According to a news article published on Livemint, India’s largest private sector bank, HDFC Bank, is in talks with 2 airlines and 1 ‘large hotel chain’ for new credit card products.
It could be a new card, multiple cards, or additional benefits for existing cardholders.
However, new credit cards seems to be the most likely outcome. There are a very few hotel chains in India that fit the ‘large hotel chain’ criteria. Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Taj, IHG and maybe Accor.
Marriott seems to be the most likely one. Accor is not traditionally that aggressive with credit cards. IHG and Hilton don’t have that big a presence in India. Though, IHG has plenty of properties in pipeline.
Taj is a part of Tata Neu loyalty program. And there are already a couple of HDFC Tata Neu cards. So, this partnership is already in place.
We have been hearing about a Marriott credit card in India for a long time now. Although, we would have expected them to go with Amex. HDFC Bank being one of the largest credit card issuers in India, could be a factor in play.
HDFC is in dire need of a premium credit card that can help retain their highest spending customers, as they have been constantly reducing the benefits on their flagship Infinia and Diners Black card.
So, what will it be? A new Marriott Card? A generic travel credit card? Additional perks for existing cardholders? Or something else? We will know very soon. HDFC seems to be ready to announce the partnerships in the next couple of weeks.