HDFC Bank’s Infinia and Diners Club Black are two of the most sought-after credit cards in India. While there have been some devaluations, they still provide a reward rate that very few can match. I have been using the HDFC Bank Infinia for some time and exploring the rewards it has to offer. With the time (and money!) spent using this card, it is time for a hands-on HDFC Bank Infinia credit card review.
Eligibility Criteria and Fee
HDFC Infinia has one of the most stringent eligibility criteria among all credit cards. If applying, one needs a high ITR of upwards of 45L per annum. HDFC relaxes the eligibility in case of card upgrades or on the basis of the customer’s NRV. For card upgrades to Infinia, the limit needs to be upwards of 10L to be eligible for a chance at approval. So, if you have an existing HDFC credit card with a 10L+ limit, do try your luck by asking for an upgrade.
|Joining Fee||Rs 12500+GST (Offered FYF in most cases)|
|Welcome Benefit||1. Complimentary Club Marriott membership for the first year|
2. 12500 RP if joining fees are paid
|Annual Fee||Rs 12500+GST|
|Renewal Benefits||12500 RP on payment of annual fees|
|Annual Fee Waiver||Rs 10 Lakhs Spend|
HDFC Infinia offers one of the best reward rates in the industry. It also offers many ways to get accelerated rewards with its Smartbuy Platform. We get 5 reward points per Rs 150 spent on the card. There are no fractional reward points. So, we get reward points for a transaction of Rs 150 and above. And 5 RP for every Rs 150 after that and so on.
This is a 3.3% reward value when redeemed for flight/hotel bookings. HDFC Bank does not provide any reward points for loading wallets. 🙂
|Base Rewards||5 RP per Rs 150|
|Insurance Transactions||5 RP per Rs 150 up to 5000 RP per day|
|Grocery Transactions||5 RP per Rs 150 up to 2000 RP per calendar month|
|Wallet, Fuel, Rent, and Government Services||No Rewards|
|Smartbuy Bonus||15000 RP per calendar month|
10X Smartbuy Rewards
This has always been the attraction of Infinia. The rewards used to be great till last year but have been devalued a bit now. HDFC Bank runs a Smartbuy platform where we can get up to 10X rewards for shopping. The bonus reward points cap is 15000 every calendar month. There is also a daily cap of 7500 RP per day. So, do calculate bonus RP limits when doing a high-value transaction and try to split it when possible.
|Shopping Category||Rewards for Infinia||Value for Infinia as 1RP = Rs 1|
|Flights (Cleartrip and Yatra)||5X||16.5%|
Being a lifestyle card, Infinia also provides a lot of benefits for its HNI cardholders. Unlimited lounge access for both primary and add-on cardholders is the highlight.
Airport Lounge Access
HDFC Infinia comes with a complimentary Priority Pass membership. We get unlimited complimentary lounge access both within and outside India. So, if you see a Priority Pass lounge at any airport – you can access it for free thanks to Infinia’s Priority Pass.
The free access is valid for add-on cardholders as well!
HDFC Infinia has tie-ups with leading courses across India and abroad. It offers unlimited complimentary golf games along with golf coaching at select courses. The list of golf courses and other details are available on the product page.
Foreign Currency Markup
Infinia offers foreign currency markup benefits for frequent travelers. The foreign currency markup on this card is 2%. Combined with the standard reward rate of 3.3%, we get a reward rate of 1.3% on foreign transactions even after the markup. Few cards offer this for international transactions.
An additional benefit is we can enroll for the Global Value offering from HDFC Bank. It offers 1% additional cashback on all international transactions up to Rs 1000 per statement cycle.
24 X 7 Personal Concierge
Infinia also has 24 X 7 personal concierge services that are handled by International SOS. The services offered are:
- Golf Course Referral and Reservation Assistance
- Car Rental and Limousine Referral and Assistance
- Hotel Referral and Reservation Assistance
- Business Services
- Flower and Gift Delivery Assistance
- Courier Service Assistance
- Dining Referral and Reservation Assistance
HDFC Bank provides multiple ways to redeem the accumulated reward points. Reward points are valid for three years from the date of credit. This allows for sufficient time to redeem points.
The best value would be to redeem the points for booking flights/hotels on Smartbuy or transfer miles to one of the transfer partners.
Flights/Hotels Booking on Smartbuy
The redemption option that provides the best value for the reward points is booking flights and hotels on Smartbuy. In this case, each reward point is valued at Rs 1. Smartbuy allows using up to 70% of the booking amount to be paid by reward points while the rest has to be paid by credit card. It used to be possible to make a 100% payment amount by reward points till last year – so a little devaluation here. However, the good part is the amount paid by credit card accrues 5X reward points.
We can redeem up to 1.5 Lakh RP per calendar month towards flights and hotel redemption.
Cash/Gift Vouchers Redemption
The Infinia is not for someone who redeems the points for cash/vouchers. If one is not redeeming the points on Infinia for booking flights/hotels, the converted standard reward rate when redeeming for vouchers and cash drops to 1.65% (1000 RP = Rs 500 Amazon voucher) and 1% (1 RP = 30p) respectively! We now have plenty of cards in the market that provides a 2% or more direct cashback on transactions. Smartbuy allows using up to 70% of the voucher amount to be paid by reward points while the rest has to be paid by credit card.
Infinia also gets the option to redeem Tanishq GVs at 1 RP= Rs 1 value. We can redeem up to 50000 reward points per month for Tanishq vouchers.
Transfer as Airmiles
Last but not the least, we do have the option to transfer reward points to one of the Airmiles partners.
Reward Points Redemption Value Chart
|Redemption Value for 1 Reward Point||HDFC Bank Infinia|
|Smartbuy (Flights/Hotels)||Rs 1|
|Tanishq Vouchers||Rs 1 (70% by points, 30% by card)|
|Apple Products||Rs 1 (70% by points, 30% by card)|
|Airmiles||0.5 to 1 Airmiles|
|Rewards Catalogue (Including Vouchers)||20 paise to 50 paise (70% by points, 30% by card)|
Infinia gets a whole new set of transfer partners now. Etihad Guest, British Airways, United MileagePlus and AeroPlan get a 2:1 ratio. So, two RP become 1 mile. Everything else is 1:1.
|Transfer Partner||Transfer Ratio|
|Air Canada – AeroPlan||2:1|
|Air Asia – airasia rewards||1:1|
|ALL – Accor Live Limitless||1:1|
|British Airways Executive Club||2:1|
|Hainan Airlines – Fortune Wings Club||1:1|
|IHG One Rewards||1:1|
|Vietnam Airlines – Lotusmiles Program||1:1|
|Turkish Airlines – Miles&Smiles||1:1|
|Singapore Airlines – KrisFlyer||1:1|
|Vistara Airlines – Club Vistara||1:1|
There are few credit cards that offer 3.3% as the standard reward rate on all transactions. Standard Chartered Ultimate is one such credit card that provides 3.3% RP on all transactions.
Yet, the extra benefits offered by HDFC Infinia credit cards like 10X rewards and unlimited lounge access are what make it one of the best credit cards in India at this moment. If getting a chance to upgrade/apply Infinia, then one should do it without any second thought. Infinia can replace many other existing credit cards in your wallet.
For Airmiles enthusiasts, Axis Magnus is a far better choice than the DCB and even Infinia for that matter.
HDFC Bank Infinia Credit Card