Money: The latest status symbol - a gold card from the Co-op

The battle for customers in the lucrative gold card market intensified this week with the launch of a low-cost card by Co-operative Bank, which claims to offer the best rate on the market.

Gold card becomes the new designer accessory

There is always one in any crowd. The woman who took the plunge and finally bought brown, just as the others went for charcoal grey. The guy who got into flares, when everyone switched to straight-leg trousers, and back again.

'Someday we will both be dead...'

'Let's do some business before it's too late'. Hester Lacey on business cards with, er, a serious message

Travellers' cheques go plastic

A high-tech innovation could spell the end for travellers' cheques, according to American Express. The banking giant is conducting a pilot scheme involving an electronic version of its traditional travellers' cheques which takes the form of a plastic card "programmed" with foreign currency.

Golf: Goosen triumphs from the front

Retief Goosen held off a phalanx of British hopefuls to win the Peugeot French Open in Paris yesterday. Goosen never let go of a lead he established with an opening 64 and won his second European Tour event by three shots despite a double-bogey seven at the last.

Sun, sand and solvency

Are travellers' cheques the best currency to take up the Congo? Yes, for now...

Oh, for the freedom of the begging-bowl

You know beggars? You know what it is about beggars? It's their lack of elegance. They're such losers, such schlumps. All that matted hair, those horrible, deliberate clothes, the filthy dogs on string, the scrawled notices on cardboard like an NHS hospital. If Tony and the Blairenes ("A Song, A Smile and a Nolle Prosequi") ever want to make a real difference to our quality of public life, they might take a break from forming human pyramids in the Cabinet room, and commission Terence Conran to redesign our beggars.

Golf: Nicholas inspired for title defence

Britain's Alison Nicholas has an early opportunity to make amends for the disappointment of losing a play-off in France last week when she defends her title in the pounds 110,000 Guardian Irish Open at Luttrellstown Castle, near Dublin, today.

Golf: Morley out in front

Britain's Joanne Morley repeated her opening round 67 on the second day of the Evian Masters in France yesterday to take an outright lead.

Money: Don't get caught short

Holidaymakers are switching from travellers' cheques to credit and debit cards when going abroad, writes Nic Cicutti

Aitken: My fears of 'set-up' over stay at the Paris Ritz

The former Cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken was accused in the High Court yesterday of conspiring to deceive the Government over who paid the bill during his controversial stay at the Paris Ritz hotel.

TRANSPORT Heathrow climbs to fourth in passenger league table

Only three airports in the world are handling more passengers than Heathrow, latest figures reveal. And a 7.9 per cent rise, to 24.1 million passenger numbers in 1996, pushed Gatwick Airport into the top 30 of world airports, says a report in Airline Business magazine.

Holiday claim? Ask the taxpayer

Travel insurers expect us to bail them out for medical costs

Golf: Sutton stays ahead


Tips for Brits on holiday etiquette

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own