Finding a credit card with concierge service
These little-known perks are common among reward cards
By Tony Mecia
Dear Cashing In,
Can you please point me to a list of all credit cards that offer concierge services? -- Rich
A lot of people with rewards cards probably don't realize that they might be carrying a card that offers concierge services.
Credit cards offer a couple different kinds of rewards. There are the rewards offered by the issuing bank and perhaps its co-branded partner. These are the ones you probably hear the most about, and the ones that tend to come to mind when we think about reward cards -- perks such as frequent flier miles and cash back.
In addition to those, however, many cards have a long list of other features. You can consider them to be rewards, or at least perks, but you don't hear about them quite as much. These are often contracted out by the issuing back to other companies to administer. Here, I'm thinking of features such as car rental insurance, trip insurance, extra warranty protections and, yes, concierge services.
You don't hear about those card benefits as much because they don't figure prominently in people's decisions to apply for cards. For instance, in a January 2015 scientific survey by CreditCards.com, when 756 investors were asked to name their favorite credit card reward, only two named concierge services.
Still, these kinds of services can be useful. Rich, if you're interested in concierge services, you might start by examining the cards you already have to see if they offer it. All cards that are Visa Signature and World Elite MasterCard offer concierge services. In addition, some banks include concierge services on their higher-end cards, such as the American Express Platinum and Centurion (Black) cards and the Citi Diamond Preferred, ThankYou Preferred and Prestige cards.
In 2014, I conducted my own tryout and compared the credit card concierge services -- and came away impressed by their responsiveness. Often, the services they provided were no better than what I could have done on my own. I doubt that they have any special expertise or have connections with maitre d's at fancy restaurants to land you hard-to-get dinner reservations, for instance. But they certainly took less time than I would have, which is the point of such services, right?
If you want concierge service and don't have a card that offers it, I'm not sure that any particular card's concierge is better than any other. If that's the main service you're interested in from a reward card, then at least find one with no annual fee, such as the Citi Diamond Preferred MasterCard. If you're interested in other rewards, too, then you have plenty of options from other cards, including some of the best-known cards from major banks such as American Express, Chase, Capital One, US Bank and Barclaycard.
I don't know of any consolidated list of cards with concierge services, but if you start examining reward cards, those services are more common than you might think.
See related: 11 hidden credit card perks
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Published: June 16, 2015
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