Activate international payments in HDFC debit/ credit cards

Aman Saxena

If you are a debit or credit card holder with HDFC bank, you can have the ability to use the card for international transactions. But the card may not come set up for this feature. Read on to learn more on how to activate international payments with an HDFC debit or credit card.

Can HDFC debit/ credit cards be used internationally?

Yes, but it depends on the card and the feature will need to be activated.

First, to get a debit card that works internationally, you have to have any of the following accounts with HDFC:¹

  • Salary Account
  • Savings Account
  • Current account
  • Super Saver Account

With any of the above accounts, HDFC will provide a chip-based debit card linked to your account. That chip can be used overseas for purchases at any point-of-sale card reader for Visa or Mastercard. The next section will cover how to activate this feature.²

But there are also HDFC debit and credit cards that are made exclusively for travel and international use. Here are a few of these cards:

Plus, HDFC has specific foreign exchange cards, or forex cards, that can let you load your account with specific international currencies. With forex cards, you can then spend locally from that currency and the cards often allow for ATM withdrawals internationally. Here are a few of HDFC’s forex cards

  • MakeMyTrip Hdfc Bank ForexPlus Card
  • Regalia ForexPlus Card
  • Multicurrency Platinum ForexPlus Chip Card
  • ISIC Student ForexPlus Card

Depending on the card you can make purchases in US dollars, Euros, British Pounds, and up to 22 other currencies.

How to activate international transactions on HDFC cards

Here is how to activate the international payments feature on your HDFC debit or credit card. It can be done directly from your HDFC Netbanking online or the HDFC website.

Activating international transactions for an HDFC debit card

  1. Sign in to your accounts on HDFC Netbanking
  2. From your dashboard, click on Cards
  3. Select Debit Cards
  4. Select Request
  5. Click on “Set International/Domestic Usage”
  6. Next, select “Card to be enabled for International and Domestic Use”
  7. Enter in any additional card details if requested
  8. Submit

This will allow your debit card to be used internationally. ⁴

Activating international transactions for an HDFC credit card

For activating a credit card, you can try an alternate route with HDFC’s digital AI assistant Eva, which is easy to use:⁵

Using Eva from an HDFC website page:

  1. Click here to open a new HDFC page
  2. The digital assistant Eva will pop up from the bottom right of the screen
  3. Type into the chatbox ‘Manage my Credit Card’
  4. Select International Transactions
  5. Click on “How to enable international transactions on my Credit Card?”
  6. Submit your 10-digit mobile number that is linked to the card
  7. Enter the OTP sent to the registered mobile
  8. Provide the last 4 digits of the credit card number
  9. Select Enable international transactions

HDFC’s Netbanking and Eva assistant can also help you set daily limits to your spending on your debit and credit cards when using them overseas.

HDFC cards international transaction fees and charges

HDFC debit and credit cards have fees when you use them internationally. Let’s take a look at the fees and how they compare with a low-fee option like Wise.

Here are the standard fees to expect with international transactions with HDFC:⁶

International transaction feesFee
Currency conversion fee3.5%
Exchange rate feeSet by Visa or Mastercard
ATM withdrawals₹125 + taxes
ATM withdrawal currency conversion fee3.5%

The first fee is a percentage of your purchase made overseas or at an international website. It is typical for most companies and banks to have international transaction fees to cover the cost of a customer making a purchase.

Certain HDFC credit cards may have a lower transaction fee of 2%, but it depends on the type of card. Typically most international transaction fees at HDFC will be 3.5% of the transaction, plus taxes.

The second fee to keep in mind is the exchange rate fee. This pops up when you are doing a purchase in a currency that is different from the currency you hold in the HDFC account.

In order to convert the transaction, the bank has to use an exchange rate. When a cardholder uses the card, the bank uses a marked-up exchange rate. And in that way, they are able to take a cut of every transaction. And although it may seem small, this markup can inflate the cost of your purchase.

Also, keep in mind that certain HDFC debit and credit cards come with annual fees just for holding the card. Check the fine print of the charges associated with your HDFC debit or credit card.

Wise Web/Android/ iOS app is an easy, fast and cheap way to send money around the world

Send money from India with Wise

Wise uses smart tech so that you can make payments directly to local bank accounts abroad. With just one low transfer fee and the real exchange rate- that means no mark-ups- you can save money on transferring money abroad for holidays, tuition, or gifts.

And if you are already living in supported countries, check out the Wise multi-currency card which lets you hold 60+ currencies in one account with a linked debit card. So whether you are vacationing or heading to India to see family, you can use one account and one card to make your transactions like a local.

How do I pay internationally with my HDFC credit/ debit card?

An HDFC credit or debit card can work seamlessly internationally once activated. The chip in each card allows for easy chip reading or tap payments at a point-of-sale card reader. In some cases, the debit card may ask for your PIN to be inputted, similarly to how it is at home in India. If you run into any issues, contact HDFC’s customer service for assistance.

Sources used for this article:

  1. HDFC debit card activation
  2. HDFC debit card link
  3. Forex cards
  4. HDFC debit card activation
  5. HDFC credit card activation
  6. International transaction fees and charges

All sources checked as of 25 April, 2022

Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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