GLOBAL PAYMENTS technology company Visa continues to expand its Epic Experiences program, which gives its cardholders perks and benefits at over 60 restaurants and travel destinations in the Philippines.

“We want to bring the best experiences for both our local cardholders and international tourists to the Philippines,” Dan Wolbert, Visa country manager for the Philippines and Guam, said during the launch event last June 4 at Smith Butcher and Grill Room in Makati City.

Visa Epic Experiences is an exclusive dining and travel privileges program for both local and foreign Visa cardholders.

Now on its sixth year, Visa focused on increasing the dining and travel deals outside of Metro Manila.

“This year, we expanded our focus to include national coverage as we have expanded in areas like Cebu, Boracay and Palawan,” Mr. Wolbert said.

In Cebu, restaurants such as Cichetti, Ani Restaurant, Dayun Lounge and Uma Restaurant are participating in the Visa Epic Experiences program. Boracay’s Forno Osteria and Indigo, as well as Tagaytay’s Aozora Japanese Restaurant are also included in the program.

Those looking for some R&R can find deals for The Farm at San Benito in Batangas, The Manor in Baguio City, The Forest Lodge at Camp John Hay, El Nido Resorts Apulit Island, Misibis Bay and Crimson in Boracay.

In Metro Manila, Visa cardholders can get discounts, deals or freebies at restaurants such as Smith Butcher and Grill Room, Bondi & Burke, Canton Road, La Mere Poulard, Ministry of Crab, Tomatito, Okada Manila and NIU by Vikings.

Mr. Wolbert said Visa has noticed that dining and travel spending among Filipinos has been rising nearly 20% year-on-year.

“We are confident this growth will continue,” he added.

The Visa Epic Experiences program has also boosted the revenues and number of customers for its merchant-partners. Mr. Wolbert noted travel-partners for the Epic Experiences program has seen nearly 50% growth in transactions between 2017 and 2018.

“One of the things we like to highlight in this program is we have seen our dining and merchant partners continue to benefit from this program. Several (partners) have seen significant increases in Visa transactions over the several years, and it becomes an important component so that we’re continuing to bring value not just to cardholders but to our merchants,” Mr. Wolbert said.

Visa cardholders can avail of the exclusive offers by using their cards at the partner establishments, or through the Visa Digital concierge where affluent Filipinos and international Visa cardholders can make reservations through chat on the app. — Cathy Rose A. Garcia