Posted by William Charles on October 17, 2017

Published on October 17th, 2017 | by William Charles


HSBC Introduces New Premium Credit Card: Premier World Elite

HSBC just recently launched a new cash rewards card before that they offered three other credit cards. They have now also entered the premium credit card market alongside other new products such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Bank of America Premium Travel RewardsU.S. Bank Altitude Reserve and others. The new HSBC card is the called ‘HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard® credit card‘.

Card Basics

  • Annual fee of $395, authorized users are $65 per user
  • Sign up bonus of 50,000 points after $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 3x points on travel
    • 2x points on dining
    • 1x point on all other purchases
  • $100 Annual Air Travel Credit to reimburse ticket purchases, seat upgrades, baggage fees or in-flight purchases
  • $100 Annual Statement Credits for rides with Uber and Lyft
  • Unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi access
  • Complimentary membership to over 850 airport lounges, plus up to 15% off airport retailers
  • $85 TSA Pre✓® credit to reimburse the application fee
  • Metal card
  • No foreign transaction fees

How Much Are Points Worth?

On the landing page it states two things that are useful for determining the points value:

  1. 50,000 points are worth $750 in air travel. I assume this means points are worth 1.5¢ each when using their travel protal
  2. Points transfer to airline partners. HSBC other cards transfer to: British Airways, Singapore Airlines & Cathay pacific and I assume this card is the same. They also sometimes offer a transfer bonus to British Airways.

Who’s Eligible

To be eligible to apply for this card you need to have an existing HSBC Premier Banking relationship (similar to Chase’s Private Client status). Eligibility for that is discussed here but you need $100,000 in combined balances with HSBC to be eligible.

Travel Benefits

Lounge Access

Rather than using Priority Pass like most other premium cards this gives you lounge access via LoungeKey. You receive two free lounge visits per year, additional visits cost $27 per visit per person. This is significantly worse than the other premium cards giving unlimited access and also guest access.

$100 Annual Statement Credits for rides with Uber and Lyft

You receive statement credit of up to a $20 per ride, up to $100 each year. Benefit is more flexible than what American Express offers on their Platinum card but obviously it’s for $100 instead of $200. The credit is based on a calendar year, so it is possible to double dip this benefit and only pay one annual fee.

$100 Air Travel Statement Credit

Similar to the Uber/Lyft benefit this is based on a calendar year. The $100 covers ticket purchases, seat upgrades, baggage fees or in-flight purchases. Should be relatively easy to maximize due to ticket purchases being covered.

Our Verdict

This is a pretty weak premium offering, especially considering you need $100,000 in funds with HSBC to be eligible. If you do have that then it still probably makes sense to apply and get the card and then cancel before the second annual fee hits. In the first year you do get good value:

  • 50k points from sign up bonus
  • $200 in Uber/Lyft benefits (max it out for 2017 and 2018 and then cancel before second annual fee hits)
  • $200 in air travel statement credits (again max it out for 2017 and 2018 and then cancel)

Let me know your thoughts on this new card in the comments below.

Hat tip to reader Xiao


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Thanks for the write up.

The requirement of HSBC Premier seems too high. The annual fee itself is a high bar. Adding the HSBC Premier requirement to it, I don’t know how many people are going to apply.

HSBC Exec: “We should come up with a card that’s only available to our best customers, with benefits that are worse than what they can find at another bank.”

Of course, when a good chunk of your business relies on money laundering for terrorists and drug cartels, I’m guessing your credit card division isn’t staffed with the “best and the brightest.”

Has anyone used HSBC’s travel portal to book travel? It sure seems like they deman waaaaay more points than you’d think for a simple flight.

The flight i tried requires 66920 – no matter which flight or airline. So it’s not based on exact dollar-value/price. When i look for the same flight(s) on Kayak, it looks like i can buy the same flights for less than $300. And it’s not like HSBC is preferring me into First Class – the Service is called “Economy”.

I have a hsbc premier world mastercard. The points can be redeemed for statement credit toward air ticket purchases at 1.6c/p

What is up with all the Uber credits? Seriously, can one of these cards think of something more creative? Or is Uber subsidizing this in some way?

Probably. They pretty much subsidize everything. One of the many reasons they’ve never been profitable.

Uber is unprofitable, it is currently being subsidized with venture capital funds. It seems they are relying on eventually replacing drivers with autonomous vehicles in order to become profitable. Given that, it’s highly likely they offered card issuers the credit at pennies on the dollar.

Looks like you can get past the minimum balances by paying $50… I wonder if you’d also have a few months free before the fee kicks in.

A $50 one time fee?

I think the only “Premium” part of this card is the annual fee.

Don’t forget, it’s also a metal card!

As an hsbc premier account holder they already have a credit card for premier members (purple card) with no annual fee and similar perks. Theres almost no reason to get the fee version

HSBC’s credit cards are here:

Premier is a pretty good program, particularly if you travel internationally a lot since you can set up accounts in other countries including credit cards in those currencies. The $100K includes investment and retirement accounts so if you are self-employed with an IRA, it’s not hard to meet. But I agree this card is not $400 better than their $0 mastercard.

100% right, doc… weak competitor.

Might as well get BofA premium card if you need to have 100k in Bank. Cheaper anual fee and better points earning

In my neigborhood there used to be a huge HSBC bank
You know what is now there? A brand new Planet Fitness…

On a serious note other then maybe Chase Reserve i think the Citi Prestige is the best Premium card. 75K sign up bonus and $250 annual travel credit and $350 annual fee with Citi Gold banking and priority pass and 3 hour trip delays reimbursements and much more.

No Global Entry? Just Precheck? Weaksauce.

I just cancelled my Elite card, and my wife’s card for my account, after a month. My family was traveling internationally to visit a dying family member and HSBC’s “Security Center” blocked my wife’s card three times in five days, leaving my family high and dry on the other side of the planet without access to funds. In fairness, one event was a $20 purchase in Milan, which was a location not on the original itinerary, but when it happened again a day later — when family was where we had notified the bank they would be and i was where i was reported to be — i’d had enough. By the way, i had multiples of the minimum deposit with HSBC, but no more. I don’t have my wife carry the card only for the perks. I look to products like this for assurance; i expect it to function as one resource in the event of a crisis during international travel. Instead of providing me the assurance i need, my reliance on the card ended up being the source of the crisis.

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