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*Disclaimer: This article is accurate as of the publish date February 24, 2014
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Most major credit card issuers boast at least one premium-level card that is reserved for those who want elite services and features. Typically these cards carry a rather hefty annual membership fee and require excellent credit, but are geared toward rather affluent customers who may have no problem with either of those criteria’s. Plus, some of the special perks conveyed along with card membership may be so valuable that they offset or otherwise justify the payment of a higher annual fee.
Oftentimes that’s the case with the 5-star concierge services that are provided by top-tier cards. Some of those include:
- Both Capital One® Venture® Rewards Cards
- Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
Programs Offering Premium Services
Several of the cards that offer premium services are tied to the prestigious Visa Signature program, which includes its own complimentary package of special concierge services. With this benefit the cardholder can use a toll-free number, 24-hours a day, to receive personalized concierge assistance. Card members use the service for such things as making dinner or theater reservations, scoring tickets to concerts, or even getting help with shopping services when they want to find a unique gift for someone special.
Once you have your reservations made and your plans all set, you will need transportation, and Visa Signature has you covered in that department, too. You’ll be entitled to a 20% discount off the base rate on all premium chauffeured ground transportation through LimoLink services when you use your Visa Signature plastic. The discount is available in all countries where LimoLink operates, and applies to luxury sedans, town cars, and specialized vehicles like those custom-designed stretch Hummers and limo-sized SUVs. Check this resource out to see if you have a Visa Signature Credit Card.
For those that carry a credit card with the word “world” above the MasterCard symbol on the front of the card, they will be entitled to all the benefits for World MasterCard members. They can expect benefits similar to Visa Signature such as MasterCard’s Global Service, Savings on Airport Concierge Services, World Travel Experiences and Offers, and more. They even have a program, the MasterCard Priceless Cities Program, which offers discounts and exclusive offers in select cities.
Limos, Private Jets, & Simplified Customs Clearance
Another rather prestigious program is offered by American Express. Amex provides help with restaurant reservations, special event planning, gift suggestions and research, and their 24-hour Platinum Card Concierge staff prides itself on going the extra mile.
Amex really strives for royal treatment when it comes to laying on the personalized, white-glove concierge services for its Platinum Card members. Chauffeured transportation can be arranged, and cardholders earn double rewards points per dollar spent on limo reservations through Carey or Empire limo services. Not only that, but you can receive up to $300 in benefits per flight towards limousine transfer services. When you fly on a private jet your card membership helps you with in-flight catering amenities and you are also given assurance that you’ll receive the best available price for the cost of that private jet transportation.
While jet-setting around the globe you’ll also want to make sure you are enlisted in the United States Customs and Border Protection agency’s special Global Entry program. U.S. Customs Service screens passengers ahead of time to ensure that they represent a low security risk. If you meet the requirements through a background check, you will be accepted as a Global Entry member and can skip most of the long lines at customs upon arrival in the USA. The enrollment application fee is $100 and must be paid every five years, so Amex credits you that amount every five years – essentially paying the fee on your behalf.
On the company website, for instance, Amex has extraordinary stories about times when cardholders received service above and beyond the call of duty. One American Express card holder used the concierge service to make his son’s honeymoon more memorable by arranging champagne and flowers in the couple’s room with a private beachside dinner. Another cardholder wanted a bracelet while vacationing in a city in Greece, but had already left the country. American Express’ concierge service was able to track it down for them, even thought that city had more than 100 jewelry stores.
Clearly, good customer service pays!
*Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.