BACK

Jeremy Hogan / SOPA Images / Getty Images

Breaking News

My credit card’s concierge service helped me find toilet paper

There’s a good chance you have at least one card with this free service. Here’s how it can help you in a time of need

Summary

Most often, credit card concierges are trained to assist with travel bookings, hard-to-find restaurant reservations, gift ideas and sports and theater tickets. But they can also help you find hot items you may need while you’re hunkering down at home.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

Right now, toilet paper is one of the hottest commodities in America.

Panic buying resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has led to empty shelves and futile online searches.

But did you know that your credit card company can help you track some down?

See related: Coronavirus: Can credit card travel insurance help?

Which credit cards offer concierge services?

Many credit cards offer free concierge services. These include all Visa Signature cards, all World and World Elite Mastercards, most Citi credit cards and select American Express cards (mostly high-end offerings such as the Centurion card and The Platinum Card® from American Express). The PenFed Pathfinder Rewards card qualifies, and it doesn’t charge an annual fee.

Most often, these concierges are trained to assist with travel bookings, hard-to-find restaurant reservations, gift ideas and sports and theater tickets. Typically, their advice is free, but you need to pay for the goods or services they’re able to obtain.

How I used my cards’ concierge services to find toilet paper

On Thursday, I called the Visa Signature concierge hotline to see if they could help me track down some of that elusive T.P. I had to enter my Visa Signature card number (it happens to be a Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card).

Most people probably don’t know offhand if they have a Visa Signature card, so pull out your card and look for the logo. There’s a good chance you have one.

A friendly concierge picked up right away, and I explained what I was looking for. We clarified a few particulars about my name, location and request (for instance, I was hoping to find a store within 10 miles that had toilet paper available), and she pledged to get back to me within a few hours.

About 40 minutes later, I received an email that the concierge had found two Walgreens locations within 10 miles that confirmed toilet paper in stock.

I also reached out to a Citi concierge with the same request. Despite promising to get back to me within a few hours, it took them 26 hours, but they ultimately came through as well. I received an email from the Citi concierge that Key Food, a local grocery store, had just received a large shipment of toilet paper. I called the store to verify this, as I had done with Walgreens the day before.

These were my two first times contacting a credit card concierge service. I was very impressed. I’m not normally in the market for trendy restaurants or sold-out sporting events – I’m a pretty ordinary suburban dad – but I will definitely be on the lookout for ways to utilize this free service again.

Final thoughts

This is a great example of how to get added value from your existing credit cards. That will be important in the weeks and months to come because it may get more difficult to qualify for new cards as the economy reels from the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

If you already have cash back or points-earning cards in your wallet that feature bonus reward categories, consider using them for what you plan to buy the most while you’re hunkered down. Many cards offer extra rewards for select streaming services, grocery shopping, dining (which now means take-out or delivery for most of us) and drug store purchases. Even 2% or 3% extra cash back in these kinds of spending categories can add up to significant savings over a few months.

Additionally, some cards allow you to pay for select purchases over time – which can help you buy an essential item you need without plunking down a load of cash right away.

Finally, if you’ve lost your job or had your income reduced and you have card debt, contact your issuers and see what relief they can offer. Several credit card companies are allowing cardholders affected by the COVID-19 outbreak to skip payments, as well as waiving fees and lowering interest rates.

Have a question about credit cards? Email me at ted.rossman@creditcards.com and I’d be happy to help.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

What’s up next?

In Breaking News

State AGs, legislators ask online sellers to police coronavirus price gouging

Attorneys general from 33 states and a bipartisan group of legislators say e-tailers such as Amazon should have policies in place to deter sellers from unreasonable emergency pricing tactics.

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: August 5th, 2020
Business
13.91%
Airline
15.48%
Cash Back
16.09%
Reward
15.82%
Student
16.12%

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.