HDFC Infinia Vs YES First Exclusive Credit Card – Who Wins the Game?

By | July 7, 2017

Based on various articles we have published in the past, such as this and this, we all pretty well know that Yes First Exclusive Card and HDFC Infinia Card are two the best super premium cards in India. If there is one card that one aspires to own, there is very high probability that these two are among them.

Well, due to some recent changes put forward by HDFC Bank, Yes First Exclusive may very well be the best card to be owned on the MasterCard Platform in India. Even, much better than the mighty Infinia. Some may question my analysis but I’ll elaborate a bit more to show a clearer picture.

HDFC Infinia Vs YES First Exclusive Credit Card – A Tough Battle

Let’s make a comparison:

  • Rewards Points:
    • Yes First Exclusive: 2.5% value in return as points
    • HDFC Infinia: 3.3% value in return as point
  • Mark Up fees:
    • Yes First Exclusive: 1.75% (Lowest in India)
    • HDFC Infinia: 2%
  • Interest on Revolving Credit:
    • Yes First Exclusive: 1.2% for Yesbank SB Customers and 1.99% for others
    • HDFC Infinia: 1.99% for everyone.
  • Lounge Facility:
    • Yes First Exclusive: Unlimited to both Primary and Add-On card members through a)Priority Pass (Global) b) MasterCard (India)
    • HDFC Infinia: Unlimited to both Primary and Add-On card member through Priority pass (Global) b)VISA/Mastercard (India) however, this is restricted to primary card holder only.
  •  EMI:
    • Yes First Exclusive: Minimum Threshold of only ₹2500. You continue to get points on EMI facility also. Foreclosure charges- 2%
    • HDFC Infinia: Minimum Threshold on ₹3000 and you don’t get points on EMI. Foreclosure charges- 3%
  • E-Wallet Loading:
    • Yes First Exclusive: You get points for loading e-wallets too. So, all those ardent wallet users, this is your go to card now.
    • HDFC Infinia: You don’t get any points for loading e-wallets now.
  • Insurance Payments:
    • Yes First Exclusive: No upper limit or capping on reward points earned. Plus you get 1000 RPs (worth ₹250) with each new registration.
    • HDFC Infinia: You can only earn a maximum of 2000 RPs for your insurance payments.
  • Eligibility and availability:
    • Yes First Exclusive: You could have owned this card LTF when there was an offer of credit limit matching from any competitor bank credit card if your credit limit was north of 5 lakh. Now you need to have an minimum gross salary of ₹50 Lakh/annum to be eligible to apply. You pay ₹10K as annual/joining fees.
    • HDFC Infinia: You cannot apply for this card straightaway. There is no clear cut guideline. You can be a very HNW individual but still are at the risk of not getting the card as this is an Invite Only Card. No LTF option. You pay ₹10K as annual/joining fees.
  • Some super offers:
    • Yes First Exclusive: 25% Flat off on Bookmyshow Movie tickets upto ₹250 cap/month. (You earn points too on the transaction). Yes First Exclusive: 25% flat off on bill on KFC and Pizza Hut in designated stores.
    • HDFC Infinia: 2X RP’s on dining 5X on bigbasket & 10X on smartbuy are good ones.
  • Fuel Transaction Surcharge Waivers:
    • Yes First Exclusive: Eligible txns: ₹400-₹5000. Upper limit of surcharge waiver is ₹1000/month. Full surcharge will be waived off till it’s less than ₹1000.
    • HDFC Infinia: Eligible txns: ₹400- ₹1 lakh. Upper limit of surcharge waiver is ₹1000/month. There is a catch here. Max limit of surcharge waiver is only 1% of the transaction now. You may be charged anywhere between 1% to 2.5% based on what petrol pump and bank tie up is there. But you will be reversed a maximum of only 1%.
  • Redemption Capabilities:
  • The Yes First Exclusive: Huge redemption option including various gift cards like Amazon, Cleartrip, Shopper Stop, West side and the list is huge. This helps you to redeem your points for literally anything. You can even gift these vouchers to friends/relatives.
  • HDFC Infinia: Redemption options are relatively restricted only to Flights, Movies, Recharge etc, that too only at their own redemption site. 

I hope this exhaustive comparison will show that Yes First Exclusive Card is now really having a lot of advantage over HDFC Infinia Credit Card now. And the best thing is that those who have got this Yes First Exclusive Card LTF don’t have any strings attached and can very well stop thinking about chasing an Infinia now.

    Though, there maybe cases where Infinia wins the battle by big numbers. For eg., if you spend a lot on their frequent promos like 2X/5X/10X Reward Points, you end up saving a lot by end of the day. Hence, to decidewhich one to go for, always you need to check what benefit you’re looking for. For ex, if its priority pass that you’re chasing, Yes First Exclusive can get you easily compared to Infinia as its quite tough to get approved.

    What do you think? Do agree to our views? Do you think, Infinia still holds any value against Yes First Exclusive?

    50 thoughts on “HDFC Infinia Vs YES First Exclusive Credit Card – Who Wins the Game?

    1. Abhishek Singh

      Hi Sid,

      I Own HDFC Diner Black card, based on your review I have applied and received the card. My only purpose was Lounge access free for all family with minimum annul fee.

      Now HDFC customer care telling that add on card members are not eligible for Lounge Access, only primary holder is eligible. Customer care also told that, minimum salary eligibility for Infinia is 4 Lakh/ month or based on usage they will upgrade.

      Also my credit limit is only 4 Lakh, not that 10 Lakh which you have mentioned.

      Can you put some more light to it.

      Regards

      Reply
      1. Siddharth

        A simple answer is, you have nothing to worry.
        (as long as they didn’t change the add-on lounge benefit in past 1 month)

        Cust. care is always clueless and hence don’t take their word!

        Reply
        1. Abhishek Singh

          Dear Sid,

          Thanks for your prompt revert.

          As I have noticed in Diner, all the cards whether primary or add on, all having same card numbers, even same cvv, same expiry just names are different.

          And I too have SBI card, where add on card number is different from primary.

          Why is it so? Suppose I loose 1 card, I have to block all cards.

          Regards

          Reply
          1. Siddharth

            Yes, HDFC cards work that way. However, Add-on cards are identified through inbuilt chip.
            Yes, you’ll need to replace all of them in such cases.

            Reply
      2. Abhishek Roy Post author

        Just don’t worry about what the customer care guys are telling. They are clueless. You go and swipe your primary and add-on card, you will be granted two separate access. I have tried it with Diners Rewardz/Premium/Black. All three of them. I’ll suggest not to upgrade or change from Diners Black to Infinia as you will lose the 10X earning capability. No other card in the market gives that kind of 33.33% return. Period.

        Reply
        1. sachin gupta

          HDFC bank will not charge me if i swipe diners premium add on card?

          Reply
          1. Abhishek Roy Post author

            No. The moment they insert your chip card, it will show whether you have free lounge visits or not. Ask them to check that for you. If it is, then they will charge you ₹2 and give you free access.

            Reply
    2. Prashant Gupta

      Diners club black should also be added to comparison. It also has unlimited lounge access and 1 on 1 movie offer.

      Reply
      1. Abhishek Roy Post author

        Diners Club Cards at least for now CANNOT be compared with any other cards. Just because of the generous 10X reward system, it’ll blow away all the cards. If you have a Diners Black, you don’t have to worry much. However, what I do is that I keep a back up card with me apart from the Black which in my case is the Yes First Exclusive Card.

        Reply
    3. Biby

      This is kind of a biased review. Having Yes Exclusive as LTF card was a great opportunity. No doubt. But Infinia is superior compared to Yes Exclusive if we have to pay the fees.

      There are many points Abhishek missed:
      *Lounges: Infinia also have acess to domestic lounges through visa infinite program / master card program.
      *max limit on 2000Rp for insurance payment is “per transaction”. Such means for approx 60k rupees. Its a fair amount.
      *Super offers: in bookmyshow there is visa infinite offer(20%). Then there are 2x offer for dining. Many other discount offers could be found on smartbuy offer page. 5x(eg. Bigbasket) & 10x (smartbuy)offers happens time to time.

      Sid:I think you should add these points in main article so that readers are not mislead.

      So in short you cannot declare Yes Exclusive as a winner(Atleast the paid variant)

      Reply
      1. Siddharth

        Sure, i just did it. 2X/5X/10X does make a big difference.
        And who wins is very much dependent on what benefit we look for. Its more like the never ending debate of – Android Vs Apple 🙂

        Reply
      2. Abhishek Roy Post author

        Hello Biby,
        I see you have made some points. While I appreciate that, I’ll counter you on few.
        1. Lounges: Agreed, I missed that Infinia does have access to lounges even through the VISA Infinite and Mastercard program, however there is a catch. First, the program is only for primary card holder and second, you have got to have the Mastercard variant if you want to have maximum lounge coverage. That is not the case with Yes First Exclusive as it ONLY offers Mastercards. Nevertheless, lounge visits is not a concern since the priority pass will suffice for most.
        2. Insurance Capping of 2000 RPs: 60K is a fair amount? Well, people who have HDFC Infinia in most cases are Super HNW individuals with tremendous spending capacity. Now usually insurance payments are annual in most cases if not all and for them, usually 60K will always fall short. So it is always better to go with a card that doesn’t have such restrictions.
        3. Bookmyshow: 20% off through VISA Infinite Program. Well, there are a LOT of restrictions. When I say a lot, I mean it. There is a reason why I didn’t include this.
        a) Can be availed only on weekends
        b) There is a quota. That is they will cater only first come first serve basis. So, you might not be able to avail.
        c) The 20% discount is limited to only one transaction a month for movie and 1 for non-movie.
        d) You get one transaction for all your cards (Primary and Add-On combined). In Yes First Exclusive Card, add-on card is treated as a separate card and has a separate ₹250 capping. You can transact any number of times till you reach ₹250 monthly limit. We both know that there are very few movie theaters that have such high price tickets that you’ll be able to redeem the entire ₹300 as 20% discount in a single transaction. For that to happen, the ticket price has to be ₹1500. I am sure you can watch a movie at a lot less.
        10X offer has NEVER happened before for HDFC Cards except Diners. So this is a first. Besides, even if this will remain for Diners, it’ll sure go soon for Infinia and other cards.

        VERDICT: What I wrote was based on all the facts that I have placed before. Everyone is entitled to have an opinion. You too. So, if you still see greater value in HDFC Infinia, no one is stopping you to use that. Our purpose here on this platform is to share our knowledge and help each other. We all learn from each other, but we never give biased opinions. In future, if things change, rest assured that you’ll see an article coming up for that too. Peace!!!!

        Reply
    4. Ket

      You can perhaps add Axis Bank Reserve to this list (at your discretion).

      Reply
      1. Abhishek Roy Post author

        Axisbank Reserve Credit Card is more of a luxury credit card. It can be compared to some extent with Citibank Prestige Credit Card. However, the joining and renewal fees of Axisbank Reserve Card is very high at ₹30K/annum. Besides, the card has a very lousy reward scheme where in they only provide 1% in return as points. So, no, this card cannot be compared with the likes of HDFC Infinia and Yes First Exclusive Credit Card.

        Reply
    5. Ankur Mittal

      I have both yes first exclusive and Infinia card. The benefit for having yes first card is that if you do foreign transactions, besides the markup charges, mastercard gives better conversion rate. I have tested it myself and the conversion rate for mastercard was .25% better.

      Also with infinia card 3.3% reward points value is only if we spend on hotel, flights, recharge on there site, while incase of yes bank we can get Amazon vouchers and can use it to literally spend on anything which is a huge plus.

      Regards,
      Ankur

      Reply
      1. Abhishek Roy Post author

        Yes, even I have witnessed this. I have tested it on IndusInd Visa Signature Debit Card and Yes First Exclusive Card. I have found the MasterCard to give a better conversion rates. However the difference is minimal. And yes, this point gives a whole different perspective. I think I’ll add it to the post, that the Yes First Exclusive points can be redeemed against Amazon vouchers too. So this lets you buy almost anything. Whereas the redemption choices on Infinia are restricted.

        Reply
      2. Vivek

        Dear Ankur,
        Can you share how you got approved for Infinia?
        Thanks in advance!

        Reply
        1. Ankur Mittal

          Vivek, my company’s account is with HDFC 🙂 so it wasn’t a problem to get both infinia and Diners Black

          Reply
          1. Vivek

            Both.. Marvelous. With imperia ac or relationship value much above its eligibility criteria?

            Reply
      3. Sahil

        I have the Infinia too and would like to opt for the Yes First Exclusive as my secondary card. Could you let me know what was the process you went through for Yes Bank? Do you have to pay the 10k annual fee and did they match or exceed your Infinia limits?

        Reply
      4. MANOJ SINGLA

        Absolutely correct. Buying Amazon eGV wd Yes rewards is comfortable and best option.

        Reply
    6. Prafull

      I have yes first preferred LTF credit card? Is there a way to upgrade LTF YES first Exclusive card?
      Similarly i have LTF Diners Premium card, can i convert to LTF Diners Black card?
      I am not interested to pay annual charges or joining fees.

      Reply
      1. Abhishek Roy Post author

        I don’t think you can convert Diners Premium to Diners Black for free. Even we had to pay fees. For Yes preferred to Yes Exclusive, it’s difficult to say. You have to talk to them and see if they will upgrade or not for free.

        Reply
    7. Rahul Shekhar

      I see that you have mentioned that Yes Bank gives reward points for loading wallets. What are some other cards that give the same?

      Reply
      1. Abhishek Roy Post author

        All cards from other banks that have point system of rewards except HDFC Credit Cards

        Reply
          1. Amex Guy

            Citi does. My miles at the end of the month are calculated on total bill generated, and a fair amount(10-15%) is wallet recharges.

            Reply
      2. MANOJ SINGLA

        IndusInd Pinnacle gives 2.5% points which can be adjusted in next bill.

        Reply
    8. Gaurav

      Will I be able to get 10x rewards if I load the balance in Amazon Pay. I have hdfc diners premium card. Please advice.

      Reply
      1. Abhishek Roy Post author

        After the recent changes I’m a bit sceptical. But you can give it a try and let us know.

        Reply
      2. KETAN CHAUDHARY

        I think yes, I have used twice and recently added money before 10 days and I have got points…

        Reply
    9. nitesh sharma

      Isn’t Infinia the clear winner given the fact you earn 3.3% on every spend vs. 2.5% in yes. I believe other points are not as big as this maybe.

      Reply
      1. Abhishek Roy Post author

        It is upto you. It is you who has to decide. Opinions will vary. For me, I see more value in Yes First than Infinia.

        Reply
      2. Arjun Jayasimha

        My take on the issue:

        1. Infinia’s 3.3% reward rate has to be viewed in the context of the annual fee for the card. If the amount you spend on Infinia earns you enough through additional reward points (3.3% – 2.5%) to offset Infinia’s annual fee vis-a-vis Exclusive’s lifetime free, then please go for it as Abhishek said.

        2. Yes First Exclusive’s reward rate of 2.5% comes with no strings attached. It can be redeemed for common retail vouchers at that rate. Infinia has a 3.3% reward rate only for redemption on their website.

        3. Many of us split our spend across multiple cards. For example, movie tickets on 1 card, fuel on the other, dining on a 3rd, retail therapy on the 4th, 4K monthly on Amex etc. In this case, the spend on just 1 card (infinia) may not be high enough for the reward rate to offset the high annual fee which never gets waived.

        My vote goes for Yes First Exclusive. It is almost too good to be true actually.

        Reply
    10. Yogesh Goel

      I have the infinia but now i think i should try and get the YES First Exclusive Credit Card…seems the yes bank are getting serious with their cards and whereas the HDFC people r getting rigid day by day…HDFC doesn’t seem to be too much interested with cards nowadays….before everything used to be so generous with them…now so many limitations and rules one have to think twice….

      Reply
      1. Abhishek Roy Post author

        Agreed. You already have the Infinia. I don’t think it’ll be a problem getting Yes First for you. Please consider sharing the way in which you got Infinia. Cheers

        Reply
    11. Majumdar

      While comparing Infinia to YEX, we should keep in mind the frequent 5X/2X campaigns on HDFC cards. If possible you should have both.

      Regards

      Reply
    12. Anonymous

      For a 7.5 lakh spend (which is reasonably high) the Preferred card gives better value than the Exclusive card. You get Rs. 20,000 in the Preferred card while you only get around Rs. 18,750 in the Exclusive one (assuming both cards are LTF). The milestone bonus threshold in the Exclusive card is too high, which makes it less beneficial. Strange.

      Reply
      1. Abhishek Roy Post author

        This anonymous comment we are allowing to post just to let the readers know that please don’t use anonymous and junk emails to post comments here. Else those comments will not be approved. Kindly comply. Use your name and any email so that readers know who you are. We are like a small family here sharing our knowledge and experience on this platform. 🙂

        Reply
    13. Batul

      Hi Siddharth!

      What about SBI Elite vs Yes First Exclusive? or SBI Elite vs Yest Frist Prefered ?

      Reply
    14. Vikram

      I need some clarification related to the article and some comments in here. I see that it’s mentioned that the Yes First Exclusive provides 2.5% returns unconditionally while for the HDFC Infinia the 3.3% is conditional. What exactly does it mean? I have neither cards actually. I have the younger siblings of both these cards, the Yes First Preferred and the HDFC Diners Club Black. I’ve got more out of my Diners Black card than I’ve got out of all the other cards I’ve ever held or still hold in my life. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Abhishek Roy Post author

        Conditionally means, HDFC gives you reward points only if it isn’t wallet recharges. Plus there is cap on Insurance Premium Payment. At the same time, you don’t earn a dime if you change your expenses to any form of EMIs. That way you have to pay for all things in full. You can never take the benefit of services like “No Cost EMI”. With Yes First Exclusive or any Yesbank Credit Cards, there isn’t any such conditions as such. I might be wrong if they have changed the rules now but that was the case when this article was being penned down.

        Reply
        1. Vikram

          Oh okay, I got it. I thought that the term “conditionally” applied during redemption and didn’t realize it was actually during gathering reward points itself. Yes Bank has a lot of great offers that sound unbelievable. But I’m scared that all this may be just to build a credit card customer base initially and maybe removed later on. Lets wait and see. Hope they prove me wrong. 🙂

          Reply
          1. Amex Guy

            That will happen with every card. Cards usually have a goal of profitability in 2-4 years window. As they approach that window, all benefits except the sustainable ones (your bank only earns around 1-1.2% off a transaction, rest goes to Visa/MC) go away.

            Reply
    15. Aman

      Hi sid

      Got news that the upgrade software would be live from 25th September and first upgraded cards would be processed by 10th October for those who are eligible and apply for it.

      Could you please check and confirm if the same is true ?

      Reply
      1. Siddharth

        We got to wait to find if its so. You can still try for upgrade if its 6 months old.

        Reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *