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Credit cards can offer a wide variety of well-known perks, such as valuable intro bonuses, the ability to earn points or cash back on purchases, and even things like free checked bags and airport lounge access when flying. But one of the most underrated benefits some credit cards offer is concierge service.
Credit card concierges are helpful customer service representatives who can do things like make travel bookings, score reservations at exclusive restaurants, secure tickets to concerts and sporting events, and more. Here's what you need to know, and how to make the most of a credit card concierge.
Credit Cards That Offer Concierge Services
Credit card concierge services are offered either by a credit card issuer, like Citi or Chase, or by a credit card network, such as Visa or Mastercard. These services are included as part of the perks packages of premium credit cards with annual fees that are on the pricier side.
It's a good bet that if you have a high-end card, like a World Elite Mastercard® or a Visa Signature or Visa Infinite, as opposed to a regular Mastercard or Visa, that you have access to a concierge service. But it's not a guarantee. To find out for sure, check with your bank about your specific cards to see what services might be available to you. In the meantime, here are four of the best rewards credit cards currently available that include concierge service for members.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: One of the top all-around rewards cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a Visa Signature card, so cardholders can take advantage of complimentary concierge services through Visa. Among the tasks they can help with are making travel plans and finding personalized gifts at local stores. This card has a $95 annual fee and is currently offering new cardholders up to 80,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Another Visa Signature product, the services offered through this card are pretty much identical to those extended by the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Like that card, this one also has a $95 annual fee. It is currently offering applicants up to 100,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 on purchases within 12 months from account opening, which is worth $1,000 toward travel. Alternatively, you can still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months.
The Platinum Card® from American Express: Among the premium cards for which Amex offers concierge service is this perks-packed standout. It is currently offering new cardholders up to 60,000 Membership Rewards points after they use their card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases in their first 3 months. Among time-saving services its concierges offer are assistance with transportation and travel bookings, finding tickets to live events, making restaurant and hotel recommendations and reservations, and providing emergency assistance if something goes wrong while the cardholder is traveling. The annual fee is $550. Terms apply.
Citi Prestige® Card: The concierges available through this card from our partner can help cardholders find specific stores or products, and even arrange for deliveries and shipping of gifts. This card charges a $495 annual fee and is currently offering 50,000 bonus points to eligible new cardholders who spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
How Do Credit Card Concierge Services Work?
Although concierge service is included with many credit cards, it is not exactly an automatic perk. To use these services, you have to contact your issuer or bank and request help through a dedicated phone line, email, webpage or app. Here are a few of the key areas where concierges can help.
- Travel planning: Sure, you might make all your own travel plans these days thanks to the ease of doing so online. But if you're tight on time, or simply don't know where to start with a new destination, a credit card concierge can point you in the right direction with recommendations and options for flights, hotels, restaurants and activities.
- Restaurant reservations: Thanks to partnerships that many of the major credit card issuers have with restaurants and the fact that concierges can spend a lot of time looking at availability, some of them can snag you a table at hard-to-book eateries much more easily than you could yourself. They can also help with suggestions for where to eat if you're traveling somewhere unfamiliar.
- Event tickets: Credit card concierges are whizzes at scoring tickets to events such as concerts and sports games. Some issuers even set aside blocs of tickets specifically for their own cardholders, meaning you might get a seat even if something has been sold out for weeks.
- General assistance: While not as thorough or committed as a full-time assistant, concierges can do things like remind you of major calendar events, such as birthdays and anniversaries, and help you locate, purchase and ship presents. Concierges can also help with mundane necessities, like finding a plumber or a nearby service station for an oil change, getting a prescription delivered from the pharmacy, or even locating items you might have lost during a trip by getting in touch with an airline or hotel.
Part of what makes concierge services so useful is that they are available 24/7, so you can call on them anytime for help in a pinch—and there is usually no limit to the number of requests you can make. Just be realistic in your demands and expectations. It doesn't hurt to ask, but you probably won't get a last-minute table at The French Laundry or front-row seats to that sold-out Taylor Swift concert through one of them, and it usually takes around 24 to 48 hours for them to complete a task. Also remember that, while the service itself is typically complimentary, you still have to pay for the bookings or purchases they help you make, and they might not comparison shop as thoroughly as you would be willing to do yourself to find the best deal.
What Credit Score Do You Need for a Credit Card With a Concierge?
The credit cards that include concierge service tend to be premium or luxury credit cards that require applicants to have very good or exceptional credit, and charge high annual fees. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® gives cardholders access to the services of Visa Infinite Concierge, but the card also carries an annual fee of $550.
Before you open a new card, make sure you can pay its annual fee, and be sure to check your credit score, which you can do for free through Experian. If your score is not within the average range for a product you are considering, take steps to improve it. Among the things you can do are making all your payments on time and keeping your balances low, not opening several credit cards within a short period of time, and disputing any inaccuracies you might find on your credit report.
A credit card concierge can be a great resource for folks who need help with things like travel, dining, events and day-to-day purchases. They basically act like part-time personal assistants and can help with a wide variety of requests. While it's probably not worth opening a new credit card specifically for the concierge services it offers, taking advantage of concierges can be a great way to reap more value from a credit card you carry. For help finding a credit card that's right for your needs, check out the options available through Experian CreditMatchTM.
All information about the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by Experian and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card.