IDFC First Bank Credit Cards to devalue cards effective May 1, 2024

When it rains, it pours, goes the popular adage. IDFC First Bank, which has the unique business model of offering their proprietary credit cards as Lifetime Free (apply here), has just introduced a wholesale rebalancing of the features on their cards portfolio, similar in trends to the other market players such as Axis Bank and Yes Bank. Here are the changes summarised:

IDFC First Bank introduces new rules for lounge access

No creative thinking is going around right now regarding lounge access policies. All banks are up for a Monkey See, Monkey Do, which means the floodgates are now open regarding reducing lounge access benefits and linking them to credit card spending. This serves a dual purpose. The banks can finally expect to see some spending on the card and not just see the card in the customer’s sock drawer. And secondly, they will be able to cut costs. As I’ve written before, the lounge access costs are spiralling, and there had to be a breaking point for banks to stop with their generosity. As an airline customer, I am happy because the queues at airport lounges may be shorter now.

a group of credit cards

IDFC First Bank is also implementing the same rules for Lounge Access as the others, raising the bar and reducing the number of lounge visits awarded. Here are the changes coming up on some of their prominent credit cards.

Till April 30, 2024. Effective May 1, 2024
Card Name Spend/Month Free Domestic Lounge Visits Spend/Month Free Domestic Lounge Visits
Wealth  N/A 4  ₹ 20,000 2 + 2
 Select  ₹ 5,000 4  ₹ 20,000 2
Power +  ₹ 5,000 1  ₹ 20,000 1
Vistara  ₹ 5,000 2  ₹ 20,000 2

Remember, IDFC Bank accounts for spending done in the prior calendar month to grant lounge access in the coming month. However, I am unclear how monthly spending would enable lounge access for a quarter. For instance, if I spend INR 20,000 on the Vistara Card in May 2024 and get access for two trips in June 2024, then I don’t use the card for two months, and then I return in August 2024. Is that how it is supposed to be?

Movie Discounts cut

Another popular benefit Indian credit cards offer is a discount on booking movie tickets online. In the case of IDFC First Credit Cards, the discount was applied to booking tickets via Paytm. Now, the discounts are changing.

Till April 30, 2024 Effective May 1, 2024
Card Name Discount Frequency Discount Frequency
Wealth  ₹ 500 2x p.m.  ₹ 250 2x p.m.
 Select  ₹ 250 2x p.m.  ₹ 125 2x p.m.

The reward point structure is changing.

There will also be a change in the reward points structure for the proprietary cards.

  • 10X points trigger reduction: On the Wealth Credit Card, the 10X points earning trigger is being reduced from spending over INR 30,000 per month to INR 20,000 per month. Similarly, on the Select Credit Card, the 10X points earning trigger is being reduced from INR 25,000 per month to INR 20,000 per month.
  • Devaluation of points earning: On the Wealth Card, 6X Reward Points are currently rewarded on online spending and 3X Reward Points on offline spending up to INR 30,000 in a statement cycle. Effective May 1, 2024, 3X Reward Points on online and offline spending will be awarded up to INR 20,000 in a statement cycle. On the Select Card, 6X Reward Points are currently rewarded on online spending and 3X Reward Points on offline spending up to INR 25,000 in a statement cycle. This limit will also be reduced to INR 20,000 earning, effective May 1, 2024.
  • Education, Wallet load, and Government services will see a reduction in points earning: On the Wealth and Select cards, Education, Wallet load, and Government services transactions currently earn up to 10X Reward Points. In May, these categories will earn 3X Reward Points and be removed from the 10X Milestone calculation.
  • Points earned are pegged to INR 150 from the earlier INR 100. For instance, when IDFC First Bank says Earn 3X/INR 150, they mean 3 points per INR 150. The points value remains the same, but the devaluation has already happened by 50% due to reduced points earned.

Fair Usage Limits and Other Changes to Utilities Spends

The following MCCs will qualify as Utilities spend here on:

  • 4814: Telecommunication Services
  • 4816: Computer Network/Info Services
  • 4899: Cable and Pay TV
  • 4900: Electric/Gas/Sanitary/Telephone or Water Utilities (already classified under Utilities)

Additionally, spending over INR 20,000 on utilities in a spending cycle will be charged 1%+GST as it qualifies as commercial spending in the view of IDFC First Bank.

Other Changes

You can read IDFC First Bank notifications about these cards and other cards not covered here for full details:


IDFC First Bank Credit Cards will be cutting off lounge access for many users of their credit cards. Not just that, there will be other discounts gone and devaluation of rewards points earning as well. New features will go live on May 1, 2024.

What do you think of the changes coming to IDFC FIRST Bank Credit Cards?

Liked our articles and our efforts? Please pay an amount you are comfortable with; an amount you believe is the fair price for the content you have consumed. Please enter an amount in the box below and click on the button to pay; you can use Netbanking, Debit/Credit Cards, UPI, QR codes, or any Wallet to pay. Every contribution helps cover the cost of the content generated for your benefit.

(Important: to receive confirmation and details of your transaction, please enter a valid email address in the pop-up form that will appear after you click the ‘Pay Now’ button. For international transactions, use Paypal to process the transaction.)

We are not putting our articles behind any paywall where you are asked to pay before you read an article. We are asking you to pay after you have read the article if you are satisfied with the quality and our efforts.

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

More articles by Ajay »


  1. Is the change in RP calculation basis from INR100 to INR150 applicable even above the 10x earning milestone?

Leave a Reply

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