Qantas Frequent Flyer Diners Club + Citi World MasterCard

Review: Qantas Frequent Flyer Diners Club + Citi World MasterCard

What's Hot

  • Earn up to 1.5 Qantas Frequent Flyer points per dollar spent
  • Bonus points when booking Qantas flights with either card
  • Fast track to SPG Gold

What's Not

  • Generally poor merchant acceptance in smaller outlets
  • Reduced Qantas earning rates after spending $60,000/year

X-Factor

  • Free and unlimited access to over 500 airport lounges

Introduction

Let's face it – Diners Club isn't exactly renowned for its far-reaching merchant acceptance, yet Citi's Qantas Frequent Flyer Diners Club + World MasterCard combo tackles the issue head-on by giving travellers a back-up plan.

With two cards on the one account, you're free to use the Diners Club card wherever it's accepted and can still achieve 'points parity' by whipping out your World MasterCard where it's not.

But with full repayment required within seven days of your statement via compulsory direct debit and no option to carry a monthly balance, this card duo is better for those spending only within their means, rather than still-responsible users who might occasionally need to repay less than the full amount charged.

Qantas Frequent Flyer Diners Club cards: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Above-platinum
  • Card type: Diners Club + World MasterCard
  • Loyalty program: Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Points earned per dollar – Diners Club: 1.5 up to $60,000/year, 1.0 thereafter
  • Points earned per dollar – MasterCard: 1.0 up to $60,000/year, 0.75 thereafter

Fees, charges and interest: 3/5

  • Annual fee: $260 (including rewards)
  • Additional cardholder fee: $50
  • Interest rate on purchases: N/A
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 37 days to pay
  • International transaction fee: 3.0% (Diners), 3.4% (MasterCard)
  • Minimum income requirement: $75,000 p.a.
  • Minimum credit limit: No pre-set spending limit

Earning points for free flights: 3/5

Diners has no annual points capping per se, although the earning rates decrease slightly after spending over $60,000 in a calendar year – regardless of which card was used to incur the charges.

Assuming you push less than $60k through the account each year, a one-way Sydney-Melbourne flight in economy could be yours after spending $5,334 on the Diners Club card or $8,000 on the MasterCard, plus the taxes and fees due when making your airline booking.

Using either card to purchase Qantas flights or to pay for Qantas Club membership also serves up an extra point per dollar spent, so use the Diners Club card wherever you can to earn the maximum number of points.

Airport lounge access: 4/5

A hidden gem of Diners Club is that the card opens the door to over 500 airport lounges across the globe, including in major aviation hubs such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Much like Priority Pass, it doesn't matter which airline you're flying or where you're sitting on board – provided you can physically access a lounge and have an onward boarding pass, you're set.

However, you won't find any of these lounges in Australia's domestic or international terminals, making the perk only useful for international travellers.

Free international travel insurance: 4/5

Free international travel insurance comes as standard, provided you used your Diners Club or companion World MasterCard to purchase the return overseas airfare for that trip, and the journey is for three consecutive months or less.

You're also covered for up to 31 days when departing Australia on a one-way booking or when a return flight hasn't yet been locked in, which is a rare perk to find of a credit or charge card.

There's also interstate flight inconvenience and transit accident insurance, extended warranty cover, purchase security protection and 'guaranteed pricing', whereby if you buy an item with the card and the retail price decreases, you may be able to claim a refund for the difference.

Additional benefits: 5/5

Being backed by Citibank means cardholders can enjoy a free bottle of wine whenever dining-in at a range of participating restaurants and paying for the meal on either their Diners Club card or the companion World MasterCard, courtesy of the Citibank Dining Program.

There's also access to the Diners Club Privileges scheme with benefits ranging from free VIP entry to popular international nightclubs through to free breakfast and room upgrades at selected hotels and discounted international shipping.

Your companion World MasterCard also fast tracks you to Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status after registering for the promotion, spending just one night in a Starwood hotel within the Asia Pacific region and paying for your stay on the World MasterCard (not the Diners Club card).

Qantas Frequent Flyer Diners Club cards: verdict

As Diners Club cards aren't accepted by merchants to the same degree as Visa, MasterCard or even American Express, it's important to check whether you'll be able to use the main card where you most frequently spend.

Major retailers including Woolworths, Coles, BWS and Big W all welcome the card, while airlines and hotels such as Qantas, Virgin Australia, Hilton and Sofitel charge no more to process a Diners Club transaction than they do for Visa or MasterCard.

Smaller 'mum and pop' stores are where you'll most likely run into problems and can use the World MasterCard instead, yet Diners acceptance is quite strong with restaurants, as you'd expect from the name.

For earning Qantas Frequent Flyer points, its closest competitor is the $250/year NAB Qantas Rewards Premium American Express + Visa combo, earning the same 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar on the AMEX but just 0.5 points on the Visa on spends of up to $50,000 per month.

At $260 per year for the Diners + World MasterCard deal, you're essentially paying $10 more than NAB for unlimited airport lounge access, free wine, SPG Gold and to earn more points where the primary card isn't accepted, which isn't a bad deal if you can make it work for you.

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Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

1 comments

  • lm1

    lm1

    5 Feb, 2016 12:33 pm

    Great product idea - possibly the worst customer service on earth.  Three messed up applications, resulting in five CRA hits, of which I'm now going through the long winded process to have removed.  The only way to get anything resolved is to complain to it's parent, Citi.  Big thumbs down.

    No member give thanks

Guest

21 May, 2019 09:21 am

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