I have been hearing from some readers the news about them being unable to redeem their HDFC Bank Diners Club points for a few days now. The HDFC Bank Diners Club Black card was my card of choice because of the following reasons:
- Transfer Partners including Marriott Rewards, Hyatt Gold Passport, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest and others. A list not usually available in India
- A big bounty with up to 33% reward points on some spends.
Now HDFC Bank has been diluting the program over the past one month it seems. First, they put a cap on the number of points you could earn in a cycle, and put 50,000 as the cap on the number of points one could earn every cycle. They also knocked off some exotic partners such as Hawaii Air & Iceland Air already a few months ago. Now, it turns out, the options to convert points are severely limited to 3 partners.
Here is the new form published by HDFC Bank, which gives us insight into the redemptions possible.
- Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer
- Jet Airways JetPrivilege
- Air India Flying Returns
Here are the conversion amounts:
- Diners Black: 1 Reward Point = 1 Mile
- Diners Premium: 1.3 Reward Points = 1 Mile (1 RP = 0.77 miles)
This is different from the amount you’d see on the HDFC Bank Diners Club website, which is lower and puts both the cards on par with each other.
This stings bad. Indian Banks continue to take customers for a ride, and deem it fit to change the goalpost overnight by changing product features without notification. I assume they knew about it for days ahead, and a notice would have been nice. That said, it is a reminder for the only thing I’ve always said. Earn & Burn, Earn & Burn. Don’t always hoard.
Otherwise, this is terrible news for everyone including HDFC Bank Diners Club. If I have any clue of how most people use their points, most will anyways use them on the website to redeem for tickets or cash equivalent. However, when you use them as miles, the benefits you get are just some other level all together, and this was the inspiration for the readers of this blog to be taking the card. Clearly HDFC Bank will see a drop in people doing large ticket transactions to get their up to 33% cash back on this card.
Update: It seems this is a temporary situation to be resolved by September 30, 2016. Read Comments for details
What are your views on this sudden turn of events at HDFC Bank Diners Club? Love it, Hate it, Abhor it? Any way out?