About Diamond Resorts International Mastercard
The Diamond Resorts International Masterсard is one of two timeshare credit cards offered by Barclays, the international bank known for its travel cards more than anything else.
The company created the credit card back in 2014 to provide Diamond Resorts International customers an easy way to earn rewards on money they’re already spending on timeshare travel.
“The Diamond Resorts Masterсard is an extension of the Diamond Resorts belief in the power and value of vacations to create life-long memories and nurture humanity,” a Nov. 2014 press release about the card’s launch read.
The purpose of this review, as with every review we write, is to look past all the lofty descriptions and marketing and understand exactly what the card offers. Why?
Because consumers who know the strength and weakness of a credit card will be able to make the right choice of card for their unique financial situation.
To help you reach that point of sound decision making, we’re going to come alongside you and show you all the important information you need to know about the following aspects of the Diamond Resorts International MasterCard:
- Rates and fees
- Public opinion
- Pros and cons
The Diamond Resorts International Masterсard’s Rewards
Earlier we quoted the press release that came out when the Diamond Resorts International credit card debuted. That quote reveals the motive behind this card: giving rewards to Diamond Resorts customers.
Those rewards can come in a variety of ways, all of which are designed to save you money in one way or another through Diamond Plus Points (DPPs).
2,500 Bonus Points
Barclays will give you 2,500 DPPs whenever you make your first purchase. Remember, this offer is only valid for first-time cardholders. The points will show up in your rewards account within 60 days of making the qualifying purchase, the fine print says.
500 Points per $2K
The second way you can earn rewards points with Diamond Resorts is by spending at least $2,000 as often as you can.
When you do, you’ll earn 500 DPPs. However, keep in mind that there are some restrictions on which purchases count toward that $2,000:
- Timeshare down payments
- Interest charges
- Balance transfers
- Cash advances
- Convenience checks
This particular reward is capped at 5,000 points. So, once you hit $20,000 and get your tenth 500-point reward, you won’t get any points via this perk.
2x and 1x Purchase Bonuses
The final way you can earn points with the Diamond Resorts International MasterCard is by making purchases every day and when you book travel with or pay fees to your Diamond Resorts International account.
2x on Diamond Resorts Purchases
You’ll earn double points on any Diamond Resorts purchases you make with your card. Again, down payments on your timeshare don’t earn any bonuses, nor do any interest payments or fees that you pay in relation to your credit card. You also won’t earn points for balance transfers.
1x on Everything Else
Anything you buy outside of Diamond Resorts purchases will earn you one point for every dollar. Based on our calculations, we believe the average American Household can spend around $30,000 a year on their Diamond Resorts card, which equals 30,000 Diamond Plus Points.
How Do You Redeem Your Diamond Plus Points?
You have several different ways of redeeming your points, but some of these redemption methods will offer more value than others.
Statement Credits on Purchases
For example, you can redeem your Diamond Plus Points for a statement credit at a rate of $0.01 for every point. Ten thousand points equal $100.
However, you can only redeem your points in increments of $50 and they have to be applied to a purchase you made that’s at least $50. For example, if you spent $60 on a dinner, then you can put $50 toward that purchase.
Statement Credit for Diamond Resorts Purchases in Past Four Months
Using your points for Diamond Resorts purchases works in pretty much the same way, except that you can put the points toward any Diamond Resorts purchases made in the past 120 days. Redemptions start at $50 and must be put toward purchases of at least $50.
Statement Credits for Travel Purchases Not Booked Through Diamond Resorts
The same redemption rules apply for any travel purchases you made in the past 120 days that you didn’t book through the Diamond Resorts website.
However, the redemption rate isn’t $50 per 5,000 points, but $50 per 6,667 points, or a redemption rate of $0.0075 per point.
Statement Credit for Travel Purchases Booked Through Loyalty Edge
Barclay’s U.S. website has a travel portal called Loyalty Edge, through which you can book airfare and travel. If you decide to redeem your points and put them toward a purchase from Loyalty Edge, they’ll be redeemed at a less-than-optimal 75,000 points per $50.
Pro tip: If your account goes unused for seven straight billing cycles, you won’t be able to earn or use points during the next billing cycle.
The Diamond Resorts International Mastercard’s Benefits
One of the great weaknesses of the Diamond Resorts International card is its benefits – there really aren’t that many listed on the card’s website.
You get the standard zero liability protection, which means that you won’t be responsible for any fraudulent charges made to your account.
In addition to this, you have access to a Mastercard concierge who can give tips and advice on places to eat, things to do and places to stay when you’re traveling.
There’s a chance you could get some other relatively standard benefits like free rental car insurance when you use your credit card to pay for the car. We suggest referring to the benefits guide sent with your card to learn what you do and don’t get.
The Diamond Resorts International Mastercard’s Rates and Fees
Most consumers tend to get caught up in a card’s rewards and don’t devote nearly as much attention to the card’s rates and fees.
Promotional APR: 0%
When you sign up for this card, you’ll get two sets of promotional interest rates. First, you’ll get six months of 0% interest on down payments you make for your Diamond Resorts timeshare. The six months starts the day you’re approved, so if you make your down payment three months into owning the card, you’ll only have three months of 0% left.
The second deal is 0% interest on balance transfers for 15 months. Those transfers have to be made within the first 45 days of owning the card.
Also, remember that any balances left after the promotional period ends will rack up interest.
APR: 15.99%, 19.99% or 22.99%
There are three different interest rates on the Diamond Resorts International MasterCard. The one Barclays assigns to you depends on your credit scores and credit history. The lower the score, the higher the APR.
Pro tip: The card’s cash-advance APR is 26.24%.
Fees: 3%, 5% and Up to $37
Whenever you make a balance transfer, Barclays will charge you a fee equal to 3% of the amount transferred.
You’ll have to pay a 5% fee for cash advances and, if you pay late on a balance greater than $250, you’ll have to fork over a $37 late fee.
Pro tip: The Diamond Resorts card has no annual fee.
Public Opinion About the Diamond Resorts International MasterCard
The Diamond Resorts International card doesn’t get many reviews because it’s not nearly as popular as other cards within the Barclays family and travel credit cards, in general.
We can’t speak for the Diamond Resorts experience because we aren’t owners. However, we do know something about Barclays’ customer service reputation.
J.D. Power’s 2017 study into credit card satisfaction rates among customers shows that Barclays ranks fourth among the major credit card companies in America. It scored four points higher than the average and beat out Chase, Bank of America, U.S. Bank and Citi.
Pros of the Diamond Resorts International MasterCard
The main benefits of this card are the 500 points you earn for every $2,000 you spend on the card. The average American family can easily hit the $20,000 cap and get the corresponding 5,000 points, which has a cash value of $50.
Cons of the Diamond Resorts International MasterCard
The downside to this card is the somewhat complicated points redemption structure. The at-least-$50 redemption rule is annoying, if only because many other travel cards either don’t have a minimum or have a minimum of $25.
Another downside to the card is the 2,500-point intro bonus. Many of the leading travel cards often offer 10 times that many points.
Who This Card Is Good For
If you spend at least $20,000 a year on your card and you book all your vacations at Diamond Resorts, this card is a good fit for you because you’ll be able to maximize the card’s rewards structure.
Based on our research, we think that, even if you do book often through Diamond Resorts, there could be travel rewards credit cards out there that might bring you bigger rewards.
Take a look at our guide to the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card of 2017 to get an idea of what could work for you.
If you want a low-maintenance card with a consistent cash-back rate, consider the Capital One Venture card. It has a 40,000-point bonus offer (worth $400) and a 2x cash-back rate. All points you earn can be redeemed for travel purchases.