HDFC credit cardholders can get their credit cards lifetime free or get the joining/annual renewal fee waived off on achieving certain spend milestones with their credit cards. The lifetime free option is however not available on premium credit cards including HDFC Infinia, Diners Club Black and Intermiles Diners credit cards.

HDFC Credit Card Lifetime Free - Conditions and Methods

HDFC Credit Cards Annual Fee Waiver Conditions

The annual fee waiver condition is different for different HDFC credit cards. For entry-level and mid-range cards, the annual fee is not applicable as long as Smartpay active status is maintained, while for premium credit cards, the renewal fee is waived off on spending a certain minimum amount in the preceding membership year. The following table illustrates the annual fee waiver condition for the various HDFC credit cards-

Credit Card Annual Fee First Year Fee Waiver Condition (min spends required in first 90 days) Renewal Fee Waiver Condition (min spends required in the preceding year) Lifetime Free Condition Spend-based Lifetime Free Condition (min spends required in the first 90 days)
HDFC Freedom Credit Card Rs. 500 (plus GST) N/A Rs. 50,000 Until Smartpay/One Assist/General Insurance active status is maintained (subject to activation within 90 days of card issuance) Rs.30,000
HDFC MoneyBack Plus Credit Card Rs. 500 (plus GST) N/A Rs. 50,000 Until Smartpay/One Assist/General Insurance active status is maintained (subject to activation within 90 days of card issuance) Rs.30,000
HDFC Business MoneyBack Credit Card Rs. 500 (plus GST) N/A Rs. 50,000 Until Smartpay/One Assist/General Insurance active status is maintained (subject to activation within 90 days of card issuance) Rs.30,000
HDFC Indian Oil Credit Card Rs. 500 (plus GST) N/A Rs. 50,000 Until Smartpay/One Assist/General Insurance active status is maintained (subject to activation within 90 days of card issuance) Rs.30,000
HDFC IndiGo 6E Rewards Credit Card Rs. 700 (plus GST) N/A N/A Until Smartpay/One Assist/General Insurance active status is maintained (subject to activation within 90 days of card issuance) Rs. 50,000
HDFC Millennia Credit Card Rs. 1,000 (plus GST) N/A Rs. 1 lac Until Smartpay/One Assist/General Insurance active status is maintained (subject to activation within 90 days of card issuance) Rs. 50,000
HDFC InterMiles Platinum Credit Card Rs. 1,000 (plus GST) N/A Rs. 2.5 lacs Until Smartpay/One Assist/General Insurance active status is maintained (subject to activation within 90 days of card issuance) Rs. 50,000
HDFC Diners Privilege Credit Card Rs. 2,500 (plus GST) N/A Rs. 3 lacs Until Smartpay/One Assist/General Insurance active status is maintained (subject to activation within 90 days of card issuance) Rs. 1 lac
HDFC Business Regalia Credit Card Rs. 2,500 (plus GST) N/A Rs. 3 lacs Until Smartpay/One Assist/General Insurance active status is maintained (subject within 90 days of card issuance) Rs. 1 lac
HDFC Regalia Credit Card Rs. 2,500 (plus GST) N/A Rs. 3 lacs Until Smartpay/One Assist/General Insurance active status is maintained (subject to activation within 90 days of card issuance) Rs. 1 lac
HDFC InterMiles Signature Credit Card Rs. 2,500 (plus GST) N/A Rs. 3 lacs Until Smartpay/One Assist/General Insurance active status is maintained (subject to activation within 90 days of card issuance) Rs. 1 lac
HDFC IndiGo 6E Rewards XL Credit Card Rs. 2,500 (plus GST) N/A N/A Until Smartpay/One Assist/General Insurance active status is maintained (subject to activation within 90 days of card issuance) Rs. 1 lac
HDFC Diners Club Black Credit Card Rs. 10,000 (plus GST) Rs. 1.5 lacs Rs. 5 lacs N/A N/A
HDFC InterMiles Diners Credit Card Rs. 5,000 (plus GST) Rs. 1.5 lacs Rs. 8 lacs N/A N/A
HDFC Infinia Credit Card (Metal Edition) Rs. 12,500 (plus GST) Rs. 3 lacs Rs. 10 lacs N/A N/A

HDFC Credit Cards Lifetime Free Conditions

As you can see in the table above, there are two ways you can make your HDFC Bank credit card free for lifetime-

Method 1: Smartpay/One Assist/General Insurance Activation

You can make your HDFC Bank credit card free for lifetime by activating any one or more of the following services on your card- Smartpay, One Assist and General Insurance.

HDFC Smartpay

Smartpay is a facility provided by HDFC Bank to its credit cardholders through which they can pay utility/gas/mobile/telecom/electricity/water bills using their HDFC credit card. You can activate the Smartpay facility on your card anytime through internet banking. You also get the option to get Smartpay pre-activated on your new HDFC credit card while applying for the card online on the bank’s website.

HDFC One Assist

HDFC One Assist

One Assist is a wallet insurance plan by HDFC that protects your wallet in case you lose you wallet or your wallet gets stolen. The plan costs Rs. 1,599 and includes one call assistance around the world, lost card fraud cover up to 30 days prior to reporting the loss of card (max covered amount of Rs. 2 lacs), free replacement of PAN and driving license, emergency hotel bill settlement and international ticket (up to Rs. 80,000 and Rs. 1,60,000 respectively), emergency cash assistance in India (up to Rs. 25,000) and online storage space for documents.

Method 2: Achieving Spend Milestones

Another way to make your HDFC credit card free for lifetime is by achieving certain spend milestones within 90 days of card issuance (i.e. by spending a certain minimum amount with the card within 90 days)-

  • HDFC Indian Oil/Freedom/MoneyBack+/Business MoneyBack Credit Cards- spending Rs. 30,000 within 90 days of card issuance.
  • HDFC 6E Rewards/Millennia/InterMiles Platinum Credit Cards- spending Rs. 50,000 within 90 days of card issuance
  • HDFC Diners Privilege/Regalia/Business Regalia/InterMiles Signature/IndiGo 6E Rewards XL- spending Rs. 1 lac within 90 days of card issuance

Credit Cards Not Eligible for Lifetime Free Option

The lifetime free option is available on most HDFC credit cards except the following cards-

  • HDFC Infinia Credit Card
  • HDFC Diners Club Black Credit Card
  • HDFC InterMiles Diners Credit Card

Bottom Line

These annual fee waivers, especially the option to make HDFC credit cards free for lifetime, make these cards an even more attractive proposition. For most HDFC credit cards, except for the super-premium cards, all you need to do is spend a certain minimum amount in the first 90 days of card issuance and the card becomes free for lifetime.

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