I read that paying credit card bills before bill generation can help regulate credit utilization ratio and thereby improving credit score. But are the reward points computed on the total unpaid amount when the bill is generated or is it based on the total amount spent using the card?

For example, let us say I make transactions of Rs40000 on a credit card with a limit of Rs75000. Now, the credit utilization ratio is high which can affect my credit score. So, I pay Rs10000 in advance before the bill/statement is generated. Thus the bill will be generated for Rs30000. Now, are the reward points calculated for Rs30000 (billed amount) or Rs40000 (actual amount spent)?

PS: I am asking this with respect to the HDFC millennia credit card (India).

  • 1
    Note I edited the question so that the paid and billed amounts are different, because I think your assumption may actually be backwards. This way there is no confusion.
    – TTT
    Sep 16, 2022 at 19:33
  • Thanks! That was really stupid on my part Sep 17, 2022 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


tl;dr: Usually it's the actual amount spent.


I don't know the answer for India specifically, but in the US it is based on the amount spent, and occasionally also based on the amount paid. My hunch is that it works similarly in India (and a quick search seems to confirm this).

I happen to have a credit card with 2% cash back, and 1% is given based on how much you spend per statement, and the other 1% is given when you pay that balance off. The current balance on a bill is completely unrelated to points.

So in your example, your points would be based on either 40000 spent, and/or 10000 paid, depending on the terms of the credit card.

Note this is kind of the opposite of what you expected. It would be pretty mean for a bank to only give you points if they could charge you interest on it too. (I'm not saying banks don't do mean things, but this would be really mean...)

Side Note: You should strive to always pay off your balance in full before the due date so you can avoid paying interest. You'll still get all the points you earned!

Other Side Note: The HDFC cards you referenced use the word "spends" which means "actual spending" rather than "billed amount". If you return something and get a refund, that will be a negative "spend" and you will lose points, which of course is fair.

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