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What are HSBC Premier credit card points worth?

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HSBC Premier recently added a lot of new airline transfer partners to its two credit cards, and introduced hotel transfer partners for the first time.

They are not standing still either. Yesterday we reported that EVA Air has quietly been added as the 12th HSBC travel transfer partner.

With such a large number of redemption partners now available, the HSBC Premier credit cards are a real alternative – or partner – to an American Express Membership Rewards card if you are looking for points with multiple transfer partners.

On that basis, I thought it was about time we did a similar article to our Membership Rewards one which looked at the most – and least – valuable ways to use HSBC Premier credit card points.

What are HSBC Premier credit card points worth?

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:

Who are the HSBC Premier credit card travel partners?

Following the introduction of new partners in July 2022, you can now choose from:

Airline partners:

  • Avios via British Airways Executive Club (oneworld)
  • AsiaMiles via Cathay Pacific (oneworld)
  • Emirates Skywards (no alliance)
  • Etihad Guest (no alliance)
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands (Star Alliance)
  • Finnair Plus (oneworld)
  • Flying Blue (SkyTeam)
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer (oneworld)
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (Star Alliance)
  • TAP Miles&Go (Star Alliance)

Hotel partners:

  • IHG One Rewards
  • Wyndham Rewards

What is the transfer rate?

2 HSBC points will get you 1 airline mile or 1 hotel point. There is no minimum transfer.

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.

Transfers to most, possibly all, partners are instantaneous which is very rare in the UK market. This is valuable if you see a reward flight available and want to lock it in before it disappears.

What are the alternatives if you don’t want travel points?

The main alternative to redeeming your HSBC Premier credit card points for airline miles or hotel points is to redeem for shopping vouchers.

1,500 HSBC points gets you £5 of vouchers. Retailers include Amazon, Costa, M&S, John Lewis and Tesco.

The only other ways to spend your points are ordering wine from a very limited selection at Laithwaites (at a similar valuation as the shopping vouchers) or having trees planted in your name.

What are HSBC credit card points worth?

What are HSBC Premier credit card points worth?

Remember that you earn 1 HSBC point per £1 spent on the free credit card and 2 HSBC points per £1 spent on the World Elite credit card.

0.625p per point (my target) – Avios, if HSBC continues its annual bonus

In the next paragraph I will look at why I value airline miles at 1p. However, for the last few years, HSBC has run an annual transfer bonus to Avios averaging 25%.

If this continues – and there was no sign of one this August, which is when they often appear – it would increase the value of an Avios transfer by 25%. This takes you from 0.5p (see below) to 0.625p.

0.5p per point (my target) – airline miles

My last piece on valuing Avios points is here and HSBC points transfer into Avios or various other airline schemes at 2:1.

It is impossible to tie down a tighter range because of the number of different airline partners and the various ways (upgrade, long-haul, short-haul, economy, premium) you can redeem.

My personal spreadsheet of the last 8.5m Avios I have redeemed shows that I got an average value of 1.2p.  This is based on what I would personally have been prepared to pay for the flights I took, which may be far different from what you would have paid.

Across Head for Points, we use 1p as our general value of an airline mile. As long as you don’t redeem for long-haul economy flights, this is usually achievable.

0.4p per point (guaranteed) – Nectar points via Avios

In early 2021, the supermarket loyalty scheme Nectar become a partner with Avios. You can convert 50,000 Avios points per month to Nectar, at a rate of 250 : 400.

Because a Nectar point has a fixed value of 0.5p when spent at Sainsbury’s, eBay or Argos, it means that 1 Avios can be turned into 1.6 Nectar points worth 0.8p.

As long as you shop at Sainsbury’s, eBay or Argos, you can get 0.4p per HSBC point, guaranteed.

To do this, you convert your HSBC points to Avios and then transfer them to Nectar. This article explains how to convert Avios into Nectar points.

What are HSBC credit card points worth?

0.33p per point (guaranteed) – shopping vouchers

1,500 HSBC points gets you £5 of shopping vouchers. You can pick from a range of UK retailers include Amazon, Costa, M&S, John Lewis and Tesco.

This works out at 0.33p per HSBC point.

It is difficult to see why you would want to do this given that you can convert into Avios and then on to Nectar and receive 0.4p per point. This gets you 20% more value.

Redeeming your points for cases of wine from Laithwaites gets you a similar 0.33p, give or take.

0.2p per point (my valuation) – IHG One Rewards points

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 2x-3x what hotel points are worth.

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, which is just 0.2p per HSBC point.

You should absolutely avoid this route. The only possible reason would be if you desperately needed some IHG One Rewards points quickly, because the transfer to IHG from HSBC points is instantaneous.

You will notice that I haven’t discussed Wyndham Rewards. This is because the chain has a very small presence in Europe and it is unlikely that you would be collecting or redeeming its points if you are UK based.

Conclusion

All in all, HSBC’s reward package is now much improved following the addition of the new airline and hotel partners in July 2022.

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.

The best transfer option is, in our view, a frequent flyer programme. This should allow you to maximise the value of your points, although this is easier if you already have an existing balance in a programme which puts you nearer to a high value reward.

If this isn’t for you, I recommend transferring to Avios points and then on to Nectar points. This route gets you 0.4p per HSBC point (a 0.4% return on spend on the free card and 0.8% on the paid card) to spend as Nectar credit in Sainsbury’s, Argos and on eBay.co.uk.

We do not recommend redeeming for shopping vouchers or hotel loyalty points. The value is far lower than taking the Nectar route.

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 (40)

  • The Urbanite says:

    Hi Rob, any chance any of your contacts can confirm which merchant categories are now excluded from the Premier Rewards programme and treated as cash equivalents? Had zero joy getting this information from them myself, not for want of trying!

  • Mike Isaacs says:

    Interesting article, I always converted to shopping vouchers…
    I should Avois instead, but more regularly use Turkish Airlines and Miles & Smiles. Anyway to swap to those via the other Star Alliance partners? If I signed up to Kris, could these then be converted to Miles & Smiles?

    • Rob says:

      No, you can’t swap them to other schemes – although of course you can redeem Turkish miles for any Star Alliance airline.

  • Joe says:

    Why would you use the UK card when HSBCs policy is Premier in one place, Premier everywhere. I use the Premier US card which is much better.

    • Joe says:

      You also can start with hsbc expat which has a £100k or equivalent salary requirement but no investment requirement.

    • Andrew M says:

      I assume you’d need a US address and social security number to get the US card though?

    • Brian says:

      Very interesting, haven’t ever thought of that. Seems like HSBC Canada also offers a similar Premier credit card with better intro offers too?

      • Boi says:

        We have HSBC Canada…High sign up bonuses… In fact Canada has higher bonuses on all cards I had in UK (and more cards available) and better earn rates if you take the conversion into account. There is a way too get into USA card game which is again better than Canada but I haven’t ventured into that yet (probably stupid of me)

        • Raffiq says:

          Is it possible to take out these cards in USA/Canada and still get the bonuses if you currently hold a UK premier credit card?

  • Charlie says:

    Isn’t it worth 0.5p for Nectar, with the 25% bonus?

  • Stian says:

    IMHO HSBC Premier points is still not a viable alternative to other “convertible currency” schemes. The hard expiry rule of points at 36 months make it too difficult to keep a useful balance until the right spending opportunity arises.

    • Boi says:

      I wasn’t aware of the hard expiry rule. I have about 355K points and hubby has about the same. All earned in less than 2 years. I guess I have to start thinking of where to use them.

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