HDFC Bank Diners Club drops travel partners from new 10x partner list

We have written extensively about the HDFC Bank Diners Club 10x program. HDFC Bank Diners Club 10X Rewards were my favourite kind of reward currency primarily due to some offbeat transfer partners they provided in India. The list went away late last year, but still I look at it as a 33% cashback card.

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The list of 10X partners frequently gets updated, but no major shakeups, until now that is. The focus is on travel & e-commerce. They initially put out a year long list of partners, but then recalled it, and started to extend the date of the promotion by the months. Here are the announcements for April, May, June & July 2016. Then, it got extended through March 2017 but applied caps on reward earning per month, and a one month extension through April 2017. In May, they put a new list valid through July 2017. Subsequently, they added all categories of SmartBuy in the list as of July 2017.

Now, they’ve changed the game all over again. There was a new list of partners revealed yesterday, and the notable exception was for the high-roller travel category. Here are the new partners, who are all the old partners with the exception of HDFC Bank SmartBuy and Lifestyle:

This list would be valid through October 2017. Also, no more bonus points for EMI transactions.

Just as a recap, you earn the following points on your cards with the various variants on the merchants mentioned above:

  • Rewardz: 3 points/INR 150 + 27 points/INR 150 bonus [Total 30 points/INR 150]. Monetary Value of INR 22.5 [15% cashback]. As of August 15, this value drops to INR 9 [6% cashback]
  • Premium: 4 points/INR 150 + 36 points/INR 150 bonus [Total 40 points/INR 150]. Monetary Value of INR 30 [20% cashback]. As of August 15, this value drops to INR 20 [13% cashback]
  • Black: 5 points/INR 150 + 45 points/INR 150 bonus [Total 50 points/INR 150]. Monetary Value of INR 50 [33% cashback]
  • There is however a new lower cap installed on the number of points you can earn per statement cycle.
    • Rewardz:  2,000 points (was 2,500 points till April 2017)
    • Premium: 5,000 points  (was 10,000 points till April 2017)
    • Black: 25,000 points (was 50,000 points till April 2017)

I’d just step in here to say that the program is indeed delivering results for the Bank, which is where they are now on the path to cutting benefits. I’d like to believe this will go on forever, but it won’t.The bank is already cutting away the 2x benefits, and also the value of points. Maybe another year or so…so make the most out of it while it lasts or does not become a pittance of its earlier self!

What do you think of these changes to the HDFC Bank Diners Club 10X program?

Comments

  1. Couldn’t this be circumvented by buying travel gift cards from Amazon? Theyve got MMT and Cleartrip. It’s cumbersome but presumably worth the effort.
    Or do the T&C specifically exclude gift cards?

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