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Old Oct 9, 08, 9:51 am   #1
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Diners Club, Discover, and MasterCard

OK, I am a little confused about their relationship. Can anyone explain?

Sometime ago my Diners Club card became a dual card with MasterCard, meaning it is now acceptable wherever MasterCard is accepted.

I also have read that Diners Club International is a business unit of Discover Financial Services.

But MasterCard and Discover are 2 different financial companies that actually compete with each other.

So what's the relationship here?

How may it affect how I use the cards, since I also have a regular MasterCard and Discover card? Of course my goal is to maximize my miles and points.
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Old Oct 9, 08, 6:11 pm   #2
 
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Originally Posted by ChaseTheMiles View Post
OK, I am a little confused about their relationship. Can anyone explain?

Sometime ago my Diners Club card became a dual card with MasterCard, meaning it is now acceptable wherever MasterCard is accepted.

I also have read that Diners Club International is a business unit of Discover Financial Services.

But MasterCard and Discover are 2 different financial companies that actually compete with each other.

So what's the relationship here?

How may it affect how I use the cards, since I also have a regular MasterCard and Discover card? Of course my goal is to maximize my miles and points.
If you have a US card, then you have no connection to Discover, full stop -- you have a Mastercard.
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Old Oct 10, 08, 8:13 am   #3
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Sometime ago my Diners Club card became a dual card with MasterCard, meaning it is now acceptable wherever MasterCard is accepted.
If you have a US issued card with the MasterCard logo on the front, it's not even a "dual" card. It's simply a MasterCard worldwide (it does not work on the "Diners Club" card acceptance network anywhere).

It is a Diners Club card in issuance and benefits only, but it is a normal MasterCard (only) as far as acceptance and merchant processing is concerned.

(It's different for overseas Diners Club cards that have a MasterCard logo only on the back. They are indeed dual, in that depending on the country you use them in they may be processed on the MasterCard network or the DinersClub network.)
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Old Oct 10, 08, 10:56 pm   #4
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It is a Diners Club card in issuance and benefits only, but it is a normal MasterCard (only) as far as acceptance and merchant processing is concerned.
Is it a Diners card or not?

I thought it is accepted anywhere where the Diners Club logo is displayed at the established.

Who issues (or owns) the Diners card overseas, Discover or Mastercard?
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Old Oct 11, 08, 12:12 pm   #5
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Originally Posted by ChaseTheMiles View Post
Is it a Diners card or not?

I thought it is accepted anywhere where the Diners Club logo is displayed at the established.

Who issues (or owns) the Diners card overseas, Discover or Mastercard?
Is what a Diners card or not, in what sense?

There's acceptance network, there's issuer, there's owner, and there's program.

Diners Club cards issued in the US are on the MasterCard acceptance network worldwide (they have numbers that start with 5, which automatically means MC), they're issued by and owned by Citibank, and the program (partners and benefits) is Diners Club (Club Rewards). The fact that the acceptance is MC and the owner is Citi doesn't change the fact that the program is Diners Club.

The acceptance network for cards issued overseas is more complex. They have the MC logo only on the back, and those cards are supposed to be accepted in the US as MCs (tho some people have had some problems) but elsewhere in the world they're still accepted only on the Diners Club network.

(Canada is similar to the US in terms of acceptance, ownership, and issuer, but the partners and benefits may still be different.)

And, at present, Discover has nothing to do with any of this. The Discover deal is an announcement only so far, nothing has been implemented yet. (And not even details have been announced.) Our best understanding is that the Discover acceptance network will merge with the (non-MC) Diners Club acceptance network worldwide. It won't affect the MC acceptance (5xxx), but it'll change (presumably widen) the non-MC Diners Club acceptance (3xxx, or maybe they'll change to 6xxx?).

Meanwhile, issuers and ownership of Diners Club overseas is a patchwork, and the programs are all different too. In some countries it's also owned by and issued by Citi, but in other countries it's a different bank. The airline and hotel partners are different for cards issued in each country, the earning rates can be different for cards issued in each country, and the other benefits can be different for cards issued in each country (whether or not the bank is Citi).
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Old Oct 11, 08, 3:52 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by ChaseTheMiles View Post
Is it a Diners card or not?
Well, kind of... at least I guess it will let you in the Diners Club airport lounges.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseTheMiles View Post
I thought it is accepted anywhere where the Diners Club logo is displayed at the established.
Actually, your US Diners Club card will be accepted only where the MC logo is displayed. So if there exists somewhere in the world an establishment that takes Diners and not MC, then I suppose your card will not be accepted.
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Who issues (or owns) the Diners card overseas, Discover or Mastercard?
As sdsearch said: varies, but neither of them.
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OK, I am a little confused about their relationship.
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Old Oct 12, 08, 12:55 am   #7
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I think I'm getting it now; thanks for all the helping answers.

Now, here's a question that's a little up the ante:

Is Diners a money making program for Citi? Would Citi consider selling Diners to raise cash?
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Old Oct 13, 08, 10:09 am   #8
 
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As a member of Greek Diners Club (but also and something like an insider due to my job) I can tell you that all non North America cards that have the mastercard logo on the back are accepted as mastercards in US and Canada and the majority of Internet sites. (Some local franchises haven't upgraded their systems yet and those cards have problems in the US). Elsewhere they are accepted only if the establishment has an agreement with the local Diners Club company.

If it is more clear the Americans cards have one number 55XX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX,
while the non-Americans have two, one official (in the front) 36XX-XXXXXX-XXXX and one only for north American POS systems 55YY-YYYY-YYYY-YYYY.

As for Discover, it is kind the same as the Mastercard Diners Alliance. Discover cards will be accepted to outlets in Europe, Asia and Oceania that accept Diners Club cards without any change to card number (at least this is the initial plan).

Closing, Diners Club was (and to some point, especially to Europe and Asia, is and will be) a special product that brings and maintains upper level customers to Citibank. The bank is not seeing DC as a line of profit but as a key to a special customer audience that wants to approach and also it is the only product that directly competes AMEX Green, Gold (Personal Diners Card) and Platinum (Carte Blanche or Prestige here in Greece). Here is still an exclusive product for middle and upper class. I believe is the some in the US but the mastercard logo has lifted some of the product uniqueness.
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Old Oct 13, 08, 7:44 pm   #9
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Is Diners a money making program for Citi? Would Citi consider selling Diners to raise cash?
I don't even know how easy it is for them to judge that. Where would people go if they didn't Diners Club? Does Citi really know?

Diners Club gives Citi somethig to compete against MR Amex with. They are the only two charge cards left.

Diners Club also gives Citi a corporate card program. They personal card is more like gravy (and we're not sure how thick that gravy is, given how the personal card all too often seems an afterthought).

I doubt selling Diners Club would make much cash for them. It's not like it has such a high cachet any more. (The lowering of the cachet, in fact, is probably at least in part Citi's doing.) It's probably something whose value is other than the purely monetary.
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Old Oct 23, 08, 2:25 pm   #10
 
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Lightbulb

One thing to keep in mind is that Citi sold Discover the network, not the franchisees. Discover Network is strong in North America but weak overseas, and Diners Club is non-existent as a network in North America (cards issued in North America by Citi work on the MasterCard Network instead).

From various press releases and answers from Citi & Discover, it sounds like North American issued Diners Club cards will continue to be issued on the MasterCard Network. The overseas Diners Club Network and the Discover Network will be consolidated into one network over the next 2-3 years. They have not announced what the branding on the new combined network will be, but they did say that the Diners Club brand will not be going away, and that Discover network cards will be accepted anywhere Diners Club is accepted overseas, and Diners Club Network cards would be accepted anywhere Discover Network is accepted (presumably not including the MasterCard Network ones issued in the U.S. & Canada though).

Discover also said that they would not be issuing Diners Club cards themselves, leaving that to the franchisees, including Citi who is still a franchisee of Diner Club even after the Diners Club Network was sold to Discover. So the Discover name will not be going away either.

Although it is a bit unclear by press releases they have issued and answers they have provided so far, it appears that overseas Diners Club cards may switch from being accepted as MasterCard to being accepted as Discover Network when used in North America. Cards issued outside North America might even have the Discover Network logo on them, similar to how the MasterCard logo is on them now.

It should be interesting how this plays out.
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Old May 18, 09, 12:33 pm   #11
 
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Cards issued outside North America might even have the Discover Network logo on them, similar to how the MasterCard logo is on them now.

It should be interesting how this plays out.
I've received a new DC-Card today. The former MC- and Cirrus-logos on the back are replaced with a Discover- and pulse-logo.

adiós, vievic
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Old May 19, 09, 2:58 am   #12
 
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I've received a new DC-Card today. The former MC- and Cirrus-logos on the back are replaced with a Discover- and pulse-logo.

adiós, vievic
Same here from Denmark. Even if I don't use my Diners much in ATM's (to expensive) it is sad that the Cirrus cooperation have been canselled. It was a nice back-up for me. Well we are going back to how it was some years ago, when you had to look after the Dinners logo. I have never seen a pulse logo outside the US, but maybe it will change soon?
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Old Jun 14, 09, 6:17 am   #13
 
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Have to comment on the Diners acceptance in Canada.

I have a Finnish DC, card number 36xx etc. I have spent quite some time in Toronto now and I have completely given up on trying to use my DC anywhere. My experience is that it is only places who clearly state that they accept Diners who accept Diners. The MasterCard thing is useless. I have tried several times to use the card in places where MasterCard is accepted, but not Diners, and told them that it should be accepted, and asked them to try. Most get insulted since "they know" it's not accepted, some restaurants even claim they tried to swipe the card and it didn't work. Now with the new Discover-logo, most say that they don't accept Discover nor Diners...

Thank god I have my Visa and nowadays also carry cash with me.

Thinking of going back to Amex after 5 years with DC, especially if the SK/Amex partnership brings something remotely useful. It might not be accepted everywhere, but at least an Amex is an Amex, period.
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Old Jul 9, 11, 3:54 pm   #14
 
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As mentioned by other posters, there is the acceptance network and there is the card issuer.

Diners Club used to be an independent acceptance network, with independent banks issuing Diners Club cards, typically limited to one franchisee per country. This is similar to how there are independent banks issuing cards on the Visa and MasterCard networks.

However, the next part is where it starts to get muddled.

In the North America, the Diners Club acceptance network was disbanded years ago by Citi, and a deal was struck with MasterCard to use their network instead in the U.S. and Canada for Diners Club cards issued by Citi and the various Diners Club franchisees. Hence the MasterCard logos on North American cards, and the MasterCard logo on the back of cards issued overseas prior to the Discover purchase of the Diners Club network.

Overseas, however, many franchisees ran their country's own Diners Club acceptance network in addition to issuing the card and therefore would not strike similar deals with MasterCard, since that would basically close a portion of the franchisee's business if they did. So the Diners Club network continued to exist overseas, run by individual franchisees.

So you had this weird situation where Diners Club cards in the U.S. & Canada used the MasterCard network worldwide, but Diners Club cards issued overseas used the MasterCard network in North America only and still used the remaining Diners Club network overseas.

Then Discover comes in and buys the Diners Club network, and then integrates the Discover Network with the Diners Club and Pulse networks. Regardless of whether you call the new network the "Discover Network" or a combined Discover / Diners Club Network does not matter. Basically Diners Club is no longer an independent acceptance network.

All new Diners Club cards are now issued on the Discover Network (although may be locally branded as Diners Club), with the exception of the ones in North America where contracts are in place that keep them as MasterCard. When those contracts expire, I am sure both Discover Network and MasterCard will be fighting for those contracts.

So, in summary, cards issued in North America are MasterCards, and cards issued overseas are Discover Network cards.

The logo on the front or back of the card will tell you which network your card is on and whether you need to look for a MasterCard or Discover Network logo. If you see a Diners Club logo, it basically means it's the Discover Network branded as Diners Club.

Last edited by WisTex; Jul 9, 11 at 4:15 pm..
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Old Dec 10, 12, 4:01 pm   #15
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Sorry to bring up this old thread but just searching for the pros and cons of AX & DC worldwide. Like niksal said earlier
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an Amex is an Amex, period.
WORLDWIDE so no need to wonder and beg some waiter to please try again and swipe your card if it is accepted - as long as the AMEX sign is available your card is fine.

On the other hand, DC is good card too when all the confusion is settled and a DC holder can actually know that his or her plastic will be accepted everywhere as what it's DC or whatever the name it will be in the future
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