HDFC Diners Club credit cards – Review

HDFC Diners Club credit cards

It is a well-known fact that HDFC Diners Club offers the best rewards among all Indian credit cards. Their 10x program at present is unbeatable. Recently, HDFC launched a new credit card with Diners Club, the HDFC Diners Club Privilege. This card is a mix of Diners Club Black card and Diners Club Miles. Also, the bank has further enhanced the value proposition of its flagship, the HDFC Diners Club Black card.

Thus, this is an opportune time to compare all the Diners Club cards available here in India to see how they fare with each other.

Below is the detailed snapshot of all HDFC Diners Club credit cards.

Summary of Diners Club credit cards

Summary of Diners Club credit cards

HDFC Diners Club Black card

HDFC Diners Club Black

A detailed review of the HDFC Diners Club Black is available here. Post the recent changes, HDFC Bank Diners Club Black credit cardholders now will not get 5000 reward points on payment of annual fees, but will instead get memberships from Club Mariott, Forbes Digital subscription, Zomato Gold, Amazon Prime, MMT DoubleBlack and Times Prime.

With this move, HDFC Bank has increased the value proposition of its flagship credit card even further. As value perception of these memberships is much more than 5000 reward points.

However, HDFC Bank being HDFC bank has ensured that to get these benefits one has to either pay the annual fees or spend at least 8 lakhs/annum (Fee waiver clause stays on spends of 5 lakhs/annum). Thus, the bank wants one to spend more on the card and thus make more money for itself.

Further, to incentivise one to spend more, the bank is offering monthly milestone benefits. Under this, if one spends 80000/month (i.e. 9.2 lakhs in a year), then cardholders can avail two vouchers worth 500 each from Ola Select membership, BookMyShow or TataCliq. This is like 1.25% extra rewards over and above the 3.3% earn rate already on the card. Which make the total reward rate at 4.58%.

Verdict:

HDFC Diners Club Black credit card remains the best credit card in India, with these changes or rather enhancements to the program, the value proposition has only increased further.

HDFC Diners Club Privilege card

HDFC Diners Club Privilege

HDFC Diners Club Privilege credit card, the most recent launch, sits between the Black card and the Club Miles card. Diners Club Privilege card has offers from the Black card and reward structure of the Club Miles card.

Eligibility and Fees

  • Monthly income of 1lakh or ITR income of 12lakh/annum
  • Annual fees of 2500+ GST (Waived on spends of above 3lakhs/annum)

Rewards and Benefits

  • 4 reward points for every 150 spent (1.3% earn rate). In conjunction with Monthly Milestone Benefits, earn rate would double to 2.6%.
  • 10x reward points with select HDFC partners and on purchases via SmartBuy platform
  • 12 lounge access, both domestic and international for both primary and add-on cardholders.
  • Complimentary annual memberships from Zomato Gold, Amazon Prime, MMT DoubleBlack, Times Prime or BigBasket Star on achieving annual spends of 5lakhs or above.
  • Monthly Milestone Benefit of INR 500 voucher from Ola Select, BookMyShow, or Tata Cliq on a monthly spend of 40000 or above.

Verdict

The HDFC Diners Club Privilege credit card offers annual membership benefits and monthly milestone benefits from the Diners Club Black with some minor tweaks. Annual memberships are available from Zomato Gold, Amazon Prime, MMT DoubleBlack, Times Prime and BigBasket Star. However, Club Mariott and Forbes Digital subscriptions are missing whereas BigBasket Star membership is added.

Further, the monthly milestone benefits offers only 1 voucher of 500 on a spend of 40,000/month instead of 80000/month spend criteria for the Diners Club Black card

Privilege’s reward structure is a copy of Club Miles card. However, while the earn rate of Privilege and Club Miles is same at 1.33%; Diners Club Privilege credit card offers points to air mile conversion at the ratio of 1 reward point = 0.5 air mile, whereas Diners Club Miles has a better conversion ratio of 1:1 for air miles. The Privilege card offers 12 lounge access per year. What is even better is that lounge access is complimentary for both primary and add-on cardholders. Something, which is available only for Dinersclub Black holders.

Diners Club Privilege credit card is surely a step up from Diners Club Miles card. For someone having annual spends of over 5 lakhs, this card surely makes sense, even if one is not able to get the monthly milestone benefits on INR500 regularly.

HDFC Diners Club Miles card

HDFC Diners Club Miles

Eligibility and Fees

  • Monthly income of 30000 or ITR income of 3.6lakh/annum
  • Annual fees of 1000+ GST (Waived on spends of above 1lakh/annum)

Rewards and Benefits

  • 4 reward points for every 150 spent (1.3% earn rate).
  • 10x reward points with select HDFC partners and on purchases via SmartBuy platform
  • 6 lounge access, both domestic and international for the primary cardholder.
  • Conversion of reward points into air miles of Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Jet Airways and Vistara at 1:1 ratio
  • 1000 reward points annually on payment of annual fees

Verdict

The USP of HDFC Diners Club Miles is the option to convert reward points into air miles at 1:1 ratio. To top it up, this card also provides 6 lounge access to the primary cardholder. Therefore, for frequent fliers, this card provides an excellent opportunity to earn free flights or upgrades and access to lounges across the world.

Beyond this, Diners Club Miles is a poor cousin of Diners Club Black and now to Diners Club Privilege too. Further, the recent changes around points redemption for ClubMiles, where while redeeming points for say 1000 bucks, one can only use points worth 700 bucks and rest has to be paid using Club Miles card itself makes point redemption a less exciting option.

Nonetheless, if one keeps this card with the view to earn 10x rewards points on SmartBuy or 10x partners and convert the same into air miles, it makes complete sense as it has very low eligibility criteria and low annual fee waiver limit.

HDFC Diners Club Premium card

HDFC Diners Club Premium

Eligibility and Fees

  • Monthly income of 60000 or ITR income of 7.2 lakh/annum
  • Annual fees of 2500+ GST (Waived on spends of above 3lakh/annum)

Rewards and Benefits

  • 4 reward points for every 150 spent (1.3% earn rate).
  • 10x reward points with select HDFC partners and on purchases via SmartBuy platform
  • 6 lounge access, both domestic and international for the primary cardholder.
  • Conversion of reward points into air miles of Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Jet Airways and Vistara at 1 reward point = 0.5 air mile
  • 2500 reward points annually on payment of annual fees

Verdict

Until the recent rule changes to ClubMiles card, there was no sense in applying for HDFC Diners Club Premium card. Because Diners Club Premium was like a notch below in terms of rewards and benefits but with higher annual fees and higher spending criteria for the fee waiver.

Diners Club Premium card allows air mile conversion at 1 reward point = 0.5 air mile ratio, rest all rewards and benefits are the same.

However, despite the rule changes in ClubMiles, I still wonder if someone would apply for this card, as Diners Club Privilege with the same annual fees offers much higher rewards and benefits. Unless one is way below the annual income criteria for the Privilege card.

HDFC Diners Club Rewardz card

HDFC Diners Club Rewardz

Eligibility and Fees

  • Monthly income of 30000 or ITR income of 3.6lakh/annum
  • Annual fees of 1000+ GST (Waived on spends of above 1lakh/annum)

Rewards and Benefits

  • 3 reward points for every 150 spent (0.6% earn rate).
  • 10x reward points with select HDFC partners and on purchases via SmartBuy platform
  • Conversion of reward points into air miles of Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Jet Airways and Vistara at 1 reward point = 0.3 air mile
  • 1000 reward points annually on payment of annual fees

Verdict

It is beyond me to explain why this card exists. For same income criteria, one can get a Diners ClubMiles where reward rates are higher, has complimentary lounge access and much better air mile conversion options. The only explanation that comes to my mind is, probably this is the first card that HDFC and Diners Club launched and they do not want to discontinue it for nostalgic reasons.

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