This article is part of my usual refresh of our travel reward credit card reviews. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be revisiting and updating all of our in-depth credit card feature articles. You can read the current series here.
This is my review of the HSBC Premier Credit Card.
Since the launch of the HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard in 2016, the Premier Credit Card tends to be largely overlooked, particularly in the miles and points world. Here’s a closer look at what it has to offer.
You can get a bonus 10,000 HSBC Reward points (worth 5,000 Avios) when you take out the HSBC Premier Credit Card and spend (or balance transfer) £1,000 within 30 days of opening your account.
This offer is valid until 2nd March 2019.
There isn’t a permanent sign-up bonus offer on this card, but they do run periodic offers such as this one and the ‘Free Night Away‘ that ran in October last year.
What can you do with HSBC Reward points?
HSBC Reward Points are a flexible points currency. They are similar to American Express Membership Rewards points and Marriott Bonvoy points in that they can be converted to a variety of different airlines.
You can currently transfer HSBC Reward Points to…
- British Airways Avios (British Airways Executive Club)
- Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific)
- Etihad Guest (Etihad Airways)
- Singapore KrisFlyer (Singapore Airlines)
at a conversion rate of:
2 HSBC Reward Points = 1 airline mile
HSBC has run transfer bonuses to Avios in the past. After a dry period for a couple of years, the most recent 25% bonus ran in August 2018.
Day-to-day earnings rate
The Premier Credit Card earns 1 HSBC Reward point per £1 spent on the card
You are therefore earning 0.5 Avios per £1 spent. For a non-Amex card, this is a solid return.
The card also offers 2 HSBC Reward Points for every £1 you spend abroad i.e. 1 Avios per £1 spent. Bear in mind that HSBC charges a 2.99% non-sterling fee for all transactions made abroad and that may well wipe out the value of the extra points earned. In most cases, you’d be better off linking the Premier Credit Card to a Curve card in order to avoid the extra charges abroad.
If you are looking for a dedicated card with no foreign transaction fees, our ‘best card to use abroad’ feature is well worth a read.
Additional cardholder perks
1.) Travel Insurance – This actually comes as a standard perk with an HSBC Premier account (which is required to apply for the Premier Credit Card).
2.) Airport lounge access – With membership in the LoungeKey programme, just show your Premier credit card to gain access to over 750 airport lounges worldwide. Unlike the HSBC Premier World Elite card access isn’t free, instead you’ll pay £15 per person per visit.
3.) Hotel Discounts – 10% discount on selected hotels booked through Expedia and Agoda. Cardholders also benefit from 12 months complimentary Expedia+ Gold Membership.
5.) Free unlimited Wi-Fi – Take advantage of free, unlimited and secure Wi-Fi via Boingo. With over 1 million hotspots worldwide, you can connect up to four devices at airports, hotels and more.
The HSBC Premier Credit Card has no annual fee.
Supplementary cards are also free on this card – unlike the £60 fee per additional cardholder on the HSBC World Elite Mastercard.
Representative 18.9% APR variable and 18.9% p.a (variable) for purchases, based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200.
Can I apply for the HSBC Premier Credit Card?
To apply for this card, you need to be an HSBC Premier account holder.
Per the HSBC website, these are the requirements to become a Premier account holder:
(Note the reduced annual income requirement – this was previously £100,000).
HSBC Premier is available to you, as long as you pay your annual income into your HSBC Premier Bank Account and either:
1) Have savings or investments of at least £50,000 with HSBC in the UK; or
2) have an individual annual income of at least £75,000 and one of the following products with HSBC in the UK:
- a mortgage;
- an investment, life insurance or protection product;
Or, qualify for HSBC Premier in another country.
Once you are a Premier customer, you can then apply for the Premier Credit Card. In fact, you can even do it while you’re setting up your Premier account.
The HSBC Premier Credit Card offers a decent earnings rate for a Visa or Mastercard card – particularly a free one. Following the demise of MBNA’s credit card portfolio, this card is also the only way to earn Etihad Guest or Singapore Krisflyer miles from a free Visa or Mastercard in the UK. For Avios collectors, you’re unlikely to beat 0.5 Avios per £1 on a non-Amex card.
If you’re happy to earn Virgin miles, however, the free Virgin Reward Mastercard – earning 1 mile per £1 – is a much more generous option.
For others, this card represents a logical next move after the HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard. As I highlighted in my review, there are no additional bonuses available on the World Elite card beyond the first year. That means you are faced with coughing up another £195 simply for an enhanced day-to-day earnings rate. Downgrading instead to the free Premier Credit Card will be the more appealing option for some.
If you missed last year’s Free Luxury Night Away offer, 5,000 Avios (or other miles) may be enough to tempt you into picking up this card.
Offer ends 2nd March 2019
Disclaimer: The information provided by Tricks of the Trade is intended solely as a helpful guide to relevant travel rewards card products and their various features and offers. You should always conduct your own research as recommendations provided within may not be suitable for your personal financial circumstances.