Diners Club leaves Citi and the country, finding a new home in Canada


On February 8, 1950, Frank McNamara and Ralph Schneider finished their dinner at Major's Cabin Grill in New York and did something that had never been done: they paid with a charge card. The two men, along with colleague Matty Simmons, were the creators of Diners Club, the first charge card that could be used at multiple restaurants and retailers. Like their later competitor American Express (AXP), Diners Club balances had to be paid in full at the end of the month, but the ease of credit purchases opened the door to innovations like credit cards.

Now, almost 60 years later, the trailblazer for America's credit industry is leaving the country. Citigroup (C), which bought Diners Club in 1981, has announced plans to sell the company's North American operations to the Bank of Montreal (BMO). It has already gotten rid of worldwide operations, having sold them to Discover (DFS) last year.