Consumer Payment Card News

Diners Club – 50 Years

Diners Club is celebrating its Golden Anniversary this year. It has been 50 years since it introduced the world’s first charge card and founded an industry that has revolutionized the way people and companies purchase goods and services. The story behind the first credit card starts with a man named Frank McNamara and an evening dinner in 1950 at a New York restaurant. When the bill came, Mr. McNamara discovered that he had no cash with which to pay. He had to call on Mrs. McNamara to come to his rescue. Mr. McNamara’s embarrassment at the restaurant spawned an idea that would transform the way people do business and manage their financial affairs. In 1950, Mr. McNamara created Diners Club as the world’s first multi-use charge Card. The American Management Association lists Frank McNamara’s revolutionary idea as one of the 5 best management decisions of the 20th century. The idea caught on quickly. In 1950, Diners Club had a few hundred cardholders. Today, Diners Club is used by more than 8 million people in over 200 countries. It is the only charge card focused on serving the needs of business travellers and the companies for which they travel. In 1955, Diners Club was the first charge card accepted by an airline. In 1967, Diners Club introduced travel insurance, which has become an integral part of credit and charge card offerings today. In 1969, Diners Club became the first card authorized for use in the Soviet Union and in 1980, the first card honored in the People’s Republic of China. In 1975, Diners Club introduced the first Corporate Card and offered services designed to help companies improve the management of their travel and entertainment expenses. For more information visit

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