Best credit card reviews in India

HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Bank, Card Review, Compare

HDFC Infinia Credit Card Detailed Review – 2023

HDFC Infinia credit card

HDFC Infinia credit card is arguably the most talked about credit card in our country and of course on my blog. However, surprisingly I didn’t have a dedicated review for HDFC Infinia. Thus, I decided to review it. Further, given the rise of Axis Magnus(Apply Now) and a series of devaluations on the HDFC Infinia credit card; it makes sense it see where the once favourite credit card now stands.

HDFC Infinia Credit Card

HDFC Infinia Credit Card

Apply HDFC Infinia Now!

Fees

  • Joining/Annual fee of 12,500 + taxes. Waived off on spending 10lakhs.

Reward and Benefits

  • Base Reward Rate:3.3% reward rate (5 reward points on 150 spent. Value of 1RP=INR 1). No reward points for fuel, wallet load and EMI (EasyEMI and SmartEMI) spends.
  • Accelerated Reward Rate: 3x-10x RPs on HDFC SmartBuy, i.e. 9.9%-33.3% reward rate. However, SmartBuy reward points accrual has monthly and daily caps, which may limit the reward rate.
  • Rent payment reward point capping at 2000 RPs per month, i.e. max spend of ~60,600 per month. (Starting Jan 2023, rent payment will not get any reward points.)
  • 1+1 buffet dinner at selected ITC hotels. Book a stay for 3-nights and pay for two at participating ITC hotels.
  • Lounge Access:Unlimited domestic and international lounge access for primary and add-on cardholders.

Eligibility criteria for HDFC Infinia Credit Card

Bank’s official stance is that HDFC Infinia is an invite-only credit card. However, there are cases where people got this card by simply requesting it. Further, during the credit card issuance ban on HDFC Bank (2020-2022), the bank doled out HDFC Infinia credit card to many customers as an upgrade.

The eligibility criteria remain a bit sketchy but something that I have gathered from the internet, talking customer care and social media sites are as follows. You need to meet at least one of the below to get this card.

  • Monthly take-home salary of 3lk+
  • Existing HDFC credit card with a limit of 8-10lakhs and last 6 months spends of 7-8lakhs.
  • The number of relationships with the bank. i.e. the number of loan accounts, balance in SA/CA/TD account etc.
  • Good rapport with your RM or branch manager.😈

Positives of HDFC Infinia Credit Card

Highest base reward rate

At a 3.3% reward rate, HDFC Infinia credit card has the highest base reward rate in the industry. Only matched by HDFC Diners Black and StanC Ultimate. The current favourite Axis Magnus has a base reward rate of only 1.2%.

Accelerated reward rate on SmartBuy

HDFC SmartBuy portal gives 3-10x reward points on HDFC Infinia credit card. This is where HDFC Infinia really shines.You get an accelerated reward rate for doing anything and everything on Smartbuy. If you travel frequently then booking hotels will give a 33.3% reward rate. Flight and bus booking will give a 16.5% reward rate. Even train ticket booking on IRCTC will give a nearly 10% reward rate.

Gift vouchers bought on SmartBuy give a 16.5% reward rate.  These brand vouchers in turn can be used for many daily purchases. You can buy gift vouchers from Amazon, Flipkart, Croma, Vijay Sales, Tata Cliq, Reliance Smart, BigBasket, Blinkit, Swiggy, Zomato, Ola and many more. (Full list here)

Unlimited lounge access

HDFC Infinia credit card is again one of the very few cards that offer unlimited lounge access both within India and outside. That’s not all it gives unlimited lounge access to all add-on cardholders.

Apply HDFC Infinia Now!

Only 2% forex markup

HDFC Infinia credit card has a low forex markup of 2%. While you may argue, there are credit and debit cards that offer 0% forex markup. However, considering that HDFC Infinia credit card has a reward rate of 3.3% even adjusting for a 2.36% (2% +GST) forex markup, you get nearly a 1% reward rate on foreign spending. That’s not all, if you enrol for HDFC’s Global Value Program you can get a ~1.95% reward rate. The 1% is in form of cashback as a feature of the Global Value Program.

1+1 on ITC Buffet and 1 night free at ITC Hotels

HDFC Infinia credit card offers 1+1 buffet in selected ITC hotels (link here). The offer is for a weekend buffet, however, they are offering a weekday buffet too till 31st Dec 2022. You can redeem this offer every month and kids under 6 are free. Thus for those few special days that come every year 😈, you can save some money with this offer.

Further, you can book from a list of ITC hotels (list here), where you can stay for 3 nights but pay only for 2 nights. Breakfast is included in this offer. Again, this offer can be used if one is planning a vacation to Goa, Andaman etc. apart from major Indian cities.

Negatives of HDFC Infinia Credit Card

RP redemption limit of 70%

For redemption on SmartBuy only 70% of the booking amount can be set off against points. The rest needs to be paid by card. While for most, this restriction doesn’t matter, but this sort of leaves cardholders with a feeling of being short-changed.

Frequent Devaluations

While credit card devaluations are quite normal, the pace at which HDFC Infinia credit card has been devalued in recent times is unprecedented. The reason for devaluations in my opinion is just too many Infinia being doled out during the ban period. It’s like the famous dialogue from the movie Incredibles, “When everyone is a Super, no one is”. Further, overall at the industry level revolve rate has declined to an all-time low of ~25%. This is putting immense pressure on banks’ profitability. Thus they are devaluing cards to protect their bottom line.

Daily/monthly capping on SmartBuy

HDFC Infinia credit card’s strength is accelerated reward points on the SmartBuy portal. However, much of the edge is taken off by imposing a daily/monthly cap on accelerated rewards.

You can earn a maximum of 7500 accelerated RPs in a day and 15000 RPs in a month on Infinia on SmartBuy. What it means to maximize your RPs you need to spend less than 25k on a 10x partner (hotels)  in a day and less than 56k on a 5x partner (flights). This sort of restricts your savings potential on the SmartBuy portal and in turn on the HDFC Infinia credit card.

Capping on Insurance and Rent Payment

You can earn a maximum of 2000 RPs on rent and maintenance payments in a month. Effectively to maximize the benefit you need to limit those spends to 60k in a month. Further, for insurance payment, there is a capping of 5000 RPs per day. Which translates into a premium of 1.5lk at max in a day. While these cappings are not restrictive as such, but its something to keep in mind.

Starting Jan 2023, HDFC Infinia will not give any reward points for rent and maintenance payments.

Reward points will be nullified, if the card is not used for 365 days

This is one weird rule in Infinia. Even though the validity of reward points is 3 years, if you don’t use your card for 365 days, all the accrued RPs will be nullified.

Comparison with Axis Magnus

Obvious that HDFC Infinia credit card is compared to Axis Magnus (Apply now). Thus below is the dynamic calculator to check which is better, based on your spending pattern.

The key area where HDFC Infinia scores over Axis Magnus is the monetary value of RPs. Further, in Magnus, if you miss your monthly spending target by a few thousand even a couple of times in a year, the reward rate declines significantly. This is not the case with HDFC Infinia.

Areas where HDFC Infinia credit card is better

  • Monetary value of RPs: If you are someone who is not into airmiles, then HDFC Infinia is the card for you. The monetary value of points is more on Infinia than on Magnus.
  • No monthly spend targets: HDFC Infinia unlike Magnus has no monthly spending target to get bonus RPs. Thus you are not under any pressure to spend X amount every month.
  • Lounge access: Infinia offers unlimited international lounge access to add-on members. Axis Magnus lacks this feature.
  • Getting an Add-on card: This somewhat links to the previous point. Getting an add-on card on Infinia is much easier than getting one on Magnus.
  • ~10% savings on train tickets: SmartBuy portal gives 3x RPs on all train tickets. Thus you can get ~10% off on them.

Areas where Axis Magnus is better

  • Airmiles transfer partners: Axis Magnus has far more transfer partners than HDFC Infinia credit card offers. In addition, the conversion rate is also far superior on Magnus. Thus if you are into airmiles then Axis Magnus is the card for you.
  • The number of lounges: Axis Magnus gives unlimited access to 40 lounges in 22 cities in India. HDFC Infinia gives access to 28 lounges in 16 cities.
  • Getting Magnus is much easier.
  • Grabdeals is notch above SmartBuy: Axis Grabdeals portal is much better in terms of the number of partners than HDFC SmartBuy.

Conclusion

HDFC Infinia credit card is a premium credit card focused on high earners and spenders. From the product features, it’s clear that the card targets people who are after the monetary value of RPs and not so much into airmiles. So if you are one of them, you should get one.

Apply HDFC Infinia Now!

Will I take it? Yes. Even though I have Axis Magnus(Apply Now), I will still take this card. I will simply close all other cards and just keep 2 credit cards in my wallet. HDFC Infinia and Axis Magnus.

Whats your view on HDFC Infinia after the launch of Axis Magnus? Will you apply for this card now? Do let me know your views in the comments below.

Photo by Fabio Fistarol on Unsplash

 

Disclaimer
In the interest of full disclosure, Credit Cardz may earn a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the links in this post. However, opinions and views expressed here are of the author's alone and not those of the bank, credit card issuer, or anyone else and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

42 Comments

  1. S

    Please make one for DCB

  2. Mitul Mehra

    Nice comparison. Request a review or comparison with Amex Platinum charge card which is the top most card from Amex with an annual fee of Rs.60000.
    Thanks

    • I always thought HDFC dinners black isthe best card with better features than infinia
      Hence refused an upgrade offered multiple times from the bank! Being a dinners there could b a few places the dinners may not find acceptance. For that I have indusind master card.

      • Sagar S

        How is Diners Black a good card? Hardly we get points outside Smartbuy.. in Smartbuy too only 3x..

    • Amit

      hdfc infinia is a card with highly restrictive points , and on top super useless customer services especially disputed transactions. They repeatedly ask for proofs of dispute without reading the proofs only. Absolutely avoidable card especially in 2023 post capping the RP’s.

      • V Srikanth

        I absolutely agree with you. HDFC Infinia card is insensitive to customer experience. They create issues and their funny automated responses keep promising you action within 48 hours. The funniest word they use in the automated response is ‘we understand your concern and your concern will be addressed’. I have written them a dozen times, it is not about my concerns because this should be concerning you that with this attitude you are bound to lose credibility faster. Probably they do not even read your emails and keep sending responses. SBI Aurum or SC Ultimate Cards are far superior

  3. Aditya

    Hi reward point value is only 0.5 rupee not 1rupee

    • Comment by post author

      CreditCardz

      When you redeem those points on SmartBuy for flights and hotel booking you get 1 rupee value.
      If someone is using infinia to redeem points at 50p then he is grossly under-utilising the card’s potential

  4. Sleepy

    Base reward rate of magnus is 1.2? Really? 12 points for 200 = 4.8%! (airmile). Even if we calculate 1 RP as 0.8 paise, it has better base reward rate than infinia.

    • Comment by post author

      CreditCardz

      Thats the monetary value I have discussed here. 1RP = 0.2p

      The point that you are highlighting is captured in the excel sheet in the post. Where the miles value is accounted.

      • Rangarajan

        HDFC sent an SMS dat they r phasing out Diners Intermiles card with upgraded card. Can u believe their upgrade cards r
        6E Rewards
        6E Rewards XL
        IOCL
        Moneyback Plus
        Millennia
        Regalia
        Regalia Gold
        Business regalia
        Business Moneyback

  5. Sandeep

    Yeah but as a base case you have taken flight and hotel redemption value for hdfc infinia and voucher redemption value for axis magnus. May be you should add comparison with voucher redemption value as well for infinia.

  6. babu

    I am using hdfc DCB for online & offline transaction and using amazon pay voucher from smartbuy for utility payment but some popular brand voucher purchase in smartbuy is limited to 10k per month including amazon,flipkart.

    For both infinia & DCB , RP will fetch 1Rs value (3.3%) for flight tickets alone , RP will fetch .50p value (1.65%) for amazon,flipkart voucher purchase, Sometime RP will fetch .70p value (2.31%) for voucher purchase during offer time and DCB Monthly milestone will make it reward rate 4.55%.

    During acceptance issues of DCB , i will use sbi cashback card (5% cashback) for online transaction and axis ace (2% cashback) for offline transaction.

    Infinia is upper hand on smartbuy vouchers now , it will give 5% RB higher than DCB and annual spent is less than 5L DCB is not recommended, it will fetch lower return.Apart from acceptance issue, renewal benefit , DCB and Infinia merely same.

  7. Ajaykumar Gupta

    Hdfc experience is far far much better then axis Bank .
    Axis card experience is worst and customer service is poorest .

  8. Sharad Kumar Ramesh

    Will we get points for using the card for paying income tax?

  9. Amitabh Maheshwari

    I have the PVC version LTF and I intend to stick to it. I have started using axis Magnus more due to frequent devaluations in Infinia.

  10. Raja

    I think HDFC Infinia is better than Axis Magnus mainly because of its accelerated 5x and 10x options. I only wish that Infinia could have some form of Milestone benefit which many of the other cards have…

  11. Shubh Patel

    Why don’t you have a review on AMEX Platinum, its a most ultra premium card out there?

  12. Neel

    Can someone clarify the daily cap on SmartBuy which is 7500 points, is that for bonus or regular+bonus?

    I remember earlier posts mentioning that it is just for bonus so you can spend upto some 56K to hit that limit(for 5X partners). However I just called smart buy customer care, and they were very clear. 7500 includes normal rewards so daily limit is not 56K but 45K. So let’s say you send 50K, you will get 7500 reward points for 45K, and for remaining 5K INR value, you will get 1X points which is 166 points

  13. Someone

    Hi, i am new to this whole credit card game. Only recently i got the hdfc infinia. Was previously using that rubbish icici coral card. I am wondering if i shd also take the axis magnus? I saw that it has a 10k fee, but it effectively gets reimbursed through a 10k flight ticket right? Also if i get both cards, how do i balance spends across both? Thanks in advance

    • Comment by post author

      CreditCardz

      Hey… thats a dilemma that everyone of us has.
      One way to figure out is use the calculators that i put in the reviews and sort of see if having infinia and magnus makes sense.

  14. Ajaykumar Gupta

    I am usinh hdfc indinai for last 10 year atleast and excellent service and all staff are with reasonable iq and understand where as axis worsr service standard reply and service staff understanding is poor
    They are there to torture you not assist you

  15. Zubin

    HDFC gyftr offers 5x (1x+4x) on most transactions. I wanted to know does the 15,000 monthly RP limit apply to only the accelerated points (4x), or to the entire 5x?

  16. Radhakisan raybhan badadhe

    Yes I am interested

  17. Rajan Sakhuja

    One RP on HDFC Infinia is not equal to 1 Rs. If you look at the Rewards redemption details, 1000 RP typically get you a Rs 500 voucher. In order to redeem RPs for a product, typically twice the number of RPs have to redeemed vis a vis the market value of the product. For instance, a Victorinox Swiss Army knife – Rally costs about Rs 1100 on Amazon while you need 2100 RP to redeem it. So the actuall benefit that you get on Infinia spends is 1.65% and not 3.3%.

  18. Tarun

    Do get anything for the 12,500 that you pay as joining fee ? I have the option to upgrade from LTF Diners Black to Infina.. is it worth the 12, 500 ?

    • You get 12,500 RP back. Also renewal fee is waived of on spend > 10lk in 12 months.

      • racydex

        If you don’t spend 10lac for waiver of Renewal fee, then do you get 12500 points on renewal fee realisation as well? or is that only for the first year joining.

  19. PD

    anyone here can help in getting the infinia card,…the branch seems to be pushing for opening an account which i want to avoid

  20. SJ

    The Infinia card is not what it used to be. It’s very ordinary now, with issues across the board. Utility payments in cities where the local authority is the water provider accrue reward points as these are seen as government payments.

    When you call and ask, the smug — and wrong — answer is it’s an RBI rule.

    Smartbuy has become another pain. There’s an average 15-minute wait time to speak to an agent.

    Multiple bookings are another pain, and never go through smoothly. One booking will happen and the next will fail. And the points always get deducted for the failed booking, with a reset a month later. Good luck if your banking on using all 150,000 points within a month for a family holiday…

  21. deepak aggarwal

    I am having a hdfc infinity credit card. It has worst concearge I have ever deal with.
    They give a facility of 1+1 once a month in a participating restaurant in itc hotels but they never confirm the time slot, they always say that they are fully booked even if the booking is made 4-5 days ago. The hotel is always fully booked for HDFC infinia customer only. If I call at the hotel directly for reservation they are giving me a confirm table even if I make the booking on the same day.

    The same is for the golf. As per hdfc infinia we get unlimited golf session but They want us to book the slot 5-6 days in advance and they will book another slot after we are finished with the previous slot.

  22. V Srikanth

    HDFC Infinia Card offerings are good. The representatives are good. But what HDFC is yet to learn is customer centricity and customer sensitivity. It is said if a Company grows beyond what it actually is prepared to, this is what happens. They tend to believe they will continue to enjoy the market share what they enjoy today and wake up to a rude shock over a period of time and a bit late to understand what has really hit them hard. But unfortunately that could be too late to recover. Such Organizations don’t sustain in a longer run. Writing is clear on the wall for HDFC Credit card segment and especially the luxury card segment.

Leave a Reply