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.

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.

Sun, sand and solvency

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

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

Golf

Tips for Brits on holiday etiquette

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project