My US issued Diners Club mastercard is about to renew (with the requisite $95 fee.) I am undecided whether to cut it loose, or let it renew.
The fact is I rarely use this card anymore, and I have only kept it around for the primary rental insurance, and the lounge access (which I also rarely use, simply because I am typically using Star Alliance lounges.) For rentals, I have recently been using the AMEX rental insurance product (at $19.5 per rental, it's still a bargain compared to rental waiver fees.) Simple math of course would be 5 rentals = $95 annual fee, but I don't really want the hassle of tracking expenses on two different cards, either I use AMEX or DC but not both.
Will my US issued Diners Club card continue to be in the mastercard network, or will it switch to the new merged Diners Club/Discover network? Frankly, I already have a mastercard, so my preference is for my Diners Club card to be in the Diners Club/Discover network. There really hasn't been much news on this front.
So what reasons do I have to keep my Diners Club around? What experiences have others had with retention offers when canceling/closing their US issued Diners Club account?
P.s. - after some due diligence on my part, I discovered that there already is a http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/diners-club-club-rewards/458240-retention-bonus-10.html thread, so this answers half of my question...
Jun 5, 09, 6:27 am
But I don't ever use the rental insurance feature. Also, when I cancelled the card a year ago, the Mastercard connection was the only one available, and it rendered the card useless for international travel. I could go on and on about how bad the DC card is for such travel, but suffice it to say that I would rather use a credit card from a local bank than DC "International". ha!
Frankly, I find my AMEX card to be entirely superior in terms of customer service, and ability to use in business travel. I have a star points card, so the transferrability of miles is reasonably good.
Jun 5, 09, 7:37 am
when I cancelled the card a year ago, the Mastercard connection was the only one available, and it rendered the card useless for international travel. What a ridiculous exaggeration.
Jun 5, 09, 1:51 pm
Just make sure that if you decide to cancel that it's your "final decision", given that for some time now it's been impossible to apply for a new DC card.
Besides the rental coverage (I rent far more than 5 times a year, so I see no benefit to using Amex for that if I have to pay extra each time, especially as some of my rentals are cheapo one-day ones), which has already paid for itself oodles over, I also find the ablity to "top off" a wide vareity of programs useful. I've used it to top off Midwest (which I set up purely to tansfer to Amtrak Guest Rewards purely to transfer to Choice during the brief window that that three-way transfer was super "rich"), Frontier (to get an award right before they changed the award tables and rules which made it no pornt for me to do anything else but top off and burn and leave), Southwest (where I need to time top offs just right to keep credits from expiring). I've also considered (but didn't act that time due to schedule) of transferring one-off to IcelandAir Saga (when DC had a sale on that) since that seems to be the only way to get to Iceland in business class.
None of these are close to my "orimary" collecting programs, yet over the years each has proven the value of DCs fleixbile transfer program to me.
The lounges really depends on where you travel and how, as to whether they have any chance of helping you (they did a few years ago when I was traveling to BRU repeatedly where I didn't have access to any other lounge, but other than they haven't worked for me much, either because I already had access to another lounge or I was at an airport where DC didn't have anything either or I was in the worng terminal or I didn't have time to visit any lounge anyway).
Meanwhile, on the MC vs Discover issue, it's way to soon to tell, so I don't see how you can decide on that this year (but I don't know when you'd be able to apply again for a DC if you skipped a year).
Jun 9, 09, 8:06 am
What a ridiculous exaggeration.
Your statement is factually incorrect and pointlessly insulting. And although you did not have the intellectual honesty to ask for an elaboration before pejoratively labeling my comments as ridiculous, I will elaborate on why it is an entirely accurate statement.
On several overseas trips, charges were rejected for no particular reason, which...wait for it...rendering the card worthless overseas! Why? According to DC, any overseas charges were subject to rejection without notice or explanation, depending "on their security criteria". How to fix this? Answer: You need to call us ahead of time, tell us your travel dates and itinerary, and we MIGHT honor the charges then. This is not really all that practical if one has to do things at the last minute, not a completely unheard of concept in business travel. But just for the heck of it, I did so the very next trip. They took the hotel charge, and then rejected a retail charge right after. Again...why? NO REASON GIVEN. No remedy available.
And to intedict any possible concerns about my use of the card, up to that time, I had no problems with fraud, delinquency, etc. The only change was Mastercard taking over administration of the card. AND...two customer service reps admitted as much, and were as frustrated as I was.
If you can still think my comments are an exaggeration after that, well I think you need to get a real credit card. Absolutely no other card I have ever used for overseas travel has imposed such "ridiculous" restrictions on my use of that card. Most certainly not my current AMEX card, or even the DC card pre Mastercard.
Jun 9, 09, 9:01 am
I don't want to get directly involved in the heated debate others are having but I have to say that I have NEVER had issues with DC acceptance while abroad. I have had a merchant say that they do not accept Diners Club but when I told them it was a MC they followed my insistance and ran the card through and got an approval.
There seem to be people with good and bad experiences with all the CC out there. Just look at all the bad reports on the AMEX forum. The OP shoud decide if the $95 annual charge (which can sometimes be negotiated down or compensated with points) is worth the benefits he/she gets from the card. If the OP hasn't had similar experiences to Alexzander then I would not take those comments into consideration when deciding to keep or cancel the card. If I had had similar experiences to what Alexzander is describing I probably wouldn't renew the card.
Jun 10, 09, 9:40 am
We have had rejection by DC several times in the last 6 months in the US. Most recently, my wife had a $20 purchase at Toys R Us rejected. Why? When we called, here's what they said.
She had been in Toys R Us earlier that day and bought some stuff for our grandsons. Then she remembered something else and before coming home from her trip, went back and bought another item.
They said two purchases in the same store in the same day was "suspicious" and set off their computer. :td:
Jul 1, 09, 2:18 pm
I have not had an issues with my DC card abroad (apart from trying to figure out where they have lounges)...I did just buy two tickets though for Germany's ICE train. 2 transactions for the exact same amount on the same day in a country I did not tell them I was going...it has been a couple of days since I bought them so...I think it will be fine.
Jul 3, 09, 11:20 am
DC activity no reports to credit rating agency. I consider this a +, others may not.
Jul 7, 09, 8:04 am
I just returned from two weeks in Geneva, Switzerland, and Hamburg, Germany. I forgot to let DC know I was traveling but had no problem with any charges to the card. On my return trip, the cashier at a pharmacy in LHR said the company did not accept Diners, but when I asked that he process it as a MC charge, there was no problem. I travel often in Europe, and DC is used to this, so perhaps this is why there was no problem. I love my DC card.
Jul 17, 09, 7:07 am
I travel often in Europe, and DC is used to this, so perhaps this is why there was no problem. I love my DC card.
I not only travel periodically overseas (a few times per year since 2004, though I've had the DC card a few years longer than that), but also whenever I do so I am always traveling on an airline ticket where either the ticket itself (if paid) or the taxes/fees (if an award ticket) were paid the DC, so if they were that smart (and I have no clue if they are) they could presumably figure out from that when I'm likely to be out of the country. (Of course, if I can change the dates without incurring additional fees, they wouldn't see that, but then I've never done that to date.) I often -- but perhaps not always -- have at least one hotel reservation somewhere along the trip made with DC, and thus presumably seen as an authorization when I made the reservation before I left home.