Diners Club Credit Cards
Diners Club International is another long-term player on the credit card market. Similarly to American Express, Diners Club is mainly a travel and entertainment credit card, though in fact you can use it for any other purpose at the places where it is accepted. Diners Club is not so popular and widely accepted as Visa and MasterCard are but still it is one of the major, internationally recognized credit cards, especially after an agreement with MasterCard was signed in 2004.
The agreement with MasterCard is valid only for Diners Club cards issued in the United States and Canada and according to this agreement, in the US and Canada Diners Club cards are accepted everywhere a MasterCard is accepted. For other locations in the world this is not the same, so if you are traveling abroad and plan to use your Diners Club card as the main or sole means of payment, you'd better check in advance if it will be accepted in the location where you are going to. One of the major issuers of Diners Club cards is Citibank, so if you already have a Citi credit card, it might happen to a Diners Club card.
Another important characteristic that is worth mentioning is that in many cases Diners Club is not exactly a credit card. It is a charge card, which is slightly different. The difference is that you will be allowed to buy on credit but you have to repay your whole balance by a specified date (usually it is 30 days, though different terms are possible, so check what is written in your card holder agreement). Also, sometimes it is possible that you do not have a credit limit at all, so you can make expensive purchases, provided you can repay back the whole amount by the due date.
Of course, there are many Diners Club credit cards that are issued worldwide as well but when you apply for one, you need to pay attention that you are applying for the credit card and not for a charge one. If you see one interest rate for the first 6 or more months and a different one for the next 36, 48 or more months, chances are that you are applying for a Diners Club credit card but still it does not hurt to check again.
Although Diners Club is accepted at many locations worldwide, traditionally it is used for travel and entertainment at places like airlines, airports, golf clubs, lounges, etc. One of the most typical benefits of Diners Club cards is that it provides access to “Members-Only” airport & business lounges all over the world.
Diners Club is not intended for everyday use of individuals with low income, so if you are looking for a cheap, standard card, Diners Club is certainly not your choice. Additionally, like most of the other credit cards, Diners Club also charges fees when used at an ATM to withdraw money, so using it as a debit card is also not very reasonable. In different countries worldwide Diners Club offers different cards, so you may want to check what is available for your country.