Why is BMO Harris shuttering Diners Club accounts?

Reader Jake recently asked if my Diners Club account was affected as part of the massive sweep of closures BMO Harris enacted of the “Elite” version of their new consumer credit card that earns Diners Club Rewards points.

A few months ago, I asked why nobody was talking about the card.  The math, after all was quite compelling if buying Visa gift cards at your local drugstore is your cup of tea.  For a $4.95 “activation fee” and a $0.99 money order fee, one could acquire 1505 Diners Club points.  That’s a cost of only ~0.39c per point — or about $390 to earn 100,000 points which could be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to Alaska Airlines, Aeroplan, British Airways, Delta, etc.  Not only is that a crazy cheap “price” for the miles, but the 3X multiplier made the entire experience much more efficient.

Roughly $400 for potentially two flights in Emirates First Class makes it very much worth it…

Emirates A380 First Class

Emirates A380 First Class

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Why is nobody talking about the Diners Club card?

Recently (as in this month) Diners Club re-launched consumer credit cards in the United States for new applications.  This is big news as Diners Club used to be a major player in the points game and has been closed to new applications for several years as the program has bounced from bank to bank.

My shiny new Diners Club card

My shiny new Diners Club card

They offer a flexible point program with several transfer partners.  Those partners are (via Flyertalk and 1:1 unless otherwise noted):

OneWorld: British Airways
SkyTeam: Delta Airlines, Korean Air.
Star Alliance: Air Canada, Eva Airways, SAS, South African Airways, Thai Airways.
Independent: Alaska Airlines, El Al Airlines, (50:1), Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Iceland Air, Southwest Airlines (1500:1200), Virgin Atlantic.
Hotels: Best Western (1250:3300), Choice (1250:2400), Hilton (1250:2000), Hyatt (1250:750), Intercontinental Hotel Group (1250:1500), Marriott (1250:1500), Starwood (1250:750).
Rail: Amtrak.

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