HDFC Bank Updates Reward Points Program for Credit Cards

HDFC Bank Credit Card Devaluation

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HDFC Bank always has a knack for surprising us on the 1st of every month. While it did not make any devaluations for the last few months, it is back with a devaluation starting in January 2023. It is placing several curbs in place for earning and redeeming rewards. As always, we have some curbs which will hit us in how we were using our HDFC Bank credit cards.

Rewards Redemption for Flight and Hotels

HDFC Bank has added a cap on how many reward points we can redeem for flights and hotels on Smartbuy bookings. The limits are per calendar month.

LTF IndusInd Bank Credit Cards
  • Infinia: 1.5 Lakh RP
  • Diners Club Black: 75000 RP
  • All other cards: 50000 RP

Tanishq Vouchers Redemption (Only Infinia)

We can only redeem 50000 reward points per month for Tanishq vouchers. This does not impact much as we can keep redeeming every month to accumulate for a bigger purchase.

Cashback Redemption

This one does not make any sense. Why put a limit on cashback redemption? Effective, 01-February-23, we will have a cap on reward points that can be redeemed towards cashback.

  • Millennia, Bharat, Pharmeasy, and Paytm Cards: 3000 RP
  • All other cards: 50000 RP

Gift Voucher Redemption

For all credit cards except Infinia and DCB, we can now only redeem 70% of the reward points against the total value. The remaining 30% will have to be paid using the same credit card.

LTF IDFC First Bank Credit Cards

Rent, Government Services, and Education Payments are excluded from rewards

  • Rent payments will not earn Reward Points on all the cards
  • Government-related transactions will NOT earn Reward Points on all the cards except Business Regalia, Business Regalia first, Business Money back, CSC small business moneyback, Paytm Business, Flipkart Business, Retailio, Best Price Save Smart, Best Price Save Max, and Pinelabs.
  • Education-related transactions will NOT earn Reward Points on Business Regalia , Business Regalia first, Business Money back, CSC small business moneyback, Paytm Business, Flipkart Business, Retailio, Best Price Save Smart, Best Price Save Max and Pinelab

Caps on Reward Points for Grocery Transactions

  • 2000 RP per calendar month on Infinia, Diners Black, Regalia, Regalia Gold, Regalia first, Business Regalia, Business Regalia first, Diners Privilege, Diners Premium, Diners Clubmiles, Tata Neu Infinity cards
  • 1000 RP per calendar month for all other cards

Extra Charges on some transactions

  • For rent payments made through third-party merchants, a fee of 1% of the total transaction amount will be levied from the second rental transaction of the calendar month.
  • If you conduct a transaction (in-store or online) in Indian currency at an international location or with a merchant located in India but registered overseas, a dynamic & static conversion markup fee of 1 % will be charged.

With no reward points on rent, no one will pay rent with HDFC Bank credit cards. So, the first point does not matter.

The second point is not clear as we have many e-commerce companies that are registered overseas. So, will we pay a 1% charge on them too? If yes, then again why use HDFC Bank credit cards?

Final Thoughts

While Axis continues to improve benefits on its credit cards, HDFC is taking the reverse approach. These changes reinforce the movement of transaction volume toward other credit card issuers.

AU Bank Xcite Ace

At this point, the only credit cards worth having are Axis Bank Magnus, Reserve followed by Amex cards.

Axis Bank My Zone Credit Card LTF
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10 thoughts on “HDFC Bank Updates Reward Points Program for Credit Cards”

  1. Card Maven what is the best card you would suggest to get maximum % monetary benefit every month if you average spend per month is close to 5Lakhs per month (Paid mostly to local merchants pos [Offline transaction])

    Want to get maximum retruns on the 20-30Lakhs + annual credit card spends

    1. Avoiding rewards such as Taj vouchers , Any luxury item vouchers
    2. High annual payments as card charges for joining,renewal.

    Currently using HDFC Regalia Card and redeems the accured points as amazon gift vouchers

  2. It’s a very disappointing move. Especially after the restrictions already placed earlier.
    For DCB, if I continue to get monthly milestone benefits it still makes a little sense. Plus I will need to take at least some help from rent payment to meet annual targets.

    1. Will rent payment continue to contribute towards annual milestone
    2. I think I will recheck your calculator to see if Magnus makes more sense now. Are you expecting a similar devaluation of Magnus in near future. Does it make sense to make the shift now?

    1. Card Maven

      1. Yes, no condition stating otherwise
      2. Magnus devaluation is being expected for a long time now. But, we never know when it will come.

  3. Axis vistara or Axis Magnus ? generally have 1L insurance payment in a year.
    which one is more value for money considering annual fee/rewards? 3Lakh spend in a year.

    1. If you have not hit the 1L milestone on Magnus yet, then Axis Magnus > Axis Vistara for now.

  4. Almost stopped using DCB in recent months. This makes it further not to use HDFC high-end cards and get away from all these restrictions.

  5. Axis cards including Magnus too ha stopped giving rewards on rent/govt tx post 15th November. I’m not sure whether that would still count for 25000 bonus rewards on total Rs 1 lakh spend.

    1. Pravesh Gupta

      could you please share official document for this? What I heard is Axis Magnus would still be getting Reward points on rent transfer.

    2. HNI credit cards (Axis magnus, REserve etc) can continue to earn for rent and govt transactions. No changes for Axis Magnus due to this chnage.

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