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A no annual fee card for British Airways Avios points

by on Sat March 21, 2015 • 2 Comments


The British Airways credit card from Chase with a $95 annual fee is about to lose value in April with regular purchases earning only 1 point per dollar, a downgrade from 1.25 points per dollar, so you might be looking for an alternative to pad your Avios account.

One choice is the Amex Everyday Card, which earns Membership Rewards points you can transfer to Avios as well as several other programs like Delta SkyMiles, Virgin Flying Club, Singapore KrisFlyer, and more. It earns a 20% bonus every month you use the card 20 times or more, so it’s effectively a 1.2x points per dollar card, and there’s a bonus on grocery spending – 2x (2.4x with the monthly bonus)  – up to $5,000 in spending each year.

But if you don’t want an Amex, a no annual fee option to earn Avios is called the HSBC Premier Rewards World MasterCard.


Benefits include…

  • No annual fee
  • 1 point per dollar on all spending
  • Points transfer 1:1 to British Airways Avios, Asia Miles, and Singapore KrisFlyer
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Contactless payment in the UK
  • EMV chip + PIN (but with signature priority)
  • $400 in airfare for 24,000 points (1.7 cents per point in value)
  • HSBC Privileges discounts at many restaurants and hotels

So what’s the catch?

You need to open an HSBC Premier account to be eligible for the card.

And to do that you need $100,000 on deposit with HSBC, but if you don’t keep over $100,000 in deposits you’re subject to a $50 a month account fee.

So for most people this isn’t a viable option.

But if you do have extra money you’re comfortable moving to HSBC, it may be worth considering.

While like all big banks, deposit rates are low, HSBC is one of the few banks that has seamless banking if you hold funds in accounts in multiple countries, so it’s worth it if you’re splitting time living between countries.

Currently you can earn 25,000 points after spending $2,500 on the card within 3 months.

But from time to time HSBC offers deals that let you earn as many as 75,000 points by combining the credit card intro with a new checking account bonus, so keep an eye open for those.

And HSBC often offers spending bonuses for existing cardholders, like 3x points on $2,000 in purchases during a 90 day period which can make it lucrative.

Not just Avios

The HSBC Rewards program also lets you transfer points to Asia Miles and Singapore KrisFlyer, and it offers a decent ‘any airline’ flight redemption option.

  • $100 airfare for 8,000 points (1.25 cents per point in value)
  • $200 airfare for 16,000 points (1.25 cents per point in value)
  • $400 airfare for 24,000 points (1.67 cents per point in value)
  • $800 airfare for 50,000 points (1.6 cents per point in value)
  • $1,200 airfare for 72,000 points (1.67 cents per point in value)

But it’s easy to get more value than that by using Avios for short haul rewards like 9,000 points roundtrip for a Boston to Washington D.C. trip, which often costs $350 or more, netting you 4 cents per point in value. Avios can be used for any American Airlines flight that has ‘MileSAAver’ award availability.


The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."

2 thoughts on A no annual fee card for British Airways Avios points

  1. AJ

    How about the American Express Everyday card? No annual fee option, transfer to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio with some bonus category options–2x on groceries, plus a 20% bonus with eligible spend.


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