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. we was rough – but we was diamonds 🙂

  2. 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.

  3. Eshaq Choudhury says:


  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    • I’m thinking that I’ll book it, pay the bill, remove the points, cancel the card, then cancel the flight so the refund comes back elsewhere.

    • Thinking about doing the exact same. With BA refundable flights are there any fees whatsoever? Or do you get back exactly what debited?

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

  7. Tina Hammond says:

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

  8. 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.


  9. 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?

  10. 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

    • Purchase, 0.38%

      • Seriously? Why haven’t I been doing this for years?

        So I pay £10,000 to HMRC, Amex Diamond Club charges me £38, and I get 20,000 Avios. Have I got that right?

        Surely 20,000 Avious is worth >£200 — I must have something wrong!

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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…

  14. 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?

    • The card carries on as usual and you earn on every transaction booked by 30th, even if you haven’t paid the bill to MBNA.