Diners Club: An in-depth guide


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  1. Introduction
  2. Where is Diners Club used?
    1. North America
    2. Europe
    3. Asia
    4. Latin America
    5. Other markets
    6. Market trends
  3. Who uses Diners Club?
    1. Businesses
    2. Additional considerations
  4. How does Diners Club work?
    1. For customers
    2. For businesses
    3. Key distinctions
    4. Challenges and considerations
  5. Benefits of accepting Diners Club
  6. Diners Club security measures
    1. Security technology
    2. Secure infrastructure
    3. Customer and business protection
  7. Accepting Diners Club as a payment method
    1. Eligibility
    2. Application process
    3. Technical requirements
  8. Alternatives to Diners Club

Diners Club International is a charge card business originally founded in 1950 as Diners Club. It was the first independent payment card business in the world and is known for creating the concept of a stand-alone credit card business. In 2008, Discover Financial Services purchased Diners Club International from Citibank for $165 million, merging the Discover network with the Diners Club network to create a global payment processing system.

Diners Club cardholders use their cards for travel and entertainment expenses. The card works much like any other credit card: cardholders are granted a line of credit and can use the card to make purchases at different businesses. However, unlike traditional credit cards, Diners Club often requires cardholders to pay off the full balance each month instead of carrying over a balance with interest.

While Diners Club has a unique history for its association with travel and dining, it has expanded its services over time to accommodate a broader range of expenses. The business also offers its members access to airport lounges and other travel-related perks.

Diners Club cards are accepted around the world, but their acceptance can be more limited compared to Visa and Mastercard. The exclusive nature of Diners Club is connected to the way it positions itself as a premium card for frequent travellers and business professionals. For businesses, accepting Diners Club cards can attract customers who are higher-than-average spenders around travel and dining – but businesses should also be aware of the transaction fees associated with accepting these cards, which may be different from other credit card networks.

Below, we'll cover what businesses should know about working with Diners Club as a payment method, including where and how it's used and what costs and fees are associated with the card.

What's in this article?

  • Where is Diners Club used?
  • Who uses Diners Club?
  • How does Diners Club work?
  • Benefits of accepting Diners Club
  • Diners Club security measures
  • Accepting Diners Club as a payment method
  • Alternatives to Diners Club

Where is Diners Club used?

Diners Club is a nimble and adaptive player in the global credit card market, with offerings aligned with regional trends and customer behaviour. Diners Club's acceptance has expanded to over 200 countries and territories. Here's an overview of the different global markets where Diners Club is accepted:

North America

  • Strong corporate card presence: In the United States, a significant portion of Diners Club transactions are made on corporate cards, tapping into the robust business travel industry. This serves the needs of business travellers and their employers, demonstrating Diners Club's focus on this demographic.

  • Competition from Visa and Mastercard: Diners Club faces intense competition in North America, especially from Visa and Mastercard. To remain relevant, it partners with high-end travel brands and offers exclusive airport lounge access, with the goal of providing value-added services that distinguish it from its larger competitors.


  • Established markets: While Diners Club has less than 1% market share in Europe overall, it has a meaningful market share in Germany, France and Italy. The focus on small and medium-sized businesses in these countries highlights how the company targets a customer segment that may be underserved by larger credit card networks.

  • Challenges in Eastern Europe: The presence of local card networks and evolving regulations presents significant challenges for Diners Club in Eastern Europe. Diners Club manages these challenges through partnerships and by developing solutions tailored to local market needs.


  • Growth engine: In China, where travel and luxury spending is booming, Diners Club has expanded by partnering with the payment provider Allinpay. This collaboration helps Diners Club tap into China's vast, growing card market.

  • Cultural considerations: In Japan, where customers show a strong preference for contactless payments, Diners Club's focus is on mobile solutions.

Latin America

  • Brazil's unbanked population: Diners Club has been present in Brazil for more than 50 years, and a 2015 partnership with local payment brand Elo helped broaden its reach.

  • Argentina's economic instability: Ongoing economic challenges in Argentina have led to fluctuations in card usage. Diners Club offers flexible payment options and local partnerships to maintain its market presence in Argentina, attempting to adapt to the region's economic realities.

Other markets

  • Middle East and Africa: In the United Arab Emirates, Diners Club caters to high-spending customers with its focus on premium travel and hospitality. In Africa, mobile payment partnerships are important for expanding Diners Club's presence.
  • Rise of business travel: The global business travel market is projected to increase by 188% between 2020 and 2028, and Diners Club is well positioned to benefit from this boom.

  • Shift to contactless payments: The global contactless payment industry is expected to generate US$12.5 trillion by 2032. Diners Club has successfully adapted to this global trend in contactless payments.

  • Importance of local partnerships: By acquiring new business through local partnerships in countries such as China and Brazil, Diners Club demonstrates how effective a local approach is in expanding its global footprint.

Who uses Diners Club?

While it's not the dominant player in global payments, Diners Club does have a fairly diverse customer base. Diners Club cards are accepted at more than 50 million businesses and more than one million global ATMs. Here are more details of the types of business and customer segment that use Diners Club:


  • Travel and hospitality: Diners Club transactions are popular in the travel and hospitality industry. Airlines, hotels, car rentals and airport lounges often partner with Diners Club to offer exclusive benefits like points or discounts to attract frequent business travellers and leisure guests.

  • Medium-sized and large businesses: For the most part, Diners Club issues its cards to medium-sized and large companies. These businesses find Diners Club's expense management tools and travel perks valuable, along with its ability to streamline corporate spending and enhance employees' travel experiences.

  • Frequent business travellers: Many Diners Club cardholders travel for business multiple times a year. These individuals enjoy the card's global acceptance, airport lounge access and travel insurance options.

  • Affluent customers: Diners Club cardholders often belong to the upper-income brackets. The card's premium rewards programmes, exclusive partnerships and focus on luxury brands cater to this group's spending habits and preferences.

  • Tech-savvy millennials: The card's mobile payment options and digital wallets can also resonate with younger, tech-savvy generations.

  • Corporate expense management: Businesses with Diners Club corporate cards use them for travel and entertainment expenses. The easy-to-track transactions and expense reporting features simplify expense management for businesses.

  • Cross-border transactions: Diners Club cards are accepted in more than 200 countries, making them a convenient option for international business travel and online purchases.

  • Rewards and perks: Diners Club cardholders actively participate in its rewards programme, redeeming points for travel, merchandise and gift cards.

  • Airport lounge access: Diners Club cardholders have access to more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide – a valuable benefit for frequent travellers seeking comfort and convenience.

Additional considerations

Diners Club offers a range of card options that serve specific needs and spending habits. For example, the Diners Club Black Credit Card caters to high-net-worth individuals, offering exclusive benefits and rewards. The card's acceptance at online retailers and e-commerce platforms is also growing, attracting customers who prefer online shopping. Diners Club's focus on partnerships and collaborations with brands and businesses helps expand its reach.

How does Diners Club work?

Diners Club works in a similar way to other major credit card companies, but the process isn't identical. Here's a rundown of how it works and what it offers businesses and customers:

For customers

  • Card issuance: Diners Club partners with financial institutions to issue cards to individuals and businesses. The application process is similar to other credit cards, with creditworthiness checks and approval based on individual profiles.

  • Transaction process: When a customer uses their Diners Club card at a business, the transaction details are transmitted through the Diners Club network. The customer receives a real-time notification, and the merchant account is credited within a specified time frame.

  • Settlement and billing: Diners Club settles transactions with businesses daily or weekly, depending on the agreement. Customers receive monthly statements of their charges and any applicable fees.

  • Rewards and benefits: Diners Club offers various reward programmes, which are often tied to travel and entertainment spending. Cardholders can redeem points for flights, hotel stays, merchandise or gift cards. Additionally, some cards offer exclusive benefits, such as airport lounge access and travel insurance.

For businesses

  • Merchant onboarding: Businesses can sign up to accept Diners Club cards directly or through a payment processor. This process involves setting up a merchant account and agreeing to the business's terms and fees.

  • Transaction processing: When customers make a Diners Club payment, the business receives the transaction details and funds within the designated time frame. Businesses can access detailed reports and transaction history through a secure online portal.

  • Payment processing fees: Diners Club charges a flat fee or a percentage of the transaction amount for processing payments. The specific fees can vary depending on the business's industry, volume and the negotiated agreement.

  • Chargeback protection: Diners Club provides chargeback protection to businesses in case of fraudulent transactions or customer disputes. This helps businesses mitigate potential losses.

  • Business solutions: Diners Club offers a number of business solutions, such as corporate card programmes with expense management tools, virtual card numbers for secure online transactions and invoice payment solutions for B2B transactions.

Key distinctions

  • Global acceptance: Diners Club is accepted by a vast network of businesses worldwide, offering flexibility to customers and increased reach for businesses.

  • Focus on travel and entertainment: Diners Club's rewards and partnerships often cater to frequent travellers and high-spending individuals, enabling businesses that accept the card to reach specific customer segments.

  • Corporate card solutions: Diners Club's corporate card programmes and expense management tools cater to the needs of medium-sized and large businesses, offering convenience and control over employee spending.

  • Partnerships and collaborations: Diners Club's partnerships with airlines, hotels and other brands offer additional benefits to both customers and businesses.

Challenges and considerations

  • Limited market share: Compared to Visa and Mastercard, Diners Club holds a smaller market share, which can limit its acceptance.

  • Higher merchant fees: Diners Club's merchant fees can be higher than those of other networks, which may deter some businesses from accepting the card.

  • Regional variations: Acceptance and usage patterns may vary significantly across different regions and markets.

Benefits of accepting Diners Club

For businesses, accepting Diners Club offers many of the same advantages that other credit cards do: in-depth customer analytics, a convenient payment experience and a high level of security. However, Diners Club also offers some unique benefits, including:

  • Access to other markets: Diners Club has a strong presence in specific sectors, such as travel, hospitality and entertainment. Partnering with the company allows businesses to reach these high-spending customers more effectively. This is particularly valuable for businesses in these industries, because Diners Club cardholders often seek exclusive experiences and premium offerings.

  • Global network with local nuances: Diners Club has a vast global network, with wider reach than some regional card networks. However, the business also understands local nuances and partners with relevant brands and service providers to succeed in different markets. This allows businesses to tap into local market trends and preferences.

  • Focus on corporate cards and expense management: Diners Club has a strong focus on corporate card solutions and offers extensive expense management tools and reporting capabilities. This is especially beneficial for medium-sized and large businesses with complex expense tracking and travel needs.

  • Strategic partnerships and collaboration: Diners Club partners with airlines, hotels, car rentals and other brands. These partnerships offer businesses access to exclusive benefits and promotional opportunities for their customers. This can be a powerful tool for attracting new customers, driving customer loyalty and standing out from competitors.

  • Flexible billing and settlement options: Diners Club offers different billing and settlement options, including consolidated billing and flexible settlement cycles. This gives businesses greater control over cash flow, which has the potential to improve their working capital management.

  • Focus on high-end travel and entertainment: Diners Club uses exclusive benefits to cater to frequent travellers and high-spending individuals. This can be a compelling distinction for businesses looking to capture these valuable customer segments.

Diners Club security measures

Security technology

  • Tokenisation: Diners Club employs tokenisation, replacing sensitive card details like credit card numbers with unique digital tokens during transactions. This means that even if transaction data is intercepted, the real card information isn't exposed and cannot be used for fraudulent activities.

  • Fraud detection and analytics: Using sophisticated algorithms, Diners Club's systems monitor transactions in real time, identifying abnormal patterns that could indicate fraud. This proactive approach helps prevent fraudulent activities before they affect cardholders.

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA): For sensitive transactions, Diners Club often requires additional verification steps beyond card details. This could include a one-time password sent to the cardholder's phone or biometric authentication, such as fingerprint or facial recognition.

  • Data encryption: All communications between the cardholder's device and Diners Club servers are protected with strong encryption protocols, so personal and transaction data remain confidential and secure.

Secure infrastructure

  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliance: Diners Club adheres to the PCI DSS, which are rigorous global security standards for handling card transactions. Compliance with these standards is regularly verified through extensive audits.

  • Regular system updates: To combat evolving cyber threats, Diners Club updates its systems and software with the latest security patches and enhancements on an ongoing basis.

Customer and business protection

  • Chargeback protection: In cases of fraudulent or disputed transactions, customers and businesses can engage with Diners Club's chargeback process to contest the transaction and potentially recover funds.

  • Customisable transaction alerts: Cardholders can set up alerts for different types of account activity, which enables them to detect and respond to any unauthorised or suspicious transactions immediately.

  • 24/7 customer support: Diners Club provides round-the-clock customer support, with a dedicated team available to assist with security concerns and respond to potential fraudulent incidents.

Accepting Diners Club as a payment method

Here's a quick look at how businesses can start accepting Diners Club as a payment method:


Diners Club prioritises specific industries that are aligned with its cardholder base and its spending habits. These include:

  • Travel: Airlines, hotels, car rentals, travel agencies and tour operators benefit from attracting Diners Club cardholders who travel frequently and look for high-end experiences.

  • Hospitality: Restaurants, bars, night clubs and entertainment venues can tap into a high-spending clientele.

  • Medium-sized and large businesses: Businesses with frequent travel expenses or corporate card programmes find Diners Club's travel perks and expense management tools valuable.

  • Entertainment: Event organisers, cinemas and theme parks can draw in customers who use Diners Club cards for entertainment purchases.

  • Financial health: Diners Club works with financially stable businesses that have a clean credit history. It conducts credit checks to assess the risk of accepting a new business. Factors such as annual revenue, profitability and debt levels can influence the approval decision.

  • Restrictions on business type: Certain business types may be ineligible or require additional scrutiny due to higher risk factors.

    • Financial institutions: Banks, credit unions and money service businesses may be subject to stricter regulations and compliance requirements.
    • Higher-risk industries: Businesses that involve gambling, adult entertainment or other higher-risk activities may face additional scrutiny due to the potential for fraud or chargebacks.

Application process

There are two main options for connecting with Diners Club:

  • Direct sales team: Contact Diners Club's sales team directly to discuss your business and explore tailored solutions.

  • Integrate with a payment processor: Partner with a payment processor that offers Diners Club integration. This partner can help simplify the application process and provide ongoing support.

Get ready to complete your application:

  • Prepare your documentation: Be prepared to submit the following documents:

    • Business licence: proof of your business's legal existence and registration.
    • Financial statements: recent financial statements demonstrating your financial health and stability.
    • Bank references: letters from your bank confirming your financial standing and creditworthiness.
    • Tax returns: proof of your business's income and tax compliance.
  • Review the merchant agreement: Carefully review the terms and conditions outlined in the merchant agreement. These include:

    • Merchant fees: the specific transaction fees applicable to your business, based on industry, volume and negotiated terms.
    • Settlement cycles: how quickly you receive funds after transactions are processed.
    • Chargeback procedures: the process and fees associated with disputed transactions.

Technical requirements

Payment gateway compatibility: Make sure your existing payment gateway or point-of-sale (POS) system can be integrated with Diners Club's network for easy transaction processing.

  • PCI DSS compliance: Adhere to PCI DSS to safeguard sensitive cardholder data and minimise security risks.

  • Fraud prevention measures: Implement extensive fraud prevention measures, such as tokenisation, multi-factor authentication and real-time transaction monitoring, to protect your business and customers.

If your business uses Stripe to accept payments, you don't need to apply to Diners Club directly to start accepting Diners Club cards. Stripe handles the integration and authorisation process on behalf of businesses. This process can depend on several factors:

  • Stripe account country: Diners Club availability through Stripe depends on the business's Stripe account country. Currently, Diners Club is not supported in all countries where Stripe operates.

  • Industry and business type: Stripe may have additional eligibility requirements for accepting Diners Club based on the business's industry and business type. For example, higher-risk industries might require additional scrutiny.

  • Specific Stripe plan: Some Stripe plans may not offer Diners Club as a supported payment method. Check your specific plan details or contact Stripe support for more information.

Here's the general process for accepting Diners Club with Stripe:

  • Merchant checks Stripe's documentation: The business should review Stripe's documentation to confirm whether Diners Club is available in its specific account country and for its type of business.

  • Merchant enables Diners Club in Stripe: If eligible, the merchant can activate Diners Club as a supported payment method in their Stripe settings.

  • Stripe handles authorisation: Once activated, Stripe handles the authorisation process for Diners Club transactions. Businesses do not need to submit a separate application to Diners Club.

Alternatives to Diners Club

While Diners Club offers unique benefits in specific markets, businesses have many alternatives to choose from. Here are some of the major competitors, along with their strengths and potential drawbacks compared to Diners Club:

  • Visa and Mastercard: The undisputed giants of the credit card industry, Visa and Mastercard, have almost universal acceptance and massive cardholder bases. Their extensive reach attracts a wide customer base. However, these networks can come with higher transaction fees and stricter chargeback policies compared to Diners Club in some markets.

  • American Express: Known for its premium card offerings and affluent customer base, American Express caters to businesses that serve high-spending individuals. Their rewards programmes and travel perks can garner loyal customers, but their limited acceptance compared to Visa and Mastercard might limit customer reach. American Express also often charges higher merchant fees than Diners Club in specific markets.

  • Regional networks: In certain countries, localised networks, such as China UnionPay in China or Elo in Brazil, offer competitive fee structures and strong regional brand recognition. These networks can be a valuable option if your customer base is concentrated in specific regions, but their international acceptance might be limited compared to global networks like Visa or Mastercard.

  • Digital wallets: Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are rapidly gaining traction, offering the convenience of contactless payment and security. Integrating these wallets can attract tech-savvy customers and streamline checkout experiences, but they might not be as familiar to customers, particularly in regions that rely heavily on cash payments.

  • Other payment methods: Beyond these payment methods, businesses can explore options such as buy now, pay later (BNPL) services or QR code payments. BNPL can attract customers looking to pay over time, while QR code payments are convenient for mobile-first customers. However, these methods may have their own fees and operational requirements, and their popularity can vary depending on the region and customer demographics.

Choosing the right alternative depends on several factors:

  • Target customer base: Who are you trying to reach? Consider the preferred payment methods and spending habits of your target customer base.

  • Market conditions: Analyse the dominant payment networks and emerging trends in your target region.

  • Transaction volume and value: Higher-volume or higher-value transactions might enable you to negotiate better terms with specific networks.

  • Business model and budget: Assess merchant fees, chargeback policies and integration costs to find the most cost-effective solution.

For many businesses, a mix-and-match approach may be the best fit. Combining Diners Club with other networks, digital wallets or other payment methods can help your business meet diverse customer preferences and maximise your reach.

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