Ego and utility. The two aspects on which credit card benefits are judged.
The Diners Club portfolio is owned by Citi in Brazil, and Citi is big in private banking there. They have their own modest airport lounges at Rio’s Santos Dumont and São Paulo’s Congonhas and Guarulhos, which do not charge a guest fee for a companion, unlike most of their partner lounges. At Santos Dumont we stopped in the Diners lounge and I happened to flip through a brochure that had some English headings among the Portuguese text, “Van Service” catching my eye.
The reception agent spoke English and explained that there is complementary shuttle service between São Paulo’s Guarulhos and Maksound Plaza in the city, and between Guarulhos and Congonhas (see details and schedule). Advance reservations are required, call (11) 2445-3070/3616. Spouse and children up to age 18, or a guest are allowed.
We took the shuttle on our departure from São Paulo, our hotel helped to call to make the booking. They had estimated a taxi to Guarulhos could cost as much as US$80, instead we had a short taxi to Maksoud Plaza and cruised in style to the airport. Maksound Plaza is a hotel with large parking area in front, there are no Diners Club signs but the hotel staff all know to direct people to the pickup point outside.
Perhaps the coolest credit card benefit I have enjoyed.
Diners Club is currently not open to new US applicants. BMO bought the US portfolio from Citi last year but so far has not been marketing it.