Diners Club Credit Card
was the first credit card company and was founded in 1950 by Frank McNamara, Ralph Schneider and Alfred Bloomingdale.
Diners Club was the first company that came up with the idea that a credit card
can be used to pay not only to a particular merchant (usually the one that issued the card) but to many different merchants. The first Diners Club card was released in 1950. Around 200 copies of this card were given to sales people frequently dining with their clients. In the beginning the Diners Club card was good for purchases in 14 restaurants in New York City, but it grew very quickly to be accepted at over 1000 restaurants in US for less than a year.
Diners Club credit card
was US market leader for several years until American Express
and BankAmericard (known as Visa
now) started eating its market share. Diners Club quickly lost market share to both American Express and BankAmericard, because the later credit cards were far more generic (not limited to restaurant use only).
Diners Club acquired the en route Card from Air Canada in 1992, and the new credit card became known as the Diners Club/en route Card. Diners Club has insignificant market share on the Canadian credit card market.
owns Diners Club International and the Diners Club US credit cards are a part of the MasterCard
network. Diners Club credit card is no longer limited to restaurant merchants and is accepted worldwide by various merchants.