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