Tourist cardsDiscount cards will beggar you
So, it is solved: Christmas, which, by the way, not far off, it is necessary to meet in Europe (or to you it is more interesting in America?) . It is a high time to think that it is time to book tickets, hotel, to find out, what restaurants and shops are in that city where you have decided to stop. Actually for skilled tourists calculation, in how many will manage Christmas voyage, and produmyvanie trip details are reduced to a simple choice - by what tourist card you will travel.
Already having come off the Soviet life, where under a word “ a privilege “ without turn, and service was meant by a word “ a discount “ - wall purchase “ CHeremushki “ at the state price, and without having moored yet to the world community which and in the pleasure lives for a long time on credit with discounts, all of us - taki can notice that the European grimace changes also our Asian lines.
so who does not know - it is time to get acquainted: a discount card. The name occurring from koverkanja of an English word discount (a discount, cost reduction), as a matter of fact, already almost also explains all: and it is valid, discount cards grant to the owners the right to use various discounts. “ who it becomes simple so money rasshvyrivatsja, discounts everyones to give? “ - you ask. Correctly, simply so - nobody will be. The matter is that the greatest activity the discount companies show all with sphere of tourist business. Here it is a lot of reasons, but basic are that: in - the first, profitableness of this business, and in - the second is very high, chronic for this sphere excess of the offer over demand induces owners of hotels, restaurants and other institutions where tourists and misters passing businessmen like to accumulate, a profit part to give to the discount companies in exchange for one hundred - another “ superfluous “ clients. It is easy to guess that with the developed position all three parties are terribly happy: owners of profitable institutions, their clients and the discount companies.
today in the Russian market some firms offering different forms of discounts and privileges to travellers operate.
card ETN: while One of the most popular cards in the world - card ETN is impossible only in space
(European Travel Network that on Russian is translated by the firm as “ the World Card of Travel “) . Its Dutch firm AMUDAT AG extends.
Firm AMUDAT AG is based in Holland 20 years ago for the purpose of rendering of services to tourists. Began with sale of preferential air tickets, has gradually expanded sphere of the activity, having included in it hotels, shops, restaurants, etc. Today in 65 countries of the world 250 representations ETN (in Russia since October, 1993) operate. Card ETN can use in 175 countries of the world. For today the number of clients of firm exceeds 2,5 million persons.
In general ETN it is possible to name END VREZA the most total card. It works in more than 10 thousand hotels (800 from them - in the North America, approximately 400 allow a discount in 50 percent), restaurants, points of a car rent and shops. Discounts in the European and Russian hotels make from 20 to 50 percent - seasonally when you travel, and a hotel class. Hotels in which it is possible to use ETN, the most different. These are class hotels de luxe, five-stars, four-stars (that is the same class with which discount card IAPA) and all the others too works. From the most known (and expensive) systems of hotels it is possible to name Hilton, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Ramada, Savoy. But if to you when you have got out for Christmas, we will tell to France, has come to mind thought that you were terribly spent on tickets and you urgently should to start save, representation ETN can find to you private board or bezzvezdochnyj hotel. By the way, you are able to do it - each owner of a card has catalogue ETN in which all hotels, restaurants (at the restaurants entering into system are listed, the discount makes not less than 20 - 25 %), airlines with which works ETN. In the same catalogue it is possible to find hotel (all them in Europe 130) in which it is possible to receive free number. However, here there is a small cunning: before it you should spend a certain sum of money which will grant the right on " at restaurant and a bar of the hotel necessary to you; holjavu “. The size of this “ a certain sum “ the owner of an institution defines, as a rule.
ETN also gives the chance to receive free of charge discount telephone cards TeleCard and Sprint USA Phone Card - on them discounts are given at the international telephone negotiations. Forms of the order of these cards too can be found in the catalogue. Last year orders sent to Holland, on what left almost two months. Now the order can be issued in Moscow. As a result the owner of card ETN can save on telephone conversations nearby 50 (in some countries to 80) percent. The personal code which to you is appropriated, gives the chance to call under reduced rates and not to pay any more telephone services of the hotel. It is necessary to make a reservation that these telephone discount cards are often applied on many kinds of credit cards. Therefore to save at telephone negotiations it is possible and without ETN.
During any foreign trips the free insurance from accidents (for the sum to $10 thousand) is given to owners of a card. This insurance means any medical actions connected with accident, and at all does not mean your treatment if you, feeling not very well, have decided to address to the doctor.
certainly, the tourist card is necessary at travel, but to use it it is possible and within native fatherland. Lately system ETN included 9 Moscow hotels (among which “ Ukraine “ “ the President - hotel “ Infotel), and also three hotels (two four-stars and five-stars) in Kaliningrad. ETN gives discounts in 20 - 25 % at the Moscow restaurants (a network “ the Gold dragon “ “ Orient - service “ etc.) The list of the services given under reduced rates to owners ETN all over the world and to Russia, in particular, includes also medical and cosmetic service, tourism, visiting of cinemas (the ticket at a cinema “ Moscow “ will manage to you on 25 % more cheaply), polygraphic services and even parachute jumps and flights by sports planes.
in Petersburg system ETN included restaurants “ St.-Petersburg “ and “ the Swabian small house “ hotel “ Kommodor “ tourist agencies “ the Paradise “ and “ Aura “. The list is continued also by four restaurants in Kaliningrad, and hotel with restaurant in Vladikavkaz. System ETN had joined also insurance agency “ the Megacity - Agra “.
Card ETN can be got in firm representation in Moscow. Depending on for what term it is bought the card (till the end of this year, or on 1995 - j, or for two years - 95 - j and 96-), is defined its price. The first costs now 70 dollars. Others accordingly 130 and 170 dollars. Card ETN sell to the clients and some Moscow banks. However, card cost in bank a little above. In the First Russian bank ETN with period of validity till the end of this year it is possible to buy for $130, and in Strojinvestbanke - for $160. Long-term cards (till 1997) in the First Russian bank are on sale only together with a credit card for $2000, and card ETN with period of validity to 2000ãîäà costs in Strojinvestbanke $550.
In bank “ the Credit - Moscow “ tourist cards ETN “ are applied “ to credit cards Eurocard/ MasterCard as addition. However its cost all the same above, than in firm representation - $160.
IAPA: Immodest charm of bourgeoisie
Though discount card IAPA offers a little smaller spectrum of discounts, than ETN, it is safely possible to tell that it is one of the most popular cards. It is considered that this card - a solidity and respectability sign as the discounts given on it, extend on institutions only enough high level.
IAPA (International Aviapassenger Association) - the International association of air passengers. The oldest in the world the discount company totals over 500 000 members. A registration payment at the introduction - $200. In 1992 of the first from among all discount companies has entered the Russian market.
So, what is given to the owner by a card of the International association of air passengers, except pride from consciousness of possession it? Not too it is not enough. Well, for example, for two weeks of residing in highest category hotel (“ five stars “) In favourite Russians of Antalia it is possible, possessing card IAPA, to save $400. And if is more detailed...
that, having come to representation IAPA behind a card, at once to allow to understand to its employees that on discount cards you have eaten not one dog, it is necessary to burden the memory with following simple data. There are two kinds of membership in IAPA: full and assotsiirovannoe. Assotsiirovannoe membership grants the right to use all complex of services, that is all discounts, but does not grant the right to reception of the insurance from accident for the period of a foreign trip (it is supposed that in the country you were already insured). There Is a card assotsiirovannogo a member of $349 and provides reception of discounts in 40 % at residing payment in hotels and 30 % at car hire. On restaurants, museums, theatres and night clubs card action does not extend. Same concerns and to “ high-grade “ To card which from assotsiirovannoj differs possibility of reception of the insurance on a case of unforeseen traumas or, upasi My God than that it is more terrible. “ full “ IAPA, in turn, share on three kinds (what variety!), raznjashchiesja in size of the given insurance. By card IAPA of the first class the insurance at the rate to $100 000 (cost of the card - $374) is put; the card of the second class will give the chance to receive the insurance to $250 000 (cost - $448); and the card of the third class in case of troubles for health of various degree can bring to the owner to $500 000 (cost - $558). It is necessary to mean that if you will want to get a card of the third class the sum of $558 can be paid only a credit card. And payment can be made only by means of the international credit card: VISA, EuroCard/ MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and etc. (see a heading “ the Current account “) . Domestic credit cards in this case appear out of work, as, however, and in most cases when it is a question of payment of the goods or reception of those or other services abroad.
all types of cards IAPA are limited by period of validity in one year. Thus it is not considered, how many time you used a card - once or three hundred sixty five. Except an annual payment at the introduction into amicable numbers IAPA it is necessary to pay a registration payment at a rate of $200. If you get a card through bank this payment it is not required. It is connected by that the association prefers to work not with concrete clients, and with banks which already these cards extend. The bank which bears responsibility for reliability of the clients, extends IAPA much more cheaply.
IAPA is guided basically by solid businessmen, forming thus the, if one may say so, an elite circle of clients. And to elite clients - elite services. Owner IAPA, thanks to program Priority Pass, can grandly proshestvovat in a hall of rest the VIP in 65 worlds largest the airports. Not so long ago the hall has got to this list (it is not known how) the VIP at the Moscow international airport “ the Sheremetyevo - 2 “. Thus, owners IAPA without turn receive and send the luggage, and at the same time and get rid of excessive efforts with customs inspection that for our compatriots it is absolutely important.
If you, God forbid, have lost the air ticket at any airport of the world to you it will be free of charge given new (on aeroflotovskie tickets it is a rule does not extend yet). Thus ticket cost (a class, a discount under tariffs PEX and APEX) has no value.
IAPA - unique from the discount cards, offering one more original service to owners of credit cards. You can safely lose the credit card: if at you IAPA, count on reception of some sum of cash. It is necessary to reach the nearest representation IAPA personally only. It will be slightly faster, than to contact the central office Europe Assistance (if you have lost, for example, card Visa) to carry on long negotiations on phone, and then to meet its representative or to be dragged in branch of this or that bank. To do this all all the same it is necessary - a credit card - should be restored that, but with IAPA on hands you presume to delay to yourselves these actions or simply to prolong them.
if at the airport or near to representation hotel, it has appeared (whether a little), it is possible to address for the help to airport or hotel administration and if that shows to you some degree of goodwill (depending on the relation of this administration to IAPA), there is a probability to find money directly here. Well, and if you, having shown absent-mindedness miracles, manage to lose all luggage by means of the program bag - guard IAPA will help you to reunite with the lost things. It will be free of charge declared (thus it is desirable, that you were more - are less assured of that, where exactly you have left the luggage) that found such - that suitcases such - that waits for colour compensation. Naturally, compensation will be paid not by you.
during procedure of official registration of papers - whether it be in representation or in bank - you will acquaint with the impressive list of cities and the states (except some countries of Eastern Europe and the majority of the former republics of the former Union) and hotels in them, stopping in which you can save, using card IAPA.
By the way, there is one important circumstance, to forget and furthermore to ignore which is not necessary. It is a question of that any discount card including IAPA, except the information on period of validity and a name of the owner, any other data in itself does not contain. Thus, the discount as though is necessary for ordering in advance. That is, having defined with a route of a trip and having chosen hotel which you intend pochtit the presence, it is necessary to call in rezervatsionnyj the centre of hotel and to make the order - to reserve room and at the same time to notify administration on your intention “ to throw off “ a payment for residing. If you do not make it and is simple, having approached to a rack reception, significantly will show a card, any discount do not receive. All the same it is necessary to you, damning (in a shower or publichno) damned bureaucrats to undergo order procedure, having called in rezervatsionnyj the hotel centre though and from the hotel.
In Russia opening rezervatsionnyh the centres not far off, and terms are limited only by occurrence enough great number of hotels of the higher class. For now (since new year) having addressed in representation IAPA it is possible to issue a discount for residing in the largest capital hotels: Palace Hotel, Radisson - Slavjanskaya, Baltchug - Kempinski, Olympic - Penta Renessanse, Marco Polo Presnja, Pulman - Iris and etc.
As well as the majority of the discount companies, IAPA advertises and extends the production through banks. The basic distributors of card IAPA in Russia are Inkombank and bank “ the Optimum “. Besides, in Moscow exists as well representation IAPA where by itself it is possible to get the card with the same name. And as a whole IAPA has given the right of distribution of the cards more than to 200 banks in 19 countries of the world. Is guided by banks IAPA understandably: competing among themselves banks instantly snatch away all new services appearing in the financial market. Such approach is lawful and in Russia. In Moscow discount cards extend Inkombank, bank “ the Russian credit “ Credo - bank, “ the Optimum “ “ Balchug “ the Bridge - bank, “ the Credit - Moscow “ the First Russian bank and “ Strojinvest “.
In Inkombanke card IAPA is automatically appropriated to clients together with credit card VISA. Thus from the minimum rest on the account on a credit card $100 are written off. It is possible to get IAPA and without burdening itself purchase VISA (if it at you already is, for example) then it is just necessary to pay $100. However, thus you become only assotsiirovannym a member: For IAPA with the insurance it is necessary to pay twice more expensively. Bank “ the Optimum “ gives out card IAPA only as the appendix to VISA - Gold. There Is this pleasure of $2200 (together with credit card cost).
Entertainment: once in America
Unlike discount cards IAPA and ETN the American network Entertainment is calculated basically on “ internal consumption “ and, as a matter of fact, is national. Nevertheless the owner of card Entertainment has the right to count on all same discounts and privileges in all capitals and many big cities of Europe.
card Entertainment gives possibility of reception fixed 50 - a percentage discount in 4 thousand hotels and 25 - percentage - in autohire points (rent - a - car) and restaurants. And, speaking about hotels, it is necessary to tell that the discount is given without dependence from a class of the last. Is in this idyll and one slippery circumstance: Entertainment - the unique discount company officially notifying the client that it - de does not bear to the slightest responsibility if hotel administrations suddenly will come to mind in contract infringement to refuse to you a discount. However, the reservation there and then follows that as the unique lawful basis for such behaviour serves 80 - percentage filling of hotel. In an opposite case it is necessary to rush to search for representation Entertainment. Having found that, to inform it about chinimyh administration disgraces, and Entertainment will rush on protection of interests of the offended client.
as the discount goes from a service overall cost, at presence in an institution of a certain special tariff (for example, for tourist groups) to use a discount it will not be possible to you. But, as well as many other things, this position - a two-edged sword: In the event that the tariff is lowered at the initiative of the administration, the owner of card Entertainment shining with happiness receives not only the “ blood “ 50 % of a discount, but also additional 10 %.
In Moscow cards Entertainment extend through Savings Bank branches. Cost Entertainment - Europe (for discounts only in territory of Europe) - $99. And the well-known card Entertainment - Europe + America - $108.
should be mentioned that circumstance that, getting a discount card in the form of a makeweight to any credit card, it is necessary to eat more precisely in this acquisition though with any sense. It can quite turn out so that size of discounts and range of services on a credit card more than on discount. For example, credit card VISA Business Card possesses the magnificent list of additional services and the insurance (the insurance on a case of loss of luggage, loss or theft of business documents, medical insurance and etc.). Acquisition of a discount card becomes in this case, to put it mildly, waste of money.
IVAN SHTRAUH, DMITRY MATVELASHVILI