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Diamond Resorts International® Mastercard® Review

At a Glance
diamond resorts international mastercard
3.6 / 5
Rating

Diamond Resorts International® Mastercard®

  • Sign-Up Bonus: 2,500 bonus Diamond Plus points (worth up to $25) when you make your first purchase
  • Rewards: Unlimited 2 Diamond Plus points per $1 spent on all eligible Diamond Resorts International purchases, excluding timeshare down payments; unlimited 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases with no limit
  • Benefits: 24/7 concierge service for shoppers and travelers; 500 bonus points for every $2,000 in additional spend (excluding down payments)
  • Intro APR: 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 0% APR on Diamond Vacation Ownership interest (timeshare) down payments for six months
  • Fees: 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Good to excellent

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

Diamond Resorts International® Mastercard®, backed by Barclaycard, is tailor-made for Diamond Resorts International timeshare owners looking to reduce their travel costs. Because it’s fundamentally a niche product, you won’t find this card on our lists of the best travel rewards credit cards or hotel rewards credit cards on the market. But that doesn’t mean you can’t put it to work for your travel and leisure budget – and pad your personal savings in the process.

Diamond Resorts International Mastercard favors spending on most purchases within the Diamond Resorts ecosystem, excluding timeshare down payments. Diamond Resorts International operates more than 400 timeshare properties worldwide, with such varied destinations as Las Vegas, Costa Rica, and Venice in its arsenal. Every purchase earns Diamond Plus points, which can be redeemed for statement credits against prior travel purchases – including Diamond Resorts spending, airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, and more.

Looking to reduce the cost of your timeshare vacations? Here’s what you need to know about Diamond Resorts International Mastercard’s features, advantages, disadvantages, and overall suitability.

Key Features

Sign-Up Bonus

When you open your account and make your first purchase, you earn 2,500 bonus Diamond Plus points. That’s worth up to $25 when redeemed for statement credits against travel purchases made within the previous 120 days.

Earn Diamond Plus Points

Diamond Resorts International Mastercard earns unlimited 2 points per $1 spent on most Diamond Resorts purchases. Down payments are excluded from the 2x category, however. All other purchases earn unlimited 1 point per $1 spent. Points don’t expire on accounts that remain open and in good standing, and there’s no limit to the total number of points you can earn.

Redeem Diamond Plus Points

You can redeem your accumulated Diamond Plus points for statement credits against Diamond Resorts International purchases (excluding down payments), airfare purchases, and car rental purchases charged to your Diamond Resorts International Mastercard. To qualify, purchases must be for $50 or more and must have been made within the past 120 days.

Ongoing Spending Bonus

For every $2,000 in eligible spending made with this card, you receive 500 bonus Diamond Plus points. Eligible spending excludes down payments and may come with additional restrictions.

Introductory APR

Diamond Resorts International Mastercard charges no interest on balance transfers for 15 months from account opening. To qualify, transfers must be made within 45 days of your account opening date. Following the expiration of the fifteen-month intro period, the regular balance transfer rate applies.

Diamond Resorts International Mastercard also has a six-month interest-free promotion for down payments on Diamond Vacation Ownership interests (timeshare). Following the end of the promotional period, the regular purchase rate applies. The 0% APR promotion does not extend to other purchases.

24/7 Concierge Service

Barclaycard’s 24/7 concierge service includes “personal assistance via telephone, including recommendations and reservations for dining, travel, hotels, entertainment and more.”

Important Fees

Diamond Resorts International Mastercard has no annual fee. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3%. The foreign transaction fee is 3%. Late and returned payments cost up to $37.

Credit Required

Diamond Resorts International Mastercard demands good to excellent credit. If you’ve had any credit issues in the recent past, your application may be denied.

Advantages

  1. No Annual Fee. Diamond Resorts International Mastercard has no annual fee. This allows you to maximize the value of your earned rewards, which is an especially important consideration for occasional users who only pull out this card to finance Diamond Resorts purchases.
  2. Unusually Long Balance Transfer Promotion. This card’s 0% APR promotion on balance transfers last for 15 months from account opening. That’s an impressive interval for a travel rewards card, and right up there with industry-leading balance transfer products like Chase Slate.
  3. Interest-Free Financing of Diamond Resorts International Timeshare Down Payments for Six Months. This card’s 0% APR introductory promotion has an important second part: no interest on Diamond Vacation Ownership interest (timeshare) down payments for six months from account opening. If you’re ready to pull the trigger on a Diamond timeshare, but don’t have sufficient liquidity to finance the entire down payment at once, this is a valuable perk. Most other Barclaycard travel credit cards don’t offer interest-free financing on any purchases.
  4. Easily Attainable Sign-Up Bonus. This card’s sign-up bonus is super easy to attain. All you have to do is make a single purchase after opening your account.
  5. Ongoing Spending Bonus. Every $2,000 in eligible spending with this card earns 500 bonus Diamond Plus points. Note that down payments aren’t eligible and certain other restrictions may apply.
  6. Points Can Be Redeemed Against Any Airfare, Car Rental, and Timeshare Purchases. Diamond Resorts International Mastercard has a flexible, easy-to-understand rewards program that’s useful for many types of travel – not just timeshare-related purchases. This is useful for Diamond Vacation Ownership interest owners whose travels routinely take them outside of the Diamond universe – or who simply wish to reduce the cost of flying or driving to their timeshare.
  7. No Penalty Interest Charges. This card doesn’t charge penalty interest. If you occasionally miss payments due to liquidity issues or unexpected expenses, you don’t have to worry about spiking interest rates that can further threaten your personal budget.

Disadvantages

  1. Only Appropriate for Diamond Vacation Ownership Interest Holders. Diamond Resorts International Mastercard is really only appropriate for Diamond Vacation Ownership interest holders – in other words, Diamond Resorts timeshare customers. Nonowners simply aren’t likely to spend enough at Diamond properties to justify the application process. Fortunately, there are plenty of general-purpose travel rewards credit cards that don’t encourage applicants to buy into timeshares – Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is one example.
  2. Low Baseline Earning Rate. This card has a low baseline point-earning rate – just 1 point per $1 spent on most purchases, including non-Diamond travel purchases. If you’re looking for a travel credit card with a better overall earning rate, look to a general-purpose premium product, such as Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (2x miles on all purchases) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x points on dining and travel purchases – a great way to save money at restaurants).
  3. Very Limited 2x Categories. In the same vein, Diamond Resorts International Mastercard has very limited 2x bonus categories – just Diamond Resorts timeshare purchases, excluding down payments. By contrast, Citi ThankYou Premier, a premium travel card, earns 3x points on travel purchases.
  4. 3% Foreign Transaction Fee. This card has a 3% foreign transaction fee. If you own an interest in one of the many overseas Diamond Resorts locations, this fee will more than negate your return on spending there. Many competing hotel credit cards, including Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express, waive foreign transaction fees altogether.
  5. Limited Value-Added Benefits. This card’s value-added benefits are pretty paltry. Aside from standard-issue perks, such as EMV chip technology and fraud liability protection, the only Barclaycard-backed benefit worth mentioning here is the 24/7 concierge service. If you’re looking for a more generous lineup of traveler-friendly perks, check out branded hotel or airline credit cards, such as the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card.
  6. Can’t Redeem Against Travel Purchases Under $50. You can’t redeem your Diamond Plus points against travel purchases under $50. That’s problematic for cardholders who frequently purchase short-term car rentals, though in practice it’s not likely to have a major impact for most people.
  7. Modest Sign-Up Bonus. This card’s sign-up bonus might be easy to attain, but it’s modest in the grand scheme of things. It’s worth just $25 when redeemed for statement credits against prior travel purchases. By contrast, some premium travel rewards cards offer sign-up bonuses with 10 or 20 times as much firepower.

Final Word

Though I’m quite familiar with the concept of timeshares, I’ll confess I’d never heard of Diamond Resorts International before I sat down to review this credit card. That’s not a knock on DRI or Barclaycard by any means – just a statement of fact.

Once I started my research, it quickly became apparent why any Diamond Resorts loyalist would want to carry this card around in their pocket. Fractional vacation home ownership is a legitimate way to spend one’s travel dollars, but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. This card allows you to reduce the cost of your domestic timeshare-related travel by 2%, period. On a $3,000 annual timeshare investment – a realistic sum for many owners – you’ll save $60. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

Verdict
diamond resorts international mastercard
3.6 / 5
Rating

Diamond Resorts International® Mastercard®

Diamond Resorts International® Mastercard® is a niche product whose relatively narrow suitability range shouldn’t diminish its appeal to those for whom it’s designed. If you own an interest in a Diamond Resorts timeshare, this card can stretch your travel budget farther before, during, and after your timeshare visits. If you don’t own a Diamond Resorts timeshare, or if value-added benefits, such as airport lounge access, are important to you, this card isn’t appropriate for you.

Key benefits include no annual fee, no penalty interest, a straightforward rewards program, the easily attainable sign-up bonus, the unusually long 0% APR balance transfer promotion, the six-month interest-free financing period on Diamond Vacation Ownership interest purchases, ongoing bonus spend, and the ability to redeem Diamond Plus points against any travel purchase.

Drawbacks include a low baseline earning rate, modestly sized sign-up bonus, 3% foreign transaction fee, limited value-added benefits, $50 minimum for credit-eligible travel purchases, narrow 2x categories, and the relatively narrow suitability (only appropriate for Diamond Vacation Ownership interest owners).

Overall, this card is fine for committed Diamond Resorts loyalists, but there are better travel credit cards for everyone else.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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