The HSBC Avios-earning alternative credit cards

I have recently applied for the new Creation IHG Visa as a result of Barclaycard’s closure of the existing IHG card. Ben got in touch to ask if I had considered the HSBC Credit Card as an alternative – to which I had to say no as I didn’t know anything about it. So, thanks to Ben’s prompting, I have taken a look!

There are two versions of the card, one free and one which costs £195. On the face of it, Uber credit, free wifi, lounge access and the equivalent of 1 Avios / £2 spent sound enticing.

HSBC Premier Credit Card

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  • Get there with Uber – Receive a £20 Uber promo code every time you purchase airline ticket(s) (value of £500 and above) using your HSBC Premier Credit Card.
  • Free Unlimited Secure Wi-Fi – Enjoy free, unlimited, secure Wi-Fi through Boingo at over one million hotspots worldwide. Connect up to four devices at airports, hotels and popular places around town.
  • LoungeKey Airport Lounge Access – Enjoy membership to the LoungeKey programme, with access to over 750 airport lounges worldwide. Please note that lounges will charge £15 per person for each visit and are subject to Lounge availability.
  • Rewards programme – An exciting selection of rewards from a wide range of partners. Earn 1 point for every £1 of spend in Sterling currency and earn 2 points for every £1 of spend in non-Sterling currency. These points can be redeemed for shopping vouchers & frequent flyer miles.
  • Hotel Discounts – 10% discount on selected hotels booked with your Premier Credit Card through Expedia and Agoda. Cardholders also benefit from 12 months complimentary Expedia+ Gold Membership.

HSBC PremierWorld Elite™ Mastercard

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For this card, which costs £195 a year, you get all the above, except that there is no fee for lounge access visits, plus 40,000 points when you spend £2,000 on your card in the first 90 days and another 40,000 Reward Points when you spend £12,000 or more on your Card within the first year.

The £12,000 spend to trigger the bonuses would earn 24,000 HSBC points. Add these to the 80,000 bonus points, and convert to Avios at 2:1 would give you 57,000 Avios which is excellent, given that the same spend on the BAPP would get you 44,000 Avios (made up of 18,000 base Avios and 26,000 bonus Avios) for the same annual fee.

However, the eligibility criteria are much higher than for some of the other cards that I have.

Eligibility requirements
To be eligible for an HSBC Premier Credit Card you need to be over 18, a UK resident and an HSBC Premier customer. HSBC Premier is available to you, as long as you pay your annual income into your HSBC Premier Bank Account and either:
have savings or investments of at least £50,000 with HSBC in the UK; orhave an individual annual income of at least £100,000 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.

These introductory rates only apply if you haven’t held an HSBC Credit Card within the last six months.
For the second criteria, in the case of a joint account, at least one of the parties must have an individual annual income of at least £100,000. The investment, life insurance or protection products also includes those purchased through one of HSBC’s advisers.

Overall, this is not a card for me; I get lounge access through my BA Gold card, or AmEx Gold if not flying OneWorld, I get good internet coverage with Three at Home and don’t really use Uber. I can see it being a good alternative for an AmEx if you meet the stricter entry criteria and your primary aim is to maximise your Avios balance, but this would be at the expense of the hotel status and points through the IHG or Hilton visas.
Thanks, again, to Ben for putting me onto the card!

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