In the days of Jet Airways, I was an ardent user of the HDFC Bank JetPrivilege Diners card and would use it to book all my Jet Airways flight tickets. Then with the closure of the airline and the subsequent devaluation of JetPrivilege, now InterMiles programme, the JP Diners card just became an added weight in my wallet.
Earlier on in 2019, I finally moved on from the Diners co-branded card and got me the HDFC Infinia. Here is why Infinia won over the HDFC Bank Diners Black:
- Ajay already has the Diners Black, so we already have it in the family.
- The monthly SmartBuy 10x reward points quota on the HDFC Infinia is higher at 25,000 points than the 15,000 points currently on Diners Black. By having this card, we could mint more HDFC reward points for our travels.
- Infinia supplementary cardholders get unlimited access to lounges worldwide via Priority Pass, which has a wider network of lounges compared to Diners Club network.
- Most extended validity of rewards points for 3 years.
- Easy acceptability of Visa/Mastercard over Diners Club.
The Infinia credit card is HDFC Bank’s premium lifestyle credit card. While the HDFC Bank’s website says that membership to this card is by invitation only, my bank relationship manager did tell me that HDFC Bank customers with an annual salary of 40 lakhs Indian rupees can apply for the Infinia. The annual fee for the card is INR 10,000 against which 10,000 reward points are credited to the cardholder’s account. Since the value of each reward point is INR 1, the annual fee gets set off.
The 10,000 reward points is a recurring benefit subject to annual fee payment. On a minimum spend of 8 lakh, INR cardholders can also get a fee waiver second year onwards.
The Infinia HDFC card offers premium travel and lifestyle benefits such as complimentary Golf at courses in India and abroad, complimentary access to airport lounges, hotel memberships and dining privileges. While I don’t really care for the Golf privileges and the dining ones here are 2 that I’ve found beneficial.
- Complimentary Club Marriott membership: The Club Marriott membership is not Marriott’s hotel loyalty program but a separate paid membership program that gives access to dining, spa and other privileges at participating Marriott hotels in the region. This is similar to some of the other hotel chain’s dining programs, such as Taj Epicure and ITC Club Culinaire. The membership that comes with Infinia is a slightly slimmed down version in terms of discount certificates but still comes with some good dining and stay benefits.
- Complimentary lounge access: The card offers the Priority Pass with unlimited airport lounge access at airports worldwide. While I already have a Priority Pass with my Citi Prestige card, one of the reasons I opted for the Infinia was because all supplementary cardholders are also eligible for a Priority Pass. It is the same with the Prestige, yes, but to get the Supplementary Prestige Cards the secondary holders should also share your address, which is not the case for my parents. That means now my parents don’t have to linger around in the airport terminal and airport lounges have made their life a wee-bit more comfortable.
The HDFC Bank Infinia card earns five rewards points for every INR 150 spent with accelerated earnings on some expense categories, which adds to the benefits of the card for me.
- 2x points on dining at stand-alone restaurants
- 10x point on online purchases using the SmartBuy website
- Reward points for insurance with a cap of 2,000 points per transaction
I have been using the Infinia card for over two months now, and I’ve moved all my eating out expenses, insurance premiums and flight bookings to SmartBuy. The spends that I avoid on the card are fuel transactions and recharging my e-wallet. At 2%, HDFC Bank also offers one of the lowest Foreign Exchange charges.
While, I must admit that reconciling reward points for the Infinia is painful as I have to memorise the reward categories, bonuses, inclusions and exclusions, so far, I’ve been using the card regularly and have managed to get ~6% return on my overall spends, which I’m quite happy with.
Which is your favourite HDFC Bank credit card? How do you optimise your rewards on it?