Okay so after opening an HDFC Savings Account back in February 2020, I got a preapproved offer for HDFC Millennia Credit Card in June 2020. I applied for it in mid-August and got it a week later. However, I was surprised to find that I was being issued a Credit Card with Diners Club as my payment processor instead of the standard VISA/Mastercard.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Diners Club is not bad by any means. In fact, they are the pioneer of credit cards. Founded in 1950, they are the first independent charge card company in the world. They brought the concept of charge cards to pay for goods without carrying cash around. VISA and Mastercard came into existence many years later.
As a payment processor, Diners Club is widely accepted globally. They are also popularly known as Discover since Discover Financial, the owner of Diners Club cards has highly popularized Discover Cards in the USA. The Diners Club is more popular outside the USA.
In India, Diners Club has partnered with HDFC Bank and offers their cards in partnership with the bank. You can get a Diners Black, Diners Privilege, Diners Clubmiles, Diners Premium, and Diners Rewards Credit Card variants with HDFC Bank. All these cards are processed by the Diners Club solely, and you cannot get a different payment processor for these cards.
But lately, Diners Club is also processing the standard HDFC Cards like HDFC Millennia Credit Card, which was primarily offered in Mastercard variants. It is expected that they will also process other credit card variants of the bank.
The Problem with Diners Club Cards:
Initially, I did not care about the Diners Club variant because I finally got myself a preapproved HDFC Credit Card. In fact, it seemed interesting to me that I can get to try a different variant of HDFC Millennia Card than others (Mastercard). Also, I had to make sure I convert my HDFC Credit Card to a Lifetime Free card at first. I don’t want to pay annual charges when there is a good way of waiving them off for a lifetime.
But soon enough, I started facing several issues with my Diners Club variant cards. Some were permanent issues (Diners Club cards not accepted), while some were temporary (Diners Club cards accepted but faces issues now and then).
Google Payments DOES NOT accept Diners Club Cards:
Okay, it took me a while before I discovered it, but it surprised me the most. Google only accepts VISA, Mastercard, & Amex Cards.
Google Payments are the primary pay instruments for Android devices, as they control all your purchases from the Google Play store, including Apps and Games, Movies, Newspaper & Magazines, Books, etc. They also control the in-app purchases. Apart from that, if you want to subscribe to YouTube Music or YouTube Premium, then also you will need Google payments.
So a Diners Club Card bars you from accessing this entire Google-linked services with your card. Although there are other additional payment methods, some features are always seamless with credit cards, and that’s where you will miss it.
And tbh, I do not blame Diners Club for this. I was mostly surprised by how a company like Google operating everywhere can reject Diners Club cards? It’s 2020 already, why haven’t they worked something out between them and the oldest credit card issuers? It’s just ridiculous.
Anyways, you can check and verify it by trying to add your Diners Club card to Google. Head over to Google Payment Methods page and click on the ‘Add Payment Method’.
I got the following error:
Samsung Pay DOES NOT accept Diners Club Cards:
Similar to Google, Samsung has also partnered with only VISA, Mastercard, and Amex. You won’t be able to use your Diners Club card over Samsung Pay.
Samsung Pay application allows you to store all your cards inside their mobile app and use your Fingerprint or Face authentication to pay using the Samsung Pay app directly without needing your card. Apart from a few supported merchants where you can use the card for any amount of purchase, you can also use Samsung Pay at all NFC supported POS machines for transactions up to 2k.
But you will miss all these opportunities if you own a Diners Club card. Again, I think a company like Samsung should have added Diners Club support.
Several Websites don’t accept Diners Club Cards:
Apart from Google and Samsung, all major big brands more or less let you use Diners Club cards on their platform. You won’t face issues with typical e-commerce websites like Amazon, Flipkart, PayTM, etc., or other utility websites like PayPal, Bookmyshow, etc.
However, some specific websites that are used by specific people may see some rejections. For me, it was the web hosting site Upcloud. I wasn’t able to pay for some servers at Upcloud which I wanted to test out.
Again, this is very specific, and it does not affect everyone. A regular user won’t need to use UpCloud every day I assume. But there may be several other big and small websites that may not work for you with the Diners Club cards. And you will only know about it once you find it out.
Errors with Diners Club Credit Card Bill Payments:
Diners Club cards occasionally face issues with credit card bill payments too. One example of this is the Credit Card payments app CRED. While they say that they support Diners Club cards, and while I was also able to add my Diners Club card into the app, during the time of my bill payments, it was a complete disaster.
Trying to pay my credit card bill with Mobikwik also resulted in an epic fail. Mobikwik does not process credit card payments instantly. They deducted my money, and after 3 days they notified that the transaction failed. I got a refund from them after 4 more days. All this was happening when my credit card payment due date was nearing.
In the end, I had to pay my bill via HDFC Netbanking, and I missed the extra perks from CRED or Mobikwik.
Problems with Offline Merchants:
If online problems weren’t enough, you will get issues offline too. Most POS Machines accept Diners cards, including HDFC Bank POS. One example of an offline store where Diners Club cards are confirmed to be not working is the Pothys chain of textile showrooms. Several other shops, restaurants, and other places do not encourage Diners cards.
Another instance of Diners Club cards failing is if you want to use ‘Pay on Delivery’ with your credit card while accepting your deliveries from Amazon. The payment fails there too, as confirmed by one of my friends who uses a Diners variant card.
Problems with HDFC Netsafe VCC:
Netsafe is a service provided by HDFC Bank that issues virtual cards for one-time use. The problem is, this service is only available for VISA and Mastercard users. If you got a Diners Club card, it won’t work for you.
How to convert the Diners Club card variant?
I would have appreciated it if HDFC Bank had the option to choose the card variant ourselves while applying for a new credit card or debit card. But since that option is not available, the only other way out is to mail them and request your card conversion.
These are the emails. You can write a mail to any of them:
What to write?
- At the beginning of the email, mention your registered mobile no and the last 4 digits of your credit card in this format: “XXXX-XXXXXX-1234”.
- Mention how many transactions you completed with the card, and how much more you want to use it.
- Mention the platforms/channels (online/offline) where you are facing issues with your card.
- Request them to convert your card variant from Diners Club to either Mastercard or VISA.
- Mention your mailing address that is registered with your bank, where you want the delivery of your card.
After your email, you may need to wait for up to a week for a reply. And most likely they will ask for screenshots of some of the errors that you are facing with the card.
After sending them a few screenshots, and a few rounds of email exchanges, they finally agreed to change my HDFC Millennia Credit card from Diners Club to VISA.
That’s it. I had to wait for a few more days. One fine day afternoon they confirmed to me that they had despatched my new credit card via Bluedart. I got it the following day.
Pro Tip: Your existing card benefits will be automatically transferred to the new card once the new card is generated. This includes your reward points, outstanding limits, and unbilled usage. You will be billed for your new credit card. Your old credit card will stop working as soon as you transact with your new card.
Since I converted my Millennia Diners Club credit card to Lifetime Free using this method, I wanted a confirmation from HDFC whether my new card will also be Lifetime Free. They confirmed that yes, my new card will be LTF too.
At the end of the day, I was able to successfully convert my Diners Club card to a VISA variant. I wish HDFC offered its customers to choose their own credit cards while applying. Side by side, I also want the acceptance of Diners Club cards to improve over time. Google and Samsung should come forward and solve this proactively.
That’s all. I hope you enjoyed reading this. If you have further queries, just join our Finance help community FinTalks on Facebook. We actively discuss these queries and will be happy to help you out too.
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