It hasn’t started out as a great year for Diners Club.
Despite a 2005 partnership with MasterCard, which effectively eliminated the one great obstacle the venerable card faced — acceptance — members were dismayed to find that three major frequent flyer programs have left the Club Rewards program, and another is slated to jump ship in April.
As of this year, Club Rewards points are no longer be redeemable for miles with Continental OnePass, Northwest WorldPerks, or US Airways Dividend Miles. On April 27, United Mileage Plus will be dropping, as well.
It appears that Diners may be a victim of its own success. Once the MasterCard deal went through, Diners Club was no longer a fairly limited player that card-issuing competitors could politely ignore. Instead, the card-issuing banks put their collective foot down, and demanded that frequent flyer programs decide who they would stick with.
The end result: Banks 4, Diners Club 0.
While some have suggested that the changes essentially “gut” the Club Rewards program, it should be pointed out that Diners remains partners with Air Canada Aeroplan, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, American Airlines Advantage, Asiana Club, British Airways Executive Club, Delta SkyMiles, El AL Israel Airlines “Matmid” Club, Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns, GlobalPass (10 member airlines), Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles, Icelandair, Korean Air SKYPASS, Mexicana Airlines Frecuenta, Midwest Airlines — Midwest Miles, SAS EuroBonus, South African Airways Voyager, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, and Virgin Atlantic Airways flying club.
Diners is now offering a “Tailored Travel” program which will allow points to be used in lieu of cash to pay for travel charged to the card at the rate of 100 points per $1.25.