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HDFC Regalia vs Diners Privilege – Which one to choose?

HDFC Regalia Diners Privilege

HDFC Regalia is one of the most popular premium card available in the market. At the same time, HDFC Diners Privilege is another premium credit card offering from the HDFC Bank. One can read a detailed review of Diners Privilege here. Today, I will review HDFC Regalia credit card and compare the same with Diners Privilege, to help choose a card better suited to you.

HDFC Regalia Credit Card

HDFC Regalia Credit Card

Fees and Eligibility:

  • Annual fees INR2,500 + GST. Waived on annual spends of INR300,000. Depending on the relationship with the bank, one get this card as LTF too.
  • Salary of INR1 lakh/month or ITR of 12lakh/annum.
  • If you have any other HDFC credit card with an INR300,000 credit limit, you can upgrade to HDFC Regalia.

Rewards and Benefit:

  • Joining Benefit:
    • Zomato Gold membership for a year on spending INR75,000 in the first 90 days.
  • Recurring Benefits:
    • 10,000 reward points on spending INR 500,000 in a year
    • Another 5,000 reward points on spending a total of INR800,000 in a year.
  • Reward Points:
    • Standard Reward Rate: 4 reward points on every INR150 spent. 1 Reward point = 0.50 paisa (1.33% reward rate).
    • Accelerated Reward Rate: HDFC 10x program is now over. One gets up to 5% cashback on spends done on SmartBuy portal
    • No reward points on fuel transactions and wallet loads.
    • Fuel surcharge waiver
  • Lounge Access:
    • Domestic: 12 complimentary domestic lounge access every year.
    • International: 6 international lounge access via PP.
    • The good thing is the primary cardholder and the add-on cardholder both have access to domestic lounges. However, I read that both cannot access the same lounge on the same day. So one has to be creative in accessing the lounges. 😀
    • International lounge access is also shared between primary and add-on card holders. However, no restrictions apply to simultaneous accesses.

Verdict:

HDFC Regalia is a solid product and it has something for everyone. It has welcome benefits, decent reward rates, annual fee waiver, milestone benefits to make you spend more and of course, the complimentary lounge access.

The effective reward rate on HDFC Regalia comes at 2.3%, which is quite decent, given that one can get this card for free (on achieving fee waiver) and has a good number of lounge accesses.

However, this card has its own set of drawbacks. Earlier in 2019, HDFC Bank made reward redemption less lucrative, wherein, one can only redeem points worth 70% of the expense and rest needs to be paid through the card. Effectively, saying goodbye to those free flight tickets and hotel stays.

Now in 2020, the famed 10x SmartBuy program is toned down in a big way. The reward rate on HDFC Regalia that was earlier at 13.3% via SmartBuy has now come down to 5% cash back at the best (Details here). The 5% cashback offer on flight and hotel booking is now at par with many other credit cards that offer similar benefits through their dedicated portals (eg, Citi Premiermiles and Amex at the least). Nonetheless, the 5% cashback offer on railway ticket bookings and gift vouchers is still something that one would extensively use.

Comparing HDFC Regalia and Diners Privilege

Another comparable credit card from the HDFC’s stable is Diners Privilege credit card. This credit card was launched in 2019 and was positioned between Diners Black and Diners ClubMiles credit cards.

Below is the comparison between HDFC Regalia and Diners Privilege credit cards.

HDFC Regalia Diners Privilege Features Comparison

As seen from the comparison above both these credit cards, HDFC Regalia and Diners Privilege, have the nearly same set of features and benefits. That’s not all, even if one compares the reward structure, both these cards end up giving an effective reward rate of 2.2-2.3% annually.

However, these cards are different in the manner in which one earns the rewards and the nature of rewards. In case of HDFC Regalia, rewards are in the form of reward points and most of them are earned on achieving milestone spends based on annual spends.

In the case of Diners Privilege, rewards are in the form of monthly vouchers and annual memberships. Monthly vouchers are dependent on achieving monthly spend of INR40k.

At the annual spends of INR800,000, both HDFC Regalia and Diners Privilege have nearly the same benefits, however, at the annual spends of INR500,000, reward rate of Diners Privilege is significantly higher than HDFC Regalia.

HDFC Regalia Diners Privilege Reward Rates

Which one to choose? HDFC Regalia or Diners Privilege?

Here are a few pointers to help you choose between HDFC Regalia and Diners Privilege

Go for HDFC Regalia if

  • If one wants to accrue reward points to redeem later for flight tickets or hotel booking go for HDFC Regalia. The downside in this could be that HDFC Bank may de-value reward points. Not that I know of any upcoming devaluations, but given this is the season of devaluations and banks have in past devalued reward points, nothing is off the table right now.
  • If one swipes the card regularly at physical PoS, go for HDFC Regalia as Diners still has challenges with physical acceptance.
  • If one travels widely, HDFC Regalia would score better as Visa/Mastercard have extensive lounge tie-ups.

Go for Diners Privilege if

  • If one is confident of achieving monthly spend of INR40K like a clockwork and values those monthly vouchers from BMS, Ola etc. go for Diners Privilege, else choose HDFC Regalia. Achieving monthly spends may be difficult to reach for most unless one does rent payment using a credit card.
  • If the annual spends range between 5-6lakhs and even if one misses out of monthly milestone for 3 months, Diners Privilege may make sense over HDFC Regalia.

Do let me know your thoughts on these credit cards in the comments below.

Image courtesy:  Good Free Photos on Unsplash

5 Comments

  1. Anon

    Would you suggest to go with DP if one wants to get DCB in the near future, considering good spending history in Diners might help?

    • Comment by post author

      Harshvardhan Agrawal

      right. If one intends to get the DCB, then going for Diners Privilege absolutely makes sense. For the upgrade, apart from good credit score and spending history, limit on existing card also matters. If one has limit of more than 5lakhs on existing Diners card, upgrade to DCB becomes easier.

  2. Rajesh

    I have Premium with creadit limit of 526000. This is free in terms of fees. I am interested in DCB. what is your suggestion? How do i get it?

    Rajesh

    • Comment by post author

      Harshvardhan Agrawal

      Hey Rajesh,

      By Premium I assume you mean Diners Premium credit card. Since you have credit limit of over 5L, you should get in touch with customer care or your RM and ask for upgrade to DCB. (For credit limit of over 5L on any existing HDFC card, they do consider upgrade request to DCB).

      While you may not get the card as lifetime free, but depending on your annual spends and your relationship with the bank, you can get the card as First Year Free, and then going forward by spending 5L or more every year you can enjoy the card for free.

      In case your upgrade request is denied, you should seriously upgrade yourself to Diners Privilege card at least . And maybe, then next year with higher spends and higher credit limit, put in a request for upgrade to DCB.

      You can check out this post (https://www.creditcardz.in/hdfc-diners-club-credit-card-review/), for detailed comparison of Dinersclub cards. Diners Premium and Diners Privilege have similar fee structure, but Privilege is much better in terms of rewards.

  3. Rajesh

    I have dinners premium with 526 credit limit and its free from annual fees. I would like to upgrade. I am interested in Black. Any suggestion how and which card i should go for? can it be free?

    Rajesh

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