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Visa Is Named 'World's Leading Credit Card'

14 November 2005

Visa Is Named 'World's Leading Credit Card' for Eighth Consecutive Year at World Travel Awards

Travel and Tourism Industry Leaders Honoured at Celebrated Annual Event
Auckland, 14 November 2005 - For the eighth consecutive year the World Travel Awards, the prestigious awards ceremony that acknowledges significant achievements in all areas of the travel and tourism industry, has named Visa the "World's Leading Credit Card."

The prize was awarded based on a worldwide online poll of travel agencies and frontline travel agents. Criteria used in evaluating companies and organizations
include scope of distribution, convenience, and overall best services.

"Visa is honoured to receive this award on behalf of its 21,000 member banks," says Tom Shepard, executive vice president, Global Marketing Partnerships and Sponsorships, Visa International. "With unsurpassed acceptance worldwide and with travel and entertainment programs linked to Visa cards around the world, our cardholders enjoy the convenience and confidence that Visa provides. It is a true honour to receive this accolade from one of the industry's most important awards programs."

The online voting took place throughout 2005 at www.worldtravelawards.com. This enabled over 176,000 travel professionals, including 110,000 travel agents, worldwide the opportunity to let the world know who they think are the world's best in the travel industry. The winner was chosen from the following payment cards - American Express, MasterCard, Diner's Club, Visa and JCB.

"Visa has won 'World's Leading Credit Card' for eight years in a row, maintaining its position consistently over this period," says president and founder of the World Travel Awards, Graham Cooke.

"The awards take into account the views of tens of thousands of travel agents and professionals worldwide - over two million individual voting decisions are made during our five-month independent survey period and for Visa to come up best-of-class across the global travel marketplace, shows that it has a credit card offering that is still second to none. This is to due to Visa's focus on excellence and value-added services, which are offered to travellers at all times."

Since founding the World Travel Awards in 1993, we have seen a growing sophistication in the travel and tourism trade and increased competition. Our winners have always been at the forefront of this process with their initiatives and products, Visa is one of these companies. This year's winners are no different, although 2005 has seen its fair share of global events from hurricanes to soaring oil prices. Yet our winners have continued to survive and thrive - they've seen challenges as opportunities and led the way for the industry."

"Voted for independently by travel professionals worldwide, our award winners are having a major impact and influence on the world's travel and tourism industry. They are the true innovators and benchmarks for our trade, especially in the areas of customer service, technology, operational efficiency, product offering and style," explains Cooke.

Established in 1993, the World Travel Awards held its tenth annual World Travel Awards Ceremony on Sunday, 13 November 2005, at the Royal Opera House in London, England. The World Travel Awards honours leading travel-related organizations in worldwide and regional categories, which range from airlines, hotels, beaches and cruise lines to credit cards, car rental companies and hotel reservation services.

Visa International is a strategic partner with many of the leading global corporations and merchants, creating retail and T&E promotions that deliver extraordinary values to Visa cardholders worldwide. Visa's extensive merchant relationships and marketing partnerships, as well as its unsurpassed acceptance around the world, are driving Visa's growth in the retail and T&E arenas.

Visa also has created an innovative, interactive, online travel portal, "Visa Destinations," which provides Visa cardholders with exclusive offers and values from a select group of global travel, retail and entertainment merchants.

Featuring a wide range of valuable offers and information, this user-friendly travel planning website can be accessed at www.visadestinations.com . The site contains retail, travel and entertainment offers from hundreds of merchants in key destination markets or by designated category around the world.

For more information on the 2005 World Travel Awards or for a complete list of winners, visit www.WorldTravelAwards.com

ENDS

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