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What are the benefits of the free HSBC Premier Mastercard credit card?

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Why should you get the HSBC Premier Mastercard credit card?

Today, I want to look at the top 10 card benefits you get if you apply for a HSBC Premier Mastercard credit card.

Here is the legal information we need to tell you:

HSBC Premier Mastercard

Bonus: None

Read our full review

Other information:

  • Only available to HSBC Premier account holders
  • Annual fee: Free

Representative 23.9% APR variable

See if you qualify for the sign-up bonus +

There is no sign-up bonus on the HSBC Premier Mastercard.

There is a bonus on the HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard.  This is worth 40,000 HSBC points (worth 20,000 Avios or other airline or hotel points) for spending £2,000 within three months and a further 40,000 HSBC points (=20,000 points) for spending £12,000 within twelve months.  The annual fee is £195 and you need to pay the fee for the second year in order to receive the second half of the bonus.

Learn more about the card benefits +

The points earned with the HSBC Premier Mastercard can be transferred to 10 airline and hotel loyalty schemes – Asia Miles, British Airways Executive Club / Avios, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Finnair Plus, Flying Blue (Air France KLM), Qantas Frequent Flyer, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, TAP Miles&Go and Wyndham Rewards.

They can also be redeemed for other items including retailer gift cards.

Cardholders can access any airport lounge in the LoungeKey network for a fee of £20 per visit.

The top 10 benefits of the HSBC Premier Mastercard

1. There is a generous sign-up bonus once or twice per year

The HSBC Premier Mastercard does not, as a rule, have a sign-up bonus.

Once or twice per year, however, there is an incentive.  The last one was worth 10,000 bonus HSBC points.

If there is a bonus running at the moment, it will show in the box above. This information is updated automatically based on the current position on the day you are reading this article.

2. The HSBC points you earn convert into multiple different airline and hotel programmes

HSBC credit card points are HUGELY flexible because you can convert them into lots of different things.  You aren’t stuck with Avios, Virgin Points or whatever.  You can keep them with HSBC for as long as you want and only convert them when you need them.

The current partners, all of which convert at a 2:1 ratio, are:

Airline partners

  • Asia Miles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Finnair Plus
  • Flying Blue (Air France KLM)
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • TAP Miles&Go

Hotel partners

  • IHG One Rewards
  • Wyndham Rewards

3. You receive one HSBC point for every £1 you spend on the card

There are a few exceptions (cash withdrawals do not earn points) but in reality virtually every £1 you spend will earn another HSBC point.

One HSBC point is worth 0.5 airline miles or hotel points, so you are getting 0.5 miles per £1 spent.

4. You receive DOUBLE POINTS when you spend in a foreign currency

Foreign spend earns two HSBC points per £1, which means – if you choose to convert them – one airline mile or hotel point per £1 spent in a foreign currency.

Unfortunately, the HSBC Premier Mastercard adds a 3% foreign exchange fee when used outside the UK.  This means that the double points offer is not as generous as it appears.

Unfortunately there are no travel rewards card without a foreign exchange fee.  One option is to get a free Curve Card – see this HfP article – and link it to a miles-earning Visa or Mastercard.

Another option is to get a free card from Currensea. Currensea is a simple but clever idea. You pay abroad with your Currensea Mastercard debit card. Currensea translates the cost to Sterling with just a 0.5% fee (83% less than HSBC charges) and withdraws the money from your bank account. You can find out more by clicking here. Currensea is free so there is no risk in giving it a try.

Benefits of HSBC Premier mastercard credit card

5. It is the ONLY Visa or Mastercard for earning most of its partner currencies

Whilst you can earn Avios via the two new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard products, the HSBC credit cards are the only way of earning airline or hotel points via a Visa or Mastercard from all of the other partners listed above.

6. As a Mastercard, it is far more flexible than an Amex card

Many of the travel rewards credit cards we cover are American Express cards.  The problem with these is that they are not universally accepted.

As a Mastercard, the HSBC Premier credit card is accepted virtually everywhere that cards are taken.

7. There is no annual fee

The HSBC Premier Mastercard is free for life.

Other cards with annual fees may offer better earning rates but, unless you are a very heavy spender, you will often struggle to justify the fee from the extra miles earned.

8. You get 0% interest on balance transfers for 18 months

A 2.99% balance transfer fee applies, however.

9. You get 0% interest on purchases for nine months

This counts from the date you open your account.

10. You get many other benefits via your HSBC Premier current account, including free travel insurance

You need to have a HSBC Premier current account to take out the HSBC Premier Mastercard.  HSBC Premier is free, although you need to earn £75,000 or have substantial investments with HSBC, and the benefits include free comprehensive travel insurance.

Conclusion

The HSBC Premier Mastercard is a very generous card, given that it has no annual fee.  0.5 airline miles or hotel points per £1 spent is a decent deal.  The only problem is the requirement to have a HSBC Premier current account before you can apply.

You can sign up for the HSBC Premier Mastercard, if you already have a HSBC Premier current account, or find out more information, on the official website here.

HSBC Premier Mastercard

Bonus: None

Read our full review

Other information:

  • Only available to HSBC Premier account holders
  • Annual fee: Free

Representative 23.9% APR variable

See if you qualify for the sign-up bonus +

There is no sign-up bonus on the HSBC Premier Mastercard.

There is a bonus on the HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard.  This is worth 40,000 HSBC points (worth 20,000 Avios or other airline or hotel points) for spending £2,000 within three months and a further 40,000 HSBC points (=20,000 points) for spending £12,000 within twelve months.  The annual fee is £195 and you need to pay the fee for the second year in order to receive the second half of the bonus.

Learn more about the card benefits +

The points earned with the HSBC Premier Mastercard can be transferred to 10 airline and hotel loyalty schemes – Asia Miles, British Airways Executive Club / Avios, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Finnair Plus, Flying Blue (Air France KLM), Qantas Frequent Flyer, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, TAP Miles&Go and Wyndham Rewards.

They can also be redeemed for other items including retailer gift cards.

Cardholders can access any airport lounge in the LoungeKey network for a fee of £20 per visit.

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points. The site discusses products offered by lenders but is not a lender itself. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as an independent credit broker.


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

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