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Diners Club acceptance to hugely increase in the UK with a new Barclaycard deal

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The most surprising event in UK loyalty credit cards last year was Lufthansa partnering with Diners Club to return to the UK market.  Luckily, given the exceptionally low Diners Club acceptance in the UK, the card came partnered with a prepaid Mastercard which is funded via the Diners Club.

As both cards have the same earn rate of 1.25 Miles & More miles per £1, I assume that 99% of Lufthansa credit card holders have done what I have done – put the Diners Club card in a drawer and just carry the Mastercard.

This might change.  Barclaycard has just announced that the 110,000 businesses which use Barclaycard as their payment processor can now accept Diners Club.  This article from Finextra explains more.  Barclaycard is not asking shops for additional fees on Diners Club transactions so the majority will presumably opt in.

I see a small risk here for the Miles & More payment cards.  If Diners Club acceptance increases sharply, it would make sense for Diners Club to reduce the earning rate on the Mastercard element of their UK payment cards.  This would allow them to stop paying Mastercard its fee cut on those transactions.  It won’t happen in the short term but I can see it happening eventually.


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 (138)

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

  • hingeless says:

    “bar and restaurant spend will earn points even if you are not a guest in the hotel” – this is very welcome,i’m not sure why any chain wouldn’t do this!

    • Rob says:

      We will stop holding parties at the Holiday Inn Camden the day they let you earn points on bar spend, tripling the transaction time 🙂

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Easy set up a tab and settle at the end of the night

        • Andrew Bowness says:

          Something tells me that this would make “the end of the night” last a very long time for bar staff.

      • Andrew says:

        Perhaps more straightforward if F&B spend on the chain’s own Credit Card resulted in bonus points?

        Indeed, for many of us who are forced to book through company travel agents and consequently forfeit points, it would be a “nice touch” if F&B or other service spend whilst staying at the hotel on the relevant chain’s credit card resulted in some form of recognition.

      • Ross says:

        Receipts should have a QR code which adds points automatically when scanned into the Accor app. If Accor want to send me some points for this suggestion, that would be nice…

        • hingeless says:

          Can you imagine all the HfP folk hanging around Accor bars looking for old receipts!

  • Rob says:

    OT- there is an offer for 700 Avios when making a first online purchase with Tesco. Anyone have any thoughts on how long ago the last order would need to have been made to qualify? I can’t even remember if I’ve made one before.

  • Alex W says:

    Montreal route not cancelled then, it’s postponed. Shame as I was hoping to visit this year.

    • Doug M says:

      Great place. Fly someone else?

      • Alex W says:

        Yes could do but was hoping to redeem on Aer Lingus from Dublin as much lower fees. BA fees are £650 for business class, what an absolute joke.

        • guesswho2000 says:

          Fly to BOS and connect, I flew BOS-LGA-YUL on DL last December, and I’m sure there’s direct options if you don’t want to connect.

        • Alex W says:

          The thought of flying BRS-DUB-BOS-LGA-YUL would give the wife a heart attack! I could justify 1 stop if it saves us a grand, 4 stops I suspect not!

        • guesswho2000 says:

          Haha fair point…my full route was MEL-NRT-BOS-LGA-YUL//YYZ-YYC-YVR-LAX-HKG-SIN-MEL, which was an elaborate way of visiting Japan and Canada in one extended trip, with a couple of nights in HK on the way home to break things up…the other half has got used to my ridiculous routings and just runs with it now, as long as she doesn’t have to sit in Y and gets lounge access.

  • Anna says:

    OT – Marriott category “changes” seem to have been implemented overnight.

    • Anna says:

      Though at the moment the old points rates is still showing until you select your hotel from the list and click through, then it jumps up to the new pricing.

      • Russ says:

        Has the peak/off peak pricing kicked in yet? Checked a couple of award stays I’ve previously booked and they’re still asking the same amount of points right through to next year.

        • Anna says:

          I’ve checked a few dates where I would expect to see peak pricing but it’s showing as standard so it’s either not been introduced yet or the dates are very odd! I need to make a reward booking towards the end of April so it would be good if they held off a few weeks longer.

        • Russ says:

          Easter may still be within your grasp Anna 🙂

        • Tom1 says:

          Pretty sure the peak/off-peak was postponed again til later in the year. Sure rob mentioned it in his article about 5th March changes.

  • Mike says:

    Has Billhop stopped accepting American Express ? I only ask as it now requires all credit card details to be re-entered but just sows an error code when American Express is entered. This is business payment…….I am aware the ship has sailed for payments to personal bank accounts (darn it)

    • Anna says:

      I made a successful payment this week – I would email or chat with them re this. Can’t see them not accepting Amex any more as it must constitute a big part of their business.

    • Rob says:

      Not heard anything.

    • illuminatus says:

      It’s a security feature after an upgrade. I regularly use them for Amex payments, nothing has changed

    • Mike says:

      All sorted now – apparently a temporary glitch only affecting Amex. Phew as I use Billhop a lot – although clearly not as much as previously when they accepted payments into personal bank accounts……

  • NFH says:

    I use my Miles & More cards only at merchants that don’t accept American Express. I currently carry my Miles & More Diners Club card only to see which non-Amex merchants accept it. Only one of my frequent non-Amex merchants accepts it – a restaurant in London’s Chinatown. This is what I expect, given that Diners Club is generally accepted by fewer merchants than American Express.

    When I try to pay with Amex, many merchants say “It’s the only card we don’t take”. It’s nice to present a Diners Club card to them in response, which proves them wrong. The truth is usually “Visa and MasterCard are the only cards we take”.

    • David says:

      I have a Union Pay card too – this could be a fun game!

      • AlexT says:

        Afraid Union Pay = Diners Club = JCB for all intents and purposes

        • NFH says:

          Also = DIscover. The non-Amex Chinese restaurant that I referred to above even shows “Diners/Discover” on receipts. But they’re all good cards to offer when one is told “Amex is the only card we don’t take”.

    • Mikeact says:

      The Finextra link re the Barclaycard tie up with Discover Global seems to imply that all cards on their (Discover) platform will be accepted everywhere/globally ;

      “Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the UK’s credit and debit card transactions, today announces that it will start accepting cards that run on the Discover Global Network across its UK merchant network.

      Barclaycard and Discover Global Network have reached an agreement whereby Barclaycard’s merchants are now able to accept Discover, Diners Club International and affiliate network cards both in-store and online.”

      I think not….I have a US Discover card which should be interesting if I present it in John Lewis tomorrow, or whenever the live date kicks in.

  • meta says:

    O/T My Marriott Bonvoy has overnight gone from Gold Elite to Silver Elite for no apparent reason. I have Amex Platinum and the accounts were linked. At the same time Platinum benefits page shows different member number to Marriott Bonvoy page. Anyone had similar experience? If so, how did you resolve this?

    • Rob says:

      Reapply for upgrading via Amex Plat and it should get moved back up.

      • meta says:

        Thanks. Called Amex Plat line, they said they can’t reenrol, but will look into. They It might take a while… though I pressed them on this as I have a stay in 2 weeks time, so asked them to do it urgently. Hope they sort it out by then.

        • Ben says:

          Just checked and I also just have been downgraded to Silver – I will re apply through my Amex Plat and fingers crossed.

    • Pangolin says:

      Have you combined your SPG and MR accounts? This is not the same as linked accounts – it means you have all your points from the previous 2 programmes in one consolidated account.

      I mention it because some FlyerTalk posters have reported the same issue as yours (status via Amex) in cases where accounts had not yet been combined.

      I’m currently Titanium Elite whereas I’d expect to be Platinum from my stays in 2018. Weirdly, some FT members are saying that they didn’t get demoted until after combining their accounts (the opposite scenario to what I mentioned above).

      • meta says:

        I have combined my accounts beginning of Feb before the new programme has launched and it was all fine until this morning. It might be some weird IT issue at Marriott’s side, but I’ll let the Amex do their thing first before contacting Marriott CS.

  • BrightonReader says:

    Accor needs to concentrate on the basics.

    My check-in at one brand at the weekend was hopeless. They gave another guest a key to my room and then a housekeeper knocked asking me to call the front desk to tell them who I was! Previous visits they’ve had an envelope with room key etc prepared but not this time., Room also very dated and needs modernising. – no plugs next to the bed and shabby carpets are not good.

    At another brand in the same city they gave my friend a room that hadn’t been cleaned then another, promised him free breakfast then charged him for the breakfast.

    Mistakes happen but even so …

    • BrightonReader says:

      BTW I had a split stay and on Friday I was at an IHG property and everything was ready and the manager even apologised for not been able to upgrade me and I’m only a gold!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Name and shame. Not a good warning for others if we don’t know where it was

    • Mr Dee says:

      Sounds like the staff are poorly trained which seems to happen at many UK hotels…

    • Lady London says:

      Which precise hotel and city please? We need to know, so as to avoid

    • Nick Burch says:

      There’s an Accor hotel I stay in every few months (Mercure Letchworth Hall) that hasn’t managed to give me a correct bill in about 2 years! And based on the complaints at checkin, it is getting worse…

      I now allow an extra 10 minutes for checkout, bring a print out of the booking and another detailing any extras (adding breakfast or dinner to the booking, made through the accor website, seems “problematic”), calculate the bill myself, and wait until they randomly generate a bill total that’s lower than I believe I owe before paying!

      Last time they blamed me for booking on their own website…

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