Diamine-cross-linked membranes were prepared from cross-linkable poly(arylene ether ketone) containing pendant cationic quaternary ammonium group (QPAEK) solution by a facile and general thermal curing method using 4,4′-diaminodiphenylmethane with rigid framework and 1,6-diaminohexane with flexible framework as cross-linker, respectively. Self-cross-linked cationic polymer electrolytes membranes were also prepared for comparison. The diamines were advantageously distributed within the polymeric matrix and its amine function groups interacted with the benzyl bromide of QPAEK, resulting in a double anchoring of the molecule. Combining the excellent thermal stability, the addition of a small amount of diamines enhanced both the chemical and mechanical stability and the phosphoric acid doping (PA) ability of membranes. Fuel cell performance based on impregnated cross-linked membranes have been successfully operated at temperatures up to 120 °C and 180 °C with unhumidified hydrogen and air under ambient pressure, the maximum performance of diamine-cross-linked membrane is observed at 180 °C with a current density of 1.06 A cm−2 and the peak power density of 323 mW cm−2. The results also indicate that the diamine-cross-linked membranes using the rigid cross-linker show much improved properties than that using the flexible cross-linker. More properties relating to the feasibility in high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell applications were investigated in detail.