Don’t leave for South America without your Diner’s Club card – I did

The Rapid Traveler made his list, checked it twice, but when rolling through credit cards for the trip, somehow left out his Diner’s Club card, despite having printed off hard copies of airport lounges to which it grants access.

Diner’s Club is mostly forgotten but it has an excellent primary rental car collision damage waiver that is matched only by the Continental OnePass Plus/United Mileage Explorer cards in the sub-$100 annual fee category.

It also has a motley assortment of partner airport lounges, few in the US, but a great selection in South America. Because of Easter Island award availability mostly residing in the front of the cabin, The Rapid Traveler thought his business class ticket would carry him through, and it did in Miami and Lima, but he ran aground in Santiago. The domestic terminal has only one lounge, Pacific, which does not grant access to any Lan passengers, no matter class or service or airline status. You want in, either pay up or have Diner’s Club, American Express Platinum or a host of South American cards. And for his economy return, The Rapid Traveler is out of luck, though it would only apply to a couple very tight connections and worse-case he can stand nearby with the wi-fi access codes to do anything urgent. Won’t be getting any grenadillas though.

So, now his travel checklist will not just say credit cards, debit cards, etc, but go card by card. And a big red flag will be added to Diner’s Club with the word “lounge.”

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