Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HSBC Premier airline and hotel transfer partners are now live, with some transfers instant

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HSBC Premier’s new airline and hotel transfer partners are now live. The partners are as we exclusively revealed in our article two weeks ago.

Unfortunately, the weak transfer rate to the hotel partners is also as we expected – the information we were given was true, despite feeling all wrong.

As a reminder, if you sign up for free to HSBC’s Premier current account (£75,000 income and a HSBC investment product required) you are allowed to apply for the free Premier credit card and the paid-for Premier World Elite credit card.

New HSBC airline and hotel credit card partners

The two HSBC credit cards earn as follows:

How to transfer points to travel partners

Annoyingly, it is not possible to make points transfers via the HSBC app. You need to log in to the HSBC UK website using your HSBC Premier details.

One bit of positive news which I didn’t already know is that there are no transfer minimums.

2 points will get you 1 airline mile or 1 hotel point.

Transfers to some partners are instantaneous

Yes, instant. In the UK points market, this is still rare.

I did a small test transfer of 50 HSBC points to IHG One Rewards. The transfer was, literally, instant. For the record, the points did NOT count towards status – this is unsurprising but I know some readers will wonder.

New HSBC airline and hotel credit card partners

Who are the new HSBC Premier credit card travel partners?

Here are the HSBC airline transfer partners:

HSBC credit card airline partners

The additions are Emirates, Finnair, Flying Blue, Qantas and TAP.

Here are the hotel partners, both of which are new:

HSBC Premier credit card hotel partners

What do we think of these additions?

Obviously, since no partners are leaving, these changes can only be beneficial to HSBC Premier credit card holders.

In our article two weeks ago I laid out my views on which of the airline partners were most interesting. Some of you disagreed with me in the comments, and it is worth taking a look at those if you are looking for ideas.

What everyone agrees on, however, is that the hotel transfer ratios stink.

The exchange rate from HSBC to hotel points is 2:1 – the same rate as used for airline miles. This is shocking value because, using a very broad generalisation, airline miles are worth double what hotel points are worth.

For example, I value an IHG One Rewards point at 0.4p. This means that 2 HSBC points gets you 0.4p of IHG One Rewards points – but would also get you 0.66p of shopping vouchers! Avoid – unless you need the points immediately, since the transfer to IHG is instant.

Conclusion

All in all, HSBC’s reward package is now much improved. HSBC Premier has, overnight, established itself as the clear leader in the Visa / Mastercard space for anyone who wants a ‘convertible currency’ that could be moved to multiple travel rewards schemes.

For 10 of the 11 partners (Avios being the exception) it is the only way of earning these points from Visa or Mastercard spend.

Unlike many credit cards, airline miles are excellent value compared to taking shopping vouchers. 1,500 HSBC points gets you 750 airline miles or £5 of vouchers (Amazon, Costa, M&S, John Lewis, Tesco etc) so you are ‘paying’ just 0.66p per airline mile.

The snag is that you need a HSBC Premier current account to apply for these cards, which requires a £75,000 income and the holding of a HSBC mortgage, insurance or investment product – albeit Premier has decent benefits, including full travel insurance, and is free.

Our full review of the free HSBC Premier credit card is here.

Our full review of the HSBC Premier World Elite credit card is here.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – October 2022 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

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 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 & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus 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:

American Express Business Platinum

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

American Express Business Gold

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

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

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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 (31)

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

  • Bizboy says:

    Apparently there was a transfer bonus for the month of June to BAEC Avios (but I missed it). Given that sort of thing enables maximising points it would be great if hfp can highlight it like it has on previous years

  • Thywillbedone says:

    I was annoyed that Hyatt was not a transfer partner for this…but at those ratios, a transfer to hotel points is hard ‘no’ anyway

    • Polly says:

      I would have been happy with Marriott. The value we get from the W in Sentosa would definitely warrant transferring points over. However, it’s not to be. Sticking with Amex for those…

  • Sandy says:

    This new HSBC offer kills off my Amex Platinum: BA, Emirates and IHG are my main travel partners. The unlimited LoungeKey access and HSBC Premier Travel Insurance gives me the full Amex Platinum benefits for £195 instead of £575.
    For once HSBC did a master stroke here.

    • Rob says:

      Don’t cancel today 🙂

    • Rob says:

      Insurance is a current account benefit so not linked to the credit card.

      No guests with LoungeKey.

      • Red Flyer says:

        Try and get in anywhere with Lounge Key too! 🥲

      • T says:

        I got my partner in with the HSBC card. Need to check if I was charged but believe it says online £20

    • Jonathan says:

      Don’t forget all the other benefits Amex Platinum offers, for many (including Rob) it’s a card (or piece of metal) that you keep, but don’t necessarily use as your day to day spending card, due to the heavy benefits it offers frequent travellers, which you wouldn’t be able to find very easily elsewhere, if you can easily make use of them, it’s well worth keeping

  • Ls says:

    No ‘enhancements’ of the earning rate? That’s a relief!

  • Golsquare says:

    Has anyone worked out HSBC to flying blue vs virgin MasterCard to virgin points and equivalence to flying blue?

    • Rob says:

      Would vary route by route as Virgin has a different reward chart and taxes.

  • Mick S says:

    are we likely to see a 25% bonus transfer soon?

    • Thywillbedone says:

      Historically the 25% bonus has run around August/early September…

  • B Bjorn says:

    Don’t forget the generous U.K. retail vouchers too. Sometimes much more valuable.
    Lounge Key is fine for me but I don’t fly leisure airports on summer weekends.
    10% off Agoda bookings is huge too: a recent 5 star hotel ended up a third the Amex rate for a confirmed suite with breakfast.
    For genuine travellers rather than once year EasyJet to Tuscany types the HSBC card is the best out there.
    Not missing Amex at all

  • Patrick C says:

    If only they added Miles & More instead of TAP and it would be the perfect card.
    But still, an impressive product.
    Are there any sweet spots with Emirates starting on the continent?

    • Rob says:

      Taxes are low for the 5th freedom flight eg Milan to New York.

    • Lady London says:

      Good comment @Patrick C. It might make sense for Lufthansa to cut a deal with HSBC – the positioning matches (of HSBC premier customers and the few who can actually benefit from Miles&More membership) and Lufthansa/Miles&More seem to be finding difficulty in making a card of their own work in the UK market

      • Rob says:

        These deals are cut in Singapore by Kaligo who run the underlying system – not sure local requirements play much part.

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

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