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VISA BUSINESS CARD INTRODUCES COMPREHENSIVE LODGING DISCOUNT PROGRAM; PROGRAM FEATURES SAVINGS OF UP TO 60 PERCENT

 SAN FRANCISCO, March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- With hotel lodging representing a significant expense category for corporate travel and entertainment, Visa U.S.A. announced today that its Visa Business Card is offering a comprehensive lodging discount program for business cardholders.
 The new program features the Visa Business Card Worldwide Hotel Directory, a listing of more than 10,000 hotels and resorts in 147 countries worldwide with reduced lodging prices of up to 60 percent off regular room rates. The program surpasses American Express' corporate card program, which only offers discounts on corporate rates at a few participating hotel chains. MasterCard does not offer a lodging discount plan as a feature of its business card.
 Under the Visa Business Card program, Visa Business Card cardholders from small- and medium-sized companies can take advantage of room rates equal to or below corporate rates that hotels extend typically to large corporations only. Discounts apply at a wide range of participating hotel chains, including Inter-Continental, Four Seasons, Marriott, Best Western, Holiday Inn and Ramada Inn hotels. In addition, unlike a number of hotel discount plans that bypass travel agents and require consumers to make reservations directly with hotel reservation agents, the Visa Business Card program allows cardholders to make reservations through hotels' toll-free telephone numbers or through travel agents of their choice.
 "We have developed the hotel discount program with the needs of today's small- and medium-sized businesses in mind," said Richard H. Hagadorn, senior vice president of the Visa U.S.A. credit products division. "These smaller companies, in particular, are always seeking new ways to cut costs. Through the program, cardholders can now receive unmatched savings, competitive advantages and the flexibility to help them reduce their travel and entertainment spending."
 To participate in the program, cardholders simply contact hotel reservationists through toll-free telephone numbers or travel agents and provide them with special codes identifying them as program participants. These codes are assigned to participating cardholders by issuers of their Visa Business Cards.
 Reservations made under the Visa Business Card hotel discount program are commissionable to travel agents, and discounts are not limited to any one participating hotel chain. In addition, while most hotel discount plans are applicable to a limited number of hotel rooms, discount rates featured under the Visa Business Card program apply to any available room in any hotel listed in the directory.
 The Visa Business Card hotel discount program is a product feature that financial institutions issuing Visa Business Cards can provide to their cardholders. With close to 500 pages of hotel room discounts and city maps, the directory also features helpful travel information and other benefits offered to holders of the Visa Business Card. There is a nominal charge to cardholders for the directory to cover the cost of shipping and handling.
 To receive a copy of the directory or to obtain further information on how to participate in the Visa Business Card hotel discount program, Visa Business Card cardholders may contact their card issuers or call 800-982-9020.
 Visa is the largest consumer payment card system in the world with more than 10 million acceptance locations and 304 million cards issued worldwide, including 146 million in the United States. Visa also has the leading global ATM network.
 -0- 3/10/93
 /CONTACT: Tricia Wiseman of Visa U.S.A., 415-570-3510/


CO: Visa U.S.A. ST: California IN: FIN SU:

SG -- SF002 -- 4818 03/10/93 09:04 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 10, 1993
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