Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Save 25% on the annual fee for the HSBC Premier World Elite credit card – worth it?

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

UPDATE – MARCH 2024:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.  We produce a monthly directory of the top UK travel credit card offers – please click HERE or use the ‘Credit Cards’ menu above.  Thank you.

Keep up to date with the latest UK credit card bonuses by signing up for our free daily or weekly newsletters.

HSBC Premier has launched a special sign-up incentive on its premium HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard credit card.

Until 30th November, the annual fee for the first year is reduced from £195 to £145.

The sign-up bonus remains at 80,000 HSBC points, paid over two years. This is worth 40,000 Avios or Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines or Etihad miles.

Save 25% on the annual fee for the HSBC Premier World Elite credit card

Here is the headline information on the card:

Annual fee: £195 (currently reduced to £145 for year 1)

The representative APR is 59.3% variable, including the annual fee.  The representative APR on purchases is 18.9% variable.

This special offer is NOT available if you already have the free HSBC Premier credit card. The rules say that you only qualify if:

“you are not an existing HSBC Credit Card holder and have not held a credit card with HSBC Bank within the 12 months prior to your making your application”

Does £50 off the annual fee make a big difference to the value?

Regular readers will know that we have a semi-rule on HfP that we don’t get excited about a 20%-25% bonus or discount. We don’t believe you should necessarily change your purchasing behaviour to earn one.

In this case there is a slight difference, because it moves the deal from marginal to decent.

This is how the bonus is paid:

  • you get 40,000 HSBC points (20,000 Avios) for spending £2,000 in 90 days
  • you get a further 40,000 HSBC points (20,000 Avios) if you spend £12,000 in 12 months and pay your renewal fee for the second year

The ‘deal’ for year 1 is therefore usually:

  • 20,000 Avios for £195, plus 1 Avios per £1 spent

Because we value an Avios at 1p, the bonus covers your fee but nothing more. However, with the year 1 fee cut to £145, you are effectively ‘buying’ 20,000 Avios for £145, which is worth it. You also get the benefit of earning 1 Avios per £1 spent on your Mastercard for the rest of the year.

Save 25% on the annual fee for the HSBC Premier World Elite credit card

Is it worth opening a HSBC Premier account to get this deal?

No, probably not.

A £50 one-off discount on a credit card annual fee shouldn’t be enough to persuade you to move to HSBC Premier. In purely practical terms, there is no guarantee that the account move would be completed by 30th November to let you apply for the card.

You also need to consider whether Barclays Premier is now a better deal, given the Barclays Avios Rewards package. This is worth 43,000 Avios over your first year AND you will get a British Airways upgrade voucher. You can read more about Barclays Avios Rewards here.

HSBC Premier is generally seen as a decent package. After all, it’s totally free (no monthly charge) if you earn £75,000+ and the benefits include full travel insurance. If you earn £75,000+ you might as well benefit from some sort of ‘Premier’ banking service. I just wouldn’t be swayed by a £50 incentive.

What are the benefits of the HSBC Premier World Elite credit card?

If you already have HSBC Premier but never got around to applying for the World Elite credit card, a £50 saving in year 1 is worth a look.

The card benefits include:

  • 2 HSBC points (1 Avios or other mile) for every £1 spent – this is very generous and makes the card attractive for anyone with substantial Visa or Mastercard expenditure
  • 4 HSBC points (2 Avios or other 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 airport lounges via LoungeKey. Guests are charged at £20. You can discount this by paying £60 to give adult friends or family a supplementary credit card on your account.  There is no way of making children free, however.

Is the card worth keeping after year 1?

Remember how the bonus is received:

  • you get 40,000 HSBC points (20,000 Avios or other miles) for spending £2,000 in your first 90 days
  • you get another 40,000 HSBC points (20,000 Avios or other 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, and must pay the fee for the 2nd year

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.

Fundamentally, you need to make a decision at the end of year 1 about whether you continue. Assuming you have spent £12,000, you need to decide whether spending £195 to ‘buy’ 20,000 Avios or other miles, as well as locking in 1 Avios per £1 for another 12 months, is worth it.

It is difficult to justify the annual fee for year 3, to be honest.

What are the eligibility criteria for HSBC Premier?

HSBC Premier has tough eligibility criteria.  See here and click on the Eligibility button to see the details.

  • If you earn over £75,000, you qualify for HSBC Premier if you open a current account AND have a HSBC mortgage or any investment or insurance product. There is no minimum investment.
  • If you don’t earn £75,000, you must have £50,000 invested with HSBC, either in a savings account or via an investment product.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard Avios

Is the HSBC Premier World Elite card worth getting?

This article is NOT about whether HSBC Premier is better than Barclays Premier / Barclays Avios Rewards.

This article is about whether the special fee discount of £50, running to 30th November, makes it worthwhile getting the card.

I would say:

  • the offer isn’t good enough to justify getting HSBC Premier if it wasn’t already on your radar, especially as Barclays Avios Rewards is now available
  • if you do already have HSBC Premier, this IS the kick up the bottom you may have needed to get the World Elite card

Here is the worse case scenario on the World Elite card. You pay £145 and receive points worth 20,000 Avios, plus you get 1 Avios per £1 on your spending for 12 months. That’s not a bad deal.

Whether you continue after the first year is another story.

Perhaps give Avios a miss?

Most HfP readers who get the World Elite card will send the 80,000 HSBC points to 40,000 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, 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 Airlines are Amex partners so you could top up your miles via Membership Rewards points if needed.

If you’re lucky, you may even get an Avios transfer bonus

For the last five years or so, HSBC Premier has run an annual conversion bonus to Avios.

This usually occurs around October and is usually 25%.

If this is repeated in 2022, it makes your sign-up bonus even more attractive. It isn’t guaranteed, of course, but it may return. I’d recommend sitting on your HSBC points just in case – don’t transfer them to Avios as soon as you receive them.

Further reading ….

My full review of the HSBC Premier World Elite card is here and you can apply here.

The £50 fee discount offer runs to 30th November.

PS. Get £30 cashback on the free HSBC Premier credit card

Whilst it is of less interest to Head for Points readers because of the lower Avios earning rate, HSBC is offering £30 cashback if you get the free HSBC Premier credit card by 30th November. Our full review of the free HSBC Premier credit card is here and you can apply here.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – March 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.

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 (76)

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

  • CC says:

    Does anyone know if the travel insurance that comes with WE includes decent COVID cover?

    • Dan says:

      Travel insurance is free with Premier current account. You don’t need the WE credit card for this.

      • CC says:

        My partners just got the WE so curious if that insurance is enough that’s all. It’s the same cover as the current account then?

        • Rob says:

          The cover comes with the current account, as Dan says. Sometimes when we write about the cards we talk about it as a card perk – because in order to get the card you need to open a Premier account which gets you the insurance – but it isn’t linked to having the card.

          • Jody says:

            Is the travel insurance that comes with the account decent? Do they charge loads to add on pre existing conditions for example?

    • WearyTraveller says:

      It’s very decent and includes most pre-existing health conditions like diabetes, asthma and many others for free. It covers you for many vivid related events and cancellations and also covers you for having to quarantine if you get covid abroad.

  • Joe says:

    Just get the US card instead. Premier in one country (Expat requires no savings, just £100K income), premier everywhere.

    It has no FX fees.

    • DJ says:

      How do you pay the US Card? If you don’t earn in USD, then you’d still have to convert from GBP to USD to pay the bills anyway, doesn’t seem to be that good of deal …

      Besides, paying with the UK card give you extra protection.

      • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

        I expect you could use Wise (or Revolut?) to make an inexpensive USD transfer to settle. I use an Amex IDC for points purchases in USD etc. and transfer costs via Wise are something like 0.4%, so still worthwhile to save the usual 3% FX fee for a little effort.

      • DJ says:

        I get that. I guess what I was trying to say is that the conversion rate offered by HSBC is not great either, even with the rates offered in the “HSBC Expat FX” app.

      • kk says:

        the gbpusd conversion rate is horrendous.

    • Alex says:

      If you are a UK resident (and current WE card holder) can you apply for the U.S. world elite card too? (Wouldn’t you need to be a U.S. resident for that?).

  • Veego says:

    I hold the free version of the premier card.
    Can I benefit from the reduced fee if I upgrade? Or do I have to cancel and apply anew? Or can I hold both at the same time?

    • Rob says:

      No, seems not – rules say new HSBC credit cardholders only. You’d need to look at the terms to see if they mention any required gap.

  • sloth says:

    hi all, I applied for a WE card back in September but then decided to cancel under the cooling off period which they said they had done, and refunded the fee due the cooling off period. I have just discovered they haven’t done it and and now denying all knowledge off a cooling off period…Im struggling to find it mentioned in the t&c tbh and wash hoping someone could point me in the right direction?


    • Rob says:

      Cooling off period is your legal right, it’s not a favour!

      • sloth says:

        agreed but the person I spoke to today was insisting that cooling off only meant getting the card cancelled, didn’t mean a refund of the fee, and couldn’t explain the lady telling me 4 weeks ago that she would process the closure and refund under the cooling off period…it seems everyone you speak to their is more intellectually challenged than the last one…

        the are telling me I need to take it to the FOS as they have closed my official complaint…thats why I need the t&c which highlights the cooling of period as im stuggling to find it now

        • CarpalTravel says:

          Cooling off is exactly that, they cannot keep the fee. If you take the fee out of the equation, you can cancel a card literally anytime you want, not just during a “cooling off” period. 🙄

          You mention complaint though, what was that? Was it a complaint raised during the cooling off period or a specific “close account” request? Everything is recorded so the timeline of events should be clear to them. Ask them to provide you with a copy.

          • sloth says:

            they sent the card with the letter stating fee of £0, but then applied the £195 fee a couple days later. I rang up to query that and they accused me of lying. I offered to send a picture of the letter but they refused to tell me where to email it and said I had to go to a branch…I got annoyed with them, particularly as my local branch is 4 miles away, M-F only and on short time due to covid… and said I want to cancel the card under the cooling off period, and get the fee refunded under the same reason, which they agreed to both, and then I said I wanted to raise a complaint for being called a liar regarding the letter when I had the proof with me and was happy to email a pic of it to them. That complaint has been closed without them even contacting me, they refuse to reopen a complaint and referred me to FOS. I have filed with the FOS today

            I have had to pay the card fee off for now as im concerned about getting late fees/credit referral’s for non payment etc and am claiming that back

            premier service this is not! they are all shocking tbh, the woman today backtracked on everything she said at least 4 times, she didn’t have a clue but kept insisting she was right and refused to transfer me

          • HBommie says:

            Wow, completely the opposite to mine and others experience when requesting the £0 fee stated on the card letter. It took a while for the refund to be applied and a chase up call.

            I’d go back to them if you have the energy.

          • KK says:

            I’ve called back twice and still hadn’t manage to go anywhere.

    • Harry T says:

      I just rang up and sent them a photo of the £0 fee letter via email whilst on the phone. Was refunded within a week. This is one of those situations where HUACA should be vigorously applied.

      • Sloth says:

        Yes I should have huaca but at the time I was so irritated with the rudeness of the call centre person I had just had enough and said I wanted it cancelled under cooling off. As I mentioned, I offered numerous times to email the pic of the letter but she refused to give me her email address saying they couldn’t accept incoming emails…

        To update though, I rang again this evening and after getting another numpty I finally got transferred to an extremely helpful lady from Malta HSBC!! who listened patiently to my tale and agreed that that the way I had been treated on the previous calls was shocking and after consulting with her manager agreed to refund me. Why it took 4 calls over a month with 4 useless agents is beyond me but is finally sorted. Now I just need to get them to reinstate the card… 🙂

        I’ve also got the lady from Malta’s email address in case I need help in the future. Seems HSBC do employ some decent stuff, just tonnes of useless ones as well!

    • Lee says:

      Just log another complaint if you are not happy.

      Keep doing so until resolved.

      At one point I probably had half a dozen open complaints.

      You ought to end up with a full refund plus compensation as well.

      Keep going!

      • CarpalTravel says:

        This goes to my point on the previous page – why would anyone willingly bank with this absolute shower? Entrusting their money to a business that is so imbecilic. Compensation or not, points or not, it is just not worth it.

      • sloth says:

        have another complaint on the go now (now that have the fee refunded) for the appalling treatment by all the call operators that I experienced, bar the last extremely helpful one, and will add to it if they dont reinstate my card. dont use them as m main bank account and certainly won’t be now

  • B Bjorn says:

    As a WE MC user I don’t recognise these experiences.
    1. The premier team are UK based and have always been helpful and knowledgeable. I know this website is effectively an Amex advertising platform but compared to the £250 amex card this is a better service.
    2. The review is a bit disingenious – choosing to ignore the *day 366* additional 20,000 avios to make his maths work in favour of Amex. A bit of a poor show really.
    3. Other benefits of HUGE value are : 10% of expedia hotel bookings. A few nights at 4 or 5 star booking and that pays for the card. Amex (in the UK) does not give this. Granted US platinum Amex has a great value hotels programme, but the UK does not.
    4. Lounge Key. True flyers don’t always fly BA. To airlines, lounges are cost centres and many remain shut or very dumbed down. Lounge key use alone in the last few months has PAID for the card for me. e.g £15 credit at a LHR T2 restaurant/bar for each visit. Amex does n’t give you that, and the HSBC card means no ‘no lounge’ worries when not flying BA. So you can fly the most convenient best value option. If each lounge visit is worth £15 say, the 5 return trips a year pay for the card at £150. BA amex can’t offer this.
    5. The HSBC points convert into other options too. The value of the points at some retailers also puts the Amex ‘offers’ to shame. Again, a benefit the rather biased and selective review has chosen to totally ignore.

    Everyone is different, but the review made is deeply biased and highly selective in the way it chooses to value the card, and needs correcting.

    • Rob says:

      I’m HSBC Jade and worked there for a decade, I know how they work 🙂

      • Kevin D says:

        It’s all about perception and individual circumstances. The BAPP companion voucher gives BA Amex a 1 nil lead though!

    • Red Flyer says:

      What do you need to do to get the Expedia rate less 10% – is there a link to use?

      • Alex says:

        Yes there is. The voucher is kind of unreliable for me tough. I had the card for 3 years and often the voucher will just not show. So I end up using one of the regular Expedia vouchers…

    • Alex says:

      Second that. I had a bunch of Amex cards before (and still have the BA Premoum AMEX), but the WE card is a great card. Free lounge access is great if you occasionally fly Easyjet or Ryanair.

    • Polly says:

      I can never access my offers. Any good ones atm?

  • Steven says:

    Do you get any preferential rates with other products such as home insurance etc?

    • Rob says:

      Not that I’ve ever seen. I’ve never had anything useful off them though.

      Never try to move large sums of money in or out of your account. Not only can you not do it online, the call centre will often refuse too and make you turn up at a branch with a passport. Amusingly, last time I tried this, I was told they couldn’t take my request by phone for security but if I wrote a letter to my branch telling them where to send all my money, they would do it!

    • DJ says:

      No, nothing special, even with their mortgage, you’d still have to pay extra in fee to get the Premier rate.

    • Steven says:

      Many thanks.

  • GD says:

    Im surprised nobody has asked this yet – can you hold both an HSBC Premier CA and Barclays Premier CA, if you make more than £75k?
    Do either one require your actual salary to be paid into the account, or can you just transfer a nominal amount into them each month (say £5k, which would imply >75k gross)?

    • Harj says:

      Would be interested to know this too!

      • TeesTraveller says:

        I have a HSBC Premier CA and paid £1,000 in when I opened it about 6 months ago. Not put a penny in since. I have no other savings or investment products with them.

    • Justin says:

      I read comments here where it didn’t work out and accounts got closed (mostly the Barclays one) but it works fine for me for like the last six months or so. Salary goes into the Barclays account and I got a standing order set up. Salary minus £500 goes into my Premier account a few days later. No issues so far.

  • Joe says:

    I know the reduced fee won’t be applicable, but will be eligible for the bonus according to terms. But, does any know what happens if I apples for World Elite when having the free version currently?

    Do I need to cancel before applying? Will the application automatically upgrade me? or will I have two credit cards?

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.