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MBNA Diamond Club credit cards to end 30th September

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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.

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

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 points from credit cards? – May 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards. You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios or other airline miles, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 points bonus (SPECIAL OFFER) and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback (3% on business travel for four months) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (114)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • uk1 says:

    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.

    • Marc says:

      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.

      • Rob says:

        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.

  • Eshaq Choudhury says:


  • PAL says:

    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!

    • harry says:

      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

    • xcalx says:

      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.

    • Rasser says:

      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.

  • Graeme says:

    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.

    • Graeme says:

      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.

    • Rich says:

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

  • David says:

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

  • Tina Hammond says:

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

  • Monica says:

    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.


  • Ian says:

    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?

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