HDFC Bank Regalia ForexPlus Card Review

By | July 22, 2017

After seeing a massive success on the HDFC Regalia credit card by devaluing the points, looks like HDFC Bank now decided to use its past name and fame of “Regalia” to brand its new Forex card. HDFC has launched a new Forex card this month that revolves around the concept of – No Cross Currency Conversion Charges, which is indeed in high demand lately. HDFC that has a forex card for a while – HDFC Multicurrency ForexPlus Chip Card that also has similar features, but this new one does have significant advantage. Lets have a look,

HDFC Regalia ForexPlus Card

HDFC Bank Regalia ForexPlus Card Benefits

HDFC Says: “HDFC Bank Regalia ForexPlus Card is exclusively designed for globe trotters. No hassle of carrying multiple currencies or managing currency wallets, currency conversion charges are thing of the past.”

Its clear that their previous multi-currency wallet concept seems to be too complicated for a normal person to understand and use, hence comes this new product. Lets dive into its features:

  1. Regalia ForexPlus Card Issuance Fee: Rs 1000/-
  2. Reload Fee: Rs 75/- per reload
  3. Balance Enquiry – 0.50 USD
  4. ATM Cash Withdrawal – 4 USD

#1 Zero Cross Currency Charges

It is the most important benefit that a Forex card needs. Now you get 0% Markup fee even if the transaction currency is different from the currency available on Regalia ForexPlus Card (USD). Problem solved?! No, there is a catch.

  • GST on Currency conversion towards the purchase of Forex currency is applicable

They charge around ~2%+GST or so (which they usually charge on HDFC multicurrency forexplus card) on purchase, which is nothing but the markup fee. Hence, you’re actually paying the markup fee upfront.

Its not fair for the so called “India’s #1 bank” (as they brand so) to hide this fee and promote it as 0% markup fee card.

HDFC Bank Regalia ForexPlus Card Charges

Here are the numbers exposed for $100 forex card when XE Rate: 1$ = 64.4

  • Actual Rate: Rs.64.4
  • Bank conversion Rate = Rs.65.38 (~1.5%)

The good part is this card runs on Mastercard network which gives you the best exchange rate (when you use on other currencies) as per the recent research. More on it here: Visa vs MasterCard vs Amex vs Diners Club – Which has the Best Foreign Exchange Rate?

#2 Complimentary Lounge Access

  • Complimentary International Airport Lounge Access in India (Limits Not disclosed)

This means, you’ll get complimentary access to mastercard airports lounges in terminals with international departures only. They haven’t disclosed the max. limits yet. This maybe be like 2/qtr as usual.

#3 Online Usage Enabled

Bank allows E-commerce facility on Regalia ForexPlus Cards to make payments towards shopping done on online website / shopping portals. In case of Ecom transactions, the system may prompt for second factor authentication where you need to validate the transaction using the NetBanking PIN for your Regalia ForexPlus Card.

So any left-off currency after your trip, you may consider splurging on sites like AliExpress. Though, not sure how practical it is.

#4 Cashback of 5% or 5X Reward Points Offer (limited period)

  • Debit cards: 5% Cashback limited to Rs. 2500
  • Credit cards: 5X Reward Points Limited to 2500 Reward points for

This is indeed the major benefit if you’re considering to get this card. Loading your Regalia Forex Plus card with Rs.50,000 using a HDFC debit card will get you Rs.2500 cashback which will set off the issuance fee & the markup fee. Same with credit cards, makes sense if you hold Infinia or Diners Black to avail 5X reward points.

Other Benefits: There are other benefits like ‘Thanks Again’ Reward Program by MasterCard and ‘Waiver on ATM Access Fee or ATM ownership charges’, however both are limited to a small network, hence not a major feature to rely on.

Final words:

If at all you’re going for this Regalia Forex Plus card, its worth it if and only if you do so by availing the 5%/5X offer mentioned above. Else, you loose a net ~2%+GST and additional withdrawal charges. Consider Indusind Exclusive Platinum DEBIT card or Indusind Exclusive Signature DEBIT card for any withdrawals.

Be aware that using debit cards abroad is not suggested as its not that secure as Credit card, which is one of the major reasons to hold a credit card. Hence you might rather go for any of the cards that we’ve listed for international transactions (but never withdraw from credit cards). Here you go -> 7 Best Indian Credit Cards for International Travel.

What’s your take on HDFC’s new Regalia ForexPlus Card? Worth the hype or yet another fail? Feel free to share your views in comments below.

Author: Siddharth

I’m a Credit Card freak minting reward points and cashback for years. Obsessed with aviation, airport lounges and luxury travel at affordable cost.

20 thoughts on “HDFC Bank Regalia ForexPlus Card Review

  1. Srikrishna Raajan

    Request to update the issuance fees at the beginning which is Rs.500+GST as shown in screenshot

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Their Terms & conditions says below:
      ==
      50% discount on issuance fee INR 500 – for loading card with less than USD 2000
      The offer is valid till 31st August’17, post which Issuance fee of INR1000 will be levied to the customer
      ==

      Reply
  2. Abhishek Roy

    I’ll like to correct something here.
    “The good part is this card runs on Mastercard network which gives you the best exchange rate (when you use on other currencies) as per the recent research”.
    As per my knowledge, the rates of Mastercard/VISA are applied only when you do a transaction and want VISA or MasterCard to carry out the transaction for you. When you buy FOREX from a bank, it is the “bank’s wholesale rates that get applied.”. What does this mean?
    This means, a similar card on a similar card on the master card platform from say for eg IndusInd Bank will have different conversion rate. This is because the whole sale rates at which IndusInd sells the FOREX is different from that of HDFC Bank. Ideally, if the argument in question had been true then both the bank’s would have charged equal money for loaodnv $100 to the card if you leave the mark up and other loading fees aside. I hope I’m able to convey what I am trying to.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      That’s applicable anyway when you load and what you said is correct when you ‘spend’ on USD.

      But when you spend on “other currencies” say, GBP, same like indusind, Mastercard decides the conversion rate of USD->GBP as bank don’t interfere in this part. (0% benefit of the card actually is used only here)

      Reply
    2. Arun

      Abhishek,

      You are right in your understanding. I realized it myself when i went abroad and used HDFC’s forex card. They charged me a mark up which was different from the Inter bank rate(Lowest possible rate), they also charged me for ATM transactions.

      I came across IndusInd Bank’s forex card which is available on indusforex.com. The charges are very close to the Inter bank rates and the markup is negligible. This is very different from what the banks usually charge us. Also 2 ATM withdrawals are free! You should try it. I dont really expect bank’s to be transparent about pricing, but if you book through indusforex then you get total transparency. I am impressed.

      Reply
  3. Adi. H

    Hi. How is the Forex Card issued and What will be the validity of such card?

    Reply
  4. Angad Singh

    Plz elaborate the point that debit cards are not as safe as credit cards during foreign trips…

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      If the item you’ve ordered was not received from the seller, you can very well ask the credit card company to raise a dispute against the transaction. In credit card terms, its called “chargeback”. This is NOT available on debit card transactions.

      Reply
  5. prakash

    Hi
    I will be going to europe for an year. I presently have diners premium from HDFC only. What Forex /Debit or credit card will be the best to save on exchange rates/taxes and can be used widely in europe without any security issues. i have heard diners acceptance in europe is not good enough.
    Thx

    Reply
  6. Arun

    Hi,

    I recently used the IndusInd Bank’s forex card. The card has 0 card issuance fees, 0 markup and is available on their website. In fact i was able to do a completely online process and get the card delivered to my home! They are also giving 2 ATM withdrawal free of cost! I think this is the best forex card that is available online.
    It also has all the Visa offers bundled in the card.

    Hope you find this useful.

    Reply
  7. Tarun

    Hi Siddharth,
    I am traveling to Europe for about 20 days next month on a vacation. While searching for best forex solutions, I came across your articles and really liked them!
    However, when I spoke to my RM in HDFC he told me a slightly different story:
    – If you load USD 2k+ in this card- there is no card issuance fee and hence no GST either. So, essentially what we pay is only the rate you see (published on website/ branches) which of course includes a markup of around 1.5-2.0% (which according to him is the lowest among all banks). He also said that he would try and give me some discount on this rate also (around 15-20p per dollar). Plus I can use any credit card to load currency in this card and get cashback/ bonus RP in addition to normal rewards points there. So, in all a saving of about 0.5-1% over even the XE rate!! Plus, since this is single currency card with zero cross currency charges- I can continue using the same card for all my future official/ personal trips abroad. This all sounded quite convincing!
    Do you think it would be good, compared to Axis bank multi currency forex card?

    Reply
  8. Aman

    Hi Siddharth

    Have been usinng bookmyforex for over 2 years now and can say that their rates for forex sale or purchase + delivery of forex card (on axis bank visa platform) semms best in rates and service + 3 free withdrawals pm. Similiar rates as seen on
    xe.com

    Let me know your thoughts

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Yes, its good. Bookmyforex & doorstepforex – both are good.

      Reply
  9. Amandeep

    Hi Sid and all,
    I am planning for my first euro trip in October😊 is this card the best, or should i go some other card. Can you please suggest? I would be loading around 1000 euros.

    Reply
  10. Prashant Gupta

    Aman try bookmyforex also for forex offers they work on zero commission.

    Reply
  11. Arjun

    I have Yes First Preferred card which has 1.75% mark up fee, as well as Regalia, which is at 2%. I was planning to use these on my upcoming trip to US/Canada. Would you recommend this forex card over those 2 credit cards?

    Reply
      1. Shivi

        What if we use our regular SBI/HDFC/ICICI/other bank debit cards for withdrawing cash abroad instead of using the Forex card as the forex card locks the money?

        Reply
  12. Parth sarthi Bajaj

    Can you please also post an article about HDFC ISIC Forex card and also HDFC kids advantage account easyshop platinum debit card

    I am a student going abroad for studies please help me with cards to take and other financial things
    Thanks
    Parth

    Reply

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