HSBC Premier drops its income requirement to £75,000 – can you now get the best Avios-earning Mastercard?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

I have covered the HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard extensively in articles like this.  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.  20,000 Avios (via 40,000 HSBC points) are credited if you spend £2,000 within 90 days and a further 20,000 Avios (via 40,000 HSBC points) are credited at the end of your first year if you have hit the £12,000 spending target.

You earn an unbeatable 1 Avios per £1 (via 2 HSBC points per £1) on the World Elite Mastercard AND get access to 500 airport lounges worldwide via LoungeKey.  Other perks include a £20 Uber credit each time you charge £500 to an airline.  Full details can be found on the HSBC website here.

(The representative APR is 59.3% including the annual fee based on a £1200 credit limit.  The APR on purchases is 18.9%.)

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

You can also transfer your points to Etihad Guest, Asia Miles or Singapore Airlines Krisflyer at the same rates or use them for non-travel rewards.

Join HSBC Premier

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

HSBC Premier has always had 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 have a high income, you qualify if you just have a HSBC mortgage or any investment (such as an ISA) or insurance product.

The income requirement has historically been £100,000 per year.  From today, it falls to £75,000 per year.  This opens it up to a lot more people.

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 other airline miles, via a Mastercard at the generous HSBC rates.

(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.)

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

How to use Billhop to pay your new council tax bill by Amex
Get 2,000 Avios points with ANY hotel booking, however cheap, via our offer

Click here to join the 15,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
AMEX Gold 20,000 bonus points
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. Thomas Howard says:

    How does the £75k limit work for “self employed” freelancers tax avoiding via limited companies? Asking for a friend, etc.

    • See above from myself/Bonglim

      • Daniel says:

        Doesn’t apply if they’re only taking out wage/dividends up to the tax bracket. In that instance, I suspect you’re out of luck unless you keep cycling the money through.

  2. Important for members of the financial sector is also, that the income criteria is “base salary”, not actual salary over the last 12 months (incl. variable) etc.

  3. luckyjim says:

    Presumably you can open the investment product and the current account at the same time?

    • the_real_a says:

      Yes indeed. I did just this (well on the savings product) – since the premier account unlocks higher interest it would have been crazy not to do this. The telephone interview was very relaxed and they have a great deal of flexibility.

      • pauldb says:

        Are there any savings products that aren’t risible?

        • The_real_a says:

          In short no. Most are far away from the market. In such a case you have to cost in the loss of interest from the market leader. You are in essence paying 150-200 a year for the account if you are applying based on savings. I could get this back in value from the credit card but it wasnt a no brainer. I simply placed cash on deposit and then as part of the interview process put it to them that it was pointless opening an investment product i would close immediately. They upgraded the account and i was free to do whatever i wanted. They also offer the credit card at application for the premier accout since they run a credit check. Be ready to accept this if you dont fancy a second credit check at some point later. P.s. i think someone else said that £100 in the investment fund covered the requirement if you are applying based on income rather than savings.

      • Which savings product did you do this with?

        When i called up to enquire they insisted i open an investment product first (said savings didnt count) and then call back once it was open

        • pauldb says:

          FWIW I opened an account in branch without a second product, but I’ve said I’ll go in and take out a protection product. My life insurance needs a reset and they sell whole-of-market so I assume they can offer something competitive.

        • The_real_a says:

          Simply cash on deposit is considered a savings product (if you push them)

        • Polly says:

          We simply put cash in deposit account too. That worked.

  4. luckyjim says:

    Isn’t it 1 HSBC Point per pound spent in sterling? 2 points per pound in other currencies.

    So as the conversion rate is 2:1 it’s ‘only’ 0.5 Avios per pound in the UK?

    Or am I looking at the wrong card?

    • luckyjim says:

      Sorry. answering my own question. I was looking at the world elite card but for some reason the brochure is for the ‘premier’ card.

  5. rams1981 says:

    I opened an hsbc premier account a few years ago and still don’t have an investment product of any type. My salary goes in and out within days yet I’ve not been contacted for the account to be changed. I took out the £195 card and the card cancelled it as without the bonus not sure it’s worth it. Has anyone churned it?

  6. Does anyone know the cancellation policy on the Premier Elite card and when you can reapply to be eligible for the welcome bonus again?

    • No. Still a fairly new product.

      • Yes, you can. I upgraded this morning, Advance to Premier and standard credit card to Premier.

        They did point out I’d lose the 0% promotional period (would end on my next statement) but I wasn’t using it anyway.

    • Nothing when you renew or refer. Lots of hassle as you complete a year. Esp if you want to drop down to free card. In the end l kept qioting how great Amex are at keeping customers etc etc. Their csa team dont really know how this product works. I had to explain their own t and c to them they had not a clue.I had to insist on dealing at management level. And face another hurdle in July at renewal again. In the end they credit back my fee to me last year for all the grief. Haven’t decided whether to keep it for a 3rd year. But we do put a lot of spend through it so it is useful to have.

  7. Costas says:

    Does it make sense to pay for the paid card when you have A3*G and BA Gold and have access to the free card (and an amex as well?)

  8. Michelle says:

    My husband and I were offered the Premier account today – not sure it’s worth it as the criteria is that we need to move our savings to HSBC or purchase a life cover product. We were looking at NatWest Premier- Reward Black account instead. The account has a larger monthly fee but cheaper than taking out a product with HSBC and it also includes a Priority Pass membership – does anyone have the NatWest account?

    • According to Bonglim post above, you only need to put £100 in one HSBC investment fund and that’s it.

  9. Just to confirm – are the total 40,000 Avios points for spending £12,000 in the first year credited if you’ve paid just 1 annual fee? I.e. without the need to renew for the next year?

    • Some get away with it if they fight HSBC but most fail and must renew.

      • They have cleared this up for new applicants – you have to pay the 2nd year to get the bonus points:

        “Spend £12,000 or more on your card within your first 12 months of membership to receive a further 40,000 reward points at the anniversary of card membership.”

        • Polly says:

          Which is simply blackmail…you might not chose continue with the elite and need to drop down to the free premier card. Then what happens? You really have to fight for a fee refund. Not cleared up at all, actually.

  10. Can anyone that did the £100 into the Global Investments account to qualify tell me how you transfer the £100? Managed to open the account but the bank said there should be an option to transfer cash into the account which i can’t find….? Figured if i transfer cash it wouldnt attact the fees associated with investments or is that not possible?

    • luckyjim says:

      When you start a global investment portfolio ISA they will automatically create an ‘uninvested cash’ account for you. You need to move cash from your current account into this before you can buy any funds. You could just leave it as a cash but your new best friend (relationship manger) might ask about it.

      You probably don’t get an ‘uninvested cash’ account with a non-ISA portfolio. The idea is that you can buy and sell funds – or hold cash – within the ISA portfolio.

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.