Air India Flying Returns adds HSBC as a transfer partner

When it comes to loyalty programmes, Air India’s Flying Returns was one of the “not-preferred” options in India for a long time. I know scores of people who fly AI but post their miles to other loyalty programmes. Air India, also under the Government of India, literally removed their transfer partners one by one. Circa 2011, the programme used to have ten banks as transfer partners. Now, it only has two. But they might be finding their groove again.

Air India Flying Returns adds HSBC as a transfer partner.

HSBC was one of the first banks to be let go from Air India’s transfer partner list, with the contract being cancelled in 2012. As of 2023 beginning, there were only two partnerships left for Air India FR, the SBI credit card partnership and Citibank (Prestige and PremierMiles transfer). How Citi escaped the list of transfer partner drawdowns remains one of the greatest mysteries of current times.

However, now Air India is adding partners again. Over the past few weeks, you might have heard of many earn partners and every week, an email arrives announcing a new partnership. But now, there is the return of a transfer partnership. Effective immediately, HSBC is added as an Air India Flying Returns transfer partner.

The transfer ratios are as follows:

  • 1 HSBC Premier Credit Card Reward Point = 1 Flying Returns Point
  • 2 HSBC Credit Card Reward Points on Classic, Gold, and Platinum CCs = 1 Flying Returns Point

a plane flying over a city

While this is a small list to be a part of right now, it is a step in the right direction for Air India’s programme. It will take ten working days to credit points into your FR account after initiating the transfer.


After years of shrinking the transfer partner list to dwindling it down to just one over a decade, Air India Flying Returns has signed on with HSBC as a transfer partner again. You should be able to transfer points from HSBC Credit Cards to Air India FR almost immediately.

What do you make of this move to bring HSBC as a transfer partner?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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