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.
The two HSBC credit cards earn as follows:
- the free HSBC Premier card, reviewed here, earns 1 HSBC point per £1 spent, which translates to 0.5 airline miles or hotel points
- the £195 HSBC Premier World Elite card, reviewed here, earns 2 HSBC points per £1 spent, which translates to 1 airline mile or hotel point. There is a sign-up bonus of 80,000 points, worth 40,000 airline miles or hotel points, albeit this is spread over two years.
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.
Who are the new HSBC Premier credit card travel partners?
Here are the HSBC airline transfer partners:
The additions are Emirates, Finnair, Flying Blue, Qantas and TAP.
Here are the hotel partners, both of which are new:
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.
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.
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:
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.