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Many popular credit cards today come with concierge service benefits. What is this exactly, and how can you take the best advantage?
What Is Concierge Service?
A concierge is a personal assistant who relieves you of certain tasks and, in some cases, gets results that you can’t.
What Will The Concierge Do?
While different issuers and cards will offer different levels of service, there are some basic features of a concierge that you can always expect.
Here’s what Visa Signature says. The following description is from their business benefits brochure, but the information applies to all Visa Signature cards:
Save time and make your life easier with the complimentary Visa Signature Concierge service. Just call anytime, 24 hours a day. The Visa Signature Concierge service can help you find tickets to the top sports and entertainment events, book travel, make dinner reservations, and even help you find the perfect gift. To use your Visa Signature Concierge service, call (800) 953-7392. For calls outside the United States, call us collect at 630-350-4551.
Creative travel bloggers describe their concierge experience mostly with happy results. Visa won’t offer a precise list of exactly what they’ll do, but anecdotal evidence suggests an extensive range of tasks that are appropriate:
Research, Research, Research
Want to know which restaurants in a city have private rooms for meetings, which public parks have restroom facilities, which wedding venues with site-fees under $2,000 have the best online reviews, where to buy a car with exactly the options you want? The concierge will research the subject and get back to you. They take on the research that you don’t have time for.
Long and Short Lists
No matter what the parameters, the concierge will put together a list of answers that meet your specifications.
Multiple Phone Calls
Let the concierge call several different places to get answers to your questions.
Finding Lost Items
The concierge makes the necessary calls to find lost or missing items in, say, an airport, taxi or hotel, and will tell you how to retrieve your possessions.
The concierge makes suggestions and then does the job of getting through to your desired restaurant to set up a dinner reservation. The concierge can also cover your options by making multiple reservations so that you can choose the place that suits you best. The concierge will cancel the bookings you don’t want.
Let a concierge handle all air, rental car, limo, cruise ship and hotel arrangements according to your preferences, including arrangements for sightseeing excursions and sundry other activities.
Reservations And Tickets
Get tickets to sporting, entertainment and cultural events, sometimes even when the event is sold out.
Let the concierge arrange for an emergency business presentation, including printing, photocopying and delivering presentation materials. Got a critical special occasion coming up? Let the concierge choose and arrange for purchase and delivery of a gift.
What A Concierge Won’t Do
A concierge won’t guarantee that he can get you into any place or event that’s totally booked, or that you normally would not be able to gain access to like a members-only club. The concierge can’t get any special benefits that you aren’t already entitled to. They don’t offer discounts.
Instead, the concierge focuses on getting the right results quickly, not necessarily cheaply. You’ll save time, not money. They don’t run personal errands (except, possibly, in the case of the MasterCard Black personal assistant, but for a fee). They won’t do your job or your schoolwork. Event planning services are not free, but they’ll find an event planner for you (American Express and MasterCard concierge services plan events for a fee).
Which Credit Cards Offer Concierge Service?
It is not just fancy club cards with high annual fees that offer concierge service. Check your credit card’s description of benefits, or call the toll-free number on the back of the card to find out if you already have access. Many Visa Signature cards come with concierge service. Visit the website or call 800-953-7392 in the U.S. (630-350-4551 collect outside the U.S.)
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