After more than two decades of changes and innovations in the loyalty program industry, it’s rare anymore to witness a truly original event.
But original is the only way to describe the ground breaking alliance between Diners Club Club Rewards and MasterCard — the first cross-brand credit card alliance.
Starting in November, Diners Club cards that are issued in the United States and Canada will be redesigned to include the MasterCard logo and hologram on the front of the card. The new cards can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted (which encompasses more than 22 million locations worldwide) and cardholders will enjoy all of the benefits of the Club Rewards program.
“This alliance brings together the strengths of two global industry leaders,” said Peter Knitzer, EVP, Citi Cards. “The result is an unprecedented combination of Diners Club’s world-class products and services with MasterCard’s acceptance virtually everywhere in the world.”
Diners Club International franchises will begin a gradual distribution of new cards, with the MasterCard logo on the back, that will be accepted at all MasterCard locations in the U.S and Canada (the card will be accepted as it is today in all other countries).
This is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting partnerships to come down the pike in quite some time, and it will certainly be interesting to observe how frequent flyers are affected by it. At first glance at least, it would seem the Diners Club/MasterCard combination will be tough to beat, especially considering the Diners Club Club Rewards card has already won seven consecutive Freddie Awards for Best Affinity Credit Card. If, as has been suggested, this cross-branded card really does provide the best of both worlds – global acceptance and all of the benefits of Diners Club membership – chances are frequent flyers will flock to sign up.
Don’t be surprised at all if AMEX and Visa counter with their own announcement soon.