Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

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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 points from credit cards? – September 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our September 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

The following offers will expire on 2nd November 2021:

  • 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express
  • 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus
  • 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express

Here are the top current deals:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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.

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (74)

  • Sam says:

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

    • Rob says:

      No. Still a fairly new product.

      • James says:

        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.

    • Polly says:

      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.

  • 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?)

  • 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?

    • Alex says:

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

  • Alex says:

    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?

    • Rob says:

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

      • James says:

        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.

  • Ant says:

    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.

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