What Do The Concierge Services From Credit Cards Really Provide?

By Jason Steele. Last updated 1 March 2017. 0 comments

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In a luxury hotel, there is one person whose job it is to get things done and make things happen for guests. Whether you need someone to buy flowers, make dinner reservations, find a ride to the airport, or perform any other unique task, a good concierge knows how to find the right people to fulfill your request.

Each of the three major credit card payment networks, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, offer 24/7 concierge service to premium credit card users, too. But what exactly can they provide?

Visa Signature Concierge

The Visa Signature program is offered with cards that come from a variety of banks and credit unions. One of the services offered is travel planning, which can include the booking of basic flights, hotels, rental cars, and cruises. For example, it offers the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel collection where guests can enjoy additional amenities and credits toward food and beverages. But in addition, the service can help you acquire more unique reservations such as limousines, exotic cars, private jets, and international cell phones.

Another service Visa Signature provides is help booking tickets to sports and entertainment events. In some cases, the Visa Signature Concierge has access to tickets that are not yet available to the general public, or to sold out events. When it comes time to eat, a Visa Signature Concierge can also assist with dining reservations. Finally, this service can help with shopping and can send flowers or other gifts on your behalf.

World and World Elite MasterCard

High end reward credit cards that are part of the MasterCard payment network may also be part of the World and World Elite MasterCard benefits program, which also includes a 24/7 concierge service. This program will help cardholders with booking travel, and it offers reservations in MasterCard's Luxury Hotels and Resorts portfolio, which include benefits such as complimentary breakfast, room upgrades, and special welcome amenities.

When booking cruises through this concierge service, cardholders receive shipboard credits up to $150 per cabin. MasterCard also offers its Airport Concierge, which is an optional paid service that provides an escort and assistance with customs, security, with baggage at major airports around the world. MasterCard's travel assistance can also offer savings on select domestic and international airlines, and can book chauffeured car services and private jets.

World and World Elite MasterCard customers can also use its concierge service to access to its Priceless Cities program, which offers discounts for shopping, dining, and events in dozens of major cities around the world.

American Express Concierge Services

American Express is a little different from Visa and MasterCard as it is both a payment network and a card issuer. Its top of the line cards offer cardholders a dedicated concierge service, although some of its lesser cards offer some of the same features.

The concierge service for Amex cardholders can offer a wide range of personal services, including assistance with dining reservations, travel planning, and gift purchases. And depending on the card (premium cards offer premium concierge services), their concierge can even assist cardholders with redeeming their American Express Membership Rewards points and offer shopping advice and complete a variety of other personal requests.

Why Do Credit Card Issuers Offer These Services?

Undoubtedly, some customers will find a concierge service attractive enough to influence their decision to apply for a particular card, and useful enough to encourage them to remain cardholders. And since the cards that offer these services usually charge an annual fee, each cardholder renewal generates revenue. Card issuers also encourage the use of these concierge services as customers will inevitably charge travel and shopping purchases to their card, which is how card issuers make a profit through merchant fees and interest charges. Card issuers may also earn a commission from the purchase of travel reservations and other featured products.

Although concierge services are profitable to card issuers, they can be mutually beneficial to cardholders who use them. And since you are likely to already be holding a credit card that offers a concierge service, you may already have access to one of these programs. By understanding what your these services can really do, you can get the most value from your credit cards.

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