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HDFC SmartBuy 10X Program: Major devaluation from June 2020

Pranav Pranav Follow May 28, 2020 · 9 mins read · 0 comments
HDFC SmartBuy 10X Program: Major devaluation from June 2020

HDFC Bank’s famous and most rewarding program, SmartBuy 10X Program, is slated for a major devaluation starting June 2020. HDFC Bank has not only reduced the maximum reward points one can accumulate per calendar month, but has also sharply reduced the bonus reward rate on many categories including Amazon, Flipkart etc. Let’s dive into the details to know more.

Smartbuy 10X Program

  • Offer: Get accelerated Reward points on HDFC Bank Infinia and Diners Club Black Credit Card or Cashback on other HDFC Bank Credit Cards and Debit Card on transacting through SmartBuy as per reward structure below:
    Category HDFC Bank Credit / Debit / Prepaid Card HDFC Bank Infinia & Diners Club Black
    Platform Benefit Bonanza offer Total Benefit
    Flights 2.5% cashback 2.5% cashback 5% cashback 10X Reward Points
    Hotels 2.5% cashback 2.5% cashback 5% cashback 10X Reward Points
    Bus 2.5% cashback 2.5% cashback 5% cashback 10X Reward Points
    Instant Vouchers 2.5% cashback 2.5% cashback 5% cashback 10X Reward Points
    Rail  2.5% cashback 2.5% cashback 5% cashback 5X Reward Points
    Amazon 2.5% cashback 2.5% cashback 5% cashback 5X Reward Points
    Flipkart 1% cashback N/A 1% cashback 3X Reward Points
    Compare & Shop 1% cashback N/A 1% cashback 3X Reward Points
  • Period: 1 June 2020 to 30 June 2020 31 August 2020
  • Maximum Cap: Maximum cap applicable per calendar month is tabulated below:
    Credit Card Maximum Cap*
    HDFC Bank Infinia Credit Card 15,000 reward points
    HDFC Diners Club Black Credit Card 7,500 reward points
    HDFC Diners Club Privilege Credit Card Rs. 2,000 cashback
    HDFC Diners Club Privilege Credit Card Rs. 2,000 cashback
    HDFC Regalia Credit Card Rs. 2,000 cashback
    HDFC Regalia First Credit Card Rs. 1,000 cashback
    Diners Club ClubMiles / Premium / Rewardz Credit Card Rs. 1,000 cashback
    Other HDFC Credit and Debit Cards Rs. 1,000 cashback

    * Per Calendar Month

  • Maximum Capping Reset: Every calendar month
  • Excluded Cards: Corporate Credit Cards, Commercial Credit Cards, Dealer Credit Cards, Distributor Credit Cards, Value Plus Credit Cards, Virtual cards, Jet Privilege Debit card and Times Points Debit card
  • Fulfillment: Reward Points or cash back will be posted within 90 working days from the last date of transaction month
  • Source: Website

What changed?

The new SmartBuy 10X Program brings major changes to the structure of the program in comparison to previous one. Let’s analyze the impact on each credit/debit card category in detail to understand more.

HDFC Bank Infinia & Diners Club Black Credit Cards

Earlier HDFC Bank Infinia & Diners Club Black Credit Card holders used to enjoy 10X reward points on every category on transacting through SmartBuy Portal. However now only Flights, Hotels, Bus and Instant Vouchers will fetch 10X reward points. Reward points on Amazon & Rail have been sharply reduced to 5X which is like 50% reduction. Even worse, reward points on Flipkart and Compare & Shop have been reduced to 3X which is a steep 70% reduction.

The scope to earn more reward points on these cards has been reduced significantly due to restriction on categories. Due to COVID-19, the travel is restricted mostly and hence it’s really difficult to squeeze 10X reward points now. Though 10X reward points can be earned on Instant Vouchers, HDFC Bank has limited the purchase of Amazon and Flipkart vouchers to Rs. 5,000 per calendar month diminishing the scope of 10X reward points even further.

Not only the reward rate and scope of earning has been reduced, but the maximum cap on reward points per calendar month has also been slashed. Earlier HDFC Infinia card members could earn 25,000 bonus reward points and Diners Club Black card members could earn 15,000 reward points per calendar month. Now these limits have been diminished to 15,000 for Infinia and 7,500 for Diners Club Black which is quite steep.

Credit Card Reward Rate Max Cap
Old New Old New
HDFC Infinia Credit Card 10X on everything
  • 10X on Flights, Hotels, Bus and Instant Vouchers
  • 5X on Amazon and Rail
  • 3X on Flipkart and Compare & Shop
25,000 15,000
HDFC Diners Club Black Credit Card 10X on everything
  • 10X on Flights, Hotels, Bus and Instant Vouchers
  • 5X on Amazon and Rail
  • 3X on Flipkart and Compare & Shop
15,000 7,500

HDFC Diners Club and Regalia Credit Cards

Earlier HDFC Diners Club and Regalia Credit Cards used to get 10X reward points. However now these cards will not earn any reward points, but will earn cashback ranging from 1% to 5%. Earlier the reward rate, with 10X reward points on these cards, was around 13%. With this change, there is a reduction of 61%-92% in reward rate which is huge.

Also the maximum cashback one per calendar month has been restricted to Rs. 2,000 for Diners Club Privilege and Regalia Credit Cards. Other Diners Club Credit Cards like ClubMiles / Premium / Rewardz and Regalia First will earn just Rs. 1,000 maximum cashback per month which is a steep devaluation.

Credit Card Reward Rate Max Cap
Old New Old New
Diners Club Privilege Credit Card 10X on everything, 13% reward rate
  • 5% cashback on Flights, Hotels, Bus, Instant Vouchers, Amazon and Rail
  • 1% cashback on Flipkart and Compare & Shop
5,000 reward points Rs. 2,000
HDFC Regalia Credit Card 10X on everything, 13% reward rate
  • 5% cashback on Flights, Hotels, Bus, Instant Vouchers, Amazon and Rail
  • 1% cashback on Flipkart and Compare & Shop
5,000 reward points Rs. 2,000
Diners Club ClubMiles / Premium / Rewardz Credit Card 10X on everything, 13% reward rate
  • 5% cashback on Flights, Hotels, Bus, Instant Vouchers, Amazon and Rail
  • 1% cashback on Flipkart and Compare & Shop
5,000 reward points Rs. 1,000
HDFC Regalia First Credit Card 10X on everything, 8% reward rate
  • 5% cashback on Flights, Hotels, Bus, Instant Vouchers, Amazon and Rail
  • 1% cashback on Flipkart and Compare & Shop
5,000 reward points Rs. 1,000

Other HDFC Bank Credit & Debit Cards

For other HDFC Bank Credit and Debit Cards, there has been comparatively less impact. Only the cashback rate has been reduced to 1%-5% depending upon category as compared to to 5% on everything earlier. The maximum cap on cashback per calendar month has been retained to Rs. 1,000.

Card Reward Rate Max Cap
Old New Old New
Other HDFC Bank Credit Cards 5% cashback on everything
  • 5% cashback on Flights, Hotels, Bus, Instant Vouchers, Amazon and Rail
  • 1% cashback on Flipkart and Compare & Shop
Rs. 1,000 Rs. 1,000
Other HDFC Bank Debit Cards 5% cashback on everything
  • 5% cashback on Flights, Hotels, Bus, Instant Vouchers, Amazon and Rail
  • 1% cashback on Flipkart and Compare & Shop
Rs. 1,000 Rs. 1,000

Bottomline

HDFC Bank, though has retained the 33% reward rate for premium credit cards like Infinia and Diners Club Black, the scope to earn more reward points has been reduced significantly by restricting the categories. Amazon and Flipkart, which were used most frequently for earning 10X rewards, have now been throttled to 5X and 3X respectively which is the major disappointment.

Diners Club and Regalia variants of credit cards have been impacted most. Earlier Diners Club Privilege and HDFC Regalia credit cards used to fetch 13% reward rate, but now they have been restricted to just 5%. The maximum cap of Rs. 2,000 on cashback per calendar month is a nail in the coffin. Also other Diners Club Cards and Regalia First Card, which used to fetch 10X reward points, will now earn cashbback limited to Rs. 1,000 per month just like other ordinary cards. Certainly these cards have lost their sheen in this wave of devaluation.

The devaluation of SmartBuy 10X program was imminent owing to the high cost structure associated with it. The 13%-33% reward is not sustainable for long term and given that the current economical situation is not so great either due to COVID-19, this devaluation makes sense. However note that you still have time till the end of this month to utilize the older SmartBuy 10X program to squeeze out the maximum benefits.

PS: Thanks Amit for sharing this information. Thanks Pranav for providing the updated URL for T&C.

What do you think of this round of devaluation to SmartBuy 10X Program? Which category you’re going to miss most for 10X reward points? Let me know by leaving a quick comment below.

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Pranav
Written by Pranav Follow
Hi, I am Pranav! I love to acquire, review and earn reward points/cashback from Credit Cards. Guiding people about benefits and optimal utilization of credit cards for years.
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