*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated Dec 30, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
Most major credit card issuers boast at least one premium-level card reserved for those who want elite services and features. Typically these cards carry a rather hefty annual fee, require excellent credit and are geared toward more affluent customers.
However, some of the special perks that come with these cards may be so valuable that they offset or otherwise justify the payment of a higher annual fee. One of those perks is access to 5-star concierge services that come with some top-tier cards. They include:
The Platinum Card® from American Express
60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.*
Up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees & more at one qualifying airline*
No foreign transaction fees & exclusive airport lounge access*
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for The Platinum Card® from American Express
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
- 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
See additional details for Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Programs Offering Premium Services
Several credit cards that come with premium services are tied to the prestigious Visa Signature® program, which includes its own complimentary package of special concierge services. Cardholders have access to a dedicated toll-free number 24 hours a day to receive personalized concierge assistance. Use the service for help with services such as dinner or theater reservations, tickets to concerts or shopping services.
Visa Signature cardholders are entitled to a 20% discount off the base rate on all premium chauffeured ground transportation through LimoLink services. 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 list to see if you have a Visa Signature Credit Card.
The Visa Infinite program also offers many of the same perks as the Visa Signature® program. You’ll get access to 24/7 concierge service; The Luxury Hotel & Resort CollectionSM, car rental discounts with Avis, National and Silvercar; Priority Pass™ lounge access and more. Perhaps one of the higher value perks is the $100 statement credit you receive for Global Entry membership, which allows you to clear Customs more quickly after returning from an international destination. Global Entry also includes access to TSA Precheck domestic airport screening. Unfortunately, the Visa Infinite program is currently only offered with a few cards in the U.S.
Those with a credit card with the word “World” above the MasterCard symbol on the front of their card are entitled to all the benefits for World MasterCard members. They can expect benefits similar to Visa Signature, including access to experienced travel advisors, hotel stay and lowest rate guarantees, membership in the card’s luxury hotel & resorts portfolio, savings on car, air, cruise and vacation packages and Mastercard Airport Concierge™. There’s also access to the MasterCard Priceless Cities program, which offers discounts and exclusive offers.
Limos, Private Jets, and Simplified Customs Clearance
American Express® Global Assist concierges offer help with restaurant reservations, special event planning, gift suggestions and research, and its Platinum Card Concierge staff prides itself on going the extra mile. Cardmembers who buy a Delta Private Jet Card can get a 20% discount off published fares for select fare classes.
While jet-setting around the globe, you’ll also want to make sure you are enrolled in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Global Entry program. Passengers are screened by CBP 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.
Those who fly more domestically should consider the TSA Precheck program, which offers expedited airport screening. If you choose to enroll in Global Entry, you’re automatically enrolled in Precheck.
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 though that city had more than 100 jewelry stores.
Clearly, good customer service pays!