HSBC has launched a secret 25% bonus on conversions of HSBC Premier credit card points to Avios.
I say ‘secret’ because no announcement has been made. HSBC has form on this front, however.
We have no idea how long the offer lasts. The semi-regular annual conversion bonus normally takes place in August so we can’t use that as a guide.
I did a dummy transfer off my account yesterday afternoon. HSBC Premier conversions to Avios – indeed, to all its partners I think – are now instant so I didn’t have to wait for the result.
Here is the transfer going out from HSBC:
…. and here is what appeared a few seconds later in my British Airways Executive Club account:
Are the HSBC Premier credit cards a good way of earning Avios?
The two HSBC Premier credit cards are very generous. The snag is that you need to have a HSBC Premier current account to get them. Whilst Premier is free, the income and/or savings requirements are high as you can see here.
The free HSBC Premier Mastercard, reviewed here, earns 1 HSBC point per £1 spent (2 HSBC points per £1 spent abroad) and these convert at 2:1 into airline or hotel points. This means that you are getting 0.5 airline miles or hotel points per £1 spent in the UK. Don’t get confused by the HSBC earning rate and the equivalent airline miles and hotel points earning rate.
The £195 per year HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard, reviewed here, earns 2 HSBC points per £1 spent in the UK (1 airline mile or hotel point per £1) and double this when abroad.
You can transfer your HSBC Premier points into the following airline schemes:
- Asia Miles
- British Airways Executive Club
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- EVA Air MileageLands
- Finnair Plus
- Flying Blue (Air France KLM)
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- TAP Miles&Go
These are the two hotel partners:
- IHG One Rewards
- Wyndham Rewards
All conversion rates are 2:1 from HSBC points. This means that the hotel transfer rates are terrible value. A hotel point is generally worth about 2/3rd less than an airline mile, but HSBC requires 2 HSBC points irrespective of which partner you choose.
The World Elite £195 credit card also comes with airport lounge access via LoungeKey. The World Elite card is less good for families who want lounge access than American Express Platinum as your HSBC card only gets the main cardholder into an airport lounge.
You can pay £60 to give your partner a supplementary card for a year to get them in, but there is no way to get children into airport lounges for free. American Express Platinum, on the other hand, gets a family of four into a lounge.
You also get comprehensive travel insurance as part of the HSBC Premier current account, which makes this an interesting alternative to The Platinum Card from American Express for couples or solo travellers.
HSBC Premier’s semi-regular annual Avios conversion bonus is on! If you had been waiting for this before you transferred any points, now is the time.
Remember that there is a ‘hard’ 3-year expiry on HSBC credit card points. If you have any coming up for expiry, this is one way of using them up.
If HSBC does make a formal announcement about an Avios transfer bonus, we’ll mention it in a ‘Bits’ article. Until this happens, you are transferring at your own risk.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2023 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) 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
30,000 points and unbeatable travel 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:
SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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
Get a 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 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.