Diners Club is Back

All about Discover & Diners Club - talk about their credit card deals such as the More, Miles, Escape, and others.
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Robrus1
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Postby Robrus1 » Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:21 pm

Well, I should've just spent 5 minutes reading. No signup bonus, additional AF for an AU, among a few other things = no thank you. Bummer too, it'd be cool to have.
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Postby hockeyplayr » Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:14 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:So is this card popular because everyone wants to hang out at not-necessarily-convenient airport lounges? Or does it have a sort of 'retro' appeal?

Has anyone had a card with BMO before?


I think its gaining steam because of the large limits and the uncapped points on the elite. Some people are planning to MS with it already. For me, just wanted a diners card after reading the history of the credit card. Sounds silly I know.
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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:42 pm

hockeyplayr wrote:I think its gaining steam because of the large limits and the uncapped points on the elite. Some people are planning to MS with it already. For me, just wanted a diners card after reading the history of the credit card. Sounds silly I know.


The history of the card is that its operations have been passed from one financial conglomerate to another several times since its heyday. Maybe it will make a comeback the way Discover cards did. Has anyone looked into what the actual value of the points are? Hopefully it isn't a PayPal-style rewards system.

For now, I can't shake the image that the only people who'd want (or at least, would genuinely use) a Diner's Club card are the ones that still carry expired Gimbel's store cards in their wallets.
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Postby thom02099 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:34 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:The history of the card is that its operations have been passed from one financial conglomerate to another several times since its heyday. Maybe it will make a comeback the way Discover cards did. Has anyone looked into what the actual value of the points are? Hopefully it isn't a PayPal-style rewards system.

[color="red"]For now, I can't shake the image that the only people who'd want (or at least, would genuinely use) a Diner's Club card are the ones that still carry expired Gimbel's store cards in their wallets[/color].



WOW! Gimbel's. There's a name from the past! I remember back in the day when I lived back East, Gimbel's was THE store to shop. And I think you're right, part of the allure of the Diner's Club card being offered today, particularly amongst us "old timers", is the memory of the Diner's Club heyday, when they and AMEX were Kings.

Is Wanamaker's still around? ;-)
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Postby flan » Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:22 pm

thom02099 wrote:WOW! Gimbel's. There's a name from the past! I remember back in the day when I lived back East, Gimbel's was THE store to shop. And I think you're right, part of the allure of the Diner's Club card being offered today, particularly amongst us "old timers", is the memory of the Diner's Club heyday, when they and AMEX were Kings.


I had a diner's corp card in the 90s. It sucked. No one besides airlines, hotels, and rental car companies took it. Some gas stations. It was a pain whenever I was responsible for arranging a grop dinner, I'd have to find somewhere that took the dang thing. (Did mean we went nicer places than we would have if I'd had an amex.)

The current card, which is really a mastercard, doesn't suffer from that problem, but doesn't have much else to commend it.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:39 pm

I have to wonder a bit if some of the old Diners Club customer base feels betrayed. Even if someone doesn't know the recent history of the company, is the MasterCard logo a mark of shame and surrender?

Then again, companies don't get fade in relevance and get traded around cheaply because they have a huge base of long-time loyal supporters. So maybe the betrayal was in Diners Club's inability to keep up with the competition.
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otter
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Postby otter » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:06 am

Growing up, my perception was always Carte Blanche> Diners Club>Amex>MC/V at least in terms of prestige. In the late 70's/early 80's, credit cards were pretty much useless (no rewards/First Premier-like APR's)- so charge cards were the real market. As inflation and interest rates dropped, credit cards experienced a huge boom and charge cards became passé. Diners Club chose to continue issuing only charge cards while American Express, after some soul searching, started issuing their first revolver the Optima. Would Amex have suffered the same fate as DC/CB if they had stuck to revolvers only? I don't think so because Amex has always been much more than just cards- at the time traveler's checks were Amex's cash cow.

So the problem Diners Club might face now is being seen as your father's (or perhaps your grandfather's) card. No company wants to be "Morrison/Piccadilly Cafeteria"- the company where 90% of your customer base has one foot in the grave. Few brands survive that stigma... Cadillac and Old Spice have managed to survive. Camel Cigarettes managed to become the hip brand among young smokers today after being an "old man's brand" in the 70's and 80's (especially bad when you're a cigarette company and your most loyal customers are dropping like flies). Of course, that transformation was due to Joe Camel, and was probably immoral, unethical, and possibly illegal. So it's possible to make a moribund brand thrive again but it takes great effort. I think BMO Harris might try some unique things to make Diners Club more attractive which is one of the reasons I applied. It's interesting to note that Discover could have probably bought the North America rights to Diners, but chose not to.

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:Even if someone doesn't know the recent history of the company, is the MasterCard logo a mark of shame and surrender?


That's an interesting question... I actually knew someone who worked at Amex when they introduced the Optima for the first time. According to him there was an internal argument @ Amex before the introduction about whether they should have the Optima on the Amex network or release the Optima with a Visa logo. The conventional wisdom at the time said the card wouldn't be a travel card, so why issue a card on the Amex network (which was almost all travel/restaurant merchants) when they could make more money issuing it as a Visa? Of course, in retrospect, we can all see that would have been a huge, huge mistake.
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Postby Brad Bishop » Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:39 am

FastSRT8 wrote:Ok, I used to have a Diners club 15+years ago.

It was hardly recognized then and I don't think it's that recognized now either.

Just my opinion... but.... partnering with Mastercard may help them get more recognition and acceptance.


I had a Diners Club card for about 10 years. It was my main card for dining, gas, travel, and a bit of shopping. I also liked that they were the primary insurance on a rental car.

You're right in that you either had to look at a door to see if someone accepted the card or ask or be told, "Sorry, we don't take Diner's." It was kind of a PITA. This was at a time when just about everyone took Visa/MasterCard and you'd sometimes need to keep an eye out in case they didn't take Amex, and Diner's was somewhere below Amex and Discover in who'd take them.

That being said, when they moved over to the co-branded MasterCard deal and it basically because a "Diner's Club MasterCard" credit card instead of just a Diner's Club charge card, I dropped them. If it's just an expensive MasterCard then why bother? I'll just use my no-annual fee MasterCard, instead.

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Postby Brad Bishop » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:17 am

otter wrote:Growing up, my perception was always Carte Blanche> Diners Club>Amex>MC/V at least in terms of prestige. In the late 70's/early 80's, credit cards were pretty much useless (no rewards/First Premier-like APR's)- so charge cards were the real market. As inflation and interest rates dropped, credit cards experienced a huge boom and charge cards became passé. Diners Club chose to continue issuing only charge cards while American Express, after some soul searching, started issuing their first revolver the Optima. Would Amex have suffered the same fate as DC/CB if they had stuck to revolvers only? I don't think so because Amex has always been much more than just cards- at the time traveler's checks were Amex's cash cow.


That's how I remember it.

I also remember when my dad got an Amex Gold. He traveled a lot for the government and liked the perks and the prestige of it. There was a time when people would look at a Gold Amex and think, "Oh, he's doing well."

It wasn't many years after that where it became fairly easy to get an Amex Gold and then shortly thereafter you had Gold MasterCards and Gold Visas. I got a Gold Amex shortly out of college, maybe around 1989 or so, so it wasn't based on "well off".

I eventually got a Platinum Card around 1990 and I thought it was cool for the prestige value. The problem was that most people didn't even know there was a Platinum Card at the time and I got a few, "...an Amex Silver Card... One day you'll be able to get the Gold Card!" (I kid you not).

A few years later I dropped the Platinum and got a Diners Club Card. I liked it for travel related things (airlines, rental cars, hotels, restaurants) and occasional shopping but that was about it. I did like having it for the uniqueness of it being the first charge card. I thought that was cool.

otter wrote:So the problem Diners Club might face now is being seen as your father's (or perhaps your grandfather's) card. No company wants to be "Morrison/Piccadilly Cafeteria"- the company where 90% of your customer base has one foot in the grave. Few brands survive that stigma... Cadillac and Old Spice have managed to survive. Camel Cigarettes managed to become the hip brand among young smokers today after being an "old man's brand" in the 70's and 80's (especially bad when you're a cigarette company and your most loyal customers are dropping like flies). Of course, that transformation was due to Joe Camel, and was probably immoral, unethical, and possibly illegal. So it's possible to make a moribund brand thrive again but it takes great effort. I think BMO Harris might try some unique things to make Diners Club more attractive which is one of the reasons I applied. It's interesting to note that Discover could have probably bought the North America rights to Diners, but chose not to.


I think they've pretty well ruined the brand between partnering with MasterCard, not expanding their own network, and not actively increasing their base. It's been decades in the making. Even back when I had a DC I didn't know anyone else who had one. I actually can't name anyone I've ever known that had a DC. In 25 years I should have see someone else pull out a Diners, even if I didn't know the person (like seeing someone pull it out in front of you as you stand in line to check into a hotel). Nope. I did get a few, "Oh, Diners... I've never seen one of these before.."

They also helped kill / not expand their clientele by having years where no one could apply for one in the USA while the brand and the card sat sort of dormant as they decided what to do with it.

So, while it's a neat brand in a historic sense, it's more of a foot-note in history right now. Getting a Diners Club Card now is like getting a MasterCard with the picture of your favorite athlete on it. "Oh, look, it's a Michael Jordan MasterCard!"

otter wrote:That's an interesting question... I actually knew someone who worked at Amex when they introduced the Optima for the first time. According to him there was an internal argument @ Amex before the introduction about whether they should have the Optima on the Amex network or release the Optima with a Visa logo. The conventional wisdom at the time said the card wouldn't be a travel card, so why issue a card on the Amex network (which was almost all travel/restaurant merchants) when they could make more money issuing it as a Visa? Of course, in retrospect, we can all see that would have been a huge, huge mistake.


I actually thought at the time that they were thinking about allowing banks to issue American Express cards that it sort of sullied their name. I remember thinking when this was being floated about that it sounded like it was going down the path of an American Express Visa. That always seemed dumb to me.

In hindsight, I think they were right to co-brand with banks. The only reason I can think of to pay to have a charge card these days is maybe for travel (like a Platinum to get the perks at the airports and such). Outside of that, just get a no-fee Amex from your bank.

I know that there are buyer-protection deals with Amex and, in all those years I had Amex, it only came up once and it was a lot of paper work and, in the end, not worth it to bother with. In the commercials they'd show you buying something and then make it sound like, "OH, with purchase protection you're covered," someone would snap their fingers and the broken thing would go away and the new thing would magically appear. That's not real life.

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Postby lobbythis » Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:51 pm

How long did it take anyone to receive a response from Diner's? I apped on Sunday and have heard nothing and no way to check my app status.



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