As a reminder, HSBC Rewards is offering a 25% transfer bonus to British Airways Executive Club to close out 2023. If you haven’t taken advantage of the promotion, you’ll want to act soon, as it’s set to expire on December 15, 2023.
This is lower than previous transfer bonuses of 30%, 35%, and 40% that we’ve seen since 2020, but still a worthwhile opportunity if you were planning to use HSBC Rewards points for Avios in the coming months.
This particular bonus is worth mentioning, since HSBC Canada credit cards are closed to applications in Canada, and the future of HSBC Rewards is in question with the upcoming acquisition by RBC.
HSBC to Avios 25% Transfer Bonus
The standard conversion ratio is 25,000 HSBC Rewards points = 10,000 Avios, so the ratio will be bumped up to 25,000 HSBC Rewards points = 12,500 Avios for the duration of this promotion – effectively, a ratio of 2:1.
Cardholders of any of HSBC’s premium travel rewards cards are eligible, including the HSBC World Elite Mastercard and its metal variant.
Be sure to transfer your points before December 15 at 11:59pm Eastern Time to be eligible for the bonus.
Keep in mind that HSBC Rewards follows a rather peculiar redemption structure when it comes to its trio of frequent flyer partners:
- A minimum of 25,000 HSBC Rewards points must be redeemed at once
- On top of the minimum amount, HSBC Rewards points may be redeemed in increments of 10,000 points
Therefore, you have the option of converting your HSBC Rewards points in chunks of 25,000, 35,000, 45,000, etc., earning you 12,500, 17,500 Avios, 22,500 Avios, and so on.
If you wanted to convert, say, exactly 50,000 HSBC Rewards points into 25,000 Avios, you’d need to do so in two transactions of 25,000 points each.
Should You Transfer HSBC Rewards to British Airways Avios?
If you have a large stash of HSBC Rewards points from previous signup offers or from regular spending on the card, then it’s worth thinking about whether the 25% transfer bonus represents the best use-case for you.
The baseline redemption method for HSBC Rewards is to offset against travel purchases at a rate of 200 points = $1, or effectively 0.5 cents per point. You simply charge any travel purchase to your card and then retroactively apply your points to the purchase to cover the cost.
Meanwhile, if you were to transfer HSBC Rewards points to Avios with a 25% transfer bonus in place, then we can think about how much value you’d need to redeem your resulting Avios for in order to beat the baseline redemption.
Let’s imagine that you have 50,000 HSBC Rewards points in your balance, which could be redeemed as $250 in travel purchases.
During this promotion, these 50,000 points can also be converted into 25,000 British Airways Avios – although keep in mind that you’ll need to make this transfer in two chunks of 25,000 points each, as outlined above.
In my view, 25,000 Avios is easily the more attractive option here – you’d simply need to redeem them for at least 1 cent per point in order to come out ahead compared to the baseline option for statement credit.
Extracting 1 cent per point from your Avios should be pretty effortless, whether you’re looking to convert Avios to Qatar Airways to book Qsuites, Toronto–Dublin on Aer Lingus, short-haul flights on Oneworld carriers within other parts of the world, or a creatively-assembled Avios multi-carrier booking around the world.
Additionally, with a 25% bonus in place, the Avios transfer option also handily beats out the other two frequent flyer partners: converting at a 25:9 ratio to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer or a 25:8 ratio to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles – unless, of course, you’re dead-set on earning KrisFlyer miles so you can fly Singapore Suites one day.
On the other hand, the future of HSBC Rewards is in question, as HSBC Canada is set to be acquired by RBC. Therefore, there’s no telling if there will be another transfer bonus, or if your HSBC Rewards points will be converted into RBC Avion points, for example.
If you have a redemption lined up in the Avios ecosystem, it’s worth taking stock of the current opportunity, as it may very well be the last.
If you have HSBC Rewards points sitting in your account and have been eyeing an Avios conversion, now’s the time to take action and maximize your earnings, especially with the pending acquisition of HSBC Canada by RBC.
You might need to plan out some of your spending to top up to the required points thresholds for a transfer, but I’d expect that effort to be well worth it in terms of the ultimate redemption value.
With a 25% transfer bonus continuing a trend of declining yearly transfer bonuses from HSBC to Avios, this might be a last hurrah before HSBC Bank exits Canada. Consider capitalizing on this promotion now, or holding onto your points until RBC’s acquisition of HSBC is complete if you’d prefer to roll the dice on a wait-and-see approach.