Following the successful launch of the Wild Card in 2003, South African National Parks and its partners have launched the Wild Visitor Card, aimed mainly at the international traveller to South Africa.
The card provides tourists with free entry to any participating park, reserve, resort, popular attraction or adventure destination. It is a joint initiative by South African National Parks, Cape Nature Conservation and Msinsi Resorts and is run and managed by South African loyalty and smart card management company, Infinity.
Holders of the Wild Card are eligible for the benefits provided by Infinity's own loyalty card, the Infinity Card. This means that they also earn CashBack Rewards from over two thousand partners including travel providers, retailers, entertainment and leisure activity providers. When a purchase is made from one of the partners, the CashBack Rewards are credited in real time to the smart card, and can be spent immediately at any partner outlet.
The level of reward is defined by the individual partner and varies from up to 30% at some tourist attractions, to preferential rates and 4% CashBack for air tickets. Members also get automatic free entry into a monthly draw to win cash, holiday and leisure prizes worth more than R50 000 (US$7,282). Those who use their card at least five times a month at the partners are guaranteed a prize.
The card offers an Attractions/Adventure Pass that is valid for between one and twenty one days. It can include up to two adults and four children. Like the original Wild Card, the new card uses smart card technology and is PIN protected.
Cape Town Routes Unlimited (an organisation charged with promoting Cape Town and the Western Cape as a tourist destination) is in the process of adopting the card as the official pass for the Western Cape, with other provinces soon to follow suit.
Additional benefits include crisis intervention assistance, travel information and guidance, an on-line multilingual concierge service, free mobile phone rental for the duration of the visitor's stay in South Africa, a printed guide and map, and commission-free currency exchange.
Future developments include a banking application - a MasterCard Travel Purse -that will allow the loading of cash (that can then be withdrawn from any Maestro ATM worldwide) onto the card, an electronic purse for purchasing fuel in South Africa (because South African fuel retailers don't accept ordinary credit cards), plus the redemption of CashBack Rewards at the duty-free shops in the international departures hall at South African airports.
Cost of the Wild Card varies according to the number of people included on the card and the range of tourist attractions covered. For example, the price for an individual for a regional card is R170 (approx. US$24.75) while a comprehensive card for a family of two adults and four children under 18 would cost R1795 (approx. US$261.50).