Diners Club relaunched with two new cards under the MasterCard brand allowing you to now use the cards at 38 million locations worldwide. Normally I wouldn’t pay much attention to Diners Club, but the Elite card offers 3x the points in three categories: gas, groceries, and drugstores. Out of these three categories, grocery and drugstores are big for manufactured spending and travel hacking! You could potentially get a free flight for every $8,333 you spend in any of these three categories.
The Premier card comes with a $95 annual fee and it only earns 1 point per dollar spent. I’m not going to pay attention to this card since the perks aren’t that great. The Elite card does come with a hefty $300 annual fee, but if you plan on doing quite a bit of manufactured spending with the card then the $300 will pay for itself in no time.
There’s no cap on the amount of points you can earn. When you look at the airline partners you can transfer your points to, you may want to think about applying for this card.
|Air Canada||Eva Airways|
|SAS||South African Airways|
|Delta Airlines||Korean Air|
|Alaska Airlines||El Al Airlines (1,000:20)|
|Frontier Airlines||Hawaiian Airlines|
|Iceland Air||Southwest Airlines (1,500:1,200)|
Why this is such an amazing card
To put things into perspective, you typically have to spend $25,000 on an American Express Delta credit card to earn 25,000 SkyMiles. With the Diners Club Elite card you can spend $8,333 in any of the three categories to earn 25,000 points and then transfer them to a participating airline. That’s huge! I buy Visa gift cards at a local grocery store and they let me purchase that in one visit.
The gift cards cost $5.95 a piece. In order to manufacture spend $8,000 on a credit card, I would have to buy 16x $500 gift cards. That’s only $95.20 in gift card activation fees to receive 25,000 miles.
If I spent $25,000 in gift cards (50x $500 gift cards) on a typical airline’s credit card then that would cost me $297.50. That’s a savings of $205! Do this multiple times throughout the year and that $300 annual fee seems like chump change.
Earning 3x points to collect Avios
British Airways Avios are even a better deal because I can use only 15,000 Avios roundtrip to fly out and see my parents in South Carolina! British Airways Avios are useful because they are partnered with American Airlines which means you can book an AA flight with Avios. If your flight is 651 – 1,151 miles, then it only takes 7,500 Avios each way.
That means I would only have to manufacture spend $5,000 to collect 15,000 Diners Club points and transfer them to British Airways Avios program. A grand total of $59.50 in gift card fees! Not too bad for a roundtrip ticket on American Airlines!
Without a doubt this is the next card I will be applying for. If you buy as many gift cards as I do at grocery stores, then I would highly recommend taking a look at the elite card. Do the math and see if the $300 a year annual fee is worth it.