HDFC Bank Regalia First Credit Card Review (2018)

By | September 13, 2018

HDFC Bank has been very successful with their premium offering Regalia Credit Card, so much so that everyone wants it. Earlier HDFC Bank used to issue Allmiles credit card for those who’re not eligible for the Regalia. But HDFC recently decided to stop issuing Allmiles card, probably because it was run by a different loyalty partner.

So that’s how HDFC Regalia First came into existence – as a good replacement for Allmiles credit card. Note that this is the Regalia First and do-not get confused with the original Regalia, which is one step above this card.

  • Joining/Annual Fee: 1,000 INR (But you can get it for free mostly)

HDFC Regalia First Credit Card (Visa)

Reward Points

Default Reward Rate

  • 1 Reward Point = 0.30 INR (when redeemed on regalia portal)
  • 4 RP for every 150 INR Retail Spends
  • Reward Rate: ~0.8%

Spend Based Milestones

  • Earn 5,000 Reward Points on annual spends of Rs. 3,00,000 or more in each anniversary year
  • Earn 7,500 Reward Points on annual spends of Rs. 6,00,000 or more in each anniversary year
  • Fulfilment: After completion of the card anniversary year.

So if you’re able to spend 6 Lakhs in a year, you can get reward rate as good as 1.2%  – which is pretty good for a card of this range.

5X/10X Offers

Every now and then HDFC runs offers with various merchant to give you 2x/5x/10x of the regular points which multiplies the reward rate so well. Hence, lookout for the offers every now & then.

Redemption

All the above reward rate that i’ve mentioned is possible to achieve only when you redeem the points for travel bookings (flights/hotels). If you prefer to redeem your points for shopping or other vouchers from the catalog, you’ll end up loosing a lot.

Redemptions are easy and I’ve myself used the original Regalia Reward Points to book a trip to Vietnam – typically saving 25,000 INR using points.

Lounge Access

Domestic

  • Access Via: Visa Signature/Master Card
  • Complimentary Limits: 8
  • Limits Reset: Every Calendar Year

Note that most of the Visa/MC limits are set to every quarter, but with Regalia range of cards its an yearly limit, which is great indeed.

International

  • Access Via: Priority Pass
  • Complimentary Limits: 3 (shared between Primary & Add-on cards)
  • Limits Reset: Every Calendar Year

If you would like to check the remaining visits left on your card at any point of time, you need to check with Priority Pass directly (pp@prioritypass.com.hk) about the visits done on your PP card. Just deduct that # from your actual limit and you’ll get the remaining limits on your PP card.

Caution: Any visits made in domestic lounges or visits made above the limits at Intl Lounges with attract $32 fee per visit.

Other Benefits

  • Foreign Exchange Markup fee: 2% + GST
  • Credit Shield: 5 Lakhs

How to Apply

  • New Application: >7.2 Lakh Annual Income (Branch/Online)
  • HDFC Classic Banking: If you’re a Classic Customer for >6 months with good Balance/AQB, you’ve higher chances to get Regalia First if above condition is not met.
  • Upgrade: Limits above 1.5 Lakh on existing HDFC card (Moneyback) with good spends would help.

That aside, most of the salary account holders are given HDFC Regalia First even if you don’t meet the above eligibility criteria, provided your company is banking with HDFC.

Competitors

Regalia is a Semi-premium credit card – a not so popular segment in credit card industry but HDFC is giving Premium feel even for non-premium customers and that’s how HDFC is killing the competition. Cards with similar reward rate are as below,

Bottomline

HDFC Bank is certainly doing a great thing by introducing Premium benefits to regular customers. Its also in line with the current generation’s expectation to meet their growing travel needs. And not to forget, this is not the card to hold, but the path to get the original Regalia – the actual premium credit card.

  • Cardexpert Rating: 4/5 

Whats your take on HDFC bank Regalia First Credit Card? Feel free to share your thoughts in comments below.

Author: Siddharth

A Credit Card freak minting reward points and cashback for years, started adding Airmiles in recent times. Obsessed with aviation, airport lounges and luxury travel at affordable cost.

54 thoughts on “HDFC Bank Regalia First Credit Card Review (2018)

  1. Ramesh Padmanban

    Hi Sidharth, Nice blog with lot of information. Really helped to learn lot of credit card tricks. I am also holding Regalia first. But I think the reward point is equivalent to 30 paise and not 40 paise. Can you please reconfirm ?

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Ramesh,
      You’re right. I’ve updated the numbers. I’m still outdated on these cards 😉

      Reply
  2. Mickey

    I’m having a hard time trying to upgrade my Money back to Regalia First. I have an existing limit of 1.5 and spends of 3 lakhs so far this year.

    You think I should escalate to Nodal O?

    In fact I even meet the ITR requirements comfortably + CIBIL.

    Reply
    1. Swetank

      Easy way….ask them to deactivate your moneyback card. May be they can offer you upgrade at that time.
      If not, then also go for cancellation of card and apply for credit card through Hdfc website. You will get a call within 24 hours.
      I am sure they will approve you instantly for regalia first and maybe REGALIA directly. Just provide them your documents and card will be at your place within two to three week. 👍🙏

      Reply
      1. Mickey

        Swetank – what is the difference between deactivation and cancellation? Aren’t they the same thing? Not sure if such tricks would work with HDFC, they are too smart🤔

        Reply
    2. Abhishek Roy

      How have you approached them for the upgrade? Through th Relationship Manager/Branch People?

      Reply
      1. Mickey

        Abhishek – first on call centre and then by email to customer care. I don’t have any a/c with them so no RM.

        Reply
        1. Abhishek Roy

          Don’t do that. Simply send your ITR/Salary Slips for 2 month with an upgrade form where you have marked lifetime free option for regalia first by taking either add on card or smartpay and send it to Chennai Address directly.

          Reply
          1. Saroj

            I also followed this process only and Got My Regalia First within one week.They didn’t increase my CL. It was same as Moneyback card(2.3 L)

  3. Himanshu

    hey,
    I have R.First
    Spends on electricity bills incur any additional charges? On paying postpaid/prepaid recharges gives reward points?
    can i pay through smartpay? Any benefits?

    Reply
    1. Prashant Gupta

      Any payments through wallet will not get you points. You can pay directly on individual sites for points. Smartpay does not have any offer but payzapp has from time to time.

      Reply
  4. Mayank Airen

    Hi Siddarth
    I daily look up on this site for any new article/blogs. I share similar traits with you when it comes to using right credit card to gain maximum benefit.
    I am holding 2 HDFC lifetime free credit cards. One is Regalia First(upgraded from Superia) and Diners Premium(upgraded from Diners Rewards). The combined limit of both the cards is 80K. This is the same inspite that my salary has increased multifold . I had in past applied for limit enhancement. Can you please suggest me how should I go about it. Is holding 2 cards a restriction for limit enhancement.
    Please guide.

    Reply
    1. Himanshu

      Hey Mayank,

      How did you got 2 cards from HDFC? I heard only in few cases due to high NRV.

      My experience with HDFC. I got R. First two years back. With good spends i finally manage to get pre-approved offer. Limit got extended to 4X. And now 2 months back again got offer limit increased to 50%.

      1) Stay within 30% all the time
      2) Increase your spends

      If that not works take help of RM/BM or send docs to chennai.

      Reply
  5. Mickey

    Do LE or card upgrade request be put as Hard/ soft inquiry on CIBIL? Does it affect credit score if denied?

    Reply
  6. Himanshu

    @Mickey

    I don’t see HDFC doing cibil enquiry on LE. 4 months back my limit got upgraded. No enquiry done by HDFC

    Reply
  7. Mickey

    What is the difference between Regalia First and Regalia First Business?

    Any difference in benefits/ rewards?

    Reply
  8. Ankit

    No Cibil inquiry in HDFC for LE even My friend got a Hdfc Solitaire Women Credit Card without cibil check and No income documents. (Based on Preferred Savings account)

    Reply
  9. Strydon

    What card would be best for following usage :
    1. International travel
    2. Movie tickets
    3. IRCTC
    4. Groceries and online shopping.
    5. Fuel
    Is there a “one card to rule them all ?”

    Reply
  10. Mickey

    How to make the Regalia First LTF?

    HDFC upgraded me but I didn’t download the form and send it to Chennai, so it is not LTF

    Anyone know?

    Reply
  11. Mickey

    Believe me –

    HDFC card phone CC is the worst ever.. all are trainees, they have absolutely no idea even about basic queries.

    Reply
  12. Mickey

    Himanshu –

    How can one increase spends and stay within 30% at the same time?

    Reply
    1. Himanshu

      Spend on card and pay within generation date. This tip is given by sid and many others in every blog.

      Better to read all the comments/discussions. I have gathered so much knowledge about cards.

      Thank you very much sid.

      Reply
  13. ST Ali

    I am in a fuss with regards to Regalia First Reward points…

    My card was deactivated citing KYC requirement… I’d accumulated 37757 points on it & Never got the notification in any of my card statement when they will be expiring. Traditionally HDFC card statement mentions how many points are expiring in 60 days & also 30 days…

    Once KYC was completed & card reactivated three things happened with the card

    1) It stopped working for Online transaction requiring VBV (Error showing my mobile no. & email is not registered with bank post KYC)
    2) My cash advance limit is now ZERO
    3) My reward point balance is now ZERO

    After complaining regarding online transaction block repeatedly they finally corrected the VBV transaction after 1.5 months

    But my cash advance limit & Reward points are still ZERO..

    What can be done now with reward points.. Cash advance is not important to me since I never used it int he past???

    PS.
    I never asked for card up-gradation ever & it was always given to me by HDFC at each renewal + I’ve a credit score of 859, can it help in any way ??

    Reply
    1. ST Ali

      ++UPDATE++

      So I’d forget about all those points (37757) which were taken away after KYC completion. I wrote to their CC mail ID & they kept telling me to wait for 7 days… After 3-4 back & forth mailers I stopped contacting them & accepted that the points are gone for good & I was busy with other things in life…

      “The reason they gave me each time in their emails was that Bonus Points have a life of 2 Years”

      The explanation I gave them was that I never got any notification in any of my statements which clearly mentions points expiring in 30 days & 60 days respectively. I regularly do Card transactions so I cannot miss them. Also I am using & doing timely payments since last 14 years…

      2nd Point I raised was how can they take all (100%) of the points claiming the above mentioned rule which means I did not made any transactions in the last two years & never accumulated any points in that period.

      Anyway last mail I got mentioned that they will credit points but were not specific how many…

      I ignored the mail all together….

      Now in my current statements they credited all of my points… All 37757 points were given back….

      Cheers !!!

      Reply
  14. Anitha

    Hi Siddharth

    After a lot of researching I went for an upgrade from Solitaire to HDFC Regalia First card 2 months ago. The application process and issue of the card was a nightmare and I would simply call it a bad experience. Customer care is pathetic considering I have had a HDFC card all along(7 years to be precise) and having been their customer. So much that I made up my mind to cancel the card and go for a SBI card. But this article really made me change my mind and give the card a chance to prove its worth rather than decide based on people who handled the application process. Really well written article, gave me the confidence to stick to my Regalia First Card.

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Mickey

      Anitha – if you scroll up 3 answers you will see that I have written that HDFC CC is the worst.

      Even on email.

      Most issues have to be resolved only after escalation to Nodal Officer, who are in fact quite good

      Reply
      1. Karthik

        HDFC is the largest credit card issuers in India so they don’t generally care about their customers.

        Reply
  15. Mickey

    ST Ali – can you tell us more about this KYC deactivation thing? What was the problem exactly, and didn’t HDFC ask you or warn you to provide details?

    Deactivation would be an extreme last step I thought?

    Reply
    1. ST Ali

      Mickey – They did sent mailer for KYC but they never mentioned the consequences if I did not submit on time… I missed the deadline since I was out of station. I’ve been a customer since last 14 years & did 100% timely payment. What i am unable to understand is how 100% of points would expire together… It not like I did only one transaction two years ago..

      Reply
  16. Kabilan

    Dear Siddharth, thanks to your advice, I got the diners black card and amassed 50k points using the 10x program of hdfc. I have used them to book my hotels in Dubai for my family vacation.

    I had also used the air india reward points in the sbi cards for business class flights. Thanks a lot. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  17. Himanshu

    I recently applied for axis my zone card. Despite of decent ITR and cibil score of 784. My application has been declined. I mailed them to ask the reason. May i know what’s fraud score reject?

    Reply
  18. Mickey

    Sid –

    Can a family of 3 ( including 1 kid 11 years) get lounge access abroad ( as long as complimentary visit is valid ) with this set up? –

    SBI Prime with Priority Pass (Wife’s name)
    Regalia First with Priority Pass (My name)
    Regalia First add-on card with Priority Pass. (Wife’s name).

    Reply
    1. Prashant Gupta

      Yes. I do 3 access on my name cards. No problem. You just need as many card as there are travellers.

      Reply
  19. Ankit

    Himanshu
    Fraud Score reject means that you are holding two pan cards or aadhar card…

    Reply
    1. Himanshu

      @Ankit

      No, why would I ? I only have one adhaar and one pan card. I’ve mailed to axis guys got reply it has been rejected due to fraud credit score.

      Reply
  20. Mickey

    And they actually told you reason for rejection?

    Normally Banks just say internal policies

    Reply
    1. Himanshu

      Have escalated at different levels. Even talked with various representatives over phone. Got this reason in one of the mail.

      I don’t know what’s wrong with my documents or report.

      Reply
  21. Ankit

    Sid, forex mark up is 2% but you can opt for global value cashback offer which offers cashback of 1% on the mark up. So that’s good I guess.

    Reply
  22. Aravind

    Hello All,
    I had a Hdfc money-back for like ages, close to 10 years.. after stumbling on sid’s blog got enlightened of the possibilities. My avg spend is around 30-40 k monthly mostly fuel, food ordering/ dine outs, paying bills and online shopping. Air Travel is very rare. What would be an ideal card for such a usage my take salary fall in 20L bracket . SCB is offering ultimate, Hdfc offered an upgrade to regalia first while I was looking for dinners club black. My question is does any of these two cards suit my usage pattern for maximum benefits? Please share your opinion

    thanks

    Reply
  23. Mickey

    Sending the upgrade form to HDFC Chennai.

    Have chosen LTF option with add on card.

    Is it advisable to write a figure for Limit increase also or they will decide the amount on their own?

    Reply
  24. Sathish Chandar

    Hi Siddarth,

    I have applied for HDFC Regalia First, but what I received was HDFC Business Regalia First. What is the difference between these two cards ? Is it really worth using this or should I request for change ? I am not self employed. Pls suggest.

    Thanks,
    Sathish Chandar

    Reply
  25. L

    Hi Sid,

    Recently, some reward points were adjusted/lapsed on my HDFC credit card even though there were no mention of any reward point expiring in next 30 or 60 days in the previous month’s statement. When I inquired about it, I was told that “EasyEMI, e-wallet loading (PayTM, Mobikwik & PayZapp) and transactions (PayTM & Mobikwik ) will not accrue Reward points”. Please notice that it says “transactions (PayTM & Mobikwik ) will not accrue Reward points”. Apparently, this is effective from July 1st, 2017 and they informed their customers about it.

    I recall that they disallowed e-wallet loading but not all sort of transactions on these platforms. Even your article from that time suggests the same.

    Can you please clarify if this is true? If not, how to go about it? Their customer care is adamant about this change being in effect from 1st July, 2017 and all customers were duly informed .

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      In my personal experience, yes, all txns especially via Paytm doesnt get reward points, even for those non-walet loan txn’s like txns on Paytm Mall. They get added and then reversed. I don’t think anything could be done about this unless they decide to.

      Reply
      1. L

        Well, this is news to me. I thought only e-wallet loading was disallowed. Thanks for clearing it up!

        Reply
        1. Ramesh Kumar

          But you can share the proof mentioning it’s not eWallet transaction, they’ll(Customer Care) credit rewards points. I have raised complaint few times for high value transactions(like purchase of bike from paytm mall) and they have recredited the reward points.

          Reply
          1. ST Ali

            Thanks for bringing this to every bodies attention… Its true that they are not giving reward points for PAYTM transactions on Paytm Mall. Two transactions totally Rs 477/- incurred ~12 points which they took back. I was wondering why but now I know…

            Will let it be & will only go after high value transactions on PAYTM Mall for bonus points this way, by contacting customer care from now on…

            Thanxx..

        2. Anoop E S

          might be coz their system does not differentiate between wallet loading and payment of bill in Paytm and other wallets.

          Reply
  26. Mickey

    Therefore shopping on Paytm for groceries/ movies is best with Citi Rewards card. You get 10x reward points

    Reply
  27. Tejas

    Is domestic lounge access available for Regalia First add-on card holder also?

    Reply
    1. Kaushik

      No, only complimentary International lounge access (via PP) can be “shared” with Add-on card holder(s).

      Reply

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