HDFC Diners Club Black Credit Card Review 2021

Updated: Oct 16, 2021


HDFC DCB is the drool of the town. The benefits of this card are never ending. Still have you ever calculated how much you might save with this card? Use the “SAVINGS CALCULATOR” to find out how much savings you are missing out on.


The Bad News

HDFC last year had some sever issues, consequently RBI put a ban on them from issuing new credit cards. HDFC is the sole issuer of Diner’s club card in India.

RBI has again put a ban on Diner’s club cards because they are not storing their user data in India.

I have no doubt that you would be approved this card, except RBI is playing spoil sport. I think the ban would continue for an additional 2-3 months. Hope all the issues are sorted out by then.


Eligibility Criterion

  • Net Monthly Income > Rs 1.75 Lakhs per month (Salaried)

  • Income : ITR > Rs 21 Lakhs per annum (Self Employed)

If you hold HDFC credit card with limit > Rs 5 lac; you could fill in HDFC’s upgrade request form for this card.

Sometimes, this card is given as lifetime free also.

A friend of mine was holding the paid variant. He got a call from HDFC with an offer to convert his card as lifetime free with the condition that he has to open a savings account with them. He promptly obliged.

Through Branch

I was informed through a branch employee that I can get this card If I open a savings account in HDFC with minimum Balance of Rs 5 Lakhs. This will be done even though I don't actually meet the required income criterion. However, before I could move ahead with this RBI put the ban on Diners cards.

Another point to note, is a friend of mine had the paid version of this card. He got an offer from HDFC that if he opens a savings account with HDFC with minimum balance of Rs 25000 his paid DCB will be converted to a Life time free version.

HDFC is putting this card out to further their regular banking business! This works for me as anyways it is a reputed bank too!


Fees

Annual Membership fee - Rs. 10,000 + Applicable Taxes.

Spend Rs. 5L in 12 Months and get Renewal Fee waived for next renewal year.

Even if you need to pay the hefty Rs 11866 fees for this card, it will still be profitable for you. Read on.


Welcome offer

Complimentary annual memberships from the below partners can be availed upon spending Rs. 1.5 lakhs within the first 90 days or upon joining fees realization.

  • Club Marriot: I have never used it.

  • Forbes India: A digital magazine subscription.

  • Zomato Pro: This is an essential membership for us millennials. I think this member ship retails for about Rs 1000 per year. The benefits you reap out of it are many fold.

  • Amazon Prime: You get amazon pay balance of Rs 999 credited your amazon account.

  • MMT Double Black: you get 2 free cancellation on each hotel and flight bookings. You get additional cash back’s on all your bookings. I think this used to retail for Rs 1500. But, given you have 10X on such bookings already via smartbuy would you actually use this?!

  • Times Prime: This membership allows you access to a few services (not many you actually miss) and a few discount coupons which could be handy. This retails for Rs 999 per year.

Considering, you even use three out of the 6 listed that is easily savings of Rs 3500 per year or more.

Only thing is that they are not handing out this card for now. Who knows what welcome offers will be valid when they do start the approval process?

However, these memberships are also given away even on achieving annual spend milestone of Rs 8 Lakhs.


Lounge Access

Both domestic and International Airport Lounges: Unlimited Airport lounge access to 1000+ Lounges in India and worldwide for the primary card holder as well as add on card holders.

Also there is no need to carry an additional priority pass for international lounge access. This might be a small thing, but needing an additional card is one thing less to worry about.

Golf Program

Complimentary golf games (6 per quarter) across the finest courses in the world.

Reward Program

· The base reward rate is 5 reward points per Rs 150. Since each point value is Rs 1, the savings are 3.33%.

· No reward points are given on wallet and fuel transactions.

· Rewards Points expire after 3 years from the date of accumulation.


Reward Multiplier

This is where the magic happens.

Smartbuy: Smartbuy is HDFC’s portal via where you get 10X points on being directed via this website. The savings here are a fantastic 33.3%. The things you can do here are

  • Shopping on e-commerce websites Amazon, flipkart

  • Booking flight, train as well as bus

  • Instant vouchers list is quite exhaustive, it includes Big bazaar, Bata, Pantaloons etc

  • Instant voucher: Amazon voucher (Upto Rs 5000 per month). You should max out this quota every month. I know there is a work around to get more by using multiple smartbuy accounts, but that might get your DCB privileges suspended.

In short, for most cases you will be able to use this.

The max cap for the 9X points is 7500 Reward points per month. This means you can spend upto Rs 25100 to max this offer out.


2X Rewards on weekend dining: You might feel that your offline transactions are not covered here, but with this program you get 6.66% savings on your weekend dining which comes with a cap of 1000 RP per day. This is a large cap and its presence is so that you don’t abuse it to pay for your wedding!


10X Reward Points on Partner Brands of Diners: The advantage here is that there is no need to be directed from any site. You simply need to do the payment on the partner website.

The Affiliated Brands

• Swiggy (applicable on food): I would be using this the most.

• CRED store and travel

• Cure.fit

• Seiko

• Birkenstock

The cap here is 25000 Reward points.

The partner brand’s list changes every month; you can check out the latest here.


Reward Point redemption

DCB provides multiple ways to redeem your reward points, and the value of the reward point is different for each.

  • 1 RP = Rs. 1

You can book air tickets/hotels with your points. Note that you will only be pay 70% value of the ticket with points. This is the best way

  • 1 Rp = Rs. 0.5

Product Catalogue (vouchers/products)

  • 1 Rp = Rs. 0.3

CashBack (avoid getting such low value for RP, better just buy amazon vouchers if you think the points might expire)

  • 1 Rp= 1 Airmiles


Monthly Milestone Benefits

You can select any 2 benefits amongst

  • Ola Select or cure.fit Live 1 month membership.

  • BookMyShow or TataCLiQ vouchers worth Rs. 500 every month on spends of Rs. 80,000. The vouchers come with a validity of three months. They get added to the online wallet, so that you can use them cumulatively for a single purchase.


SAVINGS CALCULATOR for DCB

Even before you use this calculator, you know that the savings will be mind boggling.

Add in your expenses category wise and find out your savings with Diner’s Club Black credit card.

If the Calculator doesn't run, click here and run again :)


Any card which gives double digit savings seems too good to be true. For yearly expenses, 20% savings is more than Rs 1lac. This will sponsor your international vacation.

I have no idea how HDFC makes a profitable business out of this. That is not our problem to discuss, we can just continue mining reward points :p.


Rating

This is a card too good to exist. Go for it any time you are given the opportunity.

The rating is 4.9/5

The only con is Diners club cards have acceptability issues. So do keep another card handy.


Similar or Better cards.

Only HDFC Infinia is in the same category as DCB.

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