MBNA Diamond Club credit cards to end 30th September

I knew it was coming, but I thought we may get more notice than this.  It seems not.

If you still have an MBNA bmi Diamond Club credit card, you will no longer be able to earn Avios after 30th September 2016.

This is, to put it mildly, a bit of a disappointment.  This is especially true if – like me – you have the MasterCard which earns 2.5 Avios per £1!  It was obviously not sustainable in the current ‘0.3% interchange fee’ environment even with a £60 annual fee.

It is not clear what happens to those of us who pay a fee for the card.  I would expect MBNA to offer a full or partial refund or some other form of compensation.

The credit card itself will continue to be accepted after 30th September but you will no longer earn any rewards.

bmi credit cards

Diamond Club will close completely on 30th November 2016.  Any Diamond Club points not transferred to British Airways Executive Club by that time will be forfeited.

The 10% discount on British Airways flights for Diamond Club credit card holders will also end on 30th November.

Full details can be found on diamondclub.org.

This will, finally, be the end of the old bmi British Midland and Diamond Club.  Those of us who have been in this game a long time will be sad to see it go, especially as Diamond Club was a fantastic way to access Star Alliance redemptions at disproportionately cheap redemption rates.

I’m going to need a new MasterCard credit card.  I will do a round-up of the best alternatives in the next day or so.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. Diamond Club was so brilliant !

    And so was British Midland !

    • Do any of you know how to contact BMI Diamond club besides email that keeps asking me for my membership no? I joined when it was BMI baby and had an 8 digit number I cant get to speak/email anyone unless I give an 11 digit number. when I press forgotten number it asks for my email which I never seem to get!! so frustrating for 2 years air miles have being going here and I cant transfer to Aios

  2. :(

    That’s all I have to say on the matter.

  3. What a shame to see it go – was a fabulous scheme, both originally under the bmi guise and also as a credit card!

  4. Damn, what a shame. Though I totally understand it now. Gotta miss those old BMI zone 2 – zone 8 awards. The mastercard in its current form was also great when combined with a Supercard for overseas spending. Oh well.

  5. Bollocks

    I knew I jinxed it, when discussing this morning that I thought there golden goose would be sacrificed within the year

    Very sad to put it mildly

  6. Ideas welcome for pre-spending on the Amex? Gift cards (inc. non bonus points supermarket ones, Amazon etc.)

    • New car?
      Double glazing?

      • I wouldn’t buy a new car on an AMEX even if the dealership accepts, if you have just received the card AMEX will ask for proof of funds which can sometimes be a nightmare having gone through it but with the German outfit.

    • nobody likes my ticket tout idea but it’s legal

      what a sad old day

      I must stick a couple of extra £K through on essentials before it goes, council tax being obvious possibility

    • easy to buy Amazon giftcards @ Morrisons, so I guess I’ll stick some there

      can anybody think of a way to buy credit/ giftcards to be set against future petrol/ diesel?

      • Do Tesco take their own gift cards at petrol stations?

        • I’m going to be pre-paying my future VAT and PAYE for the next year …. no real opportunity cost keeping the money in the bank these days!

          • Indeed, especially with Santander 123 dropping their rates. I’ve put more money into Zopa.

            • Have you looked at RateSetter? – I’ve had money with Zopa since 2011 but over the last year or so RateSetter have had much better rates and so I have been moving funds across as/when loans are repaid. – Happy to provide a “refer a friend” link if you like/Raffles doesn’t object!

            • Thanks, Nick – will take a look although I quite like with Zopa that I don’t need to worry about setting rates, it just takes care of itself (with pretty decent returns and low default rates). If I’m going to invest I’ll get Rob to drop you an email with my details :)

            • No problem – you can set it to invest at “market rates” if you don’t want to choose your own rate. The market rate is generally higher than Zopa, and to give one data point – I had an order complete this morning at 5.9% for a 5 year loan.

              There are differences in the safeguarding measures and there will be differences between the two when they are underwriting loans, but I haven’t had any major issues with defaults/late payments to date on either platform

            • Thanks, Nick – will take a look.

            • how will you proceed when somebody does actually default?

            • I’ve had a couple so far but as they split the loans between lenders the liability is small. Anything recovered through debt collection is paid back and losses can now be offset against income on your tax return.

            • Is it the case with these things that you absorb defaults and are supposed to make many microloans to dilute the damage? I’m staggered that the rate would be as low as 5.9% for five years (barely higher than the dividend rate on some liquid investment trusts) if that’s the case.

          • Richmond says:

            I’m going to pay VAT too. Was going to put it through Hilton. Ideas for pre-paid vouchers are welcomed.

          • Can you pay HMRC for spouse with credit card or does card have to be in own name?

          • Do it in small chunks then, a few days ago MBNA declined my AFKLM purchase of just over £3k despite no previous difficulties with large transactions. At the time I just thought it was fraud prevention but given this news today I now wonder if there was something more to it! So bad news, reopens the wounds of BMI passing, really miss my 37.5k TG flights to KTM.

            • Don’t think so. I did an £8k payment over the phone with them recently – if you get declined (as this was), they can authorise it on the phone in real time (eg you sit at your PC, make the payment whilst talking to the agent, agent approves it as it pops up).

            • the_real_a says:

              MBNA have a £3k limit per transaction (in my case) – otherwise it requires a post decline phone call to authorise.

            • @Rob, thanks for this, I just put it through on my Lloyds avios card to hit spend target as a fallback. Useful tip for the future though.

        • Dan Davies says:

          Tesco do take Tesco gift cards at PFS not Esso/Express

          Morrisons Fuel save scheme ended in July. So no extra incentive.

          Sainsbury’s do not take gift cards/vouchers on fuel

      • Sainsbury’s allow you to use their gift cards in their petrol stations – can’t see why the other supermarkets should be any different.

      • That’s a good idea. Amazon Gift Codes are valid for a decade…

        Might as well buy £1000

    • we need another decent points deal on Tesco Wines – a couple of £100 would help plus stock up on essentials

      I’ll have a look tonight

    • obvious ones being

      council tax (paypoint)
      internet/ telephone rental
      supermarket requirements (fill the freezer!)
      tv licence
      other monthly bills

      you can pay all these in advance

      • my council tax can be paid at post office or at payzone (note no paypoint).
        looking at payzone shops does not seem any of them (small independent ones) will accept amex.

        Trying to work out how to pay off CT for the remainder using Amex but so far no luck, as my local post office flatly refused saying cannot take credit card for council tax (not even Visa or MC). so i am back to square one. My local authority is wokingham if anyone is curious.

    • Klaus-Peter Dudas says:

      How about booking an expensive, refundable hotel on Hotels.com and then cancelling once the points are safe?

      • that’s been mentioned before (and variants)

        risk is: you’ll get black-listed

        but should work in the short term

        nobody likes my ticket idea but it’s 100% legal lol & works fine

        plus it delivers a healthy profit if you try & ‘get’ which artistes are going to be selling out, not that this is the point of course

        • blacklisted by whom?

          I did this (albeit unwittingly) with a different credit card not too long ago.

      • or a refundable flight ……?

        • Hi Rob – do you know any airlines who actually refund refundable flights promptly? Maybe I’ve had bad luck in the past (with BA, VS and QR) but my refundable ticket refunds have always taken several weeks, if not months, to be processed – and that only after several complaints to Customer Relations!

        • Buy an Amazon giftcard for your whole balance :) Amazon seem to give fast refunds on request. I’m doing that :) BUT if Amazon goes bust in the meantime lol…

      • The funds would be refunded to a closed account. Not sure how you would get your money back

        • If Amex issued Amex they put the credit on your closed account, send you a statemrnt then you call up to transfer the cash to your bank account. Not too sure about MBNA processes.

  7. OT: What are the pros and cons of using a Curve Card directly on the underground as a wireless card?

    Is there a good reason why not?

  8. biscuiteer says:


    I’ve had the Diamond Club card for nearly 7 years.

    What a pisser.

  9. V annoying. Although I’ve been using the IHG card recently to hit the £10k spend for the free night, the plan was to resort back to the DC afterwards.
    Raffles – I look forward to your updated review of other Mastercards / Visas on the market.

  10. Aw dammit, this has been the consistent workhorse of my credit cards for a long while now.

    Going to have to look into the best options for long-term spend on Amex/non-Amex now that I can’t just rely on the Diamond Club cards – I’m assuming Raffles will have an article on this in the next couple of weeks?

  11. Looking forward to the update on other cards – now that my wife has benefited from a few flights/hotel stays (with status) she is quite happy to use whichever card I tell her to rather than complaining that it was too complicated!!

  12. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news guys, I couldn’t believe it when I saw the message this morning :(

    I’m going to have to find another card now for normal spending! I’ve got the Tesco card but I think the points rate was hit recently so don’t think that’s any good. Sad day indeed.

    • kill the messenger! lol

      not literally (whoever that person was who told me off last night)

  13. No!

    I never thought I’d be so disappointed to hear that a credit card benefit was being withdrawn…

    Saying that. Don’t they have to give their customers a full months notice of changes like this? I haven’t had anything by post or by email yet…

    • I would have thought so but might be based on the date the letter is sent rather than received. Reckon we’ll have letters by the weekend….

      • [NOT the Roger who posted above – I’ve added an asterisk]

        Mrs Roger and I had e-mail messages yesterday.

  14. I was always jealous of you guys 😉
    It’s been a tough 18 months in this game, BA/Etihad devaluation, interchange cap etc but one door closes and another will open…..there are always opportunities/loopholes out there :)

    • I’m a little relieved, although I feel HFP pain- of course!

      Having chopped in the BMI Amex card a couple of years ago I’ve been kicking my backside ever since- so, one job less to do in the morning :) .

      • ain’t that Schadenfreude, Worz?

        just tell me the best alternative on Oct 1st lol

        might consider 6 months of Lloyds Amex @ 2 points?

        • 2.5, harry. Good on the Amex, not so on the MC

          • might just go for plat points after all this time, I know the bonus maths Mr & Mrs intros etc (thanks!) so might as well forget the earning points

            plus I have always been a bit of a lounge lizard

            • You know the plat makes sense. We’ll be doing it again in Oct / Nov for 92k MR points with the target 2 x £2k spend all going on work expenses. Easy points.

        • I’ve had the Lloyds a couple of years ago. Anyone know how are they at allowing the X2 bonus for old customers or even a referral bonus, which I think is theoretically available?

    • my Canadian mate thanks me for his Economist sub :)

    • You need to adapt to survive. I seem to ge doing alright points wise at the moment.

  15. Official email just received from BAEC…

    Dear Alan,

    We are sorry to inform you that the Diamond Club will be closing on 30 November 2016.

    Please be assured that up until this date, you can still use your 10% discount on British Airways flights.

    If you have a Diamond Club Credit Card issued by MBNA Limited, you will no longer be able to collect Destinations miles from 30 September 2016, however you will be able to convert them in to Avios using the Combine My Avios tool when you log in to your Executive Club account. You will need to do this by 30 November 2016, otherwise your miles will not be transferred and will expire.

    If you have any further queries, please contact us.

    Yours sincerely,

    The Diamond Club

    • Received the identical email…

      However, I was only ever on the “standard” Diamond Club so wasn’t entitled to 10% off BA flights.

      How odd… Although if it has suddenly become valid, I’d better start booking for next summer.

  16. we was rough – but we was diamonds :)

  17. End of an era. Does anyone else rembember the QXL auction days when you picked up buiness class seats for peanuts. bSo many wonderful trips. I rember winning six return business class seats for the first flight out and last back to Amsterdam and took all the family for £15 each. And we got miles towards Silver. I must have booked over a hundred tickets through that auction.

    And what about the cash-balance transfer where they capped the charge at £70 and we filled our boots with hundreds of thousands of BMI miles when they were wrth something. Rob, I think we owe noticing that wrinkle to you? At one stage I was transferring £30,000 backwards and forwards between the card and my bank account twice a week.

    Happy days. RIP BMI.

    • Baggageinhall says:

      I do! Visited many points in Europe in style while still a student with my then girlfriend, now wife. We once used the (long gone) check-in desks at Paddington and had to endure a cross-examination from a supervisor as to why our tickets were so cheap.

      My first thoughts on receiving the doomed email from BA this evening was what Raffles would make of this and where my non Amex spend will now go.

    • My first ever trip in business class was to Warsaw won on QXL for £56 return including taxes in 2000, not long after finishing University.

      I have to admit though I never flew BD ever again as living in Newcastle made BA much more practical. Took out the Diamond Club card during the merger knowing the sign up bonus would be good for avios.

      • I doubt I ever flew them more than twice, despite burning about 2 million Diamond Club miles :-)

        To put in context how cheap it was, I flew myself and 3 friends to New York in LH F for a weekend at one point, just because.

  18. Eshaq Choudhury says:


  19. Would be great having a page where some of the more experienced travellers could relay some of the best perks in the old days – i remember reading once 25 avios per pound on an old Lloyds card? Also remember seeing keeping receipts for avios!

    • it’s like a bit of a get INTO jail card on Monopoly – but you just need to ask Raffles in a good moment down here

    • Some of the perks have to remain a closed topic, at least until the miles are all used, and that could take a while. LOL.

    • Triple BA Miles at Travelex (including on Sterling Travellers Cheques). LGW Travelex for a few weeks offered commission fees capped at £3.

      Withdraw cash from bank > travel to LGW to exchange for Sterling TCs > Return to bank to pay TCs back into bank account.

      Repeat. Cost per transaction approx £20 (travel and commision).

      Was a nice earner when taking a wad of £10k down to LGW.

      The time was an annoyance though.

  20. Gutted. This card has been great for me, allowing me to go back to it immediately after I’ve hit other targets. It’s obviously always been coming, but even so it’s disappointing.

    In unrelated news, I suspect I might need to book a very expensive fully refundable flight a few days before the Club closes.

  21. Anyone know if you can collect points for purchases made before the 30th September but where your statement is generated afterwards?

  22. Tina Hammond says:

    What fee do Lloyds charge for HMRC payments made on the Avios/Amex Mastercard?

  23. Hi,
    Can anyone advise how to contact diamond club. They’re online form doesn’t work and the birthdate on our account is wrong so BA won’t transfer our points.


  24. surely MBNA don’t want to lose a lot of high spending customers over night? They may well find some way of keeping this card alive? I spend a lot on it, so it could be a big hit to mbna balances?

  25. Sorry for the daft question – but how do I make HMRC payments using the diamond club card, and what is the fee?
    Do MBNA regard this as a purchase or a cash advance?

    Thanks Matt

  26. Does anybody know how to contact Diamond Club people directly? My wife is in a pickle. Her last name on Diamond Club does not match the last name on BAEC and cannot transfer the accumulated points. The contact form on the website crashes (with all browsers) and the phone number links to BA who cannot help her!?

    • There is still a Diamond Club team but you need to contact the BAEC by phone who will ask them to make the change. My wife did this a few weeks ago via the Gold line, as she never changed her name from her maiden name on the BMI Diamond Club account, and it was changed immediately.

  27. Having had experience with Amex both in the US and UK there are a large number sites who will not accept AMEX due to their charging process and as a result the banks now are supplying a Visa card which feeds back to your Amex account . However in using this Visa card we are penalised by the banks either in reduced or no reward points being given.
    In short the user has to either argue the point with the vendor to take Amex and if unsuccessful either walk away or pay with Visa and not get a rewards. Seems pointless (pardon the pun)

  28. I’m surprised that I read it here first and that there hasn’t been any communication from MBNA on this. I have both the MC and Visa/Amex combo from years ago. It’s time for a BA amex/visa combo card…

  29. It says we’ll no longer be able to earn Avios from 30 Sept, but what if we have an unpaid balance on that date? Any ideas?