3 Travel Preparation Tips for Your Holiday Trip

May 31, 2022 | 52 views

3 Travel Preparation Tips
A holiday abroad is an exciting experience, a chance to be in a new place where you can enjoy the sights and food, and have that much-needed break you need. Whether you are off to visit family or friends or plan to embark on an adventure as a tourist, holidays are the best way to leave work behind for a while and do something nice for yourself. With all the hard work you have been doing, you deserve a break.

Going on a trip also takes careful preparation to ensure that everything goes according to plan. If you start preparing in advance, you can cover all the details and relax while away, knowing everything is in place. It is also best to get travel insurance. With it, you provide yourself with coverage against certain travel risks like cancellations, missing luggage, and medical expenses, should you require them while away from home. Of course, it is always best to be safe than sorry, and details like this reduce stress and keep you prepared for anything on your holiday.

Below are some travel preparation tips for a stress-free and enjoyable holiday.


Try to travel light

Travelers find it challenging to pack for a trip. We tend to take extras along with us, fearing that something could come up and we might need certain items. However, it is always better to pack light, as long as you have the essentials with you. Avoid over-packing and stick to the necessities for a less stressful vacation. If you are flying to your destination, have your travel documents organized and in your possession at all times. Find out what the weather is like where you are going and choose suitable clothing to pack.


Be prepared for anything

You never know what can happen during a holiday trip. You may encounter a few snags such as delays, a change of weather conditions, closed roads, etc. So, prepare for unexpected situations and know what to do if they happen. Furthermore, arriving hours earlier than your flight at the airport keeps you relaxed, which you should be since it is your holiday. If security lines are long and time is of the essence, being there early helps you take it easy rather than rush to reach your flight on time.


Book your flight as early as possible

Ensure that you get to leave on your preferred dates by booking your flight as early as possible. There have been a few changes in many airline companies where people can quickly make cancellations and other changes. Additionally, there is now limited seating in planes. This means that they fill up the seats faster. Apart from booking your flight in advance, it would also help to book hotel accommodations and other planned activities early on.

A holiday is even more enjoyable when you have planned everything out. Make the necessary preparations so when you get to your destination, all that's left to do is relax and enjoy your vacation.

Spotlight

Red Apple Travel Group

RED APPLE TRAVEL GROUP is proud to say that no one knows Asia like we do. Thanks to years of experience, we have learnt how to handle every individual traveler's varied needs and have successfully entered not only the leisure tourism industry but also ventured into Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions (MICE) and Religious Tourism markets, adding a completely new dimension to the company's bouquet of services.

OTHER ARTICLES
COMMERCIAL TRAVEL,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Online Travel Fraud: Mitigating Risks & Preventing Slashing Revenues

Article | July 13, 2022

In 2020, the number of suspected online travel fraud attempts in the U.S. jumped by 136.6%. Two years later, the online travel fraud “industry” is still going strong, making online travel agencies and tourism businesses lose their money and reputation. "Traveling has always been when people are more vulnerable. A few hundred years ago, the perpetrators were pirates or highwaymen. Now those criminals are still out there, but they've changed their methods to focus on digital attacks instead." -Caleb Barlow, ex-Vice President of X-Force Threat Intelligence at IBM Security. Mitigating fraud risk is important in any industry, but it is especially important in industries like travel where competition is fierce and margins are shrinking. The high resale value of its digital goods makes the travel industry vulnerable to fraud. Fortunately, advanced solutions that prevent fraud have shown great results in the airline and travel industries. Machine learning and artificial intelligence tools are improving in efficiency. With their help and a variety of other methods, a good travel fraud prevention team can curb fraud in the travel industry, increase profit margins, and cut down on the costs and time taken for manual reviews of transactions to prevent financial losses. How are Online Travel Agencies Mitigating Fraud Risks and Safeguarding Revenue? Online travel agencies need to be on their toes to preserve their revenue and reputation, and the integrity of their operations to grow and sustain their businesses. Modern online fraud prevention methods can protect you from fraud without jeopardizing the customer experience. Let us look at these methods: Implementing Machine Learning-based Solutions Machine learning-based models can be the backbone of your fraud protection strategy. These models can recognize patterns and predict outcomes. They help you identify anomalies in customer behavior in real time, flag an account-takeover attempt, analyze transaction riskiness, and block them before they result in a chargeback. ML-based fraud detection software like Signifyd and Riskified detects illegitimate activities related to payments, account creation, purchases, and chargebacks. They monitor websites, networks, and applications for fraud and prevent digital payment fraud. It is important to remember that you need to strike a good balance between these preventive measures and your customer experience, so you do not lose business by focusing on only one aspect. Transaction Monitoring This method focuses on the credit card used for booking. Using an intelligence tool, check if there is a mismatch between the user’s IP address and their billing information and if the same user is making too many bookings from the same account or same card. Combine these insights with user verification and fraud scoring tools so you can reject suspicious transactions automatically. Also, keep an eye on changes to bookings to avoid problems, and follow the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DS S) to make sure card payments are as safe as possible. User Profiling Gather important customer data like email addresses, credit card information, loyalty points, and social networking handles. Behavioral data on what the customer does on your website or your mobile app, the devices through which the customer connects to the website, and their email address or location can help prevent fraud. Additionally, online travel agencies can verify users in the following ways: Use an address verification service (AVS) and a card security code (CVV or CVC). Verify scanned ID documents using SaaS products to add another layer of security to every transaction. Create a blacklist to block specific users if you notice any suspicious attempts. Use device fingerprinting to block devices previously associated with fraudulent activities. Anti-ATO Methods To prevent account takeover attempts, deploy two-factor authentication for travel agents, and 3D secure PIN codes for end customers. Biometric technology and mobile payment wallet apps like Google Pay, and Apple Pay can curb swindlers from getting into a customer’s account without secure pins or fingerprints. Verify Suppliers Set up a process for verifying every supplier before making any payments. Check their business license, business reviews on Google, and check their Google Street View to confirm if a hotel actually exists at the mentioned address. Ensure that there is no correlation between a steep increase in hotel prices and booking activity because it could be a hotel price spike scam. Block Bot Attacks Any kind of abnormal spike in web or app traffic can be an indication of a bot attack. Real-time protection against bots can be a great way to handle illegitimate traffic. Compare every website request against the in-memory pattern database using ML and AI to check and block bots swiftly. Implement networking that can safeguard your domains within milliseconds upon detecting a bad bot. Control Friendly Fraud Chargeback abuses are hard to prevent. The only way to fight back is to document compelling evidence to prove that the said transaction was legitimate. Document order forms, tracking numbers, online travel agency customer communication logs, any kind of travel product redemption evidence, and confirmation for items delivered to an address that matches with the address verification service (AVS). Air France Sped Up Manual Reviews By 70% Air France wanted an easy way to access reliable information on potentially risky transactions. So they chose SEON’s Intelligence Tool. “The time spent by Air France analysts on manual reviews is down by an impressive 70%.” - Eric Facquet, Deputy Manager of Fraud Prevention at Air France Summing It Up Tackle online travel fraud head-on while keeping in mind your end customer. You must protect your customers from fraud in a way that is strong, practical, and well-balanced. This way should cover the customer's entire journey with you, both literally and figuratively. FAQ Which software tools can help with fraud detection? Fraud detection software tools such as SEON, ClickGUARD, Riskified and Oracle Adaptive Access Manager can help detect fraud. How can you improve fraud detection? Use machine learning models to automate processes for fraud investigation, and regularly update rules for detection and how to handle alerts. What does fraud detection software do? Fraud detection software regulates accounts, payments, purchases, and events in real-time to detect any fraudulent activities. It also protects sensitive company and customer data.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Age of Digital Concierge: Hotel Chatbots Are Redefining CX

Article | August 2, 2022

The travel industry is reviving. Tourist spots across the globe are packed with excited explorers. Though it feels like everything is going back to normal, the way people travel has changed. The hospitality tech revolution is making mundane tasks easier and the customer experience richer. Most travelers prefer self-service over waiting to be served. Online planning and bookings have picked up pace, so have contact-less check-in and 24/7 digital concierge. Hotels must swiftly meet these evolving demands or risk losing in the race. They must incorporate technology into their day-to-day operations to eliminate human error, increase their service efficiency, and, above all, offer an outstanding customer experience. One of the technology trends reshaping the travel and hospitality industry is digital concierge—hotel chatbots that bring the concierge desk into the palm of a guest’s hand. Convenient, right? A Sneak Peak into Hotel Chatbots Hotel chatbots are software applications that communicate with your hotel’s website page visitors and resolve their queries. They are either programmed to behave a certain way or can be AI-powered. Programmed chatbots are configured to answer a limited set of questions. However, they can collect visitor information so your customer executives can get in touch with prospects to resolve their queries or provide them with booking assistance. On the other hand, AI-powered chatbots use NLP (Natural Language Processing) and ML (Machine Learning) to analye human behaviour and accordingly answer questions. Digital Concierge Brings in Conversions Personalized communication forms the crux of customer experience. A desired, non-intrusive interaction between a guest and a chat bot can create strong engagement and help the guest to make a booking at your hotel. In such cases, the bot will forward the booking inquiries directly into the IBE (Internet Booking Engine) and strengthen your direct sales. 30-50% of the chatbot-prospect interactions result in IBE forwarding of booking inquiries. This statistic shows how accepting the guests are of the chatbot’s services. (Source: DialogShift, Olga Heuser) Chatbots can also be integrated into social media platforms and instant messenger platforms so that guests can directly make bookings from a platform of their choice. How are Hotel Chatbots Redefining CX? Apart from bringing in revenue through direct sales, hotel chatbots also create a solid customer experience for the guests, so they don’t go home unsatisfied and give you a good review online. Here are the ways in which they enhance the customer experience: 24/7 Availability- Chatbots promptly respond to guest queries round the clock Multi-Lingual Support- Languages are not a barrier for them Efficiency- They lighten your hotel staff’s load of answering guest queries Customer Retention- They collect guest information, which helps in retention and follow-up Brand Awareness- They are brand representatives and increase brand awareness through responsiveness Additionally, AI- powered chatbots can also: Highlight the hotel’s special features upon check-in Recommend places and activities to do around the hotel with pictures and links Request feedback from guests about services Assist with table reservations or pool-side orders The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas Used Rose to Impress Guests The introduction of Rose, a smart chatbot that converses with guests on The Cosmopolitan’s website, changed the game for the hotel. The bot’s playful personality wooed hotel guests. Those who made a booking directly from the website ended up spending 37% more than those who did not engage with her. Let’s Wrap It Up A hotel chatbot refines the concierge experience for guests through rapid response times and enhances your hotel’s AI marketing efforts. It can be an invaluable asset for hotel business owners looking to stay ahead in the race.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

AI CRM and Online Booking Tipped To Boost Travel Recovery

Article | July 13, 2022

Travel technology professionals view tech as the way to help travel come back stronger, according to research. The TravelTech Show (formerly TTE Europe) polled buyers and suppliers who listed artificial intelligence, customer relationship management and online booking tools as the top three technologies to help boost recovery. Rounding out the top five were self-service portals and innovative payment options. The findings will be unsurprising to many in the industry already looking to AI, the cloud and other technologies to boost efficiency and improve the customer experience. Brian Sheerin, managing director of SABS Travel Technologies, says: Allowing travelers to self-book through an OBT [online booking tool] while still providing simple methods to communicate, such as online chat, are key to reducing customer frustration and allowing travel businesses the space to restructure, to resource and to meet customer expectations. OBTs were already playing a massive part in booking travel pre-pandemic and now it is even more important in the role of rebuilding the sector and customer confidence in it.”In recent weeks, American Airlines announced a far-reaching partnership with Microsoft, Expedia Group unveiled its new tech platform Open World and Miami Airport announced its rollout of biometric boarding technology. Payment developments and other advances in travel fintech also have been highlighted recently as an increasing priority to the industry as it looks to find new revenue streams. The TravelTech Show research also quizzed participants on the top challenges facing the travel technology industry currently, with economic uncertainty taking the top slot (52%), followed by COVID-19 restrictions (46%) and climate change (36%). Cyber security took fourth place compared to two years ago when it was in seventh place. Meanwhile, sustainable travel moved to seventh place compared to the second-place spot it held in 2020.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Augmented Reality Transforming the Travel and Hospitality Industry

Article | May 20, 2022

“I believe that augmented reality will be the biggest technological revolution that happens in our lifetimes.” – Tim Sweeney, Founder and CEO of Epic Games Augmented reality (AR) has proved to be a significant concept in tourism and hospitality management in the past few years. It allows us to enhance the physical environment and enhance the experience of exploring the surrounding area. According to Grand View Research, the global market for augmented reality was worth USD 25.33 billion in 2021. From 2022 to 2030, the market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40.9%. As things keep pace with digitalization and this generation seeks quick and efficient yet reliable methods, every sector widely uses the application of augmented reality. According to Hospitality Tech, the market size of augmented reality will reach $198 billion by 2025, and the hotel business will be one of the key contributors to this income target. Effectively, Starwood, Marriott and Holiday Inn are already making a difference in the travel and hospitality industry by leveraging this technology. An investment in AR brings a lot of change in business revenue for both small hoteliers and prominent hotel tycoons. AR Improve Customer Experience for Travel and Hospitality Redefine the customer experience with augmented reality in the tourism industry. AR-based travel apps help businesses enhance their services and offer personalized experiences to their customers. By adding interactive hotel features that make the space more fun, you can get people to visit nearby attractions. Utilizing CX to maintain and expand a client base produces a terrific asset that positively affects ROI. CX effectively boosts customer lifetime value (LTV), which can become self-perpetuating. Companies that excel at CX and customer-centricity are 60% more profitable and generate 5.7% more revenue than those that don't. Ideas for Implementing AR in the Tourism and Hotel Industry AR is utilized chiefly via smartphones and offers many options concerning interactive experiences. AR in Excursions & Travel Attractions AR technology may be a terrific marketing tool for guiding first-time guests through the hotel and a great way to retain customers and provide more engaging experiences. With the application of augmented reality software, a standard tourist map comes to life. Moreover, AR technology enables clients to examine points of interest, restaurants, and other businesses. Your hotel restaurant may even use augmented reality to let customers explore the menu and ingredients in a new way by showing them 3D versions of the meals on their phones. Transportation If you have a travel mobile app with AR, you can point out the transportation objects to get the best possible directions, travel route, next destination, and places to travel to. Pokemon Go shows one such example of how you can use modern digital technologies to make the travel experience even better. It became the first popular augmented reality game. This AR app brought players out into the street and made them move and travel a lot. Scadi is one such AR app in travel for visitors of Alpine ski resorts. It uses advanced algorithms to create the most comfortable, safe and exciting routes for skiers and snowboarders. Integrates with other technology Using augmented reality in conjunction with other technologies such as beacon technology allows your hotel to more efficiently promote to visitors and upsell through push notifications. For example, through push notifications, hotels may give partner companies special offers or discounts, and vice versa, partner businesses can advertise the hotel. Hospitality Industry Must Make Room for AR for Better ROI In a post-pandemic context, the travel and hotel industries embrace technological advancements that enhance visitor experiences, eventually boosting corporate income and reducing operating expenses. Utilizing interactive technologies like AR, VR, and other interactive technologies increases operational efficiency, productivity, and ROI. By using augmented reality with CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) or EAM, you gain more understanding (Enterprise Asset Management). Augmented reality can assist facility managers in boosting the efficiency of their engineers and reducing the expense of ensuring their safety. AR will assist them in increasing their revenue by reducing their maintenance expenses. Using AR-based product models, the hospitality industry is gaining a significant competitive edge, resulting in faster sales cycles. Case Studies Holiday Inn During the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012, Holiday Inn introduced one of the first uses of Augmented Reality in a hotel setting. The experiences used picture recognition and chroma video. The program identified hotel locations and activated athlete video footage, merging real and virtual components. This Holiday Inn use case shows how hotels may leverage AR to develop unique guest experiences around local events. In addition, the campaign helped promote the hotel and bolster its status as the official hotel for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Premier Inn The Hub Hotel from Premier Inn, the largest hotel chain in the United Kingdom, is one of the few places to have adopted the AR technology back in 2016. The hotel provided a wall map of the local region in each room. Tourists could use their smartphones to read information about local areas of interest by pointing them at a wall. Conclusion The benefits of augmented reality in the travel and hospitality industries are immense. AR is a potent tool for increasing company potential and returns on investment. Utilizing innovative technology boosts your hotel's exposure and brand awareness while propelling it into the digital age. Augmented reality in the tourism industry truly sets you apart from the competition. FAQ How is augmented reality changing the travel & tourism industry? Augmented reality helps hotels enhance the physical locations they are attempting to attract visitors to, such as hotel rooms and local attractions. What is digital transformation in the hospitality industry? Digital transformation refers to how companies restructure themselves to adapt and modify their corporate culture to empower innovations that utilize technology and propel their enterprises to new levels of growth. What are the benefits of augmented reality? Creates unique customer experiences Reduces cognitive overload Increases engagement

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Spotlight

Red Apple Travel Group

RED APPLE TRAVEL GROUP is proud to say that no one knows Asia like we do. Thanks to years of experience, we have learnt how to handle every individual traveler's varied needs and have successfully entered not only the leisure tourism industry but also ventured into Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions (MICE) and Religious Tourism markets, adding a completely new dimension to the company's bouquet of services.

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Cain Travel agency signs GDS agreement with Sabre to drive agency sales and revenue growth

Cain Travel and Sabre | August 05, 2022

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Priceline Introduces Summer Sale and Expanded Loyalty Program

Priceline | June 20, 2022

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Mastercard Expands Travel Suite

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Cain Travel agency signs GDS agreement with Sabre to drive agency sales and revenue growth

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Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, announced a new distribution agreement with Cain Travel, a US-based travel agency. This new agreement will enable Cain Travel to complement services to their customers worldwide, drive efficiencies and support their economic growth by leveraging their proprietary technologies along with Sabre's travel marketplace (GDS). Cain Travel will have access to Sabre's marketplace of more than 400 airlines, 750,000 hotel properties, and hundreds of tour operators, rail, car rental and cruise providers, to sell customized travel packages from suppliers around the world. Additionally, the travel agency will use their proprietary technologies – powered by Sabre API's – along with the reach represented by the Sabre GDS to differentiate its services among their competitors. "The key reasons Cain Travel chose Sabre were its technology and strategic vision on NDC. We were looking for a travel technology partner that could help us address many aspects of our business – driving revenue, reducing costs, and improving our efficiency, Sabre's technology strategy including its approach to NDC will make it easier for our staff to find the content and personalized offers that our customers expect. We look forward to a successful and bright future with our new partner." -Michael Cain, President of Cain Travel Group of Boulder Founded in 1985, Cain Travel is one of the nation's largest independent travel management companies, providing a unique set of travel solutions. "As the industry continues to recover, travel companies face the challenge of quickly adapting their business to this dynamic market's changing needs and requirements, We are excited to serve as the strategic technology partner for Cain Travel and to bring them onto the Sabre GDS where they will have full access to Sabre's leading technology and broad travel content." -Andy Finkelstein, senior vice president, Global Agency Sales and Corporate Solutions for Sabre Today, thousands of agency points of sale are shopping, booking and servicing NDC offers through the Sabre marketplace. Sabre continues to broaden its NDC capabilities, coverage and content from multiple airlines. About Sabre Corporation Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveler experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com. About Cain Travel The Cain Travel Group of Boulder, Inc. (Cain) is a certified Woman Owned Small Business founded in 1985. Since our inception, Cain has grown to become among the largest privately held TMCs in the country. Cain has achieved this success through a combination of employing extremely experienced and dedicated staff, enjoying unparalleled employee and customer retention rates and conceptualizing, developing and deploying new technologies designed to enhance traveler experience and facilitate the success of travel programs. The Company is based in Boulder, Colorado.

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Priceline Introduces Summer Sale and Expanded Loyalty Program

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Mastercard Expands Travel Suite

Mastercard | June 24, 2022

Mastercard expanded its Mastercard Travel and Lifestyle Services platform. New partnerships that focus on smooth travel experiences and memorable moments for its cardholders are at the crux of this expansion. New features include WhatsApp servicing, COVID alerts and offers like lounge access when flights are delayed are offered to customers. “Many of us eagerly await the chance to satisfy our love for travel, but it can be stressful to plan a trip with so many uncertainties about what traveling will look like, At Mastercard, we’re here to support every step of the journey — from planning to booking to transportation to experiences in destination — so travelers can focus on what really matters. After two years of disruptions, we know that time with our loved ones is truly priceless.” -Mastercard’s Stephanie Meltzer-Paul, executive vice president, Global Loyalty In addition to providing direct service to cardholders, Mastercard assists governments, businesses, and brands in understanding changing consumer patterns and preferences to build and test programs and incentives. Mastercard services give customers everything they need to welcome back travelers, from market analysis and insights to marketing solutions and consumer engagement strategies. The Tourism Innovation Hub in Spain, for example, was recently established to develop customized goods and solutions to enable a sustainable, inclusive return to travel through innovation, research, and collaboration throughout the ecosystem. Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services is a travel planning and booking portal that provides World and World Elite cards with unique guarantees, amenities, and upgrades, as well as 24/7 concierge and premium offers and entertainment from major travel brands. With the experience economy in full swing, travelers can satisfy their wanderlust with customized city tours informed by local experts and member favorites via the Inspiration Module. The program now features WhatsApp servicing, which is presently accessible in certain geographies2 throughout the world and will be available globally by the end of the year, where members can message Lifestyle Managers regarding travel and concierge requirements from their phone. Cardholders benefit from the Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee, and the Mastercard Hotel Stay Guarantee, as well as free nights and preferential treatment at over 4,000 4- and 5-star properties worldwide. In addition, travelers can book once-in-a-lifetime Priceless Experiences while in location, such as a dream vacation to London and Paris with Michelin-starred restaurants, luxury glamping in Sweden's Blekinge archipelago, or a visit to the top of New York City's One World Observatory. Premier Programs and New Travel Partnerships In addition to the preferred experience of Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services, Mastercard has formed several new alliances to provide perks that reduce travel stress and promote more enjoyable experiences. Convenience: Cardholders enjoy access to a global network of over 1,100 airport lounges for delayed flights or relaxing in quiet. Mastercard Flight Delay Pass, currently accessible in select locations worldwide, provides complimentary lounge access on eligible delayed flights. FastTrack in Europe was also recently established, as was Mastercard Travel Pass in Canada, providing a hassle-free airport experience. Connection: Starting in the Asia Pacific and expanding to additional regions later this year, select cardholders now have access to complimentary worldwide roaming data packs for use in more than 200 countries, and a 15% Mastercard discount on top-ups via Flexiroam. Care: Through Sitata, cardholders can opt-in to get real-time notifications and the most recent COVID limits and requirements, including testing locations and cost. Convenience: The new mycardbenefits.com is a digital insurance platform that allows Mastercard cardholders to instantly access – and smoothly submit – claims for the insurances contained on their card, such as vehicle rental, and lost luggage replacement, mobile phone, and trip cancellation. Cash Rewards: Use Mastercard Travel Rewards to shop and earn cash rewards at hundreds of prestigious retailers in 19 destinations, and thousands of online deals for unique save

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