HDFC Bank Smartbuy Changes from February 2022

HDFC Bank Smartbuy

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February 2022 has brought some bad news for Infinia and Diners Club Black credit cards. HDFC Bank has made some significant changes(devaluations) on the popular Smartbuy program. The changes are effective 1st February 2022. Here is what has changed:

Smartbuy Changes for Infinia

  • Rewards on flight bookings reduced from 10X to 5X
  • Rewards on IRCTC train bookings reduced from 5X to 3X
  • Rewards on Redbus bookings reduces from 10X to 5X

Smartbuy Changes for Diners Club Black

The changes are worse for Diners Club Black. With these changes, Infinia is two notches higher than DCB.

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  • Rewards on flight bookings reduced from 10X to 5X
  • Rewards on instant vouchers reduced from 5X to 3X
  • Rewards on IRCTC train bookings reduced from 5X to 3X
  • Rewards on Redbus bookings reduced from 10X to 5X
  • Rewards on Apple Tresor reduced from 5X to 3X.
  • Rewards on Flipkart reduced from 3X to 2X

Smartbuy Changes for Regalia/Diners Privilege

The small surprise in all this is Regalia and Diners Privilege moving from a cashback to accelerated rewards just like Infinia/DCB. Here is what we get now:

Shopping CategorySmartbuy Cashback (Before)Smartbuy Rewards (Now)
Flights (Cleartrip/Yatra)5%5X
Hotels (Cleartrip/MakeMyTrip)5%/10%10X
Instant Vouchers5%5X
Apple Tresor5%5X
HDFC Bank Regalia and Diners Club Privilege Credit Card – Smartbuy Rewards

Introduction of Per Day Rewards Cap

Card TypeMax Cap/Calendar MonthMax Cap/Day
Infinia15000 RP7500 RP
Diners Club Black7500 RP2500 RP
Regalia and Diners Club Privilege4000 RP2000 RP

Our View

HDFC Bank has been running Smartbuy for a long time now. Over time, we have seen many devaluations with the last one being instant vouchers rewards reduced from 10X to 5X. This is no different but it hits at a larger group of spends particularly flight bookings. But the bigger devaluation of the DCB was not something I expected. Infinia/DCB have long been similar in rewards till now.

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The other big change is the addition of daily cap on rewards. HDFC Bank has made it impossible to put larger spends on Smartbuy now. Those iPhone purchases on Amazon will now not get the maximum possible rewards.

I expect this move will result in HDFC Bank losing out on some of the bigger spends. This is something they might have already taken into account before the change. But, this gives cardholders a chance to evaluate the best card for each transaction that would have gone to Smartbuy. Those 10% instant cashbacks might be a better option now in some cases.

Source Smartbuy Deal

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