Thanks to Visa, Your 2010 FIFA World Cup TM Trip is Only 40 Days Away, but how Will Your Travel Plans Fare?

By Abbey International, PRNE
Thursday, April 29, 2010

ST HELIER, Jersey, April 30, 2010 -

    - First Game Just 40 Days Away
    - Are Your Travel and Hospitality Plans Finalised?
    - What Difference Could a Concierge Service Make?

For football fans everywhere, the event of a lifetime is now less than
two months away, but once you arrive in South Africa, will your travel plans
shape up, or will the contents of your wallet turn out to be your Achilles

More than 460,000 Britons visit South Africa every year, according to the
South African government's statistics. This year's FIFA World Cup TM will be
staged across eight provinces in nine host cities, with half a million
visitors expected to attend the matches. With new reports issued by the South
African Ministry of Tourism painting a positive picture of the hotels
infrastructure, most visits can be expected to be trouble free.

However, as with any major expedition, good planning is essential and can
help to avoid any problems which might arise. UK Foreign Office data reveals
that many Britons travelling abroad are likely at some point to need help
with lost or stolen passports and those who may be sensitive to local cuisine
will feel more comfortable, if they know a reliable, local GP can be easily

Although many UK and foreign travellers will welcome the fact that the
main language spoken in South Africa is English, there is no doubt that just
moving around between matches, with some venues over 1000 miles apart will
present a unique set of challenges. Arriving at your destination, who would
you turn to, if you need to book a good restaurant or arrange a business
meeting around a match?

Clients of Abbey International ( in
possession of their recently launched Abbey International Visa Infinite card
( will certainly not
have to face this particular issue, coming as it does with a range of
concierge services (
designed to meet the most demanding brief. Arriving in a new
city and needing to find your way around quickly, concierge services,
tailored to the customer's needs, can provide the 'inside track' on where to
go and what to do. In addition, concierge services can offer an extra pair of
hands in a busy person's schedule - booking tickets, finding information or
even getting a babysitter.

With an exclusive range of benefits, the Abbey International Visa
Infinite card ( has
been designed to give clients enhanced levels of cover, particularly for a
more discerning and demanding demographic. The card also provides holders
with Airport Angel membership, giving cardholders and their guests access to
over 400 airport lounges and a range of flight related information services,
such as text based alerts.

Before travelling, Abbey International Visa Infinite cardholders have
access to a special pre-departure hotline which advises on passport and
inoculation requirements, together with local country information, as well as
the latest currency exchange rates, all of which could be essential
information, if additional travel between the matches is planned. Whilst the
cardholder is abroad, they are provided with a whole host of additional
services to make their lives easier. If emergency cash is needed or a wallet
lost, the cardholder will be provided with funds and they can also be given
local legal advice, should it be necessary. In addition, phone based
interpreting services are provided 24/7 to help clients who may be
experiencing language barriers, although in South Africa, this should not
generally be a problem for English speakers. In case of loss or theft of a
passport, visa or airline tickets, the service provides all the necessary
information to obtain the replacement documents. The lifestyle service can
also be used to relay messages to friends, relatives and business associates
in their country of residence and can even organise helicopters and private
jets, should they be necessary.

The level of detail which can be provided is considerable: taking the
example of restaurants, location, type of cuisine, even dress code, prices
and menu options can all be given in advance, so cardholders knows exactly
what to expect.

South Africa's private health sector has a good reputation for delivering
world class care, but is generally only available to those with private
medical insurance. For Abbey International Visa Infinite cardholders, medical
insurance is included in case of an emergency overseas. If a hospital stay is
required, the Travel Assistance programme monitors the cardholder's
treatment, progress and the quality of medical attention, until their safe
return home. In addition the service can provide updates to friends, family
and employers or business colleagues.

The medical assistance service ranges from providing a GP to visit the
hotel or person's place of residence to the provision of a specialist
healthcare practitioner. The service's expert advice ensures the most
appropriate physician is chosen and allowable charges are met. The cardholder
will be given contact details of the appropriate professional together with
key information such as languages spoken, for example. The service can also
help cardholders replace lost or misplaced medication or eyewear by first
endeavouring to find a local resource for replacement or, if necessary, by
arranging a fresh shipment.

For the discerning football fan, then, packing your Abbey International
Visa Infinite card is a must, if you want your football holiday of a lifetime
to flow better. The Abbey International Visa Infinite card is available
( to those clients with at least
GBP100,000 on deposit, but if there is over GBP250,000 in the account, all
card membership fees are waived.

Jane Matthews, Head of Client Experience at Abbey International said:
"South Africa is a tremendously exciting destination, with a huge variety of
activities likely to be taking place around the football. Clients who are
intending to travel around the country will want to get the very
best from their trip and that is where our Abbey International
Visa Infinite card with its Lifestyle service is second to none in its
attention to detail and coverage. We are confident these services will help
make our clients' trips to South Africa easier, more enjoyable and less

For further information on banking with Abbey International in
Jersey call +44(0)1534-828-828 or log onto

         For media use only and not to be relied on by consumers to make
                            financial decisions.

Notes to Editors:

Abbey International is located in Jersey, a secure,
well-established and politically stable financial centre, which is renowned
internationally for its high standards of regulation. Jersey's unique
constitution and relationship with the British Crown dates back hundreds of
years. This provides for a unique legal and neutral tax system that can
provide significant wealth planning opportunities for the international

Abbey international has a minimum balance entry requirement of
GBP50,000 (or currency equivalent) across our portfolio of products. The
minimum balance amount can be spread across a range of accounts, subject to
the minimum opening deposit for each account being met.

All deposits carry the full and unconditional guarantee of Santander UK
plc, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of the Santander Group.

Santander has more than 150 years' experience in banking and more
branches worldwide than any other international bank.

About Banco Santander

Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN) is a retail and
commercial bank, based in Spain, with presence in 10 main markets. At the end
of 2008, Santander was the largest bank in the euro zone by market
capitalization and third in the world by profit. Founded in 1857, Santander
had EUR 1,271 billion in managed funds at the end of 2008. Following the
acquisition of Sovereign Bancorp. of the U.S. in January 2009, Santander had
90 million customers, around 14,000 branches - more than any other
international bank - and over 170,000 employees. It is the largest financial
group in Spain and Latin America, with leading positions in the United
and Portugal and a broad presence in Europe through its Santander
Consumer Finance arm. In the first half of 2009, Santander registered
EUR4,519 million in net attributable profit.

In the UK, Santander operates two retail businesses -
Santander, which was formed out of the Abbey and Bradford & Bingley retail
network, and Alliance & Leicester. Together they have over 1300 branches,
around 4,500 cash machines and they provide a full range of retail and
corporate banking services to 25 million customers.

Alliance & Leicester will become known as Santander by the end of 2010.

    Media Contacts:

    Guy Stephenson/Jennifer Duffy
    Nacelle Ltd

    Jane Matthews, Abbey International, Head of Client Experience

Media Contacts: Guy Stephenson/Jennifer Duffy, Nacelle Ltd, +44(0)20-8333-9125, gstephenson at; Jane Matthews, Abbey International, Head of Client Experience, +44(0)1534-828137, Jane.matthews at

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