It looks as if Robin Leach will need a Visa card.

In Monaco, a popular setting for Mr. Leach's "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" television show, the Government Tourist Office has endorsed Visa as its "preferred" credit card.

The glitzy principality, long known as a playground of the jet set, is the second government to participate in a "We Prefer Visa" campaign.

Last month, the card company launched a similar program in Hawaii.

Freebies for Tourists

Vacationers in Monaco who use the Visa card are entitled to room upgrades with seaside views at some of the resort town's most posh hotels.

They can also get helicopter transfers to some hotels from the local airport.

Challenging American Express

Restaurants and retail stores are expected to eventually offer discounts to customers who use Visa cards.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based card association is working to loosen American Express Co.'s longtime hold on the travel and entertainment market.

Last year, Visa launched a major challenge by advertising that merchants typically pay lower fees to it than to American Express.

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