HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card Review

Review Summary

To put in few words, HDFC Bank Regalia Credit card is your ideal first premium credit card. It’s best suited for frequent flyers or business travellers. Though, later you definitely would want to upgrade. Its reward rate (1.6%-3.2%) is better than SBI or ICICI cards in this range but in terms of number features it clearly gets outsmarted. But the Priority Pass membership does matters and quality sometimes prevails over quantity.

In this Review:

Card Rating
The Good and the Bad
HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card Features & Details
HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card: Benefits
Where HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card falls short!
How to use this card for maximum benefits
HDFC Regalia Credit Card Fees and Charges
Is HDFC Regalia a right card for you?
HDFC Regalia Credit Card Eligibility
How to apply for HDFC Regalia?
Similar Cards: If HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card doesn’t impress you!
HDFC Diners Club Premium Credit Card Vs. HDFC Regalia Credit Card
HDFC Regalia First Vs HDFC Regalia
HDFC All Miles Vs. HDFC Regalia
SBI Prime Credit Card Vs. HDFC Regalia Credit Card
Citibank Rewards Vs HDFC Regalia
Citibank PremierMiles Vs HDFC Regalia

HDFC Regalia

Info

Pros
  • Travel benefits
  • Low interest rate
  • Low foreign currency fee
  • Good reward rate
Cons
  • Low in features
  • No milestone bonus
  • No golf privileges

Additional

  • Annual Fee-Rs. 2500
  • Default Charges- 2.95% per month
  • 2500 Welcome Bonus; 2500 renewal Bonus
  • Earn 4 points on every Rs.150 spent
  • Complimentary membership to Priority Pass and 6 complimentary access to international lounges to you and add-on card members
  • Minimum discount of 15% across 3000 plus restaurants
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver across all petrol pumps in India up to Rs. 500 per billing cycle
  • Complimentary Club Vistara Membership

Card Rating:

MeasureRating (out of 5)
Annual Fee3
Rewards3.5
Features3
Interest Rate3
Joining Bonus2.5

The Good and the Bad:

Pros Cons
Travel benefitsLow in features
Low interest rateNo milestone bonus
Low foreign currency feeNo golf privileges
Good reward rate

HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card Features & Details

Particulars 
Annual FeeRs.2500
Default charge 2.95% (3.49% from Aug 15, 2017)
Cash Advance charge2.5% or Rs.300 (higher of two)
Foreign Currency mark up fee2%
Bonus Point2500 welcome bonus points
2500 renewal bonus points
Rewards4 points on every Rs.150 spent
8 points on every Rs.150 spent on Dining/airvistara/hdfcbankinfinia

HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card: Benefits

HDFC Bank Regalia Credit card is an another super premium card from HDFC in line with HDFC Infinia and HDFC Diners Club Black credit card. Though both the HDFC Infinia and HDFC Diners Club Black Credit card are better than it and that is reflected in their annual fees. And also the fact that HDFC Inifnia is an invitation only card.

However, this doesn’t take anything away from HDFC Regalia credit card. It still maintains its position of a premium card.

When HDFC had launched this card, the reward rate was far better at 2% (on HDFC Infinia you get reward rate of 3.3%) but now have been dropped to 1.6% (for normal retail transactions).

This card looks as though its a younger cousin of HDFC Infinia. You have almost all the benefits you get on HDFC Infinia, but everything is a little bit slashed and pruned. For example, you do get the membership to Cub Vistata, but instead of Gold membership as it is in HDFC Infinia, it is just a Silver membership.

The benefits and charges look, in comparison, related to and almost identical to HDFC Diners Club Premium. Both the cards have same reward rate and annual fee. The point of differentiation is mainly in their interest rate. While HDFC Regalia charges you 2.95% per month, on HDFC Diners Club Premium card, you have to pay 3.49% per month.

Good Travel Benefits

As already mentioned the rewards and features are similar to HDFC Infinia. So you get both Club Vistara and Priority Pass membership (but not the Taj InnerCircle membership) though one is Silver instead of Gold and on another instead of unlimited access you now get limited access to lounges in a year.

The card provides with complimentary membership to Priority Pass and 6 complimentary access to international lounges to you and add-on card members. To get the Priority Pass membership, you must complete 4 transactions in a statement within 90 days. From May 25, 2017, you will be charged for access to domestic airport lounges using Priority Pass (US$ 27).

For domestic lounge access, you have airport lounge access program from VISA and MasterCard for respective card variant you are holding. The number of visits is limited to 2 per quarter in a year.

Regalia cardholders enjoy complimentary Club Vistara Silver Membership which offers you the opportunity to earn 9 Club Vistara points for every Rs.100 spent on all Vistara flights, additional 5 Kg Baggage allowance, Priority Airport Check-in, and Waitlist Clearance.

This membership is valid only for 1 year only and is applicable only to the primary card holder.

Welcome and Renewal Reward points

After you sign-up for the card and have paid the membership fee, you get 2500 reward points as welcome bonus. You also receive 2500 reward points every year as renewal bonus. But you will get renewal bonus points only if you pay the annual fee i.e. if the annual fee is waived off you will not get the renewal bonus points.

Good Reward Rate

On your HDFC Regalia credit card you get 4 reward points for every Rs.150 spent on retail purchases and 8 points for spends on www.hdfcbankregalia.com, bookings on www.airvistara.com or spends on Dining (Stand-alone restaurants only).

It may look not so bad as from HDFC Infinia card you earn just a single point less for normal transactions and two points less for specific transactions. But as they say, the devil is in the details. On HDFC Infinia card your each reward point is equivalent to one rupee (i.e., 1 Reward point=Rs.1), however, on HDFC Regalia the value of 1 point is just Rs.0.60 (on hdfcbankregalia.com).

So, though you may be earning not very fewer points than what you would earn on HDFC Infinia, you still get a reward rate of just 1.6% (normal) and 3.2% (accelerated). But still, it is much better reward rate than what you get on ICICI credit cards (but you do get bonus points there).

You can redeem your accumulated points either on www.hdfcbankregalia.com (for flight, hotel, recharge, etc.) or from the rewards catalogue. Or, you can use your reward points to buy air miles (1 JP Miles = 1.6 Reward points). However, do keep in mind that your reward points are valid for 2 years only calculated from the date of earning those points.

Note: From August 15, 2017, the value of each point will remain Rs.0.50 instead of Rs.0.60 (a devaluation of 16.67%). And the worse part is you will not earn any accelerated (2X) points on bookings on www.airvistara.com or spends on Dining (Stand-alone restaurants only). You would also be not able to redeem reward points for movie bookings and DTH/Mobile Recharge on www.hfdcbankregalia.com.

Without the accelerated reward point, the card will loose some of its appeal of a premium card which it has been holding for so long.

Other valuable benefits

As an HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card holder, you are entitled to exclusive Dining Privileges at the finest hotel chains in India with a minimum discount of 15% across 3000+ restaurants and dedicated Travel Concierge Services.

You are also provided with insurance coverage (Rs.1 crores Air accidental cover) if you have booked your flight tickets using your HDFC Bank Regalia credit card and protection worth up to Rs.15 lakhs against any medical emergency when you are travelling, and are outside your home country.

You also get 1% Fuel surcharge waiver (capped at Rs.500/billing cycle). However, you need to do a minimum transactions of Rs.400 to avail this benefits. Also, note that the fuel surcharge may vary from 2.5% to 1% depending on the fuel station and their acquiring bank.

Better Financial benefits

The interest rate you are charged on the Revolving Credit is at 2.95% per month (35.4% annually). You also enjoy lowest (after Yes First Exclusive Credit Card and Yes First Preferred Credit Card) foreign currency mark-up fee of just 2%.

However, note that the interest rate will be 3.49% p.m from August 15, 2017.

The annual fee (Rs.2500) for next year will be waived off if you spend more than Rs.3 lacs in a previous year.

Where HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card falls short!

For many years now HDFC Regalia has been a go to premium card. It is the most favorite and popular card from HDFC Bank and even among all credit cards.

The card offered incredible benefits when it was launched. But since then many of those benefits have been removed (Like Taj InnerCircle membership). HDFC Bank has, since 2016, started to devalue this card owing to its huge demand. And starting from August 15, 2017, much of the benefits which still make it attractive will also be stripped off (like 2X reward category, low-interest rate).

Lacking in Quantity of Features

Besides the highlight feature that it has Priority Pass membership and access to international lounges as well as Club Vistara Silver membership, it has not got anything else to attract. Most of the membership to loyalty programs have been removed.

In comparison, you can see benefits provided by Diners Club Premium or even ICICI Bank Rubyx Credit Card is far more exhaustive. You have BookMyShow offers, dining privileges, complimentary golf rounds, etc.

Even the Insurance cover on air accident is more (on Rubyx) than what you get on HDFC Regalia, at a worth of Rs.3 cores.

Annual fee seems a little on higher side

At Rs.2500, the annual fee on HDFC Regalia seems unjustifiable (after the devaluation of reward points). Though there is no doubt about the quality of benefits (Priority Pass and Club Vistara membership) but if counting just number of benefits, it falls short as a premium card.

And even if we talk only about the reward rate then there too it is not so much better than SBI Prime card whose annual fee is just a bit higher at Rs.2999.

How to use this card for maximum benefits

HDFC Regalia Credit card has some good travel benefits. The best way to use this card would be to use it on travelling like booking flight tickets, hotel reservations, international spends, etc.

But to get those maximum benefits checklist below mentioned points:

  1. You can get this card as Lifetime free if you apply online and register for SmartPay at the time of application.
  2. Though to get the 2500 welcome bonus, you must pay the membership or joining fee.
  3. Within 90 days of joining, complete 4 transactions (of any amount) in a statement to get Priority Pass membership. Apply for membership for yourself as well as for add-on member.
  4. Use Priority Pass for international lounge access and Visa or MasterCard for domestic lounges.
  5. Club Vistara membership is applicable only for the first year. To maintain the silver membership, you must accumulate either 15000 CV points or book 20 flights within a year.
  6. As 2x rewards category is not available from Aug 15, 2017, it is better to use this card for general (or retail) expenses and not for any specific category as you do not earn any extra points (you can use other cards like Diners club Black or Diners Club Premium).
  7. Use it when you travel abroad (only 2% foreign transaction fee).
  8. For an annual fee of Rs.199, get registered for Global Value program where you’ll get 500 bonus points/year, 1% cashback (max Rs.1000/billing cycle), and milestone benefits on all international spends.
  9. Move yours as well as add-on member basic expenses on this card. In this way, you can achieve the target of Rs.3 lacs to get the annual fee waived off.
  10. Use points earned on these expenses on hdfcbankregalia.com (never use it on catalogue) for flights or hotels booking (better if you redeem it for air miles).
  11. If you are not able to get the annual fee waived off, make sure you get the renewal points.

HDFC Regalia Credit Card Fees and Charges

Whenever you sign-up for a credit card make sure you read the ‘Most Important Terms & Conditions’ as they contain all the charges you may incur.

Supplementary card fee: Nil. You are allowed upto 3 supplementary cards as complimentary for a lifetime.

Foreign currency transaction mark-up fee: You have the option of using your Regalia card for foreign transactions. However, you will be charged a foreign transaction fee for the same. For international transactions in US Dollars, you will be charged 2%. If the transaction takes place in some other currency than US Dollars, then the transaction would be converted to US Dollars first, and then 2% charge would be levied on the INR equivalent of the US Dollars. This is unlike from other credit cards at 2% (on Yes First Exclusive Credit card it is at 1.75%).

Late Payment Charge: If you are not able to pay your outstanding balance in full, you will incur late payment charges. These charges depend on your balance statement and are described in the table below.

For Outstanding Monthly Balance Due less than 100 – it is Zero, For Outstanding Monthly Balance Due between 101-500 – it is Rs.100, For Outstanding Monthly Balance Due between 501-5000 – it is at Rs.400, For Outstanding Monthly Balance Due between 5001-10000 – it is Rs.500, and For Outstanding Monthly Balance Due above 10001 – it is Rs.700.

Default Charges: You will be charged interest rate at 2.95% per month (35.40% p.a) if the Minimum Payment Due is not paid by the due date. However. From August 15, 2017, the interest rate, in the event of default, will be 3.5% per month i.e. 42% annually.

Cash Advance charges: The cash advance charges will be levied at 2.5% of the amount withdrawn per transaction or minimum of Rs.300.

Is HDFC Regalia a right card for you?

As you can see the card has some benefits which you will never get at such an annual fee but is also found lacking somewhere else. Yet, HDFC Regalia is a recommendable card especially beneficial if you do a lot of international travelling. The low foreign currency mark-up fee and the Priority Pass and Club Vistara membership can be extremely useful in that case.

Reasons to Sign-up

  1. For such travel benefits at such an annual fee
  2. Low-interest rate
  3. Better Reward rate
  4. Priority Pass Membership

HDFC Regalia Credit Card Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for the HDFC Bank Regalia card is as follows:

For a Salaried person: The age should be between 21-60 years, and the Gross Monthly Income should be at least Rs.1,20,000.

For a Self-Employed person: The age should be between 21-65 years, and the annual income should be at least Rs.12 lacs.

How to apply for HDFC Regalia?

For applying to HDFC Regalia Credit Card, you can visit here and apply by submitting a concise form.

Moreover, you can get HDFC Regalia as Lifetime free if you register for SmartPay too.

Similar Cards: If HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card doesn’t impress you!

Ideally, two cards which instantly pop up in the competition are SBI Prime card and HDFC Diners Club Premium Credit Card.

HDFC Diners Club Premium Credit Card Vs. HDFC Regalia Credit Card

If you are eyeing for HDFC Regalia, then we strongly suggest you go for HDFC Diners Club Premium. Especially now, because from 15th August 2017, the devaluation of HDFC Cards has made Diners Club Premium a far superior option to HDFC Regalia. And we will tell you why.

First thing first, the reward rate! The removal of 2X category from almost all of HDFC Cards has taken the sheen out of Regalia. Without that you are left with just 4 points per Rs.150 (which you also get on Diners Club Premium).

Now, both cards have same point value (Rs.0.50) and the same number of points (4 points) per Rs.150. So, what’s better in Diners Club Premium? The 10X category! Each Diners Club card is running a promotional 10x category where you can earn 10 times the points you earn on normal retail spends. This is what is better, much better!

Now let’s come to lounge access. On Regalia, granted you’ve Priority Pass membership and 6 complimentary access per year to international lounges. But Diners Club Premium is not far behind either. You get 6 complimentary access to international lounges or domestic lounges (on Regalia, you’ve 2 per quarter). The drawback in Diners Club Premium is that the lounge access is limited only to primary card member.

Another thing is that you have complimentary golf lessons on Diners Club Premium (but not on Regalia), though this features will be withdrawn from August 15, 2017.

And for other features, you can yourself go to our review of Diners Club Premium and find out that they are exactly same (except that you don’t have Club Vistara membership). From interest rate (from 15th Aug 2017), foreign currency (2%) to annual fee (Rs.2500). Literally!

And even though they have similar fees the eligibility criteria of Diners Club Premium is a lot relaxed.

The only difference is how you use these cards. If it is for your travelling needs, then HDFC Regalia is slightly better but if it is for shopping or your goal is to earn reward points then Diners Club Premium is way better.

HDFC Regalia First Vs HDFC Regalia

Let’s start with points of differences.

You have only 1000 reward points on Regalia First instead of 2500 points as welcome and renewal bonus.

You have only 3 complimentary Priority Pass international lounge access and 2 per quarter on Visa or MasterCard domestic lounges.

The value of each point is just Rs.0.30 (from Aug 15, 2017) against Rs.0.50 (on Regalia).

But you also only pay Rs.1000 rather than Rs.2500.

While you don’t have a concierge or as extensive insurance benefits as it is on Regalia, the remaining fees or charges (interest rate or foreign currency fee) is same for both of them. So take your pick. But remember HDFC Regalia is premium card, so it will have better credit limit than Regalia First.

HDFC All Miles Vs. HDFC Regalia

HDFC All Miles may have been a platinum travel credit card, but it is not so now. In fact, if anyone which has taken its place it is HDFC Regalia itself. HDFC All Miles, which once was a favourite in the travel category, has been since aggressively devalued. Almost every benefits have been stripped off and what remains is, as they say, mere skeleton!

Forget Priority Pass, forget lounge access, forget even welcome or renewal bonus points. What you can do is just earn 3 points per Rs.150 on retail spends and 6 points per Rs.150 on all spends on hdfcbankallmiles.com. That’s all. And it’s not that reward rate is better either, in fact it is lower at just around 0.5% to 1.5%.

At Rs.1000 annual fee, leave HDFC Regalia, even Regalia First which has the same annual fee is much better card than HDFC All Miles.

SBI Prime Credit Card Vs. HDFC Regalia Credit Card

SBI Prime Credit Card offers one of the best reward programs as it covers a lot of categories. The more you spend, the more points you earn. This card can help you accumulate a lot of points on every purchase as follows:

  1. Earn 20 reward points for every Rs.100 spent on utility bill payments
  2. Earn 15 reward points for every Rs.100 spent on Reliance Fresh, Big Basket, Reliance Footprint, Reliance Trends, and Sahakari Bhandar stores
  3. Earn 10 reward points for every Rs.100 spent on dining, movies, groceries, and department stores
  4. Earn 2 reward points for every Rs.100 spent on retail spends
  5. Earn 20 reward points for every Rs.100 spent on your birthday

And the best part is you can also use these points for paying your outstanding card balance. However, the value of points are not as much worth as it is on HDFC Regalia, it is just Rs.0.25 for every point.

Another thing which is better than Regalia is you get a welcome e-gift voucher of Rs. 3000 from any of the partner brands (Marks and Spencer, Bata/Hush Puppies, Shoppers Stop, Pantaloons, Yatra.com).

And not just this you also have milestone benefits such as:

  1. On spending Rs.50000 in a calendar quarter, you get a Pizza Hut e-voucher worth Rs.1000.
  2. On annual spends of Rs.5 lacs, you earn an e-gift voucher of Rs.7000

With this card, you get complimentary trident privilege Red Tier membership. Upon registration, you get 1000 welcome points. When you make your first Trident hotel booking using this card, you earn 1500 bonus points. Every time you book a stay using their website you get a 10% discount. Along with this, you earn 10 points for every Rs. 100 spent at participating hotels.

And as with HDFC Regalia, you still get complimentary Club Vistara Silver Membership with this card.

For just a hike of Rs.499 in annual fee, what more do you need?

Citibank Rewards Vs HDFC Regalia

Citibank Rewards Credit Card though doesn’t have any travel benefits (none whatsoever) but is a better card than Regalia for retail or online shoppers. True to its name, Citi Rewards focuses on only one category, and that is rewarding you for your spends.

While you earn better points than Regalia, the best part is not what you earn but how you can redeem (and the fact that your points never expire). On Citi Rewards card you have a range of options to choose from where you can redeem your points. It can be at retail stores (Westside, Shoppers Stop), online stores (MakeMyTrip, Yatra, bookmyshow, IndiGo, etc.), to air miles or to even redeeming for fuel at IndianOil fuel stations.

Though the best way to redeem your points would be to convert them into air miles, as it has better value (1 Reward point=0.75 Air Miles), even better than Regalia.

To know other details, you can refer to our review of Citibank Rewards card.

Citibank PremierMiles Vs HDFC Regalia

Citi PremierMiles is one of the best travel cards in India. As purely for the purpose of travelling (more precisely travelling by airlines), Citi PremierMiles would beat Regalia any day of the week.

Though PremierMiles doesn’t have complimentary airport lounge access to international lounges, the number of free visits allowed to domestic lounges is higher than Regalia (6 free visit per quarter on MasterCard and 8 per quarter on Visa variant). But the main comparison is not there but at just how many miles you can accumulate on PremierMiles card.

Plus the 10000 welcome air miles and 3000 renewal air miles and the option to convert to almost every frequent flyer programs of airlines (and to even hotels loyalty points) in India. And PremierMiles card jumps far ahead in the race.

So, if you frequently travel for business purpose or if you are a globetrotter, either way, PremierMiles card is for you.

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  • Saifuddin Shaik

    A very comprehensive and detailed review, loved the comparisons of the credit cards at the end. I was in confusion whether to upgrade or not it seems shift to HDFC Regalia from Diners Premium. I think holding Premium is far better in the present scenario.

  • Manish Mehrotra

    HDFC Regalia has pathetic customer service. They wouldn’t resolve dispute on time. They will play games of taking the disputed amount out of your outstanding balance and then add it back in your next statement. If you notice and ask why did you put it back, Customer service agent will tell you deduct the amount and pay for the rest. In next statement you will see finance changes put on top of that outstanding amount and you will be asked to pay not only disputed amount but also finance charges which would be steep. Pl don’t apply for this card.