Big Changes at Diners Club

Big Changes at Diners Club

Hear that? It just might be the sound of Diners Club cardholders celebrating.

It’s taken some time, but the card of the Freddie Award-winning Club Rewards program will finally get the acceptance it deserves.

As we reported last year, Citibank and MasterCard got together and decided to co-brand the Diners Club card with a MasterCard logo – effectively opening up its acceptance to anywhere a MasterCard is taken. Right now, that means almost 24 million locations worldwide.

Not only will acceptance increase, but additional benefits, such as roadside assistance, will attach to the card.

Members should have received an information packet by now, and will be receiving new cards in May and June.

In addition, Diners is “revaluing” Club Rewards points, such that members will earn one point for eligible dollar charged, rather than the traditional two points. Diners assures us that award levels will be halved to reflect the change. (We’ve always scratched our head at this one. Years ago, Diners had the idea that by making earning “two points per dollar spent” it would appear that the card was earning more than other cards only earning one mile per dollar spent. This might have worked if they had been able to follow through with an “elite-level” to their card which actually did earn two points per dollar spent but left the award chart at conversions of one point equaling one mile. The truth is, that in all our years, we never found a reader of this magazine who was fooled into that way of thinking, and at the end of the day, it was always thought to be one dollar spent earned one frequent flyer mile, regardless of the hoops it took to get there. Oh, the ideas this card has had over the years…Eds.)

The changes affect all Diners Club Carte Blanche and Diners Club Charge Cards, including the Corporate Card.

While the increase in acceptance rate has members buzzing, not all are overjoyed. Part of the changes include the loss of having two full billing cycles to pay – only the Corporate card will retain that benefit. There will also be an increase in the foreign currency conversion fee to 3 percent.

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