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The Diners Club Legacy

Embark on a journey—the story of Diners Club. It begins with a forgotten wallet and a pioneer who saw an unchartered world just waiting to be explored.



Diners Club becomes the world’s first multipurpose charge card

For businessman Frank McNamara, forgetting his wallet while dining out at a New York City restaurant was an embarrassment he resolved never to face again. Luckily, his wife bailed him out and paid the tab.

A year later in February 1950, he returned to Major’s Cabin Grill with his partner Ralph Schneider. When the bill arrived, McNamara paid with a small cardboard card, known today as a Diners Club Card. The event was hailed as the First Supper, paving the way for the world’s first multipurpose charge card.

1951: Membership reaches 42,000


Membership reaches 42,000 as acceptance expands to major US cities.


Businesses in the UK, Canada, Cuba and Mexico begin honoring Diners Club, making it the first internationally accepted charge card.


The franchise network stretches across the globe in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.


Diners Club runs its first major television advertising campaign as a sponsor of the New York Giants American football team.

Other moments in history:

Diners Club enters the travel market when travel agencies in major cities agree to accept the card for purchase of airline, steamship and cruise tickets.

The IRS begins to require detailed records of business expenses, which increases demand for Diners Club cards.

During the Floyd Patterson vs. Roy Harris heavyweight championship, more than 25% of the $200,000 spent by spectators that night was charged on Diners Club cards.


Diners Club reaches one million Clubmembers and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

1955: Network Stretches Across Globe



130 Countries now accept Diners Club—more countries than are in the United Nations

1967: 130 countries accept Diners Club


Diners Club becomes the first charge card in Russia

Other moments in history:

Reservations World, a subsidiary of Diners Club, creates the first industry-wide computerized reservation system that allows people to make hotel reservations anywhere in the U.S. with a toll-free telephone call.

A new subsidiary, International Floatels, is formed, creating the world’s first waterborne hotel.

Yet another Diners Club-owned company produces a Ford credit card to purchase car repairs on credit.

Diners Club Enters Russia



Five out of every six credit card-carrying tourists entering the United States have a Diners Club card

1974: More International Travelers Carry Diners Club


Diners Club introduces the industry’s very first corporate card program.


1980: Diners Club Enters China


Diners Club becomes the first charge card in used in China.

Diners Club card China


Citicorp acquires Diners Club International.


Diners Club creates the industry’s first rewards program: Club Rewards.


Clubmembers can now access cash at ATMs worldwide through Club Cash.



Diners Club offers the first multinational corporate card program.

Other moments in history:

Life Magazine recognizes Frank McNamara as one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century.

Citicorp sells its minority interest in the Diners Club Japanese franchise to Fuji Bank Group and Japan Travel Bureau.

1990: Launch of Dinersclub.com


Dinersclub.com is launched for the first time.


2000: Super Premium Black Card Launch


Diners Club International releases the super premium black card.


A new global campaign is launched to target business travelers.


The Diners Club multinational corporate card program now spans 40 countries.


Discover Financial Services acquires Diners Club International.

Diners Club Joins Discover Global Network


Diners Club International reinvigorates the brand with the launch of a new global advertising campaign.

Other moments in history:

Clubmembers now have access to more than 130 airport lounges around the world.

Diners Club International and PULSE build a global cash network at dinersclubcash.com.

The first multi-country acquirer agreement to grow European acceptance of Diners Club and Discover Network cards is signed.


Diners Club Joins Social Media


Diners Club International launches its presence on social media.

Belong II Campaign Launched


Diners Club International’s Belong II Global advertising campaign is launched.

Clubmembers now have access to more than 800 airport lounges around the world.
Diners club international launches its new global website.


Diners club international launches its new global website.

Clubmembers now have access to more than 800 airport lounges around the world.

Join the club

Belong. Become an important part of our storied history and apply for a Diners Club card today.