulator have let HSBC get away with this in even one single case? Is this another example of a toothless regulator such as we have for water and telecom industry, who in my view are too far in cahoots with those they are supposed to be regulating?

    If HSBC is addressing the higher wealthier market segment, as implied by their extremely high criteria for income or investment with them for their cards, they should learn that their customers have a choice and don’t take kindly to sleazy behaviour on the part of any bank.

    • ThisIsMoney UK did an interesting article on 25th April showing how useless the FOS is. (Google -Staff meltdown at the Financial Ombudsman) An eye-opener to anyone who thinks they will be able to rely on them to be competent and effective in their role.

    • HSBC has had a slap on the wrist recently. Now towing the line…they need to be aware that these customers appreciate rewards too! Ex a bonus or two annually…

  4. OT – Haven’t seen this mentioned before but just in case anyone is interested Marriott Windsor have a free airport parking deal ‘Winter Getaway Park Here, Fly There’ valid till 11/10/18. I’ve booked parking at the Renaissance Heathrow and never had any problems.

    ‘Forget airport parking. This special offer invites you to enjoy 4, 7 or 15 days of free parking at the hotel along with an unsurpassed start to your trip.

    Make travel fun again with this convenient package! Check in at the Heathrow/Windsor Marriott Hotel to enjoy a good night’s sleep, and then leave your car at the hotel for 4, 7 or 15 days while you head out of town.’

  5. I’ve had a lot of back and forth with HSBC on this issue, as I was expecting to receive the anniversary bonus without renewing for the second year. I was previously advised to hold onto the card and cancel after the anniversary when bonus points would appear, and was later told that they are unable to refund the annual fee once it’s been charged!

    Long story short, they reimbursed the annual fee to my current account through the complaints procedure, and I’ve still haven’t cancelled the card!

  6. Just quick update – my 40,000 anniversary points posted within my first year ( renewal due may 2018) of taking out the card. It was approx 60 days after i hit required spend 🙂

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