Many premium credit cards offer a concierge service, though it’s typically described in a pretty open-ended way. In some cases the service is tied to a specific card (like the Amex Platinum), while in other cases it’s tied to the tier of card with a payment processing network (a Visa Infinite, a World Elite Mastercard, etc.).
An OMAAT reader who recently picked up a premium card for the first time asked me about how useful this concierge service is, and I’m not sure I actually have a good answer. So I wanted to open this up to you guys…
In this post:
What can credit card concierge services help with?
When listing the concierge service benefit, credit card issuers tend to be pretty open-ended in terms of how they describe it, and what tasks concierges can help with. For example:
- The World Elite Mastercard Concierge is described as “a complimentary 24/7 concierge service that acts as a relentless personal assistant,” who can help you “reserve that perfect table, locate hard-to-find items and more”
- The Visa Infinite concierge is described as “a convenient and hassle-free way for you to get help with a wide range of travel, dining and entertainment tasks and activities”
- The American Express concierge is described as providing “expertise on what matters to you and can assist you with finding the best restaurants or buying tickets to upcoming events”
American Express goes into a bit more detail, and states the following:
“American Express Concierge may perform select services at your request and on your behalf that are limited to: (i) purchasing of available event tickets, (ii) making of available dining or other reservations (which may include, for example, spa or golf), (iii) general travel-related inquiries, and (iv) shopping requests (which may include, for example, sending of flowers or gifts); in each case, as deemed reasonable by American Express.”
Admittedly even that is vague — “other reservations,” “general travel-related inquiries,” and “shopping requests,” are all open to interpretation.
Am I wrong for not using these concierge services?
I’m curious if I’m in the minority with never even considering using credit card concierge services? In terms of how I value card benefits, the availability of a concierge doesn’t even make the list.
Let me be clear, I’m not trying to question the value of a good concierge. Quite to the contrary, a great concierge at a luxury hotel can work wonders, in terms of their knowledge and their ability to secure hard-to-get reservations, among other things. Many have been working in the same city for decades, and know everything and everyone.
However, I feel like credit card concierge services are very different — after all, you’ll be connected to the same concierge regardless of which request you make, and they can’t be experts on everything. The way I view it, these just aren’t as useful as they might have been in the past (and maybe I’m totally wrong — I’m sharing my perception, so please correct me):
- A concierge working for a credit card company will have limited knowledge about any particular topic and will likely have to do some research online; at that point I feel like I’m better off just searching by myself
- When it comes to restaurant reservations, I haven’t in the past found these concierge services to have much pull; in the meantime, some credit card issuers even have dining portals through which you can make reservations with more availability
- Perhaps in the past this might have been useful for hotel reservations, but nowadays most premium credit cards even have portals through which you can book luxury hotels (not that you necessarily should, but you can)
- Let’s face it, a lot of people have premium credit cards nowadays, so it’s not like you’re in some exclusive club by having one, and that also limits the pull that these kinds of services have; I mean, does a concierge have any power when they call up a restaurant with hard-to-get tables and say someone with an Amex Platinum really wants a reservation?
I’d love to be wrong, and maybe others are able to get a lot of value out of concierges? If so, I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to get a sense of what kind of value these services have been able to add.
Most premium credit cards market concierge service as one of the perks, though this seems to be a benefit that confuses a lot of people (including me). We all know what concierges are, but what can you really expect from a “global” concierge who you get access to just on account of having a credit card?
So I’m curious — what’s your impression of credit card concierge services? Do any OMAAT readers get value with this, and if so, how do you use it?