Concierge services: An exclusive, little-used card benefit

Sienna Kossman
Personal finance writer
Statistics enthusiast focused on data-driven content

Concierge services: Exclusive card benefits designed for elite consumers

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By using a premium credit card, you’re likely earning rewards and access to special benefits in return for your loyalty, but did you know you may also have access to a free concierge service?

With this valuable but often unused card perk, you can have someone else do the heavy lifting involved in luxury. Concierges, for example, can locate a hard-to-find gift, make dinner reservations or even conduct research for your next international trip.

Cardholders of select Visa, American Express and Mastercard rewards cards can enjoy this fancy perk. Personal concierge assistants will do the legwork, while you’ll just pay for the purchases, reservations or other related transactions with your card.

“Just as you can either clean your own house or hire someone to do it, you can also use your time to organize your entertainment and travel activities or you can ‘hire’ someone to do it,” said Nessa Feddis, the American Bankers Association’s senior vice president and deputy chief counsel for consumer protection and payments. “Basically, it’s like having a part-time personal assistant.”

While this particular type of card benefit is not widely advertised, and often secondary to the traditional rewards card perks a card offers, card concierge services may be worth exploring if you’re seeking a more personalized credit card user experience.

What are credit card concierge services are available?

Services vary between cards, issuers and networks, but card concierges are typically available to help you with tasks such as making restaurant reservations, booking events, shopping and travel.  

“Some services are better than others in that they offer a wider range of benefits,” said Aaron Aggerwal, assistant vice president of credit cards for Navy Federal Credit Union. “Generally, concierge services are quite comparable, but unique to each individual card.”

For some, this type of card benefit can be a good way to make a desired purchase more easily or affordably.  “A few months ago, with the Platinum card from American Express, I was looking to get tickets to one of the shows at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and they were able to actually pretty much have a couple seats reserved at that play for me,” said Brian Spychalski, a freelance consultant and financial analyst. “So instead of going online to a ticketing service, I was able to buy them directly through American Express at face value.”

Credit card concierge services can also help cardholders who don’t have a specific request or mission in mind. For example, if you are planning a trip abroad but aren’t sure what to add to your itinerary, concierge representatives can offer inspiration.

“It can get your mind rolling,” Spychalski added. “So while you are doing your planning, if you are one of those people who isn’t 100 percent sure what you want to do, they will give you recommendations for things to see or popular places other cardholders have gone.” 

Are concierge services worth using?

For busy people pressed for time or those ambivalent about their ability to get what they want or need for a certain occasion, concierge services may be really useful. Utilizing this type of card benefit can also be a great way to treat yourself and your family.

“Not only is it super convenient, it makes me feel like royalty,” said Nate Masterson, marketing manager for Maple Holistics.

Masterson used a Mastercard concierge service to help him and his new wife book an extravagant honeymoon to South America. “We ended up spending a month in South America, starting in Mexico and ending in Argentina” he said. “We spent no more than three nights in a given city, ate at a different restaurant every day. We hiked 12 different trails, attended two local shows in Brazil.  Have you ever had tried booking 10 different hotels and 26 restaurants in three different countries that you're unfamiliar with? I wouldn’t even know where to start. We were blown away with what our concierge was able to put together.”

"Not only is it super convenient, it makes me feel like royalty."

Leaning on concierge services can also be a good way to make bucket list dreams come true, which is what American Express cardholder Jeena Lugo did. “We so desperately wanted to go see ‘Hamilton,’” Lugo, CEO of Got Oil Supplies, explained. “Unfortunately, ‘Hamilton’ was either always sold out or extremely expensive. With our card services, we were able to get tickets to see ‘Hamilton’ at just over $200 a ticket.”

The value of concierge offerings will vary from card to card, but overall, “The features provided by concierge services are the most relevant and valuable for customers who are traveling, either for business or with family, and have the disposable income to stay at luxury hotels, dine at reputable restaurants and who may require business arrangements while travelling,” said Rahul Srinivasan, a marketing intelligence spokesman for LoyaltyOne.

Unusual concierge requests

Here are some of the offbeat things credit card concierges report they have done for clients:

  • Helped a corporate customer locate a male wild turkey as a mate for the female one living on his company’s campus.
  • Delivered a cup of sand from a honeymoon location.
  • Arranged for a birthday cake to be delivered in-flight to a passenger on an international airline.
  • Helped a tongue-tied customer write a best man’s speech for a wedding.

Which cards offer these benefits?

These extra special perks are most often tied to premium credit card programs structured for an elite consumer base: those who make more, spend more and have excellent credit.

“Credit card concierge services are often seen as a high-end benefit and are more often included with credit cards that carry an annual fee,” Aggerwal said. “However, as card issuers are always looking to enhance the member experience, many credit cards without annual fees now come with this service.”

"As card issuers are always looking to enhance the member experience, many credit cards without annual fees now come with this service."

Visa Signature and World Elite Mastercard-branded cards universally offer concierge services, and some issuers have also branded their own concierge programs for their higher-end card portfolios, such as the American Express Platinum card and the Citi Diamond Preferred, ThankYou Preferred and Prestige cards.

As banks fight for attention in the competitive reward card space, concierge benefits are available to those who qualify, but not widely advertised. “Issuers are trying to identify a need and how to respond to the market,” Feddis said. “It’s very competitive and a niche product, so they don’t want to share all the details with their competitors.”

If you're curious about the concierge services offered by cards in your wallet – or one you are considering applying for, reach out to the issuing bank or call the number listed on the back of your credit card for more information.

Cards offering concierge services

CreditCards.com has also compiled a synopsis of concierge services offered by popular, elite credit cards on the market today for your review in the table below:

Capital One Venture and VentureOne Rewards

IssuerCapital One
Service planVisa Signature Concierge
Program details24/7 free travel research and trip planning to book airline tickets; assistance locating and booking sports and entertainment tickets; restaurant reservations; gift selection; sending flowers
How to access servicesCall (800) 953-7392 or send email through portal at visasignatureconcierge.com

Quicksilver

IssuerCapital One
Service planVisa Signature Concierge
Program details24/7 free travel research and trip planning to book airline tickets; assistance locating and booking sports and entertainment tickets; restaurant reservations; gift selection; sending flowers
How to access servicesCall (800) 953-7392 or send email through portal at visasignatureconcierge.com

Savor Rewards

confirmations for dining and other services, top must-see attractions, etc.
IssuerCapital One
Service planWorld Elite Mastercard (branded as Capital One Concierge Services)
Program details24/7 access to local experts who can provide on-site assistance with everyday household needs such as being present when a new appliance is delivered when you are unable to be; Access to unique dining and entertainment venues; Reminder service to notify you of important dates and events; Pre-trip planning services including 10-day weather notices, forecast, travel requirements, city-specific news and conditions, safety and security advisory, suggested packing list, prearranged
How to access servicesCall (877) 288-6784

Citi Diamond Preferred

IssuerCitibank
Service planCiti Concierge
Program details24/7 access to a staff of experts who can help with travel, shopping, dining, entertainment, and everyday needs, such as reserving a car or planning a special date. Ask for help finding a family-friendly resort, brainstorming a special birthday gift, securing anniversary dinner reservations or even hiring a last-minute babysitter.
How to access servicesCall phone number on the back of your card

Citi Prestige

IssuerCitibank
Service planCiti Prestige Concierge
Program details24/7 assistance with your travel, shopping, dining, and entertainment needs; Citi Prestige Concierge can assist with the things you want most but may be hard to find, from sold-out theatre tickets to reservations at exclusive restaurants; help planning the small details of a trip to more extravagant adventures, such as reserving the chef’s table at a top-notch restaurant or get a backstage pass to see your favorite band
How to access servicesCall (877) 288-2484 or email concierge@yourconciergecenter.com

Citi AAdvantage Gold, Bronze and Platinum Select cards

IssuerCitibank
Service planCiti Concierge
Program details24/7 access to a staff of experts who can help with travel, shopping, dining, entertainment, and everyday needs, such as reserving a car or planning a special date. Ask for help finding a family-friendly resort, brainstorming a special birthday gift, securing anniversary dinner reservations or even hiring a last-minute babysitter.
How to access servicesCall (800) 508-8930 or email concierge@yourconciergecenter.com

Citi ThankYou Premier and ThankYou Preferred

IssuerCitibank
Service planCiti Concierge
Program details24/7 access to a staff of experts who can help with travel, shopping, dining, entertainment, and everyday needs, such as reserving a car or planning a special date. Ask for help finding a family-friendly resort, brainstorming a special birthday gift, securing anniversary dinner reservations or even hiring a last-minute babysitter.
How to access servicesCall (800) 508-8930 or email concierge@yourconciergecenter.com

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

IssuerBarclaycard U.S.
Service planMastercard World Elite concierge
Program detailsComplimentary, 24/7 professional travel services provided by experienced advisors; Mastercard Airport Concierge: Arrange for a meet-and-greet agent to escort you through the airport on departure, arrival or any connecting flights at more than 700 destinations worldwide; Personal assistant services: Help with reservations and research, locate hard-to-find items, etc.; The Dining Program: Access to inventory not available to the general public and complimentary amenities or experiential benefits at select restaurants; Golf Concierge Services
How to access servicesCall phone number on the back of your card

Chase Sapphire Preferred

IssuerChase
Service planVisa Signature Concierge
Program detailsComplimentary, 24/7 service to help you find tickets to the top sports and entertainment events, make dinner reservations and even get help sending the perfect gift
How to access servicesCall (800) 953-7392

Platinum Card from American Express

IssuerAmerican Express
Service planPlatinum Concierge
Program detailsComplimentary, 24/7 service to help you make reservations, recommend a restaurant, find sought-after tickets, or the perfect gift
How to access servicesCall phone number on the back of your card

Ritz-Carlton Rewards

IssuerChase
Service planJ.P. Morgan Premier Concierge
Program details24/7 personal assistance with your travel, dining and entertainment planning needs
How to access servicesCall (877) 408-5537

Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

IssuerCitibank
Service planMastercard World Elite Concierge
Program detailsAccess to global, 24/7 resources working on your behalf; expert help with foreign and domestic travel requests, shopping, dining, household, and entertainment needs
How to access servicesCall phone number on the back of your card

Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express

IssuerAmerican Express
Service planAmerican Express Concierge
Program detailsComplimentary help selecting a restaurant and arrange the details of an upcoming special event or expert advice for selecting a gift
How to access servicesCall (800) 525-3355 or (617) 622-6756 for collect international calls

United MileagePlus Club Card

IssuerChase
Service planVisa Signature Concierge
Program details24/7 access to customer service representatives who can find tickets to top sports and entertainment events, make dinner reservations and help you send the perfect gift
How to access servicesCall (800) 953-7392

Bank of America Premium Rewards Card

IssuerBank of America
Service planVisa Signature Concierge
Program details24/7 access to customer service representatives who can help with travel planning, restaurant recommendations and event reservations
How to access servicesCall phone number on the back of your card

Source: February 2018 CreditCards.com research based on information available on issuer websites and benefit portals

See related: Putting credit card concierge services to the test, 5 credit card perks that save you money, 11 credit card travel insurance benefits


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Updated: 10-21-2018