Famous as the world’s first credit card, the Diners Club Card was first used on the 8th of February, 1949 by Frank McNamara, Ralph Schneider and Matty Simmons, and the first transaction occurred at Major’s Cabin Grill. These three people constituted the Diners Club, and the card was originally intended to be used exclusively in restaurants instead of having to carry cash. Legend has it that the idea of inventing the card occurred to Frank McNamara when he dined at a restaurant, and at the end of his meal discovered that he was not carrying sufficient cash to pay for said meal. The Diners Club card was initially released as a charge card not a credit card, and the cardholder was obliged to pay the entire amount owed to Diners Club.
The Diners Club was focused on a niche card market created by them that is commonly known as the T&E or Travel and Entertainment market. This market consists of individuals who had access to substantial funds whose lifestyles or work demanded extensive travel. Other competitors to the Diners Club in the T&E segment were the American Express and Carte Blanche.
In 1981 Citibank (part of the Citigroup of companies) took over Diners Club International, and they now own the rights to the Diners Club trademark. Having said this, there are many franchises of the Diners Club International that still continue to be independently owned.
How does Diners Work?Since the Diners Club card is a charge card, it functions slightly differently from conventional credit cards. The card is exclusive, and in order to obtain a Diners Club card, potential customers must provide proof of income among other details. As soon as the card application is approved, the customer can begin to make purchases either at a point of sale or online. Like a credit card, the Diners Club card also has a credit limit, but most banks allow the cardholder to select a credit limit that they feel is convenient to them.
While making a payment online, the cardholder is required to authorize payment by entering the cardholder name, Diners Club card number, expiry date and an additional security code printed on the back strip of the card. Once this process is completed, the cardholder and Diners Club enter into an agreement by which the cardholder is obliged to repay to Diners Club the amount of the purchase.
At the end of the one month billing period, the cardholder is presented with a bill detailing the amount spent on the Diners Club card as well any other fees that may be entailed. Unlike credit cards, where the cardholder can choose to pay a stipulated minimum amount, Diners Club cardholders must repay to Diners Club the whole amount mentioned on the bill.
Diners Pros and ConsThe Diners Club has one minor disadvantage. The fact that it is a charge card means that they charge high fees to both the merchant and the cardholder. This sometimes deters many merchants and online casinos from accepting Diners Club cards. This is obviously not a very active deterrent because the Diners Club continues to be accepted at over 8 million outlets online and offline, including many online casinos. The Diners Club card also has many rewards, and allows entry into many exclusive clubs, restaurants and executive lounges around the world.
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