HDFC Infinia 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 HDFC Infinia; it makes sense it see where the once favourite credit card now stands.
HDFC Infinia Credit Card
- 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 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 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 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.
Only 2% forex markup
HDFC Infinia 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 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 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.
While credit card devaluations are quite normal, the pace at which HDFC Infinia 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’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 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 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 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.
HDFC Infinia 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.
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
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.
Please make one for DCB
If you check the Axis Magnus card review you will find that excel sheet compares all 3 cards (infinia, DCB and Magnus)
Infinia LTF guy
I believe SCB Ultimate beats all these cards hand down. Please review it.
Sure will do it
Can u review SCB Ultimate since Infinia is very tough to get…. how is it compared to Infinia by not comparing in airmiles…
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.
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.
How is Diners Black a good card? Hardly we get points outside Smartbuy.. in Smartbuy too only 3x..
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.
Hi reward point value is only 0.5 rupee not 1rupee
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
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.
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.
HDFC sent an SMS dat they r phasing out Diners Intermiles card with upgraded card. Can u believe their upgrade cards r
6E Rewards XL
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.
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.
Hdfc experience is far far much better then axis Bank .
Axis card experience is worst and customer service is poorest .
Sharad Kumar Ramesh
Will we get points for using the card for paying income tax?
The Axis website mentions that “All spends are considered except wallet loads”, and hence reward points should be credited even for tax payment. Kindly clarify
Yes its correct
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.
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…
Why don’t you have a review on AMEX Platinum, its a most ultra premium card out there?
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
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
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.
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
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?
Only on the accelerated points
Radhakisan raybhan badadhe
Yes I am interested